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Several studies have reported evidence of interference between respiratory viruses: respiratory viruses rarely reach their epidemic peak concurrently and there appears to be a negative association between infection with one respiratory virus and co-infection with another. We used results spanning 16 years (2002–2017) of a routine diagnostic multiplex panel that tests for nine respiratory viruses to further investigate these interactions in Victoria, Australia. Time series analyses were used to plot the proportion positive for each virus. The seasonality of all viruses included was compared with respiratory syncytial virus (RSV) and influenza A virus using cross-correlations. Logistic regression was used to explore the likelihood of co-infection with one virus given infection with another. Seasonal peaks were observed each year for influenza A and RSV and less frequently for influenza B, coronavirus and parainfluenza virus. RSV circulated an average of 6 weeks before influenza A. Co-infection with another respiratory virus was less common with picornavirus, RSV or influenza A infection. Our findings provide further evidence of a temporal relationship in the circulation of respiratory viruses. A greater understanding of the interaction between respiratory viruses may enable better prediction of the timing and magnitude of respiratory virus epidemics.
Describe the epidemiological and molecular characteristics of an outbreak of Klebsiella pneumoniae carbapenemase (KPC)–producing organisms and the novel use of a cohorting unit for its control.
A 566-room academic teaching facility in Milwaukee, Wisconsin.
Solid-organ transplant recipients.
Infection control bundles were used throughout the time of observation. All KPC cases were intermittently housed in a cohorting unit with dedicated nurses and nursing aids. The rooms used in the cohorting unit had anterooms where clean supplies and linens were placed. Spread of KPC-producing organisms was determined using rectal surveillance cultures on admission and weekly thereafter among all consecutive patients admitted to the involved units. KPC-positive strains underwent pulsed-field gel electrophoresis and whole-genome sequencing.
A total of 8 KPC cases (5 identified by surveillance) were identified from April 2016 to April 2017. After the index patient, 3 patients acquired KPC-producing organisms despite implementation of an infection control bundle. This prompted the use of a cohorting unit, which immediately halted transmission, and the single remaining KPC case was transferred out of the cohorting unit. However, additional KPC cases were identified within 2 months. Once the cohorting unit was reopened, no additional KPC cases occurred. The KPC-positive species identified during this outbreak included Klebsiella pneumoniae, Enterobacter cloacae complex, and Escherichia coli. blaKPC was identified on at least 2 plasmid backbones.
A complex KPC outbreak involving both clonal and plasmid-mediated dissemination was controlled using weekly surveillances and a cohorting unit.
Introduction: Trauma and injury play a significant role in the population's burden of disease. Limited research exists evaluating the role of trauma bypass protocols. The objective of this study was to assess the impact and effectiveness of a newly introduced prehospital field trauma triage (FTT) standard, allowing paramedics to bypass a closer hospital and directly transport to a trauma centre (TC) provided transport times were within 30 minutes. Methods: We conducted a 12-month multi-centred health record review of paramedic call reports and emergency department health records following the implementation of the 4 step FTT standard (step 1: vital signs and level of consciousness, step 2: anatomical injury, step 3: mechanism and step 4: special considerations) in nine paramedic services across Eastern Ontario. We included adult trauma patients transported as an urgent transport to hospital, that met one of the 4 steps of the FTT standard and would allow for a bypass consideration. We developed and piloted a standardized data collection tool and obtained consensus on all data definitions. The primary outcome was the rate of appropriate triage to a TC, defined as any of the following: injury severity score ≥12, admitted to an intensive care unit, underwent non-orthopedic operation, or death. We report descriptive and univariate analysis where appropriate. Results: 570 adult patients were included with the following characteristics: mean age 48.8, male 68.9%, attended by Advanced Care Paramedic 71.8%, mechanisms of injury: MVC 20.2%, falls 29.6%, stab wounds 10.5%, median initial GCS 14, mean initial BP 132, prehospital fluid administered 26.8%, prehospital intubation 3.5%, transported to a TC 74.6%. Of those transported to a TC, 308 (72.5%) had bypassed a closer hospital prior to TC arrival. Of those that bypassed a closer hospital, 136 (44.2%) were determined to be “appropriate triage to TC”. Bypassed patients more often met the step 1 or step 2 of the standard (186, 66.9%) compared to the step 3 or step 4 (122, 39.6%). An appropriate triage to TC occurred in 104 (55.9%) patients who had met step 1 or 2 and 32 (26.2%) patients meeting step 3 or 4 of the FTT standard. Conclusion: The FTT standard can identify patients who should be bypassed and transported to a TC. However, this is at a cost of potentially burdening the system with poor sensitivity. More work is needed to develop a FTT standard that will assist paramedics in appropriately identifying patients who require a trauma centre.
Introduction: Depending on the time and day of initial Emergency Department (ED) presentation, some patients may require a return to the ED the following day for ultrasound examination. Return visits for ultrasound may be time and resource intensive for both patients and the ED. Qualitative experience suggests that a percentage of return ultrasounds could be performed at a non-ED facility. Our objective was to undertake a retrospective audit of return for ultrasound usage, patterns and outcomes at 2 academic EDs. Methods: A retrospective review of all adult patients returning to the ED for ultrasound at both LHSC ED sites in 2016 was undertaken. Each chart was independently reviewed by two emergency medicine consultants. Charts were assessed for day and time of initial presentation and return, type of ultrasound ordered, and length of ED stay on initial presentation and return visit. Opinion based questions were considered by reviewers, including urgency of diagnosis clarification required, if symptoms were still present on return, and if any medical or surgical treatment or follow up was arranged based on ultrasound results. Agreement between reviewers was assessed. Results: After eliminating charts for which the return visit was not for a scheduled ultrasound examination, 328 patient charts were reviewed. 63% of patients were female and median [IQR] age was 40 years [27-56]. Abdomen/pelvis represented 50% of the ultrasounds; renal 24%; venous Doppler 15.9%. Symptoms were still present and documented in 79% of cases. 22% of cases required a medical intervention and 9% an immediate surgical intervention. 11% of patients were admitted to hospital on their return visit. Outpatient follow-up based on US results was initiated in 29% of cases. Median [IQR] combined LOS was 479.5 minutes [358.5-621.75]. Agreement between reviewers for opinion based questions was poor (63%-96%). Conclusion: Ideally, formal ultrasound should be available on a 24 hour basis for ED patients in order to avoid return visits. A percentage of return for ultrasound examinations do not result in any significant change in treatment. Emergency departments should consider the development of pathways to avoid return visits for follow up ultrasound when possible. The low incidence of surgical treatment in those returning for US suggests that this population could be served in a non-hospital setting. Further research is required to support this conclusion.
Age at sexual debut is known to have implications for future sexual behaviours and health outcomes, including HIV infection, early pregnancy and maternal mortality, but may also influence educational outcomes. Longitudinal data on schooling and sexual behaviour from a demographic surveillance site in Karonga district, northern Malawi, were analysed for 3153 respondents between the ages of 12 and 25 years to examine the association between sexual debut and primary school dropout, and the role of prior school performance. Time to dropout was modelled using the Fine and Gray survival model to account for the competing event of primary school completion. To deal with the time-varying nature of age at sexual debut and school performance, models were fitted using landmark analyses. Sexual debut was found to be associated with a five-fold increase in rate of subsequent dropout for girls and a two-fold increase in dropout rate for boys (adjusted hazard ratio [aHR] of 5.27, CI 4.22–6.57, and 2.19, CI 1.77–2.7, respectively). For girls who were sexually active by age 16, only 16% ultimately completed primary schooling, compared with 70% aged 18 or older at sexual debut. Prior to sexual debut, girls had primary completion levels similar to those of boys. The association between sexual debut and school dropout could not be explained by prior poor school performance: the effect of sexual debut on dropout was as strong among those who were not behind in school as among those who were overage for their school grade. Girls who were sexually active were more likely to repeat a grade, with no effect being seen for boys. Pathways to dropout are complex and may differ for boys and girls. Interventions are needed to improve school progression so children complete primary school before sexual debut, and to improve sex education and contraception provision.
Recommending nitrofurantoin to treat uncomplicated cystitis was associated with increased nitrofurantoin use from 3.53 to 4.01 prescriptions per 1,000 outpatient visits, but nitrofurantoin resistance in E. coli isolates remained stable at 2%. Concomitant levofloxacin resistance was a significant risk for nitrofurantoin resistance in E. coli isolates (odds ratio [OR], 2.72; 95% confidence interval [CI], 1.04–7.17).
Historically, the development of XRF spectrometers has followed 2 main paths which are characterized by the means of spectral resolution they use. Those employing diffraction crystals and Braggs law to disperse the X-ray wavelengths are known as wavelength dispersive (WDX), whilst those usinq only the energy resolution of the detector, as enerqy dispersive (EDX). In the past these two have not normally been directly compared, because the WDX systems have always been the more expensive.
Detractors have long criticized the use of courts to achieve social change because judicial victories tend to provoke counterproductive political backlashes. Backlash arguments typically assert or imply that if movement litigators had relied on democratic rather than judicial politics, their policy victories would have been better insulated from opposition. We argue that these accounts wrongly assume that the unilateral decision by a group of movement advocates to eschew litigation will lead to a reduced role for courts in resolving the relevant policy and political conflicts. To the contrary, such decisions will often result in a policy field with judges every bit as active, but with the legal challenges initiated and framed by the advocates' opponents. We document this claim and explore its implications for constitutional politics via a counterfactual thought experiment rooted in historical case studies of litigation involving abortion and the right to die.
Breakthrough Listen is a 10-yr initiative to search for signatures of technologies created by extraterrestrial civilisations at radio and optical wavelengths. Here, we detail the digital data recording system deployed for Breakthrough Listen observations at the 64-m aperture CSIRO Parkes Telescope in New South Wales, Australia. The recording system currently implements two modes: a dual-polarisation, 1.125-GHz bandwidth mode for single-beam observations, and a 26-input, 308-MHz bandwidth mode for the 21-cm multibeam receiver. The system is also designed to support a 3-GHz single-beam mode for the forthcoming Parkes ultra-wideband feed. In this paper, we present details of the system architecture, provide an overview of hardware and software, and present initial performance results.
In low- and middle-income countries (LMIC) in general and sub-Sahara African (SSA) countries in particular, there is both a large treatment gap for mental disorders and a relative paucity of empirical evidence about how to fill this gap. This is more so for severe mental disorders, such as psychosis, which impose an additional vulnerability for human rights abuse on its sufferers. A major factor for the lack of evidence is the few numbers of active mental health (MH) researchers on the continent and the distance between the little evidence generated and the policy-making process.
The Partnership for Mental Health Development in Africa (PaM-D) aimed to bring together diverse MH stakeholders in SSA, working collaboratively with colleagues from the global north, to create an infrastructure to develop MH research capacity in SSA, advance global MH science by conducting innovative public health-relevant MH research in the region and work to link research to policy development. Participating SSA countries were Ghana, Kenya, Liberia, Nigeria and South Africa. The research component of PaM-D focused on the development and assessment of a collaborative shared care (CSC) program between traditional and faith healers (T&FHs) and biomedical providers for the treatment of psychotic disorders, as a way of improving the outcome of persons suffering from these conditions. The capacity building component aimed to develop research capacity and appreciation of the value of research in a broad range of stakeholders through bespoke workshops and fellowships targeting specific skill-sets as well as mentoring for early career researchers.
In the research component of PaM-D, a series of formative studies were implemented to inform the development of an intervention package consisting of the essential features of a CSC for psychosis implemented by primary care providers and T&FHs. A cluster randomised controlled trial was next designed to test the effectiveness of this package on the outcome of psychosis. In the capacity-building component, 35 early and mid-career researchers participated in the training workshops and several established mentor-mentee relationships with senior PaM-D members. At the end of the funding period, 60 papers have been published and 21 successful grant applications made.
The success of PaM-D in energising young researchers and implementing a cutting-edge research program attests to the importance of partnership among researchers in the global south working with those from the north in developing MH research and service in LMIC.
We present Phantom, a fast, parallel, modular, and low-memory smoothed particle hydrodynamics and magnetohydrodynamics code developed over the last decade for astrophysical applications in three dimensions. The code has been developed with a focus on stellar, galactic, planetary, and high energy astrophysics, and has already been used widely for studies of accretion discs and turbulence, from the birth of planets to how black holes accrete. Here we describe and test the core algorithms as well as modules for magnetohydrodynamics, self-gravity, sink particles, dust–gas mixtures, H2 chemistry, physical viscosity, external forces including numerous galactic potentials, Lense–Thirring precession, Poynting–Robertson drag, and stochastic turbulent driving. Phantom is hereby made publicly available.
Introduction: Early recognition of sepsis can improve patient outcomes yet recognition by paramedics is poor and research evaluating the use of prehospital screening tools is limited. Our objective was to evaluate the predictive validity of the Regional Paramedic Program for Eastern Ontario (RPPEO) prehospital sepsis notification tool to identify patients with sepsis and to describe and compare the characteristics of patients with an emergency department (ED) diagnosis of sepsis that are transported by paramedics. The RPPEO prehospital sepsis notification tool is comprised of 3 criteria: current infection, fever &/or history of fever and 2 or more signs of hypoperfusion (eg. SBP<90, HR 100, RR24, altered LOA). Methods: We performed a review of ambulance call records and in-hospital records over two 5-month periods between November 2014 February 2016. We enrolled a convenience sample of patients, assessed by primary and advanced care paramedics (ACPs), with a documented history of fever &/or documented fever of 38.3°C (101°F) that were transported to hospital. In-hospital management and outcomes were obtained and descriptive, t-tests, and chi-square analyses performed where appropriate. The RPPEO prehospital sepsis notification tool was compared to an ED diagnosis of sepsis. The predictive validity of the RPPEO tool was calculated (sensitivity, specificity, NPV, PPV). Results: 236 adult patients met the inclusion criteria with the following characteristics: mean age 65.2 yrs [range 18-101], male 48.7%, history of sepsis 2.1%, on antibiotics 23.3%, lowest mean systolic BP 125.9, treated by ACP 58.9%, prehospital temperature documented 32.6%. 34 (14.4%) had an ED diagnosis of sepsis. Patients with an ED diagnosis of sepsis, compared to those that did not, had a lower prehospital systolic BP (114.9 vs 127.8, p=0.003) and were more likely to have a prehospital shock index >1 (50.0% vs 21.4%, p=0.001). 44 (18.6%) patients met the RPPEO sepsis notification tool and of these, 27.3% (12/44) had an ED diagnosis of sepsis. We calculated the following predictive values of the RPPEO tool: sensitivity 35.3%, specificity 84.2%, NPV 88.5%, PPV 27.3%. Conclusion: The RPPEO prehospital sepsis notification tool demonstrated modest diagnostic accuracy. Further research is needed to improve accuracy and evaluate the impact on patient outcomes.
To determine the effect of mandatory and nonmandatory influenza vaccination policies on vaccination rates and symptomatic absenteeism among healthcare personnel (HCP).
Retrospective observational cohort study.
This study took place at 3 university medical centers with mandatory influenza vaccination policies and 4 Veterans Affairs (VA) healthcare systems with nonmandatory influenza vaccination policies.
The study included 2,304 outpatient HCP at mandatory vaccination sites and 1,759 outpatient HCP at nonmandatory vaccination sites.
To determine the incidence and duration of absenteeism in outpatient settings, HCP participating in the Respiratory Protection Effectiveness Clinical Trial at both mandatory and nonmandatory vaccination sites over 3 viral respiratory illness (VRI) seasons (2012–2015) reported their influenza vaccination status and symptomatic days absent from work weekly throughout a 12-week period during the peak VRI season each year. The adjusted effects of vaccination and other modulating factors on absenteeism rates were estimated using multivariable regression models.
The proportion of participants who received influenza vaccination was lower each year at nonmandatory than at mandatory vaccination sites (odds ratio [OR], 0.09; 95% confidence interval [CI], 0.07–0.11). Among HCP who reported at least 1 sick day, vaccinated HCP had lower symptomatic days absent compared to unvaccinated HCP (OR for 2012–2013 and 2013–2014, 0.82; 95% CI, 0.72–0.93; OR for 2014–2015, 0.81; 95% CI, 0.69–0.95).
These data suggest that mandatory HCP influenza vaccination policies increase influenza vaccination rates and that HCP symptomatic absenteeism diminishes as rates of influenza vaccination increase. These findings should be considered in formulating HCP influenza vaccination policies.
Early life stress (ELS) is a significant risk factor for the emergence of internalizing problems in adolescence. Beginning in adolescence, females are twice as likely as males to experience internalizing disorders. The present study was designed to examine sex differences in the association between ELS and internalizing problems in early pubertal adolescents, and whether and how corticolimbic function and connectivity may underlie these associations. Fifty-nine early pubertal males and 78 early pubertal females, ages 9–13 years (all Tanner Stage 3 or below) underwent functional magnetic resonance imaging as they performed an emotion label task that robustly interrogates corticolimbic function. Participants were also interviewed about their experience of ELS. Females exhibited a positive association between ELS and internalizing problems, whereas males exhibited no such association. Whole-brain and amygdala region of interest analyses indicated that whereas females exhibited a positive association between ELS and the ventrolateral prefrontal cortex during implicit emotion regulation, males showed no such association. Activation in these regions was positively associated with internalizing problems in females but not males; however, activation in these regions did not mediate the association between ELS and internalizing problems. Finally, both boys and girls exhibited an association between ELS and increased negative connectivity between the right ventrolateral prefrontal cortex and bilateral amygdala. Using a carefully characterized sample of early pubertal adolescents, the current study highlights important sex differences in the development of corticolimbic circuitry during a critical period of brain development. These sex differences may play a significant role in subsequent risk for internalizing problems.
The debris-rich glacier that grew in the crater of Mount St Helens after the volcano’s cataclysmic 1980 eruption was split in two by a new lava dome in 2004. For nearly six months, the eastern part of the glacier was squeezed against the crater wall as the lava dome expanded. Glacier thickness nearly doubled locally and surface speed increased substantially. As squeezing slowed and then stopped, surface speed fell and ice was redistributed downglacier. This sequence of events, which amounts to a field-scale experiment on the deformation of debris-rich ice at high strain rates, was interpreted using a two-dimensional flowband model. The best match between modeled and observed glacier surface motion, both vertical and horizontal, requires ice that is about 5 times stiffer and 1.2 times denser than normal, temperate ice. Results also indicate that lateral squeezing, and by inference lava-dome growth adjacent to the glacier, likely slowed over a period of about 30 days rather than stopping abruptly. This finding is supported by geodetic data documenting dome growth.
Limitations of access have long restricted exploration and investigation of the cavities beneath ice shelves to a small number of drillholes. Studies of sea-ice underwater morphology are limited largely to scientific utilization of submarines. Remotely operated vehicles, tethered to a mother ship by umbilical cable, have been deployed to investigate tidewater-glacier and ice-shelf margins, but their range is often restricted. The development of free-flying autonomous underwater vehicles (AUVs) with ranges of tens to hundreds of kilometres enables extensive missions to take place beneath sea ice and floating ice shelves. Autosub2 is a 3600 kg, 6.7 m long AUV, with a 1600 m operating depth and range of 400 km, based on the earlier Autosub1 which had a 500 m depth limit. A single direct-drive d.c. motor and five-bladed propeller produce speeds of 1–2 m s−1. Rear-mounted rudder and stern-plane control yaw, pitch and depth. The vehicle has three sections. The front and rear sections are free-flooding, built around aluminium extrusion space-frames covered with glass-fibre reinforced plastic panels. The central section has a set of carbon-fibre reinforced plastic pressure vessels. Four tubes contain batteries powering the vehicle. The other three house vehicle-control systems and sensors. The rear section houses subsystems for navigation, control actuation and propulsion and scientific sensors (e.g. digital camera, upward-looking 300 kHz acoustic Doppler current profiler, 200 kHz multibeam receiver). The front section contains forward-looking collision sensor, emergency abort, the homing systems, Argos satellite data and location transmitters and flashing lights for relocation as well as science sensors (e.g. twin conductivity–temperature–depth instruments, multibeam transmitter, sub-bottom profiler, AquaLab water sampler). Payload restrictions mean that a subset of scientific instruments is actually in place on any given dive. The scientific instruments carried on Autosub are described and examples of observational data collected from each sensor in Arctic or Antarctic waters are given (e.g. of roughness at the underside of floating ice shelves and sea ice).