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The COVID-19 pandemic has disrupted lives and livelihoods, and people already experiencing mental ill health may have been especially vulnerable.
Quantify mental health inequalities in disruptions to healthcare, economic activity and housing.
We examined data from 59 482 participants in 12 UK longitudinal studies with data collected before and during the COVID-19 pandemic. Within each study, we estimated the association between psychological distress assessed pre-pandemic and disruptions since the start of the pandemic to healthcare (medication access, procedures or appointments), economic activity (employment, income or working hours) and housing (change of address or household composition). Estimates were pooled across studies.
Across the analysed data-sets, 28% to 77% of participants experienced at least one disruption, with 2.3–33.2% experiencing disruptions in two or more domains. We found 1 s.d. higher pre-pandemic psychological distress was associated with (a) increased odds of any healthcare disruptions (odds ratio (OR) 1.30, 95% CI 1.20–1.40), with fully adjusted odds ratios ranging from 1.24 (95% CI 1.09–1.41) for disruption to procedures to 1.33 (95% CI 1.20–1.49) for disruptions to prescriptions or medication access; (b) loss of employment (odds ratio 1.13, 95% CI 1.06–1.21) and income (OR 1.12, 95% CI 1.06 –1.19), and reductions in working hours/furlough (odds ratio 1.05, 95% CI 1.00–1.09) and (c) increased likelihood of experiencing a disruption in at least two domains (OR 1.25, 95% CI 1.18–1.32) or in one domain (OR 1.11, 95% CI 1.07–1.16), relative to no disruption. There were no associations with housing disruptions (OR 1.00, 95% CI 0.97–1.03).
People experiencing psychological distress pre-pandemic were more likely to experience healthcare and economic disruptions, and clusters of disruptions across multiple domains during the pandemic. Failing to address these disruptions risks further widening mental health inequalities.
This consensus statement by the Society for Healthcare Epidemiology of America (SHEA) and the Society for Post-Acute and Long-Term Care Medicine (AMDA), the Association for Professionals in Epidemiology and Infection Control (APIC), the HIV Medicine Association (HIVMA), the Infectious Diseases Society of America (IDSA), the Pediatric Infectious Diseases Society (PIDS), and the Society of Infectious Diseases Pharmacists (SIDP) recommends that coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) vaccination should be a condition of employment for all healthcare personnel in facilities in the United States. Exemptions from this policy apply to those with medical contraindications to all COVID-19 vaccines available in the United States and other exemptions as specified by federal or state law. The consensus statement also supports COVID-19 vaccination of nonemployees functioning at a healthcare facility (eg, students, contract workers, volunteers, etc).
Background: Transmission of carbapenemase-producing organisms (CPO) threatens patient safety in healthcare facilities. As a result of a 2011 outbreak of blaKPC+ Klebsiella pneumoniae, the NIH Clinical Center (NIHCC) has prioritized early detection and isolation of CPO carriers, using point-prevalence surveys and targeted high-risk ward surveillance since 2011 and admission surveillance since 2013. We describe our experience over 6 years of admission surveillance. Methods: The NIHCC is a 200-bed research hospital that provides care for a highly immunocompromised patient population. From September 2013 to September 2019, perirectal swabs were ordered automatically for all patients on admission to nonbehavioral health wards. Swabs were ordered twice weekly for ICU patients, weekly in other high-risk wards, and monthly for hospital-wide point prevalence (excluding behavioral health). Patients hospitalized in the United States in the previous week or abroad in the previous 6 months were considered high risk for carriage and isolated pending results from 2 swabs. Most swabs (n = 37,526) were cultured onto HardyCHROM CRE. If gram-negative bacilli (GNB) were present, a molecular screen for carbapenemases was performed on a sweep of cultured material (day 1) pending organism isolation. GNB were identified by MALDI-TOF MS. Prior to June 2019, isolates were screened by blaKPC/blaNDM PCR. Starting in June 2019, Enterobacteriaceae and Pseudomonas aeruginosa were screened using the phenotypic modified carbapenem inactivation method (mCIM), reflexing to the GeneXpert CARBA-R molecular assay if positive; other GNB were tested directly with CARBA-R. Selected GNB underwent susceptibility testing (Sensititre). Whole-genome sequencing was used to assess relatedness among CPO isolates. Swabs from high-risk patients were tested directly by blaKPC PCR (n = 699) until August 2019 (most in parallel with culture) and thereafter by CARBA-R (n = 13). Results: Among 54,188 orders for perirectal swabs, 38,238 were collected from 14,497 patients (compliance 71%). Among 33 CPO-colonized patients identified from September 2013 through September 2019, 15 were identified on admission, 6 were identified in point-prevalence surveys, 8 were identified from high-risk ward surveillance, and 4 were identified from clinical cultures. Sequencing demonstrated no relatedness among CPO isolates. Although only 1.4% of patients sampled on admission were colonized with CPO, those meeting high-risk criteria were 21 times as likely to be colonized. Conclusion: Admission surveillance for CPO identified a low rate of colonization, but it detected nearly half of known CPO-colonized NIHCC patients over the past 6 years. Modest compliance with swab collection leaves room for improvement and likely results in missed instances of colonization. Although we cannot determine its effectiveness, we view our strategy as one of several key safety measures for our highly vulnerable patient population.
People develop and deploy epistemic norms – normative sensibilities in light of which they regulate both their individual and community epistemic practice. There is a similarity to folk's epistemic normative sensibilities – and it is by virtue of this that folk commonly can rely on each other, and even work jointly to produce systems of true beliefs – a kind of epistemic common good. Agents not only regulate their belief forming practices in light of these sensitivities, but they make clear to others that they approve or disapprove of practices as these accord with their sensibilities – they thus regulate the belief forming practices of others in an interdependent pursuit of a good – something on the order of a community stock of true beliefs. Such general observations suggest ways in which common epistemic norms function as social norms, as these are characterized by Cristina Bicchieri's (2006) discussion of various kinds of norms. I draw on this framework – together with an important elaboration in Bicchieri (2017) – as it affords an analysis of the various related ways in which normative sensibilities function in communities of interdependent agents. The framework allows one to probe how these normative sensibilities function in the various associated choice situations. I argue that epistemic norms are fundamentally social norms, and, at the same time, they also are widely shared sensibilities about state-of-the-art ways of pursuing projects of individual veritistic value. The two foundations suggest the analogy of an arch.
Non-cholera Vibrio (NCV) species are important causes of disease. These pathogens are thermophilic and climate change could increase the risk of NCV infection. The El Niño Southern Oscillation (ENSO) is a ‘natural experiment’ that may presage ocean warming effects on disease incidence. In order to evaluate possible climatic contributions to observed increases in NCV infection, we obtained NCV case counts for the United States from publicly available surveillance data. Trends and impacts of large-scale oceanic phenomena, including ENSO, were evaluated using negative binomial and distributed non-linear lag models (DNLM). Associations between latitude and changing risk were evaluated with meta-regression. Trend models demonstrated expected seasonality (P < 0.001) and a 7% (6.1%–8.1%) annual increase in incidence from 1999 to 2014. DNLM demonstrated increased vibriosis risk following ENSO conditions over the subsequent 12 months (relative risk 1.940, 95% confidence interval (CI) 1.298–2.901). The ‘relative–relative risk’ (RRR) of annual disease incidence increased with latitude (RRR per 10° increase 1.066, 95% CI 1.027–1.107). We conclude that NCV risk in the United States is impacted by ocean warming, which is likely to intensify with climate change, increasing NCV risk in vulnerable populations.
We used a survey to characterize contemporary infection prevention and antibiotic stewardship program practices across 64 healthcare facilities, and we compared these findings to those of a similar 2013 survey. Notable findings include decreased frequency of active surveillance for methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus, frequent active surveillance for carbapenem-resistant Enterobacteriaceae, and increased support for antibiotic stewardship programs.