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This study aimed to assess the feasibility and acceptability of implementing non-pharmaceutical interventions (NPIs) reserved for influenza pandemics (voluntary home quarantine, use of face masks by ill persons, childcare facility closures, school closures, and social distancing at schools, workplaces, and mass gatherings).
Public health officials in all 50 states (including Washington, DC) and 8 territories, and a random sample of 822 local health departments (LHDs), were surveyed in 2019.
The response rates for the states/ territories and LHDs were 75% (44/ 59) and 25% (206/ 822), respectively. Most of the state/ territorial respondents stated that the feasibility and acceptability of implementing NPIs were high, except for K-12 school closures lasting up to 6 weeks or 6 months. The LHD respondents also indicated that feasibility and acceptability were lowest for prolonged school closures. Compared to LHD respondents in suburban or urban areas, those in rural areas expressed lower feasibility and acceptability. Barriers to implementing NPIs included financial impact, compliance and difficulty in enforcement, perceived level of disease threat, and concerns regarding political implications.
Proactive strategies to systematically address perceived barriers and promote disease prevention ahead of a new pandemic are needed to increase receptivity and consistent adoption of NPIs and other evidence-based countermeasures.
To describe school district preparedness for school closures and other relevant strategies before the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic.
A stratified random sample of 957 public school districts from the 50 US states and the District of Columbia were surveyed between October 2015 and August 2016. The response rates for the questionnaires were as follows: Healthy and Safe School Environment, Crisis Preparedness Module (60%; N = 572), Nutrition Services (63%; N = 599), and Health Services (64%; N = 613). Data were analyzed using descriptive and regression techniques.
Most school districts had procedures that would facilitate the implementation of school closures (88.7%). Fewer districts had plans for ensuring continuity of education (43.0%) or feeding students during closure (33.8%). The prevalence of continuity of education plans was lower in the Midwest than the Northeast (adjusted prevalence ratio [aPR] = 0.68; 95% confidence interval [CI]: 0.51-0.90). Presence of plans for feeding students was higher in high-poverty than low-poverty districts (aPR = 1.41; 95% CI: 1.01-1.99) and in large districts than small districts (aPR = 2.06; 95% CI: 1.37-3.09).
Understanding factors associated with having comprehensive emergency plans could help decision makers to target assistance during the current COVID-19 pandemic and for future planning purposes.
Chronic undernutrition is a common phenomenon in Bangladesh. However, information is grossly lacking to report the correlation between chronic undernutrition trajectory and lung function in children. The aim of the current study was to understand the association between early-childhood chronic undernutrition trajectory and lung function at preadolescence.
The current study is a part of the 9-year follow-up of a large-scale cohort study called the Maternal and Infant Nutrition Interventions in Matlab.
The current study was conducted in Matlab, a sub-district area of Bangladesh that is located 53 km south of the capital, Dhaka.
A total of 517 children participated in lung function measured with a spirometer at the age of 9 years. Weight and height were measured at five intervals from birth till the age of 9 years.
Over half of the cohort have experienced a stunting undernutrition phenomenon up to 9 years of age. Children who were persistently or intermittently stunted showed lower forced expiratory volume (ml/s) than normal-stature children (P < 0·05). Children who exhibited catch-up growth throughout 4·5 years from the stunted group showed similar lung function with normal counterparts, and a better lung function than in children with the same growth velocity or who had faltering growth. In the multivariable models, similar associations were observed in children who experienced catch-up growth than their counterparts after adjusting for covariates.
Our data suggest that catch-up growth in height during early childhood is associated with a better lung function at preadolescence.
Hurricane Harvey, which made landfall in Texas on August 24, 2017, caused catastrophic damage that resulted in the closure of many schools and school districts across 4 states. We evaluated the underlying reasons and characteristics of the unplanned school closures to gain insight on how communities may cope with recommended preemptive closures as an intervention for pandemic influenza.
Information was extracted from news articles, school websites, and Twitter and Facebook posts previously collected through daily systematic searches of Google, Google News, and Lexis-Nexis. This information was sorted into predefined categories describing the characteristics that may be associated with unplanned school closures that occur during a natural disaster.
Across Texas, Louisiana, Kentucky, and Tennessee, there were 3026 unplanned closures. Sixty-three percent of the closures occurred in Texas. The main reasons for the closures were flooding, power outages, and structural damage. The closed schools in Texas were sometimes used as shelters or as locations for providing food or other resources.
School closures associated with Hurricane Harvey were attributed to both the effects of the hurricane and use for resource allocation. These findings can help inform preparedness planning and response for future hurricane seasons and other large-scale emergencies.
The present analysis aimed to observe nutritional impacts among children <5 years of age by mother’s engagement in paid employment.
Between 1996 and 2012, 21 443 children <5 years of age with diarrhoea attended the International Centre for Diarrhoeal Disease Research, Bangladesh (icddr,b), Dhaka Hospital. They were enrolled in the hospital-based Diarrhoeal Disease Surveillance System and their relevant information was extracted from the electronic database.
The icddr,b, Bangladesh.
The analytic sample was 19 597 children aged <5 years who had a mother aged ≤35 years with or without engagement in paid employment.
Eleven per cent of the mothers (n 2051) were currently engaged in paid employment on behalf of the family. Univariate analysis showed that children with mothers engaged in paid employment had a 1·14 times higher risk of being undernourished, a 1·20 times of higher risk of being stunted, a 1·21 times higher risk of being wasted and a 1·31 times higher risk of being underweight (risk ratios) than were children with mothers not likewise engaged. Multivariate analysis showed that such associations remained significant for stunting (1·08; 95 % CI 1·00, 1·16), wasting (1·15; 95 % CI 1·06, 1·25) and underweight (1·09; 95 % CI 1·02, 1·17) after controlling for covariates.
Mothers’ engagement in income-generating employment was associated with undernutrition in children <5 years of age in urban Bangladesh.
One thousand hospitals were surveyed on a new measure of healthcare personnel influenza vaccination for the 2012–2013 influenza season. Facilities found it easier to collect data on employees than nonemployees; larger facilities reported more challenges than smaller facilities. Barriers may decrease over time as facilities become accustomed to the measure.
Infect. Control Hosp. Epidemiol. 2016;37(2):222–225
Carotid intima-media thickness (IMT) is a validated surrogate marker of preclinical atherosclerosis and is predictive of cardiovascular morbidity and mortality. Research on the association between IMT and diet, however, is lacking, especially in low-income countries or low-BMI populations.
Cross-sectional analysis. Dietary intakes were measured using a validated, thirty-nine-item FFQ at baseline cohort recruitment. IMT measurements were obtained from 2010–2011.
Participants (n 1149) randomly selected from the Health Effects of Arsenic Longitudinal Study, an ongoing, population-based, prospective cohort study established in 2000. Average age at IMT measurement was 45·5 years.
Principal component analysis of reported food items yielded a ‘balanced’ diet, an ‘animal protein’ diet and a ‘gourd and root vegetable’ diet. We observed a positive association between the gourd/root vegetable diet and IMT, as each 1 sd increase in pattern adherence was related to a difference of 7·74 (95 % CI 2·86, 12·62) μm in IMT (P<0·01), controlling for age, sex, total energy intake, smoking status, BMI, systolic blood pressure and diabetes mellitus diagnoses. The balanced pattern was associated with lower IMT (−4·95 (95 % CI −9·78, −0·11) μm for each 1sd increase of adherence; P=0·045).
A gourd/root vegetable diet in this Bangladeshi population positively correlated with carotid IMT, while a balanced diet was associated with decreased IMT.
The present study determined trends in malnutrition among under-5 children in urban and rural areas of Bangladesh.
The study was conducted in the urban Dhaka and the rural Matlab hospitals of the International Centre for Diarrhoeal Disease Research, Bangladesh, where every fiftieth patient and all patients coming from the Health and Demographic Surveillance System were enrolled.
A total of 28 816 under-5 children were enrolled at Dhaka from 1993 to 2012 and 11 533 at Matlab between 2000 and 2012.
In Dhaka, 46 % of the children were underweight, 39 % were stunted and 28 % were wasted. In Matlab, the corresponding figures were 39 %, 31 % and 26 %, respectively. At Dhaka, 0·5 % of the children were overweight and obese when assessed by weight-for-age Z-score >+2·00, 1·4 % by BMI-for-age Z-score >+2·00 and 1·4 % by weight-for-height Z-score >+2·00; in Matlab the corresponding figures were 0·5 %, 1·4 % and 1·4 %, respectively. In Dhaka, the proportion of underweight, stunting and wasting decreased from 59 % to 28 % (a 53 % reduction), from 54 % to 22 % (59 % reduction) and from 33 % to 21 % (36 % reduction), respectively, between 1993 and 2012. In Matlab, these indicators decreased from 51 % to 27 % (a 47 % reduction), from 36 % to 25 % (31 % reduction) and from 34 % to 14 % (59 % reduction), respectively, from 2000 to 2012. On the other hand, the proportion of overweight (as assessed by BMI-for-age Z-score) increased significantly over the study period in both Dhaka (from 0·6 % to 2·6 %) and Matlab (from 0·8 % to 2·2 %).
The proportion of malnourished under-5 children has decreased gradually in both urban and rural Bangladesh; however, the reduction rates are not in line with meeting Millennium Development Goal 1. Trends for increasing childhood obesity have been noted during the study period as well.
There is limited information on percent expenditure of household income due to childhood diarrhoea especially in rural Bangladesh. A total of 4205 children aged <5 years with acute diarrhoea were studied. Percent expenditure was calculated as total expenditure for the diarrhoeal episode divided by monthly family income, multiplied by 100. Overall median percent expenditure was 3·04 (range 0·01–94·35). For Vibrio cholerae it was 6·42 (range 0·52–82·85), for enterotoxigenic Escherichia coli 3·10 (range 0·22–91·87), for Shigella 3·17 (range 0·06–77·80), and for rotavirus 3·08 (range 0·06–48·00). In a multinomial logistic regression model, for the upper tertile of percent expenditure, significant higher odds were found for male sex, travelling a longer distance to reach hospital (⩾median of 4 miles), seeking care elsewhere before attending hospital, vomiting, higher frequency of purging (⩾10 times/day), some or severe dehydration and stunting. V. cholerae was the highest and rotavirus was the least responsible pathogen for percent expenditure of household income due to childhood diarrhoea.
To characterize health professional schools by their vaccination policies for acceptable forms of evidence of immunity and exemptions permitted.
Data were collected between September 2011 and April 2012 using an Internet-based survey e-mailed to selected types of accredited health professional programs. Schools were identified through accrediting associations for each type of health professional program. Analysis was limited to schools requiring ≥1 vaccine recommended by the Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices (ACIP): measles, mumps, rubella, hepatitis B, varicella, pertussis, and influenza. Weighted bivariate frequencies were generated using SAS 9.3.
Of 2,775 schools surveyed, 75% (n=2,077) responded; of responding schools, 93% (1947) required ≥1 ACIP-recommended vaccination. The proportion of schools accepting ≥1 non–ACIP-recommended form of evidence of immunity varied by vaccine: 42% for pertussis, 37% for influenza, 30% for rubella, 22% for hepatitis B, 18% for varicella, and 9% for measles and mumps. Among schools with ≥1 vaccination requirement, medical exemptions were permitted for ≥1 vaccine by 75% of schools; 54% permitted religious exemptions; 35% permitted personal belief exemptions; 58% permitted any nonmedical exemption.
Many schools accept non–ACIP-recommended forms of evidence of immunity which could lead some students to believe they are protected from vaccine preventable diseases when they may be susceptible. Additional efforts are needed to better educate school officials about current ACIP recommendations for acceptable forms of evidence of immunity so school policies can be revised as needed.
The objective of our analysis was to describe the aetiology, clinical features, and socio-demographic background of adults with diarrhoea attending different urban and rural diarrhoeal disease hospitals in Bangladesh. Between January 2010 and December 2011, a total of 5054 adult diarrhoeal patients aged ⩾20 years were enrolled into the Diarrhoeal Disease Surveillance Systems at four different hospitals (two rural and two urban) of Bangladesh. Middle-aged [adjusted odds ratio (aOR) 0·28, 95% confidence interval (CI) 0·23–0·35, P < 0·001] and elderly (aOR 0·15, 95% CI 0·11–0·20, P < 0·001) patients were more likely to present to rural diarrhoeal disease facilities than urban ones. Vibrio cholerae was the most commonly isolated pathogen (16%) of the four pathogens tested followed by rotavirus (5%), enterotoxigenic Escherichia coli (ETEC) (4%), and Shigella (4%). Of these pathogens, V. cholerae (19% vs. 11%, P < 0·001), ETEC (9% vs. 4%, P < 0·001), and rotavirus (5% vs. 3%, P = 0·013) were more commonly detected from patients presenting to urban hospitals than rural hospitals, but Shigella was more frequently isolated from patients presenting to rural hospitals than urban hospitals (7% vs. 2%, P < 0·001). The isolation rate of Shigella was higher in the elderly than in younger adults (8% vs. 3%, P < 0·001). Some or severe dehydration was higher in urban adults than rural adults (P < 0·001). Our findings indicate that despite economic and other progress made, conditions facilitating transmission of V. cholerae and Shigella prevail in adults with diarrhoea in Bangladesh and further efforts are needed to control these infections.
We sought to examine the factors associated with bacteraemia and their outcome in children with pneumonia and severe acute malnutrition (SAM). All SAM children of either sex, aged 0–59 months, admitted to the Dhaka Hospital of the International Centre for Diarrhoeal Disease Research, Bangladesh with radiologically confirmed pneumonia from April 2011 to July 2012 were enrolled (n = 405). Comparison was made between pneumonic SAM children with (cases = 18), and without (controls = 387) bacteraemia. The death rate was significantly higher in cases than controls (28% vs. 8%, P < 0·01). In logistic regression analysis, after adjusting for potential confounders, the SAM children with pneumonia and bacteraemia more often had a history of lack of bacillus Calmette-Guérin (BCG) vaccination (odds ratio 7·39, 95% confidence interval 1·67–32·73, P < 0·01). The results indicate the importance of continuation of BCG vaccination which may provide benefit beyond its primary purpose.
The study aimed to determine the geographical diversity in seasonality of major diarrhoeal pathogens among 21 138 patients enrolled between 2010 and 2012 in two urban and two rural sites in Bangladesh under the surveillance system of the International Centre for Diarrhoeal Disease Research, Bangladesh (icddr,b). Distinct patterns in seasonality were found for rotavirus diarrhoea which peaked in winter across the sites (December and January) and dipped during the rainy season (May) in urban Dhaka, August in Mirpur and July in Matlab, equated by time-series analysis using quasi-Poisson regression model. Significant seasonality for shigellosis was observed in Dhaka and rural Mirzapur. Cholera had robust seasonality in Dhaka and Matlab in the hot and rainy seasons. For enterotoxogenic Escherichia coli (ETEC) diarrhoea, clearly defined seasonality was observed in Dhaka (summer). Understanding the seasonality of such pathogens can improve case management with appropriate therapy, allowing policy-makers to identify periods of high disease burden.
The study identified the common aetiological agents and prominent clinical features of dysentery cases in children aged <5 years and compared this to non-dysentery diarrhoeal cases from the same population. From January 2010 to December 2011, 2324 children aged <5 years received treatment at Kumudini Hospital, of which 682 (29%) presented with dysentery. Of the dysenteric children, aetiology could not be determined for over half (61%). Shigella spp. accounted for 32% of dysentery cases. Significant associations were found between presence of blood in stool and: child age (24–59 months) [odds ratio (OR) 2·21, 95% confidence interval (CI) 1·49–3·27], no treatment of drinking water at home (OR 2·00, 95% CI 1·09–3·67), vomiting (OR 0·19, 95% CI 0·14–0·25), abdominal pain (OR 4·68, 95% CI 3·24–6·77), straining (OR 16·45, 95% CI 11·92–22·69), wasting (OR 1·66, 95% CI 1·15–2·41), and presence of Shigella in stool (OR 6·25, 95% CI 4·20–9·29) after controlling for confounders. This study makes it clear that appropriate public health strategies are needed to reduce the burden of dysentery in Bangladesh.
To evaluate the reliability and validity of a standardized measure of healthcare personnel (HCP) influenza vaccination.
Acute care hospitals, long-term care facilities, ambulatory surgery centers, physician practices, and dialysis centers from 3 US jurisdictions.
Staff from 96 healthcare facilities randomly sampled from 234 facilities that completed pilot testing to assess the feasibility of the measure.
Reliability was assessed by comparing agreement between facility staff and project staff on the classification of HCP numerator (vaccinated at facility, vaccinated elsewhere, contraindicated, declined) and denominator (employees, credentialed nonemployees, other nonemployees) categories. To assess validity, facility staff completed a series of case studies to evaluate how closely classification of HCP groups aligned with the measure's specifications. In a modified Delphi process, experts rated face validity of the proposed measure elements on a Likert-type scale.
Percent agreement was high for HCP vaccinated at the facility (99%) and elsewhere (95%) and was lower for HCP who declined vaccination (64%) or were medically contraindicated (64%). While agreement was high (more than 90%) for all denominator categories, many facilities' staff excluded nonemployees for whom numerator and denominator status was difficult to determine. Validity was lowest for credentialed and other nonemployees.
The standardized measure of HCP influenza vaccination yields reproducible results for employees vaccinated at the facility and elsewhere. Adhering to true medical contraindications and tracking decimations should improve reliability. Difficulties in establishing denominators and determining vaccination status for credentialed and other nonemployees challenged the measure's validity and prompted revision to include a more limited group of nonemployees.
To understand the feasibility of implementing a standardized performance measure for collecting and reporting influenza vaccination rates among healthcare personnel, qualitative, semistructured interviews were conducted with key informants in 32 healthcare facilities. Despite practical and logistical challenges to implementing the measure, respondents perceived clear benefits to its use.
In 2011, institutional requirements for pertussis vaccination of healthcare personnel were reported by nearly one-third of surveyed US hospitals. Requirements often applied to personnel with certain clinical responsibilities, such as those caring for infants. Healthcare personnel who were not on an institution's payroll were rarely subject to pertussis vaccination requirements.
US health professional schools with student immunity requirements for recommended vaccines frequently accept evidence of immunity other than vaccination but vary widely on the types of evidence that are accepted. Exemptions for nonmedical reasons and, to a lesser extent, medical reasons are often obtainable by a student-written document.
To characterize practices related to measuring influenza vaccination rates among healthcare personnel in US hospitals.
Nonfederal, short-stay hospitals that provide general medical and surgical services, identified by use of the 2004 American Hospital Association Annual Survey Database.
Healthcare personnel from 996 randomly sampled US hospitals stratified by region and bed size.
A self-administered questionnaire was distributed in 2006 to infection control coordinators to gather data on policies and practices related to the provision of the influenza vaccine and on the measurement and reporting of influenza vaccination rates. Descriptive statistics and associations were calculated, and logistic regression was conducted.
The response rate was 56% (ie, 555 of 996 US hospitals responded to the questionnaire). Weighting accounted for sampling design and nonresponse. Most hospitals provided the influenza vaccine to employees (100%), credentialed medical staff (ie, independent practitioners; 94%), volunteers (86%), and contract staff (83%); provision for students and residents was less frequent (58%). Only 69% of hospitals measured vaccination rates (mean coverage rate, 55%). Most hospitals that measured coverage included employees (98%) in the vaccination rates, whereas contract staff (53%), credentialed medical staff (56%), volunteers (56%), and students and residents (30%) were less commonly included. Among hospitals measuring coverage, 44% included persons for which vaccine was contraindicated, and 51% included persons who refused vaccination. After adjustment for region and size, hospitals with vaccination plans written into policy (odds ratio, 2.0 [95% confidence interval, 1.22–7.67]) or that addressed internally reporting coverage (odds ratio, 4.8 [95% confidence interval, 2.97–7.66]) were more likely to measure coverage than were hospitals without such plans.
Hospitals vary in terms of the groups of individuals included in influenza vaccination coverage measurements. Standardized measures may improve comparability of hospital-reported vaccination rates. Measuring coverage in a manner that facilitates identification of occupational groups with low vaccination rates may inform development of targeted interventions.
During epidemics of cholera in two rural sites (Bakerganj and Mathbaria), a much higher proportion of patients came for treatment with severe dehydration than was seen in previous years. V. cholerae O1 isolated from these patients was found to be El Tor in its phenotype, but its cholera toxin (CT) was determined to be that of classical biotype. Whether the observed higher proportion of severe dehydration produced by the El Tor biotype was due to a shift from El Tor to classical CT or due to other factors is not clear. However, if cholera due to strains with increased severity spread to other areas where treatment facilities are limited, there are likely to be many more cholera deaths.