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We conducted a retrospective chart review examining the demographics, clinical history, physical findings, and comorbidities of patients with influenza and patients with coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19). Older patients, male patients, patients reporting fever, and patients with higher body mass indexes (BMIs) were more likely to have COVID-19 than influenza.
Three holes were drilled to the bed of Rutford Ice Stream, through ice up to 2154 m thick, to investigate the basal processes and conditions associated with fast ice flow and the glacial history of the West Antarctic Ice Sheet. A narrative of the drilling, measuring and sampling activities, as well as some preliminary results and initial interpretations of subglacial conditions, is given. These were the deepest subglacial access holes ever drilled using the hot-water drilling method. Samples of bed and englacial sediments were recovered, and a number of instruments were installed in the ice column and the bed. The ice–bed interface was found to be unfrozen, with an existing, well-developed subglacial hydrological system at high pressure, within ~1% of the ice overburden. The bed itself comprises soft, water-saturated sediments, consistent with previous geophysical interpretations. Englacial sediment quantity varies significantly between two locations ~2 km apart, and possibly over even shorter (~20 m) distances. Difficulties and unusual observations encountered while connecting to the subglacial hydrological system in one hole possibly resulted from the presence of a large clast embedded in the bottom of the ice.
Clusters of Salmonella Enteritidis cases were identified by the Minnesota Department of Health using both pulsed-field gel electrophoresis (PFGE) and whole genome sequencing (WGS) single nucleotide polymorphism analysis from 1 January 2015 through 31 December 2017. The median turnaround time for obtaining WGS results was 11 days longer than for PFGE (12 vs. 1 day). WGS analysis more than doubled the number of clusters compared to PFGE analysis, but reduced the total number of cases included in clusters by 34%. The median cluster size was two cases for WGS compared to four for PFGE, and the median duration of WGS clusters was 27 days shorter than PFGE clusters. While the percentage of PFGE clusters with a confirmed source (46%) was higher than WGS clusters (32%), a higher percentage of cases in clusters that were confirmed as outbreaks reported the vehicle or exposure of interest for WGS (78%) than PFGE (46%). WGS cluster size was a significant predictor of an outbreak source being confirmed. WGS data have enhanced S. Enteritidis cluster investigations in Minnesota by improving the specificity of cluster case definitions and has become an integral part of the S. Enteritidis surveillance process.
Older adults often have atypical presentation of illness and are particularly vulnerable to influenza and its sequelae, making the validity of influenza case definitions particularly relevant. We sought to assess the performance of influenza-like illness (ILI) and severe acute respiratory illness (SARI) criteria in hospitalized older adults.
Prospective cohort study.
The Serious Outcomes Surveillance Network of the Canadian Immunization Research Network undertakes active surveillance for influenza among hospitalized adults.
Data were pooled from 3 influenza seasons: 2011/12, 2012/13, and 2013/14. The ILI and SARI criteria were defined clinically, and influenza was laboratory confirmed. Frailty was measured using a validated frailty index.
Of 11,379 adult inpatients (7,254 aged ≥65 years), 4,942 (2,948 aged ≥65 years) had laboratory-confirmed influenza. Their median age was 72 years (interquartile range [IQR], 58–82) and 52.6% were women. The sensitivity of ILI criteria was 51.1% (95% confidence interval [CI], 49.6–52.6) for younger adults versus 44.6% (95% CI, 43.6–45.8) for older adults. SARI criteria were met by 64.1% (95% CI, 62.7–65.6) of younger adults versus 57.1% (95% CI, 55.9–58.2) of older adults with laboratory-confirmed influenza. Patients with influenza who were prefrail or frail were less likely to meet ILI and SARI case definitions.
A substantial proportion of older adults, particularly those who are frail, are missed by standard ILI and SARI case definitions. Surveillance using these case definitions is biased toward identifying younger cases, and does not capture the true burden of influenza. Because of the substantial fraction of cases missed, surveillance definitions should not be used to guide diagnosis and clinical management of influenza.
Rumen sensors provide specific information to help understand rumen functioning in relation to health disorders and to assist in decision-making for farm management. This review focuses on the use of rumen sensors to measure ruminal pH and discusses variation in pH in both time and location, pH-associated disorders and data analysis methods to summarize and interpret rumen pH data. Discussion on the use of rumen sensors to measure redox potential as an indication of the fermentation processes is also included. Acids may accumulate and reduce ruminal pH if acid removal from the rumen and rumen buffering cannot keep pace with their production. The complexity of the factors involved, combined with the interactions between the rumen and the host that ultimately determine ruminal pH, results in large variation among animals in their pH response to dietary or other changes. Although ruminal pH and pH dynamics only partially explain the typical symptoms of acidosis, it remains a main indicator and may assist to optimize rumen function. Rumen pH sensors allow continuous monitoring of pH and of diurnal variation in pH in individual animals. Substantial drift of non-retrievable rumen pH sensors, and the difficulty to calibrate these sensors, limits their application. Significant within-day variation in ruminal pH is frequently observed, and large distinct differences in pH between locations in the rumen occur. The magnitude of pH differences between locations appears to be diet dependent. Universal application of fixed conversion factors to correct for absolute pH differences between locations should be avoided. Rumen sensors provide high-resolution kinetics of pH and a vast amount of data. Commonly reported pH characteristics include mean and minimum pH, but these do not properly reflect severity of pH depression. The area under the pH × time curve integrates both duration and extent of pH depression. The use of this characteristic, as well as summarizing parameters obtained from fitting equations to cumulative pH data, is recommended to identify pH variation in relation to acidosis. Some rumen sensors can also measure the redox potential. This measurement helps to understand rumen functioning, as the redox potential of rumen fluid directly reflects the microbial intracellular redox balance status and impacts fermentative activity of rumen microorganisms. Taken together, proper assessment and interpretation of data generated by rumen sensors requires consideration of their limitations under various conditions.
Nutritional therapy is a cornerstone of burns management. The optimal macronutrient intake for wound healing after burn injury has not been identified, although high-energy, high-protein diets are favoured. The present study aimed to identify the optimal macronutrient intake for burn wound healing. The geometric framework (GF) was used to analyse wound healing after a 10 % total body surface area contact burn in mice ad libitum fed one of the eleven high-energy diets, varying in macronutrient composition with protein (P5−60 %), carbohydrate (C20−75 %) and fat (F20−75 %). In the GF study, the optimal ratio for wound healing was identified as a moderate-protein, high-carbohydrate diet with a protein:carbohydrate:fat (P:C:F) ratio of 1:4:2. High carbohydrate intake was associated with lower mortality, improved body weight and a beneficial pattern of body fat reserves. Protein intake was essential to prevent weight loss and mortality, but a protein intake target of about 7 kJ/d (about 15 % of energy intake) was identified, above which no further benefit was gained. High protein intake was associated with delayed wound healing and increased liver and spleen weight. As the GF study demonstrated that an initial very high protein intake prevented mortality, a very high-protein, moderate-carbohydrate diet (P40:C42:F18) was specifically designed. The dynamic diet study was also designed to combine and validate the benefits of an initial very high protein intake for mortality, and subsequent moderate protein, high carbohydrate intake for optimal wound healing. The dynamic feeding experiment showed switching from an initial very high-protein diet to the optimal moderate-protein, high-carbohydrate diet accelerated wound healing whilst preventing mortality and liver enlargement.
Currently no national guidelines exist for the management of scabies outbreaks in residential or nursing care homes for the elderly in the United Kingdom. In this setting, diagnosis and treatment of scabies outbreaks is often delayed and optimal drug treatment, environmental control measures and even outcome measures are unclear. We undertook a systematic review to establish the efficacy of outbreak management interventions and determine evidence-based recommendations. Four electronic databases were searched for relevant studies, which were assessed using a quality assessment tool drawing on STROBE guidelines to describe the quality of observational data. Nineteen outbreak reports were identified, describing both drug treatment and environmental management measures. The quality of data was poor; none reported all outcome measures and only four described symptom relief measures. We were unable to make definitive evidence-based recommendations. We draw on the results to propose a framework for data collection in future observational studies of scabies outbreaks. While high-quality randomised controlled trials are needed to determine optimal drug treatment, evidence on environmental measures will need augmentation through other literature studies. The quality assessment tool designed is a useful resource for reporting of outcome measures including patient-reported measures in future outbreaks.
Tracheocutaneous fistula represents one of the most troublesome complications of prolonged tracheostomy. Simple closure of a fistula can be ineffective, particularly in the context of prior surgery and adjuvant radiation. As such, modes of repair have expanded to include locoregional flaps and even free tissue transfers.
This paper describes a case of persistent tracheocutaneous fistula in an irradiated patient who had undergone previous unsuccessful attempts at repair.
Method and results
The use of regional fasciocutaneous supraclavicular flap with prefabricated conchal bowl cartilage resulted in successful closure of the tracheocutaneous fistula.
This represents a novel technique for closure of such fistulas in patients for whom previous attempts have failed. This mode of repair should be added to the surgeon's repertoire of reparative techniques.
Background: Patients presenting to the Emergency Department (ED) with unmet palliative care needs are often admitted to hospital and this can be a pivotal point in their subsequent health care journey. Literature from the United States supports the integration of palliative care resources in the ED and to our knowledge, this has yet to be done in a Canadian setting. Aim Statement: To develop, implement, and evaluate a model to support patients presenting to the ED with unmet palliative care needs. Measures & Design: A pilot project was implemented in one campus of the ED at a tertiary care academic center in Ottawa, Ontario. A palliative care nurse specialist was available for consultation with goals to: a) reduce admission to hospital for patients choosing to have a palliative approach to their care; b) increase coordination between ED and community resources; and c) be a resource for ED staff. Referral criteria were developed after systematic review of the literature and in consultation with palliative and emergency medicine experts. Evaluation/Results: Over the course of the study period (9 months), 50 referrals were made. The primary reason for referral was for increased community supports. Patient outcomes: 10 patients were discharged to hospice/palliative care units from the ED, 38 patients were discharged home. Of those discharged home, 66% had no returns to ED within 30 days. Qualitative feedback collected via pre and post survey has been extremely supportive from ED health care practitioners and community palliative care providers. Discussion/Impact: This ongoing project has led to positive, patient centered outcomes and decreased admission to acute care hospital. Ongoing evaluation will include consideration of Ontario Palliative Care Network quality indicators and cost-analysis to determine impact on health care system.
The stellar winds of hot stars have an important impact on both stellar and galactic evolution, yet their structure and internal processes are not fully understood in detail. One of the best nearby laboratories for studying such massive stellar winds is the O4I(n)fp star ζ Pup. After briefly discussing existing X-ray observations from Chandra and XMM, we present a simulation of X-ray emission line profile measurements for the upcoming 840 kilosecond Chandra HETGS observation. This simulation indicates that the increased S/N of this new observation will allow several major steps forward in the understanding of massive stellar winds. By measuring X-ray emission line strengths and profiles, we should be able to differentiate between various stellar wind models and map the entire wind structure in temperature and density. This legacy X-ray spectrum of ζ Pup will be a useful benchmark for future X-ray missions.
Background: Unwanted, intrusive thoughts of infant-related harm are a normal, albeit distressing experience for most new mothers. The occurrence of these thoughts can represent a risk factor for the development of obsessive compulsive disorder (OCD). As the early postpartum period represents a time of increased risk for OCD development, the transition to parenthood provides a unique opportunity to better understand OCD development. Aims: The purpose of this study was to assess components of cognitive behavioural conceptualizations of postpartum OCD in relation to new mothers’ thoughts of infant-related harm. Method: English-speaking pregnant women (n = 100) participated. Questionnaires were completed at approximately 36 weeks of gestation, and at 4 and 12 weeks postpartum. An interview to assess postpartum harm thoughts was administered at 4 and 12 weeks postpartum. Questionnaires assessed OC symptoms, OC-related beliefs, fatigue, sleep difficulties and negative mood. Results: Prenatal OC-related beliefs predicted postpartum OC symptoms, as well as harm thought characteristics and behavioural responses to harm thoughts. The severity of behavioural responses to early postpartum harm thoughts did not predict later postpartum OC symptoms, but did predict frequency and time occupation of accidental harm thoughts, and interference in parenting by intentional harm thoughts. Strong relationships between OC symptoms and harm thought characteristics, and concurrent sleep difficulties, negative mood and fatigue were also found. Conclusions: Findings provide support for cognitive behavioural conceptualizations of postpartum OCD and emphasize the importance of maternal sleep, fatigue and negative mood in the relationship between OC-related beliefs and maternal cognitive and behavioural responses to postpartum harm thoughts.
Transparency is recognised to be a key underpinning of the work of health technology assessment (HTA) agencies, yet it has only recently become a subject of systematic inquiry. We contribute to this research field by considering the Polish Agency for Health Technology Assessment (AHTAPol). We situate the AHTAPol in a broader context by comparing it with the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE) in England. To this end, we analyse all 332 assessment reports, called verification analyses, that the AHTAPol issued from 2012 to 2015, and a stratified sample of 22 Evidence Review Group reports published by NICE in the same period. Overall, by increasingly presenting its key conclusions in assessment reports, the AHTAPol has reached the transparency standards set out by NICE in transparency of HTA outputs. The AHTAPol is more transparent than NICE in certain aspects of the HTA process, such as providing rationales for redacting assessment reports and providing summaries of expert opinions. Nevertheless, it is less transparent in other areas of the HTA process, such as including information on expert conflicts of interest. Our findings have important implications for understanding HTA in Poland and more broadly. We use them to formulate recommendations for policymakers.
The Neotoma Paleoecology Database is a community-curated data resource that supports interdisciplinary global change research by enabling broad-scale studies of taxon and community diversity, distributions, and dynamics during the large environmental changes of the past. By consolidating many kinds of data into a common repository, Neotoma lowers costs of paleodata management, makes paleoecological data openly available, and offers a high-quality, curated resource. Neotoma’s distributed scientific governance model is flexible and scalable, with many open pathways for participation by new members, data contributors, stewards, and research communities. The Neotoma data model supports, or can be extended to support, any kind of paleoecological or paleoenvironmental data from sedimentary archives. Data additions to Neotoma are growing and now include >3.8 million observations, >17,000 datasets, and >9200 sites. Dataset types currently include fossil pollen, vertebrates, diatoms, ostracodes, macroinvertebrates, plant macrofossils, insects, testate amoebae, geochronological data, and the recently added organic biomarkers, stable isotopes, and specimen-level data. Multiple avenues exist to obtain Neotoma data, including the Explorer map-based interface, an application programming interface, the neotoma R package, and digital object identifiers. As the volume and variety of scientific data grow, community-curated data resources such as Neotoma have become foundational infrastructure for big data science.
On 27 April 2015, Washington health authorities identified Escherichia coli O157:H7 infections associated with dairy education school field trips held in a barn 20–24 April. Investigation objectives were to determine the magnitude of the outbreak, identify the source of infection, prevent secondary illness transmission and develop recommendations to prevent future outbreaks. Case-finding, hypothesis generating interviews, environmental site visits and a case–control study were conducted. Parents and children were interviewed regarding event activities. Odds ratios (OR) and 95% confidence intervals (CI) were computed. Environmental testing was conducted in the barn; isolates were compared to patient isolates using pulsed-field gel electrophoresis (PFGE). Sixty people were ill, 11 (18%) were hospitalised and six (10%) developed haemolytic uremic syndrome. Ill people ranged in age from <1 year to 47 years (median: 7), and 20 (33%) were female. Twenty-seven case-patients and 88 controls were enrolled in the case–control study. Among first-grade students, handwashing (i.e. soap and water, or hand sanitiser) before lunch was protective (adjusted OR 0.13; 95% CI 0.02–0.88, P = 0.04). Barn samples yielded E. coli O157:H7 with PFGE patterns indistinguishable from patient isolates. This investigation provided epidemiological, laboratory and environmental evidence for a large outbreak of E. coli O157:H7 infections from exposure to a contaminated barn. The investigation highlights the often overlooked risk of infection through exposure to animal environments as well as the importance of handwashing for disease prevention. Increased education and encouragement of infection prevention measures, such as handwashing, can prevent illness.
Sustainable commercial use of native wildlife is an alternative economic means of land use by Indigenous people in remote rural areas. This situation applies within large tracts of land owned by Indigenous people across northern Australia. The commercial use of saltwater crocodiles Crocodylus porosus is a growing industry in Australia's Northern Territory. Although Indigenous people sell crocodile eggs and hatchlings, the majority of harvesting and incubation is done by non-indigenous people from less remote areas. One Indigenous community has been heavily involved in this industry and now manages its own harvest and incubation programme. We present a case study of this programme, which has transitioned from outside agencies managing the harvest, to complete local ownership and management. Egg harvests and incubation success rates declined by 40% following the switch to local management. Income increased, as did production costs; in particular, royalty payments made to Indigenous landowners. The declines reflect the community's motives for engaging in the industry, which have been socially rather than commercially driven, and damage to nesting habitat by feral animals. The increase in royalties reflects the need to compete with non-indigenous harvesters from outside the township, who are strictly commercially driven. Harvesting, incubation and trade in crocodile eggs and hatchlings can form a viable and sustainable enterprise for remote Indigenous communities. However, efficiency needs to be improved to fulfil the need for a reliable and dependable supply chain, and regulatory institutions should give Indigenous harvesters sufficient freedom to pursue innovative and viable livelihood options.
To determine the length and position of a thyroidectomy scar that is cosmetically most appealing to naïve raters.
Images of thyroidectomy scars were reproduced on male and female necks using digital imaging software. Surgical variables studied were scar position and length. Fifteen raters were presented with 56 scar pairings and asked to identify which was preferred cosmetically. Twenty duplicate pairings were included to assess rater reliability. Analysis of variance was used to determine preference.
Raters preferred low, short scars, followed by high, short scars, with long scars in either position being less desirable (p < 0.05). Twelve of 15 raters had acceptable intra-rater and inter-rater reliability.
Naïve raters preferred low, short scars over the alternatives. High, short scars were the next most favourably rated. If other factors influencing incision choice are considered equal, surgeons should consider these preferences in scar position and length when planning their thyroidectomy approach.
The Dark Energy Survey is undertaking an observational programme imaging 1/4 of the southern hemisphere sky with unprecedented photometric accuracy. In the process of observing millions of faint stars and galaxies to constrain the parameters of the dark energy equation of state, the Dark Energy Survey will obtain pre-discovery images of the regions surrounding an estimated 100 gamma-ray bursts over 5 yr. Once gamma-ray bursts are detected by, e.g., the Swift satellite, the DES data will be extremely useful for follow-up observations by the transient astronomy community. We describe a recently-commissioned suite of software that listens continuously for automated notices of gamma-ray burst activity, collates information from archival DES data, and disseminates relevant data products back to the community in near-real-time. Of particular importance are the opportunities that non-public DES data provide for relative photometry of the optical counterparts of gamma-ray bursts, as well as for identifying key characteristics (e.g., photometric redshifts) of potential gamma-ray burst host galaxies. We provide the functional details of the DESAlert software, and its data products, and we show sample results from the application of DESAlert to numerous previously detected gamma-ray bursts, including the possible identification of several heretofore unknown gamma-ray burst hosts.
Commonly thought of as a disease of poverty and overcrowding in resource-poor settings globally, scabies is also an important public health issue in residential care facilities for the elderly (RCFE) in high-income countries such as the UK. We compared and contrasted current local Health Protection Team (HPT) guidelines for the management of scabies outbreaks in RCFE throughout England. We performed content analysis on 20 guidelines, and used this to create a quantitative report of their variation in key dimensions. Although the guidelines were generally consistent on issues such as the treatment protocols for individual patients, there was substantial variation in their recommendations regarding the prophylactic treatment of contacts, infection control measures and the roles and responsibilities of individual stakeholders. Most guidelines did not adequately address the logistical challenges associated with mass treatment in this setting. We conclude that the heterogeneous nature of the guidelines reviewed is an argument in favour of national guidelines being produced.
The intense heat and energetic particle fluxes expected in ITER and future magnetic fusion reactors pose prohibitive problems to the design, selection and maintenance of the first wall and divertor. Micropellet injection (MPI) technologies can offer some innovative solutions to the material and extreme heat challenges. Basic physics of micropellet motion, ablation and interactions with high-temperature plasmas and energetic particles are presented first. We then discuss MPI technology options and applications. In addition to plasma diagnostic applications, controlled injection of micropellets of different sizes, velocities and injection frequencies will offer several possibilities: (1) better assessment of the core plasma cooling due to dust produced in situ; (2) better understanding of the plasma–material interaction physics near the wall; (3) new methods for plasma fuelling and impurity control; and (4) techniques for edge cooling with minimal impact on the plasma core. Dedicated small-scale laboratory experiments will complement major fusion experiments in development and applications of MPI.