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Nosocomial transmission of COVID-19 among immunocompromised hosts can have a serious impact on COVID-19 severity, underlying disease progression and SARS-CoV-2 transmission to other patients and healthcare workers within hospitals. We experienced a nosocomial outbreak of COVID-19 in the setting of a daycare unit for paediatric and young adult cancer patients. Between 9 and 18 November 2020, 473 individuals (181 patients, 247 caregivers/siblings and 45 staff members) were exposed to the index case, who was a nursing staff. Among them, three patients and four caregivers were infected. Two 5-year-old cancer patients with COVID-19 were not severely ill, but a 25-year-old cancer patient showed prolonged shedding of SARS-CoV-2 RNA for at least 12 weeks, which probably infected his mother at home approximately 7–8 weeks after the initial diagnosis. Except for this case, no secondary transmission was observed from the confirmed cases in either the hospital or the community. To conclude, in the day care setting of immunocompromised children and young adults, the rate of in-hospital transmission of SARS-CoV-2 was 1.6% when applying the stringent policy of infection prevention and control, including universal mask application and rapid and extensive contact investigation. Severely immunocompromised children/young adults with COVID-19 would have to be carefully managed after the mandatory isolation period while keeping the possibility of prolonged shedding of live virus in mind.
How do people answer polar questions? In this fourteen-language study of answers to questions in conversation, we compare the two main strategies; first, interjection-type answers such as uh-huh (or equivalents yes, mm, head nods, etc.), and second, repetition-type answers that repeat some or all of the question. We find that all languages offer both options, but that there is a strong asymmetry in their frequency of use, with a global preference for interjection-type answers. We propose that this preference is motivated by the fact that the two options are not equivalent in meaning. We argue that interjection-type answers are intrinsically suited to be the pragmatically unmarked, and thus more frequent, strategy for confirming polar questions, regardless of the language spoken. Our analysis is based on the semantic-pragmatic profile of the interjection-type and repetition-type answer strategies, in the context of certain asymmetries inherent to the dialogic speech act structure of question–answer sequences, including sequential agency and thematic agency. This allows us to see possible explanations for the outlier distributions found in ǂĀkhoe Haiǁom and Tzeltal.
Background: Highly educated participants with normal cognition show lower incidence of Alzheimer's disease (AD) than poorly educated participants, whereas longitudinal studies involving AD have reported that higher education is associated with more rapid cognitive decline. We aimed to evaluate whether highly educated amnestic mild cognitive impairment (aMCI) participants show more rapid cognitive decline than those with lower levels of education.
Methods: A total of 249 aMCI patients enrolled from 31 memory clinics using the standard assessment and diagnostic processes were followed with neuropsychological evaluation (duration 17.2 ± 8.8 months). According to baseline performances on memory tests, participants were divided into early-stage aMCI (−1.5 to −1.0 standard deviation (SD)) and late-stage aMCI (below −1.5 SD) groups. Risk of AD conversion and changes in neuropsychological performances according to the level of education were evaluated.
Results: Sixty-two patients converted to AD over a mean follow-up of 1.43 years. The risk of AD conversion was higher in late-stage aMCI than early-stage aMCI. Cox proportional hazard models showed that aMCI participants, and late-stage aMCI participants in particular, with higher levels of education had a higher risk of AD conversion than those with lower levels of education. Late-stage aMCI participants with higher education showed faster cognitive decline in language, memory, and Clinical Dementia Rating Sum of Boxes (CDR-SOB) scores. On the contrary, early-stage aMCI participants with higher education showed slower cognitive decline in MMSE and CDR-SOB scores.
Conclusions: Our findings suggest that the protective effects of education against cognitive decline remain in early-stage aMCI and disappear in late-stage aMCI.
The diatoms are an ecologically important group of algae that have been extensively studied by ecologists and taxonomists. However, the large-scale patterns of diatom distribution and the factors underlying this distribution are largely unknown. The aims of this study were to identify the large-scale spatial patterns of benthic diatom assemblages in Korean streams and rivers, and to assess the importance of numerous environmental factors on diatom distribution. We classified 720 study sites based on diatom flora. Benthic diatoms, water chemistry, altitude, and riparian land cover and use were characterized by multivariate analyses, Monte Carlo permutation tests, and indicator species analysis. In total, we identified 531 diatom taxa. Diatom assemblages were mostly dominated by species of the genera Achnanthes, Navicula, Nitzschia, Cocconeis, Fragilaria (Synedra included), Cymbella, Gomphonema, and Melosira. Cluster analysis partitioned all 720 sites into eight groups based on diatom species composition. Canonical correspondence analysis indicated that altitude, land cover and use, current velocity, electrical conductivity, and nutrient levels explained a significant amount of the variation in the composition of assemblages of benthic diatoms. At the national scale, a downstream ecological gradient was apparent, from fast-flowing, mostly oligotrophic highland streams to slow-flowing, mostly eutrophic lowland rivers. Our data suggest that spatial factors explain some of the variation in diatom distribution. The present investigation of the spatial patterns of benthic diatoms, the ecological determinants of diatom occurrence, and the identification of diatom indicator species contributes to development of a program for assessing the biological integrity of lotic ecosystems in Korea.
Across languages, we find minimal vocalizations, such as “mhm” in English and “un” in Japanese, that are used by participants in interaction to respond to co-participants' prior or ongoing talk. These “response tokens” have drawn a sustained interest in the study of language and social interaction over the past several decades (see Sorjonen 2001 for a useful review). One major line of research in this area has been concerned with distributional analysis, exploring statistical correlations between types of response tokens and turn-taking (e.g., Duncan 1972, 1974; Duncan and Fiske 1977) or correlations between the frequency of response tokens and such parameters as culture and gender (e.g., Maynard 1986, 1990; White 1989; Fishman 1983). Because their primary interest is in discerning patterns for the aggregate occurrences of response tokens across situations, these quantitative studies tend to isolate response tokens from their local contexts of use, glossing the interactional contingencies to which participants orient when producing response tokens in any given context. By contrast, a line of research on response tokens that emerged within conversation analysis (CA) pays more serious attention to the sequential/interactional contexts for the deployment of response tokens (e.g., Jefferson 1984, 1993; Schegloff 1982; Heritage 1984, 1998, 2002; Goodwin 1986; Mazeland 1990; Beach 1993; Sorjonen 1996, 2001, 2002; Gardner 2001; Mori 2006; among others). These studies investigate the kinds of interactional activities the participants engage in that give rise to the deployment of particular response tokens, how the co-participants orient to them, and what consequences their deployment has for the organization of subsequent talk.
Assessment of nuclear status is important when a biopsied single blastomere is used for embryo sexing. In this study we investigated the nuclear status of blastomeres derived from 8- to 16-cell stage in vitro fertilised bovine embryos to determine the representativeness of a single blastomere for embryo sexing. In 24 embryos analysed, the agreement in sex determination between a biopsied single blastomere and a matched blastocyst by polymerase chain reaction (PCR) was 83.3%. To clarify the discrepancies, karyotypes of blastomeres in 8- to 16-cell stage bovine embryos were analysed. We applied vinblastine sulfate at various concentrations and for different exposure times for metaphase plate induction in 8- to 16-cell stage bovine embryos. The 1.0 mg/ml vinblastine sulfate treatment for 15 h was selected as the most effective condition for induction of a metaphase plate (>45%). Among 22 embryos under these conditions, only 8 of 10 that had a normal diploid chromosome complement showed a sex chromosomal composition of XX or XY (36.4%) and 2 diploid embryos showed mosaicism of the opposite sex of XX and XY in blastomeres of the embryo (9.1%). One haploid embryo contained only one X-chromosome (4.5%). Four of another 11 embryos with a mixoploid chromosomal complement contained a haploid blastomere with a wrong sex chromosome (18.2%). In conclusion, assessment of nuclear status of 8- to 16-cell stage bovine embryos revealed that morphologically normal embryos had a considerable proportion of mixoploid blastomeres and sex chromosomal mosaicism; these could be the cause of discrepancies in the sex between biopsied single blastomeres and matched blastocysts by PCR.
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