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To assess the potential for contamination of personnel, patients and the environment during use of contaminated N95 respirators and to compare the effectiveness of interventions to reduce contamination.
Simulation study of patient care interactions using N95 respirators contaminated with a higher and lower inoculum of the benign virus bacteriophage MS2.
Twelve healthcare personnel performed 3 standardized examinations of mannequins including: 1) Control with suboptimal respirator handling technique; 2) Improved technique with glove change after each N95 contact; and 3) Control with 1-minute ultraviolet-C light (UV-C) treatment prior to donning. The order of the examinations was randomized within subject. The frequencies of contamination were compared among groups. Observations and simulations with fluorescent lotion were used to assess routes of transfer leading to contamination.
With suboptimal respirator handling technique, bacteriophage MS2 was frequently transferred to the participants, mannequin, and environmental surfaces and fomites. Improved technique resulted in significantly reduced transfer of MS2 in the higher inoculum simulations (P<0.01), whereas UV-C treatment reduced transfer in both the higher and lower inoculum simulations (P<0.01). Observations and simulations with fluorescent lotion demonstrated multiple potential routes of transfer to participants, mannequin, and surfaces, including both direct contact with the contaminated respirator and indirect contact via contaminated gloves.
Reuse of contaminated N95 respirators can result in contamination of personnel and the environment even when correct technique is used. Decontamination technologies such as UV-C could reduce the risk for transmission.
Anxiety is common in older adults with cancer (OACs) and their caregivers and is associated with poor outcomes including worse physical symptoms, poor treatment adherence and response, and longer hospitalizations. This study examined the feasibility, acceptability, adherence, and preliminary efficacy of a cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT) intervention for OACs and their caregivers.
Patients with active cancer age 65 years and older and their caregivers were randomized to Managing Anxiety from Cancer (MAC), a seven-session CBT-based psychotherapy intervention delivered over the telephone or usual care. Patients and caregivers completed the intervention separately with licensed social workers. Self-report measures of anxiety, depression, and quality of life were administered after randomization and following intervention completion. Analyses were conducted separately for patients and caregivers and at the dyad level. Hierarchical Linear Modeling accounted for the within-dyad intraclass correlation coefficients (ICCs) by random intercepts associated with the dyads.
Twenty-nine dyads were randomized; 28 (96.6%) patients and 26 (89.7%) caregivers completed all study procedures. Of dyads randomized to MAC, 85.7% (n = 12) of patients and caregivers completed all seven sessions. Most patients (≥50%) and over 80% of caregivers rated the overall intervention and intervention components as “moderately” to “very” helpful. MAC was associated with a greater reduction in anxiety among dyads than usual care, the effect of MAC was greater in caregivers than in patients, and improvement in patient anxiety was associated with the reduction in caregiver anxiety. However, these results did not reach statistical significance.
Significance of results
This pilot study demonstrates the feasibility of MAC and suggests strategies for improving acceptability, with a focus on adherence. Furthermore, these results indicate that MAC is promising for the reduction of anxiety in OAC–caregiver dyads and may be particularly beneficial for OAC caregivers. Larger randomized controlled trials are needed to evaluate the efficacy of MAC.
This study reports on the changes in stress, anxiety, and depressive symptoms of subscribers after 3 months using Text4Hope, a supportive text messaging program designed to provide support during the pandemic.
Standardized self-report measures were used to evaluate perceived stress (measured with the Perceived Stress Scale-10 [PSS-10]), anxiety (measured with the General Anxiety Disorder Scale 7 [GAD-7]), and depressive symptoms (measured with the Patient Health Questionnaire [PHQ-9]), at baseline and 3rd month (n = 373).
After 3 months of using Text4Hope, subscribers’ self-reports revealed significant (p< 0.001) mean score reductions compared with baseline on: the GAD-7 by 22.7%, PHQ-9 by 10.3%, and PSS-10 scores by 5.7%. Reductions in inferred prevalence rates for moderate to high symptoms were also observed, with anxiety demonstrating the largest reduction (15.7%).
Observed Text4Hope-related reductions in psychological distress during COVID-19 indicate that Text4Hope is an effective, convenient, and accessible means of implementing a population-level psychological intervention.
To evaluate age-related differences in the independent/combined association of added sugar intake from soda and body adiposity with hyperuricaemia in gender-stratified US adults.
Consumption of added sugar from soda was calculated from 24-h dietary interviews and categorised into none, regular and excessive consumption. Hyperuricaemia was defined as serum uric acid levels >417 mmol/l in men and >357 mmol/l in women. Multiple regression models with interaction terms and logistic models adjusted for covariates were conducted under survey-data modules.
National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey during 2007–2016.
15 338 adults without gout, failing kidneys, an estimated glomerular filtration rate < 30 or diabetes were selected.
The age-stratified prevalence rate of hyperuricaemia was 18·8–20·4 % in males and 6·8–17·3 % in females. Hyperuricaemia prevalence of approximately 50 % was observed in young and middle age males who consumed excessive added sugar from soda. Excessive added sugar intake was observed to be associated with 1·5- to 2·0-fold and 2·0- to 2·3-fold increased risk of the probability of hyperuricaemia in young and middle age males and middle age females, respectively. Study participants, regardless of age or gender, who were obese and consumed excessive added sugar from soda had the highest risk of having hyperuricaemia.
Our study revealed that the association between hyperuricaemia and consumption of excessive added sugar from soda may vary by age and gender. Obese adults who consumed excessive added sugar from soda had the highest risk of hyperuricaemia, a finding that was found across all age-specific groups for both genders.
Very few zircon-bearing, kimberlite-hosted mantle eclogite xenoliths have been identified to date; however, the zircon they contain is crucial for our understanding of subcratonic lithospheric mantle evolution and eclogite genesis. In this study, we constrain the characteristics of zircon from mantle eclogite xenoliths based on existing mineralogical and geochemical data from zircons from different geological settings, and on the inferred origin of mantle eclogites. Given the likely origin and subsequent evolution of mantle eclogites, we infer that the xenoliths can contain zircons with magmatic, metamorphic and xenogenic (i.e. kimberlitic zircon) origins. Magmatic zircon can be inherited from low-pressure mafic oceanic crust precursors, or might form during direct crystallization of eclogites from primary mantle-derived melts at mantle pressures. Metamorphic zircon within mantle eclogites has a number of possible origins, ranging from low-pressure hydrothermal alteration of oceanic crustal protoliths to metasomatism related to kimberlite magmatism. This study outlines a possible approach for the identification of inherited magmatic zircon within subduction-related mantle eclogites as well as xenogenic kimberlitic zircon within all types of mantle eclogites. We demonstrate this approach using zircon grains from kimberlite-hosted eclogite xenoliths from the Kasai Craton, which reveals that most, if not all, of these zircons were most likely incorporated as a result of laboratory-based contamination.
Benzodiazepine (BZD) prescription rates have increased over the past decade in the United States. Available literature indicates that sociodemographic factors may influence diagnostic patterns and/or prescription behaviour. Herein, the aim of this study is to determine whether the gender of the prescriber and/or patient influences BZD prescription.
Cross-sectional study using data from the Florida Medicaid Managed Medical Assistance Program from January 1, 2018 to December 31, 2018. Eligible recipients ages 18 to 64, inclusive, enrolled in the Florida Medicaid plan for at least 1 day, and were dually eligible. Recipients either had a serious mental illness (SMI), or non-SMI and anxiety.
Total 125 463 cases were identified (i.e., received BZD or non-BZD prescription). Main effect of patient and prescriber gender was significant F(1, 125 459) = 0.105, P = 0 .745, partial η2 < 0.001. Relative risk (RR) of male prescribers prescribing a BZD compared to female prescribers was 1.540, 95% confidence intervals (CI) [1.513, 1.567], whereas the RR of male patients being prescribed a BZD compared to female patients was 1.16, 95% CI [1.14, 1.18]. Main effects of patient and prescriber gender were statistically significant F(1, 125 459) = 188.232, P < 0.001, partial η2 = 0.001 and F(1, 125 459) = 349.704, P < 0.001, partial η2 = 0.013, respectively.
Male prescribers are more likely to prescribe BZDs, and male patients are more likely to receive BZDs. Further studies are required to characterize factors that influence this gender-by-gender interaction.
It is important to understand the temporal trend of the paediatric severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) viral load to estimate the transmission potential of children in schools and communities. We determined the differences in SARS-CoV-2 viral load dynamics between nasopharyngeal samples of infected asymptomatic and symptomatic children. Serial cycle threshold values of SARS-CoV-2 from the nasopharynx of a cohort of infected children were collected for analysis. Among 17 infected children, 10 (58.8%) were symptomatic. Symptomatic children, when compared to asymptomatic children, had higher viral loads (mean cycle threshold on day 7 of illness 28.6 vs. 36.7, P = 0.02). Peak SARS-CoV-2 viral loads occurred around day 2 of illness in infected children. Although we were unable to directly demonstrate infectivity, the detection of significant amount of virus in the upper airway of asymptomatic children suggest that they have the potential to shed and transmit SARS-CoV-2. Our study highlights the importance of contact tracing and screening for SARS-CoV-2 in children with epidemiological risk factors regardless of their symptom status, in order to improve containment of the virus in the community, including educational settings.
Lifestyle interventions are an important and viable approach for preventing cognitive deficits. However, the results of studies on alcohol, coffee and tea consumption in relation to cognitive decline have been divergent, likely due to confounds from dose–response effects. This meta-analysis aimed to find the dose–response relationship between alcohol, coffee or tea consumption and cognitive deficits.
Prospective cohort studies or nested case-control studies in a cohort investigating the risk factors of cognitive deficits were searched in PubMed, Embase, the Cochrane and Web of Science up to 4th June 2020. Two authors searched the databases and extracted the data independently. We also assessed the quality of the studies with the Newcastle-Ottawa scale. Stata 15.0 software was used to perform model estimation and plot the linear or nonlinear dose–response relationship graphs.
The search identified 29 prospective studies from America, Japan, China and some European countries. The dose–response relationships showed that compared to non-drinkers, low consumption (<11 g/day) of alcohol could reduce the risk of cognitive deficits or only dementias, but there was no significant effect of heavier drinking (>11 g/day). Low consumption of coffee reduced the risk of any cognitive deficit (<2.8 cups/day) or dementia (<2.3 cups/day). Green tea consumption was a significant protective factor for cognitive health (relative risk, 0.94; 95% confidence intervals, 0.92–0.97), with one cup of tea per day brings a 6% reduction in risk of cognitive deficits.
Light consumption of alcohol (<11 g/day) and coffee (<2.8 cups/day) was associated with reduced risk of cognitive deficits. Cognitive benefits of green tea consumption increased with the daily consumption.
The coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic represents an unprecedented threat to mental health. Herein, we assessed the impact of COVID-19 on subthreshold depressive symptoms and identified potential mitigating factors.
Participants were from Depression Cohort in China (ChiCTR registry number 1900022145). Adults (n = 1722) with subthreshold depressive symptoms were enrolled between March and October 2019 in a 6-month, community-based interventional study that aimed to prevent clinical depression using psychoeducation. A total of 1506 participants completed the study in Shenzhen, China: 726 participants, who completed the study between March 2019 and January 2020 (i.e. before COVID-19), comprised the ‘wave 1’ group; 780 participants, who were enrolled before COVID-19 and completed the 6-month endpoint assessment during COVID-19, comprised ‘wave 2’. Symptoms of depression, anxiety and insomnia were assessed at baseline and endpoint (i.e. 6-month follow-up) using the Patient Health Questionnaire-9 (PHQ-9), Generalised Anxiety Disorder-7 (GAD-7) and Insomnia Severity Index (ISI), respectively. Measures of resilience and regular exercise were assessed at baseline. We compared the mental health outcomes between wave 1 and wave 2 groups. We additionally investigated how mental health outcomes changed across disparate stages of the COVID-19 pandemic in China, i.e. peak (7–13 February), post-peak (14–27 February), remission plateau (28 February−present).
COVID-19 increased the risk for three mental outcomes: (1) depression (odds ratio [OR] = 1.30, 95% confidence interval [CI]: 1.04–1.62); (2) anxiety (OR = 1.47, 95% CI: 1.16–1.88) and (3) insomnia (OR = 1.37, 95% CI: 1.07–1.77). The highest proportion of probable depression and anxiety was observed post-peak, with 52.9% and 41.4%, respectively. Greater baseline resilience scores had a protective effect on the three main outcomes (depression: OR = 0.26, 95% CI: 0.19–0.37; anxiety: OR = 1.22, 95% CI: 0.14–0.33 and insomnia: OR = 0.18, 95% CI: 0.11–0.28). Furthermore, regular physical activity mitigated the risk for depression (OR = 0.79, 95% CI: 0.79–0.99).
The COVID-19 pandemic exerted a highly significant and negative impact on symptoms of depression, anxiety and insomnia. Mental health outcomes fluctuated as a function of the duration of the pandemic and were alleviated to some extent with the observed decline in community-based transmission. Augmenting resiliency and regular exercise provide an opportunity to mitigate the risk for mental health symptoms during this severe public health crisis.
Previous studies have revealed associations of meteorological factors with tuberculosis (TB) cases. However, few studies have examined their lag effects on TB cases. This study was aimed to analyse nonlinear lag effects of meteorological factors on the number of TB notifications in Hong Kong. Using a 22-year consecutive surveillance data in Hong Kong, we examined the association of monthly average temperature and relative humidity with temporal dynamics of the monthly number of TB notifications using a distributed lag nonlinear models combined with a Poisson regression. The relative risks (RRs) of TB notifications were >1.15 as monthly average temperatures were between 16.3 and 17.3 °C at lagged 13–15 months, reaching the peak risk of 1.18 (95% confidence interval (CI) 1.02–1.35) when it was 16.8 °C at lagged 14 months. The RRs of TB notifications were >1.05 as relative humidities of 60.0–63.6% at lagged 9–11 months expanded to 68.0–71.0% at lagged 12–17 months, reaching the highest risk of 1.06 (95% CI 1.01–1.11) when it was 69.0% at lagged 13 months. The nonlinear and delayed effects of average temperature and relative humidity on TB epidemic were identified, which may provide a practical reference for improving the TB warning system.
Interception by plant canopies during wind dispersal can affect the final destination of diaspores. However, how the interaction of wind speed, canopy type and diaspore attributes affects interception of diaspores by the plant canopy has rarely been studied. We investigated canopy interception for 29 species with different diaspore attributes, six canopy types and six wind speeds in controlled experiments in a wind tunnel. Shrub canopy interception of diaspores were controlled by wind speed and diaspore attributes, but the latter had a greater influence on canopy interception than the former. At low wind speed, diaspore wing loading had a large influence on canopy interception, whereas at high wind speed, diaspore projection area had a large influence. The chance of canopy interception at a particular wind speed was additionally affected by the type of canopy. This study increases our knowledge of the dispersal process, corrects the previous understanding of diaspore dispersal potential and improves the theoretical basis for predicting spatial pattern and dynamics of plant populations.
Anthropogenic greenhouse gas emissions are the primary cause of climate change and an estimated increase of 3.7 to 4.8 °C is predicted by the year 2100 if emissions continue at current levels. Polar bears (Ursus maritimus) and giant pandas (Ailuropoda melanoleuca) provide an interesting comparison study of the impact of climate change on bear species. While polar bears and giant pandas are arguably the most distant of the bear species with regard to life histories and behavior, both are likely to be significantly impacted by the broad-scale changes to their environment that are predicted to result from climate change. Herein, we review the conservation status of both species and their habitats, and present current and predicted evidence of the impacts of a changing climate on polar bear and giant panda survival.
This chapter comprises the following sections: names, taxonomy, subspecies and distribution, descriptive notes, habitat, movements and home range, activity patterns, feeding ecology, reproduction and growth, behavior, parasites and diseases, status in the wild, and status in captivity.
Precise instrumental calibration is of crucial importance to 21-cm cosmology experiments. The Murchison Widefield Array’s (MWA) Phase II compact configuration offers us opportunities for both redundant calibration and sky-based calibration algorithms; using the two in tandem is a potential approach to mitigate calibration errors caused by inaccurate sky models. The MWA Epoch of Reionization (EoR) experiment targets three patches of the sky (dubbed EoR0, EoR1, and EoR2) with deep observations. Previous work in Li et al. (2018) and (2019) studied the effect of tandem calibration on the EoR0 field and found that it yielded no significant improvement in the power spectrum (PS) over sky-based calibration alone. In this work, we apply similar techniques to the EoR1 field and find a distinct result: the improvements in the PS from tandem calibration are significant. To understand this result, we analyse both the calibration solutions themselves and the effects on the PS over three nights of EoR1 observations. We conclude that the presence of the bright radio galaxy Fornax A in EoR1 degrades the performance of sky-based calibration, which in turn enables redundant calibration to have a larger impact. These results suggest that redundant calibration can indeed mitigate some level of model incompleteness error.
Through diversity of composition, sequence, and interfacial structure, hybrid materials greatly expand the palette of materials available to access novel functionality. The NSF Division of Materials Research recently supported a workshop (October 17–18, 2019) aiming to (1) identify fundamental questions and potential solutions common to multiple disciplines within the hybrid materials community; (2) initiate interfield collaborations between hybrid materials researchers; and (3) raise awareness in the wider community about experimental toolsets, simulation capabilities, and shared facilities that can accelerate this research. This article reports on the outcomes of the workshop as a basis for cross-community discussion. The interdisciplinary challenges and opportunities are presented, and followed with a discussion of current areas of progress in subdisciplines including hybrid synthesis, functional surfaces, and functional interfaces.
Determination of antibodies against ToRCH antigens at the beginning of pregnancy allows assessment of both the maternal immune status and the risks to an adverse pregnancy outcome. Age-standardised seroprevalences were determined in sera from 1009 women of childbearing age residing in Mexico, Brazil, Germany, Poland, Turkey or China using a multiparametric immunoblot containing antigen substrates for antibodies against Toxoplasma gondii, rubella virus, cytomegalovirus (CMV), herpes simplex viruses (HSV-1, HSV-2), Bordetella pertussis, Chlamydia trachomatis, parvovirus B19, Treponema pallidum and varicella zoster virus (VZV). Seroprevalences for antibodies against HSV-1 were >90% in samples from Brazil and Turkey, whereas the other four countries showed lower mean age-adjusted seroprevalences (range: 62.5–87.9%). Samples from Brazilian women showed elevated seroprevalences of antibodies against HSV-2 (40.1%), C. trachomatis (46.8%) and B. pertussis (56.6%) compared to the other five countries. Seroprevalences of anti-T. gondii antibodies (0.5%) and anti-parvovirus B19 antibodies (7.5%) were low in samples from Chinese women, compared to the other five countries. Samples from German women revealed a low age-standardised seroprevalence of anti-CMV antibodies (28.8%) compared to the other five countries. These global differences in immune status of women in childbearing age advocate country-specific prophylaxis strategies to avoid infection with ToRCH pathogens.
Adipocytokines, which are secreted during fetal development by both mothers and fetuses, may influence fetal lung development, but little human data are available. We used data from the HOME Study to investigate the associations of cord blood adipocytokine concentrations with children’s lung forced expiratory volume (FEV1; N = 160) and their risk of wheeze (N = 281). We measured umbilical cord serum adipocytokine concentrations using enzyme-linked immunosorbent assays and FEV1 using a portable spirometer at ages 4 and 5 to calculate the percent predicted FEV1 (%FEV1). Parents completed standardized questionnaires of their child’s wheeze symptoms every 6 months from birth to age 5, then again at ages 6 and 8. We used multivariable linear mixed models and modified Poisson regression with generalized estimating equations to estimate associations of adipocytokine concentrations (log2-transformed) with children’s %FEV1 and the risk of wheeze, respectively, adjusting for sociodemographic, perinatal, and child factors. Cord serum leptin was not associated with children’s %FEV1. Higher cord serum adiponectin concentrations were associated with higher %FEV1 in girls (β = 3.1, 95% confidence interval [CI]: 0.6, 5.6), but not in boys (β = −1.3, 95% CI: −5.9, 3.3) (sex × adiponectin p-value = 0.05). Higher leptin was associated with lower risk of wheeze in girls (RR = 0.74, 95% CI: 0.66, 0.84), but not boys (RR = 0.87, 95% CI: 0.69, 1.11) (sex × leptin p-value = 0.01). In contrast, higher adiponectin concentrations were associated with lower risk of wheeze (RR = 0.84, 95% CI: 0.73, 0.96) in both boys and girls. These data suggest that fetal adipocytokines may impact lung development and function in early childhood. Future studies are needed to confirm these findings and explore the mechanisms underlying these associations.
This study describes a procedural blank assessment of the ultraviolet photochemical oxidation (UV oxidation) method that is used to measure carbon isotopes of dissolved organic carbon (DOC) at the National Ocean Sciences Accelerator Mass Spectrometry Facility (NOSAMS). A retrospective compilation of Fm and δ13C results for secondary standards (OX-II, glycine) between 2009 and 2018 indicated that a revised blank correction was required to bring results in line with accepted values. The application of a best-fit mass-balance correction yielded a procedural blank of 22.0 ± 6.0 µg C with Fm of 0.30 ± 0.20 and δ13C of –32.0 ± 3.0‰ for this period, which was notably higher and more variable than previously reported. Changes to the procedure, specifically elimination of higher organic carbon reagents and improved sample and reactor handling, reduced the blank to 11.0 ± 2.75 µg C, with Fm of 0.14 ± 0.10 and δ13C of –31.0 ± 5.5‰. A thorough determination of the entire sample processing blank is required to ensure accurate isotopic compositions of seawater DOC using the UV oxidation method. Additional efforts are needed to further reduce the procedural blank so that smaller DOC samples can be analyzed, and to increase sample throughput.
There is controversy regarding whether the addition of cover gowns offers a substantial benefit over gloves alone in reducing personnel contamination and preventing pathogen transmission.
Simulated patient care interactions.
To evaluate the efficacy of different types of barrier precautions and to identify routes of transmission.
In randomly ordered sequence, 30 personnel each performed 3 standardized examinations of mannequins contaminated with pathogen surrogate markers (cauliflower mosaic virus DNA, bacteriophage MS2, nontoxigenic Clostridioides difficile spores, and fluorescent tracer) while wearing no barriers, gloves, or gloves plus gowns followed by examination of a noncontaminated mannequin. We compared the frequency and routes of transfer of the surrogate markers to the second mannequin or the environment.
For a composite of all surrogate markers, transfer by hands occurred at significantly lower rates in the gloves-alone group (OR, 0.02; P < .001) and the gloves-plus-gown group (OR, 0.06; P = .002). Transfer by stethoscope diaphragms was common in all groups and was reduced by wiping the stethoscope between simulations (OR, 0.06; P < .001). Compared to the no-barriers group, wearing a cover gown and gloves resulted in reduced contamination of clothing (OR, 0.15; P < .001), but wearing gloves alone did not.
Wearing gloves alone or gloves plus gowns reduces hand transfer of pathogens but may not address transfer by devices such as stethoscopes. Cover gowns reduce the risk of contaminating the clothing of personnel.