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Background: Healthcare facilities have experienced many challenges during the COVID-19 pandemic, including limited personal protective equipment (PPE) supplies. Healthcare personnel (HCP) rely on PPE, vaccines, and other infection control measures to prevent SARS-CoV-2 infections. We describe PPE concerns reported by HCP who had close contact with COVID-19 patients in the workplace and tested positive for SARS-CoV-2. Method: The CDC collaborated with Emerging Infections Program (EIP) sites in 10 states to conduct surveillance for SARS-CoV-2 infections in HCP. EIP staff interviewed HCP with positive SARS-CoV-2 viral tests (ie, cases) to collect data on demographics, healthcare roles, exposures, PPE use, and concerns about their PPE use during COVID-19 patient care in the 14 days before the HCP’s SARS-CoV-2 positive test. PPE concerns were qualitatively coded as being related to supply (eg, low quality, shortages); use (eg, extended use, reuse, lack of fit test); or facility policy (eg, lack of guidance). We calculated and compared the percentages of cases reporting each concern type during the initial phase of the pandemic (April–May 2020), during the first US peak of daily COVID-19 cases (June–August 2020), and during the second US peak (September 2020–January 2021). We compared percentages using mid-P or Fisher exact tests (α = 0.05). Results: Among 1,998 HCP cases occurring during April 2020–January 2021 who had close contact with COVID-19 patients, 613 (30.7%) reported ≥1 PPE concern (Table 1). The percentage of cases reporting supply or use concerns was higher during the first peak period than the second peak period (supply concerns: 12.5% vs 7.5%; use concerns: 25.5% vs 18.2%; p Conclusions: Although lower percentages of HCP cases overall reported PPE concerns after the first US peak, our results highlight the importance of developing capacity to produce and distribute PPE during times of increased demand. The difference we observed among selected groups of cases may indicate that PPE access and use were more challenging for some, such as nonphysicians and nursing home HCP. These findings underscore the need to ensure that PPE is accessible and used correctly by HCP for whom use is recommended.
Healthcare personnel with severe acute respiratory coronavirus virus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) infection were interviewed to describe activities and practices in and outside the workplace. Among 2,625 healthcare personnel, workplace-related factors that may increase infection risk were more common among nursing-home personnel than hospital personnel, whereas selected factors outside the workplace were more common among hospital personnel.
The National Center for Advancing Translational Sciences has called for more comprehensive research with priority populations to reduce disparities and for the development of additional resources to assist researchers in implementing these recommendations. Here we report the development and initial evaluation of five Priority Populations Toolkits, which are resources developed by the University of Illinois Center for Clinical and Translational Science to meet these goals. Three aims guide the content: increasing knowledge, facilitating communication, and improving research design. Materials were curated from scientific literature reviews and Internet searches and revised iteratively. Analytics and user surveys provide information about usage. In 22 months, 387 unique users accessed the toolkits. The top reason for usage was to improve research recruitment. Comprehensive toolkits for working with priority populations show promising potential for increasing knowledge and readiness to work with underrepresented populations. Further toolkit development and evaluation of effectiveness are warranted.
Background: Following cessation interventions, self-reported smoking abstinence with biochemical verification is the “gold standard” for defining outcomes. Because obtaining biochemical verification is challenging in community studies, we compared self-reported cessation among smokers completing treatment to the smoking status reported by each participant's spouse or proxy.
Method: Participants were smokers who had reported quitting 12 months after a cessation intervention. Participants had either attended a smoking cessation clinic or they were patients seen by physicians who had recently participated in a cessation-training program. Proxies living with these participants were interviewed by telephone to ask about their partner's smoking status. We compared the participants' responses to those from their spouses.
Results: At 12 months, 346 of 1423 baseline smokers had quit; 161/346 reported non-smokers were called and 140 proxies were interviewed. The participants averaged 51 years of age, 69% were women. At baseline, the mean number of cigarettes smoked per day was 20.1 (SD = 9.9) and the average number of quit attempts was 2.4 (SD = 1.2). Cessation methods used were medical advice (21%) and/or pharmacotherapy (79%). Of the 140 spouses interviewed, only 10 (7.1%) reported that their partners were currently smoking.
Conclusions: Proxy-reported data on smoking status could be used to validate self-report.
The use of nanoparticles as carriers of photosensitizer (PS) molecules for photodynamic therapy (PDT) has attracted much interest on core-shell nanosize structures. Herein, we used a simple aqueous solution method to synthesize Fe3O4/ZnO core-shell nanoparticles. X-ray diffraction (XRD) analyses showed the presence of well defined peaks corresponding to Fe3O4 and ZnO in as-synthesized nanocrystals. Vibrating sample magnetometer (VSM) measurements showed that these nanoparticles exhibited superparamagnetic behavior of the core with no coercivity nor remanence. X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy (XPS) analyses revealed the presence of Zn1/2 and Zn3/2 species on the surface of nanocrystals. Photoluminescence measurements showed excitonic emission of ZnO co-existing with a weak and broad defect- related green emission at room temperature. The generation of singlet oxygen was monitored via the photooxidation of diphenyl-1,3-isobenzofuran (DPBF) with different light sources, followed by absorption spectroscopy at 409 nm. The capability of synthesized nanoparticles to generate singlet oxygen has also been verified.
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