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PLoS Currents

John Codrington, Jimmy Roosblad, Amrish Baidjoe, Natanael Holband, Antoine Adde, Mirdad Kazanji, Claude Flamand
Introduction: Since the identification of ZIKV in Brazil in May 2015, the virus has spread extensively throughout the Americas. Cases of ZIKV infection have been reported in Suriname since October 2, 2015. Methods: A laboratory-based surveillance system was quickly implemented according to previous experience with the emergence of chikungunya. General practitioners and public health centers located in different districts of Suriname were asked to send blood samples from suspicious cases to Academic Hospital for molecular diagnosis of Zika virus infection...
May 10, 2018: PLoS Currents
Khalifah Alfadhli, John Drury
Introduction: As the years of displacement accumulate, the burden of secondary stressors (i.e., stressors not directly related to war) increase on the shoulders of millions of refugees, who do not have the option of either returning home due to war or having a sustainable livelihood in the host countries. This paper aims to shed light on the overlooked importance of secondary stressors among refugees of conflict in developing countries; it will do this by highlighting the experience of Syrian refugees in Jordan, and developing a typology of these stressors...
May 10, 2018: PLoS Currents
Marie Nearing, James Novak, Terence Partridge
Introduction: Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy is a genetic disease that is caused by a deficiency of dystrophin protein. Both Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy patients and dystrophic mice suffer from intestinal dysfunction. Methods: The present study arose from a chance observation of differences in fecal output of dystrophic vs. normal mice during 20-minutes of forced continuous treadmill exercise. Here, we report on the effects of exercise on fecal output in two different dystrophic mutants and their normal background control strains...
May 2, 2018: PLoS Currents
John Mair-Jenkins, Tracey Lamming, Andy Dziadosz, Daniel Flecknoe, Thomas Stubington, Massimo Mentasti, Peter Muir, Philip Monk
Introduction: On 14th August 2015 an office manager informed Public Health England of five employees known to have been diagnosed with pneumonia over the previous three weeks. We investigated to establish whether an outbreak occurred and to identify and control the source of infection. Methods: We undertook case finding for self-reported pneumonia cases at local businesses (July-August 2015). Clinical samples from a hospitalised case were tested for common respiratory pathogens, but returned negative results...
April 27, 2018: PLoS Currents
Kosta Bovan, Benjamin Banai, Irena Pavela Banai
Introduction: Studies show that natural disasters influence voters' perception of incumbent politicians. To investigate whether voters are prone to punish politicians for events that are out of their control, this study was conducted in the previously unstudied context of Croatia, and by considering some of the methodological issues of previous studies. Method: Matching method technique was used, which ensures that affected and non-affected areas are matched on several control variables...
April 6, 2018: PLoS Currents
Gemma Marston, Steve J Winder
Introduction: In addition to their nutritional value, processed soy bean extracts contain several activities with potential therapeutic benefits. These include anti-oxidants, and tyrosine kinase and protease inhibitory activity. There are also anecdotal reports of health benefits of soy products in alleviating DMD symptoms. Methods: Mdx mice were fed a control soy-free diet or the same diet containing either a proprietary soy preparation (Haelan 951), purified soy isoflavones, purified Bowman-Birk protease inhibitor or a combination of isoflavones and Bowman-Birk inhibitor...
March 27, 2018: PLoS Currents
Tiago Canelas, Carlos Castillo-Salgado, Helena Ribeiro
Introduction: Malaria still is a public health problem in the Americas. In 2015, Brazil accounted for 37% of all cases in the Americas, and of these cases, 99.5% were located in the Brazilian Amazon. Despite the mobilization of resources from the Brazilian National Plan for Malaria Control, too many municipalities have high transmission levels. The objective of this study is to evaluate the local epidemiological profile of malaria and its trend between 2010 and 2015 in the Brazilian Amazon...
March 27, 2018: PLoS Currents
Michelle Odlum, Sunmoo Yoon
Introduction: For effective public communication during major disease outbreaks like the 2014-2016 Ebola epidemic, health information needs of the population must be adequately assessed. Through content analysis of social media data, like tweets, public health information needs can be effectively assessed and in turn provide appropriate health information to address such needs. The aim of the current study was to assess health information needs about Ebola, at distinct epidemic time points, through longitudinal tracking...
March 23, 2018: PLoS Currents
Felipe Gomes Naveca, Valdinete Alves Nascimento, Victor Costa Souza, Regina M P de Figueiredo
Introduction: Several orthobunyaviruses are important arthropod-borne pathogens, responsible for a variety of diseases in humans, from acute febrile illness to encephalitis. Methods: We collected serum samples from a series of dengue suspected cases in Tefé, a mid-size city located in the interior of the Amazonas state, Brazil. Viral RNA extraction was performed, and specimens were tested for dengue virus using RT-PCR. Thirty dengue negative samples were further tested for Mayaro virus (MAYV) and Oropouche virus (OROV) using an RT-qPCR protocol previously described...
March 22, 2018: PLoS Currents
Tara Kervin, Mathula Thangarajh
INTRODUCTION: Duchenne muscular dystrophy (DMD) is an X-linked genetic disorder that causes progressive skeletal and cardiac muscle weakness in boys. Cardiac dysfunction is a frequent cause of death in DMD. Glucocorticoids are the standard of care in DMD. The long-term use of oral glucocorticoids in DMD is complicated by poor bone health. Epidemiological studies suggest a biological link between the loss of bone mineral density (BMD) and cardiovascular disease, including coronary artery and cerebrovascular diseases...
March 22, 2018: PLoS Currents
Annick Lenglet, Olumide Faniyan, Joost Hopman
Introduction: Between July 2014 and September 2015, a neonatal care unit (NCU) in Port Au Prince, Haiti, experienced an outbreak of sepsis, most probably due to nosocomial transmission of Extended Beta Lactamase (ESBL) producing gram negative bacteria, included Klebsiella pneumoniae. Methods: We describe the epidemiological and microbiological activities performed as part of the outbreak investigation and the control measures implemented throughout this period. Results: During the study period 257 cases of sepsis were reported, of which 191 died...
March 21, 2018: PLoS Currents
Noelle-Angelique M Molinari, Tanya Telfair LeBlanc, William Stephens
Background: The first Ebola virus disease (EVD) case in the United States (US) was confirmed September 30, 2014 in a man 45 years old. This event created considerable media attention and there was fear of an EVD outbreak in the US. Methods: This study examined whether emergency department (ED) visits changed in metropolitan Dallas-Fort Worth--, Texas (DFW) after this EVD case was confirmed. Using Texas Health Services Region 2/3 syndromic surveillance data and focusing on DFW, interrupted time series analyses were conducted using segmented regression models with autoregressive errors for overall ED visits and rates of several chief complaints, including fever with gastrointestinal distress (FGI)...
March 20, 2018: PLoS Currents
José Lourenço, Maria de Lourdes Monteiro, Tomás Valdez, Júlio Monteiro Rodrigues, Oliver Pybus, Nuno Rodrigues Faria
Introduction: The Zika virus (ZIKV) outbreak in the island nation of Cabo Verde was of unprecedented magnitude in Africa and the first to be associated with microcephaly in the continent. Methods: Using a simple mathematical framework we present a first epidemiological assessment of attack and observation rates from 7,580 ZIKV notified cases and 18 microcephaly reports between July 2015 and May 2016. Results: In line with observations from the Americas and elsewhere, the single-wave Cabo Verdean ZIKV epidemic was characterized by a basic reproductive number of 1...
March 15, 2018: PLoS Currents
Cristian Ionita, Kathi Kinnett, Katherine Mathews
The dystrophinopathies (Duchenne [DMD] and Becker muscular dystrophy) are progressive diseases that until recently had no specific treatments. New FDA pathways to drug approval in rare diseases have resulted in a dramatic increase in the number of treatment trials for DMD and recently, two approved drugs. Health insurance policies for DMD products have been constructed with limited input from neuromuscular specialists directly involved in patient care and without patient input. These policies often reflect a lack of understanding of the disease, clinical population or the treatment...
March 15, 2018: PLoS Currents
Luche Tadesse Ejeta
Background: Emergency preparedness at all levels (individuals and communities) is the corner stone of effective response to the increasing trends of global disasters due to man-made and natural hazards. It is determined by different factors, including (among others) past direct and indirect exposures to hazards. This study was carried out in Dire Dawa town, Ethiopia, which in the past experienced frequent flooding events, yet dearth of information exists about preparedness in the area...
February 21, 2018: PLoS Currents
Shannon Doocy, Emily Lyles
Background: Five years of conflict in Syria have led to 13.5 million people in need of humanitarian assistance and 6.6 million internally displaced people. Humanitarian needs are ever-increasing as an inability to maintain humanitarian corridors and ceasefires continue. In light of the protracted nature of the conflict, immense needs, and dearth of large-scale data, we undertook this assessment to inform humanitarian response. Methods: A survey of accessible areas, which were largely urban and government controlled, was undertaken from April - June 2016 to identify unmet needs and assistance priorities...
February 15, 2018: PLoS Currents
Elzinandes Leal Azeredo, Flavia Barreto Dos Santos, Luciana Santos Barbosa, Thiara Manuele Alves Souza, Jessica Badolato-Corrêa, Juan Camilo Sánchez-Arcila, Priscila Conrado Guerra Nunes, Luzia Maria de-Oliveira-Pinto, Ana Maria de Filippis, Márcia Dal Fabbro, Izilyanne Hoscher Romanholi, Rivaldo Venancio da Cunha
BACKGROUND: The current triple epidemic caused by dengue, zika and chikungunya constitutes a serious health problem in Brazil. The aim of this study was to investigate acute samples (up to the 7 days of symptoms) from patients presenting acute fever syndrome suspected as arboviral infection and characterize the clinical and laboratorial profile during the co-circulation of dengue, zika and chikungunya in Campo Grande, Mato Grosso do Sul (MS), midwest region of Brazil. METHODS: All suspected cases (n=134) were tested by using serological and molecular diagnostic tests including DENV, ZIKV and CHIKV RT-PCR, Dengue nonstructural protein 1 (NS1) antigen capture ELISA, anti- DENV IgM ELISA and anti-CHIKV IgM ELISA...
February 15, 2018: PLoS Currents
Alan de Lima Pereira, Rosamund Southgate, Hikmet Ahmed, Penelope O'Connor, Vanessa Cramond, Annick Lenglet
Introduction: In 2015, following an influx of population into Kobanê in northern Syria, Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF) in collaboration with the Kobanê Health Administration (KHA) initiated primary healthcare activities. A vaccination coverage survey and vaccine-preventable disease (VPD) risk analysis were undertaken to clarify the VPD risk and vaccination needs. This was followed by a measles Supplementary Immunization Activity (SIA). We describe the methods and results used for this prioritisation activity around vaccination in Kobanê in 2015...
February 2, 2018: PLoS Currents
Marcelo Dell'Aringa, Otavio Ranzani, Joost Bierens, Virginia Murray
INTRODUCTION In January 2011 landslides and floods followed heavy rain in the Mountainous Region of Rio de Janeiro State ("Região Serrana"), in southeastern Brazil. These events led to the largest disaster registered in Brazilian recent history. Few studies addressed the impacts of this disaster on public health, and we found none addressing the impact on mental health. This study reviewed the consequences of the 2011 disaster in the "Região Serrana", by comparing the demand for public mental health assistance data from time periods before and after the even  METHODS  We performed an ecologic study, analysing the aggregate data from "Região Serrana" during the period two years before and after the disaster, exporting data from the Brazilian open access public health database...
January 25, 2018: PLoS Currents
Ralph Anthony Stidham, David B Freeman, Robert L von Tersch, Peter J Sullivan, Samantha D Tostenson
Introduction: Tularemia is a rare but potentially fatal disease that develops in numerous wild and domestic animals, including lagomorphs, rodents, cats, and humans.  Francisella tularensis bacterium, the causative agent of tularemia, was identified by veterinary personnel at Fort Riley, Kansas during a routine post-mortum evaluation of a domestic feline. However, before formal diagnosis was confirmed, the sample was sent and prepared for rabies testing at the Department of Defense (DoD) U...
January 18, 2018: PLoS Currents
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