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W L A Osbrink, D B Thomas, J A Goolsby, A T Showler, B Leal
Within the cattle fever tick quarantine zone along the Rio Grande, a steady displacement of native vegetation by Arundo donax L. has been occurring for over a century. Arundo rapidly grows to a height of 3-6 m creating a dense wall of vegetation impeding surveillance and interception of stray cattle breaching the cattle fever tick quarantine from Mexico. Additionally, arundo monocultures may decrease the number and diversity of predatory beetles feeding on cattle fever ticks. To compare predatory beetle abundance and diversity within and between arundo and native vegetation, beetles were trapped at 10 locations twice a month for 16 mo (=38,400 trap nights) in the cattle fever tick quarantine zone along the Mexico-American border between Brownsville and Del Rio, TX...
May 1, 2018: Journal of Insect Science
Cindy Lynn Salazar-Collier, Belinda Reininger, Rose Gowen, Arturo Rodriguez, Anna Wilkinson
BACKGROUND: Open streets initiatives provide an opportunity to engage in physical activity (PA) freely by temporarily closing streets to motorized traffic. METHODS: Route counting estimation and event intercept surveys (n = 682) were conducted across 4 CycloBia events in Brownsville, TX, in 2015 to determine sociodemographics, PA engagement at the event, event awareness, and past CycloBia attendance. RESULTS: Cycling was the most commonly observed activity along the route (73...
May 9, 2018: Journal of Physical Activity & Health
Ashley Howard, John Visintine, Jaime Fergie, Miguel Deleon
Since 2007, Zika virus has spread through the Pacific Islands and the Americas. Beginning in 2016, women in Brownsville, Texas, USA, were identified as possibly being exposed to Zika virus during pregnancy. We identified 18 pregnant women during 2016-2017 who had supportive serologic or molecular test results indicating Zika virus or flavivirus infection. Two infants were evaluated for congenital Zika syndrome after identification of prenatal microcephaly. Despite standard of care testing of mothers and neonates, comparative results were unreliable for mothers and infants, which highlights the need for clinical and epidemiologic evidence for an accurate diagnosis...
April 2018: Emerging Infectious Diseases
Natalia I Heredia, MinJae Lee, Lisa Mitchell-Bennett, Belinda M Reininger
OBJECTIVE: To evaluate a community-wide campaign, Tu Salud ¡Si Cuenta! (TSSC), in improving eating behaviors and anthropometric outcomes in Hispanic border communities. DESIGN: A quasi-experimental study with matched intervention and comparison communities. Cross-sectional assessments with randomly sampled adults, examined by actual exposure and site (unexposed intervention, exposed intervention, and unexposed comparison). SETTING AND PARTICIPANTS: Predominately Mexican Americans located in Brownsville, TX (intervention) and Laredo, TX (control)...
November 2017: Journal of Nutrition Education and Behavior
Noemi Borsay Hall, Kelly Broussard, Nicole Evert, Mark Canfield
On November 28, 2016, the Texas Department of State Health Services (Texas DSHS) reported its first confirmed case of local mosquitoborne Zika virus transmission in the city of Brownsville, located in south Texas along the U.S.-Mexico border. Zika virus infection during pregnancy has been linked to adverse congenital outcomes including microcephaly, neural tube defects, early brain malformations, structural eye abnormalities, congenital deafness, and limb contractures (1). On January 1, 2016, Texas DSHS established enhanced surveillance to identify women with laboratory evidence of possible Zika virus infection during pregnancy and suspected cases of Zika virus-associated birth defects among completed pregnancies...
August 11, 2017: MMWR. Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report
Krithika Srinivasan, Beatriz Tapia, Arturo Rodriguez, Robert Wood, Jennifer J Salinas
The recent outbreaks of the dengue fever and West Nile viruses and the looming threats of the Zika and chikungunya viruses highlight the importance of establishing effective, proactive arboviral surveillance in communities at high risk of transmission, such as those on the Texas-Mexico border. Currently, there are no approved human vaccines available for these mosquito-borne diseases, so entomological control and case management are the only known methods for decreasing disease incidence. The principal vectors, which include Culex quinquefasciatus, Aedes aegypti, and Ae...
April 20, 2017: Revista Panamericana de Salud Pública, Pan American Journal of Public Health
Gordon P Watt, Kristina P Vatcheva, Derek M Griffith, Belinda M Reininger, Laura Beretta, Michael B Fallon, Joseph B McCormick, Susan P Fisher-Hoch
INTRODUCTION: Hispanic men have higher rates of illness and death from various chronic conditions than do non-Hispanic men. We aimed to characterize the health of Mexican American men living on the US-Mexico border in South Texas and elucidate indications of chronic disease in young men. METHODS: We sampled all male participants from the Cameron County Hispanic Cohort, an ongoing population-based cohort of Mexican Americans in Brownsville, Texas. We calculated descriptive statistics and stratified the sample into 3 age groups to estimate the prevalence of sociodemographic, behavioral, and clinical factors by age group and evaluated differences between age groups...
August 25, 2016: Preventing Chronic Disease
Sarah E Zemore, Cheryl J Cherpitel, Yu Ye, Guilherme Borges, Libo Li, Lynn S Wallisch
BACKGROUND: U.S. border populations have been found to be at high risk for alcohol problems. However, results from the U.S.-Mexico Study on Alcohol and Related Conditions (UMSARC) revealed surprisingly large variation in alcohol outcomes even among Texas border sites, with alcohol use disorder (AUD) prevalence ~1.5 to 1.6 times greater in the border city of Laredo compared to both San Antonio and the border site of McAllen/Brownsville. Because a better understanding of this variation is important to identifying environmental influences on AUD, we developed and tested a conceptual model addressing variation in AUD prevalence across Texas UMSARC sites...
August 2016: Alcoholism, Clinical and Experimental Research
Anna V Wilkinson, Kristina P Vatcheva, Adriana Pérez, Belinda M Reininger, Joseph B McCormick, Susan P Fisher-Hoch
The goal of the current analysis is to examine relationships between smoking status and anxiety and depression among adults of Mexican heritage to inform the development of culturally relevant smoking cessations efforts. Mexican heritage residents (N=1,791) of the city of Brownsville, TX, aged 18 years or older, enrolled in the Cameron County Hispanic Cohort, were selected through two stage cluster sampling of randomly selected census tracts from the first and third quartile of SES using Census 2000. Among current smokers, anxiety and depression scores were highest among women who had not completed high school (p<0...
August 2014: Hispanic Journal of Behavioral Sciences
Cheryl J Cherpitel, Yu Ye, Sarah E Zemore, Jason Bond, Guilherme Borges
INTRODUCTION: Little epidemiological evidence exists on alcohol or other substance use and related problems along the U.S.-Mexico border, although the border has been the focus of recent media attention related to the escalating drug/violence "epidemic". The purpose of this study was to analyze the association of variables related to crossing the border (cross-border mobility) with three substance use outcomes reported for the last year: 1) heavy drinking (5+ drinks per day for men or 4+ for women), 2) alcohol use disorder (AUD), and 3) co-occurring heavy drinking and drug use (any use of illicit and/or non-medically prescribed drugs)...
November 2015: Addictive Behaviors
Kara Nuzback
Virtual kidnappers attempt to extort money from their victims by saying they've kidnapped a member of the victim's family. While no actual kidnapping occurred, the callers use coconspirators, who sometimes scream for help in the background, to convince their victims of the legitimacy of the threat. During June and July of this year, the FBI received multiple reports indicating physicians in McAllen, Laredo, Brownsville, and Del Rio were contacted in attempts to collect extortion payments in "virtual kidnapping" schemes...
November 2014: Texas Medicine
Ken Sexton, Jennifer J Salinas
There is mounting concern that cumulative exposure to diverse chemicals in the environment may contribute to observed adverse health outcomes in the Lower Rio Grande Valley of Texas. To investigate this situation, biomarker concentrations of organochlorine (OC) pesticides/metabolites, polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs), and polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs) were measured in maternal and umbilical cord blood from pregnant Hispanic women in Brownsville, TX. Results show that both mothers and fetuses were exposed concurrently to a variety of relatively low-level, hazardous environmental chemicals...
September 29, 2014: International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health
Desirée D Tullos, Debra S Finn, Cara Walter
Dams are known to impact river channels and ecosystems, both during their lifetime and in their decommissioning. In this study, we applied a before-after-control-impact design associated with two small dam removals to investigate abiotic and biotic recovery trajectories from both the elimination of the press disturbance associated with the presence of dams and the introduction of a pulse disturbance associated with removal of dams. The two case studies represent different geomorphic and ecological conditions that we expected to represent low and high sensitivities to the pulse disturbance of dam removal: the 4 m tall, gravel-filled Brownsville Dam on the wadeable Calapooia River and the 12...
2014: PloS One
Christopher K Uejio, Mary H Hayden, Emily Zielinski-Gutierrez, Jose Luis Robles Lopez, Roberto Barrera, Manuel Amador, Gregory Thompson, Stephen H Waterman
Dengue periodically circulates in southern Texas and neighboring Tamaulipas, Mexico; thus, a closer examination of human and vector ecology at the northern limits of North American transmission may improve prevention activities. Scrap tires produce large mosquito populations and increase the risk of dengue transmission. Some households choose not to pay tire disposal fees, and many tires are illegally dumped in residential areas. Biological control may provide low-cost and environmentally friendly mosquito control...
June 2014: Journal of the American Mosquito Control Association
Jennifer J Salinas, Bassent Abdelbary, Anne Rentfro, Susan Fisher-Hoch, Joseph McCormick
INTRODUCTION: Although the relationship between health behaviors and outcomes such as smoking and obesity with longer residence in the United States among Mexican American immigrants is established, the relationship between length of residency in the United States and risk for cardiovascular disease (CVD) is not fully understood. The objective of this study was to determine the relationship between immigrant status, length of residence in the United States, age, and CVD markers in a sample of Mexican American adults living in Brownsville, Texas...
2014: Preventing Chronic Disease
Darla E Kendzor, Minxing Chen, Belinda M Reininger, Michael S Businelle, Diana W Stewart, Susan P Fisher-Hoch, Anne R Rentfro, David W Wetter, Joseph B McCormick
BACKGROUND: The prevalence of diabetes is alarmingly high among Mexican American adults residing near the U.S.-Mexico border. Depression is also common among Mexican Americans with diabetes, and may have a negative influence on diabetes management. Thus, the purpose of the current study was to evaluate the associations of depression and anxiety with the behavioral management of diabetes and glycemic control among Mexican American adults living near the border. METHODS: The characteristics of Mexican Americans with diabetes living in Brownsville, TX (N = 492) were compared by depression/anxiety status...
2014: BMC Public Health
Ken Sexton, Jennifer J Salinas, Thomas J McDonald, Rose M Z Gowen, Rebecca P Miller, Joseph B McCormick, Susan P Fisher-Hoch
Biomarkers of polychlorinated biphenyls (PCB) were measured in both maternal and umbilical cord blood from 35 pregnant Hispanic women living in Brownsville, TX. Gas chromatography with an electron capture detector (GC/ECD) was used to analyze for 22 PCB analytes. Results indicated that both pregnant mothers and their fetuses were exposed to a variety of PCB at relatively low levels (≤0.2 ng/ml), and that concentrations in maternal and cord blood were similar. Concentrations of total PCB (sum or all PCB congeners) averaged more than 2...
2013: Journal of Toxicology and Environmental Health. Part A
Jennifer L Gay, Jennifer J Salinas, David M Buchner, Shaper Mirza, Harold W Kohl, Susan P Fisher-Hoch, Joseph B McCormick
Examine the relationship between physical activity (PA) and allostatic load in Mexican-Americans as well as variations by gender. Self-reported PA as well as cardiovascular, metabolic and inflammatory markers were assessed in 330 Mexican-American adults in the Cameron County Hispanic Cohort (Brownsville, TX, USA). Dependent variables included total allostatic load, blood pressure, metabolic, and inflammatory scores. PA participation was categorized as sedentary, low, moderate, high, and by whether activity was sufficient to meet public health guidelines...
April 2015: Journal of Immigrant and Minority Health
J K Westbrook, R S Eyster, W W Wolf
Corn earworm (Lepidoptera: Noctuidae) (CEW) populations infesting one crop production area may rapidly migrate and infest distant crop production areas. Although entomological radars have detected corn earworm moth migrations, the spatial extent of the radar coverage has been limited to a small horizontal view above crop production areas. The Weather Service Radar (version 88D) (WSR-88D) continuously monitors the radar-transmitted energy reflected by, and radial speed of, biota as well as by precipitation over areas that may encompass crop production areas...
July 2014: International Journal of Biometeorology
Thomas W Custer, Paul M Dummer, Christine M Custer, David Warburton
In 2008 and 2009, dredge material from the Mississippi River in Pool 8 south of Brownsville, Minnesota was used to construct nearby islands. Chemical analysis of sediment in 2001 and 2002 in the area to be dredged indicated detectable concentrations of organic and inorganic contaminants. Tree swallows (Tachycineta bicolor), whose diet is mainly aquatic invertebrates, were used to evaluate contaminant exposure in both the dredged and newly created habitat. Organic and inorganic contaminant data were collected from tree swallows in 2007 through 2010 at one study site near the dredging operation, a reference study site upriver from the dredging activity, one study site down river from the dredging activity, and one study site on a newly created island (2009 and 2010 only)...
November 2013: Environmental Monitoring and Assessment
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