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Transmission of Ebola Viruses: What We Know and What We Do Not Know

March 4, 2015 Comments off

Transmission of Ebola Viruses: What We Know and What We Do Not Know
Source: mBio

Available evidence demonstrates that direct patient contact and contact with infectious body fluids are the primary modes for Ebola virus transmission, but this is based on a limited number of studies. Key areas requiring further study include (i) the role of aerosol transmission (either via large droplets or small particles in the vicinity of source patients), (ii) the role of environmental contamination and fomite transmission, (iii) the degree to which minimally or mildly ill persons transmit infection, (iv) how long clinically relevant infectiousness persists, (v) the role that “superspreading events” may play in driving transmission dynamics, (vi) whether strain differences or repeated serial passage in outbreak settings can impact virus transmission, and (vii) what role sylvatic or domestic animals could play in outbreak propagation, particularly during major epidemics such as the 2013–2015 West Africa situation. In this review, we address what we know and what we do not know about Ebola virus transmission. We also hypothesize that Ebola viruses have the potential to be respiratory pathogens with primary respiratory spread.

Categories: ebola, mBio, science

Disability insurance plans: trends in employee access and employer costs

March 4, 2015 Comments off

Disability insurance plans: trends in employee access and employer costs
Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics

Short- and long-term disability insurance programs replace some of the wages lost by people who cannot work because of a disabling injury or illness that is not work-related. Short-term disability insurance typically covers periods lasting less than 6 months, and long-term disability insurance lasts for the length of the disability or until retirement.

Those workers who are unable to work due to injury or illness and who do not have disability insurance coverage through their employers may seek benefits from Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI). The number of SSDI claimants has grown over the past decade as younger workers and those in relatively low-skill, low-pay jobs have applied for benefits. This has prompted interest in the amount of coverage for workers in employer-provided disability insurance programs. This issue of Beyond the Numbers examines trends in employer-provided disability insurance coverage over time, explains the basic terms of coverage for typical plans, and estimates the costs to private employers.

Prescription Opioid Analgesic Use Among Adults: United States, 1999–2012

March 4, 2015 Comments off

Prescription Opioid Analgesic Use Among Adults: United States, 1999–2012
Source: National Center for Health Statistics

Key findings

Data from the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey

  • From 1999–2002 to 2003–2006, the percentage of adults aged 20 and over who used a prescription opioid analgesic in the past 30 days increased from 5.0% to 6.9%. From 2003–2006 to 2011–2012, the percentage who used an opioid analgesic remained stable at 6.9%.
  • From 1999–2002 to 2011–2012, the percentage of opioid analgesic users who used an opioid analgesic stronger than morphine increased from 17.0% to 37.0%.
  • During 2007–2012, the use of opioid analgesics was higher among women (7.2%) than men (6.3%).
  • During 2007–2012, the use of opioid analgesics was higher among non-Hispanic white adults (7.5%) compared with Hispanic adults (4.9%).
  • There was no significant difference in use between non-Hispanic white adults and non-Hispanic black adults (6.5%).

Vital Signs: Seat Belt Use Among Long-Haul Truck Drivers — United States, 2010

March 4, 2015 Comments off

Vital Signs: Seat Belt Use Among Long-Haul Truck Drivers — United States, 2010
Source: Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report (CDC)

Background:
Motor vehicle crashes were the leading cause of occupational fatalities in the United States in 2012, accounting for 25% of deaths. Truck drivers accounted for 46% of these deaths. This study estimates the prevalence of seat belt use and identifies factors associated with nonuse of seat belts among long-haul truck drivers (LHTDs), a group of workers at high risk for fatalities resulting from truck crashes.

Methods:
CDC analyzed data from its 2010 national survey of LHTD health and injury. A total of 1,265 drivers completed the survey interview. Logistic regression was used to examine the association between seat belt nonuse and risk factors.

Results:
An estimated 86.1% of LHTDs reported often using a seat belt, 7.8% used it sometimes, and 6.0% never. Reporting never using a belt was associated with often driving ≥10 mph (16 kph) over the speed limit (adjusted odds ratio [AOR] = 2.9), working for a company with no written safety program (AOR = 2.8), receiving two or more tickets for moving violations in the preceding 12 months (AOR = 2.2), living in a state without a primary belt law (AOR = 2.1); and being female (AOR = 2.3).

Conclusions:
Approximately 14% of LHTDs are at increased risk for injury and death because they do not use a seat belt on every trip. Safety programs and other management interventions, engineering changes, and design changes might increase seat belt use among LHTDs.

Implications for Public Health:
Primary state belt laws can help increase belt use among LHTDs. Manufacturers can use recently collected anthropometric data to design better-fitting and more comfortable seat belt systems.

Introduction

HHS OIG — Not All Children in Foster Care Who Were Enrolled in Medicaid Received Required Health Screenings

March 4, 2015 Comments off

Not All Children in Foster Care Who Were Enrolled in Medicaid Received Required Health Screenings
Source: U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Office of Inspector General

Nearly a third of children in foster care who were enrolled in Medicaid did not receive at least one required health screening. Furthermore, just over a quarter of children in foster care who were enrolled in Medicaid received at least one required screening late. Moreover, ACF’s reviews do not ensure that children in foster care receive the required screenings according to State schedules.

Nondiscrimination on the Basis of Disability by Public Accommodations-Movie Theaters; Movie Captioning and Audio Description

March 3, 2015 Comments off

Nondiscrimination on the Basis of Disability by Public Accommodations-Movie Theaters; Movie Captioning and Audio Description
Source: Mercatus Center (George Mason University)

With this Notice of Proposed Rule Making (NPRM) the DOJ proposes amendments to Title III of the ADA concerning captioning and audio description services at movie theaters.1 Title III of the ADA applies to places of “public accommodation,” such as movie theaters, restaurants, schools, and doctors’ offices.2 These covered entities are prohibited from discriminating against any individual “on the basis of disability in the full and equal enjoyment of the goods, services, facilities, privileges, advantages, or accommodations of any place of public accommodation.”3

In particular, Title III of the ADA prohibits public accommodations, such as movie theaters, from affording unequal or lesser service to individuals with disabilities.4 As a result, these entities must “ensure that no individual with a disability is excluded, denied services, segregated or otherwise treated differently . . . because of the absence of auxiliary aids and services.”5

Colorado Department of Revenue — Marijuana Annual Update 2014

March 3, 2015 Comments off

Marijuana Annual Update 2014
Source: Colorado Department of Revenue

• 833 Retail Establishment Licenses and 1,416 Medical Business Licenses as of December 2014
• Approximately 110% increase in Retail Business Licenses and 6% increase in Medical Business Licenses
• 15,992 Occupational Licenses as of December 2014
• 68% non-renewal rate for Occupational Licenses
• 109,578 pounds of medical marijuana flower sold
• 38,660 pounds of retail flower sold
• 1,964,917 units of medical edible products sold
• 2,850,733 units of retail edible products sold
• Approximately 3,200 MED Due Diligence and Complaint Investigations performed and closed
• 98.2% pass rate for potency tests on edibles
• 99.2% pass rate for homogeneity tests on edibles

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