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Epidemiology of Ciguatera in Florida

July 1, 2015 Comments off

Epidemiology of Ciguatera in Florida
Source: American Journal of Tropical Medicine and Hygiene

Ciguatera is the most commonly reported marine food-borne illness worldwide. Because there is a biological plausibility that ciguatera may be impacted by long-term climate variability and Florida is on the northern border of the geographic distribution of ciguatera, it is important to update our understanding of its epidemiology in Florida. We performed an analysis of 291 reports in Florida from 2000 to 2011 and an e-mail survey of 5,352 recreational fishers to estimate incidence and underreporting and identify high risk demographic groups, fish types, and catch locations. Incidence was 5.6 per 100,000 adjusted for underreporting. Hispanics had the highest incidence rate (relative risk [RR] = 3.4) and were more likely to eat barracuda than non-Hispanics. The most common catch locations for ciguatera-causing fish were the Bahamas and Florida Keys. Cases caused by fish from northern Florida were infrequent. These results indicate that ciguatera incidence is higher than estimated from public health reports alone. There is little evidence that incidence or geographic range has increased because of increased seawater temperatures since earlier studies.

U.S. Abortion Reporting Systems Should Be Strengthened, Not Subverted to Promote Antiabortion Agenda

June 30, 2015 Comments off

U.S. Abortion Reporting Systems Should Be Strengthened, Not Subverted to Promote Antiabortion Agenda
Source: Guttmacher Institute

The current U.S. abortion surveillance system yields reliable statistics on abortion incidence and patient characteristics, thanks to the joint efforts of state and federal governments and the Guttmacher Institute. Still, a new analysis in the Guttmacher Policy Review argues that this system should be strengthened in two key ways: First, the state and federal governments should collect data in a more complete and timely manner. Second, government abortion surveillance at the state and federal levels must be focused solely on collecting basic incidence and demographic data needed for legitimate public health purposes.

While very effective in informing public health policies and programs, the current U.S. abortion surveillance system is a patchwork. Most states report aggregate abortion data to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), but reporting from some of them is incomplete and California, Maryland and New Hampshire do not report to the CDC at all. The Guttmacher Institute, a nonprofit that funds its abortion surveillance work through private sources, supplements these government collection efforts through its own periodic census of abortion providers and survey of abortion patients.

Natural waste: canine companions and the lure of inattentively pooping in public

June 23, 2015 Comments off

Natural waste: canine companions and the lure of inattentively pooping in public
Source: Environmental Sociology

The most organized and regulated societies in Europe have a comparatively high density of pet dogs per inhabitant. Contrary to the general trend in Western societies towards raising standards of hygiene in everyday life, pedestrian areas and urban parks tend to be dog fouling hotspots. Unlike other nonhuman animals, pet dogs are often walked to public places for the sole reason to defecate. This article aims to explore a variety of dog owners’ strategies when dealing with excrement while walking their dogs. This is done to highlight the relational ties between dogs and humans that are manifested in strategies for dealing with a highly important ‘actant’ in the collective: poop. By so doing, the observed varieties of inattentively pooping in public are categorized into three main types in order to highlight different forms of knowing or not knowing about excrement in emerging associations between dog and dog owner through the medium of poop.

Sexually Transmitted Diseases Treatment Guidelines, 2015

June 19, 2015 Comments off

Sexually Transmitted Diseases Treatment Guidelines, 2015
Source: Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report (CDC)

These guidelines for the treatment of persons who have or are at risk for sexually transmitted diseases (STDs) were updated by CDC after consultation with a group of professionals knowledgeable in the field of STDs who met in Atlanta on April 30–May 2, 2013. The information in this report updates the Sexually Transmitted Diseases Treatment Guidelines, 2010 (MMWR Recomm Rep 2010;59 [No. RR–12]). These updated guidelines discuss 1) alternative treatment regimens for Neisseria gonorrhoeae; 2) the use of nucleic acid amplification tests for the diagnosis of trichomoniasis; 3) alternative treatment options for genital warts; 4) the role of Mycoplasma genitalium in urethritis/cervicitis and treatment-related implications; 5) updated HPV vaccine recommendations and counseling messages; 6) the management of persons who are transgender; 7) annual testing for hepatitis C in persons with HIV infection; 8) updated recommendations for diagnostic evaluation of urethritis; and 9) retesting to detect repeat infection. Physicians and other health-care providers can use these guidelines to assist in the prevention and treatment of STDs.

CA — Health Product Risk Communication: Is the Message Getting Through?

June 11, 2015 Comments off

Health Product Risk Communication: Is the Message Getting Through?
Source: Council of Canadian Academies

Health Product Risk Communication: Is the Message Getting Through? synthesizes the available evidence on risk communication, health product risk communication tools, evaluation methods, and barriers and facilitators to effective communication and successful evaluation activities. It is intended primarily as a tool to inform evaluation and decision-making within government departments and agencies responsible for risk communication and interested in improving their efforts. The report may also be of interest to Canadians as they seek to remain informed about how to best communicate, interpret, and understand the risks associated with health products.

Ultimately, evaluation is essential to determine if health product risk communications are effective. Without adequate evaluation, not only is there potential for mistakes, but there is also the risk of missing opportunities to continue or build on proven successes.

Key Findings

  • Recognition of the importance of dialogue and ongoing relationships is prompting a paradigm shift for risk communication.
  • Regulators around the world use similar health product risk communication tools that are not systematically evaluated.
  • Evaluation is an integral part of risk communication and can be supported with institutional commitment and sufficient resources.
  • Careful planning determines relevant evaluation questions, which guide evaluation methods.

Obesity Policy In The EU

June 8, 2015 Comments off

Obesity Policy In The EU
Source: European Parliamentary Research Service

At the present time, more than half (52%) of the adult population in the European Union (EU) is overweight or obese (2012 data ). Persons who are overweight or obese have excessive weight which can lead to important health risks due to a high proportion of body fat. Overweight and obesity are commonly determined by the body mass index (BMI), that is, a person’s weight in kilograms divided by the square of their height in meters. According to the classification of the World Health Organization (WHO), adults with a BMI between 25 and 29.9 are considered overweight, and those with a BMI of 30 or higher are obese. The proportion of overweight persons varies between the Member States from 30 to 70% and the proportion of the obese from 10 to 30%. The share of the overweight and obese in the population increases with age.

EPA Releases Draft Assessment on the Potential Impacts to Drinking Water Resources from Hydraulic Fracturing Activities

June 4, 2015 Comments off

EPA Releases Draft Assessment on the Potential Impacts to Drinking Water Resources from Hydraulic Fracturing Activities
Source: U.S. Environmental Protection Agency

The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is releasing a draft assessment today on the potential impacts of hydraulic fracturing activities on drinking water resources in the United States. The assessment, done at the request of Congress, shows that while hydraulic fracturing activities in the U.S. are carried out in a way that have not led to widespread, systemic impacts on drinking water resources, there are potential vulnerabilities in the water lifecycle that could impact drinking water. The assessment follows the water used for hydraulic fracturing from water acquisition, chemical mixing at the well pad site, well injection of fracking fluids, the collection of hydraulic fracturing wastewater (including flowback and produced water), and wastewater treatment and disposal [http://www2.epa.gov/hfstudy/hydraulic-fracturing-water-cycle].

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