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Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health, Volume 10, Issue 12 (December 2013), Pages 6215-7326

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Open AccessArticle The Association between Splenocyte Apoptosis and Alterations of Bax, Bcl-2 and Caspase-3 mRNA Expression, and Oxidative Stress Induced by Dietary Nickel Chloride in Broilers
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2013, 10(12), 7310-7326; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph10127310
Received: 5 November 2013 / Revised: 7 December 2013 / Accepted: 9 December 2013 / Published: 17 December 2013
Cited by 23 | PDF Full-text (944 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Two hundred and forty avian broilers were equally divided into four groups, and raised with a corn-soybean basal diet or the same diet supplemented with 300, 600, 900 mg/kg NiCl2 for 42 days. Numbers or percentages of apoptotic splenocytes by flow cytometry
[...] Read more.
Two hundred and forty avian broilers were equally divided into four groups, and raised with a corn-soybean basal diet or the same diet supplemented with 300, 600, 900 mg/kg NiCl2 for 42 days. Numbers or percentages of apoptotic splenocytes by flow cytometry (FCM) and TUNEL were higher (p < 0.05 or p < 0.01) in the 300, 600 and 900 mg/kg groups than those in the control group. Results measured by qRT-PCR and ELISA showed that mRNA expression and contents were significantly higher (p < 0.05 or p < 0.01) in Bax and Caspase-3, and were significantly lower (p < 0.05 or p < 0.01) in Bcl-2 of the 300, 600 and 900 mg/kg groups. Also, the SOD, CAT and GSH-Px activities, and the ability to inhibit hydroxyl radical, and GSH contents were significantly decreased (p < 0.05 or p < 0.01), and MDA contents were increased (p < 0.05 or p < 0.01) in all groups. In conclusion, dietary NiCl2 in excess of 300 mg/kg caused apoptosis, altered Bax, Bcl-2 and Caspase-3 mRNA expression levels and contents, and induced oxidative stress in the spleen. Also, splenocyte apoptosis was closely related to the alternations of Bax, Bcl-2 and Caspase-3 mRNA expression, and oxidative damage. The splenic immunity and blood filtration functions were impaired in broilers. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue IJERPH: 10th Anniversary)
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Open AccessArticle Tobacco Retail Outlets and Vulnerable Populations in Ontario, Canada
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2013, 10(12), 7299-7309; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph10127299
Received: 22 October 2013 / Revised: 11 December 2013 / Accepted: 12 December 2013 / Published: 17 December 2013
Cited by 9 | PDF Full-text (460 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Interest has been increasing in regulating the location and number of tobacco vendors as part of a comprehensive tobacco control program. The objective of this paper is to examine the distribution of tobacco outlets in a large jurisdiction, to assess: (1) whether tobacco
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Interest has been increasing in regulating the location and number of tobacco vendors as part of a comprehensive tobacco control program. The objective of this paper is to examine the distribution of tobacco outlets in a large jurisdiction, to assess: (1) whether tobacco outlets are more likely to be located in vulnerable areas; and (2) what proportion of tobacco outlets are located close to schools. Retail locations across the Province of Ontario from Ministry of Health Promotion data were linked to 2006 Census data at the neighbourhood level. There was one tobacco retail outlet for every 1,000 people over age 15 in Ontario. Density of outlets varied by public health unit, and was associated with the number of smokers. Tobacco outlets were more likely to be located in areas that had high neighbourhood deprivation, in both rural and urban areas. Outlets were less likely to be located in areas with high immigrant populations in urban areas, with the reverse being true for rural areas. Overall, 65% of tobacco retailers were located within 500 m of a school. The sale of tobacco products is ubiquitous, however, neighbourhoods with lower socio-economic status are more likely to have easier availability of tobacco products and most retailers are located within walking distance of a school. The results suggest the importance of policies to regulate the location of tobacco retail outlets. Full article
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Open AccessArticle Elderly Healthcare Monitoring Using an Avatar-Based 3D Virtual Environment
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2013, 10(12), 7283-7298; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph10127283
Received: 3 September 2013 / Revised: 12 December 2013 / Accepted: 12 December 2013 / Published: 17 December 2013
Cited by 7 | PDF Full-text (1511 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Homecare systems for elderly people are becoming increasingly important due to both economic reasons as well as patients’ preferences. Sensor-based surveillance technologies are an expected future trend, but research so far has devoted little attention to the User Interface (UI) design of such
[...] Read more.
Homecare systems for elderly people are becoming increasingly important due to both economic reasons as well as patients’ preferences. Sensor-based surveillance technologies are an expected future trend, but research so far has devoted little attention to the User Interface (UI) design of such systems and the user-centric design approach. In this paper, we explore the possibilities of an avatar-based 3D visualization system, which exploits wearable sensors and human activity simulations. We present a technical prototype and the evaluation of alternative concept designs for UIs based on a 3D virtual world. The evaluation was conducted with homecare providers through focus groups and an online survey. Our results show firstly that systems taking advantage of 3D virtual world visualization techniques have potential especially due to the privacy preserving and simplified information presentation style, and secondly that simple representations and glancability should be emphasized in the design. The identified key use cases highlight that avatar-based 3D presentations can be helpful if they provide an overview as well as details on demand. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Advances in Telehealthcare)
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Open AccessArticle Impact of Flavour Variability on Electronic Cigarette Use Experience: An Internet Survey
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2013, 10(12), 7272-7282; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph10127272
Received: 19 November 2013 / Revised: 11 December 2013 / Accepted: 12 December 2013 / Published: 17 December 2013
Cited by 92 | PDF Full-text (192 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Background: A major characteristic of the electronic cigarette (EC) market is the availability of a large number of different flavours. This has been criticised by the public health authorities, some of whom believe that diverse flavours will attract young users and that ECs
[...] Read more.
Background: A major characteristic of the electronic cigarette (EC) market is the availability of a large number of different flavours. This has been criticised by the public health authorities, some of whom believe that diverse flavours will attract young users and that ECs are a gateway to smoking. At the same time, several reports in the news media mention that the main purpose of flavour marketing is to attract youngsters. The importance of flavourings and their patterns of use by EC consumers have not been adequately evaluated, therefore, the purpose of this survey was to examine and understand the impact of flavourings in the EC experience of dedicated users. Methods: A questionnaire was prepared and uploaded in an online survey tool. EC users were asked to participate irrespective of their current smoking status. Participants were divided according to their smoking status at the time of participation in two subgroups: former smokers and current smokers. Results: In total, 4,618 participants were included in the analysis, with 4,515 reporting current smoking status. The vast majority (91.1%) were former smokers, while current smokers had reduced smoking consumption from 20 to 4 cigarettes per day. Both subgroups had a median smoking history of 22 years and had been using ECs for 12 months. On average they were using three different types of liquid flavours on a regular basis, with former smokers switching between flavours more frequently compared to current smokers; 69.2% of the former subgroup reported doing so on a daily basis or within the day. Fruit flavours were more popular at the time of participation, while tobacco flavours were more popular at initiation of EC use. On a scale from 1 (not at all important) to 5 (extremely important) participants answered that variability of flavours was “very important” (score = 4) in their effort to reduce or quit smoking. The majority reported that restricting variability will make ECs less enjoyable and more boring, while 48.5% mentioned that it would increase craving for cigarettes and 39.7% said that it would have been less likely for them to reduce or quit smoking. The number of flavours used was independently associated with smoking cessation. Conclusions: The results of this survey of dedicated users indicate that flavours are marketed in order to satisfy vapers’ demand. They appear to contribute to both perceived pleasure and the effort to reduce cigarette consumption or quit smoking. Due to the fact that adoption of ECs by youngsters is currently minimal, it seems that implementing regulatory restrictions to flavours could cause harm to current vapers while no public health benefits would be observed in youngsters. Therefore, flavours variability should be maintained; any potential future risk for youngsters being attracted to ECs can be sufficiently minimized by strictly prohibiting EC sales in this population group. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Electronic Cigarettes as a Tool in Tobacco Harm Reduction)
Open AccessArticle Prevalence of COPD and Tobacco Smoking in Tunisia — Results from the BOLD Study
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2013, 10(12), 7257-7271; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph10127257
Received: 26 September 2013 / Revised: 2 December 2013 / Accepted: 9 December 2013 / Published: 17 December 2013
Cited by 15 | PDF Full-text (910 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
In Tunisia, there is a paucity of population-based data on Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD) prevalence. To address this problem, we estimated the prevalence of COPD following the Burden of Lung Disease Initiative. We surveyed 807 adults aged 40+ years and have collected
[...] Read more.
In Tunisia, there is a paucity of population-based data on Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD) prevalence. To address this problem, we estimated the prevalence of COPD following the Burden of Lung Disease Initiative. We surveyed 807 adults aged 40+ years and have collected information on respiratory history and symptoms, risk factors for COPD and quality of life. Post-bronchodilator spirometry was performed and COPD and its stages were defined according to the Global Initiative for Chronic Obstructive Lung Disease (GOLD) guidelines. Six hundred and sixty one (661) subjects were included in the final analysis. The prevalence of GOLD Stage I and II or higher COPD were 7.8% and 4.2%, respectively (Lower Limit of Normal modified stage I and II or higher COPD prevalence were 5.3% and 3.8%, respectively). COPD was more common in subjects aged 70+ years and in those with a BMI < 20 kg/m2. Prevalence of stage I+ COPD was 2.3% in <10 pack years smoked and 16.1% in 20+ pack years smoked. Only 3.5% of participants reported doctor-diagnosed COPD. In this Tunisian population, the prevalence of COPD is higher than reported before and higher than self-reported doctor-diagnosed COPD. In subjects with COPD, age is a much more powerful predictor of lung function than smoking. Full article
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Open AccessReview The Potential Link between Gut Microbiota and IgE-Mediated Food Allergy in Early Life
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2013, 10(12), 7235-7256; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph10127235
Received: 13 October 2013 / Revised: 30 November 2013 / Accepted: 3 December 2013 / Published: 16 December 2013
Cited by 19 | PDF Full-text (259 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
There has been a dramatic rise in the prevalence of IgE-mediated food allergy over recent decades, particularly among infants and young children. The cause of this increase is unknown but one putative factor is a change in the composition, richness and balance of
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There has been a dramatic rise in the prevalence of IgE-mediated food allergy over recent decades, particularly among infants and young children. The cause of this increase is unknown but one putative factor is a change in the composition, richness and balance of the microbiota that colonize the human gut during early infancy. The coevolution of the human gastrointestinal tract and commensal microbiota has resulted in a symbiotic relationship in which gut microbiota play a vital role in early life immune development and function, as well as maintenance of gut wall epithelial integrity. Since IgE mediated food allergy is associated with immune dysregulation and impaired gut epithelial integrity there is substantial interest in the potential link between gut microbiota and food allergy. Although the exact link between gut microbiota and food allergy is yet to be established in humans, recent experimental evidence suggests that specific patterns of gut microbiota colonization may influence the risk and manifestations of food allergy. An understanding of the relationship between gut microbiota and food allergy has the potential to inform both the prevention and treatment of food allergy. In this paper we review the theory and evidence linking gut microbiota and IgE-mediated food allergy in early life. We then consider the implications and challenges for future research, including the techniques of measuring and analyzing gut microbiota, and the types of studies required to advance knowledge in the field. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Food Allergy, Genes and Environment)
Open AccessEditorial Leptospirosis: A Silent Epidemic Disease
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2013, 10(12), 7229-7234; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph10127229
Received: 9 December 2013 / Accepted: 9 December 2013 / Published: 16 December 2013
Cited by 17 | PDF Full-text (145 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
This special issue of International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health is dedicated to leptospirosis, an endemic zoonotic disease that is a cause of many acute undifferentiated fevers, especially in tropical countries [1,2]. While it can be debated whether leptospirosis is an
[...] Read more.
This special issue of International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health is dedicated to leptospirosis, an endemic zoonotic disease that is a cause of many acute undifferentiated fevers, especially in tropical countries [1,2]. While it can be debated whether leptospirosis is an emerging disease, it is evident that it is becoming an emerging public health problem. It is recognized as a disease of epidemic potential that has a significant health impact in many parts of the world. [...] Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Leptospirosis in the Animal—Human-Ecosystem Interface)
Open AccessArticle Spatial Autocorrelation of Cancer Incidence in Saudi Arabia
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2013, 10(12), 7207-7228; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph10127207
Received: 6 October 2013 / Revised: 27 November 2013 / Accepted: 28 November 2013 / Published: 16 December 2013
Cited by 16 | PDF Full-text (1192 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Little is known about the geographic distribution of common cancers in Saudi Arabia. We explored the spatial incidence patterns of common cancers in Saudi Arabia using spatial autocorrelation analyses, employing the global Moran’s I and Anselin’s local Moran’s I statistics to detect nonrandom
[...] Read more.
Little is known about the geographic distribution of common cancers in Saudi Arabia. We explored the spatial incidence patterns of common cancers in Saudi Arabia using spatial autocorrelation analyses, employing the global Moran’s I and Anselin’s local Moran’s I statistics to detect nonrandom incidence patterns. Global ordinary least squares (OLS) regression and local geographically-weighted regression (GWR) were applied to examine the spatial correlation of cancer incidences at the city level. Population-based records of cancers diagnosed between 1998 and 2004 were used. Male lung cancer and female breast cancer exhibited positive statistically significant global Moran’s I index values, indicating a tendency toward clustering. The Anselin’s local Moran’s I analyses revealed small significant clusters of lung cancer, prostate cancer and Hodgkin’s disease among males in the Eastern region and significant clusters of thyroid cancers in females in the Eastern and Riyadh regions. Additionally, both regression methods found significant associations among various cancers. For example, OLS and GWR revealed significant spatial associations among NHL, leukemia and Hodgkin’s disease (r² = 0.49–0.67 using OLS and r² = 0.52–0.68 using GWR) and between breast and prostate cancer (r² = 0.53 OLS and 0.57 GWR) in Saudi Arabian cities. These findings may help to generate etiologic hypotheses of cancer causation and identify spatial anomalies in cancer incidence in Saudi Arabia. Our findings should stimulate further research on the possible causes underlying these clusters and associations. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Spatial Epidemiology)
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Open AccessArticle Characterising the Smoking Status and Quit Smoking Behaviour of Aboriginal Health Workers in South Australia
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2013, 10(12), 7193-7206; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph10127193
Received: 18 October 2013 / Revised: 27 November 2013 / Accepted: 3 December 2013 / Published: 13 December 2013
Cited by 2 | PDF Full-text (251 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
The study objectives were to characterise the smoking status and quit smoking behaviour of Aboriginal Health Workers (AHWs) in South Australia (SA), Australia; and identify the psychosocial, socio-demographic, and household smoking characteristics that distinguish smokers from quitters and never smokers. A self-reported cross-sectional
[...] Read more.
The study objectives were to characterise the smoking status and quit smoking behaviour of Aboriginal Health Workers (AHWs) in South Australia (SA), Australia; and identify the psychosocial, socio-demographic, and household smoking characteristics that distinguish smokers from quitters and never smokers. A self-reported cross-sectional survey was completed by AHWs in SA. Non-parametric statistics were used for inferential analyses. Eighty-five AHWs completed surveys representing a response rate of 63.0%. The prevalence of current smokers was 50.6%. Non-smokers (49.5%) included quitters (22.4%) and never smokers (27.1%). Smoking status did not differ by gender or geographic location. Of current smokers, 69.0% demonstrated a readiness to quit and 50.0% had made at least one quit attempt in the last 12 months. Compared to quitters and never smokers, current smokers expressed lower emotional wellbeing, and three times as many resided with another smoker. Quitters had the highest levels of perceived social support and part-time employment. A high proportion of AHWs who smoke desire, and are ready to quit. Individual, social and household factors differentiated smokers from non-smokers and quitters. Social support, and relationships and structures that favour social support, are implicated as necessary to enable AHWs who smoke to act on their desire to quit smoking. Full article
Open AccessArticle Integrated Human Surveillance Systems of West Nile Virus Infections in Italy: The 2012 Experience
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2013, 10(12), 7180-7192; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph10127180
Received: 8 October 2013 / Revised: 27 November 2013 / Accepted: 2 December 2013 / Published: 13 December 2013
Cited by 8 | PDF Full-text (296 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
In Italy, a West Nile virus (WNV) surveillance plan was firstly implemented in 2008 and 2009 in two affected regions and, since 2010, according to a national plan, a WNV neuroinvasive disease (WNND) surveillance has to be carried out each year during the
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In Italy, a West Nile virus (WNV) surveillance plan was firstly implemented in 2008 and 2009 in two affected regions and, since 2010, according to a national plan, a WNV neuroinvasive disease (WNND) surveillance has to be carried out each year during the period 15 June–30 November, in those regions where WNV circulation has been demonstrated among humans, animals or vectors. Moreover, since WNV can be transmitted to humans even by blood transfusions and organ transplants obtained from infected donors, the national surveillance integrates the blood transfusions and organs transplant surveillances too. The paper describes the results of this integrated human surveillance in Italy in 2012. Overall, in 2012, 28 autochthonous confirmed cases of WNND were reported, 14 blood donations were found WNV positive by Nucleic Acid Amplification Test and no solid organ donors tested positive for WNV. Moreover, 17 cases of WNV fever were confirmed in Veneto region. When comparing the number of WNND cases reported to the surveillance system in previous 4 years (43 cases during the period 2008–2011), with those reported in 2012 an important increase was observed in 2012. The geographic distribution of human cases was consistent with the WNV circulation among animals and vectors. Moreover, the implementation of preventive measures for WNV transmission through blood components allowed the detection of blood donors positive for WNV, avoiding the further spread of the disease. Since surveillance strategies and preventive measures are based on the integration among human, animal and vector control activities, the Italian experience could be considered a good example of collaboration among different sectors of public health in a “one health” perspective. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Epidemiology of West Nile Virus)
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Open AccessArticle Assessment of Natural Radioactivity Levels of Cements and Cement Composites in the Slovak Republic
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2013, 10(12), 7165-7179; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph10127165
Received: 7 November 2013 / Revised: 29 November 2013 / Accepted: 2 December 2013 / Published: 12 December 2013
Cited by 12 | PDF Full-text (325 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
The radionuclide activities of 226Ra, 232Th and 40K and radiological parameters (radium equivalent activity, gamma and alpha indices, the absorbed gamma dose rate and external and internal hazard indices) of cements and cement composites commonly used in the Slovak Republic
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The radionuclide activities of 226Ra, 232Th and 40K and radiological parameters (radium equivalent activity, gamma and alpha indices, the absorbed gamma dose rate and external and internal hazard indices) of cements and cement composites commonly used in the Slovak Republic have been studied in this paper. The cement samples of 8 types of cements from Slovak cement plants and five types of composites made from cement type CEM I were analyzed in the experiment. The radionuclide activities in the cements ranged from 8.58–19.1 Bq·kg−1, 9.78–26.3 Bq·kg−1 and 156.5–489.4 Bq·kg−1 for 226Ra, 232Th and 40K, respectively. The radiological parameters in cement samples were calculated as follows: mean radium equivalent activity Raeq = 67.87 Bq·kg−1, gamma index Iγ = 0.256, alpha index Iα = 0.067, the absorbed gamma dose rate D = 60.76 nGy·h−1, external hazard index Hex = 0.182 and internal hazard index Hin was 0.218. The radionuclide activity in composites ranged from 6.84–10.8 Bq·kg−1 for 226Ra, 13.1–20.5 Bq·kg−1 for 232Th and 250.4–494.4 Bq·kg−1 for 40K. The calculated radiological parameters of cements were lower than calculated radiological parameters of cement composites. Full article
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Open AccessReview Increased Pathogenicity of West Nile Virus (WNV) by Glycosylation of Envelope Protein and Seroprevalence of WNV in Wild Birds in Far Eastern Russia
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2013, 10(12), 7144-7164; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph10127144
Received: 25 September 2013 / Revised: 25 November 2013 / Accepted: 26 November 2013 / Published: 12 December 2013
Cited by 7 | PDF Full-text (2518 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
In this review, we discuss the possibility that the glycosylation of West Nile (WN) virus E-protein may be associated with enhanced pathogenicity and higher replication of WN virus. The results indicate that E-protein glycosylation allows the virus to multiply in a heat-stable manner
[...] Read more.
In this review, we discuss the possibility that the glycosylation of West Nile (WN) virus E-protein may be associated with enhanced pathogenicity and higher replication of WN virus. The results indicate that E-protein glycosylation allows the virus to multiply in a heat-stable manner and therefore, has a critical role in enhanced viremic levels and virulence of WN virus in young-chick infection model. The effect of the glycosylation of the E protein on the pathogenicity of WN virus in young chicks was further investigated. The results indicate that glycosylation of the WN virus E protein is important for viral multiplication in peripheral organs and that it is associated with the strong pathogenicity of WN virus in birds. The micro-focus reduction neutralization test (FRNT) in which a large number of serum samples can be handled at once with a small volume (15 μL) of serum was useful for differential diagnosis between Japanese encephalitis and WN virus infections in infected chicks. Serological investigation was performed among wild birds in the Far Eastern region of Russia using the FRNT. Antibodies specific to WN virus were detected in 21 samples of resident and migratory birds out of 145 wild bird samples in the region. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Epidemiology of West Nile Virus)
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Open AccessArticle Nationwide Surveillance for Pathogenic Microorganisms in Groundwater near Carcass Burials Constructed in South Korea in 2010
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2013, 10(12), 7126-7143; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph10127126
Received: 15 October 2013 / Revised: 27 November 2013 / Accepted: 28 November 2013 / Published: 12 December 2013
Cited by 9 | PDF Full-text (821 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Widespread outbreaks of foot-and-mouth disease and avian influenza occurred in South Korea during 2010. In response to the culling of many animals to attenuate the spread of disease, South Korea used mass burial sites to dispose of the large number of carcasses; consequently,
[...] Read more.
Widespread outbreaks of foot-and-mouth disease and avian influenza occurred in South Korea during 2010. In response to the culling of many animals to attenuate the spread of disease, South Korea used mass burial sites to dispose of the large number of carcasses; consequently, concerns about groundwater contamination by leachate from these burial sites are increasing. Groundwater is one of the main sources of drinking water, and its cleanliness is directly related to public health. Thus, this study aimed to evaluate the safety of groundwater around the burial sites (total of 600 sites). A total of 1,200 groundwater samples were collected though the country, and microbial analysis was conducted during two time periods: during the spring (n = 600; April to June 2012) and after rainfall (n = 600; August to October, 2012; fall). Fecal coliform and Escherichia coli were detected in 173 (14.4%) and 85 (7.1%) of the 1,200 samples, respectively. Salmonella spp. and Shigella spp. each were detected only once (0.083%). Clostridium perfringens was detected from 7 groundwater samples (0.583%), and E. coli O157:H7 was not detected. With respect to norovirus, only the GII type was detected from six groundwater samples (0.5%), and enterovirus was detected in 15 groundwater samples (1.25%). The frequency of E. coli that we detected was lower than that found in previous studies conducted in South Korea, but we detected higher frequency of fecal coliform than that observed in a previous report. The contamination frequencies of Salmonella spp. and Shigella spp. were very low, but C. perfringens, which could be an indicator of fecal pollution, was detected in seven regions. Overall, the results of the present study indicate a low possibility of contamination from burial sites. However, consistent monitoring is required to prevent microbial contamination of groundwater near the burial sites. Full article
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Open AccessArticle Can Smartphones Enhance Telephone-Based Cognitive Assessment (TBCA)?
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2013, 10(12), 7110-7125; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph10127110
Received: 28 August 2013 / Revised: 3 December 2013 / Accepted: 4 December 2013 / Published: 12 December 2013
Cited by 2 | PDF Full-text (205 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
TBCA has emerged to solve the limitations of administering cognitive assessments face-to-face. The recent development of telephones and knowledge advances in the area of cognitive impairment may affect the development of TBCA. The purpose of this paper is to discuss how smartphones can
[...] Read more.
TBCA has emerged to solve the limitations of administering cognitive assessments face-to-face. The recent development of telephones and knowledge advances in the area of cognitive impairment may affect the development of TBCA. The purpose of this paper is to discuss how smartphones can be used to enhance the applicability of TBCA, which has previously been administered by conventional telephone. This paper will first review, describe and critique the existing TBCA instruments. It will then discuss the recent developments in tele-technology, the popularity of tele-technology among the elderly, potential benefits and challenges in using smartphones for cognitive assessment, and possible future developments in this technology. In the systematic review, eighteen TBCA instruments were identified. They were found to be valid in differentiating between people with and without dementia. TBCA was previously found to be launched on a conventional telephone platform. The advances in understanding of cognitive impairment may demand that telephones be equipped with more advanced features. Recently, the development and penetration of smartphones among the elderly has been rapid. This may allow the smartphone to enhance its TBCA applicability by overcoming the limitations of the conventional telephone, rendering the TBCA more efficient in addressing the increasing demand and complexity of cognitive assessments in the future. However, more research and technology developments are needed before smartphones can become a valid platform for TBCA. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Advances in Telehealthcare)
Open AccessReview A Review of National-Level Adaptation Planning with Regards to the Risks Posed by Climate Change on Infectious Diseases in 14 OECD Nations
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2013, 10(12), 7083-7109; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph10127083
Received: 16 October 2013 / Revised: 27 November 2013 / Accepted: 27 November 2013 / Published: 12 December 2013
Cited by 15 | PDF Full-text (385 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text | Supplementary Files
Abstract
Climate change is likely to have significant implications for human health, particularly through alterations of the incidence, prevalence, and distribution of infectious diseases. In the context of these risks, governments in high income nations have begun developing strategies to reduce potential climate change
[...] Read more.
Climate change is likely to have significant implications for human health, particularly through alterations of the incidence, prevalence, and distribution of infectious diseases. In the context of these risks, governments in high income nations have begun developing strategies to reduce potential climate change impacts and increase health system resilience (i.e., adaptation). In this paper, we review and evaluate national-level adaptation planning in relation to infectious disease risks in 14 OECD countries with respect to “best practices” for adaptation identified in peer-reviewed literature. We find a number of limitations to current planning, including negligible consideration of the needs of vulnerable population groups, limited emphasis on local risks, and inadequate attention to implementation logistics, such as available funding and timelines for evaluation. The nature of planning documents varies widely between nations, four of which currently lack adaptation plans. In those countries where planning documents were available, adaptations were mainstreamed into existing public health programs, and prioritized a sectoral, rather than multidisciplinary, approach. The findings are consistent with other scholarship examining adaptation planning indicating an ad hoc and fragmented process, and support the need for enhanced attention to adaptation to infectious disease risks in public health policy at a national level. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Climate Change and Human Health)
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