(1/1174) Mayaro virus disease: an emerging mosquito-borne zoonosis in tropical South America.

This report describes the clinical, laboratory, and epidemiological findings on 27 cases of Mayaro virus (MV) disease, an emerging mosquito-borne viral illness that is endemic in rural areas of tropical South America. MV disease is a nonfatal, dengue-like illness characterized by fever, chills, headache, eye pain, generalized myalgia, arthralgia, diarrhea, vomiting, and rash of 3-5 days' duration. Severe joint pain is a prominent feature of this illness; the arthralgia sometimes persists for months and can be quite incapacitating. Cases of two visitors from the United States, who developed MV disease during visits to eastern Peru, are reported. MV disease and dengue are difficult to differentiate clinically.  (+info)

(2/1174) Influence of prenatal iron and zinc supplements on supplemental iron absorption, red blood cell iron incorporation, and iron status in pregnant Peruvian women.

BACKGROUND: It is estimated that 60% of pregnant women worldwide are anemic. OBJECTIVE: We aimed to examine the influence of iron status on iron absorption during pregnancy by measuring supplemental iron absorption, red blood cell iron incorporation, and iron status in pregnant women. DESIGN: Subjects were 45 pregnant Peruvian women (33+/-1 wk gestation), of whom 28 received daily prenatal supplements containing 60 mg Fe and 250 microg folate without (Fe group, n = 14) or with (Fe+Zn group, n = 14) 15 mg Zn, which were were consumed from week 10 to 24 of gestation until delivery. The remaining 17 women (control) received no prenatal supplementation. Iron status indicators and isotopes were measured in maternal blood collected 2 wk postdosing with oral (57Fe) and intravenous (58Fe) stable iron isotopes. RESULTS: Maternal serum ferritin and folate concentrations were significantly influenced by supplementation (P < 0.05). Serum iron was also significantly higher in the Fe than in the Fe+Zn (P < 0.03) or control (P < 0.001) groups. However, the supplemented groups had significantly lower serum zinc concentrations than the control group (8.4+/-2.3 and 10.9+/-1.8 micromol/L, respectively, P < 0.01). Although percentage iron absorption was inversely related to maternal serum ferritin concentrations (P = 0.036), this effect was limited and percentage iron absorption did not differ significantly between groups. CONCLUSIONS: Because absorption of nonheme iron was not substantially greater in pregnant women with depleted iron reserves, prenatal iron supplementation is important for meeting iron requirements during pregnancy.  (+info)

(3/1174) An operational evaluation of the Community Oral Rehydration Units in Peru.

Since 1984, in Latin America donor agencies and national governments have extensively supported the implementation of the Community Oral Rehydration Units (CORUs) in an attempt to increase the access to oral rehydration therapy and improve the case management of diarrhoea at the community level. This study surveyed 40 CORUs in two regions of Peru to assess their operation, the number of patients with diarrhoea attended, and the knowledge of volunteers in charge. The results show that CORUs were mainly implemented close to existing health centres; the median of case load was 2.0 patients in the preceding month; and the volunteers' knowledge of case management was principally deficient in the diagnosis of hydration status, dietary management and in preventive measures. This lack of knowledge was replicated by professionals at the supervising health centres. Despite the fact that CORUs have been functioning for around four years, they exhibit numerous deficiencies which prevent them from fulfilling their objectives. A global review of the whole CORU strategy is called for.  (+info)

(4/1174) Acute childhood diarrhoea and maternal time allocation in the northern central Sierra of Peru.

Interventions to improve child health depend, at least implicitly, on changing maternal knowledge and behaviour and a reallocation of maternal time. There have been few studies, however, of the time cost involved in the adoption of new health technologies and even fewer that examine changes in maternal activities in response to child illness. The present study examines maternal daytime activities and investigates changes that occur when children are ill. We examine the impact of acute childhood diarrhoea episodes on the activity patterns of the mother/caretaker in this setting. The results show that mothers alter their usual activity patterns only slightly in response to acute diarrhoea episodes in their children. They continue to perform the same variety of activities as when the children are healthy, although they are more likely to perform them with the child 'carried' on their back. There is some indication that diarrhoea perceived to be more severe did result in the mother acting as caretaker more frequently. These findings have important implications for health interventions that depend on changing the amount of maternal or caretaker time spent for child health technologies, but the implications may vary depending on the reasons for the observed lack of changes in caretaker activities.  (+info)

(5/1174) The privatization of health care in three Latin American social security systems.

Most Latin American social security institutes are direct providers of medical care services to their beneficiaries. As many of the institutes have developed serious financial problems over the course of the last decade and a half, they have come under increasing attack for (a) exacerbating inequalities in access to and use of health care, (b) further heightening the geographic overconcentration of services, (c) focusing a disproportionate amount of resources on high technology, curative care to the near total exclusion of primary health care, and (d) being administratively top heavy and, more generally, inefficient. In the past few years, many Latin American countries have begun searching for methods to ameliorate these problems. This paper analyzes three recent efforts, all of which involve some degree of privatization: (1) El Salvador's partial privatization of specialty physician outpatient consultations, (2) Peru's minor surgery and its decentralized ambulatory care programme, and (3) Nicaragua's "administrative services only' approach wherein social security beneficiaries choose to join a certified public or private provider organization for one year, and, on behalf of the individual, social security pays the organization a fixed, annual, per capita fee to provide all health care for the enrollee. The paper also identifies political and technical considerations, as well as health care market characteristics that have shaped these efforts and that condition their likelihood of success, including: the size, composition, level of capacity utilization, degree of organization and geographic distribution of private sector resources; relative prices in the private vis-a-vis the public sector; and the size and nature of the private health insurance market. Other Latin American countries would do well to examine these factors and characteristics before embarking on efforts to reform their own social security health care delivery systems.  (+info)

(6/1174) Enteropathogens and other factors associated with severe disease in children with acute watery diarrhea in Lima, Peru.

To evaluate enteropathogens and other factors associated with severe disease in children with diarrhea, 381 children <5 years of age with diarrhea and moderate to severe dehydration (in-patients) and 381 age-, sex-, and date-of-visit-matched children with mild diarrhea (out-patients) presenting to a hospital in Peru, were studied. Rotavirus was detected in 52% of the in-patients and 35% of the out-patients (odds ratio [OR]=2.3, 95% confidence interval [95% CI]= 1.6-3.2); 95% of the rotaviruses among in-patients were of serotypes G1-G4. The risk of severe diarrhea was particularly great in children who were not exclusively breast-fed in early infancy and who also lacked piped water in their homes (for children with both characteristics OR=6.8, 95% CI=3.6-12.8). The high prevalence of rotavirus and its association with severe diarrhea underscores the need for rotavirus vaccines. Interventions to educate mothers and improve access to safe water should augment the impact of rotavirus vaccines in preventing severe diarrhea.  (+info)

(7/1174) Malaria reemergence in the Peruvian Amazon region.

Epidemic malaria has rapidly emerged in Loreto Department, in the Peruvian Amazon region. Peru reports the second highest number of malaria cases in South America (after Brazil), most from Loreto. From 1992 to 1997, malaria increased 50-fold in Loreto but only fourfold in Peru. Plasmodium falciparum infection, which has increased at a faster rate than P. vivax infection in the last 3 years, became the dominant Plasmodium infection in the highest transmission areas in the 1997 rainy season. The vector Anopheles darlingi has also increased during this epidemic in Loreto. Moreover, chloroquine and pyrimethamine-sulfadoxine drug-resistant P. falciparum strains have emerged, which require development of efficacious focal drug treatment schemes.  (+info)

(8/1174) Fish and mammals in the economy of an ancient Peruvian kingdom.

Fish and mammal bones from the coastal site of Cerro Azul, Peru shed light on economic specialization just before the Inca conquest of A. D. 1470. The site devoted itself to procuring anchovies and sardines in quantity for shipment to agricultural communities. These small fish were dried, stored, and eventually transported inland via caravans of pack llamas. Cerro Azul itself did not raise llamas but obtained charqui (or dried meat) as well as occasional whole adult animals from the caravans. Guinea pigs were locally raised. Some 20 species of larger fish were caught by using nets; the more prestigious varieties of these show up mainly in residential compounds occupied by elite families.  (+info)