Outbreak of Norwalk virus in a Caribbean island resort: application of molecular diagnostics to ascertain the vehicle of infection.
In 1998, an outbreak of gastroenteritis affected at least 448 persons including 122 staff at a resort hotel in Bermuda. A survey among staff indicated that gastroenteritis was associated with eating or drinking at the hotel (OR = 60, 95% CI = 2.4-15.1). Multiple specimens of drinking water had elevated faecal coliform levels and Escherichia coli present, suggestive of faecal contamination. Stools from 18 of the 19 persons with gastroenteritis that were tested were positive for genogroup-II Norwalk-like viruses (NLVs). RT-PCR analysis of a 31 specimen of water produced a genogroup-II NLV genome with a sequence identical to that of NLVs in the stools of three ill persons. This outbreak shows the value of new molecular diagnostics to link illness with a contaminated source through the use of sequence analysis. The risk of outbreaks such as these could be reduced in tourism dependent regions like Bermuda and the Caribbean by regular evaluation of data from the inspection and monitoring of drinking water supplies and waste water systems, by ensuring the chlorination of supplemental drinking water supplies and by establishing food-safety initiatives. (+info)
Differential HIV risk in bathhouses and public cruising areas.
OBJECTIVES: This report investigates differences in risk behaviors among men who have sex with men (MSM) who went to gay bathhouses, public cruising areas, or both. METHODS: We used a probability sample of MSM residing in 4 US cities (n = 2,881). RESULTS: Men who used party drugs and had unprotected anal intercourse with nonprimary partners were more likely to go to sex venues than men who did not. Among attendees, MSM who went to public cruising areas only were least likely, and those who went to both public cruising areas and bathhouses were most likely to report risky sex in public settings. CONCLUSIONS: Distinguishing between sex venues previously treated as a single construct revealed a significant association between pattern of venue use and sexual risk. Targeting HIV prevention in the bathhouses would reach the segment of men at greatest risk for HIV transmission. (+info)
Toxocara spp. eggs in public squares of Sorocaba, Sao Paulo State, Brazil.
The visceral larva migrans (VLM) is a syndrome observed in human infection with helminth larval eggs such as the Toxocara spp. that usually infects dogs and cats. Among the risk factors involved in the occurrence of VLM, particularly important is the size of these animal populations. Sorocaba is a city with a dog population twice as large as that recommended by the World Health Organization. This fact has led to a survey of the presence of Toxocara spp. eggs in public square soils of this city. Thirty squares were selected, fifteen located in the outskirts of the city and fifteen downtown. Soil samples were collected from five distinct sites in the same area. The material was homogenized and drained and 100 g was mixed with a saturated solution of magnesium sulfate and 5% potassium iodine. The floating material was analyzed under the light microscope. Toxocara spp. eggs were found in 16 squares, nine of which were located in the outskirts of the city and seven downtown. It was concluded that Sorocaba squares present a high rate of contamination with Toxocara spp. eggs. The squares in the outskirts of the city presented a higher occurrence of these eggs in comparison with those downtown, although the difference was not statistically significant (p > 0.05). (+info)
Using signs, artwork, and music to promote stair use in a public building.
OBJECTIVES: This study assessed the impact on stair use of improving the attractiveness of a stairwell. METHODS: Observations of stair usage were made in a university building during baseline, 2 interventions, and follow-up. The first intervention involved signs; the second intervention added artwork and music in the stairwell. RESULTS: More participants used the stairs during the music and artwork intervention than at baseline or when signs alone were used. CONCLUSIONS: Improving the aesthetic qualities of a stairwell can increase rates of stair usage in a public building. Designs for buildings should take accessibility and aesthetic issues into consideration. (+info)
Promoting stair use in a US-Mexico border community.
OBJECTIVES: This study sought to determine whether a culturally relevant health message would promote stair use in a predominantly Hispanic community. METHODS: Observations of stair, elevator, and escalator use were collected over a 6-month period at 4 sites throughout the city of El Paso, Tex. The efficacy of individual and family health promotion signs was tested. RESULTS: Stair use increased in response to both individual and family promotion health messages, and use varied widely by intervention site. CONCLUSIONS: These results underscore the importance of considering the physical characteristics of the environments targeted for health promotion campaigns. (+info)
Exposure to carbon monoxide and nitrogen dioxide in enclosed ice arenas.
This article summarises the latest information on the adverse cardiorespiratory effects of exposure to carbon monoxide (CO) and nitrogen dioxide (NO(2)) in enclosed ice rinks. Sources of CO and NO(2) emissions are identified, current standards for these agents, as well as methods of controlling the emissions, dispersion, and evacuation of these toxic gases are presented. A detailed literature search involving 72 references in English and French from research conducted in North America and Europe was used. Material was from peer reviewed journals and other appropriate sources. Air pollutants such as carbon monoxide (CO), and nitrogen dioxide (NO(2)) which are present in enclosed skating facilities, may exacerbate a pre-existing pathogenic condition in those people who spend considerable time in these environments. Considering the popularity of ice hockey, short track speed skating, and figure skating, and the hundreds of hours that a sensitive person may spend each year in these environments, it would seem appropriate to seek more definitive answers to this important health problem. From the findings and conclusions of the research reviewed in this paper, 10 recommendations are listed. (+info)
Reduced incidence of admissions for myocardial infarction associated with public smoking ban: before and after study.
OBJECTIVE: To determine whether there was a change in hospital admissions for acute myocardial infarction while a local law banning smoking in public and in workplaces was in effect. DESIGN: Analysis of admissions from December 1997 through November 2003 using Poisson analysis. SETTING: Helena, Montana, a geographically isolated community with one hospital serving a population of 68 140. PARTICIPANTS: All patients admitted for acute myocardial infarction. MAIN OUTCOME MEASURES: Number of monthly admissions for acute myocardial infarction for people living in and outside Helena. RESULTS: During the six months the law was enforced the number of admissions fell significantly (- 16 admissions, 95% confidence interval - 31.7 to - 0.3), from an average of 40 admissions during the same months in the years before and after the law to a total of 24 admissions during the six months the law was effect. There was a non-significant increase of 5.6 (- 5.2 to 16.4) in the number of admissions from outside Helena during the same period, from 12.4 in the years before and after the law to 18 while the law was in effect. CONCLUSIONS: Laws to enforce smoke-free workplaces and public places may be associated with an effect on morbidity from heart disease. (+info)
The frequency rate of Toxocara species contamination in soil samples from public yards in a urban area "Payathai", Bangkok, Thailand.
Toxocara species are most common roundworms of Canidae and Felidae. Human toxocariasis develops by ingesting of embryonated eggs in contaminated soil. There is no previous report of Toxocara contamination in the soil samples from the public areas in Bangkok. For this reason our study have been carried out to examine the frequency of Toxocara eggs in public yards in Bangkok, Thailand. A total of 175 sand and clay samples were collected and examined for parasite eggs. According to this study, Toxocara eggs were detected from 10 (5.71%) of 175 soil samples. The high rate of contamination in this study implies the importance of the control of this possible zoonotic disease: control of abandon of dogs and cats, is still necessary. (+info)