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Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health, Volume 15, Issue 4 (April 2018)

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Cover Story (view full-size image) Governments rarely produce detailed national assessments of direct and indirect public health risks [...] Read more.
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Open AccessArticle Online Gambling among Treatment-Seeking Patients in Singapore: A Cross-Sectional Study
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2018, 15(4), 832; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph15040832
Received: 4 February 2018 / Revised: 18 April 2018 / Accepted: 18 April 2018 / Published: 23 April 2018
Cited by 1 | PDF Full-text (316 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Given that technology has greatly facilitated easier access to gambling in previous years, it is timely to look in-depth into online gambling activities and behaviors. There have been several studies that examined online gambling. However, most of the current studies to date have
[...] Read more.
Given that technology has greatly facilitated easier access to gambling in previous years, it is timely to look in-depth into online gambling activities and behaviors. There have been several studies that examined online gambling. However, most of the current studies to date have focused on determining the prevalence and the epidemiology of problem gambling arising from online gambling in Western cohorts. There remains a paucity of research looking at the problem of online gambling among Asian individuals. The objectives of the current study are to elucidate the characteristics of online gambling among an Asian cohort and to explore the harm associated with online gambling and the potential mechanisms by which harm associated with online gambling could be minimized. It is hoped that the findings of the current paper will bridge the existing gaps in the research literature. A cross-sectional study design was utilized to recruit 100 participants who were attending outpatient services at the National Addictions Management Service (NAMS) from March 2014 to October 2015. The majority of the participants were male, of Chinese ethnicity and under the age of 30 years old (48%). Mobile phones and smartphones were the most commonly utilized platforms for gambling online. The median largest ever debt incurred as a result of online gambling ($20,000) was significantly more than that due to offline gambling ($500) (Z = −4.17, p < 0.001). As for the biggest ever loss, participants had incurred a significantly larger median loss from online gambling ($7000) (Z = −2.73, p < 0.01) compared to offline gambling ($2000). A total of 18.4% of participants had waited between 1 to 2 years from their first online gambling experience to seek treatment and 17.3% had waited for more than 10 years. This is perhaps one of the first Asian studies to investigate the serious harm involved in online gambling. The findings from our study are intended to guide further interventions in the treatment of online gambling related disorders; and would be of interest to governmental organizations in their planning of regulations for online gambling. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Adult Psychiatry)
Open AccessArticle The Impact of Caller Gender on Telephone Crisis-Helpline Workers’ Interpretation of Suicidality in Caller Vignettes
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2018, 15(4), 831; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph15040831
Received: 25 March 2018 / Revised: 13 April 2018 / Accepted: 18 April 2018 / Published: 23 April 2018
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Abstract
Telephone crisis-line workers (TCWs) are trained in a variety of techniques and skills to facilitate the identification of suicidal callers. One factor that may influence the implementation of these skills is gender. This study used an experimental design to explore whether helpline callers
[...] Read more.
Telephone crisis-line workers (TCWs) are trained in a variety of techniques and skills to facilitate the identification of suicidal callers. One factor that may influence the implementation of these skills is gender. This study used an experimental design to explore whether helpline callers being identified as male or female is associated with TCWs’ ratings of callers’ potential for suicide risk and TCWs’ intention to use support- or intervention-oriented skills with callers. Data were collected using an online self-report survey in an Australian sample of 133 TCWs. The results suggest that under some circumstances the callers’ gender might influence TCWs’ intention to use intervention-oriented skills with the caller. Implications for the training of telephone crisis workers, and those trained in suicide prevention more broadly are discussed. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Advances in Suicide Research)
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Open AccessArticle The Role of Knowledge and Risk Beliefs in Adolescent E-Cigarette Use: A Pilot Study
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2018, 15(4), 830; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph15040830
Received: 28 March 2018 / Revised: 17 April 2018 / Accepted: 19 April 2018 / Published: 23 April 2018
Cited by 1 | PDF Full-text (322 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
The use of e-cigarettes and other vaping devices among adolescents is an urgent public health problem due to the concern about adolescent exposure to nicotine. This study examined: (1) adolescents’ knowledge and beliefs about e-cigarette risks; and (2) whether knowledge and risk beliefs
[...] Read more.
The use of e-cigarettes and other vaping devices among adolescents is an urgent public health problem due to the concern about adolescent exposure to nicotine. This study examined: (1) adolescents’ knowledge and beliefs about e-cigarette risks; and (2) whether knowledge and risk beliefs were associated with e-cigarette use. N = 69 adolescents completed a cross-sectional survey about e-cigarette knowledge, attitudes (i.e., risk beliefs), and behavior (KAB). Nearly half (47%) of the sample reported ever using e-cigarettes. The majority of adolescents knew about many of the risks of e-cigarettes, with no differences between never- and ever-users. However, risk beliefs, such as worrying about health risks of using e-cigarettes, varied across groups. Compared to never-users, e-cigarette ever-users were significantly less likely to worry about e-cigarette health risks, less likely to think that e-cigarettes would cause them negative health consequences, and less likely to believe that e-cigarette use would lead to addiction. In a multivariable logistic regression, prior combustible cigarette use, mother’s education, and addiction risk beliefs about e-cigarettes emerged as significant predictors of adolescents’ e-cigarette use. This study reveals that while knowledge is not associated with adolescent e-cigarette use, risk beliefs do predict use. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Health Behavior, Chronic Disease and Health Promotion)
Open AccessArticle Lagged Influence of Fine Particulate Matter and Geographic Disparities on Clinic Visits for Children’s Asthma in Taiwan
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2018, 15(4), 829; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph15040829
Received: 7 March 2018 / Revised: 19 April 2018 / Accepted: 19 April 2018 / Published: 23 April 2018
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Abstract
Recent studies have revealed the influence of fine particulate matter (PM2.5) on increased medication use, hospital admission, and emergency room visits for asthma attack in children, but the lagged influence of PM2.5 on children’s asthma and geographic disparities of children’s
[...] Read more.
Recent studies have revealed the influence of fine particulate matter (PM2.5) on increased medication use, hospital admission, and emergency room visits for asthma attack in children, but the lagged influence of PM2.5 on children’s asthma and geographic disparities of children’s asthma have rarely been discussed simultaneously. This study investigated the documented diagnosis of children’s asthma in clinic visits for children aged less than 15 years old that were associated with PM2.5 in two counties located in west-central Taiwan during 2005–2010. The result shows that PM2.5 had a significant lagged effect on children’s asthma for up to 6 days. A significantly higher relative risk for children’s asthma was more likely to happen at 2-day lag compared to the present day when PM2.5 increased from 36.17 μg/m3 to 81.26 μg/m3. Considering all lagged effects, the highest relative risk for children’s asthma was 1.08 (95% CI = 1.05, 1.11) as PM2.5 increased as high as 64.66 μg/m3. In addition, geographic disparities of children’s asthma were significant, and 47.83% of areas were identified to have children vulnerable to asthma. To sum up, our findings can serve as a valuable reference for the implementation of an early warning to governmental agencies about a susceptible population of children. Full article
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Open AccessArticle Outpatient Mental Health Treatment Utilization and Military Career Impact in the United States Marine Corps
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2018, 15(4), 828; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph15040828
Received: 9 March 2018 / Revised: 17 April 2018 / Accepted: 17 April 2018 / Published: 23 April 2018
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Abstract
Service members (SM) are at increased risk of psychiatric conditions, including suicide, yet research indicates SMs believe seeking mental health treatment may negatively impact their military careers, despite a paucity of research examining actual career impacts. This study examined the link between seeking
[...] Read more.
Service members (SM) are at increased risk of psychiatric conditions, including suicide, yet research indicates SMs believe seeking mental health treatment may negatively impact their military careers, despite a paucity of research examining actual career impacts. This study examined the link between seeking outpatient mental health (MH) treatment and military career impacts within the United States Marine Corps. In Phase 1, a retrospective medical record review of outpatient MH treatment-seeking Marines (N = 38) was conducted. In Phase 2, a sample of outpatient MH treatment-seeking Marines (N = 40) was matched to a non-treatment-seeking sample of Marines (N = 138) to compare career-progression. In Phase 1, there were no significant links between demographic, military, and clinical characteristics and referral source or receipt of career-affecting treatment recommendations. In Phase 2, MH treatment-seeking Marines in outpatient settings were more likely than matched controls to be separated from the military (95.0% versus 63.0%, p = 0.002), but no more likely to experience involuntary separation. MH treatment-seeking Marines were more likely to have documented legal action (45.0% versus 23.9%, p = 0.008) and had a shorter time of military service following the index MH encounter than matched controls (p < 0.001). Clinical, anti-stigma, and suicide prevention policy implications are discussed. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Advances in Suicide Research)
Open AccessArticle The Social and Spatial Ecology of Dengue Presence and Burden during an Outbreak in Guayaquil, Ecuador, 2012
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2018, 15(4), 827; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph15040827
Received: 22 March 2018 / Revised: 9 April 2018 / Accepted: 14 April 2018 / Published: 23 April 2018
Cited by 1 | PDF Full-text (3785 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text | Supplementary Files
Abstract
Dengue fever, a mosquito-borne arbovirus, is a major public health concern in Ecuador. In this study, we aimed to describe the spatial distribution of dengue risk and identify local social-ecological factors associated with an outbreak of dengue fever in the city of Guayaquil,
[...] Read more.
Dengue fever, a mosquito-borne arbovirus, is a major public health concern in Ecuador. In this study, we aimed to describe the spatial distribution of dengue risk and identify local social-ecological factors associated with an outbreak of dengue fever in the city of Guayaquil, Ecuador. We examined georeferenced dengue cases (n = 4248) and block-level census data variables to identify social-ecological risk factors associated with the presence/absence and burden of dengue in Guayaquil in 2012. Local Indicators of Spatial Association (LISA), specifically Anselin’s Local Moran’s I, and Moran’s I tests were used to locate hotspots of dengue transmission, and multimodel selection was used to identify covariates associated with dengue presence and burden at the census block level. We identified significant dengue transmission hotspots near the North Central and Southern portions of Guayaquil. Significant risk factors for presence of dengue included poor housing conditions, access to paved roads, and receipt of remittances. Counterintuitive positive correlations with dengue presence were observed with several municipal services such as garbage collection and access to piped water. Risk factors for increased burden of dengue included poor housing conditions, garbage collection, receipt of remittances, and sharing a property with more than one household. Social factors such as education and household demographics were negatively correlated with increased dengue burden. These findings elucidate underlying differences with dengue presence versus burden, and suggest that vulnerability and risk maps could be developed to inform dengue prevention and control; this is information that is also relevant for emerging epidemics of chikungunya and Zika viruses. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Spatio-Temporal Analysis of Infectious Diseases)
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Open AccessArticle The Adsorptive Removal of Fluoride from Aqueous Solution by Modified Sludge: Optimization Using Response Surface Methodology
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2018, 15(4), 826; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph15040826
Received: 26 March 2018 / Revised: 14 April 2018 / Accepted: 14 April 2018 / Published: 23 April 2018
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Abstract
The sludge from the water supply plant was investigated to remove fluoride ions from the water. To improve the adsorption ability, the original sludge sample was treated with fuel oxidation, pyrolysis, hydrochloric acid, and sulphuric acid methods, and hydrochloric acid treatment improved the
[...] Read more.
The sludge from the water supply plant was investigated to remove fluoride ions from the water. To improve the adsorption ability, the original sludge sample was treated with fuel oxidation, pyrolysis, hydrochloric acid, and sulphuric acid methods, and hydrochloric acid treatment improved the adsorption capacity of the sludge on the fluoride in water significantly, with a maximum adsorption capacity to 140 mg/kg. The adsorption experimental data was the well fitted pseudo-first-order model and the Langmuir isotherms model. SEM images and XRD patterns of the adsorbent were recorded to get a better insight into the adsorption process. The effect of three variables, hydrochloric acid treated sludge (HWS) dose, pH, and initial fluoride concentration were studied using a Box-Behnken statistical experimental design. The model of the adsorption and optimum conditions was investigated using the response surface methodology. The optimum removal efficiency of fluoride can reach 81.153% under the optimum condition: HWS dose of 14.10 g/L and pH value at 6.12. The effect of co-existing anions and the removal efficiency from the water were also studied. The results suggest that sludge from the water supply plant can be reused as a coagulant for the removal of fluoride from poor quality water. Full article
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Open AccessArticle Mapping the Hidden Hazards: Community-Led Spatial Data Collection of Street-Level Environmental Stressors in a Degraded, Urban Watershed
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2018, 15(4), 825; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph15040825
Received: 1 January 2018 / Revised: 11 April 2018 / Accepted: 13 April 2018 / Published: 22 April 2018
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Abstract
We utilized a participatory mapping approach to collect point locations, photographs, and descriptive data about select built environment stressors identified and prioritized by community residents living in the Proctor Creek Watershed, a degraded, urban watershed in Northwest Atlanta, Georgia. Residents (watershed researchers) used
[...] Read more.
We utilized a participatory mapping approach to collect point locations, photographs, and descriptive data about select built environment stressors identified and prioritized by community residents living in the Proctor Creek Watershed, a degraded, urban watershed in Northwest Atlanta, Georgia. Residents (watershed researchers) used an indicator identification framework to select three watershed stressors that influence urban livability: standing water, illegal dumping on land and in surface water, and faulty stormwater infrastructure. Through a community–university partnership and using Geographic Information Systems and digital mapping tools, watershed researchers and university students designed a mobile application (app) that enabled them to collect data associated with these stressors to create a spatial narrative, informed by local community knowledge, that offers visual documentation and representation of community conditions that negatively influence the environment, health, and quality of life in urban areas. By elevating the local knowledge and lived experience of community residents and codeveloping a relevant data collection tool, community residents generated fine-grained, street-level, actionable data. This process helped to fill gaps in publicly available datasets about environmental hazards in their watershed and helped residents initiate solution-oriented dialogue with government officials to address problem areas. We demonstrate that community-based knowledge can contribute to and extend scientific inquiry, as well as help communities to advance environmental justice and leverage opportunities for remediation and policy change. Full article
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Open AccessArticle Study on Cr(VI) Leaching from Cement and Cement Composites
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2018, 15(4), 824; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph15040824
Received: 15 March 2018 / Revised: 17 April 2018 / Accepted: 19 April 2018 / Published: 22 April 2018
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Abstract
This paper reports an experimental study on hexavalent chromium leaching from cement samples and cement composites containing silica fume and zeolite additions that were subjected to various leaching agents. The water-soluble Cr(VI) concentrations in cements ranged from 0.2 to 3.2 mg/kg and represented
[...] Read more.
This paper reports an experimental study on hexavalent chromium leaching from cement samples and cement composites containing silica fume and zeolite additions that were subjected to various leaching agents. The water-soluble Cr(VI) concentrations in cements ranged from 0.2 to 3.2 mg/kg and represented only 1.8% of the total chromium content. The presence of chromium compounds with both chromium oxidation states of III and VI was detected in the cement samples by X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy (XPS). Leaching tests were performed in a Britton-Robinson buffer to simulate natural conditions and showed increased dissolution of Cr(VI) up to 6 mg/kg. The highest amount of leached hexavalent chromium was detected after leaching in HCl. The findings revealed that the leaching of chromium from cements was higher by 55–80% than that from the cement composites. A minimum concentration was observed for all cement samples when studying the relationship between the soluble Cr(VI) and the cement storage time. Full article
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Open AccessArticle Psychometric Evaluation of the Workstyle Short Form among Nursing Assistants with Work-Related Musculoskeletal Symptoms
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2018, 15(4), 823; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph15040823
Received: 17 March 2018 / Revised: 18 April 2018 / Accepted: 19 April 2018 / Published: 22 April 2018
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Abstract
The Workstyle Short Form (24 items) (WSF-24) has been tested for its psychometric properties on work-related upper-extremity musculoskeletal symptoms (WRUEMSs) among office workers. However, the impact of workstyle should not only be limited to WRUEMSs and the sedentary workforce. The purpose of this
[...] Read more.
The Workstyle Short Form (24 items) (WSF-24) has been tested for its psychometric properties on work-related upper-extremity musculoskeletal symptoms (WRUEMSs) among office workers. However, the impact of workstyle should not only be limited to WRUEMSs and the sedentary workforce. The purpose of this study was to test the psychometric properties of the modified 24-item Chinese WSF (C-WSF-24) to identify work-related musculoskeletal symptoms (WRMSs) in various body parts among nursing assistants (NAs) working in nursing homes. Four hundred and thirty-nine NAs participated in the study. The results of the factor analysis were that a four-factor solution (working through pain, social reactivity at work, demands at work and breaks) accounted for 56.45% of the total variance. Furthermore, validation against known groups showed that the total score and subscale scores of the C-WSF-24 had the ability to discriminate between NAs with and without WRMSs in various body parts (such as low back and lower extremities). Additionally, C-WSF-24 had a statistically significant association with the contributing factors to WRMSs. This is the first study to examine the psychometric properties of the C-WSF-24 in the non-sedentary workforce, with a focus on various body parts of WRMSs. The results demonstrated that C-WSF-24 is reliable and valid for assessing WRMSs in various body parts among NAs. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Musculoskeletal Disorders)
Open AccessArticle Projection of Future Mortality Due to Temperature and Population Changes under Representative Concentration Pathways and Shared Socioeconomic Pathways
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2018, 15(4), 822; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph15040822
Received: 30 March 2018 / Revised: 18 April 2018 / Accepted: 19 April 2018 / Published: 21 April 2018
Cited by 1 | PDF Full-text (2329 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text | Supplementary Files
Abstract
The Paris Agreement aims to limit the global temperature increase to below 2 °C above pre-industrial levels and to pursue efforts to limit the increase to even below 1.5 °C. Now, it should be asked what benefits are in pursuing these two targets.
[...] Read more.
The Paris Agreement aims to limit the global temperature increase to below 2 °C above pre-industrial levels and to pursue efforts to limit the increase to even below 1.5 °C. Now, it should be asked what benefits are in pursuing these two targets. In this study, we assessed the temperature–mortality relationship using a distributed lag non-linear model in seven major cities of South Korea. Then, we projected future temperature-attributable mortality under different Representative Concentration Pathway (RCP) and Shared Socioeconomic Pathway (SSP) scenarios for those cities. Mortality was projected to increase by 1.53 under the RCP 4.5 (temperature increase by 2.83 °C) and 3.3 under the RCP 8.5 (temperature increase by 5.10 °C) until the 2090s, as compared to baseline (1991–2015) mortality. However, future mortality is expected to increase by less than 1.13 and 1.26 if the 1.5 °C and 2 °C increase targets are met, respectively, under the RCP 4.5. Achieving the more ambitious target of 1.5 °C will reduce mortality by 12%, when compared to the 2 °C target. When we estimated future mortality due to both temperature and population changes, the future mortality was found to be increased by 2.07 and 3.85 for the 1.5 °C and 2 °C temperature increases, respectively, under the RCP 4.5. These increases can be attributed to a growing proportion of elderly population, who is more vulnerable to high temperatures. Meeting the target of 1.5 °C will be particularly beneficial for rapidly aging societies, including South Korea. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Health Impacts of Warming of 1.5 °C and 2 °C)
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Open AccessArticle A System Based on the Internet of Things for Real-Time Particle Monitoring in Buildings
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2018, 15(4), 821; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph15040821
Received: 20 March 2018 / Revised: 11 April 2018 / Accepted: 18 April 2018 / Published: 21 April 2018
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Abstract
Occupational health can be strongly influenced by the indoor environment as people spend 90% of their time indoors. Although indoor air quality (IAQ) is not typically monitored, IAQ parameters could be in many instances very different from those defined as healthy values. Particulate
[...] Read more.
Occupational health can be strongly influenced by the indoor environment as people spend 90% of their time indoors. Although indoor air quality (IAQ) is not typically monitored, IAQ parameters could be in many instances very different from those defined as healthy values. Particulate matter (PM), a complex mixture of solid and liquid particles of organic and inorganic substances suspended in the air, is considered the pollutant that affects more people. The most health-damaging particles are the ≤PM10 (diameter of 10 microns or less), which can penetrate and lodge deep inside the lungs, contributing to the risk of developing cardiovascular and respiratory diseases, as well as of lung cancer. This paper presents an Internet of Things (IoT) system for real-time PM monitoring named iDust. This system is based on a WEMOS D1 mini microcontroller and a PMS5003 PM sensor that incorporates scattering principle to measure the value of particles suspended in the air (PM10, PM2.5, and PM1.0). Through a Web dashboard for data visualization and remote notifications, the building manager can plan interventions for enhanced IAQ and ambient assisted living (AAL). Compared to other solutions the iDust is based on open-source technologies, providing a total Wi-Fi system, with several advantages such as its modularity, scalability, low cost, and easy installation. The results obtained are very promising, representing a meaningful tool on the contribution to IAQ and occupational health. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Indoor Environmental Quality)
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Open AccessArticle Detection of the Invasive Mosquito Species Aedes (Stegomyia) albopictus (Diptera: Culicidae) in Portugal
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2018, 15(4), 820; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph15040820
Received: 21 March 2018 / Revised: 13 April 2018 / Accepted: 18 April 2018 / Published: 21 April 2018
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Abstract
The Asian tiger mosquito Aedes albopictus is an invasive mosquito originating from the Asia-Pacific region. This species is of major concern to public and veterinary health because of its vector role in the transmission of several pathogens, such as chikungunya, dengue, and Zika
[...] Read more.
The Asian tiger mosquito Aedes albopictus is an invasive mosquito originating from the Asia-Pacific region. This species is of major concern to public and veterinary health because of its vector role in the transmission of several pathogens, such as chikungunya, dengue, and Zika viruses. In Portugal, a National Vector Surveillance Network (REde de VIgilância de VEctores—REVIVE) is responsible for the surveillance of autochthonous, but also invasive, mosquito species at points of entry, such as airports, ports, storage areas, and specific border regions with Spain. At these locations, networks of mosquito traps are set and maintained under surveillance throughout the year. In September 2017, Ae. albopictus was detected for the first time in a tyre company located in the North of Portugal. Molecular typing was performed, and a preliminary phylogenetic analysis indicated a high similarity with sequences of Ae. albopictus collected in Europe. A prompt surveillance response was locally implemented to determine its dispersal and abundance, and adult mosquitoes were screened for the presence of arboviral RNA. A total of 103 specimens, 52 immatures and 51 adults, were collected. No pathogenic viruses were detected. Despite the obtained results suggest low abundance of the population locally introduced, the risk of dispersal and potential establishment of Ae. albopictus in Portugal has raised concern for autochthonous mosquito-borne disease outbreaks. Full article
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Open AccessArticle Aerobic Mesophilic, Coliform, Escherichia coli, and Staphylococcus aureus Counts of Raw Meat from the Formal and Informal Meat Sectors in South Africa
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2018, 15(4), 819; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph15040819
Received: 18 March 2018 / Revised: 17 April 2018 / Accepted: 19 April 2018 / Published: 21 April 2018
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Abstract
Foodborne disease (FBD) is a global public health concern, and foods from animal sources have been associated with outbreaks of food-related illness. In this study, animal carcasses from the two abattoirs (HT1 and HT2) in the formal meat sector (FMS) and slaughter points
[...] Read more.
Foodborne disease (FBD) is a global public health concern, and foods from animal sources have been associated with outbreaks of food-related illness. In this study, animal carcasses from the two abattoirs (HT1 and HT2) in the formal meat sector (FMS) and slaughter points in the informal meat sector (INMS) were examined at two stages of slaughter (before washing and after washing) for aerobic colony counts (ACC) and total viable count (TCC), as well as Escherichia coli and Staphylococcus aureus count. At each stage, carcasses were sampled by swabbing at the neck, brisket, flank, and rump. ACC for beef, mutton, and pork carcasses at HT1 and HT2 before washing were between 2.5–5.8, 2.2–4.7, and 2.7–3.7 mean log CFU/cm2, respectively, and TCC count before washing was highest on the neck of cattle (6.3 ± 2.4) and after washing was highest on the perineal of sheep (5.7 ± 6.9). In the INMS, TCC count was highest on the brisket (6.9 ± 3.2) and in the neck (5.5 ± 2.4). Higher ACC values of 6.2–6.7 mean log CFU/cm2 were obtained in the INMS. The highest count for E. coli (4.2 mean log CFU/cm2) after washing was in the neck, while the highest count for S. aureus (4.0 mean log CFU/cm2) was in the flank. All bacteria count in the INMS exceeded acceptable limits, and washing did not significantly reduce microbial load in meat in the FMS and INMS. Bacteria count in the FMS and INMS exceeded acceptable standards. However, meat processed in the INMS poses a more significant risk of FBD to consumers. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Global Health)
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Open AccessArticle Fine Particulate Matter Pollution and Risk of Community-Acquired Sepsis
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2018, 15(4), 818; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph15040818
Received: 26 March 2018 / Revised: 17 April 2018 / Accepted: 19 April 2018 / Published: 21 April 2018
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Abstract
While air pollution has been associated with health complications, its effect on sepsis risk is unknown. We examined the association between fine particulate matter (PM2.5) air pollution and risk of sepsis hospitalization. We analyzed data from the 30,239 community-dwelling adults in
[...] Read more.
While air pollution has been associated with health complications, its effect on sepsis risk is unknown. We examined the association between fine particulate matter (PM2.5) air pollution and risk of sepsis hospitalization. We analyzed data from the 30,239 community-dwelling adults in the Reasons for Geographic and Racial Differences in Stroke (REGARDS) cohort linked with satellite-derived measures of PM2.5 data. We defined sepsis as a hospital admission for a serious infection with ≥2 systemic inflammatory response (SIRS) criteria. We performed incidence density sampling to match sepsis cases with 4 controls by age (±5 years), sex, and race. For each matched group we calculated mean daily PM2.5 exposures for short-term (30-day) and long-term (one-year) periods preceding the sepsis event. We used conditional logistic regression to evaluate the association between PM2.5 exposure and sepsis, adjusting for education, income, region, temperature, urbanicity, tobacco and alcohol use, and medical conditions. We matched 1386 sepsis cases with 5544 non-sepsis controls. Mean 30-day PM2.5 exposure levels (Cases 12.44 vs. Controls 12.34 µg/m3; p = 0.28) and mean one-year PM2.5 exposure levels (Cases 12.53 vs. Controls 12.50 µg/m3; p = 0.66) were similar between cases and controls. In adjusted models, there were no associations between 30-day PM2.5 exposure levels and sepsis (4th vs. 1st quartiles OR: 1.06, 95% CI: 0.85–1.32). Similarly, there were no associations between one-year PM2.5 exposure levels and sepsis risk (4th vs. 1st quartiles OR: 0.96, 95% CI: 0.78–1.18). In the REGARDS cohort, PM2.5 air pollution exposure was not associated with risk of sepsis. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Environmental Health)
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