Matching Items (3)

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Publicly available software tools for decision-makers during an emergent epidemic—Systematic evaluation of utility and usability

Description

Epidemics and emerging infectious diseases are becoming an increasing threat to global populations—challenging public health practitioners, decision makers and researchers to plan, prepare, identify and respond to outbreaks in near

Epidemics and emerging infectious diseases are becoming an increasing threat to global populations—challenging public health practitioners, decision makers and researchers to plan, prepare, identify and respond to outbreaks in near real-timeframes. The aim of this research is to evaluate the range of public domain and freely available software epidemic modelling tools. Twenty freely utilisable software tools underwent assessment of software usability, utility and key functionalities. Stochastic and agent based tools were found to be highly flexible, adaptable, had high utility and many features, but low usability. Deterministic tools were highly usable with average to good levels of utility.

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Created

Date Created
  • 2017-04-26

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A Risk Analysis Approach to Prioritizing Epidemics: Ebola Virus Disease in West Africa as a Case Study

Description

The 2014 Ebola virus disease (EVD) outbreak affected several countries worldwide, including six West African countries. It was the largest Ebola epidemic in the history and the first to affect

The 2014 Ebola virus disease (EVD) outbreak affected several countries worldwide, including six West African countries. It was the largest Ebola epidemic in the history and the first to affect multiple countries simultaneously. Significant national and international delay in response to the epidemic resulted in 28,652 cases and 11,325 deaths. The aim of this study was to develop a risk analysis framework to prioritize rapid response for situations of high risk. Based on findings from the literature, sociodemographic features of the affected countries, and documented epidemic data, a risk scoring framework using 18 criteria was developed. The framework includes measures of socioeconomics, health systems, geographical factors, cultural beliefs, and traditional practices. The three worst affected West African countries (Guinea, Sierra Leone, and Liberia) had the highest risk scores. The scores were much lower in developed countries that experienced Ebola compared to West African countries. A more complex risk analysis framework using 18 measures was compared with a simpler one with 10 measures, and both predicted risk equally well. A simple risk scoring system can incorporate measures of hazard and impact that may otherwise be neglected in prioritizing outbreak response. This framework can be used by public health personnel as a tool to prioritize outbreak investigation and flag outbreaks with potentially catastrophic outcomes for urgent response. Such a tool could mitigate costly delays in epidemic response.

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Created

Date Created
  • 2017-08-15

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Viral and bacterial upper respiratory tract infection in hospital health care workers over time and association with symptoms

Description

Background
Bacterial colonisation of the respiratory tract is commonly described and usually thought to be of no clinical significance. The aim of this study was to examine the presence and

Background
Bacterial colonisation of the respiratory tract is commonly described and usually thought to be of no clinical significance. The aim of this study was to examine the presence and significance of bacteria and viruses in the upper respiratory tract of healthcare workers (HCWs), and association with respiratory symptoms.
Methods
A prospective cohort study was conducted in China and 223 HCWs were recruited from fever clinics and respiratory, paediatric, emergency/Intensive medication wards. Participants were followed over 4 weeks (7th May 2015 to 4th June 2015) for development of clinical respiratory illness (CRI). Nasopharyngeal swabs were obtained at baseline and at the end of the study. The primary endpoints were laboratory-confirmed bacterial colonisation and viral respiratory infection. Rates of the following infections in symptomatic and asymptomatic participants were compared at the start or end of the study; 1) all bacterial/viral infections, 2) bacterial infection and bacterial-viral co-infections, excluding virus only infections, and 3) only bacterial infections.
Results
Bacterial colonisation was identified in 88% (196/223) of participants at the start or end of the study. Among these participants, 66% (148/223) had only bacterial colonisation while 22% (48/223) had co-infection with a virus. Bacteria were isolated from 170 (76.2%) participants at baseline and 127 (57%) participants at the end of the study. Laboratory confirmed viral infections were identified in 53 (23.8%) participants - 35 (15.7%) at the baseline and 20 (9.0%) at the end of the study.
CRI symptoms were recorded in 12 participants (4.5%) and all had a positive bacterium isolation at baseline (n = 11) or end of the study (n = 1). Among asymptomatic participants, 187 (87%) had bacterial colonisation or bacterial/viral co-infection at baseline or end of the study. Viruses were also isolated from 5 (2.4%) asymptomatic cases. Rates of all infection outcomes were higher in symptomatic participants, however differences were not statistically significant.
Conclusion
We isolated high rates of bacteria and viruses in the upper respiratory tract of hospital HCWs, which may reflect greater exposure to respiratory infections in the hospital. Although respiratory infections are mostly symptomatic, the association between bacterial colonization and symptomatic illness is not clear. In the healthcare setting, HCWs may acquire and transmit infection to patients and other HCWs around them. Larger studies are required to explore ongoing occupational risk of respiratory infection in hospitals HCWs.

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Agent

Created

Date Created
  • 2017-08-09