In this report, we use a detailed simulation model to assess and project the COVID-19 epidemic in Florida. The model is a data-driven, stochastic, discrete-time, agent based model with an explicit representation of people and places. Using the model, we find that the omicron variant wave in Florida is likely to cause many more infections than occurred during the delta variant wave. Due to testing limitations and often mild symptoms, however, we anticipate that omicron infections will be underreported compared to delta. We project that reported cases of COVID-19 will continue to grow significantly and peak in early January 2022, and that the number of reported COVID-19 deaths due to omicron may be 1/3 of the total caused by the delta wave.
Background The COVID-19 pandemic created the need for very large scale, rapid testing to prevent and contain transmission of the SARS-CoV-2 virus. Lateral flow device (LFD) immunoassays meet this need by indicating the presence of SARS-CoV-2 antigen from nose/throat swab washings in 30 minutes without laboratory processing, and can be manufactured quickly at low cost. Since March 2021, UK schools have asked pupils without symptoms to test twice weekly. Pupils have posted on social media about using soft drinks to create positive results. The aim of this study was to systematically test a variety soft drinks to determine whether they can cause false false positive LFD results. Methods This study used 14 soft drinks and 4 artificial sweeteners to determine the outcome of misusing them as analyte for the Innova SARS-CoV-2 antigen rapid qualitative LFD. The pH value, sugar content and ingredients of each sample are described. The LFD results were double read and a subset was repeated using the same devices and fake analytes but differently sourced. Findings One sample (1/14; 7%), spring water, produced a negative result. Ten drinks (10/14; 71%) produced a positive or weakly positive result. Three samples (3/14; 21%) produced void results, mostly the fruit concentrate drinks. There was no apparent correlation between the pH value (pH 5.0 in 13/14, 93%; pH 6.5 in 1/14; 7%) or the sugar content (range 0-10.7 grams per 100mls) of the drinks and their LFD result. The 4 artificial sweeteners all produced negative results. A subset of the results was fully replicated with differently sourced materials. Interpretation Several soft drinks can be misused to give false positive SARS-CoV-2 LFD results. Daily LFD testing should be performed first thing in the morning, prior to the consumption of any food or drinks, and supervised where feasible. Funding This work was self-funded by author LO and the LFD were gifted for use in this study.
The SARS-CoV-2 pandemic has seen a notable global reduction in influenza cases of both influenza A and B viruses. In particular, the B/Yamagata lineage has not been isolated from April 2020 to August 2021, suggesting that this influenza lineage may have become extinct, which may provide opportunities for improving availability and effectiveness of influenza vaccines.
Background We investigated whether a public health intervention—a three-part documentary called Man Up which explored the relationship between masculinity and mental health, well-being and suicidality—could increase men’s intentions to seek help for personal and emotional problems. Methods We recruited men aged 18 years or over who were not at risk of suicide to participate in a double-blind randomised controlled trial. Participants were randomly assigned (1:1) via computer randomisation to view Man Up (the intervention) or a control documentary. We hypothesised that 4 weeks after viewing Man Up participants would report higher levels of intention to seek help than those who viewed the control documentary. Our primary outcome was assessed using the General Help Seeking Questionnaire, and was analysed for all participants. The trial was registered with the Australian New Zealand Clinical Trials Registry (ACTRN12616001169437, Universal Trial Number: U1111-1186-1459) and was funded by the Movember Foundation. Results Three hundred and fifty-four men were assessed for eligibility for the trial and randomised to view Man Up or the control documentary. Of these, 337 completed all stages (nine participants were lost to follow-up in the intervention group and eight in the control group). Linear regression analysis showed a significant increase in intentions to seek help in the intervention group, but not in the control group (coef.=2.06, 95% CI 0.48 to 3.63, P=0.01). Conclusions Our trial demonstrates the potential for men’s health outcomes to be positively impacted by novel, media-based public health interventions that focus on traditional masculinity. Trial registration number ACTRN12616001169437, Results.
The objective of the current study was to investigate the associations between lifetime classic psychedelic use and cardiometabolic diseases. Using data from the National Survey on Drug Use and Health (2005–2014), the present study examined the associations between lifetime classic psychedelic use and two types of cardiometabolic disease: heart disease and diabetes. Respondents who reported having tried a classic psychedelic at least once in their lifetime had lower odds of heart disease in the past year (adjusted odds ratio (aOR) = 0.77 (0.65–0.92), p = .006) and lower odds of diabetes in the past year (adjusted odds ratio (aOR) = 0.88 (0.78–0.99), p = .036). Classic psychedelic use might be beneficial for cardiometabolic health, but more research is needed to investigate potential causal pathways of classic psychedelics on cardiometabolic diseases.
BACKGROUND: Pre-pregnancy diabetes is a strong risk factor for congenital heart defects (CHDs), suggesting a role for glucose in the causal pathway. Oral corticosteroids may cause hyperglycemia and maternal use could affect embryonic heart development. The objective of this study was to determine the association between maternal intake of oral corticosteroids 0-8 weeks after conception and CHDs in offspring. METHODS: A register-based nationwide prevalence study including all live singleton births in Denmark, 1996-2016, was conducted. In total, 1 194 687 individuals and their mothers were identified and linked with information on offspring CHDs and the mothers' use of oral corticosteroids in early pregnancy. Corticosteroid use was defined as a filled prescription for maternal use of oral corticosteroid 0-8 weeks after conception. CHDs were identified through International Classification of Diseases codes. The association was estimated by prevalence (odds) ratios using logistic regression and propensity score-matched analyses. RESULTS: Among 1 194 687 live births, 2032 had a mother who had used oral corticosteroids 0-8 weeks from conception. Of these offspring, 32 had a heart defect. Among the offspring of never-users of oral corticosteroids, 10 534 had a heart defect. The adjusted prevalence ratio was 1.29 (95% confidence interval, 0.90-1.84) comparing offspring prevalence of heart defects in oral corticosteroid users with that in oral corticosteroid never-users. Propensity score-matched analysis yielded similar results (prevalence ratio 1.38; 95% confidence interval, 0.95-2.02). CONCLUSIONS: This study supports that there is no association between maternal use of oral corticosteroids in the first 8 weeks after conception and CHDs.
BACKGROUND: Distal forearm fractures are common in children. The reference standard to diagnose these fractures is by conventional radiography, which exposes these patients to harmful radiation. Ultrasound (US) seems to be a good alternative. However, emergency physicians (EPs) in the Netherlands have limited experience in using US for diagnosing fractures in children. OBJECTIVE: The primary objective was to determine the accuracy of US, performed by a Dutch EP, compared with conventional radiography, in diagnosing distal forearm fractures in children. As a secondary objective, differences in pain scores during the performance of both US and plain radiography were determined. METHODS: Children, aged between 0 and 14 years old, suspected of having a distal forearm fracture were enrolled at the Emergency Department. US and radiographic findings were compared. Statistics for accuracy were calculated. Pain scores were recorded during US and radiography and compared as well. All participating operators received an hour-long pretrial training. RESULTS: 100 patients were enrolled. The mean age was 9.5 years (SD, 3.6), and 50% were women. Overall diagnostic accuracy was 92% (95% CI 85%-96%). The sensitivity, specificity, positive and negative predictive values, positive and negative likelihood ratios for US were 95% (95% CI 87% to 99%), 86% (95% CI 71% to 95%), 92% (95% CI 83% to 97%), 91% (95% CI 76% to 98%), 6.86 (95% CI 3.04 to 15.51) and 0.05 (95% CI 0.02 to 0.17), respectively. The pain scores during US and radiographic imaging were 3.3 and 4.6, respectively (p<0.01). CONCLUSIONS: In this study, we showed that US is an accurate method for diagnosing distal forearm fractures in children. The main advantages are that it is radiation-free and rapidly practicable, and that patients experience it as less painful than radiography. Moreover, this study has proven that with minimal experience in US, good diagnostic accuracy can be achieved after brief training.
Objective To examine the association between corporal punishment bans and youth violence at an international level. Design Ecological study of low-income to high-income 88 countries. Setting School-based health surveys of students. Participants 403 604 adolescents. Interventions National corporal punishment bans. Primary outcome measure Age-standardised prevalence of frequent physical fighting (ie, 4+ episodes in the previous year) for male and female adolescents in each country. Results Frequent fighting was more common in males (9.9%, 95% CI 9.1% to 10.7%) than females (2.8%, 95% CI 2.5% to 3.1%) and varied widely between countries, from 0.9% (95% CI 0.8% to 0.9%) in Costa Rican females to 34.8% (95% CI 34.7 to 35.0) in Samoan males. Compared with 20 countries with no ban, the group of 30 countries with full bans (in schools and in the home) experienced 69% the rate of fighting in males and 42% in females. Thirty-eight countries with partial bans (in schools but not in the home) experienced less fighting in females only (56% the rate found in countries without bans). Conclusions Country prohibition of corporal punishment is associated with less youth violence. Whether bans precipitated changes in child discipline or reflected a social milieu that inhibits youth violence remains unclear due to the study design and data limitations. However, these results support the hypothesis that societies that prohibit the use of corporal punishment are less violent for youth to grow up in than societies that have not.
BACKGROUND: The etiology of prostate cancer (PCa) is poorly understood. Sexual activity and sexually transmitted infections (STIs) are among factors under scrutiny, with controversial findings to date. METHODS: We examined the association between the number and gender of sexual partners, STIs and PCa risk in the context of PROtEuS, a population-based case-control study set amongst the mainly French-speaking population in Montreal, Canada. The study included 1590 histologically-confirmed PCa cases diagnosed in a Montreal French hospital between 2005 and 2009, and 1618 population controls ascertained from the French electoral list, Montreal residents, frequency-matched to cases by age. In-person interviews elicited information on sociodemographic, lifestyle and environmental factors. Unconditional logistic regression was used to estimate odds ratios (ORs) and 95% confidence intervals (CIs) between sexually related factors and PCa risk, adjusting for age, ancestry, family history of PCa, and PCa screening history. RESULTS: Subjects with more than 20 sexual partners in their lifetime had a decreased risk of PCa (OR 0.78, 95% CI 0.61-1.00) as did subjects who specifically had more than 20 female sexual partners (OR 0.72, 95% CI 0.56-0.94). By contrast, having had several male sexual partners appeared to confer some excess in risk of PCa. No association emerged for history of STIs and PCa but STIs prevalence was low. CONCLUSION: Our findings are in support of a role for the number of sexual partners in PCa development. The gender of sexual partners should be taken into account in future studies investigating this association.
Aspirin and Disability-free Survival in Older Persons In a trial comparing 100 mg of aspirin with placebo in nearly 20,000 community-dwelling persons 70 years of age or older in Australia and the United States, aspirin use had no effect on the rate of survival free from dementia or physical disability.