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Tallahassee, FL, United States

Bean J.A.,University of Cincinnati | Fleming L.E.,University of Miami | Fleming L.E.,European Center for Environment and Human Health | Kirkpatrick B.,Mote Marine Laboratory | And 15 more authors.
Harmful Algae | Year: 2011

Having demonstrated significant and persistent adverse changes in pulmonary function for asthmatics after 1. h exposure to brevetoxins in Florida red tide (Karenia brevis bloom) aerosols, we assessed the possible longer term health effects in asthmatics from intermittent environmental exposure to brevetoxins over 7 years. 125 asthmatic subjects were assessed for their pulmonary function and reported symptoms before and after 1. h of environmental exposure to Florida red tide aerosols for up to 11 studies over seven years. As a group, the asthmatics came to the studies with normal standardized percent predicted pulmonary function values. The 38 asthmatics who participated in only one exposure study were more reactive compared to the 36 asthmatics who participated in ≥4 exposure studies. The 36 asthmatics participating in ≥4 exposure studies demonstrated no significant change in their standardized percent predicted pre-exposure pulmonary function over the 7 years of the study. These results indicate that stable asthmatics living in areas with intermittent Florida red tides do not exhibit chronic respiratory effects from intermittent environmental exposure to aerosolized brevetoxins over a 7 year period. © 2011 Elsevier B.V. Source

Trevino-Garrison I.,1000 SW Jackson Street | Dement J.,052 Bald Cypress Way | Ahmed F.S.,1000 SW Jackson Street | Haines-Lieber P.,1000 SW Jackson Street | And 5 more authors.
Toxins | Year: 2015

Freshwater harmful algal bloom (FHAB) toxins can cause morbidity and mortality in both humans and animals, and the incidence of FHABs in the United States and Kansas has increased. In 2010, the Kansas Department of Health and Environment (KDHE) developed a FHAB policy and response plan. We describe the epidemiology of FHAB-associated morbidity and mortality in humans and animals in Kansas. Healthcare providers and veterinarians voluntarily reported FHAB-associated cases to KDHE. An investigation was initiated for each report to determine the source of exposure and to initiate public health mitigation actions. There were 38 water bodies with a confirmed FHAB in 2011. There were 34 reports of human and animal FHAB-associated health events in 2011, which included five dog deaths and hospitalization of two human case patients. Five confirmed human illnesses, two dog illnesses and five dog deaths were associated with one lake. Four human and seven dog cases were exposed to the lake after a public health alert was issued. Public health officials and FHAB partners must ensure continued awareness of the risks to the public, educate healthcare providers and veterinarians on FHAB-related health events and encourage timely reporting to public health authorities. © 2015 by the authors; licensee MDPI, Basel, Switzerland. Source

Knapp C.,University of Florida | Madden V.,University of Florida | Marcu M.,University of Florida | Sloyer P.,052 Bald Cypress Way | Shenkman E.,University of Florida
Maternal and Child Health Journal | Year: 2011

To investigate the information sources, and the perceived helpfulness of each source, that parents used when choosing a health plan for their children with special health care needs (CSHCN) and to determine how parents' perceptions varied by their sociodemographic characteristics and their children's enrollment status (newly versus previously enrolled). In Florida, a cross sectional study was carried out using 2007 telephone survey data from 500 parents. Sixty-three percent of parents used at least one information source to choose a health plan for their CSHCN. More parents used the Help Line, yet more parents found it to be the least helpful resource. Multivariate analyses suggest that Hispanic parents were 79% more likely and parents of prior enrollees were 1.2 times less likely to use one of the four information sources versus their referent groups. African American parents were 85% more likely and parents residing in Broward County were 55% less likely to indicate that the process was easy versus their referent groups. Hispanic parents were 77% more likely, African American parents were 67% more likely and college graduates were 59% less likely to report that the information they received was adequate versus their referent groups. The results did not highlight one source of information as more useful and helpful. Race and ethnicity seemed to have the most systematic effect on the parents' experiences in choosing a health plan for their CSHCN, highlighting the need for further research to ensure that information is appropriate across subgroups. © 2010 Springer Science+Business Media, LLC. Source

Hernandez L.E.,052 Bald Cypress Way
Maternal and child health journal | Year: 2012

Our study objective was to assess changes in effective contraceptive use among women at risk of unintended pregnancy in Florida in 2008 and 2009 compared with 2002 and 2004. Contraceptive use questions were available from Florida's Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System (BRFSS) for both periods (n = 4,606). Log binomial regression was used with appropriate methods to account for complex sampling in the BRFSS. We examined the change in four effective contraceptive use groups: sterilization, long-acting reversible contraceptive (LARC), short-acting reversible contraceptive (SARC), and barrier methods. Prevalence ratios comparing the two time periods were adjusted by demographic characteristics, employment, insurance status, children at home, poverty level, health behaviors, and health status. No evidence of change was found in sterilization (Adjusted Prevalence Ratio APR = 0.96; 95 % CI: 0.84-1.10) or SARC (APR = 1.01; 95 % CI: 0.87-1.18). The overall use of LARC increased and use of barrier methods decreased significantly over the two periods (APR = 1.68; 95 % CI: 1.09-2.60 and APR = 0.77; 95 % CI: 0.61-0.98, respectively). Only two population groups experienced significant changes in prevalence in the four use groups over this period. Non-Hispanic White women increased their use of LARC (APR = 2.89; 95 % CI: 1.58-5.29) and women who have never been married decreased their use of barrier methods (APR = 0.51; 95 % CI: 0.33-0.77). Contraceptive use in Florida continues to be low overall with some shift towards more effective long-term methods. New efforts are needed to promote and increase family planning practices, which include the use of effective contraceptives. Source

Fleming L.E.,University of Miami | Kirkpatrick B.,Mote Marine Laboratory | Backer L.C.,Centers for Disease Control and Prevention | Walsh C.J.,Mote Marine Laboratory | And 28 more authors.
Harmful Algae | Year: 2011

This paper reviews the literature describing research performed over the past decade on the known and possible exposures and human health effects associated with Florida red tides. These harmful algal blooms are caused by the dinoflagellate, Karenia brevis, and similar organisms, all of which produce a suite of natural toxins known as brevetoxins. Florida red tide research has benefited from a consistently funded, long-term research program, that has allowed an interdisciplinary team of researchers to focus their attention on this specific environmental issue-one that is critically important to Gulf of Mexico and other coastal communities. This long-term interdisciplinary approach has allowed the team to engage the local community, identify measures to protect public health, take emerging technologies into the field, forge advances in natural products chemistry, and develop a valuable pharmaceutical product. The review includes a brief discussion of the Florida red tide organisms and their toxins, and then focuses on the effects of these toxins on animals and humans, including how these effects predict what we might expect to see in exposed people. © 2010 Elsevier B.V. Source

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