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Cook A.R.,Collaborating Center for Reference and Research on Influenza | Barr I.,Collaborating Center for Reference and Research on Influenza | Hurt A.,Collaborating Center for Reference and Research on Influenza | Kelso A.,Collaborating Center for Reference and Research on Influenza | And 62 more authors.
PLoS ONE | Year: 2012

Background: Influenza causes yearly seasonal epidemics and periodic pandemics. Global systems have been established to monitor the evolution and impact of influenza viruses, yet regional analysis of surveillance findings has been limited. This study describes epidemiological and virological characteristics of influenza during 2006-2010 in the World Health Organization's Western Pacific Region. Methodology/Principal Findings: Influenza-like illness (ILI) and influenza virus data were obtained from the 14 countries with National Influenza Centres. Data were obtained directly from countries and from FluNet, the web-based tool of the Global Influenza Surveillance and Response System. National influenza surveillance and participation in the global system increased over the five years. Peaks in ILI reporting appeared to be coincident with the proportion of influenza positive specimens. Temporal patterns of ILI activity and the proportion of influenza positive specimens were clearly observed in temperate countries: Mongolia, Japan and the Republic of Korea in the northern hemisphere, and Australia, New Zealand, Fiji and New Caledonia (France) in the southern hemisphere. Two annual peaks in activity were observed in China from 2006 through the first quarter of 2009. A temporal pattern was less evident in tropical countries, where influenza activity was observed year-round. Influenza A viruses accounted for the majority of viruses reported between 2006 and 2009, but an equal proportion of influenza A and influenza B viruses was detected in 2010. Conclusions/Significance: Despite differences in surveillance methods and intensity, commonalities in ILI and influenza virus circulation patterns were identified. Patterns suggest that influenza circulation may be dependent on a multitude of factors including seasonality and population movement. Dominant strains in Southeast Asian countries were later detected in other countries. Thus, timely reporting and regional sharing of information about influenza may serve as an early warning, and may assist countries to anticipate the potential severity and burden associated with incoming strains.


Atkinson J.H.,University of California at San Diego | Jin H.,University of California at San Diego | Shi C.,Peking University | Yu X.,Peking University | And 13 more authors.
Journal of Affective Disorders | Year: 2011

Background: China's HIV epidemic commenced in its agrarian provinces through contaminated commercial plasma donation centers and is now becoming a public health concern nationwide. Little is known of the psychiatric and substance use disorder characteristics of this population, or their impact on everyday function, employment, and life quality. Methods: HIV-infected (HIV+) former plasma donors (N = 203) and HIV-negative (HIV-) donor controls (N = 198) completed the World Mental Health Survey Composite International Diagnostic Interview to determine lifetime major depressive disorder (MDD), substance use disorders, and suicidality. Current mood and suicidality were assessed with the Beck Depression Inventory-II. Everyday function was measured by an Activity of Daily Living questionnaire; life quality was evaluated by the Medical Outcomes Study - HIV. Results: HIV+ participants had known their infected status for 2 years on average. Most were taking antiretroviral treatment and had frank AIDS. Rates of current MDD were similar across groups (1-2%), but HIV+ had a higher frequency of lifetime MDD (14% vs. 5%, p < .05). Its onset preceded date of known infection in one-third of cases. Alcoholism was the only substance use disorder detected; HIV+ had a higher proportion of lifetime substance use diagnoses (14% vs. 6%, p < .05). Depression and AIDS independently predicted worse daily functioning and life quality, and unemployment. Limitations: The epicenter of China HIV has moved into urban injection drug users, limiting the representativeness of this sample. Conclusions: High rates of MDD and its impact suggest that in China, as elsewhere, comprehensive care requires detection and treatment of mood disorder. © 2010 Elsevier B.V.


Cui F.,China Center for Disease Control | Drobeniuc J.,Centers for Disease Control and Prevention | Hadler S.C.,World Health Organization | Hutin Y.J.,World Health Organization | And 7 more authors.
Vaccine | Year: 2013

Background: As the WHO verified that China reached the target of 1% prevalence of chronic hepatitis B infection among children targeted by universal hepatitis B immunization of newborns, the country considered new options for hepatitis B prevention and control. We reviewed hepatitis B surveillance in the broader context of viral hepatitis surveillance to propose recommendations to improve the system. Methods: We described surveillance for viral hepatitis in China with a specific focus on hepatitis B. We assessed critical attributes of the system, including data quality, predictive positive value and usefulness. Results: While remarkable progress in hepatitis B immunization of infants and children has likely almost eliminated transmission in younger age groups, reported rates of hepatitis B increased steadily in China between 1990 and 2008, probably because of a failure to distinguish acute from chronic infections. Elements that prevented a clearer separation between acute and chronic cases included (1) missed opportunity to report cases accurately among clinicians, (2) low availability and use of tests to detect IgM against the hepatitis B core antigen (IgM anti-HBc) and (3) lack of systems to sort, manage and analyze surveillance data. Conclusions: To improve hepatitis B surveillance, China may consider (1) training clinicians to diagnose acute cases and to use IgM anti-HBc to confirm them, (2) improving access and use of validated IgM anti-HBc tests and (3) developing data management and analysis techniques that sort out acute from chronic cases. © 2013 Elsevier Ltd.


PubMed | Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, World Health Organization, Ningxia Center for Disease Control, Jiangsu Center for Disease Control and 2 more.
Type: | Journal: Vaccine | Year: 2013

As the WHO verified that China reached the target of 1% prevalence of chronic hepatitis B infection among children targeted by universal hepatitis B immunization of newborns, the country considered new options for hepatitis B prevention and control. We reviewed hepatitis B surveillance in the broader context of viral hepatitis surveillance to propose recommendations to improve the system.We described surveillance for viral hepatitis in China with a specific focus on hepatitis B. We assessed critical attributes of the system, including data quality, predictive positive value and usefulness.While remarkable progress in hepatitis B immunization of infants and children has likely almost eliminated transmission in younger age groups, reported rates of hepatitis B increased steadily in China between 1990 and 2008, probably because of a failure to distinguish acute from chronic infections. Elements that prevented a clearer separation between acute and chronic cases included (1) missed opportunity to report cases accurately among clinicians, (2) low availability and use of tests to detect IgM against the hepatitis B core antigen (IgM anti-HBc) and (3) lack of systems to sort, manage and analyze surveillance data.To improve hepatitis B surveillance, China may consider (1) training clinicians to diagnose acute cases and to use IgM anti-HBc to confirm them, (2) improving access and use of validated IgM anti-HBc tests and (3) developing data management and analysis techniques that sort out acute from chronic cases.


Zhu B.-Y.,Institute of Dermatology | Bu J.,Nanjing Medical University | Huang P.-Y.,Institute of Dermatology | Zhou Z.-G.,Institute of Dermatology | And 7 more authors.
Japanese Journal of Infectious Diseases | Year: 2012

This study assessed the epidemiology of sexually transmitted infections (STIs), HIV, and associated risk factors among female sex workers (FSWs) in Guangxi autonomous region, China. A cross-sectional study of 488 FSWs was conducted using a structured questionnaire to collect sociodemographic and behavioral information. Biological specimens from subjects were sampled to detect various STIs and HIV infection. Among FSWs, the prevalence rates of syphilis, Neisseria gonorrhoeae, Chlamydia trachomatis, genital herpes, condyloma acuminate, and HIV were 7.2%, 1.8%, 18.2%, 0.4%, 2.3%, and 0.8%, respectively. The prevalence rates of single, double, and triple infections were 22.3%, 3.9%, and 0.2%, respectively. Multivariate analysis indicated that STIs and HIV infection was independently related to low education level (OR = 7.244; 95z CI = 3.031-17.213; P < 0.001), low knowledge of STIs/HIV (OR = 0.191; 95% CI = 0.108-0.337; P < 0.001), low-grade working place (OR = 1.64; 95zCI = 1.016-2.648; P = 0.046), and no condom use during the last sexual intercourse (OR = 0.199; 95% CI = 0.113-0.350; P < 0.001). The prevalence of STIs is high among FSWs in Guangxi, is accompanied by a 0.8% HIV-positive rate, and may be largely related to high-risk sexual behaviors. Future interventions should be focused on the reduction of risk factors, including promotion of condom use and improvement of knowledge of STIs and HIV among FSWs.


News Article | August 25, 2016
Site: cleantechnica.com

Fresh air is missing as a core part of life in areas of China. Instead, air that creates illness and hastens death is dominant. China is not alone in terms of air pollution and water pollution. (See this story or this one on the EU and this one on the US, for example.) As a case of how bad it can get, however, China is a frightening example. The problems with air pollution in China are actually global problems, as it spreads across countries and even oceans. School children wear or need to wear masks. Fashionably masked women incorporate masks into their wardrobes. For years, the World Health Organization showed an air-quality score of particulate matter in China well above levels deemed safe. A new study calls for immediate attention. “The 2016 annual meeting of the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS), found that despite efforts to limit future emissions, the number of premature deaths linked to air pollution will climb over the next two decades unless more aggressive targets are set.” Specifics came to light in Special Report 20, Burden of Disease Attributable to Coal-Burning and Other Major Sources of Air Pollution in China. It is “the first comprehensive assessment of the current and predicted burdens of disease attributable to coal-burning and other major sources of particulate matter air pollution (PM2.5) in China at the national and provincial levels.” It was supported and initiated by the Global Burden of Disease – Major Air Pollution Sources (GDB MAPS) project, an international collaboration of Tsinghua University, the Health Effects Institute, the Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation (IHME), and the University of British Columbia. “The GBD is the largest and most comprehensive effort to date to measure epidemiological levels and trends worldwide,” said Zhou Maigeng, Deputy Director of the National Center for Chronic and Non-communicable Disease Control and Prevention of the China Center for Disease Control. Maigeng is the lead author of the GBD 2013 Chinese analysis published in the British medical journal The Lancet in October 2015. Maigeng points out, “Based on Chinese data, we found that outdoor air pollution was the 5th leading cause of premature death in China in 2013.” Business Green notes, “Under each scenario average PM 2.5 levels are expected to fall as clean technologies become more widespread. But the report also warns the impact on public health could still worsen over the coming decade.” Photo by leniners (some rights reserved) and charts via Burden Of Disease From Coal-Burning and Other Air Pollution Sources in China Small Increase In Energy Investment Could Save 3 Million Lives From Air Pollution In 2040 Road Traffic Pollution Is Significant Cause Of Childhood Asthma, Research Finds   Drive an electric car? Complete one of our short surveys for our next electric car report.   Keep up to date with all the hottest cleantech news by subscribing to our (free) cleantech newsletter, or keep an eye on sector-specific news by getting our (also free) solar energy newsletter, electric vehicle newsletter, or wind energy newsletter.  


News Article | August 30, 2016
Site: cleantechnica.com

A recent comprehensive study has concluded that coal combustion is the single largest source of air pollution-related health impact in China, contributing to 366,000 premature deaths in China in 2013 alone. Published mid-August, the new study was led by Tsinghua University in Beijing, China, and the Health Effects Institute: Burden of Disease Attributable to Coal-Burning and Other Air Pollution Sources in China. The study, available in both Chinese and English, is said to provide “the first comprehensive assessment at national and provincial levels of current and future burdens of disease attributable to coal-burning and other major sources of particular matter air pollution.” It is also the first report of the Global Burden of Disease — Major Air Pollution Sources (GBD MAPS), a multi-year, international collaboration of Tsinghua University, HEI, the Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation (IHME), and the University of British Columbia. “The GBD is the largest and most comprehensive effort to date to measure epidemiological levels and trends worldwide” said Zhou Maigeng, Deputy Director of the National Center for Chronic and Non-communicable Disease Control and Prevention of the China Center for Disease Control and lead author of the GBD 2013 Chinese analysis published in the British medical journal The Lancet in October 2015. “Based on Chinese data, we found that outdoor air pollution was the 5th leading cause of premature death in China in 2013.” Estimates of causes of premature death from 20 top risk factors in 2013 The new study is part of the GBD MAPS Working Group, and took advantage of enhanced satellite data and China’s ever-expanding network of air pollution monitors. The study was also the first to estimate the impact of different air pollution sources by province. “Coal-burning was the most important contributor to ambient PM2.5, causing an estimated 366,000 premature deaths in 2013,” said Professor Wang Shuxiao of Tsinghua University, a lead investigator for the study. “Industrial sources and household solid fuel combustion, from both coal and non-coal emissions, were the largest sectoral contributors to disease burden attributable to ambient PM2.5 in China, responsible for 250,000 and 177,000 premature deaths, respectively.” The study also pursued an estimate of future health burdens into 2030, based on four air pollution control and energy efficiency scenarios. Though in each of the scenarios exposure to PM2.5 will decrease, the growth of Chinese populations and their likelihood of extended lifespans will only increase the number of deaths from cardiovascular and lung diseases. Specifically, the GBD MAPS analysis forecasts as many as 1.3 million annual deaths as attributable to air pollution. “Air pollution health burdens will continue to be a challenge, but the potential for future health benefits from further control is enormous,” added Robert O’Keefe, Vice President of the Health Effects Institute.   Drive an electric car? Complete one of our short surveys for our next electric car report.   Keep up to date with all the hottest cleantech news by subscribing to our (free) cleantech newsletter, or keep an eye on sector-specific news by getting our (also free) solar energy newsletter, electric vehicle newsletter, or wind energy newsletter.  


Wei X.,Chinese University of Hong Kong | Zou G.,University of Leeds | Zhang H.,China National Center for Tuberculosis Prevention and Control | Li R.,China National Center for Tuberculosis Prevention and Control | And 9 more authors.
BMC Public Health | Year: 2011

Background: In 2004, the Ministry of Health issued the policy of decentralising microscopy services (MCs) to one third of all township hospitals in China. The study was conducted in Gansu Province, a poor western one in China. Ganzhou was one county in Gansu Province. Ganzhou County was identified as a unique case of further decentralisation of tuberculosis (TB) treatment services in township hospitals. The study evaluated the impact of the MC policy on providers and patients in Gansu Province. The second objective was to assess the unique case of Ganzhou County compared with other counties in the province. Methods. Both quantitative and qualitative methods were used. All 523 MCs in the province completed an institutional survey regarding their performance. Four counties were selected for in-depth investigation, where 169 TB suspects were randomly selected from the MC and county TB dispensary registers for questionnaire surveys. Informant interviews were conducted with 38 health staff at the township and county levels in the four counties. Results: Gansu established MCs in 39% of its township hospitals. From January 2006 to June 2007, 8% of MCs identified more than 10 TB sputum smear positive patients while 54% did not find any. MCs identified 1546 TB sputum smear positive patients, accounting for 9% of the total in the province. The throughputs of MCs in Ganzhou County were eight times of those in other counties. Interviews identified several barriers to implement the MC policy, such as inadequate health financing, low laboratory capacity, lack of human resources, poor treatment and management capacities, and lack of supervisions from county TB dispensaries. Conclusion: Microscopy centre throughputs were generally low in Gansu Province, and the contribution of MCs to TB case detection was insignificant taking account the number of MCs established. As a unique case of full decentralisation of TB service, Ganzhou County presented better results. However, standards and quality of TB care needed to be improved. The MC policy needs to be reviewed in light of evidence from this study. © 2011 Wei et al; licensee BioMed Central Ltd.


Au W.W.,Shantou University | Su D.,Shantou University | Yuan J.,China Center for Disease Control
Reviews on Environmental Health | Year: 2012

Throughout the world, cigarette smoking is a habit that causes serious health, economic, and social problems. Therefore, many countries have taken an active role to control and to ban smoking. The chronic smoking problem in China is particularly acute because China has the largest population of smokers in the world, over 300 million currently. If 30 of these smokers were to die of smoke-related diseases in the next 20 years, the impact from the more than 90 million premature deaths could be damaging to China. In addition, numerous non-smokers also experience health problems from exposure to environmental tobacco smoke. China's efforts to reduce or to ban smoking in certain public places have not been well-coordinated or enforced compared with those in other countries. Therefore, success has been minimal. Consequently, leaders in China should not be complacent about combating the serious national health problem. A multiprong approach in combination with the MPOWER policy from the World Health Organization that targets different levels of acquisition of the smoking habit must be used. Examples may include the government's reduced reliance on profits from the sale of cigarettes, the elimination of advertisements that encourage smoking among young individuals, the presentation of more graphic illustration of harmful effects from smoking on every pack of cigarettes, higher taxes/prices on cigarettes, and the implementation of enforceable bans on smoking in public places. As shown in other countries, such coordinated effort can be highly effective in the reduction of smoking and can have healthy consequences. © 2012 by Walter de Gruyter.

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