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Katner A.,Federal office of Public Health of Fribourg
The Journal of the Louisiana State Medical Society : official organ of the Louisiana State Medical Society | Year: 2012

Carbon monoxide (CO) poisoning is preventable, yet it remains one of the most common causes of poisoning in the United States. This analysis was performed to estimate the number of emergency department (ED) visits in 2010 in Louisiana for all-cause (fire-related, non-fire, and unknown) unintentional CO poisoning. Results demonstrate approximately 1,696,746 total ED visits occurred in 2010. Among these, an estimated 116 individuals were diagnosed with CO poisoning (68 CO cases per million ED visits; 26.2 CO cases per million population). Emergency Department visits for CO poisoning occurred most frequently in the winter months. Caddo, Jefferson, and Orleans parishes had the highest numbers of CO poisonings in 2010. The most common symptoms included headache, hypertension, nausea, and dizziness. The ED database presented more cases of the most common CO poisoning cases (non-fatal) than previously used surveillance databases. This study demonstrated the utility and importance of ED data as a surveillance tool.

Weindorf D.C.,Texas Tech University | Bakr N.,National Research Center of Egypt | Zhu Y.,Federal office of Public Health of Fribourg
Advances in Agronomy | Year: 2014

Contemporary soil, agronomic, and environmental investigations require high quality data for the development of sound management decisions. For years, X-ray fluorescence (XRF) spectrometry has been known to provide accurate elemental data in a wide range of matrices. However, advances in the past two decades have now made the technology portable. Improvements to spectrometer design have led to the replacement of many active source X-ray units with X-ray tubes that only emit X-rays when energized. Several generations of detector improvement have resulted in the current standard for many units, the silicon drift detector, which is capable of much lower limits of detection than its predecessors. Field portable X-ray fluorescence (PXRF) spectrometers offer many advantages over traditional techniques including speed, portability, wide dynamic range of elemental quantification, little/no need for sample pretreatment, and simplicity. Furthermore, PXRF analyses are nondestructive, allowing for analyzed samples to be preserved for future use. This review presents an overview of the development, operational theory, and contemporary uses of PXRF. Also, benefits and limitations to PXRF use are presented. Many industrial uses are covered, but deference is paid to rapidly advancing environmental, pedological, and agronomic applications of PXRF. Summarily, PXRF offers a range of benefits not possible with traditional laboratory techniques. © 2014 Elsevier Inc.

Bruggmann P.,Arud Centres for Addiction Medicine | Richard J.-L.,Federal office of Public Health of Fribourg
European Journal of Public Health | Year: 2015

Data of the national hepatitis C virus (HCV) notification system and the Swiss hepatitis C cohort study have been analysed for birth year distribution. Persons born between 1955 and 1974 are disproportionally affected by HCV, accounting for 61% of all reported infections. Over the course of the reporting period from 1988 to 2012, the majority of affected persons were born in the mid-60s and a sharply increasing proportion between 1975 and 1984 (from 0.6 to 19.5%). To enhance the so far insufficient HCV detection rates in Switzerland, additional testing strategies such as birth cohort screening must be further evaluated and discussed. © The Author 2014. Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of the European Public Health Association. All rights reserved.

Heininger U.,University of Basel | Weibel D.,University of Basel | Richard J.-L.,Federal office of Public Health of Fribourg
Pediatric Infectious Disease Journal | Year: 2014

BACKGROUND:: Frequency of pertussis is highly variable from country to country and it depends on multiple factors including case definitions and type of surveillance systems used. Many countries recently reported an increase of pertussis cases especially in infants and adolescents. METHODS:: From April 2006 to March 2011, 15-year-old patients hospitalized with suspected or proven pertussis were reported to the Swiss Pediatric Surveillance Unit. Patients with ≥14 days of cough plus paroxysms, whooping or post-tussive vomiting fulfilled the clinical case definition of pertussis. For laboratory confirmation, Bordetella pertussis polymerase chain reaction was offered free of charge. RESULTS:: Data were available from 159 of 173 reported cases and 130 (90% of them <12 months old) were eligible including 125 laboratory-confirmed B. pertussis infections. Rates per 100,000 population were 2.6 (<16 years) and 38.8 (<12 months), respectively. Most frequent complications were cyanosis (63%) and sleep disturbance (60%); 35 (27%) patients received intensive care and 1 patient died. Source of infection was known in 79 (61%) patients and was mainly a sibling, parent or both. Most patients were unimmunized (65%) or incompletely immunized (30%). CONCLUSIONS:: The high rate of pertussis hospitalization in young infants established in this surveillance project and the incomplete pertussis immunization status in almost all hospitalized patients require further efforts for improvement. In addition, introduction of pertussis immunizations for all adolescents (in 2013), young adults (in 2012) and pregnant women (in 2013) in Switzerland should increase indirect protection of vulnerable newborns and infants too young to be fully immunized. Copyright © 2013 by Lippincott Williams & Wilkins.

Coughlin S.S.,Federal office of Public Health of Fribourg | Coughlin S.S.,Emory University
American Journal of Epidemiology | Year: 2013

The causal and noncausal associations that account for linkages between depressive symptoms and human immunodeficiency virus (HIV)/acquired immune deficiency syndrome are complex and not completely understood. Depression is a common mental health condition that affects approximately 20%-30% of persons receiving HIV medical care. Those suffering from depressive symptoms may be more apt to abuse alcohol or other substances and to have difficulties with adherence to treatment regimens over long periods of time. Persons living with HIV who are effectively treated for their depression are more likely to adhere to antiretroviral therapy over time and to enjoy better health and improved quality of life. The article by Wada et al. in this issue of the Journal (Am J Epidemiol. 2013;177(2):116-125) provides an important look at the long-term survival experiences of men and women who participated in 2 major epidemiologic studies of HIV and acquired immune deficiency syndrome. Long-term follow-up studies such as that by Wada et al. highlight not only the mortality experience of vulnerable groups of people but also their profound resiliency and ability to prevail over personal challenges, such as poverty and unemployment, and health conditions, such as HIV and depression. © 2012 The Author.

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