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Discover the most talked about and latest scientific content & concepts.

Concept: Haiti

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Mayaro virus has been associated with small outbreaks in northern South America. We isolated this virus from a child with acute febrile illness in rural Haiti, confirming its role as a cause of mosquitoborne illness in the Caribbean region. The clinical presentation can mimic that of chikungunya, dengue, and Zika virus infections.

Concepts: United States, North America, South America, Americas, Caribbean, Dutch language, Haiti

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To assess the timing and activities of foreign field hospitals (FFH) deployed during the first month after the Haiti earthquake and to evaluate adherence to WHO/Pan American Health Organization (PAHO) guidelines. Results were compared with data from past sudden-onset disasters.

Concepts: World Health Organization, 2010 Haiti earthquake, Haiti, Moment magnitude scale, Port-au-Prince, United Nations Stabilization Mission in Haiti, Jacmel, Wyclef Jean

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Following the 2010 earthquake in Haiti, the Israel Defense Forces Medical Corps deployed a field hospital in Port au Prince. The purpose of this study was to characterize the injuries sustained by the pediatric population treated in the hospital and examine the implications for planning deployment in future similar disasters.

Concepts: Medicine, Surgery, Physician, 2010 Haiti earthquake, Lebanon, Haiti, Port-au-Prince, Israel Defense Forces

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Public, nonprofit and private organisations respond to large-scale disasters domestically and overseas. Critics of these assistance efforts, as well as those involved, often cite poor interorganisational partnering as an obstacle to successful disaster response. Observers frequently call for ‘more’ and ‘better’ partnering. We found important qualitative distinctions existed within partnering behaviours. We identified four different types of interorganisational partnering activities often referred to interchangeably: communication, cooperation, coordination and collaboration-the Four Cs. We derived definitions of the Four Cs from the partnering literature. We then tested them in a case study of the response to the 2010 Haiti earthquake. We suggest that the Four Cs are distinct activities, that organisations are typically strong or weak in one or more for various reasons, and that the four terms represent a continuum of increased interorganisational embeddedness in partnering activities.

Concepts: Case study, Collaboration, 2010 Haiti earthquake, Cooperation, Haiti, Port-au-Prince, United Nations Stabilization Mission in Haiti, Jacmel

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Noonan syndrome (NS) is a common genetic syndrome associated with gain of function variants in genes in the Ras/MAPK pathway. The phenotype of NS has been well characterized in populations of European descent with less attention given to other groups. In this study, individuals from diverse populations with NS were evaluated clinically and by facial analysis technology. Clinical data and images from 125 individuals with NS were obtained from 20 countries with an average age of 8 years and female composition of 46%. Individuals were grouped into categories of African descent (African), Asian, Latin American, and additional/other. Across these different population groups, NS was phenotypically similar with only 2 of 21 clinical elements showing a statistically significant difference. The most common clinical characteristics found in all population groups included widely spaced eyes and low-set ears in 80% or greater of participants, short stature in more than 70%, and pulmonary stenosis in roughly half of study individuals. Using facial analysis technology, we compared 161 Caucasian, African, Asian, and Latin American individuals with NS with 161 gender and age matched controls and found that sensitivity was equal to or greater than 94% for all groups, and specificity was equal to or greater than 90%. In summary, we present consistent clinical findings from global populations with NS and additionally demonstrate how facial analysis technology can support clinicians in making accurate NS diagnoses. This work will assist in earlier detection and in increasing recognition of NS throughout the world.

Concepts: Gene, Genetics, Evolution, Statistical significance, Black people, White people, Equality, Haiti

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Zika virus disease is caused by infection with a flavivirus with broad geographic distribution and is most frequently transmitted by the bite of an infected mosquito. The disease was first identified in the World Health Organization’s Region of the Americas in 2015 and was followed by a surge in reported cases of congenital microcephaly in Brazil; Zika virus disease rapidly spread to the rest of the region and the Caribbean (1), including Haiti. Infection with the virus is associated with adverse fetal outcomes (1) and rare neurologic complications in adults. The magnitude of public health issues associated with Zika virus led the World Health Organization to declare the Zika virus outbreak a Public Health Emergency of International Concern on February 1, 2016 (2). Because many persons with mild Zika virus disease are asymptomatic and might not seek care, it is difficult to estimate the actual incidence of Zika virus infection. During October 12, 2015-September 10, 2016, the Haitian Ministry of Public Health and Population (Ministère de la Santé Publique et de la Population [MSPP]) detected 3,036 suspected cases of Zika virus infection in the general population, 22 suspected cases of Zika virus disease among pregnant women, 13 suspected cases of Guillain-Barré syndrome (GBS), and 29 suspected cases of Zika-associated congenital microcephaly. Nineteen (0.6%) patients with suspected Zika virus disease, residing in Ouest (10 patients), Artibonite (six), and Centre (three) administrative departments,* have been confirmed by laboratory testing, including two among pregnant women and 17 in the general population. Ongoing laboratory-enhanced surveillance to monitor Zika virus disease in Haiti is important to understanding the outbreak and ensuring effective response activities.

Concepts: Public health, Epidemiology, Infection, World Health Organization, Americas, Latin America, Caribbean, Haiti

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Recent studies in African contexts have revealed a strong association between spirit possession and severe trauma, with inclusion into a possession cult serving at times a therapeutic function. Research on spirit possession in the Dominican Republic has so far not included quantitative studies of trauma and dissociation. This study evaluated demographic variables, somatoform dissociative symptoms, and potentially traumatizing events in the Dominican Republic with a group of Vodou practitioners that either do or do not experience spirit possession. Inter-group comparisons revealed that in contrast to non-possessed participants (n = 38), those experiencing spirit possession (n = 47) reported greater somatoform dissociation, more problems with sleep, and previous exposure to mortal danger such as assaults, accidents, or diseases. The two groups did not differ significantly in other types of trauma. The best predictor variable for group classification was somatoform dissociation, although those items could also reflect the experience of followers during a possession episode. A factor analysis across variables resulted in three factors: having to take responsibility early on in life and taking on a professional spiritual role; traumatic events and pain; and distress/dissociation. In comparison with the non-possessed individuals, the possessed ones did not seem to overall have a remarkably more severe story of trauma and seemed to derive economic gains from possession practice.

Concepts: Factor analysis, Psychological trauma, Dissociation, Puerto Rico, Dissociative identity disorder, Haiti, Dominican Republic, Index of Dominican Republic-related articles

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This study examines black adolescents' reports of the most helpful types of social support that they receive from and provide to family members, and whether family support exchanges vary by ethnicity (African American vs. Black Caribbean) and gender. Data for this study are from the National Survey of American Life Adolescent Supplement (NSAL-A), a national, probability sample of African American and Black Caribbean youth (ages 13-17). Overall, youth reported financial support, followed by emotional assistance and practical support as the most helpful types of support that they received. Practical and emotional assistance characterized the most commonly reported types of support that they provided to family members. Black Caribbean adolescents were more likely than African American adolescents to report financial and practical assistance as the most helpful types of support that they received from family members; no ethnic differences were observed in the provision of support to relatives. There were no significant gender differences in the receipt of support, but adolescent girls reported greater involvement in providing emotional support and caregiving than adolescent boys. The results of this paper reveal that African American and Black Caribbean adolescents are involved in a complex pattern of reciprocal support exchanges with their extended family members. Study findings also reinforce the importance of research focused on racial/ethnic and gender differences in family support exchanges in order to develop a more nuanced understanding of family support behaviors within these groups.

Concepts: Race, Ethnic group, White American, African American, Caribbean, African diaspora, Extended family, Haiti

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On July 16 2015, the Puerto Rico Department of Health (PRDH) was notified of a case of malaria, diagnosed by a hospital parasitology laboratory in a student who had traveled to Punta Cana, Dominican Republic, during late June for a school-organized graduation trip. Malaria is a mosquito-borne parasitic infection, characterized by fever, shaking chills, headaches, muscle pains, nausea, general malaise, and vomiting (1). Malaria can be clinically difficult to distinguish from other acute febrile illnesses, and a definitive diagnosis requires demonstration of malaria parasites using microscopy or molecular diagnostic tests. The student’s initial diagnosis on July 10 was suspected dengue virus infection. Puerto Rico eliminated local malaria transmission during the mid-1950s (2); however, reintroduction remains a risk because of the presence of a competent vector (Anopheles albimanus) and ease of travel to areas where the disease is endemic, including Hispaniola, the island shared by the Dominican Republic and Haiti, and the only island in the Caribbean with endemic malaria (3). During 2014, the Dominican Republic reported 496 confirmed malaria cases and four associated deaths; Haiti reported 17,662 confirmed cases and nine deaths (4). During 2000-2014, Puerto Rico reported a total of 35 imported malaria cases (range = 0-7 per year); three cases were imported from Hispaniola. During June-August 2015, eight confirmed malaria cases among travelers to the Dominican Republic were reported to CDC’s National Malaria Surveillance System (CDC, unpublished data, 2015).

Concepts: Malaria, Fever, Puerto Rico, Hispaniola, Haiti, Dominican Republic, Taíno, Greater Antilles