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Concept: New York


A routine investigation by the New York City (NYC) Department of Health and Mental Hygiene (DOHMH) identified a nonpregnant woman in her twenties who reported she had engaged in a single event of condomless vaginal intercourse with a male partner the day she returned to NYC (day 0) from travel to an area with ongoing Zika virus transmission. She had headache and abdominal cramping while in the airport awaiting return to NYC. The following day (day 1) she developed fever, fatigue, a maculopapular rash, myalgia, arthralgia, back pain, swelling of the extremities, and numbness and tingling in her hands and feet. In addition, on day 1, the woman began menses that she described as heavier than usual. On day 3 she visited her primary care provider who obtained blood and urine specimens. Zika virus RNA was detected in both serum and urine by real-time reverse transcription-polymerase chain reaction (rRT-PCR) performed at the DOHMH Public Health Laboratory using a test based on an assay developed at CDC (1). The results of serum testing for anti-Zika virus immunoglobulin M (IgM) antibody performed by the New York State Department of Health Wadsworth Center laboratory was negative using the CDC Zika IgM antibody capture enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (Zika MAC-ELISA) (2).

Concepts: Influenza, Immune system, New York, Immunology, ELISPOT, Antibody, ELISA, New York City


Human-induced rapid environmental change has created a global pandemic of neurobehavioral disorders in which industrial compounds like lead are the root cause. We assessed the feral pigeon (Columba livia) as a lead bioindicator in New York City. We collected blood lead level records from 825 visibly ill or abnormally behaving pigeons from various NYC neighborhoods between 2010 and 2015. We found that blood lead levels were significantly higher during the summer, an effect reported in children. Pigeon blood lead levels were not significantly different between years or among neighborhoods. However, blood lead levels per neighborhood in Manhattan were positively correlated with mean rates of lead in children identified by the NYC Department of Health and Mental Hygiene as having elevated blood lead levels (>10 μg/dl). We provide support for the use of the feral pigeon as a bioindicator of environmental lead contamination for the first time in the U.S. and for the first time anywhere in association with rates of elevated blood lead levels in children. This information has the potential to enable measures to assess, strategize, and potentially circumvent the negative impacts of lead and other environmental contaminants on human and wildlife communities.

Concepts: New York, Columbidae, Queens, Manhattan, Rock Pigeon, Blood lead level, Lead poisoning, New York City


The microbiome of wild Mus musculus (house mouse), a globally distributed invasive pest that resides in close contact with humans in urban centers, is largely unexplored. Here, we report analysis of the fecal virome of house mice in residential buildings in New York City, NY. Mice were collected at seven sites in Manhattan, Queens, Brooklyn, and the Bronx over a period of 1 year. Unbiased high-throughput sequencing of feces revealed 36 viruses from 18 families and 21 genera, including at least 6 novel viruses and 3 novel genera. A representative screen of 15 viruses by PCR confirmed the presence of 13 of these viruses in liver. We identified an uneven distribution of diversity, with several viruses being associated with specific locations. Higher mouse weight was associated with an increase in the number of viruses detected per mouse, after adjusting for site, sex, and length. We found neither genetic footprints to known human viral pathogens nor antibodies to lymphocytic choriomeningitis virus.IMPORTANCE Mice carry a wide range of infectious agents with zoonotic potential. Their proximity to humans in the built environment is therefore a concern for public health. Laboratory mice are also the most common experimental model for investigating the pathobiology of infectious diseases. In this survey of mice trapped in multiple locations within New York City over a period of 1 year, we found a diverse collection of viruses that includes some previously not associated with house mice and others that appear to be novel. Although we found no known human pathogens, our findings provide insights into viral ecology and may yield models that have utility for clinical microbiology.

Concepts: Manhattan, Microbiology, The Bronx, New York, Mouse, Murinae, New York City, House mouse


Paper currency by its very nature is frequently transferred from one person to another and represents an important medium for human contact with-and potential exchange of-microbes. In this pilot study, we swabbed circulating $1 bills obtained from a New York City bank in February (Winter) and June (Summer) 2013 and used shotgun metagenomic sequencing to profile the communities found on their surface. Using basic culture conditions, we also tested whether viable microbes could be recovered from bills.

Concepts: Money, New Jersey, New York, London, City of London, Toronto, United Kingdom, New York City


High temperatures have substantial impacts on mortality and, with growing concerns about climate change, numerous studies have developed projections of future heat-related deaths around the world. Projections of temperature-related mortality are often limited by insufficient information necessary to formulate hypotheses about population sensitivity to high temperatures and future demographics.

Concepts: City of London, New York, Metropolitan area, Heat wave, United Kingdom, Climate change, Demography, New York City


Taxi services are a vital part of urban transportation, and a considerable contributor to traffic congestion and air pollution causing substantial adverse effects on human health. Sharing taxi trips is a possible way of reducing the negative impact of taxi services on cities, but this comes at the expense of passenger discomfort quantifiable in terms of a longer travel time. Due to computational challenges, taxi sharing has traditionally been approached on small scales, such as within airport perimeters, or with dynamical ad hoc heuristics. However, a mathematical framework for the systematic understanding of the tradeoff between collective benefits of sharing and individual passenger discomfort is lacking. Here we introduce the notion of shareability network, which allows us to model the collective benefits of sharing as a function of passenger inconvenience, and to efficiently compute optimal sharing strategies on massive datasets. We apply this framework to a dataset of millions of taxi trips taken in New York City, showing that with increasing but still relatively low passenger discomfort, cumulative trip length can be cut by 40% or more. This benefit comes with reductions in service cost, emissions, and with split fares, hinting toward a wide passenger acceptance of such a shared service. Simulation of a realistic online system demonstrates the feasibility of a shareable taxi service in New York City. Shareability as a function of trip density saturates fast, suggesting effectiveness of the taxi sharing system also in cities with much sparser taxi fleets or when willingness to share is low.

Concepts: Collective, New York, English-language films, Congestion pricing, United Kingdom, City, Rush hour, New York City


The purpose of this study was to examine county and state-level accidental poisoning mortality trends in Pennsylvania from 1979 to 2014.

Concepts: New York, Design, Maryland, City, Death


Trans-fatty acids (TFAs) have deleterious cardiovascular effects. Restrictions on their use were initiated in 11 New York State (NYS) counties between 2007 and 2011. The US Food and Drug Administration plans a nationwide restriction in 2018. Public health implications of TFA restrictions are not well understood.

Concepts: Massachusetts, Pennsylvania, New Jersey, Hudson River, Ontario, Myocardial infarction, New York, New York City


Sharing rides could drastically improve the efficiency of car and taxi transportation. Unleashing such potential, however, requires understanding how urban parameters affect the fraction of individual trips that can be shared, a quantity that we call shareability. Using data on millions of taxi trips in New York City, San Francisco, Singapore, and Vienna, we compute the shareability curves for each city, and find that a natural rescaling collapses them onto a single, universal curve. We explain this scaling law theoretically with a simple model that predicts the potential for ride sharing in any city, using a few basic urban quantities and no adjustable parameters. Accurate extrapolations of this type will help planners, transportation companies, and society at large to shape a sustainable path for urban growth.

Concepts: Metropolitan area, Curves, Curve, New Jersey, Automobile, New York, Global city, New York City


On November 19, 2013, New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg signed into law the “Tobacco 21” bill, imposing the strictest age restriction on tobacco sales of any major U.S. city.(1) Beginning in May 2014, it will be illegal to sell tobacco products and electronic cigarettes to persons younger than 21 years of age. The law stops short of making possession of tobacco products by persons under 21 a crime, placing the responsibility on retailers under penalty of civil fines. Regulations issued by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) set the national minimum tobacco-sales age at 18 but allow states and . . .

Concepts: Cigarette, New York, United States Congress, Nicotine, Tobacco, Mayor of New York City, New York City, Michael Bloomberg