PLoS Currents

Journal Information
ISSN / EISSN : 2157-3999 / 2157-3999
Current Publisher: Public Library of Science (PLoS) (10.1371)
Total articles ≅ 681
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Joanne Whitehead, Bryony Lake
Published: 13 September 2018
PLoS Currents, Volume 10; doi:10.1371/currents.outbreaks.bae5a0fd685616839c9cf857792730d1

Introduction: Determining the potential risk of foodborne illness has become critical for informing policy decisions, due to the increasing availability and popularity of unpasteurized (raw) milk.
Lisel O'dwyer, Kirrilly Thompson
PLoS Currents, Volume 10; doi:10.1371/currents.dis.f659ce48594ea47f5a20de03e9dfa43a

Background: Animal ownership has been identified as a risk factor for human survivability of natural disasters. Animal guardians have been reported to react or act in ways that may put their own safety and that of emergency services personnel at risk when faced with a natural disaster. Recent research has suggested that this risk factor could be reconfigured as a protective factor, whereby desires to save animals from natural disaster harm could motivate increased planning and preparedness behaviours amongst animal guardians. However, there has been no research to determine if bushfire planning and response behaviours differ between pet owners with low and high attachment; and how the relationship may differ in relation to small or large animals. Methods and procedure: We investigated the relationship between people’s emotional attachment to different types of pets and their preparation and actions during the Pinery bushfire in South Australia in November 2015. Thirty-four people who were impacted by the fire participated in an online survey. Data were collected about their preparedness, planning and response behaviours as well as their animal attachment (high or low). Results: We identified 10 characteristics (behaviours, attributes, skills and beliefs) associated with high animal attachment scores, and eight associated with low animal attachment scores. Discussion: Our discussion of the differences in demographics, preparedness, planning and response characteristics of participants with high and low animal attachment confirms research suggesting that animal guardians take risks to save their animals during disasters. Our findings also support recent propositions that animal attachment and ownership could be used to increase the natural disaster preparedness and survivability of animal guardians. However, making sure that animal attachment functions as a protective factor requires active and effective intervention through education, behaviour change and social marketing strategies. Whilst our study is high in ecological validity, future research with larger samples sizes is required to determine the generalisability of our findings to animal owners and guardians in other locations, facing fires with other characteristics, especially for owners and guardians with low levels of attachment.
, Sungwoo Lim, Annie Fine
Published: 1 January 2018
PLoS Currents, Volume 10; doi:10.1371/currents.outbreaks.00dd49d24b62731f87f12b0e657aa04c

Introduction: The New York City Department of Health and Mental Hygiene sought to detect and minimize the risk of local, mosquito-borne Zika virus (ZIKV) transmission. We modeled areas at greatest risk for recent ZIKV importation, in the context of spatially biased ZIKV case ascertainment and no data on the local spatial distribution of persons arriving from ZIKV-affected countries.
, Abbas Suleiman Elmahi, Irene Pereira, Michel Debacker
Published: 1 January 2018
PLoS Currents, Volume 10; doi:10.1371/currents.dis.8267b8917b47bc12ff3a712fe4589fe1

Background: Heavy rain hit Sudan in August 2013 with subsequent flash floods in different parts of the country. This study investigated the impact of the flooding on incidence of malaria in Almanagil Locality in central Sudan. Methods: This observational retrospective study compared malaria data sets during rainfall seasons in the Almanagil Locality in the year of flooding (2013) with those of corresponding rainfall seasons of previous two non-flood years (2011 and 2012). Results: A marked increase of new malaria cases and incidence rate was observed in the 13 sentinel malaria notification sites in the locality (IR increased from 6.09 per 100,000 person­days in 2011 [95 % CI: 5.93-6.26] and 6.48 in 2012 [95 % CI: 6.31-6.65] to 8.24 in 2013 [95 % CI: 8.05-8.43] ; P< 0.0001), with a peaking of the incidence rate in the under-5-years age group (IR for this age group jumped from 9.80 per 100,000 person­days in 2011 [95 % CI: 9.29­10.32] and 10.00 in 2012 [95 % CI: 9.52­10.49] to 15.02 in 2013 [95 % CI: 14.41­15.64]). A noticeable increase in the slide positivity rate (P< 0.0001) was observed in the 12-week period of 2013 (SPR = 20.86% [95 % CI: 20.40 ­21.32%]) compared with the same periods in 2011 (SPR = 8.72% [95 % CI: 8.36 ­9.08%]) and 2012 (SPR = 12.62% [95 % CI: 12.24 ­13.01%]), with a more marked rise of the SPR in the under-5-year age group. Hospital data showed increase in both the inpatient and outpatient incidence proportions in the study period of 2013 compared to those of the years 2011 and 2012. Hospital OPD incidence proportion in 2013 was 19.7% (95% CI: 19.24­20.18%) compared to 12.85% (95% CI: 12.48­13.23%) in 2011, and 12.16% (95% CI: 11.82­12.51%) in 2012. The < 5 year old groups were responsible for the overall rise in the proportion of malaria cases in 2013 , particularly the < 1 year old group which more than doubled in the 2013 period compared to both 2011 and 2012 periods (Age­specific proportion of the outpatient malaria cases of the < 1 year old group in 2013 was19.5% [95% CI: 18.5­20.6%] compared to 7.7% [95% CI: 6.9­8.6%] in 2011 and 8.1% [95% CI: 7.3­8.9%] in 2012. Incidence proportion of severe malaria cases (inpatients) increased to 22.5 % (95 % CI: 21.5 to 23.6 %) in the study period of 2013 compared to 19.8 % (95 % CI: 18.6 to 21.0 %) in 2011 and 18.4 % (95 % CI: 17.4 to 19.5) in 2012. The increase in the proportion of severe malaria cases was mainly due to a higher proportion of children < 5 years of age and especially to a higher proportion of children < 1 year of age. Conclusion: The study revealed a significant increase in the incidence rate of malaria in Almanagil Locality following the flash flood of August 2013. The flooding had the highest impact on the malaria incidence of the under-5-years age group, and particularly of the under-1-year age group. Keywords: Flood, Flooding, Malaria, Disaster, Sudan, Gezira, Almanagil
Christina J. Pickering, Tracey L. O'sullivan, Alessia Morris, Carman Mark, David McQuirk, Emily Yy Chan, Emily Guy, Gloria Kw Chan, Karen Reddin, Ralph Throp, et al.
Published: 1 January 2018
PLoS Currents, Volume 10; doi:10.1371/currents.dis.223ac4322834aa0bb0d6824ee424e7f8

Introduction: An all-of-society approach to disaster risk reduction emphasizes inclusion and engagement in preparedness activities. A common recommendation is to promote household preparedness through the preparation of a ‘grab bag’ or ‘disaster kit’, that can be used to shelter-in-place or evacuate. However, there are knowledge gaps related to how this strategy is being used around the world as a disaster risk reduction strategy, and what evidence there is to support recommendations. Methods: In this paper, we present an exploratory study undertaken to provide insight into how grab bag guidelines are used to promote preparedness in Canada, China, England, Japan, and Scotland, and supplemented by a literature review to understand existing evidence for this strategy. Results: There are gaps in the literature regarding evidence on grab bag effectiveness. We also found variations in how grab bag guidelines are promoted across the five case studies. Discussion: While there are clearly common items recommended for household grab bags (such as water and first aid kits), there are gaps in the literature regarding: 1) the evidence base to inform guidelines; 2) uptake of guidelines; and 3) to what extent grab bags reduce demands on essential services and improve disaster resilience.
, Rosamund Southgate, Hikmet Ahmed, Penelope O’Connor, Vanessa Cramond,
Published: 1 January 2018
PLoS Currents, Volume 10; doi:10.1371/currents.dis.bb5f22928e631dff9a80377309381feb

We call on all health actors and the international community to work towards re-establishment of routine immunisation activities as a priority to ensure that children who have had no access to vaccination in the last five years are adequately protected for VPDs as soon as possible.
, Benjamin Banai, Irena Pavela Banai
Published: 1 January 2018
PLoS Currents, Volume 10; doi:10.1371/currents.dis.cbf57c8ac3b239ba51ccc801d3362c07

Introduction: Studies show that natural disasters influence voters’ perception of incumbent politicians. To investigate whether voters are prone to punish politicians for events that are out of their control, this study was conducted in the previously unstudied context of Croatia, and by considering some of the methodological issues of previous studies. Method: Matching method technique was used, which ensures that affected and non-affected areas are matched on several control variables. The cases of natural disaster in the present study were floods that affected Croatia in 2014 and 2015. Results: Main results showed that, prior to matching, floods had an impact on voting behaviour in the 2014 and 2015 elections. Voters from flooded areas decreased their support for the incumbent government and president in the elections following the floods. However, once we accounted for differences in control variables between flooded and non-flooded areas, the flood effect disappeared. Furthermore, results showed that neither the presence nor the amount of the government’s relief spending had an impact on voting behaviour. Discussion: Presented results imply that floods did not have an impact on the election outcome. Results are interpreted in light of the retrospective voter model.
Darakhshan Guhar, Nadia Jamil, Shoukat Jahan Talpur, Gulzar Ahmed Channa, Maliha Wajeeh, Muhammad Zohaib Khan, Saifullah Khan
Published: 1 January 2018
PLoS Currents, Volume 10; doi:10.1371/currents.outbreaks.7257f6b05d8c18cf9e6eb222248be79f

Introduction: Chikungunya is an incipient disease, caused by Chikungunya virus (CHKV) that belongs to genus alphavirus of the family Togaviridae. Materials and Methods: In this study, during an outbreak of CHKV in Dec 2016 in Karachi, Pakistan, samples were collected from patients presenting with fever, tiredness and pain in muscles and joints. Total 126 sera were tested for the presence of Chikungunya infection through ELISA and Real-time Reverse Transcriptase PCR assay. Results and Discussion: This study showed that approx 79.4% samples were positive for CHKV. To our knowledge, this is the first reported outbreak from last decades in which the presence of CHKV is confirmed in Karachi while affecting such large no. of individuals.. Conclusion: CHKV diagnosis should be considered by the scientists and clinicians as a differential diagnosis in febrile patients, and appropriate control strategies must be adopted for its surveillance.
Linda I. Ekperi, Erin Thomas, Tanya Telfair Leblanc, Erica Elaine Adams, Grete E. Wilt, Noelle-Angelique Molinari, Eric G. Carbone
Published: 1 January 2018
PLoS Currents, Volume 10; doi:10.1371/currents.dis.ea09f9573dc292951b7eb0cf9f395003

Background: Hurricane Sandy made landfall on the eastern coast of the United States on October 29, 2012 resulting in 117 deaths and 71.4 billion dollars in damage. Persons with undiagnosed HIV infection might experience delays in diagnosis testing, status confirmation, or access to care due to service disruption in storm-affected areas. The objective of this study is to describe the impact of Hurricane Sandy on HIV testing rates in affected areas and estimate the magnitude and duration of disruption in HIV testing associated with storm damage intensity.
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