Beyond scale-free networks: integrating multilayer social networks with molecular clusters in the local spread of COVID-19

1 day 3 hours ago
This study evaluates the scale-free network assumption commonly used in COVID-19 epidemiology, using empirical social network data from SARS-CoV-2 Delta variant molecular local clusters in Houston, Texas. We constructed genome-informed social networks from contact and co-residence data, tested them for scale-free power-law distributions that imply highly connected hubs, and compared them to alternative models (exponential, log-normal, power-law with exponential cutoff, and Weibull) that suggest...
Kayo Fujimoto

Intersection of Perceived COVID-19 Risk, Preparedness, and Preventive Health Behaviors: Latent Class Segmentation Analysis

6 days 3 hours ago
CONCLUSIONS: The clustering patterns highlight the impact of modifiable risk behaviors on COVID-19 preventive practices, which can provide strong empirical support for health prevention policies. Consequently, clusters with individuals at high risk of contracting COVID-19 would benefit from multicomponent interventions delivered in diverse settings to improve the population-based response to the pandemic.
Osaro Mgbere

Schools and Wastewater Surveillance: Practical Implications for an Emerging Technology to Impact Child Health

2 months 2 weeks ago
Since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic, wastewater surveillance has emerged as a public health tool that supplements traditional surveillance methods used to detect the prevalence of the SARS-CoV-2 virus in communities. In May 2020, the Houston Health Department (HHD) partnered with a coalition of municipal and academic partners to develop a wastewater monitoring and reporting system for the city of Houston, Texas. The HHD subsequently launched a program to conduct targeted wastewater sampling...
Gwendolyn Johnson

Public Health Interventions Guided by Houston's Wastewater Surveillance Program During the COVID-19 Pandemic

4 months 1 week ago
Since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic, wastewater surveillance has emerged as a powerful tool used by public health authorities to track SARS-CoV-2 infections in communities. In May 2020, the Houston Health Department began working with a coalition of municipal and academic partners to develop a wastewater monitoring and reporting system for the city of Houston, Texas. Data collected from the system are integrated with other COVID-19 surveillance data and communicated through different...
Loren Hopkins

Exploring the Prevalence and Factors Influencing Clinical Trial Awareness in US Adults with Self-Reported Depression and Anxiety

4 months 2 weeks ago
CONCLUSION: Our study shows that about six in 10 adults with depression and anxiety in the United States were aware of clinical trials. However, some sub-groups of patients, particularly those without access to a regular health provider, those with a lower education level, and those with limited use of social media for health purposes, remain inadequately informed and may lack awareness of available clinical trials. These findings are crucial and identify subgroups of people with mental...
Ibilola A Sanusi

Development and demonstration of a data visualization platform of short-term guidelines for ambient air levels of benzene during disaster response in Houston, Texas

4 months 3 weeks ago
Industrial disasters have caused hazardous air pollution and public health impacts. Response officials have developed limited exposure guidelines to direct them during the event; often, guidelines are outdated and may not represent relevant elevated-exposure periods. The 2019 Intercontinental Terminals Company (ITC) fire in Houston, Texas led to large-scale releases of benzene and presented a public health threat. This incident highlights the need for effective response and nimble, rapid public...
Cloelle G Danforth

Association of Bullying Victimization With Suicide Ideation and Attempt Among School-Going Adolescents in Post-conflict Liberia: Findings From the Global School-Based Health Survey

5 months ago
Background School-based bullying is a global problem that negatively impacts the victims' and perpetrators' health and well-being. There is a paucity of data regarding bullying in schools and its association with suicide behaviors among adolescents in Liberia. Objective The study investigated the impact of bullying victimization on suicidal thoughts and suicide attempts among adolescents in Liberia. It aimed to provide insights into the consequences of bullying victimization on adolescents'...
Okelue E Okobi

Association Between the Use of Wearable Devices and Physical Activity Among US Adults With Depression and Anxiety: Evidence From the 2019 and 2020 Health Information National Trends Survey

5 months 1 week ago
Objective The objective of this study was to examine the relationship between wearable device (WD) use and physical activity (PA) levels among US adults with self-reported depression and anxiety. Methods Data were pooled from 2026 adults who self-reported depression and anxiety from the 2019 and 2020 Health Information National Trends Survey. The explanatory variable was WD use, and the outcomes were weekly PA levels and resistance strength training. Logistic regression was conducted to...
Okelue E Okobi

Beyond COVID-19: Designing Inclusive Public Health Surveillance by Including Wastewater Monitoring

5 months 2 weeks ago
Wastewater-based epidemiology is a promising and expanding public health surveillance method. The current wastewater testing trajectory to monitor primarily at community wastewater treatment plants was necessitated by immediate needs of the pandemic. Going forward, specific consideration should be given to monitoring vulnerable and underserved communities to ensure inclusion and rapid response to public health threats. This is particularly important when clinical testing data are insufficient to...
Rochelle H Holm

Data to Action: Community-Based Participatory Research to Address Concerns about Metal Air Pollution in Overburdened Neighborhoods near Metal Recycling Facilities in Houston

6 months ago
BACKGROUND: Exposures to environmental contaminants can be influenced by social determinants of health. As a result, persons living in socially disadvantaged communities may experience disproportionate health risks from environmental exposures. Mixed methods research can be used to understand community-level and individual-level exposures to chemical and nonchemical stressors contributing to environmental health disparities. Furthermore, community-based participatory research (CBPR) approaches...
Elaine Symanski

Trends of Cardiovascular Interventions Stratified by Body Mass Index: An Analysis of the 2016-2020 Nationwide Inpatient Sample Population

6 months ago
Background There is a scarcity of studies delineating the trends of cardiovascular interventions in the hospitalized population stratified by body mass index (BMI). Our study aimed to study the burden of cardiovascular interventions and outcomes by BMI. Methods We retrospectively analyzed the Nationwide Inpatient Sample (NIS) database between January 2016 and December 2020. We identified the population of interest using the International Classification of Diseases, Tenth Revision (ICD-10) code....
Endurance O Evbayekha

Enabling accurate and early detection of recently emerged SARS-CoV-2 variants of concern in wastewater

6 months 3 weeks ago
As clinical testing declines, wastewater monitoring can provide crucial surveillance on the emergence of SARS-CoV-2 variant of concerns (VoCs) in communities. In this paper we present QuaID, a novel bioinformatics tool for VoC detection based on quasi-unique mutations. The benefits of QuaID are three-fold: (i) provides up to 3-week earlier VoC detection, (ii) accurate VoC detection (>95% precision on simulated benchmarks), and (iii) leverages all mutational signatures (including insertions &...
Nicolae Sapoval

Pediatric diarrhea patients living in urban areas have a higher incidence of Clostridioides difficile infection

8 months 2 weeks ago
Clostridioides difficile infection (CDI) is a major cause of antibiotic-associated diarrhea and an unappreciated contributor to child mortality in low- and middle-income countries where the diagnosis may be difficult. There is little information about the prevalence of CDI among infants, children, and adolescents in Africa. Using a cross-sectional design, seventy-six samples were collected from pediatric patients presenting with diarrhea, including infants (≤ 2 years old), children (2-12 years),...
Ayodele T Adesoji

Exploring COVID-19 Vaccine Attitudes among Racially and Ethnically Minoritized Communities: Community Partners' and Residents' Perspectives

9 months 1 week ago
COVID-19 has disproportionately affected Black, Indigenous, and People of Color (BIPOC) communities, yet rates of COVID-19 vaccination remain low among these groups. A qualitative study was undertaken to better understand the factors contributing to low vaccine acceptance among these communities. Seventeen focus groups were conducted in English and Spanish from 8/21 to 9/22, with representatives from five critical community sectors: (1) public health departments (n = 1); (2) Federally Qualified...
Isabel Martinez Leal
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