Month: March 2020

Solidarity in Social Distancing: Flattening the Curve

Closure of schools and offices has wreaked havoc on families. The cancellation of airline flights, public events, social functions, and the disruption of our economy has been exasperating. We have been thrown into an era dominated by uncertainty, anxiety, and fear. Are these measures truly necessary to mitigate the current COVID-19 pandemic? The answer is yes. With the lack of a preventive vaccine or definitive treatment for COVID-19, the only way to stop spread is by social distancing and “flattening the curve”. This previously unfamiliar expression is now part of the vernacular. Flattening the curve refers to reducing the...

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Highlights of the BMC series: February 2020

BMC Psychology – Grieving parents and what they need to know when their babies are stillborn Around 2.6 million babies a year are stillborn. Although it’s always devastating to lose a baby,  parents grieving for a stillborn child are more likely to experience depression and post-traumatic stress than those when the child had been born alive.  There is considerable stigma, social shame and marginalization associated with parental grief for a stillborn child with the result that it has attracted little attention by health care providers, resulting in inadequate support. Parents grieving for a stillborn child are more likely to...

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Sticking it to invasive Aedes mosquitoes

As the eggs of Aedes aegypti and Ae. albopictus can withstand desiccation for several months they can hitch-hike across the globe in used tyres. (Image by S. Hermann & F. Richter from Pixabay, CC0 license) Mosquitoes hitch-hiking via tyres The global trade in used tyres is a major factor responsible for introductions of Aedes invasive mosquitoes (AIMs) that are major disease vectors (e.g. dengue, Zika, chikungunya and yellow fever). As the eggs of Aedes aegypti and Ae. albopictus can withstand desiccation for several months they can hitch-hike across the globe in used tyres.  A classic example of how easily...

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Sparganosis: a rare disease prevalent in China?

Pelophylax nigromaculatus. Source: Human sparganosis Human sparganosis is a neglected food-borne parasitic disease caused by the larval forms of tapeworm species in the genus Spirometra. A recent review concluded that there were 4 valid species (S. erinaceieuropaei, S. mansonoides, S. pretoriensis and S. theileri) in the genus Spirometra; however, dozens of nominal species of Spirometra have been described. Although the disease has a global distribution, most cases occur in Eastern and South eastern Asia. Adult tapeworms in the genus Spirometra live in the intestines of dogs and cats. The infection is spread when eggs are shed in feces....

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Living safely at home during old age – expanding the health care paradigm

Integrated care is characterized by a proactive and person-centered approach to care, which is seamlessly coordinated across multiple professional disciplines and care interfaces. Integrated care aims to improve outcomes such as functioning, quality of life, and quality of care. The organisation of integrated primary and community care is considered an essential step towards supporting older people to age in place. Maintaining people’s safety at home To support older people living at home, it is essential to maintain their safety. Older people encounter limitations in multiple domains of life, which could pose risks to their ability to live safely and...

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