[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The practice of tattooing and piercing has expanded in western society. In order to verify young adults' knowledge of the risk and practices related to body art, an investigation was conducted among freshmen of the University of Bari in the region of Apulia, Italy.
The study was carried out in the Academic Year 2009-2010 through an anonymous self-administered written questionnaire distributed to 1.656 freshmen enrolled in 17 Degree Courses.
Of the 1.598 students included in the analysis, 78.3% believe it is risky to undergo piercing/tattoo practices. AIDS was indicated as a possible infection by 60.3% of freshmen, hepatitis C by 38.2%, tetanus by 34.3% and hepatitis B by 33.7% of the sample. 28.1% of freshmen were not aware that there are also non-infectious complications. 29% of the sample had at least one piercing or tattoo (this percentage does not include earlobe piercing in women). Of those with body art, the decision to undergo body art was made autonomously in 57.9% of the participants. 56.3% of freshmen undergoing body art had taken less than a month to decide. With regard to the reasons that led the sample to undergo body art, 28.4% were unable to explain it, 23.8% answered to improve their aesthetic aspect, 18.4% to distinguish themselves from others, 12.3% for fashion; 17.1% for other reasons. 25.4% of the sample declared that they had a piercing (79.8% female vs 20.2% male; ratio M/F 1:4.0). The average age for a first piercing was 15.3 years (range 10-27; SD ± 2.9). 9.6% of the sample declared that they have a tattoo (69.9% female vs 30.1% male; ratio M/F 1:2.3). The average age for a first tattoo was 17.5 years (range 10-26, SD ± 2.4).
Most of the freshmen knew about AIDS-related risks but not other potential risks. Body art is fairly common among young adults (especially women). The decision is often not shared with the family and is undertaken mostly without a specific reason or for the improvement of aesthetic aspect. Information about freshmen's knowledge, attitudes and practices could help in effective planning of health promotion strategies.
BMC Public Health 01/2011; 11:774. · 2.08 Impact Factor
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Following the publication of the Italian Guidelines for the control and prevention of legionellosis an environmental and clinical surveillance has been carried out in Southeastern Italy. The aim of the study is to identify the risk factors for the disease, so allowing better programming of the necessary prevention measures.
During the period January 2000 - December 2009 the environmental surveillance was carried out by water sampling of 129 health care facilities (73 public and 56 private hospitals) and 533 buildings within the community (63 private apartments, 305 hotels, 19 offices, 4 churches, 116 gyms, 3 swimming pools and 23 schools). Water sampling and microbiological analysis were carried out following the Italian Guidelines. From January 2005, all facilities were subject to risk analysis through the use of a standardized report; the results were classified as good (G), medium (M) and bad (B). As well, all the clinical surveillance forms for legionellosis, which must be compiled by physicians and sent to the Regional Centre for Epidemiology (OER), were analyzed.
Legionella spp. was found in 102 (79.1%) health care facilities and in 238 (44.7%) community buildings. The percentages for the contamination levels < 1,000, 1,000-10,000, > 10,000 cfu/L were respectively 33.1%, 53.4% and 13.5% for samples from health care facilities and 33.5%, 43.3% and 23.2% for samples from the community. Both in hospital and community environments, Legionella pneumophila serogroup (L. pn sg) 2-14 was the most frequently isolate (respectively 54.8% and 40.8% of positive samples), followed by L. pn sg 1 (respectively 31.3% and 33%). The study showed a significant association between M or B score at the risk analysis and Legionella spp. positive microbiological test results (p < 0.001). From clinical surveillance, during the period January 2001 - August 2009, 97 cases of legionellosis were reported to the OER: 88 of community origin and 9 nosocomial. The most frequent symptoms were: fever (93.8%), cough (70.1%), dyspnea (58.8%), shivering (56.7%). Radiological evidence of pneumonia was reported in 68%. The laboratory diagnostic methods used were: urinary antigen (54.3%), single antibody titer (19.8%), only seroconversion (11.1%), other diagnostic methods (14.8%).
Our experience suggests that risk analysis and environmental microbiological surveillance should be carried out more frequently to control the environmental spread of Legionella spp. Furthermore, the laboratory diagnosis of legionellosis cannot be excluded only on the basis of a single negative test: some patients were positive to only one of the diagnostic tests.
BMC Public Health 11/2010; 10:660. · 2.08 Impact Factor
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Several approved protocols for the prevention of Legionella pneumonia base the type of intervention (to disinfect or not) on the level of contamination found (cfu/L). However, if the level of contamination by Legionella spp. of a water system fluctuates in a short period of time, inadequate sampling could lead to different decisions being made. To determine if there are significant variations in the bacterial count of Legionella spp., water samples were taken at different times from the same sites. Eight wards were selected from a large hospital in Southern Italy and a water sample was taken from 21 taps in each ward at the same time each day for 5 consecutive days. A Freidman test detected statistically significant differences in average Legionella spp. load over the 5 sampling days (p value<0.001). This fluctuating load can have practical implications: the Italian Guidelines recommend disinfection only for a Legionella count>10,000 cfu/L in hospitals without documented cases of disease. In the present study, the daily average loads varied, during the 5-day sampling period, above and below this cut-off (10,000 cfu/L). This means that the decision to disinfect or not would be different depending on which day the sampling was carried out. Our data suggest that, especially in health-care facilities, a single sampling would not give a realistic estimation of risk; therefore, even at lower levels of bacterial load, measures should be taken to reduce it further.
Science of The Total Environment 10/2009; 408(2):242-4. · 3.26 Impact Factor