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British Journal of Medicine and Medical Research, ISSN: 2231-0614,Vol.: 6, Issue.: 1


Small Area Spread of a New Type of Infectious Condition across Berkshire in England between June 2011 and March 2013: Effect on Medical Emergency Admissions


Rodney P. Jones1* and Sid Beauchant2

1Healthcare Analysis and Forecasting, Camberley, GU15 1RQ, UK.
2Berkshire Healthcare NHS Foundation Trust, 57-59 Bath Road, Reading, RG30 2BA, UK.

Article Information
(1) Jimmy T. Efird, Department of Public Health, Director of Epidemiology and Outcomes Research East Carolina Heart Institute, Brody School of Medicine, Greenville, North Carolina, USA.
(1) Anonymous, University of Bari, Italy.
(2) Takashi Nakamura, Division of Community and Family Medicine, Center for Community Medicine, Jichi Medical University, Japan.
Complete Peer review History: http://www.sciencedomain.org/review-history/7237


Aims: This study aims to investigate the small area spread of a presumed infectious agent, and to determine which factors determined the point of initiation, speed of the spread and the resulting increase in emergency medical admissions.
Study Design: Analysis of a monthly time series of medical admissions using small area population aggregates of around 7,000 population contained within the census spatial unit called a Mid Super Output Area (MSOA).
Place and Duration of Study: Emergency medical group admissions for residents of the six unitary authority locations in Berkshire, southern England between January 2008 and March 2013.
Methodology: A running twelve month total of admissions was used to determine the point of initiation and the extent of a step-like increase in medical admissions.
Results: Analysis shows evidence for spatial spread initiating around June 2011 through to March 2013. At onset, medical admissions increase and stay high for 12 to 18 months before beginning to abate. This spread commenced earlier among mainly Asian small areas (clustered from July 2011 onward) and later (clustered around March 2012) in predominantly affluent white areas. The observed percentage increase in admissions within the unitary authority areas varied from 25% to 51% (median value), however the average increase was highest as the geographic area became smaller, and this is suggested to arise from the aggregation of smaller social networks where the point of initiation of infectious spread occurs over time. The percentage increase in admissions displayed high single-year-of-age specificity suggestive of the immune phenomena called antigenic original sin, and is therefore suggestive of a different strain of an agent with previous outbreaks. The increase in emergency admissions showed a month-of-year pattern which appeared to follow the seasonal pattern of vitamin D levels in the blood. The presence of nursing homes, deprivation and ethnicity also has an effect on the average increase in admissions.
Conclusion: It is suggested that all the above point to an outbreak of a previously uncharacterized type of infectious agent. There are profound implications regarding the use of standard five year age bands for the standardization of medical admission rates.

Keywords :

Spatio-temporal spread; hospital medical admissions; emerging infectious diseases; vitamin D; ethnicity; deprivation; care homes; cytomegalovirus; infectious spread; age standardization.

Full Article - PDF    Supplementary Files    Page 126-148

DOI : 10.9734/BJMMR/2015/14223

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