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Perspectives in Biology and Medicine ; 66(1):145-159, 2023.
Article in English | Scopus | ID: covidwho-2257909


Vaccine hesitancy continues to pose a formidable obstacle to in-creasing national COVID-19 vaccination rates in the US, but this is not the first time that American vaccination efforts have confronted resistance and apathy. This study examines the history of US vaccination efforts against smallpox, polio, and measles, highlighting persistent drivers of vaccine hesitancy as well as factors that helped over-come it. The research reveals that logistical barriers, negative portrayals in the media, and fears about safety stymied inoculation efforts as early as the 18th century and continue to do so. However, vaccine hesitancy has been markedly diminished when trusted community leaders have guided efforts, when ordinary citizens have felt per-sonally invested in the success of the vaccine, and when vaccination efforts have been tied to broader projects to improve public health and social cohesion. Deliberately cultivating such factors could be an effective strategy for lessening opposition today, when COVID-19's distinctive characteristics make addressing vaccine hesitancy more urgent than it has ever been. © 2023 by Johns Hopkins University Press.

Journal of the American College of Cardiology ; 81(8 Supplement):2452, 2023.
Article in English | EMBASE | ID: covidwho-2247934


Background Phospholamban (PLN), an inhibitor of sarcoplasmic reticulum (SR) Ca2+-ATPase, is a regulator of Ca2+ release during excitation-contraction coupling. We present a case of recurrent polymorphic ventricular tachycardia (PMVT)/ventricular fibrillation (VF) due to a PLN mutation. Case 38 year-old male presents after resuscitation following VF arrest. An ICD was implanted. Seven years later, he presented with VF storm requiring ventricular assist device support and he underwent catheter ablation of PVC triggers of VF arising from the moderator band. Because he had an ECG that was concerning for early repolarization syndrome, he was placed on quinidine and metoprolol. After an episode of VT in 2020 in the setting of COVID infection, whole genome sequencing was obtained and identified a pathogenic PLN mutation. PLN L39Ter has been associated with dilated and hypertrophic cardiomyopathy as well as sudden death. The patient has a history of normal left ventricular function and wall thickness by echocardiography. Decision-making Given the involvement of PLN on SR handling of Ca2+, flecainide may be a more effective therapy for the treatment of PMVT/VF in this patient. Conclusion PLN mutations have been associated with cardiomyopathies. This case illustrates a patient with the pathogenic PLN L39X variant with short-coupled PMVT with no imaging evidence of structural heart disease. Whether a more targeted therapy such as flecainide may be more effective in this patient remains to be determined. [Formula presented]Copyright © 2023 American College of Cardiology Foundation

Open Forum Infectious Diseases ; 9(Supplement 2):S730, 2022.
Article in English | EMBASE | ID: covidwho-2189878


Background. Classification of MIS-C, COVID-19, and other pediatric inflammatory conditions is challenged by phenotypic overlap and absence of diagnostic laboratory evidence. Due to public health need and based on limited data from early cases, CDC developed a necessarily broad MIS-C surveillance case definition in May 2020. Studies have since shown that some criteria do not distinguish between MIS-C and other conditions and may contribute to misclassification. To inform planned revision to the CDC definition, we evaluated the impact of narrowing these criteria on case inclusion in national MIS-C surveillance. Methods. Of state and local health-department reported cases meeting the current MIS-C case definition as of 04/14/2022, we describe the proportion that met revised criteria under consideration including fever duration, C-reactive protein (CRP) elevation using a defined cutoff, and organ involvement represented by specific criteria. We also evaluated cases identified using potential combinations of revised criteria. Results. Of 8,096 MIS-C cases fulfilling the original case definition, 6,332 (78%) had sufficient data for evaluation of criteria. Of these, 96% had fever for >=2 days and 94% had a CRP >= 3.0 mg/dL (Table 1). Cardiac involvement defined by key features of MIS-C was present in 84% of cases (62% if BNP/proBNP elevation was excluded);43% had shock. Dermatologic, gastrointestinal (GI) and hematologic involvement were present in 75%, 89% and 37% of cases, respectively. Neurologic (excluding headache), renal, and respiratory involvement were present in 16%, 20%, and 63% of cases, respectively. The number of cases with >= 2 of cardiac (without BNP/proBNP elevation), shock, dermatologic, GI, or hematologic involvement was 5,733 (91%). SARS-CoV-2 testing results are shown in Table 2. Conclusion. The CDC MIS-C case definition is intentionally broad. Using national surveillance data, we evaluated case inclusion under narrower criteria, prioritizing features of MIS-C that distinguish it from similar pediatric inflammatory conditions. A surveillance case definition may not capture all cases and is not intended to replace clinical judgment. We plan to assess additional criteria combinations, describe potentially excluded cases, and incorporate findings into a revised definition.

Cardiovascular Journal of Africa ; 33(SUPPL):61, 2021.
Article in English | EMBASE | ID: covidwho-1766887


Introduction: Studies show that children account for only 1-5% of diagnosed COVID-19 cases, they have milder disease than adults and deaths are extremely rare. The complete clinical picture of pediatric COVID-19 has not yet been fully reported or defined. Additionally, the South African pediatric population has unique clinical characteristics and risk implications and needs investigating. We aimed to characterize COVID-19 in Cape Town children. Methods: The UCT COVID-19 pediatric repository is a prospective cohort recruited via convenience sampling at 3 Western Cape Hospitals. All patients ≤ 18 years who test COVID-19 positive are eligible for inclusion in the study. Results: To date 227 participants, 56%(125/227) male with median age 2 years (IQR:0-6), have been enrolled. Only 28(12%) participants were in contact with a confirmed COVID-19 positive case, 67% of these, were first degree relatives, 28% second degree relatives and 6% health care workers. Comorbidities were present in 125(56%) participants. Of 32 recorded comorbidities, congenital heart disease (CHD), found in 7% of participants, ranked third. CHD subtypes included PDA (4), Tetralogy of Fallot (3), AVSD (2), Pulmonary atresia with VSD (2), truncus arteriosus (1), Coarctation of the Aorta (1), Congenital aortic valve stenosis (1), and ASD (1). Other cardiac comorbidities were, cardiomyopathy (2), primary pulmonary hypertension (1) and rhabdomyoma (1). On presentation 173 (76%) were symptomatic. Predominant symptoms included cough 40%, history of fever 36%, documented fever 34%, difficulty breathing 28%, and nausea or vomiting 20%. On examination, 65% had abnormal heart rates, 47% abnormal respiratory rates, 35% were in respiratory distress and 24% were hypoxic. Of the 227 patients, 169(74%) were admitted to hospital and 33 (15%) were admitted to ICU. In the ICU 79% of patients required non-invasive and 24% invasive ventilation, median length of ICU admission was 3 days (IQR:2-7.5). During admission 38(17%) patients developed COVID-19 complications: secondary infection 10%, sepsis 4%, MIS-C 2%, and myocarditis or new onset heart failure 1%) and 2(0.9%) died, including one patient with AVSD, who presented with severe pulmonary hypertension and acute heart failure post cardiac surgery. Conclusion: We present the initial findings of the UCT pediatric COVID-19 registry. We anticipate that these data will help to complete the clinical picture of COVID-19 in the South African pediatric population.