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Front Immunol ; 12: 727989, 2021.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1450808


Background: A growing number of experiments have suggested potential cross-reactive immunity between severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus-2 (SARS-CoV-2) and previous human coronaviruses. We conducted the present retrospective cohort study to investigate the relationship between previous Middle East respiratory syndrome-coronavirus (MERS-CoV) infection and the risk of SARS-CoV-2 infection as well as the relationship between previous MERS-CoV and COVID-19-related hospitalization and mortality. Methods: Starting in March 2020, we prospectively followed two groups of individuals who tested negative for COVID-19 infection. The first group had a previously confirmed MERS-CoV infection, which was compared to a control group of MERS-negative individuals. The studied cohort was then followed until November 2020 to track evidence of contracting COVID-19 infection. Findings: A total of 82 (24%) MERS-positive and 260 (31%) MERS-negative individuals had COVID-19 infection. Patients in the MERS-positive group had a lower risk of COVID-19 infection than those in the MERS-negative group (Risk ratio [RR] 0.696, 95% confidence interval [CI] 0.522-0.929; p =0.014). The risk of COVID-19-related hospitalization in the MERS-positive group was significantly higher (RR 4.036, 95% CI 1.705-9.555; p =0.002). The case fatality rate (CFR) from COVID-19 was 4.9% in the MERS-positive group and 1.2% in the MERS-negative group (p =0.038). The MERS-positive group had a higher risk of death than the MERS-negative group (RR 6.222, 95% CI 1.342-28.839; p =0.019). However, the risk of mortality was similar between the two groups when death was adjusted for age (p =0.068) and age and sex (p =0.057). After controlling for all the independent variables, only healthcare worker occupation and >1 comorbidity were independent predictors of SARS-CoV-2 infection. Interpretation: Individuals with previous MERS-CoV infection can exhibit a cross-reactive immune response to SARS-CoV-2 infection. Our study demonstrated that patients with MERS-CoV infection had higher risks of COVID-19-related hospitalization and death than MERS-negative individuals.

COVID-19/epidemiology , COVID-19/mortality , Cross Reactions/immunology , Middle East Respiratory Syndrome Coronavirus/immunology , SARS-CoV-2/immunology , Adolescent , Adult , Aged , Aged, 80 and over , Child , Child, Preschool , Female , Hospitalization/statistics & numerical data , Humans , Infant , Infant, Newborn , Male , Middle Aged , Prospective Studies , Retrospective Studies , Saudi Arabia/epidemiology , Young Adult
Risk Manag Healthc Policy ; 14: 3923-3934, 2021.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1443915


Introduction: The novel coronavirus (COVID-19) is caused by severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2), a single-chain ribonucleic acid (RNA) virus. As of March 25, 2021, the total number of positive cases and fatalities in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia (KSA) had reached 386,300 and 6624, respectively, with a case fatality rate of 1.71%. The KSA was among the leading nations to heed the advice of WHO officials and put strict precautionary and preventive measures in place to curb the early spread of COVID-19 before it was declared a global pandemic. Methodology: This was an uncontrolled before-after study following a mixed-method approach for data collection. National and regional data were extracted from the Health Electronic Surveillance Network (HESN), a centralized public health collection system for quantitative and statistical data. Quantitative and qualitative methods have been utilized in studying data derived from tech media. Results: The Saudi authorities utilized different technological tools to aid in managing and combating the COVID-19 pandemic. In the case of Al Madinah Al Mounawarah, after the implementation of several technologies, the most important being Tawakkalna, the number of active daily cases decreased by 61%. Conclusion: The use of the Tawakkalna application was proven to be a successful method in fighting the COVID-19 pandemic in the KSA. This vital and essential experience warrants the use of different digital technology that offers a personalized profile displaying the person's status (affected, vaccinated, or no history of infection). This application played and will continue to play a crucial and effective role in pandemic containment in Saudi Arabia.

Risk Manag Healthc Policy ; 14: 779-790, 2021.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1117623


Purpose: The novel coronavirus (COVID-19), declared a pandemic by WHO in March 2020, is an unprecedented occurrence in our recent history. Effective risk communication by health authorities, through relaying reliable and authoritative information, is imperative in combating the spread of the outbreak. We aimed to measure the effectiveness of risk communication campaign and overall awareness during COVID-19 pandemic among the general population in Saudi Arabia. Patients and Methods: A cross-sectional survey of 5472 individuals in Saudi Arabia was conducted to assess several factors regarding the risk communication messages during the COVID-19 pandemic, including the knowledge and response of the general population toward COVID-19 and MoH efforts. The questionnaire was divided into five main sections: general knowledge of COVID-19, channels and social media platforms used perceived risk and stress or panic toward COVID-19, satisfaction and community perception, most trusted source of information, and type of information received. Results: A total of 5472 individuals participated in the study residing in Saudi Arabia. Overall knowledge of COVID-19 was determined to be above average (0.58 + 0.159). Of the general population, 57.1% perceived that the risk of getting sick with COVID-19 is low, while nearly half of the respondents (45.7%) have a high level of stress and panic toward COVID-19. The majority of responders to the questionnaire reinforced that MoH was their most trusted source of information for the COVID-19 pandemic (91.7%). Conclusion: This study showed that the risk communication campaign by healthcare authorities during the COVID-19 pandemic has improved the awareness among the general population in Saudi Arabia, where the overwhelming majority placed high trust in the MoH as its main reference for COVID-19 information.