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1.
PLoS One ; 17(6): e0270060, 2022.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-2021817

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: An ideal test for COVID-19 would combine the sensitivity of laboratory-based PCR with the speed and ease of use of point-of-care (POC) or home-based rapid antigen testing. We evaluated clinical performance of the Diagnostic Analyzer for Selective Hybridization (DASH) SARS-CoV-2 POC rapid PCR test. METHODS: We conducted a cross-sectional study of adults with and without symptoms of COVID-19 at four clinical sites where we collected two bilateral anterior nasal swabs and information on COVID-19 symptoms, vaccination, and exposure. One swab was tested with the DASH SARS-CoV-2 POC PCR and the second in a central laboratory using Cepheid Xpert Xpress SARS-CoV-2 PCR. We assessed test concordance and calculated sensitivity, specificity, negative and positive predictive values using Xpert as the "gold standard". RESULTS: We enrolled 315 and analyzed 313 participants with median age 42 years; 65% were female, 62% symptomatic, 75% had received ≥2 doses of mRNA COVID-19 vaccine, and 16% currently SARS-CoV-2 positive. There were concordant results for 307 tests indicating an overall agreement for DASH of 0.98 [95% CI 0.96, 0.99] compared to Xpert. DASH performed at 0.96 [95% CI 0.86, 1.00] sensitivity and 0.98 [95% CI 0.96, 1.00] specificity, with a positive predictive value of 0.85 [95% CI 0.73, 0.96] and negative predictive value of 0.996 [95% CI 0.99, 1.00]. The six discordant tests between DASH and Xpert all had high Ct values (>30) on the respective positive assay. DASH and Xpert Ct values were highly correlated (R = 0.89 [95% CI 0.81, 0.94]). CONCLUSIONS: DASH POC SARS-CoV-2 PCR was accurate, easy to use, and provided fast results (approximately 15 minutes) in real-life clinical settings with an overall performance similar to an EUA-approved laboratory-based PCR.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Adult , COVID-19/diagnosis , COVID-19 Testing , COVID-19 Vaccines , Clinical Laboratory Techniques/methods , Cross-Sectional Studies , Female , Humans , Male , Point-of-Care Systems , Polymerase Chain Reaction , SARS-CoV-2/genetics , Sensitivity and Specificity
2.
Open Forum Infect Dis ; 9(7): ofac192, 2022 Jul.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1922309

ABSTRACT

Background: The global effort to vaccinate people against severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) during an ongoing pandemic has raised questions about how vaccine breakthrough infections compare with infections in immunologically naive individuals and the potential for vaccinated individuals to transmit the virus. Methods: We examined viral dynamics and infectious virus shedding through daily longitudinal sampling in 23 adults infected with SARS-CoV-2 at varying stages of vaccination, including 6 fully vaccinated individuals. Results: The durations of both infectious virus shedding and symptoms were significantly reduced in vaccinated individuals compared with unvaccinated individuals. We also observed that breakthrough infections are associated with strong tissue compartmentalization and are only detectable in saliva in some cases. Conclusions: Vaccination shortens the duration of time of high transmission potential, minimizes symptom duration, and may restrict tissue dissemination.

3.
JMIR Public Health Surveill ; 8(6): e37377, 2022 06 03.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1881329

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: The Omicron variant of SARS-CoV-2 is more transmissible than prior variants of concern (VOCs). It has caused the largest outbreaks in the pandemic, with increases in mortality and hospitalizations. Early data on the spread of Omicron were captured in countries with relatively low case counts, so it was unclear how the arrival of Omicron would impact the trajectory of the pandemic in countries already experiencing high levels of community transmission of Delta. OBJECTIVE: The objective of this study is to quantify and explain the impact of Omicron on pandemic trajectories and how they differ between countries that were or were not in a Delta outbreak at the time Omicron occurred. METHODS: We used SARS-CoV-2 surveillance and genetic sequence data to classify countries into 2 groups: those that were in a Delta outbreak (defined by at least 10 novel daily transmissions per 100,000 population) when Omicron was first sequenced in the country and those that were not. We used trend analysis, survival curves, and dynamic panel regression models to compare outbreaks in the 2 groups over the period from November 1, 2021, to February 11, 2022. We summarized the outbreaks in terms of their peak rate of SARS-CoV-2 infections and the duration of time the outbreaks took to reach the peak rate. RESULTS: Countries that were already in an outbreak with predominantly Delta lineages when Omicron arrived took longer to reach their peak rate and saw greater than a twofold increase (2.04) in the average apex of the Omicron outbreak compared to countries that were not yet in an outbreak. CONCLUSIONS: These results suggest that high community transmission of Delta at the time of the first detection of Omicron was not protective, but rather preluded larger outbreaks in those countries. Outbreak status may reflect a generally susceptible population, due to overlapping factors, including climate, policy, and individual behavior. In the absence of strong mitigation measures, arrival of a new, more transmissible variant in these countries is therefore more likely to lead to larger outbreaks. Alternately, countries with enhanced surveillance programs and incentives may be more likely to both exist in an outbreak status and detect more cases during an outbreak, resulting in a spurious relationship. Either way, these data argue against herd immunity mitigating future outbreaks with variants that have undergone significant antigenic shifts.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , SARS-CoV-2 , COVID-19/epidemiology , Disease Outbreaks , Humans , Pandemics , Public Health Surveillance/methods
4.
J Gen Intern Med ; 37(10): 2505-2513, 2022 Aug.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1803069

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: Disparities in access to anti-SARS-CoV-2 monoclonal antibodies have not been well characterized. OBJECTIVE: We sought to explore the impact of race/ethnicity as a social construct on monoclonal antibody delivery. DESIGN/PATIENTS: Following implementation of a centralized infusion program at a large academic healthcare system, we reviewed a random sample of high-risk ambulatory adult patients with COVID-19 referred for monoclonal antibody therapy. MAIN MEASURES: We examined the relationship between treatment delivery, race/ethnicity, and other demographics using descriptive statistics, binary logistic regression, and spatial analysis. KEY RESULTS: There was no significant difference in racial composition between patients who did (n = 25) and patients who did not (n = 378) decline treatment (p = 0.638). Of patients who did not decline treatment, 64.8% identified as White, 14.8% as Hispanic/Latinx, and 11.1% as Black. Only 44.6% of Hispanic/Latinx and 31.0% of Black patients received treatment compared to 64.1% of White patients (OR 0.45, 95% CI 0.25-0.81, p = 0.008, and OR 0.25, 95% CI 0.12-0.50, p < 0.001, respectively). In multivariable analysis including age, race, insurance status, non-English primary language, county Social Vulnerability Index, illness severity, and total number of comorbidities, associations between receiving treatment and Hispanic/Latinx or Black race were no longer statistically significant (AOR 1.32, 95% CI 0.69-2.53, p = 0.400, and AOR 1.34, 95% CI 0.64-2.80, p = 0.439, respectively). However, patients who were uninsured or whose primary language was not English were less likely to receive treatment (AOR 0.16, 95% CI 0.03-0.88, p = 0.035, and AOR 0.37, 95% CI 0.15-0.90, p = 0.028, respectively). Spatial analysis suggested decreased monoclonal antibody delivery to Cook County patients residing in socially vulnerable communities. CONCLUSIONS: High-risk ambulatory patients with COVID-19 who identified as Hispanic/Latinx or Black were less likely to receive monoclonal antibody therapy in univariate analysis, a finding not explained by patient refusal. Multivariable and spatial analyses suggested insurance status, language, and social vulnerability contributed to racial disparities.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Adult , African Americans , Antibodies, Monoclonal , COVID-19/epidemiology , COVID-19/therapy , Healthcare Disparities , Humans , Retrospective Studies , Whites
5.
Nutrients ; 14(6)2022 Mar 11.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1742566

ABSTRACT

Background: Based on our recently reported associations between specific dietary behaviors and the risk of COVID-19 infection in the UK Biobank (UKB) cohort, we further investigate whether these associations are specific to COVID-19 or extend to other respiratory infections. Methods: Pneumonia and influenza diagnoses were retrieved from hospital and death record data linked to the UKB. Baseline, self-reported (2006-2010) dietary behaviors included being breastfed as a baby and intakes of coffee, tea, oily fish, processed meat, red meat (unprocessed), fruit, and vegetables. Logistic regression estimated the odds of pneumonia/influenza from baseline to 31 December 2019 with each dietary component, adjusting for baseline socio-demographic factors, medical history, and other lifestyle behaviors. We considered effect modification by sex and genetic factors related to pneumonia, COVID-19, and caffeine metabolism. Results: Of 470,853 UKB participants, 4.0% had pneumonia and 0.2% had influenza during follow up. Increased consumption of coffee, tea, oily fish, and fruit at baseline were significantly and independently associated with a lower risk of future pneumonia events. Increased consumption of red meat was associated with a significantly higher risk. After multivariable adjustment, the odds of pneumonia (p ≤ 0.001 for all) were lower by 6-9% when consuming 1-3 cups of coffee/day (vs. <1 cup/day), 8-11% when consuming 1+ cups of tea/day (vs. <1 cup/day), 10-12% when consuming oily fish in higher quartiles (vs. the lowest quartile-Q1), and 9-14% when consuming fruit in higher quartiles (vs. Q1); it was 9% higher when consuming red meat in the fourth quartile (vs. Q1). Similar patterns of associations were observed for influenza but only associations with tea and oily fish met statistical significance. The association between fruit and pneumonia risk was stronger in women than in men (p = 0.001 for interaction). Conclusions: In the UKB, consumption of coffee, tea, oily fish, and fruit were favorably associated with incident pneumonia/influenza and red meat was adversely associated. Findings for coffee parallel those we reported previously for COVID-19 infection, while other findings are specific to these more common respiratory infections.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Animals , COVID-19/epidemiology , Coffee , Diet/adverse effects , Female , Humans , Male , Meat , Seafood
6.
Open Forum Infect Dis ; 9(3): ofac027, 2022 Mar.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1701028

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: While several demographic and clinical correlates of coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) outcome have been identified, their relationship to virological and immunological parameters remains poorly defined. METHODS: To address this, we performed longitudinal collection of nasopharyngeal swabs and blood samples from a cohort of 58 hospitalized adults with COVID-19. Samples were assessed for severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) viral load, viral genotype, viral diversity, and antibody titer. Demographic and clinical information, including patient blood tests and several composite measures of disease severity, was extracted from electronic health records. RESULTS: Several factors, including male sex, higher age, higher body mass index, higher 4C Mortality score, and elevated lactate dehydrogenase levels, were associated with intensive care unit admission. Of all measured parameters, only the retrospectively calculated median Deterioration Index score was significantly associated with death. While quantitative polymerase chain reaction cycle threshold (Ct) values and genotype of SARS-CoV-2 were not significantly associated with outcome, Ct value did correlate positively with C-reactive protein levels and negatively with D-dimer, lymphocyte count, and antibody titer. Intrahost viral genetic diversity remained constant through the disease course and resulted in changes in viral genotype in some participants. CONCLUSIONS: Ultimately, these results suggest that worse outcomes are driven by immune dysfunction rather than by viral load and that SARS-CoV-2 evolution in hospital settings is relatively constant over time.

7.
JMIR Public Health Surveill ; 8(1): e35763, 2022 01 31.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1649375

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: Variants of the SARS-CoV-2 virus carry differential risks to public health. The Omicron (B.1.1.529) variant, first identified in Botswana on November 11, 2021, has spread globally faster than any previous variant of concern. Understanding the transmissibility of Omicron is vital in the development of public health policy. OBJECTIVE: The aim of this study is to compare SARS-CoV-2 outbreaks driven by Omicron to those driven by prior variants of concern in terms of both the speed and magnitude of an outbreak. METHODS: We analyzed trends in outbreaks by variant of concern with validated surveillance metrics in several southern African countries. The region offers an ideal setting for a natural experiment given that most outbreaks thus far have been driven primarily by a single variant at a time. With a daily longitudinal data set of new infections, total vaccinations, and cumulative infections in countries in sub-Saharan Africa, we estimated how the emergence of Omicron has altered the trajectory of SARS-CoV-2 outbreaks. We used the Arellano-Bond method to estimate regression coefficients from a dynamic panel model, in which new infections are a function of infections yesterday and last week. We controlled for vaccinations and prior infections in the population. To test whether Omicron has changed the average trajectory of a SARS-CoV-2 outbreak, we included an interaction between an indicator variable for the emergence of Omicron and lagged infections. RESULTS: The observed Omicron outbreaks in this study reach the outbreak threshold within 5-10 days after first detection, whereas other variants of concern have taken at least 14 days and up to as many as 35 days. The Omicron outbreaks also reach peak rates of new cases that are roughly 1.5-2 times those of prior variants of concern. Dynamic panel regression estimates confirm Omicron has created a statistically significant shift in viral spread. CONCLUSIONS: The transmissibility of Omicron is markedly higher than prior variants of concern. At the population level, the Omicron outbreaks occurred more quickly and with larger magnitude, despite substantial increases in vaccinations and prior infections, which should have otherwise reduced susceptibility to new infections. Unless public health policies are substantially altered, Omicron outbreaks in other countries are likely to occur with little warning.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Pandemics , Humans , Public Health , Public Health Surveillance , SARS-CoV-2
8.
Journal of Medical Internet Research Vol 23(2), 2021, ArtID e25454 ; 23(2), 2021.
Article in English | APA PsycInfo | ID: covidwho-1451697

ABSTRACT

Background: Government responses to managing the COVID-19 pandemic may have impacted the way individuals were able to engage in physical activity. Digital platforms are a promising way to support physical activity levels and may have provided an alternative for people to maintain their activity while at home. Objective: This study aimed to examine associations between the use of digital platforms and adherence to the physical activity guidelines among Australian adults and adolescents during the COVID-19 stay-at-home restrictions in April and May 2020. Methods: A national online survey was distributed in May 2020. Participants included 1188 adults (mean age 37.4 years, SD 15.1;980/1188, 82.5% female) and 963 adolescents (mean age 16.2 years, SD 1.2;685/963, 71.1% female). Participants reported demographic characteristics, use of digital platforms for physical activity over the previous month, and adherence to moderate- to vigorous-intensity physical activity (MVPA) and muscle-strengthening exercise (MSE) guidelines. Multilevel logistic regression models examined differences in guideline adherence between those who used digital platforms (ie, users) to support their physical activity compared to those who did not (ie, nonusers). Results: Digital platforms include streaming services for exercise (eg, YouTube, Instagram, and Facebook);subscriber fitness programs, via an app or online (eg, Centr and MyFitnessPal);facilitated online live or recorded classes, via platforms such as Zoom (eg, dance, sport training, and fitness class);sport- or activity-specific apps designed by sporting organizations for participants to keep up their skills (eg, TeamBuildr);active electronic games (eg, Xbox Kinect);and/or online or digital training or racing platforms (eg, Zwift, FullGaz, and Rouvy). Overall, 39.5% (469/1188) of adults and 26.5% (255/963) of adolescents reported using digital platforms for physical activity. Among adults, MVPA (odds ratio [OR] 2.0, 95% CI 1.5-2.7), MSE (OR 3.3, 95% CI 2.5-4.5), and combined (OR 2.7, 95% CI 2.0-3.8) guideline adherence were higher among digital platform users relative to nonusers. Adolescents' MVPA (OR 2.4, 95% CI 1.3-4.3), MSE (OR 3.1, 95% CI 2.1-4.4), and combined (OR 4.3, 95% CI 2.1-9.0) guideline adherence were also higher among users of digital platforms relative to nonusers. Conclusions: Digital platform users were more likely than nonusers to meet MVPA and MSE guidelines during the COVID-19 stay-at-home restrictions in April and May 2020. Digital platforms may play a critical role in helping to support physical activity engagement when access to facilities or opportunities for physical activity outside the home are restricted. (PsycInfo Database Record (c) 2021 APA, all rights reserved)

9.
Nutrients ; 13(6)2021 Jun 20.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1273494

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: Nutritional status influences immunity but its specific association with susceptibility to COVID-19 remains unclear. We examined the association of specific dietary data and incident COVID-19 in the UK Biobank (UKB). METHODS: We considered UKB participants in England with self-reported baseline (2006-2010) data and linked them to Public Health England COVID-19 test results-performed on samples from combined nose/throat swabs, using real time polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR)-between March and November 2020. Baseline diet factors included breastfed as baby and specific consumption of coffee, tea, oily fish, processed meat, red meat, fruit, and vegetables. Individual COVID-19 exposure was estimated using the UK's average monthly positive case rate per specific geo-populations. Logistic regression estimated the odds of COVID-19 positivity by diet status adjusting for baseline socio-demographic factors, medical history, and other lifestyle factors. Another model was further adjusted for COVID-19 exposure. RESULTS: Eligible UKB participants (n = 37,988) were 40 to 70 years of age at baseline; 17% tested positive for COVID-19 by SAR-CoV-2 PCR. After multivariable adjustment, the odds (95% CI) of COVID-19 positivity was 0.90 (0.83, 0.96) when consuming 2-3 cups of coffee/day (vs. <1 cup/day), 0.88 (0.80, 0.98) when consuming vegetables in the third quartile of servings/day (vs. lowest quartile), 1.14 (1.01, 1.29) when consuming fourth quartile servings of processed meats (vs. lowest quartile), and 0.91 (0.85, 0.98) when having been breastfed (vs. not breastfed). Associations were attenuated when further adjusted for COVID-19 exposure, but patterns of associations remained. CONCLUSIONS: In the UK Biobank, consumption of coffee, vegetables, and being breastfed as a baby were favorably associated with incident COVID-19; intake of processed meat was adversely associated. Although these findings warrant independent confirmation, adherence to certain dietary behaviors may be an additional tool to existing COVID-19 protection guidelines to limit the spread of this virus.


Subject(s)
COVID-19/etiology , Coffee , Diet , Feeding Behavior , Meat , Nutritional Status , Vegetables , Aged , Biological Specimen Banks , Breast Feeding , COVID-19/virology , England , Female , Food Handling , Humans , Incidence , Infant , Logistic Models , Male , Middle Aged , Public Health , Risk Factors , SARS-CoV-2 , United Kingdom
10.
JMIR Public Health Surveill ; 7(6): e24251, 2021 06 17.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1256231

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: COVID-19 transmission rates in South Asia initially were under control when governments implemented health policies aimed at controlling the pandemic such as quarantines, travel bans, and border, business, and school closures. Governments have since relaxed public health restrictions, which resulted in significant outbreaks, shifting the global epicenter of COVID-19 to India. Ongoing systematic public health surveillance of the COVID-19 pandemic is needed to inform disease prevention policy to re-establish control over the pandemic within South Asia. OBJECTIVE: This study aimed to inform public health leaders about the state of the COVID-19 pandemic, how South Asia displays differences within and among countries and other global regions, and where immediate action is needed to control the outbreaks. METHODS: We extracted COVID-19 data spanning 62 days from public health registries and calculated traditional and enhanced surveillance metrics. We use an empirical difference equation to measure the daily number of cases in South Asia as a function of the prior number of cases, the level of testing, and weekly shifts in variables with a dynamic panel model that was estimated using the generalized method of moments approach by implementing the Arellano-Bond estimator in R. RESULTS: Traditional surveillance metrics indicate that South Asian countries have an alarming outbreak, with India leading the region with 310,310 new daily cases in accordance with the 7-day moving average. Enhanced surveillance indicates that while Pakistan and Bangladesh still have a high daily number of new COVID-19 cases (n=4819 and n=3878, respectively), their speed of new infections declined from April 12-25, 2021, from 2.28 to 2.18 and 3.15 to 2.35 daily new infections per 100,000 population, respectively, which suggests that their outbreaks are decreasing and that these countries are headed in the right direction. In contrast, India's speed of new infections per 100,000 population increased by 52% during the same period from 14.79 to 22.49 new cases per day per 100,000 population, which constitutes an increased outbreak. CONCLUSIONS: Relaxation of public health restrictions and the spread of novel variants fueled the second wave of the COVID-19 pandemic in South Asia. Public health surveillance indicates that shifts in policy and the spread of new variants correlate with a drastic expansion in the pandemic, requiring immediate action to mitigate the spread of COVID-19. Surveillance is needed to inform leaders whether policies help control the pandemic.


Subject(s)
COVID-19/epidemiology , Communicable Disease Control/statistics & numerical data , Disease Outbreaks/statistics & numerical data , Health Policy , Public Health/statistics & numerical data , Adult , Aged , Aged, 80 and over , Asia/epidemiology , COVID-19/prevention & control , Communicable Disease Control/legislation & jurisprudence , Female , Humans , Longitudinal Studies , Male , Middle Aged , Public Health Surveillance , SARS-CoV-2
11.
JMIR Public Health Surveill ; 7(4): e25695, 2021 04 28.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1207681

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: The COVID-19 pandemic has severely impacted Europe, resulting in a high caseload and deaths that varied by country. The second wave of the COVID-19 pandemic has breached the borders of Europe. Public health surveillance is necessary to inform policy and guide leaders. OBJECTIVE: This study aimed to provide advanced surveillance metrics for COVID-19 transmission that account for weekly shifts in the pandemic, speed, acceleration, jerk, and persistence, to better understand countries at risk for explosive growth and those that are managing the pandemic effectively. METHODS: We performed a longitudinal trend analysis and extracted 62 days of COVID-19 data from public health registries. We used an empirical difference equation to measure the daily number of cases in Europe as a function of the prior number of cases, the level of testing, and weekly shift variables based on a dynamic panel model that was estimated using the generalized method of moments approach by implementing the Arellano-Bond estimator in R. RESULTS: New COVID-19 cases slightly decreased from 158,741 (week 1, January 4-10, 2021) to 152,064 (week 2, January 11-17, 2021), and cumulative cases increased from 22,507,271 (week 1) to 23,890,761 (week 2), with a weekly increase of 1,383,490 between January 10 and January 17. France, Germany, Italy, Spain, and the United Kingdom had the largest 7-day moving averages for new cases during week 1. During week 2, the 7-day moving average for France and Spain increased. From week 1 to week 2, the speed decreased (37.72 to 33.02 per 100,000), acceleration decreased (0.39 to -0.16 per 100,000), and jerk increased (-1.30 to 1.37 per 100,000). CONCLUSIONS: The United Kingdom, Spain, and Portugal, in particular, are at risk for a rapid expansion in COVID-19 transmission. An examination of the European region suggests that there was a decrease in the COVID-19 caseload between January 4 and January 17, 2021. Unfortunately, the rates of jerk, which were negative for Europe at the beginning of the month, reversed course and became positive, despite decreases in speed and acceleration. Finally, the 7-day persistence rate was higher during week 2 than during week 1. These measures indicate that the second wave of the pandemic may be subsiding, but some countries remain at risk for new outbreaks and increased transmission in the absence of rapid policy responses.


Subject(s)
COVID-19/epidemiology , Public Health Surveillance , Europe/epidemiology , Humans , Longitudinal Studies
12.
JMIR Public Health Surveill ; 7(5): e25753, 2021 05 10.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1183763

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: The COVID-19 global pandemic has disrupted structures and communities across the globe. Numerous regions of the world have had varying responses in their attempts to contain the spread of the virus. Factors such as public health policies, governance, and sociopolitical climate have led to differential levels of success at controlling the spread of SARS-CoV-2. Ultimately, a more advanced surveillance metric for COVID-19 transmission is necessary to help government systems and national leaders understand which responses have been effective and gauge where outbreaks occur. OBJECTIVE: The goal of this study is to provide advanced COVID-19 surveillance metrics for Canada at the country, province, and territory level that account for shifts in the pandemic including speed, acceleration, jerk, and persistence. Enhanced surveillance identifies risks for explosive growth and regions that have controlled outbreaks successfully. METHODS: Using a longitudinal trend analysis study design, we extracted 62 days of COVID-19 data from Canadian public health registries for 13 provinces and territories. We used an empirical difference equation to measure the daily number of cases in Canada as a function of the prior number of cases, the level of testing, and weekly shift variables based on a dynamic panel model that was estimated using the generalized method of moments approach by implementing the Arellano-Bond estimator in R. RESULTS: We compare the week of February 7-13, 2021, with the week of February 14-20, 2021. Canada, as a whole, had a decrease in speed from 8.4 daily new cases per 100,000 population to 7.5 daily new cases per 100,000 population. The persistence of new cases during the week of February 14-20 reported 7.5 cases that are a result of COVID-19 transmissions 7 days earlier. The two most populous provinces of Ontario and Quebec both experienced decreases in speed from 7.9 and 11.5 daily new cases per 100,000 population for the week of February 7-13 to speeds of 6.9 and 9.3 for the week of February 14-20, respectively. Nunavut experienced a significant increase in speed during this time, from 3.3 daily new cases per 100,000 population to 10.9 daily new cases per 100,000 population. CONCLUSIONS: Canada excelled at COVID-19 control early on in the pandemic, especially during the first COVID-19 shutdown. The second wave at the end of 2020 resulted in a resurgence of the outbreak, which has since been controlled. Enhanced surveillance identifies outbreaks and where there is the potential for explosive growth, which informs proactive health policy.


Subject(s)
COVID-19/epidemiology , COVID-19/prevention & control , Public Health Surveillance/methods , Canada/epidemiology , Humans , Longitudinal Studies
13.
JMIR Public Health Surveill ; 7(4): e25728, 2021 04 27.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1183762

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: The COVID-19 pandemic has placed unprecedented stress on economies, food systems, and health care resources in Latin America and the Caribbean (LAC). Existing surveillance provides a proxy of the COVID-19 caseload and mortalities; however, these measures make it difficult to identify the dynamics of the pandemic and places where outbreaks are likely to occur. Moreover, existing surveillance techniques have failed to measure the dynamics of the pandemic. OBJECTIVE: This study aimed to provide additional surveillance metrics for COVID-19 transmission to track changes in the speed, acceleration, jerk, and persistence in the transmission of the pandemic more accurately than existing metrics. METHODS: Through a longitudinal trend analysis, we extracted COVID-19 data over 45 days from public health registries. We used an empirical difference equation to monitor the daily number of cases in the LAC as a function of the prior number of cases, the level of testing, and weekly shift variables based on a dynamic panel model that was estimated using the generalized method of moments approach by implementing the Arellano-Bond estimator in R. COVID-19 transmission rates were tracked for the LAC between September 30 and October 6, 2020, and between October 7 and 13, 2020. RESULTS: The LAC saw a reduction in the speed, acceleration, and jerk for the week of October 13, 2020, compared to the week of October 6, 2020, accompanied by reductions in new cases and the 7-day moving average. For the week of October 6, 2020, Belize reported the highest acceleration and jerk, at 1.7 and 1.8, respectively, which is particularly concerning, given its high mortality rate. The Bahamas also had a high acceleration at 1.5. In total, 11 countries had a positive acceleration during the week of October 6, 2020, whereas only 6 countries had a positive acceleration for the week of October 13, 2020. The TAC displayed an overall positive trend, with a speed of 10.40, acceleration of 0.27, and jerk of -0.31, all of which decreased in the subsequent week to 9.04, -0.81, and -0.03, respectively. CONCLUSIONS: Metrics such as new cases, cumulative cases, deaths, and 7-day moving averages provide a static view of the pandemic but fail to identify where and the speed at which SARS-CoV-2 infects new individuals, the rate of acceleration or deceleration of the pandemic, and weekly comparison of the rate of acceleration of the pandemic indicate impending explosive growth or control of the pandemic. Enhanced surveillance will inform policymakers and leaders in the LAC about COVID-19 outbreaks.


Subject(s)
COVID-19/epidemiology , Public Health Surveillance , Caribbean Region/epidemiology , Humans , Latin America/epidemiology , Longitudinal Studies
14.
JMIR Public Health Surveill ; 7(4): e25695, 2021 04 28.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1170049

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: The COVID-19 pandemic has severely impacted Europe, resulting in a high caseload and deaths that varied by country. The second wave of the COVID-19 pandemic has breached the borders of Europe. Public health surveillance is necessary to inform policy and guide leaders. OBJECTIVE: This study aimed to provide advanced surveillance metrics for COVID-19 transmission that account for weekly shifts in the pandemic, speed, acceleration, jerk, and persistence, to better understand countries at risk for explosive growth and those that are managing the pandemic effectively. METHODS: We performed a longitudinal trend analysis and extracted 62 days of COVID-19 data from public health registries. We used an empirical difference equation to measure the daily number of cases in Europe as a function of the prior number of cases, the level of testing, and weekly shift variables based on a dynamic panel model that was estimated using the generalized method of moments approach by implementing the Arellano-Bond estimator in R. RESULTS: New COVID-19 cases slightly decreased from 158,741 (week 1, January 4-10, 2021) to 152,064 (week 2, January 11-17, 2021), and cumulative cases increased from 22,507,271 (week 1) to 23,890,761 (week 2), with a weekly increase of 1,383,490 between January 10 and January 17. France, Germany, Italy, Spain, and the United Kingdom had the largest 7-day moving averages for new cases during week 1. During week 2, the 7-day moving average for France and Spain increased. From week 1 to week 2, the speed decreased (37.72 to 33.02 per 100,000), acceleration decreased (0.39 to -0.16 per 100,000), and jerk increased (-1.30 to 1.37 per 100,000). CONCLUSIONS: The United Kingdom, Spain, and Portugal, in particular, are at risk for a rapid expansion in COVID-19 transmission. An examination of the European region suggests that there was a decrease in the COVID-19 caseload between January 4 and January 17, 2021. Unfortunately, the rates of jerk, which were negative for Europe at the beginning of the month, reversed course and became positive, despite decreases in speed and acceleration. Finally, the 7-day persistence rate was higher during week 2 than during week 1. These measures indicate that the second wave of the pandemic may be subsiding, but some countries remain at risk for new outbreaks and increased transmission in the absence of rapid policy responses.


Subject(s)
COVID-19/epidemiology , Public Health Surveillance , Europe/epidemiology , Humans , Longitudinal Studies
15.
J Med Internet Res ; 23(2): e25799, 2021 02 03.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1069699

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: SARS-CoV-2, the virus that caused the global COVID-19 pandemic, has severely impacted Central Asia; in spring 2020, high numbers of cases and deaths were reported in this region. The second wave of the COVID-19 pandemic is currently breaching the borders of Central Asia. Public health surveillance is necessary to inform policy and guide leaders; however, existing surveillance explains past transmissions while obscuring shifts in the pandemic, increases in infection rates, and the persistence of the transmission of COVID-19. OBJECTIVE: The goal of this study is to provide enhanced surveillance metrics for SARS-CoV-2 transmission that account for weekly shifts in the pandemic, including speed, acceleration, jerk, and persistence, to better understand the risk of explosive growth in each country and which countries are managing the pandemic successfully. METHODS: Using a longitudinal trend analysis study design, we extracted 60 days of COVID-19-related data from public health registries. We used an empirical difference equation to measure the daily number of cases in the Central Asia region as a function of the prior number of cases, level of testing, and weekly shift variables based on a dynamic panel model that was estimated using the generalized method of moments approach by implementing the Arellano-Bond estimator in R. RESULTS: COVID-19 transmission rates were tracked for the weeks of September 30 to October 6 and October 7-13, 2020, in Central Asia. The region averaged 11,730 new cases per day for the first week and 14,514 for the second week. Infection rates increased across the region from 4.74 per 100,000 persons to 5.66. Russia and Turkey had the highest 7-day moving averages in the region, with 9836 and 1469, respectively, for the week of October 6 and 12,501 and 1603, respectively, for the week of October 13. Russia has the fourth highest speed in the region and continues to have positive acceleration, driving the negative trend for the entire region as the largest country by population. Armenia is experiencing explosive growth of COVID-19; its infection rate of 13.73 for the week of October 6 quickly jumped to 25.19, the highest in the region, the following week. The region overall is experiencing increases in its 7-day moving average of new cases, infection, rate, and speed, with continued positive acceleration and no sign of a reversal in sight. CONCLUSIONS: The rapidly evolving COVID-19 pandemic requires novel dynamic surveillance metrics in addition to static metrics to effectively analyze the pandemic trajectory and control spread. Policy makers need to know the magnitude of transmission rates, how quickly they are accelerating, and how previous cases are impacting current caseload due to a lag effect. These metrics applied to Central Asia suggest that the region is trending negatively, primarily due to minimal restrictions in Russia.


Subject(s)
COVID-19/epidemiology , COVID-19/transmission , Administrative Personnel , Armenia/epidemiology , Asia, Central/epidemiology , Azerbaijan/epidemiology , Benchmarking , Cyprus/epidemiology , Denmark/epidemiology , Food Insecurity , Georgia (Republic)/epidemiology , Gibraltar/epidemiology , Humans , Kosovo/epidemiology , Longitudinal Studies , Pandemics/prevention & control , Public Health , Public Health Surveillance/methods , Registries , Republic of North Macedonia/epidemiology , Russia/epidemiology , SARS-CoV-2 , Turkey/epidemiology , Water Insecurity
16.
J Med Internet Res ; 23(2): e25454, 2021 02 01.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1058365

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: The COVID-19 pandemic has had a profound global impact on governments, health care systems, economies, and populations around the world. Within the East Asia and Pacific region, some countries have mitigated the spread of the novel coronavirus effectively and largely avoided severe negative consequences, while others still struggle with containment. As the second wave reaches East Asia and the Pacific, it becomes more evident that additional SARS-CoV-2 surveillance is needed to track recent shifts, rates of increase, and persistence associated with the pandemic. OBJECTIVE: The goal of this study is to provide advanced surveillance metrics for COVID-19 transmission that account for speed, acceleration, jerk, persistence, and weekly shifts, to better understand country risk for explosive growth and those countries who are managing the pandemic successfully. Existing surveillance coupled with our dynamic metrics of transmission will inform health policy to control the COVID-19 pandemic until an effective vaccine is developed. We provide novel indicators to measure disease transmission. METHODS: Using a longitudinal trend analysis study design, we extracted 330 days of COVID-19 data from public health registries. We used an empirical difference equation to measure the daily number of cases in East Asia and the Pacific as a function of the prior number of cases, the level of testing, and weekly shift variables based on a dynamic panel model that was estimated using the generalized method of moments approach by implementing the Arellano-Bond estimator in R. RESULTS: The standard surveillance metrics for Indonesia, the Philippines, and Myanmar were concerning as they had the largest new caseloads at 4301, 2588, and 1387, respectively. When looking at the acceleration of new COVID-19 infections, we found that French Polynesia, Malaysia, and the Philippines had rates at 3.17, 0.22, and 0.06 per 100,000. These three countries also ranked highest in terms of jerk at 15.45, 0.10, and 0.04, respectively. CONCLUSIONS: Two of the most populous countries in East Asia and the Pacific, Indonesia and the Philippines, have alarming surveillance metrics. These two countries rank highest in new infections in the region. The highest rates of speed, acceleration, and positive upwards jerk belong to French Polynesia, Malaysia, and the Philippines, and may result in explosive growth. While all countries in East Asia and the Pacific need to be cautious about reopening their countries since outbreaks are likely to occur in the second wave of COVID-19, the country of greatest concern is the Philippines. Based on standard and enhanced surveillance, the Philippines has not gained control of the COVID-19 epidemic, which is particularly troubling because the country ranks 4th in population in the region. Without extreme and rigid social distancing, quarantines, hygiene, and masking to reverse trends, the Philippines will remain on the global top 5 list of worst COVID-19 outbreaks resulting in high morbidity and mortality. The second wave will only exacerbate existing conditions and increase COVID-19 transmissions.


Subject(s)
COVID-19/epidemiology , Asia, Southeastern/epidemiology , Australasia/epidemiology , COVID-19/transmission , Far East/epidemiology , Health Policy , Humans , Indonesia/epidemiology , Longitudinal Studies , Malaysia/epidemiology , Pandemics , Philippines/epidemiology , Polynesia/epidemiology , Public Health , Public Health Surveillance , Registries , SARS-CoV-2
17.
J Med Internet Res ; 23(2): e25454, 2021 02 01.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1034874

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: The COVID-19 pandemic has had a profound global impact on governments, health care systems, economies, and populations around the world. Within the East Asia and Pacific region, some countries have mitigated the spread of the novel coronavirus effectively and largely avoided severe negative consequences, while others still struggle with containment. As the second wave reaches East Asia and the Pacific, it becomes more evident that additional SARS-CoV-2 surveillance is needed to track recent shifts, rates of increase, and persistence associated with the pandemic. OBJECTIVE: The goal of this study is to provide advanced surveillance metrics for COVID-19 transmission that account for speed, acceleration, jerk, persistence, and weekly shifts, to better understand country risk for explosive growth and those countries who are managing the pandemic successfully. Existing surveillance coupled with our dynamic metrics of transmission will inform health policy to control the COVID-19 pandemic until an effective vaccine is developed. We provide novel indicators to measure disease transmission. METHODS: Using a longitudinal trend analysis study design, we extracted 330 days of COVID-19 data from public health registries. We used an empirical difference equation to measure the daily number of cases in East Asia and the Pacific as a function of the prior number of cases, the level of testing, and weekly shift variables based on a dynamic panel model that was estimated using the generalized method of moments approach by implementing the Arellano-Bond estimator in R. RESULTS: The standard surveillance metrics for Indonesia, the Philippines, and Myanmar were concerning as they had the largest new caseloads at 4301, 2588, and 1387, respectively. When looking at the acceleration of new COVID-19 infections, we found that French Polynesia, Malaysia, and the Philippines had rates at 3.17, 0.22, and 0.06 per 100,000. These three countries also ranked highest in terms of jerk at 15.45, 0.10, and 0.04, respectively. CONCLUSIONS: Two of the most populous countries in East Asia and the Pacific, Indonesia and the Philippines, have alarming surveillance metrics. These two countries rank highest in new infections in the region. The highest rates of speed, acceleration, and positive upwards jerk belong to French Polynesia, Malaysia, and the Philippines, and may result in explosive growth. While all countries in East Asia and the Pacific need to be cautious about reopening their countries since outbreaks are likely to occur in the second wave of COVID-19, the country of greatest concern is the Philippines. Based on standard and enhanced surveillance, the Philippines has not gained control of the COVID-19 epidemic, which is particularly troubling because the country ranks 4th in population in the region. Without extreme and rigid social distancing, quarantines, hygiene, and masking to reverse trends, the Philippines will remain on the global top 5 list of worst COVID-19 outbreaks resulting in high morbidity and mortality. The second wave will only exacerbate existing conditions and increase COVID-19 transmissions.


Subject(s)
COVID-19/epidemiology , Asia, Southeastern/epidemiology , Australasia/epidemiology , COVID-19/transmission , Far East/epidemiology , Health Policy , Humans , Indonesia/epidemiology , Longitudinal Studies , Malaysia/epidemiology , Pandemics , Philippines/epidemiology , Polynesia/epidemiology , Public Health , Public Health Surveillance , Registries , SARS-CoV-2
18.
EBioMedicine ; 62: 103112, 2020 Dec.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1023543

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: The rapid spread of SARS-CoV-2, the causative agent of Coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19), has been accompanied by the emergence of distinct viral clades, though their clinical significance remains unclear. Here, we aimed to investigate the phylogenetic characteristics of SARS-CoV-2 infections in Chicago, Illinois, and assess their relationship to clinical parameters. METHODS: We performed whole-genome sequencing of SARS-CoV-2 isolates collected from COVID-19 patients in Chicago in mid-March, 2020. Using these and other publicly available sequences, we performed phylogenetic, phylogeographic, and phylodynamic analyses. Patient data was assessed for correlations between demographic or clinical characteristics and virologic features. FINDINGS: The 88 SARS-CoV-2 genome sequences in our study separated into three distinct phylogenetic clades. Clades 1 and 3 were most closely related to viral sequences from New York and Washington state, respectively, with relatively broad distributions across the US. Clade 2 was primarily found in the Chicago area with limited distribution elsewhere. At the time of diagnosis, patients infected with Clade 1 viruses had significantly higher average viral loads in their upper airways relative to patients infected with Clade 2 viruses, independent of disease severity. INTERPRETATION: These results show that multiple variants of SARS-CoV-2 were circulating in the Chicago area in mid-March 2020 that differed in their relative viral loads in patient upper airways. These data suggest that differences in virus genotype can impact viral load and may influence viral spread. FUNDING: Dixon Family Translational Research Award, Northwestern University Clinical and Translational Sciences Institute (NUCATS), National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID), Lurie Comprehensive Cancer Center, Northwestern University Emerging and Re-emerging Pathogens Program.


Subject(s)
COVID-19/genetics , Genome, Viral , Genotype , Phylogeny , SARS-CoV-2/genetics , Viral Load , Female , Humans , Male , Whole Genome Sequencing
19.
J Med Internet Res ; 22(12): e24286, 2020 12 03.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-978988

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: The emergence of SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes COVID-19, has led to a global pandemic. The United States has been severely affected, accounting for the most COVID-19 cases and deaths worldwide. Without a coordinated national public health plan informed by surveillance with actionable metrics, the United States has been ineffective at preventing and mitigating the escalating COVID-19 pandemic. Existing surveillance has incomplete ascertainment and is limited by the use of standard surveillance metrics. Although many COVID-19 data sources track infection rates, informing prevention requires capturing the relevant dynamics of the pandemic. OBJECTIVE: The aim of this study is to develop dynamic metrics for public health surveillance that can inform worldwide COVID-19 prevention efforts. Advanced surveillance techniques are essential to inform public health decision making and to identify where and when corrective action is required to prevent outbreaks. METHODS: Using a longitudinal trend analysis study design, we extracted COVID-19 data from global public health registries. We used an empirical difference equation to measure daily case numbers for our use case in 50 US states and the District of Colombia as a function of the prior number of cases, the level of testing, and weekly shift variables based on a dynamic panel model that was estimated using the generalized method of moments approach by implementing the Arellano-Bond estimator in R. RESULTS: Examination of the United States and state data demonstrated that most US states are experiencing outbreaks as measured by these new metrics of speed, acceleration, jerk, and persistence. Larger US states have high COVID-19 caseloads as a function of population size, density, and deficits in adherence to public health guidelines early in the epidemic, and other states have alarming rates of speed, acceleration, jerk, and 7-day persistence in novel infections. North and South Dakota have had the highest rates of COVID-19 transmission combined with positive acceleration, jerk, and 7-day persistence. Wisconsin and Illinois also have alarming indicators and already lead the nation in daily new COVID-19 infections. As the United States enters its third wave of COVID-19, all 50 states and the District of Colombia have positive rates of speed between 7.58 (Hawaii) and 175.01 (North Dakota), and persistence, ranging from 4.44 (Vermont) to 195.35 (North Dakota) new infections per 100,000 people. CONCLUSIONS: Standard surveillance techniques such as daily and cumulative infections and deaths are helpful but only provide a static view of what has already occurred in the pandemic and are less helpful in prevention. Public health policy that is informed by dynamic surveillance can shift the country from reacting to COVID-19 transmissions to being proactive and taking corrective action when indicators of speed, acceleration, jerk, and persistence remain positive week over week. Implicit within our dynamic surveillance is an early warning system that indicates when there is problematic growth in COVID-19 transmissions as well as signals when growth will become explosive without action. A public health approach that focuses on prevention can prevent major outbreaks in addition to endorsing effective public health policies. Moreover, subnational analyses on the dynamics of the pandemic allow us to zero in on where transmissions are increasing, meaning corrective action can be applied with precision in problematic areas. Dynamic public health surveillance can inform specific geographies where quarantines are necessary while preserving the economy in other US areas.


Subject(s)
COVID-19/prevention & control , COVID-19/transmission , Public Health Surveillance , COVID-19/epidemiology , COVID-19/mortality , Humans , Longitudinal Studies , Pandemics/prevention & control , Pandemics/statistics & numerical data , Public Health , Registries , SARS-CoV-2 , United States/epidemiology
20.
J Med Internet Res ; 23(1): e25830, 2021 01 15.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-968790

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: The COVID-19 pandemic has disrupted the lives of millions and forced countries to devise public health policies to reduce the pace of transmission. In the Middle East and North Africa (MENA), falling oil prices, disparities in wealth and public health infrastructure, and large refugee populations have significantly increased the disease burden of COVID-19. In light of these exacerbating factors, public health surveillance is particularly necessary to help leaders understand and implement effective disease control policies to reduce SARS-CoV-2 persistence and transmission. OBJECTIVE: The goal of this study is to provide advanced surveillance metrics, in combination with traditional surveillance, for COVID-19 transmission that account for weekly shifts in the pandemic speed, acceleration, jerk, and persistence to better understand a country's risk for explosive growth and to better inform those who are managing the pandemic. Existing surveillance coupled with our dynamic metrics of transmission will inform health policy to control the COVID-19 pandemic until an effective vaccine is developed. METHODS: Using a longitudinal trend analysis study design, we extracted 30 days of COVID-19 data from public health registries. We used an empirical difference equation to measure the daily number of cases in MENA as a function of the prior number of cases, the level of testing, and weekly shift variables based on a dynamic panel data model that was estimated using the generalized method of moments approach by implementing the Arellano-Bond estimator in R. RESULTS: The regression Wald statistic was significant (χ25=859.5, P<.001). The Sargan test was not significant, failing to reject the validity of overidentifying restrictions (χ2294=16, P=.99). Countries with the highest cumulative caseload of the novel coronavirus include Iran, Iraq, Saudi Arabia, and Israel with 530,380, 426,634, 342,202, and 303,109 cases, respectively. Many of the smaller countries in MENA have higher infection rates than those countries with the highest caseloads. Oman has 33.3 new infections per 100,000 population while Bahrain has 12.1, Libya has 14, and Lebanon has 14.6 per 100,000 people. In order of largest to smallest number of cumulative deaths since January 2020, Iran, Iraq, Egypt, and Saudi Arabia have 30,375, 10,254, 6120, and 5185, respectively. Israel, Bahrain, Lebanon, and Oman had the highest rates of COVID-19 persistence, which is the number of new infections statistically related to new infections in the prior week. Bahrain had positive speed, acceleration, and jerk, signaling the potential for explosive growth. CONCLUSIONS: Static and dynamic public health surveillance metrics provide a more complete picture of pandemic progression across countries in MENA. Static measures capture data at a given point in time such as infection rates and death rates. By including speed, acceleration, jerk, and 7-day persistence, public health officials may design policies with an eye to the future. Iran, Iraq, Saudi Arabia, and Israel all demonstrated the highest rate of infections, acceleration, jerk, and 7-day persistence, prompting public health leaders to increase prevention efforts.


Subject(s)
COVID-19/epidemiology , Africa, Northern/epidemiology , Humans , Longitudinal Studies , Middle East/epidemiology , Pandemics , Public Health Surveillance/methods , SARS-CoV-2/isolation & purification
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