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1.
PubMed; 2022.
Preprint in English | PubMed | ID: ppcovidwho-338321

ABSTRACT

We developed a spatially structured, fully stochastic, individual-based SARS-CoV-2 transmission model to evaluate the feasibility of sustaining SARS-CoV-2 local containment in mainland China considering currently dominant Omicron variants, China's current immunization level, and non-pharmaceutical interventions (NPIs). We also built a statistical model to estimate the overall disease burden under various hypothetical mitigation scenarios. We found that due to high transmissibility, neither Omicron BA.1 or BA.2 could be contained by China's pre-Omicron NPI strategies which were successful prior to the emergence of the Omicron variants. However, increased intervention intensity, such as enhanced population mobility restrictions and multi-round mass testing, could lead to containment success. We estimated that an acute Omicron epidemic wave in mainland China would result in significant number of deaths if China were to reopen under current vaccine coverage with no antiviral uptake, while increasing vaccination coverage and antiviral uptake could substantially reduce the disease burden. As China's current vaccination has yet to reach high coverage in older populations, NPIs remain essential tools to maintain low levels of infection while building up protective population immunity, ensuring a smooth transition out of the pandemic phase while minimizing the overall disease burden.

2.
PubMed; 2022.
Preprint in English | PubMed | ID: ppcovidwho-336850

ABSTRACT

We developed a spatially structured, fully stochastic, individual-based SARS-CoV-2 transmission model to evaluate the feasibility of sustaining a "Zero-COVID" policy in mainland China in light of currently dominant Omicron variants, China's current immunization level, and non-pharmaceutical intervention (NPI) strategies. We found that due to high transmissibility, neither Omicron BA.1 or BA.2 sublineages could be contained by China's Pre-Omicron non-pharmaceutical intervention strategies which were successful at sustaining the "Zero-COVID" policy until March 2022. However, increased intervention intensity, such as enhanced population mobility restrictions and multi-round mass testing, could lead to containment success without the necessity of population-wide lockdown. As China's current vaccination has yet to reach high coverage in older populations, non-pharmaceutical interventions remain essential tools to maintain low levels of infection while building protective population immunity, ensuring a smooth transition out of the pandemic phase, and minimizing the overall disease burden and societal costs.

3.
PubMed; 2020.
Preprint in English | PubMed | ID: ppcovidwho-333498

ABSTRACT

OBJECTIVE: The outbreak of novel coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) imposed a substanal health burden in mainland China and remains a global epidemic threat. Our objectives are to assess the case fatality risk (CFR) among CO VID-19 patients detected in mainland China, stratified by clinical category and age group. METHODS: We collected individual information on laboratory-confirmed COVID-19 cases from publicly available official sources from December 29, 2019 to February 23, 2020. We explored the risk factors associated with mortality. We used methods accounting for right-censoring and survival analyses to estimatethe CFR among detected cases. RESULTS: Of 12,863 cases reported outside Hubei, we obtained individual records for 9,651 cases, including 62 deaths and 1,449 discharged cases. The deceased were significantly older than discharged cases (median age: 77 vs 39 years, p<0.001). 58% (36/62) were male. Older age (OR 1.18 per year;95% CI: 1.14 to 1.22), being male (OR 2.02;95% CI: 1.02 to 4.03), and being treated in less developed economic regions (e.g., West and Northeast vs. East, OR 3.93;95 %Cl:1.74 to 8.85) were mortality risk factors. The estimated CFR was 0.89-1.24% among all cases. The fatality risk among critical patients was 2-fold higher than that among severe and critical patients, and 24-fold higher than that among moderate, severe and critical patients. CONCLUSIONS: Our estimates of CFR based on laboratory-confirmed cases ascertained outside of Hubei suggest that COVID-19 is not as severe as severe acute respiratory syndrome and Middle East respiratory syndrome, but more similar to the mortality risk of 2009 H1N1 influenza pandemic in hospitalized patients. The fatality risk of COVID-19 is higher in males and increases with age. Our study improves the severity assessment of the ongoing epidemic and can inform the COVID-19 outbreak response in China and beyond.

4.
PubMed; 2020.
Preprint in English | PubMed | ID: ppcovidwho-333495

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: The COVID-19 epidemic originated in Wuhan City of Hubei Province in December 2019 and has spread throughout China. Understanding the fast evolving epidemiology and transmission dynamics of the outbreak beyond Hubei would provide timely information to guide intervention policy. METHODS: We collected individual information on 8,579 laboratory-confirmed cases from official publically sources reported outside Hubei in mainland China, as of February 17, 2020. We estimated the temporal variation of the demographic characteristics of cases and key time-to-event intervals. We used a Bayesian approach to estimate the dynamics of the net reproduction number (Rt) at the provincial level. RESULTS: The median age of the cases was 44 years, with an increasing of cases in younger age groups and the elderly as the epidemic progressed. The delay from symptom onset to hospital admission decreased from 4.4 days (95%CI: 0.0-14.0) until January 27 to 2.6 days (0.0-9.0) from January 28 to February 17. The mean incubation period was estimated at 5.2 days (1.8-12.4) and the mean serial interval at 5.1 days (1.3-11.6). The epidemic dynamics in provinces outside Hubei was highly variable, but consistently included a mix of case importations and local transmission. We estimate that the epidemic was self-sustained for less than three weeks with Rt reaching peaks between 1.40 (1.04-1.85) in Shenzhen City of Guangdong Province and 2.17 (1.69-2.76) in Shandong Province. In all the analyzed locations (n=10) Rt was estimated to be below the epidemic threshold since the end of January. CONCLUSION: Our findings suggest that the strict containment measures and movement restrictions in place may contribute to the interruption of local COVID-19 transmission outside Hubei Province. The shorter serial interval estimated here implies that transmissibility is not as high as initial estimates suggested.

5.
EuropePMC; 2020.
Preprint in English | EuropePMC | ID: ppcovidwho-307931

ABSTRACT

In the night of February 20, 2020, the first case of novel coronavirus disease (COVID-19) was confirmed in the Lombardy Region, Italy. In the week that followed, Lombardy experienced a very rapid increase in the number of cases. We analyzed the first 5,830 laboratory-confirmed cases to provide the first epidemiological characterization of a COVID-19 outbreak in a Western Country. Epidemiological data were collected through standardized interviews of confirmed cases and their close contacts. We collected demographic backgrounds, dates of symptom onset, clinical features, respiratory tract specimen results, hospitalization, contact tracing. We provide estimates of the reproduction number and serial interval. The epidemic in Italy started much earlier than February 20, 2020. At the time of detection of the first COVID-19 case, the epidemic had already spread in most municipalities of Southern-Lombardy. The median age for of cases is 69 years (range, 1 month to 101 years). 47% of positive subjects were hospitalized. Among these, 18% required intensive care. The mean serial interval is estimated to be 6.6 days (95% CI, 0.7 to 19). We estimate the basic reproduction number at 3.1 (95% CI, 2.9 to 3.2). We estimated a decreasing trend in the net reproduction number starting around February 20, 2020. We did not observe significantly different viral loads in nasal swabs between symptomatic and asymptomatic. The transmission potential of COVID-19 is very high and the number of critical cases may become largely unsustainable for the healthcare system in a very short-time horizon. We observed a slight decrease of the reproduction number, possibly connected with an increased population awareness and early effect of interventions. Aggressive containment strategies are required to control COVID-19 spread and catastrophic outcomes for the healthcare system.

6.
PUBMED; 2021.
Preprint in English | PUBMED | ID: ppcovidwho-293266

ABSTRACT

Given the narrowness of the initial testing criteria, the SARS-CoV-2 virus spread through cryptic transmission in January and February, setting the stage for the epidemic wave experienced in March and April, 2020. We use a global metapopulation epidemic model to provide a mechanistic understanding of the global dynamic underlying the establishment of the COVID-19 pandemic in Europe and the United States (US). The model is calibrated on international case introductions at the early stage of the pandemic. We find that widespread community transmission of SARS-CoV-2 was likely in several areas of Europe and the US by January 2020, and estimate that by early March, only 1 - 3 in 100 SARS-CoV-2 infections were detected by surveillance systems. Modeling results indicate international travel as the key driver of the introduction of SARS-CoV-2 with possible importation and transmission events as early as December, 2019. We characterize the resulting heterogeneous spatio-temporal spread of SARS-CoV-2 and the burden of the first COVID-19 wave (February-July 2020). We estimate infection attack rates ranging from 0.78%-15.2% in the US and 0.19%-13.2% in Europe. The spatial modeling of SARS-CoV-2 introductions and spreading provides insights into the design of innovative, model-driven surveillance systems and preparedness plans that have a broader initial capacity and indication for testing.

7.
PubMed; 2021.
Preprint in English | PubMed | ID: ppcovidwho-8058

ABSTRACT

COVID-19 vaccination programs have been initiated in several countries to control SARS-CoV-2 transmission and return to a pre-pandemic lifestyle. However, understanding when non-pharmaceutical interventions (NPIs) can be lifted as vaccination builds up and how to update priority groups for vaccination in real-time remain key questions for policy makers. To address these questions, we built a data-driven model of SARS-CoV-2 transmission for China. We estimated that, to prevent local outbreaks to escalate to major widespread epidemics, stringent NPIs need to remain in place at least one year after the start of vaccination. Should NPIs be capable to keep the reproduction number (Rt) around 1.3, a vaccination program could reduce up to 99% of COVID-19 burden and bring Rt below the epidemic threshold in about 9 months. Maintaining strict NPIs throughout 2021 is of paramount importance to reduce COVID-19 burden while vaccines are distributed to the population, especially in large populations with little natural immunity.

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