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1.
BMC Public Health ; 21(1): 1590, 2021 08 26.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1477376

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: COVID-19 has hit the world in an unprecedented way causing serious repercussions on several aspects of our life. Multiple determinants have affected various nations' level of success in their responses towards the pandemic. The Arab Levant region in the Middle East, notoriously known for repeated wars and conflicts, has been affected, similarly to other regions, by this pandemic. The combination of war, conflict, and a pandemic brings too much of a burden for any nation to handle. METHODS: A descriptive analysis of data obtained from the health departments of various Arab Levant Countries (ALC) was performed. ALC include Lebanon, Syria, Jordan, Iraq and Palestine. The data collected involves incidence, recovery rate, case fatality rate and number of tests performed per million population, Global Health Security index, government stringency index, and political stability index. The information obtained was compared and analyzed among the ALC and compared to global figures. An extensive electronic literature search to review all relevant articles and reports published from the region was conducted. The 2019 Global Health Security (GHS) index was obtained from the "GHS index" website which was made by John Hopkins University's center for health security, the Nuclear threat Initiative (NTI) and the Economist Intelligence Unit (EIU). Government stringency index and political stability index were obtained from the University of Oxford and the website of "The Global Economy", respectively. Other world governance indicators such as government effectiveness were obtained from the World Bank website. RESULTS: In terms of incidence of COVID-19, Iraq has the highest with 9665 per one million population, Syria the lowest at 256 per million. Deaths per million population was highest in Iraq at 237, and the lowest in Syria at 12. As for number of tests per million population, Lebanon ranked first at 136,033 with Iraq fourth at 59,795. There is no data available for the tests administered in Syria and subsequently no value for tests per million population. In terms of recoveries from COVID-19 per million population, Iraq had the highest number at 7903 per million, and Syria the lowest at 68 per million. When compared as percent recovery per million, Palestine ranked first (84%) and Syria last (27%). The government response stringency index shows that Jordan had the highest index (100) early in the pandemic among the other countries. Palestine's index remained stable between 80 and 96. The other countries' indices ranged from 50 to 85, with Lebanon seeing a drop to 24 in mid-August. Even with improved stringency index, Iraq reported an increased number of deaths. CONCLUSION: In countries devastated by war and conflict, a pandemic such as COVID-19 can easily spread. The Arab Levant countries represent a breeding ground for pandemics given their unstable political and economic climate that has undoubtedly affected their healthcare systems. In the era of COVID-19, looking at healthcare systems as well as political determinants is needed to assess a country's readiness towards the pandemic. The unrest in Lebanon, the uprising in Iraq, the restrictions placed on Syria, and the economic difficulties in Palestine are all examples of determinants affecting pandemic management. Jordan, on the contrary, is a good example of a stable state, able to implement proper measures. Political stability index should be used as a predictor for pandemic management capacity, and individual measures should be tailored towards countries depending on their index.


Subject(s)
Arabs , COVID-19 , Humans , Lebanon/epidemiology , SARS-CoV-2 , Syria/epidemiology
2.
Clin Med Insights Case Rep ; 14: 11795476211042459, 2021.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1378115

ABSTRACT

While primarily a respiratory disease, COVID-19 can affect several organ systems and has been recently linked to cases of acalculous cholecystitis. We present a previously healthy elderly patient who presented to the emergency department with sepsis and was found to have COVID-19 after initially testing negative on PCR, along with suspected concomitant acalculous gangrenous cholecystitis. The patient passed away before any surgical intervention could be made. This case aims to discuss the potential relationship between acalculous cholecystitis and COVID-19.

3.
Sci Prog ; 104(3): 368504211030372, 2021.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1301795

ABSTRACT

As cases of coronavirus 2019 (COVID-19) keep rising, reported deaths are increasing. Public health measures have been implemented with mixed efficacy. As vaccines are becoming more widely available and accessible globally, treating critically ill COVID-19 patients remains an issue with only dexamethasone found to be therapeutically effective to date. However, trials studying the efficacy of IL-6 inhibitors, namely tocilizumab have been underway with promising results. This paper is a narrative review that aims to review the current evidence provided by randomized clinical trials (RCT) for the use of tocilizumab in COVID-19. Electronic database searches were carried out in Medline, PubMed, Embase, Google Scholar, and ongoing clinical trial registries with the period set from January 1, 2020 to February 20, 2021. Prepublication manuscripts were found using the pre-print repository medRxiv. Keywords included "COVID-19,""coronavirus,""SARS-CoV-2,""sepsis,""pneumonia,""cytokine storm,""cytokine release syndrome,""IL-6 inhibitors," and "tocilizumab," as exact phrases, and a combination of subject headings according to databases syntax. Only trials with a clear and well-defined methodology, at least 100 patients recruited, and which have had results published either after peer review or in pre-print were included. In hospitalized patients with severe COVID-19, who are hypoxic and have a CRP ≥ 75 mg/L, the current evidence favors the use of a combination of tocilizumab and corticosteroids to reduce mortality, among other clinical benefits. There is also overwhelming evidence of the good safety profile of tocilizumab with only few cases of neutropenia reported with a decrease in infection rates. Tocilizumab is currently thought to work through the inhibition of IL-6 receptors (IL-6R), preventing downstream activation of pro-inflammatory reactions and cytokine release syndrome.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , SARS-CoV-2 , Antibodies, Monoclonal, Humanized , COVID-19/drug therapy , Humans , Treatment Outcome
4.
J Mycol Med ; 31(3): 101168, 2021 Sep.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1272630

ABSTRACT

INTRODUCTION: Critically ill COVID-19 patients are at high risk for nosocomial bacterial and fungal infections due to several predisposing factors such as intensive care unit stay, mechanical ventilation, and broad-spectrum antibiotics. Data regarding multidrug resistant (MDR) Candida species in COVID-19 patients is scarce, and nonexistent regarding Candida duobushaemulonii superinfections. CASE DESCRIPTION: A 34-year-old male presented to our institution with acute respiratory distress syndrome (ARDS) due to COVID-19 infection and developed Candida duobushaemulonii fungemia after multiple courses of antibiotics and prolonged mechanical ventilation. He died after recurrent pneumothorax led to respiratory failure and cardiac arrest. DISCUSSION: Bacterial and fungal infections are common complications of viral pneumonia in critically ill patients. Data regarding these infections in COVID-19 patients has been poorly studied with only a few cases reporting secondary infection, mostly without identifying specific pathogens. Prolonged hospital stays, invasive interventions (central venous catheter, mechanical ventilation), and the use of broad-spectrum antibiotics in COVID-19 infections could carry a high risk of bacterial and/or fungal superinfections. CONCLUSION: Strategies to improve outcome in COVID-19 ICU patients should include early recognition of candidemia and appropriate antifungal therapy.


Subject(s)
COVID-19/complications , Candidemia/drug therapy , Superinfection/drug therapy , Adult , Antifungal Agents/therapeutic use , Candida , Candidemia/complications , Fatal Outcome , Humans , Male , Respiration, Artificial , Respiratory Distress Syndrome , Saccharomycetales , Superinfection/complications
5.
Sci Prog ; 104(2): 368504211025927, 2021.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1268172

ABSTRACT

With over 600 million coronavirus (COVID-19) vaccine doses administered globally, adverse events are constantly monitored. Recently however, reports of thrombosis and thrombocytopenia following vaccination with the ChAdOx1 nCoV-19 vaccine have emerged. This paper aims to review the available literature and guidelines pertaining to vaccine-induced immune thrombotic thrombocytopenia (VITT) and the proposed guidelines, while offering a potential approach that unifies the available evidence. While the risk of VITT remains extremely low and the benefits outweigh the risks, experimental studies are needed to clarify the pathophysiology behind VITT and possibly decrease the risk of thrombosis and other adverse events occurring. However, treatment should not be delayed in suspected cases, and IV immunoglobulin and non-heparin anticoagulation should be initiated.


Subject(s)
Anticoagulants/therapeutic use , COVID-19 Vaccines/adverse effects , COVID-19/prevention & control , Immunoglobulins, Intravenous/therapeutic use , Purpura, Thrombocytopenic, Idiopathic/drug therapy , Thrombosis/drug therapy , Antithrombins/therapeutic use , Autoantibodies/blood , Biomarkers/blood , COVID-19/epidemiology , COVID-19/immunology , Factor Xa Inhibitors/therapeutic use , Fibrin Fibrinogen Degradation Products/metabolism , Fondaparinux/therapeutic use , Heparin/adverse effects , Humans , Practice Guidelines as Topic , Purpura, Thrombocytopenic, Idiopathic/blood , Purpura, Thrombocytopenic, Idiopathic/chemically induced , Purpura, Thrombocytopenic, Idiopathic/pathology , SARS-CoV-2/immunology , SARS-CoV-2/pathogenicity , Thrombosis/blood , Thrombosis/chemically induced , Thrombosis/pathology
6.
Sci Prog ; 104(2): 368504211010626, 2021.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1195899

ABSTRACT

The Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic had a huge impact on all sectors around the world. In particular, the healthcare system has been subject to an enormous pressure that has surpassed its ability in many instances. Additionally, the pandemic has called for a review of our daily medical practices, including our approach to colorectal cancer management where treatment puts patients at high risk of virus exposure. Given their higher median age, patients are at an increased risk for severe symptoms and complications in cases of infection, especially in the setting of immunosuppression. Therefore, a review of the routine colorectal cancer practices is needed to minimize risk of exposure. Oncologists should weigh risk of exposure versus the patient's oncologic benefits when approaching management. In addition, treatment protocols should be modified to minimize hospital visits and admissions while maintaining the same treatment efficacy. In this review, we will focus on challenges that colorectal cancer patients face during the pandemic, while highlighting the priority in each case. We will also discuss the evidence for potential modifications to existing treatment plans that could reduce infectious exposure without compromising care. Finally, we will discuss the impact of the socio-economic difficulties faced by Lebanese patients due to a poor economy toppled by an unexpected pandemic.


Subject(s)
Antineoplastic Combined Chemotherapy Protocols/therapeutic use , COVID-19/prevention & control , Cross Infection/prevention & control , Neoplasms/drug therapy , Pandemics , SARS-CoV-2/pathogenicity , COVID-19/diagnosis , COVID-19/epidemiology , COVID-19/transmission , Disease Management , Fluorouracil/therapeutic use , Humans , Infection Control/organization & administration , Lebanon/epidemiology , Monitoring, Physiologic/methods , Neoplasm Staging , Neoplasms/pathology , Organoplatinum Compounds/therapeutic use , Palliative Care/methods , Personal Protective Equipment/supply & distribution , Pyridines/therapeutic use , Telemedicine/methods
7.
SAGE Open Med ; 9: 20503121211002996, 2021.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1158190

ABSTRACT

Severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus-2 has emerged as a new viral pandemic, causing Coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) leading to a wide array of symptoms ranging from asymptomatic to severe respiratory failure. However, coagulation disorders have been found in some patients infected with SARS-CoV-2, leading to either a clotting disorder or hemorrhage. Several mechanisms attempt to explain the mechanism behind the pro-coagulant state seen with COVID-19 patients, including different receptor binding, cytokine storm, and direct viral endothelial damage. SARS-CoV-2 has also been recently found to bind to CLEC4M receptor, a receptor that participates in the clearance of von Willebrand Factor and Factor VIII. The competitive binding of SARS-CoV-2 to CLEC4M could lead to decreased clearance, and therefore a promotion of a pro-coagulative state; however, an experimental study needs to be done to prove such an association.

8.
Disaster Med Public Health Prep ; : 1-2, 2020 Oct 26.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-889075
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