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1.
Ann Ist Super Sanita ; 58(1): 25-33, 2022.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1761028

ABSTRACT

AIMS: To assess the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on all-cause mortality in Italy during the first wave of the epidemic, taking into consideration the geographical heterogeneity of the spread of COVID-19. METHODS: This study is a retrospective, population-based cohort study using national statistics throughout Italy. Survival analysis was applied to data aggregated by day of death, age groups, sex, and Italian administrative units (107 provinces). We applied Cox models to estimate the relative hazards (RH) of excess mortality, comparing all-cause deaths in 2020 with the expected deaths from all causes in the same time period. The RH of excess deaths was estimated in areas with a high, moderate, and low spread of COVID-19. We reported the estimate also restricting the analysis to the period of March-April 2020 (first peak of the epidemic). RESULTS: The study population consisted of 57,204,501 individuals living in Italy as of January 1, 2020. The number of excess deaths was 36,445, which accounts for 13.4% of excess mortalities from all causes during January-May 2020 (i.e., RH = 1.134; 95% confidence interval (CI): 1.129-1.140). In the macro-area with a relatively higher spread of COVID-19 (i.e., incidence rate, IR): 450-1,610 cases per 100,000 residents), the RH of excess deaths was 1.375 (95% CI: 1.364-1.386). In the area with a relatively moderate spread of COVID-19 (i.e., IR: 150-449 cases) it was 1.049 (95% CI: 1.038-1.060). In the area with a relatively lower spread of COVID-19 (i.e., IR: 30-149 cases), it was 0.967 (95% CI: 0.959-0.976). Between March and April (peak months of the first wave of the epidemic in Italy), we estimated an excess mortality from all causes of 43.5%. The RH of all-cause mortality for increments of 500 cases per 100,000 residents was 1.352 (95% CI: 1.346-1.359), corresponding to an increase of about 35%. CONCLUSIONS: Our analysis, making use of a population-based cohort model, estimated all-cause excess mortality in Italy taking account of both time period and of COVID-19 geographical spread. The study highlights the importance of a temporal/geographic framework in analyzing the risk of COVID-19-epidemy related mortality.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Cohort Studies , Humans , Italy/epidemiology , Pandemics , Retrospective Studies
3.
Euro Surveill ; 27(5)2022 02.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1700766

ABSTRACT

BackgroundSeveral SARS-CoV-2 variants of concern (VOC) have emerged through 2020 and 2021. There is need for tools to estimate the relative transmissibility of emerging variants of SARS-CoV-2 with respect to circulating strains.AimWe aimed to assess the prevalence of co-circulating VOC in Italy and estimate their relative transmissibility.MethodsWe conducted two genomic surveillance surveys on 18 February and 18 March 2021 across the whole Italian territory covering 3,243 clinical samples and developed a mathematical model that describes the dynamics of co-circulating strains.ResultsThe Alpha variant was already dominant on 18 February in a majority of regions/autonomous provinces (national prevalence: 54%) and almost completely replaced historical lineages by 18 March (dominant across Italy, national prevalence: 86%). We found a substantial proportion of the Gamma variant on 18 February, almost exclusively in central Italy (prevalence: 19%), which remained similar on 18 March. Nationally, the mean relative transmissibility of Alpha ranged at 1.55-1.57 times the level of historical lineages (95% CrI: 1.45-1.66). The relative transmissibility of Gamma varied according to the assumed degree of cross-protection from infection with other lineages and ranged from 1.12 (95% CrI: 1.03-1.23) with complete immune evasion to 1.39 (95% CrI: 1.26-1.56) for complete cross-protection.ConclusionWe assessed the relative advantage of competing viral strains, using a mathematical model assuming different degrees of cross-protection. We found substantial co-circulation of Alpha and Gamma in Italy. Gamma was not able to outcompete Alpha, probably because of its lower transmissibility.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , SARS-CoV-2 , Humans , Italy/epidemiology , Models, Theoretical
4.
Bulletin of the World Health Organization ; 100(2):161-167, 2022.
Article in English | CINAHL | ID: covidwho-1690495

ABSTRACT

Problem After Italy's first national restriction measures in 2020, a robust approach was needed to monitor the emerging epidemic of coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) at subnational level and provide data to inform the strengthening or easing of epidemic control measures. Approach We adapted the European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control rapid risk assessment tool by including quantitative and qualitative indicators from existing national surveillance systems. We defined COVID-19 risk as a combination of the probability of uncontrolled transmission of severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 and of an unsustainable impact of COVID-19 cases on hospital services, adjusted in relation to the health system's resilience. The monitoring system was implemented with no additional cost in May 2020. Local setting The infectious diseases surveillance system in Italy uses consistent data collection methods across the country's decentralized regions and autonomous provinces. Relevant changes Weekly risk assessments using this approach were sustainable in monitoring the epidemic at regional level from 4 May 2020 to 24 September 2021. The tool provided reliable assessments of when and where a rapid increase in demand for health-care services would occur if control or mitigation measures were not increased in the following 3 weeks. Lessons learnt Although the system worked well, framing the risk assessment tool in a legal decree hampered its flexibility, as indicators could not be changed without changing the law. The relative complexity of the tool, the impossibility of real-time validation and its use for the definition of restrictions posed communication challenges. Situación Tras las primeras medidas nacionales de restricción en Italia en 2020, se necesitaba un enfoque sólido para supervisar la epidemia emergente de la coronavirosis de 2019 (COVID-19) a nivel subnacional y proporcionar datos que informaran sobre el refuerzo o la flexibilización de las medidas de contención de la epidemia. Enfoque Se adaptó la herramienta de valoración rápida de riesgos del Centro Europeo para la Prevención y el Control de las Enfermedades, al incluir indicadores cuantitativos y cualitativos de los sistemas nacionales de vigilancia existentes. Se definió el riesgo de la COVID-19 como una combinación de la probabilidad de transmisión descontrolada del coronavirus del síndrome respiratorio agudo grave de tipo 2 y de un efecto no sostenible de los casos de la COVID-19 en los servicios hospitalarios, y se ajustó en relación con la capacidad de recuperación del sistema sanitario. El sistema de supervisión se aplicó sin costes adicionales en mayo de 2020. Marco regional El sistema de vigilancia de las enfermedades infecciosas en Italia aplica métodos de recopilación de datos coherentes en todas las regiones y provincias autónomas descentralizadas del país. Cambios importantes Las valoraciones semanales de los riesgos mediante este enfoque fueron sostenibles en la supervisión de la epidemia a nivel regional entre el 4 de mayo de 2020 y el 24 de septiembre de 2021. La herramienta proporcionó valoraciones fiables de cuándo y dónde se produciría un rápido aumento de la demanda de servicios sanitarios si no se incrementaban las medidas de contención o mitigación en las tres semanas siguientes. Lecciones aprendidas Aunque el sistema funcionó bien, el hecho de enmarcar la herramienta de valoración de los riesgos en un decreto legal dificultó su flexibilidad, ya que los indicadores no se podían modificar sin cambiar la ley. La relativa complejidad de la herramienta, la imposibilidad de validación en tiempo real y su uso para la definición de las restricciones plantearon problemas de comunicación. Problème Après avoir pris ses premières mesures de restriction nationales en 2020, l'Italie avait besoin d'une approche solide pour surveiller l'épidémie naissante de maladie à coronavirus 2019 (COVID-19) au niveau régional, et fournir les données permettant de renforcer ou d'alléger les mesures destinées à l'endiguer. Approche Nous avons adapté l'outil d'évaluation rapide des risques du Centre européen de prévention et de contrôle des maladies en y intégrant des indicateurs quantitatifs et qualitatifs issus des systèmes de surveillance nationaux existants. Pour définir le risque lié à la COVID-19, nous avons associé la probabilité d'une transmission incontrôlée du coronavirus 2 du syndrome respiratoire aigu sévère, à l'impact immédiat des cas de COVID-19 sur les services hospitaliers, en procédant à des ajustements selon la résilience du système de soins de santé. Le dispositif de surveillance a été mis en oeuvre en mai 2020 sans entraîner de coûts supplémentaires. Environnement local En Italie, le système de surveillance des maladies infectieuses repose sur des méthodes uniformes de collecte de données dans les provinces autonomes et régions décentralisées à travers le pays. Changements significatifs Les évaluations des risques réalisées toutes les semaines avec cette approche ont permis de surveiller l'épidémie à l'échelle régionale du 4 mai 2020 au 24 septembre 2021. L'outil a identifié les dates et lieux susceptibles de connaître une augmentation rapide de la demande en services de soins de santé si aucune mesure supplémentaire de contrôle et de lutte n'était prise dans les trois semaines. Leçons tirées Bien que le système ait fonctionné, inscrire l'outil d'évaluation des risques dans un décret législatif a réduit sa flexibilité, car les indicateurs ne pouvaient être modifiés sans réformer la loi. La relative complexité de l'outil, l'impossibilité de procéder à une validation en temps réel et son usage pour imposer des restrictions ont posé des problèmes de communication. Проблема После первых национальных ограничительных мер в Италии в 2020 году потребовался активный подход для мониторинга зарождающейся эпидемии коронавирусной инфекции 2019 года (COVID-19) на субнациональном уровне и для предоставления данных для обоснования усиления или ослабления мер по борьбе с эпидемией. Подход Авторы адаптировали инструмент для оперативных оценок рисков Европейского центра по контролю и профилактике заболеваний, включив в него количественные и качественные показатели из существующих национальных систем эпиднадзора. Авторы определили риск COVID-19 как комбинацию вероятности неконтролируемой передачи тяжелого острого респираторного синдрома, вызванного коронавирусом-2, и разрушительного воздействия случаев COVID-19 на больничное обслуживание, которая скорректирована с учетом устойчивости системы здравоохранения. Система мониторинга была внедрена без каких-либо дополнительных затрат в мае 2020 года. Местные условия В системе эпиднадзора за инфекционными заболеваниями в Италии используются последовательные методы сбора данных по децентрализованным регионам и автономным провинциям страны. Осуществленные перемены Еженедельные оценки рисков с использованием данного подхода регулярно применялись при мониторинге эпидемии на региональном уровне с 4 мая 2020 года по 24 сентября 2021 года. Инструмент обеспечил надежную оценку того, когда и где может произойти быстрое увеличение спроса на медицинские услуги, если меры по борьбе или смягчению последствий не будут усилены в течение следующих 3 недель. Выводы Несмотря на то что система работала эффективно, включение инструмента для оценок рисков в юридические постановления ограничивало его гибкость, поскольку показатели не могли быть изменены без изменения закона. Относительная сложность инструмента, невозможность проверки в реальном времени и его использование для определения ограничений создают проблемы коммуникации. 问题 2020 年意大利首次实施全国性限制措施后,需要 采取可靠方法以监测新型冠状病毒肺炎 (新冠肺炎) 疫情在地方层面的蔓延情况,并提供数据以表明是否 需要加强或放松疫情控制措施。 方法 通过纳入现有国家监测系统的定量和定性指 标,我们调整了欧洲疾病预防和控制中心的快速风险 评估工具。我们将新型冠状病毒肺炎风险综合定义为 严重急性呼吸系统综合症冠状病毒 2 不受控制传播 的可能性以及新型冠状病毒肺炎病例对医院服务的非持续性影响,并根据卫生系统的顺应力进行了调整。 2020 年 5 月,在没有产生额外成本的前提下实施了监 测系统。 当地状况 意大利传染病监测系统在全国各个分散 的地区和自治省统一使用相同的数据收集方法。 相关变化 在 2020 年 5 月 4 日至 2021 年 9 月 24 日 期间,使用这种方法开展的每周风险评估在监测区域 层面疫情情况方面具有可持续性。该工具能够可靠地 评估,如果在接下来的 3 周内没有加强控制或缓解措 施,何时何地医疗保健服务需求会迅速增加。 经验教训 尽管该系统运作良好,但将风险评估工 具纳入法令范畴限制了其灵活性,因为若不更改法律, 则无法变更指标。该工具的相对复杂性、实时验证的 不可能性及其在法规限定方面的用途导致产生了沟通 挑战。

5.
EuropePMC; 2021.
Preprint in English | EuropePMC | ID: ppcovidwho-316625

ABSTRACT

Objective: To investigate the association between deprivation and COVID-19 outcomes in Italy during pre-lockdown, lockdown and post-lockdown periods. Design: Retrospective cohort study. Setting: All municipalities in Italy with less than 50,000 population.Participants: 38,534,169 citizens and 222,875 COVID-19 cases reported to the Italian epidemiological surveillance were assigned to quintiles based on the deprivation index of their municipality of residence.Interventions: The COVID-19 pandemic during pre-lockdown, lockdown and post-lockdown from the 20th of February to the 15th of October of 2020.Main outcome measures: Multilevel negative binomial regression models, adjusting for age, sex, population-density and region of residence were conducted to evaluate the association between deprivation and COVID-19 incidence, case-hospitalisation rate and case-fatality. The association measure was the rate ratio. Results: During pre-lockdown, lockdown and post-lockdown, the incidence rate ratios (IRR) with 95% confidence interval (CI) in the most deprived quintile with respect to the least deprived quintile were 1.17 (95% CI 0.98 to 1.41), 1.14 (1.03 to 1.27) and 1.47 (1.32 to 1.63), respectively. In those three periods, the case-hospitalization IRR were 0.68 (0.51 to 0.92), 0.89 (0.72 to 1.11) and 0.99 (0.81 to 1.22) and the case-fatality IRR were 0.92 (0.75 to 1.13), 0.95 (0.85 to 1.07) and 1.02 (0.73 to 1.41), respectively. Conclusions: During lockdown and post-lockdown, but not during pre-lockdown, a higher incidence of cases was observed in the most deprived municipalities compared with the least deprived ones. No differences in case-hospitalisation and case-fatality according to deprivation were observed in any period under study.

6.
EuropePMC; 2020.
Preprint in English | EuropePMC | ID: ppcovidwho-311797

ABSTRACT

On March 10, 2020, Italy imposed a national lockdown to curtail the spread of COVID-19. Here we estimate that, fourteen days after the implementation of the strategy, the net reproduction number has dropped below the epidemic threshold - estimated range 0.4-0.7. Our findings provide a timeline of the effectiveness of the implemented lockdown, which is relevant for a large number of countries that followed Italy in enforcing similar measures.

7.
EuropePMC; 2021.
Preprint in English | EuropePMC | ID: ppcovidwho-308578

ABSTRACT

In 2020, countries affected by the COVID-19 pandemic implemented various non-pharmaceutical interventions to contrast the spread of the virus and its impact on their healthcare systems and economies. Using Italian data at different geographic scales, we investigate the relationship between human mobility, which subsumes many facets of the population's response to the changing situation, and the spread of COVID-19. Leveraging mobile phone data from February through September 2020, we find a striking relationship between the decrease in mobility flows and the net reproduction number. We find that the time needed to switch off mobility and bring the net reproduction number below the critical threshold of 1 is about one week. Moreover, we observe a strong relationship between the number of days spent above such threshold before the lockdown-induced drop in mobility flows and the total number of infections per 100k inhabitants. Estimating the statistical effect of mobility flows on the net reproduction number over time, we document a 2-week lag positive association, strong in March and April, and weaker but still significant in June. Our study demonstrates the value of big mobility data to monitor the epidemic and inform control interventions during its unfolding.

8.
Bull World Health Organ ; 100(2): 161-167, 2022 Feb 01.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1674216

ABSTRACT

PROBLEM: After Italy's first national restriction measures in 2020, a robust approach was needed to monitor the emerging epidemic of coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) at subnational level and provide data to inform the strengthening or easing of epidemic control measures. APPROACH: We adapted the European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control rapid risk assessment tool by including quantitative and qualitative indicators from existing national surveillance systems. We defined COVID-19 risk as a combination of the probability of uncontrolled transmission of severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 and of an unsustainable impact of COVID-19 cases on hospital services, adjusted in relation to the health system's resilience. The monitoring system was implemented with no additional cost in May 2020. LOCAL SETTING: The infectious diseases surveillance system in Italy uses consistent data collection methods across the country's decentralized regions and autonomous provinces. RELEVANT CHANGES: Weekly risk assessments using this approach were sustainable in monitoring the epidemic at regional level from 4 May 2020 to 24 September 2021. The tool provided reliable assessments of when and where a rapid increase in demand for health-care services would occur if control or mitigation measures were not increased in the following 3 weeks. LESSONS LEARNT: Although the system worked well, framing the risk assessment tool in a legal decree hampered its flexibility, as indicators could not be changed without changing the law. The relative complexity of the tool, the impossibility of real-time validation and its use for the definition of restrictions posed communication challenges.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Epidemics , Humans , Italy/epidemiology , Risk Assessment , SARS-CoV-2
10.
Front Public Health ; 9: 669209, 2021.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1337690

ABSTRACT

COVID-19 dramatically influenced mortality worldwide, in Italy as well, the first European country to experience the Sars-Cov2 epidemic. Many countries reported a two-wave pattern of COVID-19 deaths; however, studies comparing the two waves are limited. The objective of the study was to compare all-cause excess mortality between the two waves that occurred during the year 2020 using nationwide data. All-cause excess mortalities were estimated using negative binomial models with time modeled by quadratic splines. The models were also applied to estimate all-cause excess deaths "not directly attributable to COVD-19", i.e., without a previous COVID-19 diagnosis. During the first wave (25th February-31st May), we estimated 52,437 excess deaths (95% CI: 49,213-55,863) and 50,979 (95% CI: 50,333-51,425) during the second phase (10th October-31st December), corresponding to percentage 34.8% (95% CI: 33.8%-35.8%) in the second wave and 31.0% (95%CI: 27.2%-35.4%) in the first. During both waves, all-cause excess deaths percentages were higher in northern regions (59.1% during the first and 42.2% in the second wave), with a significant increase in the rest of Italy (from 6.7% to 27.1%) during the second wave. Males and those aged 80 or over were the most hit groups with an increase in both during the second wave. Excess deaths not directly attributable to COVID-19 decreased during the second phase with respect to the first phase, from 10.8% (95% CI: 9.5%-12.4%) to 7.7% (95% CI: 7.5%-7.9%), respectively. The percentage increase in excess deaths from all causes suggests in Italy a different impact of the SARS-CoV-2 virus during the second wave in 2020. The decrease in excess deaths not directly attributable to COVID-19 may indicate an improvement in the preparedness of the Italian health care services during this second wave, in the detection of COVID-19 diagnoses and/or clinical practice toward the other severe diseases.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , COVID-19 Testing , Europe , Humans , Italy/epidemiology , Male , Pandemics , RNA, Viral , SARS-CoV-2
11.
Health Place ; 71: 102642, 2021 09.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1330835

ABSTRACT

The objective was to investigate the association between deprivation and COVID-19 outcomes in Italy during pre-lockdown, lockdown and post-lockdown periods using a retrospective cohort study with 38,534,169 citizens and 222,875 COVID-19 cases. Multilevel negative binomial regression models, adjusting for age, sex, population-density and region of residence were conducted to evaluate the association between area-level deprivation and COVID-19 incidence, case-hospitalisation rate and case-fatality. During lockdown and post-lockdown, but not during pre-lockdown, higher incidence of cases was observed in the most deprived municipalities compared with the least deprived ones. No differences in case-hospitalisation and case-fatality according to deprivation were observed in any period under study.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Communicable Disease Control , Humans , Italy/epidemiology , Retrospective Studies , SARS-CoV-2 , Socioeconomic Factors
12.
Nat Commun ; 12(1): 4570, 2021 07 27.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1328847

ABSTRACT

To counter the second COVID-19 wave in autumn 2020, the Italian government introduced a system of physical distancing measures organized in progressively restrictive tiers (coded as yellow, orange, and red) imposed on a regional basis according to real-time epidemiological risk assessments. We leverage the data from the Italian COVID-19 integrated surveillance system and publicly available mobility data to evaluate the impact of the three-tiered regional restriction system on human activities, SARS-CoV-2 transmissibility and hospitalization burden in Italy. The individuals' attendance to locations outside the residential settings was progressively reduced with tiers, but less than during the national lockdown against the first COVID-19 wave in the spring. The reproduction number R(t) decreased below the epidemic threshold in 85 out of 107 provinces after the introduction of the tier system, reaching average values of about 0.95-1.02 in the yellow tier, 0.80-0.93 in the orange tier and 0.74-0.83 in the red tier. We estimate that the reduced transmissibility resulted in averting about 36% of the hospitalizations between November 6 and November 25, 2020. These results are instrumental to inform public health efforts aimed at preventing future resurgence of cases.


Subject(s)
COVID-19/epidemiology , Communicable Disease Control , Humans , Italy/epidemiology , SARS-CoV-2/pathogenicity
13.
Vaccine ; 39(34): 4788-4792, 2021 08 09.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1301034

ABSTRACT

In Italy, the COVID-19 vaccination campaign started in December 2020 with the vaccination of healthcare workers (HCW). To analyse the real-life impact that vaccination is having on this population group, we measured the association between week of diagnosis and HCW status using log-binomial regression. By the week 22-28 March, we observed a 74% reduction (PPR 0.26; 95% CI 0.22-0.29) in the proportion of cases reported as HCW and 81% reduction in the proportion of symptomatic cases reported as HCW, compared with the week with the lowest proportion of cases among HCWs prior to the vaccination campaign (31 August-7 September). The reduction, both in relative and absolute terms, of COVID-19 cases in HCWs that started around 30 days after the start of the vaccination campaign suggest that COVID-19 vaccines are being effective in preventing infection in this group.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 Vaccines , COVID-19 , Health Personnel , Humans , Italy/epidemiology , SARS-CoV-2 , Vaccination
14.
Front Med (Lausanne) ; 8: 645543, 2021.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1172969

ABSTRACT

Background: In Italy, during the first epidemic wave of 2020, the peak of coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) mortality was reached at the end of March. Afterward, a progressive reduction was observed until much lower figures were reached during the summer, resulting from the contained circulation of SARS-CoV-2. This study aimed to determine if and how the pathological patterns of the individuals deceased from COVID-19 changed during the phases of epidemic waves in terms of: (i) main cause of death, (ii) comorbidities, and (iii) complications related to death. Methods: Death certificates of persons who died and tested positive for SARS-CoV-2, provided by the National Surveillance system, were coded according to ICD rev10. Deaths due to COVID-19 were defined as those in which COVID-19 was the underlying cause of death. Results: The percentage of COVID-19 deaths varied over time. It decreased in the downward phase of the epidemic curve (76.6 vs. 88.7%). In February-April 2020, hypertensive heart disease was mentioned as a comorbidity in 18.5% of death certificates, followed by diabetes (15.9% of cases), ischemic heart disease (13.1%), and neoplasms (12.1%). In May-September, the most frequent comorbidity was neoplasms (17.3% of cases), followed by hypertensive heart disease (14.9%), diabetes (14.8%), and dementia/Alzheimer's disease (11.9%). The most mentioned complications in both periods were pneumonia and respiratory failure with a frequency far higher than any other condition (78.4% in February-April 2020 and 63.7% in May-September 2020). Discussion: The age of patients dying from COVID-19 and their disease burden increased in the May-September 2020 period. A more serious disease burden was observed in this period, with a significantly higher frequency of chronic pathologies. Our study suggests better control of the virus' lethality in the second phase of the epidemic, when the health system was less burdened. Moreover, COVID-19 care protocols had been created in hospitals, and knowledge about the diagnosis and treatment of COVID-19 had improved, potentially leading to more accurate diagnosis and better treatment. All these factors may have improved survival in patients with COVID-19 and led to a shift in mortality to older, more vulnerable, and complex patients.

15.
BMJ Open ; 11(4): e045425, 2021 04 01.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1166503

ABSTRACT

OBJECTIVES: We aimed to review SARS-CoV-2 seroprevalence studies conducted in Europe to understand how they may be used to inform ongoing control strategies for COVID-19. DESIGN: Scoping review of peer-reviewed publications and manuscripts on preprint servers from January 2020 to 15 September 2020. PRIMARY MEASURE: Seroprevalence estimate (and lower and upper CIs). For studies conducted across a country or territory, we used the seroprevalence estimate and the upper and lower CIs and compared them to the total number of reported infections to calculate the ratio of reported to expected infections. RESULTS: We identified 23 population-based seroprevalence studies conducted in Europe. Among 12 general population studies, seroprevalence ranged from 0.42% among residual clinical samples in Greece to 13.6% in an area of high transmission in Gangelt, Germany. Of the eight studies in blood donors, seroprevalence ranged from 0.91% in North-Western Germany to 23.3% in a high-transmission area in Lombardy region, Italy. In three studies which recruited individuals through employment, seroprevalence ranged from 0.5% among factory workers in Frankfurt, Germany, to 10.2% among university employees in Milan, Italy. In comparison to nationally reported cases, the extent of infection, as derived from these seroprevalence estimates, is manyfold higher and largely heterogeneous. CONCLUSION: Exposure to the virus in Europe has not reached a level of infection that would prevent further circulation of the virus. Effective vaccine candidates are urgently required to deliver the level of immunity in the population.


Subject(s)
Antibodies, Viral/blood , COVID-19/diagnosis , Seroepidemiologic Studies , COVID-19/blood , Europe/epidemiology , Germany , Greece , Humans , Italy , Pandemics
16.
Epidemiol Prev ; 44(5-6 Suppl 2): 236-243, 2020.
Article in Italian | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1068144

ABSTRACT

OBJECTIVES: to assess the temporal variation in excess total mortality and the portion of excess explained by COVID-19 deaths by geographical area, gender, and age during the COVID-19 epidemic. DESIGN: descriptive analysis of temporal variations of total excess deaths and COVID-19 deaths in the phase 1 and phase 2 of the epidemic in Italy. SETTING AND PARTICIPANTS: 12 Northern cities and 20 Central-Southern cities from December 2019 to June 2020: daily mortality from the National Surveillance System of Daily Mortality (SiSMG) and COVID-19 deaths from the integrated COVID-19 surveillance system. MAIN OUTCOME MEASURES: total mortality excess and COVID-19 deaths, defined as deaths in microbiologically confirmed cases of SARS-CoV-2, by gender and age groups. RESULTS: the largest excess mortality was observed in the North and during the first phase of the epidemic. The portion of excess mortality explained by COVID-19 decreases with age, decreasing to 51% among the very old (>=85 years). In phase 2 (until June 2020), the impact was more contained and totally attributable to COVID-19 deaths and this suggests an effectiveness of social distancing measures. CONCLUSIONS: mortality surveillance is a sensible information basis for the monitoring of health impact of the different phases of the epidemic and supporting decision making at the local and national level on containment measures to put in place in coming months.


Subject(s)
COVID-19/epidemiology , Mortality/trends , SARS-CoV-2 , Adolescent , Adult , Aged , Aged, 80 and over , COVID-19/mortality , COVID-19/prevention & control , Cause of Death , Female , Humans , Italy/epidemiology , Male , Middle Aged , Population Surveillance , Quarantine , Time Factors , Urban Population/statistics & numerical data , Young Adult
17.
Epidemiol Prev ; 44(5-6 Suppl 2): 70-80, 2020.
Article in Italian | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1068126

ABSTRACT

OBJECTIVES: to describe the integrated surveillance system of COVID-19 in Italy, to illustrate the outputs used to return epidemiological information on the spread of the epidemic to the competent public health bodies and to the Italian population, and to describe how the surveillance data contributes to the ongoing weekly regional monitoring and risk assessment system. METHODS: the COVID-19 integrated surveillance system is the result of a close and continuous collaboration between the Italian National Institute of Health (ISS), the Italian Ministry of Health, and the regional and local health authorities. Through a web platform, it collects individual data of laboratory confirmed cases of SARS-CoV-2 infection and gathers information on their residence, laboratory diagnosis, hospitalisation, clinical status, risk factors, and outcome. Results, for different levels of aggregation and risk categories, are published daily and weekly on the ISS website, and made available to national and regional public health authorities; these results contribute one of the information sources of the regional monitoring and risk assessment system. RESULTS: the COVID-19 integrated surveillance system monitors the space-time distribution of cases and their characteristics. Indicators used in the weekly regional monitoring and risk assessment system include process indicators on completeness and results indicators on weekly trends of newly diagnosed cases per Region. CONCLUSIONS: the outputs of the integrated surveillance system for COVID-19 provide timely information to health authorities and to the general population on the evolution of the epidemic in Italy. They also contribute to the continuous re-assessment of risk related to transmission and impact of the epidemic thus contributing to the management of COVID-19 in Italy.


Subject(s)
COVID-19/epidemiology , Population Surveillance , SARS-CoV-2 , Hospitalization/statistics & numerical data , Humans , Information Dissemination , Italy/epidemiology , Population Surveillance/methods , Research Report , Risk
19.
EClinicalMedicine ; 32: 100721, 2021 Feb.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1032448

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: Non-pharmacological interventions (NPI), including lockdowns, have been used to address the COVID-19 pandemic. We describe changes in the environment and lifestyle of school children in Cyprus before the lockdown and during school re-opening, and assess compliance to NPI, using the exposome concept. METHODS: During June 2020, parents completed an online questionnaire about their children's lifestyle/behaviours for two periods; school re-opening (May 21-June 26) following the population-wide lockdown, and the school period before lockdown (before March). FINDINGS: Responses were received for 1509 children from over 180 primary schools. More than 72% of children complied with most NPI measures; however, only 48% decreased the number of vulnerable contacts at home. Sugary food consumption was higher in the post-lockdown period with 37% and 26% of the children eating sugary items daily and 4-6 times/week, compared to 33% and 19%, respectively, for the pre-lockdown period (p<0.001). Children's physical activity decreased compared to pre-lockdown (p<0.001), while screen time increased in the post-lockdown period, with 25% of children spending 4-7 hours/day in front of screens vs. 10% in the pre-lockdown period (p<0.001). About half of the children washed their hands with soap 4-7 times/day post-lockdown vs. 30% in the pre-lockdown period (p<0.001). INTERPRETATION: This national survey showed a high degree of compliance to NPI measures among school children. Furthermore, the exposome profile of children may be affected in the months following NPI measures due to alterations in diet, physical activity, sedentary behaviour, and hand hygiene habits. FUNDING: Partial funding by the EXPOSOGAS project, H2020 Research and Innovation Programme (grant #810995).

20.
Eur J Public Health ; 31(1): 37-44, 2021 02 01.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1015343

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: International literature suggests that disadvantaged groups are at higher risk of morbidity and mortality from SARS-CoV-2 infection due to poorer living/working conditions and barriers to healthcare access. Yet, to date, there is no evidence of this disproportionate impact on non-national individuals, including economic migrants, short-term travellers and refugees. METHODS: We analyzed data from the Italian surveillance system of all COVID-19 laboratory-confirmed cases tested positive from the beginning of the outbreak (20th of February) to the 19th of July 2020. We used multilevel negative-binomial regression models to compare the case fatality and the rate of admission to hospital and intensive care unit (ICU) between Italian and non-Italian nationals. The analysis was adjusted for differences in demographic characteristics, pre-existing comorbidities, and period of diagnosis. RESULTS: We analyzed 213 180 COVID-19 cases, including 15 974 (7.5%) non-Italian nationals. We found that, compared to Italian cases, non-Italian cases were diagnosed at a later date and were more likely to be hospitalized {[adjusted rate ratio (ARR)=1.39, 95% confidence interval (CI): 1.33-1.44]} and admitted to ICU (ARR=1.19, 95% CI: 1.07-1.32), with differences being more pronounced in those coming from countries with lower human development index (HDI). We also observed an increased risk of death in non-Italian cases from low-HDI countries (ARR=1.32, 95% CI: 1.01-1.75). CONCLUSIONS: A delayed diagnosis in non-Italian cases could explain their worse outcomes compared to Italian cases. Ensuring early access to diagnosis and treatment to non-Italians could facilitate the control of SARS-CoV-2 transmission and improve health outcomes in all people living in Italy, regardless of nationality.


Subject(s)
COVID-19/epidemiology , Delivery of Health Care/organization & administration , Hospitalization/statistics & numerical data , Intensive Care Units/statistics & numerical data , Refugees/statistics & numerical data , SARS-CoV-2 , Transients and Migrants/statistics & numerical data , Adult , Comorbidity , Delayed Diagnosis , Female , Health Services Accessibility , Healthcare Disparities , Humans , Italy/epidemiology , Male , Middle Aged , Morbidity , Pandemics , Refugees/psychology , Transients and Migrants/psychology
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