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1.
Vaccines (Basel) ; 10(7)2022 Jun 28.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1911730

ABSTRACT

Waning immunity following administration of mRNA-based COVID-19 vaccines remains a concern for many health systems. We undertook a study to determine if recent reports of waning for severe disease could have been attributed to design-related bias by conducting a study only among those detected with a first SARS-CoV-2 infection. We used a matched case-control study design with the study base being all individuals with first infection with SARS-CoV-2 reported in the State of Qatar between 1 January 2021 and 20 February 2022. Cases were those detected with first SARS-CoV-2 infection requiring intensive care (hard outcome), while controls were those detected with first SARS-CoV-2 infection who recovered without the need for intensive care. Cases and controls were matched in a 1:30 ratio for the calendar month of infection and the comorbidity category. Duration and magnitude of conditional vaccine effectiveness against requiring intensive care and the number needed to vaccinate (NNV) to prevent one more case of COVID-19 requiring intensive care was estimated for the mRNA (BNT162b2/mRNA-1273) vaccines. Conditional vaccine effectiveness against requiring intensive care was 59% (95% confidence interval (CI), 50 to 76) between the first and second dose, and strengthened to 89% (95% CI, 85 to 92) between the second dose and 4 months post the second dose in persons who received a primary course of the vaccine. There was no waning of vaccine effectiveness in the period from 4 to 6, 6 to 9, and 9 to 12 months after the second dose. This study demonstrates that, contrary to mainstream reports using hierarchical measures of effectiveness, conditional vaccine effectiveness against requiring intensive care remains robust till at least 12 months after the second dose of mRNA-based vaccines.

2.
EuropePMC; 2022.
Preprint in English | EuropePMC | ID: ppcovidwho-334155

ABSTRACT

ABSTRACT Background Waning immunity following administration of mRNA based COVID-19 vaccines remains a concern for many health systems. We undertook a study of SARS-CoV-2 infections, with and without requirement for intensive care to shed more light on the duration of vaccine effectiveness for protection against the need for intensive care. Methods We used a matched case-control study design with the study base being all individuals with first infection with SARS-CoV-2 reported in the State of Qatar between 1 Jan 2021 and 20 Feb 2022. Cases were those requiring intensive care while controls were those who recovered without need for intensive care. Vaccine effectiveness against requiring intensive care and number needed to vaccinate (NNV) to prevent one more case of COVID-19 requiring intensive care were computed for the mRNA (BNT162b2 / mRNA-1273) vaccines. Results Vaccine effectiveness against requiring intensive care was 59% (95% confidence interval [CI], 50 to 76) between the first and second dose and strengthened to 89% (95% CI, 85 to 92) between the second dose and 4 months post the second dose in persons who received a primary course of the vaccine. There was no waning of vaccine effectiveness in the period from 4 to 12 months after the second dose. Conclusions This study demonstrates that vaccine effectiveness against requiring intensive care remains robust till at least 12 months after the second dose of mRNA based vaccines.

3.
Journal of multidisciplinary healthcare ; 15:531-540, 2022.
Article in English | EuropePMC | ID: covidwho-1749460

ABSTRACT

Purpose Predisposition to acute illness from COVID-19 is suggested to correlate with cigarette smoking as it augments the risk of developing cardiovascular and respiratory illnesses, including infections. However, the effects of smoking on COVID-19 symptoms are not well described and controversial. In this study, we aim to explore the associations between smoking and COVID-19 symptoms. Subjects and Methods A cross-sectional study using the Ministry of Public Health (MoPH), Qatar database was administered to a Qatari population with confirmed COVID-19 disease who filled in pre-defined phone-call questionnaire between 27th February 2020 and 31st December 2020. We analyzed 11,701 non-vaccinated COVID-19 individuals (2952 smokers and 8749 non-smokers) with confirmed RT-PCR test results. The association of smoking and the presence of symptoms as well as patient characteristics was calculated using Pearson’s Chi-square and Fisher’s exact tests, adjusting for potential covariates. Results Compared with the non-smokers, symptomatic COVID-19 infection is significantly higher in smokers. In addition, we found fever as the most common symptom developed in COVID-19 patients followed by cough, headache, muscle ache, and sore throat. As compared to other symptoms, association of smoking with chills and abdominal pain was less evident (P < 0.05 and P < 0.001, respectively). However, both groups showed similar rates of developing cough. Conclusion In conclusion, smoking is associated with COVID-19 symptoms frequency in non-vaccinated patients;nevertheless, further investigations are necessary to understand the mechanism of this association which could generate new targets for the management of COVID-19 in smoker patients.

4.
Heliyon ; 7(12): e08496, 2021 Dec.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1706830

ABSTRACT

Since its emergence in China in December 2019, COVID-19 remains the recent leading disease of concern drawing the public health attention globally. The disease is known of viral origin and zoonotic nature originating from animals. However, to date neither the source of the spillover nor the intermediate hosts are identified. Moreover, the public health situation is intermittently aggravated by identification of new animals susceptible to the SARS-CoV-2 infection, potentially replicating the virus and maintaining intra and interspecies spread of the disease. Although the role of a given animal and/or its produce is important to map the disease pattern, continuous efforts should be undertaken to further understand the epidemiology of SARS-CoV-2, a vital step to establish effective disease prevention and control strategy. This manuscript attempted to review updates regarding SARS-CoV-2 infection at the human-animal interface with consideration to postulations on the genetic relatedness and origin of the different SARS-CoV-2 variants isolated from different animal species. Also, the review addresses the possible role of different animal species and their produce in transmission of the disease. Also, the manuscript discussed the contamination potentiality of the virus and its environmental stability. Finally, we reviewed the currently instituted measures to prevent and manage the spread of SARS-CoV-2 infection. The manuscript suggested the One Health based control measures that could prove of value for the near future.

5.
Heliyon ; 7(12): e08496, 2021 Dec.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1536580

ABSTRACT

Since its emergence in China in December 2019, COVID-19 remains the recent leading disease of concern drawing the public health attention globally. The disease is known of viral origin and zoonotic nature originating from animals. However, to date neither the source of the spillover nor the intermediate hosts are identified. Moreover, the public health situation is intermittently aggravated by identification of new animals susceptible to the SARS-CoV-2 infection, potentially replicating the virus and maintaining intra and interspecies spread of the disease. Although the role of a given animal and/or its produce is important to map the disease pattern, continuous efforts should be undertaken to further understand the epidemiology of SARS-CoV-2, a vital step to establish effective disease prevention and control strategy. This manuscript attempted to review updates regarding SARS-CoV-2 infection at the human-animal interface with consideration to postulations on the genetic relatedness and origin of the different SARS-CoV-2 variants isolated from different animal species. Also, the review addresses the possible role of different animal species and their produce in transmission of the disease. Also, the manuscript discussed the contamination potentiality of the virus and its environmental stability. Finally, we reviewed the currently instituted measures to prevent and manage the spread of SARS-CoV-2 infection. The manuscript suggested the One Health based control measures that could prove of value for the near future.

6.
Qatar Med J ; 2021(3): 59, 2021.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1506895

ABSTRACT

Public health control measures for communicable diseases are often based on the identification of symptomatic cases. However, emerging epidemiological evidence demonstrates the role of pre-symptomatic and asymptomatic transmissions of coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19). Understanding high-risk settings where transmissions can occur from infected individuals without symptoms has become critical for improving the response to the pandemic. In this review, we discussed the evidence on the transmission of severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus-2, its effect on control strategies, and lessons that can be applied in Qatar. Although Qatar has a small population, it has a distinct setting for COVID-19 control. It has a largely young population and is mostly composed of expatriates particularly from the Middle East and Asia that reside in Qatar for work. Further key considerations for Qatar and travel include population movement during extended religious holiday periods, screening and tracing of visitors and residents at entry points into the country, and expatriates living and working in high-density settings. We also consider how its international airport serves as a major transit destination for the region, as Qatar is expected to experience a rapid expansion of visitors while preparing to host the FIFA World Cup in 2022.

8.
Epidemiol Infect ; 149: e193, 2021 07 02.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1366777

ABSTRACT

There is a paucity of evidence about the prevalence and risk factors for symptomatic infection among children. This study aimed to describe the prevalence of symptomatic coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) and its risk factors in children and adolescents aged 0-18 years in Qatar. We conducted a cross-sectional study of all children aged 0-18 years diagnosed with COVID-19 using polymerase chain reaction in Qatar during the period 1st March to 31st July 2020. A generalised linear model with a binomial family and identity link was used to assess the association between selected factors and the prevalence of symptomatic infection. A total of 11 445 children with a median age of 8 years (interquartile range (IQR) 3-13 years) were included in this study. The prevalence of symptomatic COVID-19 was 36.6% (95% confidence interval (CI) 35.7-37.5), and it was similar between children aged <5 years (37.8%), 5-9 years (34.3%) and 10 + years (37.3%). The most frequently reported symptoms among the symptomatic group were fever (73.5%), cough (34.8%), headache (23.2%) and sore throat (23.2%). Fever (82.8%) was more common in symptomatic children aged <5 years, while cough (38.7%) was more prevalent in those aged 10 years or older, compared to other age groups. Variables associated with an increased risk of symptomatic infection were; contact with confirmed cases (RD 0.21; 95% CI 0.20-0.23; P = 0.001), having visited a health care facility (RD 0.54; 95% CI 0.45-0.62; P = 0.001), and children aged under 5 years (RD 0.05; 95% CI 0.02-0.07; P = 0.001) or aged 10 years or older (RD 0.04; 95% CI 0.02-0.06; P = 0.001). A third of the children with COVID-19 were symptomatic with a higher proportion of fever in very young children and a higher proportion of cough in those between 10 and 18 years of age.


Subject(s)
COVID-19/epidemiology , Cough/epidemiology , Fever/epidemiology , Headache/epidemiology , Pharyngitis/epidemiology , Adolescent , COVID-19/virology , Child , Child, Preschool , Cross-Sectional Studies , Female , Humans , Infant , Infant, Newborn , Male , Qatar/epidemiology , Risk Factors
9.
Sci Rep ; 11(1): 6233, 2021 03 18.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1142457

ABSTRACT

The overarching objective of this study was to provide the descriptive epidemiology of the severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) epidemic in Qatar by addressing specific research questions through a series of national epidemiologic studies. Sources of data were the centralized and standardized national databases for SARS-CoV-2 infection. By July 10, 2020, 397,577 individuals had been tested for SARS-CoV-2 using polymerase-chain-reaction (PCR), of whom 110,986 were positive, a positivity cumulative rate of 27.9% (95% CI 27.8-28.1%). As of July 5, case severity rate, based on World Health Organization (WHO) severity classification, was 3.4% and case fatality rate was 1.4 per 1,000 persons. Age was by far the strongest predictor of severe, critical, or fatal infection. PCR positivity of nasopharyngeal/oropharyngeal swabs in a national community survey (May 6-7) including 1,307 participants was 14.9% (95% CI 11.5-19.0%); 58.5% of those testing positive were asymptomatic. Across 448 ad-hoc testing campaigns in workplaces and residential areas including 26,715 individuals, pooled mean PCR positivity was 15.6% (95% CI 13.7-17.7%). SARS-CoV-2 antibody prevalence was 24.0% (95% CI 23.3-24.6%) in 32,970 residual clinical blood specimens. Antibody prevalence was only 47.3% (95% CI 46.2-48.5%) in those who had at least one PCR positive result, but 91.3% (95% CI 89.5-92.9%) among those who were PCR positive > 3 weeks before serology testing. Qatar has experienced a large SARS-CoV-2 epidemic that is rapidly declining, apparently due to growing immunity levels in the population.


Subject(s)
Asymptomatic Infections/epidemiology , COVID-19/epidemiology , Adolescent , Adult , Aged , Aged, 80 and over , COVID-19 Nucleic Acid Testing/statistics & numerical data , Child , Child, Preschool , Cross-Sectional Studies , Female , Humans , Infant , Male , Middle Aged , Qatar/epidemiology , SARS-CoV-2/isolation & purification , Young Adult
10.
Front Immunol ; 12: 631139, 2021.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1133911

ABSTRACT

COVID-19 emerged from China in December 2019 and during 2020 spread to every continent including Antarctica. The coronavirus, SARS-CoV-2, has been identified as the causative pathogen, and its spread has stretched the capacities of healthcare systems and negatively affected the global economy. This review provides an update on the virus, including the genome, the risks associated with the emergence of variants, mode of transmission, immune response, COVID-19 in children and the elderly, and advances made to contain, prevent and manage the disease. Although our knowledge of the mechanics of virus transmission and the immune response has been substantially demystified, concerns over reinfection, susceptibility of the elderly and whether asymptomatic children promote transmission remain unanswered. There are also uncertainties about the pathophysiology of COVID-19 and why there are variations in clinical presentations and why some patients suffer from long lasting symptoms-"the long haulers." To date, there are no significantly effective curative drugs for COVID-19, especially after failure of hydroxychloroquine trials to produce positive results. The RNA polymerase inhibitor, remdesivir, facilitates recovery of severely infected cases but, unlike the anti-inflammatory drug, dexamethasone, does not reduce mortality. However, vaccine development witnessed substantial progress with several being approved in countries around the globe.


Subject(s)
Adenosine Monophosphate/analogs & derivatives , Alanine/analogs & derivatives , Anti-Inflammatory Agents/therapeutic use , Antiviral Agents/therapeutic use , COVID-19 Vaccines/immunology , COVID-19/immunology , Dexamethasone/therapeutic use , SARS-CoV-2/physiology , Adenosine Monophosphate/therapeutic use , Aged , Alanine/therapeutic use , Antigenic Variation , Asymptomatic Diseases , COVID-19/therapy , COVID-19/transmission , Child , Humans , Immunity , Pandemics/prevention & control , SARS-CoV-2/pathogenicity
11.
mSphere ; 5(3)2020 05 13.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-245763

ABSTRACT

Coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) is caused by the novel coronavirus severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) and first emerged in December 2019 in Wuhan, Hubei province, China. Since then, the virus has rapidly spread to many countries. While the outbreak in China appears to be in decline, the disease has spread across the world, with a daily increase in the number of confirmed cases and infection-related deaths. Here, we highlight (i) the lessons that have been learnt so far and how they will benefit reducing the impact of COVID-19 disease and (ii) an update on the status of drug treatment and vaccine development to prevent COVID-19 and potential future related pandemics. Although the mortality rate is clearly higher than for influenza, the rate does seem to vary from country to country, possibly reflecting differences in how rapidly local health authorities respond to isolate and effectively care for the affected population. Drugs are urgently needed for both prophylaxis and the treatment of severely ill patients; however, no proven effective therapies for SARS-CoV-2 currently exist. A number of drugs that have been approved for other diseases are being tested for the treatment of COVID-19 patients, but there is an absence of data from appropriately designed clinical trials showing that these drugs, either alone or in combination, will prove effective. There is also a global urgency to develop a vaccine against COVID-19, but development and appropriate testing will take at least a year before such a vaccine will be globally available. This review summarizes the lessons learnt so far from the COVID-19 pandemic, examines the evidence regarding the drugs that are being tested for the treatment of COVID19, and describes the progress made in efforts to develop an effective vaccine.


Subject(s)
Coronavirus Infections/drug therapy , Coronavirus Infections/prevention & control , Pandemics/prevention & control , Pneumonia, Viral/drug therapy , Pneumonia, Viral/prevention & control , Betacoronavirus , COVID-19 , COVID-19 Vaccines , Communicable Disease Control/methods , Coronavirus Infections/epidemiology , Humans , Pneumonia, Viral/epidemiology , SARS-CoV-2 , Viral Vaccines
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