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1.
Pediatr Infect Dis J ; 40(11): 955-961, 2021 11 01.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1758891

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: We analyzed contagions of coronavirus disease 2019 inside school bubble groups in Catalonia, Spain, in the presence of strong nonpharmaceutical interventions from September to December 2020. More than 1 million students were organized in bubble groups and monitored and analyzed by the Health and the Educational departments. METHODS: We had access to 2 data sources, and both were employed for the analysis, one is the Catalan school surveillance system and the other of the educational department. As soon as a positive index case is detected by the health system, isolation is required for all members of the bubble group, in addition to a mandatory proactive systematic screening of each individual. All infected cases are reported. It permits the calculation of the average reproductive number (R*), corresponding to the average number of infected individuals per index case. RESULTS: We found that propagation inside of the bubble group was small. Among 75% index cases, there was no transmission to other members in the classroom, with an average R* across all ages inside the bubble of R* = 0.4. We found a significant age trend in the secondary attack rates, with the R* going from 0.2 in preschool to 0.6 in high school youth. CONCLUSIONS: The secondary attack rate depends on the school level and therefore on the age. Super-spreading events (outbreaks of 5 cases or more) in childhood were rare, only occurring in 2.5% of all infections triggered from a pediatric index case.


Subject(s)
COVID-19/epidemiology , COVID-19/virology , SARS-CoV-2 , Schools , Students , Adolescent , Age Factors , Algorithms , Child , Child, Preschool , Disease Outbreaks , Female , Humans , Male , Models, Statistical , Population Surveillance , Spain/epidemiology
2.
SSRN; 2022.
Preprint in English | SSRN | ID: ppcovidwho-329997

ABSTRACT

Background: Mandatory use of face covering masks (FCM) had been established for children aged six and above in Catalonia (Spain), as one of the non-pharmaceutical interventions aimed at mitigating SARS-CoV-2 transmission within schools. To date, the effectiveness of this mandate has not been well established. The quasi-experimental comparison between 5 year-old children, as a control group, and 6 year-old children, as an interventional group, provides us with the appropriate research conditions for addressing this issue. Methods: We performed a retrospective population-based study among 599,314 children aged 3 to 11 years attending preschool (3-5 years, without FCM mandate) and primary education (6-11 years, with FCM mandate) with the aim of calculating the incidence of SARS-CoV-2, secondary attack rates (SAR) and the effective reproductive number (R*) for each grade during the first trimester of the 2021-2022 academic year, and analysing the differences between 5-year-old, without FCM, and 6 year-old children, with FCM. Findings: SARS-CoV-2 incidence was significantly lower in preschool than in primary education, and an age-dependent trend was observed. Children aged 3 and 4 showed lower outcomes for all the analysed epidemiological variables, while children aged 11 had the higher values. Six-year-old children showed higher incidence than 5 year-olds (3·54% vs 3·1%;OR: 1·15 [95%CI: 1·08-1·22]) and slightly lower but not statistically significant SAR and R*: SAR were 4·36% in 6 year-old children, and 4·59% in 5 year-old (IRR: 0·96 [95%CI: 0·82-1·11]);and R* was 0·9 and 0·93 (OR: 0·96 [95%CI: 0·87-1·09]), respectively. Interpretation: FCM mandates in schools were not associated with lower SARS-CoV-2 incidence or transmission, suggesting that this intervention was not effective. Instead, age-dependency was the most important factor in explaining the transmission risk for children attending school. Funding Information: CP and SA received funding from Ministerio de Ciencia, Innovación y Universidades and FEDER, with the project PGC2018-095456-B-I00. Declaration of Interests: The authors declare that they have no conflict of interests. Ethics Approval Statement: The study was evaluated and approved by the Clinical Research Ethics Committee of the IDIAP Jordi Gol, Reference 21/018-PCV. This research was based on the agreement established in Regulation 2016/679 of the European Parliament and the Council of Europe of 27 April 2016 on Data Protection, and Organic Law 3/2018 of December 5 on the protection of personal data and the guarantee of digital rights.

3.
PLoS One ; 17(2): e0263741, 2022.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1690714

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: Despite their clear lesser vulnerability to COVID-19, the extent by which children are susceptible to getting infected by SARS-CoV-2 and their capacity to transmit the infection to other people remains inadequately characterized. We aimed to evaluate the role of school reopening and the preventive strategies in place at schools in terms of overall risk for children and community transmission, by comparing transmission rates in children as detected by a COVID-19 surveillance platform in place in Catalonian Schools to the incidence at the community level. METHODS AND FINDINGS: Infections detected in Catalan schools during the entire first trimester of classes (September-December 2020) were analysed and compared with the ongoing community transmission and with the modelled predicted number of infections. There were 30.486 infections (2.12%) documented among the circa 1.5M pupils, with cases detected in 54.0% and 97.5% of the primary and secondary centres, respectively. During the entire first term, the proportion of "bubble groups" (stable groups of children doing activities together) that were forced to undergo confinement ranged between 1 and 5%, with scarce evidence of substantial intraschool transmission in the form of chains of infections, and with ~75% of all detected infections not leading to secondary cases. Mathematical models were also used to evaluate the effect of different parameters related to the defined preventive strategies (size of the bubble group, number of days of confinement required by contacts of an index case). The effective reproduction number inside the bubble groups in schools (R*), defined as the average number of schoolmates infected by each primary case within the bubble, was calculated, yielding a value of 0.35 for primary schools and 0.55 for secondary schools, and compared with the outcomes of the mathematical model, implying decreased transmissibility for children in the context of the applied measures. Relative homogenized monthly cumulative incidence ([Formula: see text]) was assessed to compare the epidemiological dynamics among different age groups and this analysis suggested the limited impact of infections in school-aged children in the context of the overall community incidence. CONCLUSIONS: During the fall of 2020, SARS-CoV-2 infections and COVID-19 cases detected in Catalan schools closely mirrored the underlying community transmission from the neighbourhoods where they were set and maintaining schools open appeared to be safe irrespective of underlying community transmission. Preventive measures in place in those schools appeared to be working for the early detection and rapid containment of transmission and should be maintained for the adequate and safe functioning of normal academic and face-to-face school activities.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Residence Characteristics , Schools , Basic Reproduction Number , COVID-19/epidemiology , COVID-19/prevention & control , COVID-19/transmission , Humans , Incidence , Models, Theoretical , Spain/epidemiology
4.
Front Immunol ; 13: 751705, 2022.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1686480

ABSTRACT

COVID-19 affects children to a lesser extent than adults but they can still get infected and transmit SARS-CoV-2 to their contacts. Field deployable non-invasive sensitive diagnostic techniques are needed to evaluate the infectivity dynamics of SARS-CoV-2 in pediatric populations and guide public health interventions, particularly if this population is not fully vaccinated. We evaluated the utility of high-throughput Luminex assays to quantify saliva IgM, IgA and IgG antibodies against five SARS-CoV-2 spike (S) and nucleocapsid (N) antigens in a contacts and infectivity longitudinal study in 122 individuals (52 children and 70 adults). We compared saliva versus serum/plasma samples in infected children and adults diagnosed by weekly RT-PCR over 35 days (n=62), and those who consistently tested negative over the same follow up period (n=60), in the Summer of 2020 in Barcelona, Spain. Saliva antibody levels in SARS-CoV-2 RT-PCR positive individuals were significantly higher than in negative individuals and correlated with those measured in sera/plasmas. Asymptomatic infected individuals had higher levels of anti-S IgG than symptomatic individuals, suggesting a protective anti-disease role for antibodies. Higher anti-S IgG and IgM levels in serum/plasma and saliva, respectively, in infected children compared to infected adults could also be related to stronger clinical immunity in them. Among infected children, males had higher levels of saliva IgG to N and RBD than females. Despite overall correlation, individual clustering analysis suggested that responses that may not be detected in blood could be patent in saliva, and vice versa. In conclusion, measurement of SARS-CoV-2-specific saliva antibodies should be considered as a complementary non-invasive assay to serum/plasma to determine COVID-19 prevalence and transmission in pediatric populations before and after vaccination campaigns.


Subject(s)
Antibodies, Viral/analysis , COVID-19 Serological Testing/methods , COVID-19/diagnosis , Immunoassay/methods , Saliva , Adult , Child , Female , Humans , Immunoglobulin A/analysis , Immunoglobulin G/analysis , Immunoglobulin M/analysis , Male , SARS-CoV-2 , Spain
5.
Lancet Respir Med ; 10(3): 278-288, 2022 03.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1671366

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: Convalescent plasma has been proposed as an early treatment to interrupt the progression of early COVID-19 to severe disease, but there is little definitive evidence. We aimed to assess whether early treatment with convalescent plasma reduces the risk of hospitalisation and reduces SARS-CoV-2 viral load among outpatients with COVID-19. METHODS: We did a multicentre, double-blind, randomised, placebo-controlled trial in four health-care centres in Catalonia, Spain. Adult outpatients aged 50 years or older with the onset of mild COVID-19 symptoms 7 days or less before randomisation were eligible for enrolment. Participants were randomly assigned (1:1) to receive one intravenous infusion of either 250-300 mL of ABO-compatible high anti-SARS-CoV-2 IgG titres (EUROIMMUN ratio ≥6) methylene blue-treated convalescent plasma (experimental group) or 250 mL of sterile 0·9% saline solution (control). Randomisation was done with the use of a central web-based system with concealment of the trial group assignment and no stratification. To preserve masking, we used opaque tubular bags that covered the investigational product and the infusion catheter. The coprimary endpoints were the incidence of hospitalisation within 28 days from baseline and the mean change in viral load (in log10 copies per mL) in nasopharyngeal swabs from baseline to day 7. The trial was stopped early following a data safety monitoring board recommendation because more than 85% of the target population had received a COVID-19 vaccine. Primary efficacy analyses were done in the intention-to-treat population, safety was assessed in all patients who received the investigational product. This study is registered with ClinicalTrials.gov, NCT04621123. FINDINGS: Between Nov 10, 2020, and July 28, 2021, we assessed 909 patients with confirmed COVID-19 for inclusion in the trial, 376 of whom were eligible and were randomly assigned to treatment (convalescent plasma n=188 [serum antibody-negative n=160]; placebo n=188 [serum antibody-negative n=166]). Median age was 56 years (IQR 52-62) and the mean symptom duration was 4·4 days (SD 1·4) before random assignment. In the intention-to-treat population, hospitalisation within 28 days from baseline occurred in 22 (12%) participants who received convalescent plasma versus 21 (11%) who received placebo (relative risk 1·05 [95% CI 0·78 to 1·41]). The mean change in viral load from baseline to day 7 was -2·41 log10 copies per mL (SD 1·32) with convalescent plasma and -2·32 log10 copies per mL (1·43) with placebo (crude difference -0·10 log10 copies per mL [95% CI -0·35 to 0·15]). One participant with mild COVID-19 developed a thromboembolic event 7 days after convalescent plasma infusion, which was reported as a serious adverse event possibly related to COVID-19 or to the experimental intervention. INTERPRETATION: Methylene blue-treated convalescent plasma did not prevent progression from mild to severe illness and did not reduce viral load in outpatients with COVID-19. Therefore, formal recommendations to support the use of convalescent plasma in outpatients with COVID-19 cannot be concluded. FUNDING: Grifols, Crowdfunding campaign YoMeCorono.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Methylene Blue , Adult , COVID-19/therapy , COVID-19 Vaccines , Double-Blind Method , Humans , Immunization, Passive , Middle Aged , Outpatients , SARS-CoV-2 , Treatment Outcome
6.
Clin Infect Dis ; 74(1): 66-73, 2022 01 07.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1633721

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: Understanding the role of children in severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) transmission is critical to guide decision-making for schools in the pandemic. We aimed to describe the transmission of SARS-CoV-2 among children and adult staff in summer schools. METHODS: During July 2020, we prospectively recruited children and adult staff attending summer schools in Barcelona who had SARS-CoV-2 infection. Primary SARS-CoV-2 infections were identified through (1) a surveillance program in 22 summer schools of 1905 participants, involving weekly saliva sampling for SARS-CoV-2 reverse-transcription polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR) during 2-5 weeks; and (2) cases identified through the Catalonian Health Surveillance System of children diagnosed with SARS-CoV-2 infection by nasopharyngeal RT-PCR. All centers followed prevention protocols: bubble groups, handwashing, face masks, and conducting activities mostly outdoors. Contacts of a primary case within the same bubble were evaluated by nasopharyngeal RT-PCR. Secondary attack rates and the effective reproduction number in summer schools (Re*) were calculated. RESULTS: Among the >2000 repeatedly screened participants, 30 children and 9 adults were identified as primary cases. A total of 253 close contacts of these primary cases were studied (median, 9 [interquartile range, 5-10] for each primary case), among which 12 new cases (4.7%) were positive for SARS-CoV-2. The Re* was 0.3, whereas the contemporary rate in the general population from the same areas in Barcelona was 1.9. CONCLUSIONS: The transmission rate of SARS-CoV-2 infection among children attending school-like facilities under strict prevention measures was lower than that reported for the general population. This suggests that under preventive measures schools are unlikely amplifiers of SARS-CoV-2 transmission, supporting current recommendations for school opening.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Adult , Child , Humans , Pandemics , SARS-CoV-2 , Schools , Spain/epidemiology
9.
Clin Infect Dis ; 73(Suppl_5): S454-S464, 2021 12 15.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1577471

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: Minimally invasive tissue sampling (MITS), a postmortem procedure that uses core needle biopsy samples and does not require opening the body, may be a valid alternative to complete autopsy (CA) in highly infectious diseases such as coronavirus disease-19 (COVID-19). This study aimed to (1) compare the performance of MITS and CA in a series of COVID-19 deaths and (2) evaluate the safety of the procedure. METHODS: From October 2020 to February 2021, MITS was conducted in 12 adults who tested positive before death for COVID-19, in a standard, well-ventilated autopsy room, where personnel used reinforced personal protective equipment. In 9 cases, a CA was performed after MITS. A thorough histological evaluation was conducted, and the presence of severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) was evaluated by real-time reverse-transcription polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR) and immunohistochemistry. RESULTS: The diagnoses provided by MITS and CA matched almost perfectly. In 9 patients, COVID-19 was in the chain of events leading to death, being responsible for diffuse alveolar damage and mononuclear T-cell inflammatory response in the lungs. No specific COVID-19 features were identified. Three deaths were not related to COVID-19. All personnel involved in MITS repeatedly tested negative for COVID-19. SARS-CoV-2 was identified by RT-PCR and immunohistochemistry in the MITS samples, particularly in the lungs. CONCLUSIONS: MITS is useful for evaluating COVID-19-related deaths in settings where a CA is not feasible. The results of this simplified and safer technique are comparable to those of CA.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Autopsy , Humans , Personal Protective Equipment , Real-Time Polymerase Chain Reaction , SARS-CoV-2
10.
Clin Infect Dis ; 73(Suppl_5): S337-S340, 2021 12 15.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1574404

ABSTRACT

The Minimally Invasive Tissue Sampling (MITS) Surveillance Alliance was created with funding from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation to expand pathology-based mortality surveillance and to support the generation of improved cause-of-death (CoD) data. MITS, also known as minimally invasive autopsy, has evolved to become an important tool to improve CoD ascertainment. Here, we describe the 18 articles included in this supplement that present advanced methods for improving MITS and related areas of research, summarize the expansion of the use of MITS, report on findings from a variety of research projects, and address the importance of postmortem approaches taken during the novel coronavirus disease 2019 pandemic. Support by the scientific and global health community for enhancements and innovation is needed for the broader adoption of MITS-informed CoD as a critical tool to better understand mortality in low- and middle-income countries and identify interventions for the prevention of premature death.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Autopsy , Humans , Income , Pandemics , SARS-CoV-2
11.
Clin Infect Dis ; 73(Suppl_5): S472-S479, 2021 12 15.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1573816

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: Infectious diseases' outbreak investigation requires, by definition, conducting a thorough epidemiological assessment while simultaneously obtaining biological samples for an adequate screening of potential responsible pathogens. Complete autopsies remain the gold-standard approach for cause-of-death evaluation and characterization of emerging diseases. However, for highly transmissible infections with a significant associated lethality, such as COVID-19, complete autopsies are seldom performed due to biosafety challenges, especially in low-resource settings. Minimally invasive tissue sampling (MITS) is a validated new approach based on obtaining postmortem samples from key organs and body fluids, a procedure that does not require advanced biosafety measures or a special autopsy room. METHODS: We aimed to review the use of MITS or similar procedures for outbreak investigation up to 27 March 2021 and their performance for evaluating COVID-19 deaths. RESULTS: After a literature review, we analyzed in detail the results of 20 studies conducted at international sites, whereby 216 COVID-19-related deaths were investigated. MITS provided a general and more granular understanding of the pathophysiological changes secondary to the infection and high-quality samples where the extent and degree of severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2)-related damage could be evaluated. CONCLUSIONS: MITS is a useful addition in the investigation and surveillance of infections occurring in outbreaks or epidemics. Its less invasive nature makes the tool more acceptable and feasible and reduces the risk of procedure-associated contagion, using basic biosafety measures. Standardized approaches protocolizing which samples should be collected-and under which exact biosafety measures-are necessary to facilitate and expand its use globally.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Autopsy , Humans , Pandemics , SARS-CoV-2
12.
Frontiers in public health ; 9, 2021.
Article in English | EuropePMC | ID: covidwho-1563781

ABSTRACT

Background: During the COVID-19 pandemic, lockdown strategies have been widely used to contain SARS-CoV-2 virus spread. Children and adolescents are especially vulnerable to suffering psychological effects as result of such measures. In Spain, children were enforced to a strict home lockdown for 42 days during the first wave. Here, we studied the effects of lockdown in children and adolescents through an online questionnaire. Methods: A cross-sectional study was conducted in Spain using an open online survey from July (after the lockdown resulting from the first pandemic wave) to November 2020 (second wave). We included families with children under 16 years-old living in Spain. Parents answered a survey regarding the lockdown effects on their children and were instructed to invite their children from 7 to 16 years-old (mandatory scholar age in Spain) to respond a specific set of questions. Answers were collected through an application programming interface system, and data analysis was performed using R. Results: We included 1,957 families who completed the questionnaires, covering a total of 3,347 children. The specific children's questionnaire was completed by 167 kids (7–11 years-old), and 100 adolescents (12–16 years-old). Children, in general, showed high resilience and capability to adapt to new situations. Sleeping problems were reported in more than half of the children (54%) and adolescents (59%), and these were strongly associated with less time doing sports and spending more than 5 h per day using electronic devices. Parents perceived their children to gain weight (41%), be more irritable and anxious (63%) and sadder (46%). Parents and children differed significantly when evaluating children's sleeping disturbances. Conclusions: Enforced lockdown measures and isolation can have a negative impact on children and adolescent's mental health and well-being. In future waves of the current pandemic, or in the light of potential epidemics of new emerging infections, lockdown measures targeting children, and adolescents should be reconsidered taking into account their infectiousness potential and their age-specific needs, especially to facilitate physical activity and to limit time spent on electronic devices.

13.
EuropePMC; 2021.
Preprint in English | EuropePMC | ID: ppcovidwho-293378

ABSTRACT

Background: Convalescent plasma (CP) for hospitalized patients with COVID-19 has not demonstrated clear benefits. However, data on outpatients with early symptoms are scarce. We aimed to assess whether treatment with CP administered during the first 7 days of symptoms reduced the disease progression or risk of hospitalization of outpatients. Methods: Two double-blind randomized trials ( NCT04621123 , NCT04589949 ) were merged with data pooling starting when <20% of their predefined sample size had been recruited. A Bayesian adaptive individual patient data meta-analysis was implemented. Analyses were done with Bayesian proportional odds and logistic models, where odds ratios (OR)<1.0 indicate a favorable outcome for CP. Fourteen study sites across the Netherlands and Catalonia in Spain participated in the trial. The two studies included outpatients aged ≥50 years and diagnosed with COVID-19 and symptomatic for ≤7days. The intervention consisted of one unit (200-300mL) of CP with a predefined minimum level of antibodies. The two primary endpoints were (a) a 5-point disease severity scale (fully recovered by day 7 or not, hospital or ICU admission and death) and (b) a composite of hospitalization or death. Results: Of 797 patients included, 390 received CP and 392 placebo. At baseline, they had a median age of 58 years, 1 comorbidity, symptoms for 5 days and 93% tested negative for SARS-CoV-2 S-protein IgG antibodies. Seventy-four patients were hospitalized, 6 required mechanical ventilation and 3 died. The OR of CP for an improved disease severity scale was 0.936 (credible interval (CI) 0.667-1.311). The OR for hospitalization or death was 0.919 (CI 0.592-1.416). The effect of CP on hospital admission or death was largest in patients with ≤5 days of symptoms (OR 0.658, 95% CI 0.394-1.085). CP did not decrease the time to full symptom resolution (p=0.62). Conclusion: Treatment with CP of outpatients in the first 7 days of symptoms did not improve the outcome of COVID-19. The possible beneficial effect in patients with ≤5 days of symptoms requires further study.   Registration: NCT04621123 and NCT04589949 on https://www.clinicaltrials.gov

14.
BMC Med ; 19(1): 309, 2021 11 23.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1528684

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: Surveillance tools to estimate viral transmission dynamics in young populations are essential to guide recommendations for school opening and management during viral epidemics. Ideally, sensitive techniques are required to detect low viral load exposures among asymptomatic children. We aimed to estimate SARS-CoV-2 infection rates in children and adult populations in a school-like environment during the initial COVID-19 pandemic waves using an antibody-based field-deployable and non-invasive approach. METHODS: Saliva antibody conversion defined as ≥ 4-fold increase in IgM, IgA, and/or IgG levels to five SARS-CoV-2 antigens including spike and nucleocapsid constructs was evaluated in 1509 children and 396 adults by high-throughput Luminex assays in samples collected weekly in 22 summer schools and 2 pre-schools in 27 venues in Barcelona, Spain, from June 29th to July 31st, 2020. RESULTS: Saliva antibody conversion between two visits over a 5-week period was 3.22% (49/1518) or 2.36% if accounting for potentially cross-reactive antibodies, six times higher than the cumulative infection rate (0.53%) assessed by weekly saliva RT-PCR screening. IgG conversion was higher in adults (2.94%, 11/374) than children (1.31%, 15/1144) (p=0.035), IgG and IgA levels moderately increased with age, and antibodies were higher in females. Most antibody converters increased both IgG and IgA antibodies but some augmented either IgG or IgA, with a faster decay over time for IgA than IgG. Nucleocapsid rather than spike was the main antigen target. Anti-spike antibodies were significantly higher in individuals not reporting symptoms than symptomatic individuals, suggesting a protective role against COVID-19. CONCLUSION: Saliva antibody profiling including three isotypes and multiplexing antigens is a useful and user-friendlier tool for screening pediatric populations to detect low viral load exposures among children, particularly while they are not vaccinated and vulnerable to highly contagious variants, and to recommend public health policies during pandemics.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , SARS-CoV-2 , Adult , Antibodies, Viral , Child , Child, Preschool , Female , Humans , Immunoglobulin G , Pandemics , Saliva , Schools , Spain/epidemiology , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus
15.
An Pediatr (Barc) ; 95(5): 382.e1-382.e8, 2021 Nov.
Article in Spanish | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1514128

ABSTRACT

Since the COVID-19 pandemic was declared in March 2020, we have learned a lot about the SARS-CoV-2 coronavirus, and its role in pediatric pathology.Children are infected in a rate quite similar to adults, although in most cases they suffer mild or asymptomatic symptoms. Around 1% of those infected require hospitalization, less than 0.02% require intensive care, and mortality is very low and generally in children with comorbidities. The most common clinical diagnoses are upper or lower respiratory infections, gastrointestinal infection and, more seriously, multisystemic inflammatory syndrome (MIS-C). Most episodes do not require treatment, except for MIS-C. Remdesivir has been widely used as a compassionate treatment and its role has yet to be defined.The newborn can become infected, although vertical transmission is very low (<1%) and it has been shown that the baby can safely cohabit with its mother and be breastfed. In general, neonatal infections have been mild.Primary care has supported a very important part of the management of the pandemic in pediatrics. There has been numerous collateral damage derived from the difficulty of access to care and the isolation suffered by children. The mental health of the pediatric population has been seriously affected. Although it has been shown that schooling has not led to an increase in infections, but rather the opposite. It is essential to continue maintaining the security measures that make schools a safe place, so necessary not only for children's education, but for their health in general.

16.
J Clin Virol ; 145: 105027, 2021 12.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1509982

ABSTRACT

INTRODUCTION AND OBJECTIVES: The COVID-19 pandemic and the widespread associated use of non-pharmaceutical interventions have impacted viral circulation and the incidence of respiratory tract infections. We compared Pediatric Emergency Department visits, bronchiolitis admissions, and respiratory syncytial virus (RSV) cases in 2020 with those documented for the preceding four years. METHODS: This was a retrospective multicentric national survey study, driven by the Pediatric Spanish Society, and gathering monthly data from Spanish hospitals between 1st January 2016 and 31st December 2020. An Interrupted Time Series Analysis and Poisson regression models were performed for each index. RESULTS: Thirty-eight hospitals representing most of the different regions of Spain participated. Compared to the preceding four years, in 2020, Pediatric emergency department visits significantly decreased immediately after initiation of the national lockdown. The median number of visits averted per month was 39,754 (IQR 26,539-50,065). RSV diagnoses during the 2020 winter season nearly disappeared with only 21 cases being documented among participating hospitals. The expected seasonal peak of bronchiolitis hospitalizations never occurred. The median number of admissions in 2020 averted per month was 100 (IQR 37-185) compared to 2016-2019. Only 3 hospitalized cases were RSV-confirmed. Reopening of schools and kindergarten was not associated with a remarkable increase in RSV cases or bronchiolitis hospitalizations. CONCLUSION: A dramatic reduction of bronchiolitis admissions and near disappearance of RSV cases was observed in Spanish hospitals coinciding with the peak of the COVID-19 pandemic.


Subject(s)
Bronchiolitis , COVID-19 , Respiratory Syncytial Virus Infections , Respiratory Syncytial Virus, Human , Bronchiolitis/epidemiology , Child , Communicable Disease Control , Humans , Pandemics , Respiratory Syncytial Virus Infections/epidemiology , Retrospective Studies , SARS-CoV-2 , Seasons , Spain/epidemiology
17.
Lancet Infect Dis ; 21(5): 629-636, 2021 05.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1510471

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: Scarce data are available on what variables affect the risk of transmission of severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2), the development of symptomatic COVID-19, and, particularly, the relationship with viral load. We aimed to analyse data from linked index cases of COVID-19 and their contacts to explore factors associated with transmission of SARS-CoV-2. METHODS: In this cohort study, patients were recruited as part of a randomised controlled trial done between March 17 and April 28, 2020, that aimed to assess if hydroxychloroquine reduced transmission of SARS-CoV-2. Patients with COVID-19 and their contacts were identified by use of the electronic registry of the Epidemiological Surveillance Emergency Service of Catalonia (Spain). Patients with COVID-19 included in our analysis were aged 18 years or older, not hospitalised, had quantitative PCR results available at baseline, had mild symptom onset within 5 days before enrolment, and had no reported symptoms of SARS-CoV-2 infections in their accommodation or workplace within the 14 days before enrolment. Contacts included were adults with a recent history of exposure and absence of COVID-19-like symptoms within the 7 days preceding enrolment. Viral load of contacts, measured by quantitative PCR from a nasopharyngeal swab, was assessed at enrolment, at day 14, and whenever the participant reported COVID-19-like symptoms. We assessed risk of transmission and developing symptomatic disease and incubation dynamics using regression analysis. We assessed the relationship of viral load and characteristics of cases (age, sex, number of days from reported symptom onset, and presence or absence of fever, cough, dyspnoea, rhinitis, and anosmia) and associations between risk of transmission and characteristics of the index case and contacts. FINDINGS: We identified 314 patients with COVID-19, with 282 (90%) having at least one contact (753 contacts in total), resulting in 282 clusters. 90 (32%) of 282 clusters had at least one transmission event. The secondary attack rate was 17% (125 of 753 contacts), with a variation from 12% when the index case had a viral load lower than 1 × 106 copies per mL to 24% when the index case had a viral load of 1 × 1010 copies per mL or higher (adjusted odds ratio per log10 increase in viral load 1·3, 95% CI 1·1-1·5). Increased risk of transmission was also associated with household contact (3·0, 1·59-5·65) and age of the contact (per year: 1·02, 1·01-1·04). 449 contacts had a positive PCR result at baseline. 28 (6%) of 449 contacts had symptoms at the first visit. Of 421 contacts who were asymptomatic at the first visit, 181 (43%) developed symptomatic COVID-19, with a variation from approximately 38% in contacts with an initial viral load lower than 1 × 107 copies per mL to greater than 66% for those with an initial viral load of 1 × 1010 copies per mL or higher (hazard ratio per log10 increase in viral load 1·12, 95% CI 1·05-1·20; p=0·0006). Time to onset of symptomatic disease decreased from a median of 7 days (IQR 5-10) for individuals with an initial viral load lower than 1 × 107 copies per mL to 6 days (4-8) for those with an initial viral load between 1 × 107 and 1 × 109 copies per mL, and 5 days (3-8) for those with an initial viral load higher than 1 × 109 copies per mL. INTERPRETATION: In our study, the viral load of index cases was a leading driver of SARS-CoV-2 transmission. The risk of symptomatic COVID-19 was strongly associated with the viral load of contacts at baseline and shortened the incubation time of COVID-19 in a dose-dependent manner. FUNDING: YoMeCorono, Generalitat de Catalunya. TRANSLATIONS: For the Catalan translation of the abstract see Supplementary Materials section.


Subject(s)
COVID-19/transmission , SARS-CoV-2 , Adult , COVID-19/epidemiology , Cohort Studies , Female , Humans , Incidence , Male , Middle Aged , Spain/epidemiology , Viral Load
18.
An Pediatr (Engl Ed) ; 95(5): 382.e1-382.e8, 2021 Nov.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1474326

ABSTRACT

Since the COVID-19 pandemic was declared in March 2020, we have learned a lot about the SARS-CoV-2 coronavirus, and its role in pediatric pathology. Children are infected in a rate quite similar to adults, although in most cases they suffer mild or asymptomatic symptoms. Around 1% of those infected require hospitalization, less than 0.02% require intensive care, and mortality is very low and generally in children with comorbidities. The most common clinical diagnoses are upper or lower respiratory infections, gastrointestinal infection and, more seriously, multisystemic inflammatory syndrome (MIS-C). Most episodes do not require treatment, except for MIS-C. Remdesivir has been widely used as a compassionate treatment and its role has yet to be defined. The newborn can become infected, although vertical transmission is very low (<1%) and it has been shown that the baby can safely cohabit with its mother and be breastfed. In general, neonatal infections have been mild. Primary care has supported a very important part of the management of the pandemic in pediatrics. There has been numerous collateral damage derived from the difficulty of access to care and the isolation suffered by children. The mental health of the pediatric population has been seriously affected. Although it has been shown that schooling has not led to an increase in infections, but rather the opposite. It is essential to continue maintaining the security measures that make schools a safe place, so necessary not only for children's education, but for their health in general.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Pandemics , Adult , COVID-19/complications , Child , Female , Humans , Infant , Infant, Newborn , Infectious Disease Transmission, Vertical , SARS-CoV-2 , Systemic Inflammatory Response Syndrome
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