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1.
European journal of public health ; 32(Suppl 3), 2022.
Article in English | EuropePMC | ID: covidwho-2101891

ABSTRACT

Background To limit SARS-CoV-2 transmission, proactive closure of schools is often believed by policy-makers and public an effective strategy. While evidence on the role of students in the spread is ongoing, effects of closure on children's well-being are well known. The number of secondary cases per class has been considered one of main driving criteria to mandate for distance learning. We aimed to calculate the rate of secondary infections per classroom and to identify factors associated with the development of school clusters. Methods We conducted a population-based cohort study between October 2020 and November 2021 in the province of Venice, Italy, a catchment area of 600,000 inhabitants. Primary, middle and high-schools were included. Results We identified 1,623 primary cases of SARS-CoV-2 infection in students. Of these, 72.5% did not lead to any secondary case in the school setting, 15.6% to 1, and 11.9% to 2+ contagions. The so-called second wave (Oct-Dec 2020) was associated with a lower occurrence of 2+ contagions (AOR=0.37;95%CI: 0.24-0.56) than the fourth (Sep-Nov 2021). Both primary (AOR=1.74;95%CI: 1.16-2.63) and middle schools (AOR=1.76 95%CI: 1,14-2,72) showed higher odds than high schools for cluster generation of 2+ cases. The involvement of 2+ secondary cases was lesser associated with the index case being a student rather than school staff (AOR=0.42;95%CI: 0.29-0.60). The number of 2+ cases clusters per week followed a time trend in line with the general population incidence. Conclusions The school environment does not facilitate viral spread, but rather reflects transmission in the community. Appropriate measures (use of airway protection devices, interpersonal distancing, frequent hand and respiratory hygiene) and timely case tracking make school a safe place. Given the documented negative effects of school closures on children's learning and well-being, maintaining school attendance is as essential as it is desirable. Key messages • A SARS-CoV-2 positive student at school does not generate secondary infections in 3 out of 4 cases. The risk of cluster generation is lower when the index case is a student rather than school staff. • The school environment does not facilitate viral spread, but rather reflects transmission in the community. School attendance is essential considering the effects on children’s learning and wellbeing.

2.
European journal of public health ; 32(Suppl 3), 2022.
Article in English | EuropePMC | ID: covidwho-2101543

ABSTRACT

Background Only a proportion of seasonal influenza-like illnesses (ILIs) can de facto be attributed to influenza viruses. This study investigated the aetiology of ILIs to estimate the prevalence of human coronaviruses (CoVs) and to analyse their clinical-epidemiological traits. Methods A sample of 613 outpatients (253 adults, 360 children) with ILI in Veneto Region, Italy, was included. ILI was defined according with the EU Decision 2018/945. Sigma-Virocult nasopharyngeal swab were used. Nucleic acids were extracted with the QiaAmp Viral RNA Mini Kit (Qiagen). Molecular detection of respiratory viruses was performed with commercial One-step RT qPCR reagents (Allplex® Respiratory Panels, Seegene). Information on age, sex, symptoms, co-infections and comorbidities was collected. Results CoVs were the 3rd most frequent pathogen in adults (7.5%, after influenza and rhinovirus) and the 4th in children (4.7%, after influenza, rhino- and adenovirus). Subtype distribution was similar, with OC43 the most frequent. Probability of CoV involvement was twice in males (AOR=2.16;95%CI: 1.05-4.39), whereas no association with age was noted. Co-infection with other viruses was frequent in children (65% of cases). CoV symptoms were not peculiar, although respiratory tract involvement was less likely than influenza (AOR=0.13;95%CI: 0.04-0.41). Among CoV outpatients, 36% had one or more chronic diseases, compared with 5.6% among influenza (p = 0.001). Conclusions Even before the COVID-19 pandemic, CoVs had a substantial role in ILI aetiology: 1 case of CoV every 3 influenza infections in adults. The higher prevalence of comorbidities among CoV positives compared to influenza indirectly shows the benefits of flu vaccines in individuals at higher risk. Careful surveillance of the viruses responsible for ILI continues to be desirable, including, but not limited to, detecting a possible change in the aetiology of ILI after the administration of SARS-CoV-2 vaccines in the population. Key messages • Pre-pandemic virological surveillance of influenza-like illnesses (ILIs) reveals how seasonal coronaviruses were the third most frequent respiratory pathogen in adults. • Prevalence of comorbidities was significantly higher in patients with a coronavirus-related ILI compared to influenza, supporting the benefits of flu vaccination for high risk groups.

3.
Cardiology in the Young ; 32(SUPPL 1):S115-S116, 2022.
Article in English | EMBASE | ID: covidwho-1852346

ABSTRACT

Introduction: Evidence suggests that, compared with adult patients, clinical manifestations of children's COVID-19 may be less severe. However, multiple reports have raised concern about the so called pediatric inflammatory multisystem syndrome temporally associated with SARS-CoV-2 (PIMS-TS) which resembles other inflammatory conditions (i.e. Kawasaki disease, toxic shock). Patients affected by PIMS-TS showed cardiac involvement with myocardial injury, reduced left ventricle systolic function and coronary artery abnormalities, and in some cases, need for inotropes/ vasopressors and extracorporeal life support (ECLS). Little is known regarding cardiac involvement in pediatric patients with SARS-CoV-2 infection and none or only mild symptoms of disease. Methods: We analyzed 52 pediatric patients (29males, 56%) with diagnosis of SARS-CoV-2 infection based on either PCR analysis of nasopharingeal swab (NPS), or serological finding of IgG on blood sample and asymptomatic (23%) or only mildly symptomatic (77%) for COVID-19. Patients underwent transthoracic echocardiogram (TTE) after a median time of 3.6 months from diagnosis and negative NPS for SARS-CoV-2. Offline analysis with GE EchoPAC software to measure global longitudinal strain (GLS) of the LV using 2D speckle tracking imaging. Therefore, we compared the results with an age-matched group of 32 controls (18males, 56%). Results: Cases and controls were similar regarding age and gender. LV biplane EF was significantly lower in the cases group, although still in the normal range (62.4±4.1% vs. 65.2±5.5%, p=0.012). TAPSE and LV-GLS were comparable between the two groups. GLS analysis showed significant strain reduction of the LV midwall segments and of the basal anterior, posterior and septal inferior segments among cases compared to controls. On the other hand, apical segments showed higher deformation in cases compared to controls. Furthermore, in the case group there were 14 subjects (27%) with a strain below 16% (mean value minus 2.5 SD) in at least 2 segments. Conclusions: SARS-CoV-2 infection may affect LV deformation in asymptomatic or only mildly symptomatic children, showing a peculiar pattern with lower longitudinal strain in all mid-wall segments of LV compared to control subjects. The clinical significance of this findings is unclear and follow-up is needed to verify the reversibility of this alterations.

5.
European Heart Journal, Supplement ; 23(SUPPL C):C43, 2021.
Article in English | EMBASE | ID: covidwho-1408987

ABSTRACT

Background: Evidence suggests that, compared with adult patients, clinical manifestations of children's COVID-19 may be less severe. However, multiple reports have raised concern about the so called pediatric inflammatory multisystem syndrome temporally associated with SARS-CoV-2 (PIMS-TS) which resembles other inflammatory conditions (i.e. Kawasaki disease, toxic shock). Patients affected by PIMS-TS showed cardiac involvement with myocardial injury, reduced left ventricle systolic function and coronary artery abnormalities, and in some cases, need for inotropes/vasopressors and extracorporeal life support (ECLS). Little is known regarding cardiac involvement in pediatric patients with SARS-CoV-2 infection and none or only mild symptoms of disease. Methods: We analyzed 52 pediatric patients (29males, 56%) with diagnosis of SARS-CoV-2 infection based on either PCR analysis of nasopharingeal swab (NPS), or serological finding of IgG on blood sample and asymptomatic (23%) or only mildly symptomatic (77%) for COVID-19. Patients underwent transthoracic echocardiogram (TTE) after a median time of 3.6 months from diagnosis and negative NPS for SARS-CoV-2. Offline analysis with GE EchoPAC software to measure global longitudinal strain (GLS) of the LV using 2D speckle tracking imaging. Therefore, we compared the results with an age-matched group of 32 controls (18males, 56%). Results: Cases and controls were similar regarding age and gender. LV biplane EF was significantly lower in the cases group, although still in the normal range (62.4±4.1% vs. 65.2±5.5%, p=0.012). TAPSE and LV-GLS were comparable between the two groups. GLS analysis showed significant strain reduction of the LV mid-wall segments and of the basal anterior, posterior and septal inferior segments among cases compared to controls. On the other hand, apical segments showed higher deformation in cases compared to controls. Furthermore, in the case group there were 14 subjects (27%) with a strain below 16% (mean value minus 2.5 SD) in at least 2 segments. Conclusion: SARS-CoV-2 infection may affect LV deformation in asymptomatic or only mildly symptomatic children, showing a peculiar pattern with lower longitudinal strain in all mid-wall segments of LV compared to control subjects. The clinical significance of this findings is unclear and follow-up is needed to verify the reversibility of this alterations.

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