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1.
Sci Rep ; 13(1): 6415, 2023 04 19.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-2293309

ABSTRACT

A COVID-19 patient often presents with multiple comorbidities and is associated with adverse outcomes. A comprehensive assessment of the prevalence of comorbidities in patients with COVID-19 is essential. This study aimed to assess the prevalence of comorbidities, severity and mortality with regard to geographic region, age, gender and smoking status in patients with COVID-19. A systematic review and multistage meta-analyses were reported using PRISMA guidelines. PubMed/MEDLINE, SCOPUS, Google Scholar and EMBASE were searched from January 2020 to October 2022. Cross-sectional studies, cohort studies, case series studies, and case-control studies on comorbidities reporting among the COVID-19 populations that were published in English were included. The pooled prevalence of various medical conditions in COVID-19 patients was calculated based on regional population size weights. Stratified analyses were performed to understand the variations in the medical conditions based on age, gender, and geographic region. A total of 190 studies comprising 105 million COVID-19 patients were included. Statistical analyses were performed using STATA software, version 16 MP (StataCorp, College Station, TX). Meta-analysis of proportion was performed to obtain pooled values of the prevalence of medical comorbidities: hypertension (39%, 95% CI 36-42, n = 170 studies), obesity (27%, 95% CI 25-30%, n = 169 studies), diabetes (27%, 95% CI 25-30%, n = 175), and asthma (8%, 95% CI 7-9%, n = 112). Moreover, the prevalence of hospitalization was 35% (95% CI 29-41%, n = 61), intensive care admissions 17% (95% CI 14-21, n = 106), and mortality 18% (95% CI 16-21%, n = 145). The prevalence of hypertension was highest in Europe at 44% (95% CI 39-47%, n = 68), obesity and diabetes at 30% (95% CI, 26-34, n = 79) and 27% (95%CI, 24-30, n = 80) in North America, and asthma in Europe at 9% (95% CI 8-11, n = 41). Obesity was high among the ≥ 50 years (30%, n = 112) age group, diabetes among Men (26%, n = 124) and observational studies reported higher mortality than case-control studies (19% vs. 14%). Random effects meta-regression found a significant association between age and diabetes (p < 0.001), hypertension (p < 0.001), asthma (p < 0.05), ICU admission (p < 0.05) and mortality (p < 0.001). Overall, a higher global prevalence of hypertension (39%) and a lower prevalence of asthma (8%), and 18% of mortality were found in patients with COVID-19. Hence, geographical regions with respective chronic medical comorbidities should accelerate regular booster dose vaccination, preferably to those patients with chronic comorbidities, to prevent and lower the severity and mortality of COVID-19 disease with novel SARS-CoV-2 variants of concern (VOC).


Subject(s)
Asthma , COVID-19 , Diabetes Mellitus , Hypertension , Male , Humans , COVID-19/epidemiology , SARS-CoV-2 , Prevalence , Cross-Sectional Studies , Diabetes Mellitus/epidemiology , Hypertension/epidemiology , Obesity/epidemiology , Asthma/epidemiology , Smoking
3.
JMIR Public Health Surveill ; 8(8): e37656, 2022 08 29.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-2022376

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: The human papillomavirus (HPV) vaccine is recommended for adolescents and young adults to prevent HPV-related cancers and genital warts. However, HPV vaccine uptake among the target age groups is suboptimal. OBJECTIVE: The aim of this infodemiology study was to examine public online searches in the United States related to the HPV vaccine from January 2010 to December 2021. METHODS: Google Trends (GT) was used to explore online searches related to the HPV vaccine from January 1, 2010, to December 31, 2021. Online searches and queries on the HPV vaccine were investigated using relative search volumes (RSVs). Analysis of variance was performed to investigate quarterly differences in HPV vaccine searches in each year from 2010 to 2021. A joinpoint regression was used to identify statistically significant changes over time; the α level was set to .05. RESULTS: The year-wise online search volume related to the HPV vaccine increased from 2010 to 2021, often following federal changes related to vaccine administration. Joinpoint regression analysis showed that HPV vaccine searches significantly increased on average by 8.6% (95% CI 5.9%-11.4%) across each year from 2010 to 2021. Moreover, HPV vaccine searches demonstrated a similar pattern across years, with search interest increasing through August nearly every year. At the state level, the highest 12-year mean RSV was observed in California (59.9, SD 14.3) and the lowest was observed in Wyoming (17.4, SD 8.5) during the period of 2010-2021. CONCLUSIONS: Online searches related to the HPV vaccine increased by an average of 8.6% across each year from 2010 to 2021, with noticeable spikes corresponding to key changes in vaccine recommendations. We identified patterns across years and differences at the state level in the online search interest related to the HPV vaccine. Public health organizations can use GT as a tool to characterize the public interest in and promote the HPV vaccine in the United States.


Subject(s)
Papillomavirus Infections , Papillomavirus Vaccines , Adolescent , Humans , Infodemiology , Papillomavirus Infections/prevention & control , Papillomavirus Vaccines/therapeutic use , Search Engine , United States , Vaccination , Young Adult
4.
JMIR Public Health Surveill ; 8(4): e36022, 2022 04 07.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1779876

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: Despite the available evidence on its severity, COVID-19 has often been compared with seasonal flu by some conspirators and even scientists. Various public discussions arose about the noncausal correlation between COVID-19 and the observed deaths during the pandemic period in Italy. OBJECTIVE: This paper aimed to search for endogenous reasons for the mortality increase recorded in Italy during 2020 to test this controversial hypothesis. Furthermore, we provide a framework for epidemiological analyses of time series. METHODS: We analyzed deaths by age, sex, region, and cause of death in Italy from 2011 to 2019. Ordinary least squares (OLS) linear regression analyses and autoregressive integrated moving average (ARIMA) were used to predict the best value for 2020. A Grubbs 1-sided test was used to assess the significance of the difference between predicted and observed 2020 deaths/mortality. Finally, a 1-sample t test was used to compare the population of regional excess deaths to a null mean. The relationship between mortality and predictive variables was assessed using OLS multiple regression models. Since there is no uniform opinion on multicomparison adjustment and false negatives imply great epidemiological risk, the less-conservative Siegel approach and more-conservative Holm-Bonferroni approach were employed. By doing so, we provided the reader with the means to carry out an independent analysis. RESULTS: Both ARIMA and OLS linear regression models predicted the number of deaths in Italy during 2020 to be between 640,000 and 660,000 (range of 95% CIs: 620,000-695,000) against the observed value of above 750,000. We found strong evidence supporting that the death increase in all regions (average excess=12.2%) was not due to chance (t21=7.2; adjusted P<.001). Male and female national mortality excesses were 18.4% (P<.001; adjusted P=.006) and 14.1% (P=.005; adjusted P=.12), respectively. However, we found limited significance when comparing male and female mortality residuals' using the Mann-Whitney U test (P=.27; adjusted P=.99). Finally, mortality was strongly and positively correlated with latitude (R=0.82; adjusted P<.001). In this regard, the significance of the mortality increases during 2020 varied greatly from region to region. Lombardy recorded the highest mortality increase (38% for men, adjusted P<.001; 31% for women, P<.001; adjusted P=.006). CONCLUSIONS: Our findings support the absence of historical endogenous reasons capable of justifying the mortality increase observed in Italy during 2020. Together with the current knowledge on SARS-CoV-2, these results provide decisive evidence on the devastating impact of COVID-19. We suggest that this research be leveraged by government, health, and information authorities to furnish proof against conspiracy hypotheses that minimize COVID-19-related risks. Finally, given the marked concordance between ARIMA and OLS regression, we suggest that these models be exploited for public health surveillance. Specifically, meaningful information can be deduced by comparing predicted and observed epidemiological trends.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Female , Humans , Italy/epidemiology , Male , Pandemics , Retrospective Studies , SARS-CoV-2
5.
Healthcare (Basel) ; 10(3)2022 Feb 25.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1742398

ABSTRACT

In late November 2021, a new SARS-CoV-2 Variant of Concern (VOC) named Omicron (initially named B.1.1.529) was first detected in South Africa. The rapid spread of the SARS-CoV-2 Omicron variant became globally dominant, and the currently available COVID-19 vaccines showed less protection against this variant. This study aimed to investigate healthcare workers' (HCWs) knowledge and perceptions about the novel SARS-CoV-2 Omicron variant. A cross-sectional anonymous electronic survey concerning the SARS-CoV-2 Omicron variant was conducted among HCWs during the second week of January 2022. The survey instrument was distributed through social media among HCWs to explore awareness (2 items), knowledge (10 items), source of information (1 item), and perceptions (10 items). Respondents who answered ≥80% of the items correctly were considered as having good knowledge and perception. A total of 940 of the 1054 HCW participants completed the survey (response rate: 89.1%); they had a mean age of 31.2 ± 11.2 years, most were doctors (45.7%), and most were from Asia (64.3%). All the participants were aware of the SARS-CoV-2 Omicron variant (100%). Only 36.3% attended lectures/discussions about Omicron and used news media to obtain information. Only a quarter of the HCWs demonstrated good knowledge (24.3%, n = 228) and perception (20.6%) about Omicron. However, while significant differences were observed in the knowledge and perception among HCWs, only a small proportion of doctors exhibited good knowledge (13%) and perception (10%) about the Omicron variant. HCWs who had participated in training/discussion related to the Omicron variant were more likely to have higher knowledge and perception scores (odds ratio: 1.80; 95% confidence interval: 1.04-3.11). As the SARS-CoV-2 Omicron variant spreads rapidly across the globe, ongoing educational interventions are warranted to improve knowledge and perceptions of HCWs.

7.
Med Sci (Basel) ; 9(1)2021 01 08.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1016199

ABSTRACT

(1) Background: As of 13 December 2020, Afghanistan reported around 48,952 confirmed COVID-19 cases and 1960 deaths. Lack of knowledge and perceptions among healthcare workers (HCWs) can pose challenges to disease control. Therefore, targeted, timely assessment of knowledge and perceptions are needed to address practices that might hinder efforts to stop the spreading of COVID-19 in Afghanistan. This study aimed to assess COVID-19-related knowledge, perceptions, and risk prevention practices (KPP) among frontline HCWs in Afghanistan; (2) Methods: A cross-sectional study was conducted with the support of field teams who were deployed in Afghanistan, surveyed from 14 to 22 April 2020 in eight provinces in Afghanistan with varying cumulative incidence of COVID-19 cases. A 28-item KPP survey instrument was adapted from other internationally validated questionnaires related to COVID-19. (3) Results: The survey was conducted among 213 frontline HCWs engaged in screening and treating COVID-19 patients. Survey results indicated that basic awareness of COVID-19 was 100% across all the participants. Knowledge and understanding of COVID-19 transmission, symptoms, incubation period and complications associated with COVID-19 are comprehensive and high (>90%), except available treatment for COVID-19 (84%). HCWs' perceptions towards the prevention and control of COVID-19 were positive. However, only 63% believed that the use of N-95 face masks and disposable and fluid-resistant gowns (76%) could prevent COVID-19 transmission. This survey showed high knowledge and positive perception (72%), and only 48% of frontline HCWs had shown risk prevention practices. Addressing their perceptions and placing additional focus on practices across all health facilities is recommended as a preparedness measure.


Subject(s)
COVID-19/prevention & control , Health Knowledge, Attitudes, Practice , Health Personnel , Adolescent , Adult , Afghanistan , Cross-Sectional Studies , Female , Humans , Male , Middle Aged , Personal Protective Equipment , Risk Assessment , Risk Reduction Behavior , Surveys and Questionnaires , Young Adult
8.
J Med Internet Res ; 22(8): e20673, 2020 08 25.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-769051

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: Although "infodemiological" methods have been used in research on coronavirus disease (COVID-19), an examination of the extent of infodemic moniker (misinformation) use on the internet remains limited. OBJECTIVE: The aim of this paper is to investigate internet search behaviors related to COVID-19 and examine the circulation of infodemic monikers through two platforms-Google and Instagram-during the current global pandemic. METHODS: We have defined infodemic moniker as a term, query, hashtag, or phrase that generates or feeds fake news, misinterpretations, or discriminatory phenomena. Using Google Trends and Instagram hashtags, we explored internet search activities and behaviors related to the COVID-19 pandemic from February 20, 2020, to May 6, 2020. We investigated the names used to identify the virus, health and risk perception, life during the lockdown, and information related to the adoption of COVID-19 infodemic monikers. We computed the average peak volume with a 95% CI for the monikers. RESULTS: The top six COVID-19-related terms searched in Google were "coronavirus," "corona," "COVID," "virus," "corona virus," and "COVID-19." Countries with a higher number of COVID-19 cases had a higher number of COVID-19 queries on Google. The monikers "coronavirus ozone," "coronavirus laboratory," "coronavirus 5G," "coronavirus conspiracy," and "coronavirus bill gates" were widely circulated on the internet. Searches on "tips and cures" for COVID-19 spiked in relation to the US president speculating about a "miracle cure" and suggesting an injection of disinfectant to treat the virus. Around two thirds (n=48,700,000, 66.1%) of Instagram users used the hashtags "COVID-19" and "coronavirus" to disperse virus-related information. CONCLUSIONS: Globally, there is a growing interest in COVID-19, and numerous infodemic monikers continue to circulate on the internet. Based on our findings, we hope to encourage mass media regulators and health organizers to be vigilant and diminish the use and circulation of these infodemic monikers to decrease the spread of misinformation.


Subject(s)
Betacoronavirus , Coronavirus Infections , Online Social Networking , Pandemics , Pneumonia, Viral , Search Engine , Web Browser , COVID-19 , Communication , Humans , Internet , Mass Media , SARS-CoV-2
9.
JMIR Public Health Surveill ; 6(2): e19115, 2020 05 13.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-258567

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: The coronavirus disease (COVID-19) pandemic has affected more than 200 countries and has infected more than 2,800,000 people as of April 24, 2020. It was first identified in Wuhan City in China in December 2019. OBJECTIVE: The aim of this study is to identify the top 15 countries with spatial mapping of the confirmed cases. A comparison was done between the identified top 15 countries for confirmed cases, deaths, and recoveries, and an advanced autoregressive integrated moving average (ARIMA) model was used for predicting the COVID-19 disease spread trajectories for the next 2 months. METHODS: The comparison of recent cumulative and predicted cases was done for the top 15 countries with confirmed cases, deaths, and recoveries from COVID-19. The spatial map is useful to identify the intensity of COVID-19 infections in the top 15 countries and the continents. The recent reported data for confirmed cases, deaths, and recoveries for the last 3 months was represented and compared between the top 15 infected countries. The advanced ARIMA model was used for predicting future data based on time series data. The ARIMA model provides a weight to past values and error values to correct the model prediction, so it is better than other basic regression and exponential methods. The comparison of recent cumulative and predicted cases was done for the top 15 countries with confirmed cases, deaths, and recoveries from COVID-19. RESULTS: The top 15 countries with a high number of confirmed cases were stratified to include the data in a mathematical model. The identified top 15 countries with cumulative cases, deaths, and recoveries from COVID-19 were compared. The United States, the United Kingdom, Turkey, China, and Russia saw a relatively fast spread of the disease. There was a fast recovery ratio in China, Switzerland, Germany, Iran, and Brazil, and a slow recovery ratio in the United States, the United Kingdom, the Netherlands, Russia, and Italy. There was a high death rate ratio in Italy and the United Kingdom and a lower death rate ratio in Russia, Turkey, China, and the United States. The ARIMA model was used to predict estimated confirmed cases, deaths, and recoveries for the top 15 countries from April 24 to July 7, 2020. Its value is represented with 95%, 80%, and 70% confidence interval values. The validation of the ARIMA model was done using the Akaike information criterion value; its values were about 20, 14, and 16 for cumulative confirmed cases, deaths, and recoveries of COVID-19, respectively, which represents acceptable results. CONCLUSIONS: The observed predicted values showed that the confirmed cases, deaths, and recoveries will double in all the observed countries except China, Switzerland, and Germany. It was also observed that the death and recovery rates were rose faster when compared to confirmed cases over the next 2 months. The associated mortality rate will be much higher in the United States, Spain, and Italy followed by France, Germany, and the United Kingdom. The forecast analysis of the COVID-19 dynamics showed a different angle for the whole world, and it looks scarier than imagined, but recovery numbers start looking promising by July 7, 2020.


Subject(s)
Coronavirus Infections/epidemiology , Global Health/statistics & numerical data , Pandemics , Pneumonia, Viral/epidemiology , COVID-19 , Forecasting , Humans , Models, Statistical
10.
JMIR Public Health Surveill ; 6(2): e19374, 2020 05 05.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-175481

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: Since the beginning of the novel coronavirus disease (COVID-19) outbreak, fake news and misleading information have circulated worldwide, which can profoundly affect public health communication. OBJECTIVE: We investigated online search behavior related to the COVID-19 outbreak and the attitudes of "infodemic monikers" (ie, erroneous information that gives rise to interpretative mistakes, fake news, episodes of racism, etc) circulating in Italy. METHODS: By using Google Trends to explore the internet search activity related to COVID-19 from January to March 2020, article titles from the most read newspapers and government websites were mined to investigate the attitudes of infodemic monikers circulating across various regions and cities in Italy. Search volume values and average peak comparison (APC) values were used to analyze the results. RESULTS: Keywords such as "novel coronavirus," "China coronavirus," "COVID-19," "2019-nCOV," and "SARS-COV-2" were the top infodemic and scientific COVID-19 terms trending in Italy. The top five searches related to health were "face masks," "amuchina" (disinfectant), "symptoms of the novel coronavirus," "health bulletin," and "vaccines for coronavirus." The regions of Umbria and Basilicata recorded a high number of infodemic monikers (APC weighted total >140). Misinformation was widely circulated in the Campania region, and racism-related information was widespread in Umbria and Basilicata. These monikers were frequently searched (APC weighted total >100) in more than 10 major cities in Italy, including Rome. CONCLUSIONS: We identified a growing regional and population-level interest in COVID-19 in Italy. The majority of searches were related to amuchina, face masks, health bulletins, and COVID-19 symptoms. Since a large number of infodemic monikers were observed across Italy, we recommend that health agencies use Google Trends to predict human behavior as well as to manage misinformation circulation in Italy.


Subject(s)
Coronavirus Infections , Deception , Health Communication , Information Seeking Behavior , Information Storage and Retrieval , Internet , Mass Media , Pandemics , Pneumonia, Viral , Attitude to Health , Betacoronavirus , COVID-19 , Communication , Coronavirus Infections/epidemiology , Disease Outbreaks , Humans , Italy , Pneumonia, Viral/epidemiology , SARS-CoV-2 , Truth Disclosure
11.
JMIR Public Health Surveill ; 6(2): e19160, 2020 04 30.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-141987

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: During the first week of March, the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) outbreak reached more than 100 countries with over 100,000 cases. Health care authorities have already initiated awareness and preparedness activities worldwide. A poor understanding of the disease among health care workers (HCWs) may result in delayed treatment and result in the rapid spread of the infection. OBJECTIVE: This study aimed to investigate the knowledge and perceptions of HCWs about COVID-19. METHODS: A cross-sectional, web-based study was conducted among HCWs about COVID-19 during the first week of March 2020. A 23-item survey instrument was developed and distributed randomly to HCWs using social media; it required 5 minutes to complete. A chi-square test was used to investigate the level of association among variables, with significance set to P<.05. RESULTS: Of 529 participants, a total of 453 HCWs completed the survey (response rate: 85.6%); 51.6% (n=234) were male, 32.1% (n=147) were aged 25-34 years, and most were doctors (n=137, 30.2%) and medical students (n=134, 29.6%). Most participants (n=276, 61.0%) used social media to obtain information on COVID-19. A significant proportion of HCWs had poor knowledge of its transmission (n=276, 61.0%) and symptom onset (n=288, 63.6%) and showed positive perceptions of COVID-19. Factors such as age and profession were associated with inadequate knowledge and a poor perception of COVID-19. CONCLUSIONS: As the global threat of COVID-19 continues to emerge, it is critical to improve the knowledge and perceptions of HCWs. Educational interventions are urgently needed to reach HCWs worldwide, and further studies are warranted.


Subject(s)
Coronavirus Infections/epidemiology , Coronavirus , Health Knowledge, Attitudes, Practice , Health Personnel/psychology , Pandemics , Pneumonia, Viral/epidemiology , Adult , Betacoronavirus , COVID-19 , Cross-Sectional Studies , Disease Outbreaks , Female , Humans , Male , SARS-CoV-2 , Surveys and Questionnaires
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