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1.
Virus Evol ; 8(1): veac002, 2022.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1746220

ABSTRACT

Transmission chains within small urban areas (accommodating ∼30 per cent of the European population) greatly contribute to case burden and economic impact during the ongoing coronavirus pandemic and should be a focus for preventive measures to achieve containment. Here, at very high spatio-temporal resolution, we analysed determinants of severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) transmission in a European urban area, Basel-City (Switzerland). We combined detailed epidemiological, intra-city mobility and socio-economic data sets with whole-genome sequencing during the first SARS-CoV-2 wave. For this, we succeeded in sequencing 44 per cent of all reported cases from Basel-City and performed phylogenetic clustering and compartmental modelling based on the dominating viral variant (B.1-C15324T; 60 per cent of cases) to identify drivers and patterns of transmission. Based on these results we simulated vaccination scenarios and corresponding healthcare system burden (intensive care unit (ICU) occupancy). Transmissions were driven by socio-economically weaker and highly mobile population groups with mostly cryptic transmissions which lacked genetic and identifiable epidemiological links. Amongst more senior population transmission was clustered. Simulated vaccination scenarios assuming 60-90 per cent transmission reduction and 70-90 per cent reduction of severe cases showed that prioritising mobile, socio-economically weaker populations for vaccination would effectively reduce case numbers. However, long-term ICU occupation would also be effectively reduced if senior population groups were prioritised, provided there were no changes in testing and prevention strategies. Reducing SARS-CoV-2 transmission through vaccination strongly depends on the efficacy of the deployed vaccine. A combined strategy of protecting risk groups by extensive testing coupled with vaccination of the drivers of transmission (i.e. highly mobile groups) would be most effective at reducing the spread of SARS-CoV-2 within an urban area.

2.
PLoS One ; 16(12): e0260208, 2021.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1575897

ABSTRACT

Medical personnel working in emergency rooms (ER) are at increased risk of mental health problems and suicidality. There is increasing evidence that mindfulness-based interventions can improve burnout and other mental health outcomes in health care providers. In contrast, few longitudinal prospective studies have examined protective functions of dispositional mindfulness in this population. The objective of this study was to examine whether mindfulness prospectively predicts anxiety, depression, and social impairment in a sample of emergency care professionals. The authors administered online surveys to ER personnel prior to work in ER, and at 3 and 6 months follow up. Participants were 190 ER personnel (73% residents, 16% medical students, 11% nurses). Linear mixed effects regression was used to model longitudinal 3-month and 6-month follow up of depression, anxiety, and social impairment. Predictors included time-varying contemporaneous work stressors, perceived social support at work and life events, and baseline dispositional mindfulness, demographics, and workplace characteristics. Mindfulness indexed when starting ER work predicted less depression, anxiety, and social impairment 6 months later. Mindfulness remained a strong predictor of mental health outcomes after controlling for time-varying stressful events in emergency care, negative life events, and social support at work. Mindfulness moderated the adverse impact of poor social support at work on depression. To our knowledge, this is the first longitudinal study to show that mindfulness prospectively and robustly predicts anxiety, depression, and social impairment. Results support the role of mindfulness as a potential resilience factor in at-risk health care providers.


Subject(s)
Anxiety/pathology , Depression/pathology , Health Personnel/psychology , Mindfulness/methods , Adult , Emergency Medical Services , Female , Follow-Up Studies , Humans , Longitudinal Studies , Male , Occupational Stress , Social Support , Surveys and Questionnaires , Workplace
3.
EuropePMC; 2021.
Preprint in English | EuropePMC | ID: ppcovidwho-295165

ABSTRACT

Introduction The COVID-19 pandemic caused complex and enduring challenges for health care providers and medical educators and changed the medical education landscape for learners. Medical students were required to adapt and learn in a novel learning environment while universities paused their formal medical training. The current study sought to investigate medical students’ experiences working on a pandemic frontline to understand how they perceived this novel learning environment influenced both their learning and their developing professional identity. Methods We conducted semi-structured interviews with 21 medical students who worked in a COVID-19 testing facility at the University Hospital of Basel. Using constructivist grounded theory methodology, we collected and analyzed data iteratively using a constant comparative approach to develop codes and theoretical categories. Results Participants described improvements in their technical and communication skills, consequently impacting their professional development. The presence of a perceived flat hierarchy between the physicians and medical students promoted professional identity development amongst the medical students. Most participants perceived working on the pandemic frontlines as a positive learning experience, which seemed supported by a flatter hierarchy and open communication compared to their usual learning environment. Conclusion Since medical students reported that their work on the pandemic frontlines positively affected their learning, the need to create hands-on learning opportunities for medical students challenge curriculum developers. Medical students wish to feel like full-fledged care team members rather than observing learners. Performing simple clinical tasks and collaborative moments in a supportive learning environment may promote learning and professional development.

4.
Swiss Med Wkly ; 151: w30103, 2021 12 06.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1555555

ABSTRACT

STUDY AIMS: To quantify mimics and chameleons of coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19), to analyse the diagnostic accuracy of the triage protocol, and to describe the resulting groups of mimics and chameleons - including their presenting symptoms and final diagnoses. METHODS: Diagnostic accuracy study including all adult patients tested for severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus type 2 (SARS-CoV-2) at the emergency department of the University Hospital Basel, Switzerland during the first wave of pandemic in spring 2020. Diagnostic accuracy of triage was determined by calculating sensitivity, specificity, positive and negative predictive value, and positive and negative likelihood ratio. Triage to the group of suspected (+) and not suspected (-) COVID-19 was considered the index test, whereas a SARS-CoV-2 polymerase chain reaction test result was used as reference standard. Mimics were defined as false positives and chameleons as false negatives. RESULTS: Of 2898 patients included in the analysis, 191 were true positives, 895 were false positives (mimics), 9 were false negatives (chameleons) and 1803 were true negatives. This resulted in a sensitivity of 0.95 (95% confidence interval [CI] 0.92-0.98) and a specificity of 0.67 (95% CI 0.65-0.69) for standardised triage. Among mimics, the main categories of final diagnoses were other infections (n = 513, 57.3%), cardiovascular diseases (excluding cerebrovascular) (n = 125, 14%), and non-infectious diseases of the respiratory system (n = 84, 9.4%). Fever (n = 357, 39.9% vs n = 104, 54.5%), cough (n = 466, 52.1% vs n = 126 66%), and smell or taste dysfunction (n = 60, 6.7% vs n = 24, 12.6%) were less frequently observed in mimics than in COVID-19 patients. Eight of nine COVID-19 chameleons presented with either nonspecific complaints (weakness and/or fatigue) or gastrointestinal symptoms. CONCLUSION: The quantitative assessment of COVID-19 mimics and chameleons showed a high prevalence of mimics. Clinical differentiation between true positives and false positives is not feasible due to largely overlapping symptoms. Prevalence of chameleons was very low.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Adult , Humans , Pandemics , Predictive Value of Tests , SARS-CoV-2 , Sensitivity and Specificity , Triage
5.
EuropePMC; 2021.
Preprint in English | EuropePMC | ID: ppcovidwho-293338

ABSTRACT

Abstract Introduction The COVID-19 pandemic caused complex and enduring challenges for health care providers and medical educators and changed the medical education landscape for learners. Medical students were required to adapt and learn in a novel learning environment while universities paused their formal medical training. The current study sought to investigate medical students' experiences working on a pandemic frontline to understand how they perceived this novel learning environment influenced both their learning and their developing professional identity. Methods We conducted semi-structured interviews with 21 medical students who worked in a COVID-19 testing facility at the University Hospital of Basel. Using constructivist grounded theory methodology, we collected and analyzed data iteratively using a constant comparative approach to develop codes and theoretical categories. Results Participants described improvements in their technical and communication skills, consequently impacting their professional development. The presence of a perceived flat hierarchy between the physicians and medical students promoted professional identity development amongst the medical students. Most participants perceived working on the pandemic frontlines as a positive learning experience, which seemed supported by a flatter hierarchy and open communication compared to their usual learning environment. Conclusions Since medical students reported that their work on the pandemic frontlines positively affected their learning, the need to create hands-on learning opportunities for medical students challenge curriculum developers. Medical students wish to feel like full-fledged care team members rather than observing learners. Performing simple clinical tasks and collaborative moments in a supportive learning environment may promote learning and professional development.

6.
J Clin Microbiol ; 59(12): e0138121, 2021 11 18.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1522904

ABSTRACT

Commercially available SARS-CoV-2-directed antibody assays may assist in diagnosing past exposure to SARS-CoV-2 antigens. We cross-compared the following eight immunoassays detecting antibodies against SARS-CoV-2 nucleocapsid (N) or spike (S) antigens in three cohorts consisting of 859 samples from 622 patients: (#1) EDI novel coronavirus COVID-19 (Epitope), (#2) RecomWell SARS-CoV-2 (Mikrogen), (#3) COVID-19 ELISA (VirCell), (#4) Elecsys anti-SARS-CoV-2 N (Roche), (#5) Liaison SARS-CoV-2 S1/S2 (DiaSorin), (#6) anti-SARS-CoV-2 ELISA (EuroImmun), (#7) Elecsys anti-SARS-CoV-2 S (Roche), and (#8) Liaison SARS-CoV-2 TrimericS (DiaSorin). In cross-sectional cohort 1 (68 sera from 38 patients with documented SARS-CoV-2 infection), agreement between assays #1 to #6 ranged from 75% to 93%, whereby discordance mostly resulted from N-based assays #1 to #4. In cross-sectional cohort 2 (510 sera from 510 patients; 56 documented, 454 unknown SARS-CoV-2 infection), assays #4 to #6 were analyzed further together with assays #7 and #8, revealing 94% concordance (44 [9%] positives and 485 [85%] negatives). Discordance was highest within 2 weeks after SARS-CoV-2/COVID-19 diagnosis and confirmed in the longitudinal cohort 3 (281 sera from 74 COVID-19 patients), using assays #4, #6, #7, and #8. Subanalysis of 20 (27%) initially seronegative cohort 3 patients revealed assay-dependent 50% and 90% seroconversion rates after 8 to 11 days and 14 to 18 days, respectively. Increasing SARS-CoV-2 antibodies were significantly associated with declining levels of viral loads, lactate dehydrogenase, interleukin-6, and C-reactive protein and preceded clearance of SARS-CoV-2 detection in the upper respiratory tract by approximately 1 week. SARS-CoV-2-specific antibody assays show substantial agreement, but interpretation of qualitative and semiquantitative results depends on the time elapsed postdiagnosis and the choice of viral antigen. Mounting of systemic SARS-CoV-2-specific antibodies may predict recovery from viral injury and clearance of mucosal replication.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , SARS-CoV-2 , Antibodies, Viral , COVID-19 Testing , Cross-Sectional Studies , Humans , Immunoassay , Immunoglobulin G , Laboratories , Sensitivity and Specificity , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus
8.
J Clin Med ; 10(12)2021 06 17.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1273474

ABSTRACT

Most studies investigating early risk predictors in coronavirus disease 19 (COVID-19) lacked comparison with controls. We aimed to assess and directly compare outcomes and risk predictors at time of emergency department (ED) presentation in COVID-19 and controls. Consecutive patients presenting to the ED with suspected COVID-19 were prospectively enrolled. COVID-19-patients were compared with (i) patients tested negative (overall controls) and (ii) patients tested negative, who had a respiratory infection (respiratory controls). Primary outcome was the composite of intensive care unit (ICU) admission and death at 30 days. Among 1081 consecutive cases, 191 (18%) were tested positive for severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) and 890 (82%) were tested negative (overall controls), of which 323 (30%) had a respiratory infection (respiratory controls). Incidence of the composite outcome was significantly higher in COVID-19 (23%) as compared with the overall control group (10%, adjusted-HR 2.45 (95%CI, 1.61-3.74), p < 0.001) or the respiratory control group (10%, adjusted-HR 2.93 (95%CI, 1.66-5.17), p < 0.001). Blood oxygen saturation, age, high-sensitivity troponin, c-reactive protein, and lactate dehydrogenase were identified as the strongest predictors of poor outcome available at time of ED presentation in COVID-19 with highly comparable prognostic utility in overall and respiratory controls. In conclusion, patients presenting to the ED with COVID-19 have a worse outcome than controls, even after adjustment for differences in baseline characteristics. Most predictors of poor outcome in COVID-19 were not restricted to COVID-19, but of comparable prognostic utility in controls and therefore generalizable to unselected patients with suspected COVID-19.

9.
J Clin Med ; 10(11)2021 Jun 02.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1259515

ABSTRACT

Older age and frailty are predictors of adverse outcomes in patients with COVID-19. In emergency medicine, patients do not present with the diagnosis, but with suspicion of COVID-19. The aim of this study was to assess the association of frailty and age with death or admission to intensive care in patients with suspected COVID-19. This single-centre prospective cohort study was performed in the Emergency Department of a tertiary care hospital. Patients, 65 years and older, with suspected COVID-19 presenting to the Emergency Department during the first wave of the pandemic were consecutively enrolled. All patients underwent nasopharyngeal SARS-CoV-2 PCR swab tests. Patients with a Clinical Frailty Scale (CFS) > 4, were considered to be frail. Associations between age, gender, frailty, and COVID-19 status with the composite adverse outcome of 30-day-intensive-care-admission and/or 30-day-mortality were tested. In the 372 patients analysed, the median age was 77 years, 154 (41.4%) were women, 44 (11.8%) were COVID-19-positive, and 125 (33.6%) were frail. The worst outcome was seen in frail COVID-19-patients with six (66.7%) adverse outcomes. Frailty (CFS > 4) and COVID-19-positivity were associated with an adverse outcome after adjustment for age and gender (frailty: OR 5.01, CI 2.56-10.17, p < 0.001; COVID-19: OR 3.47, CI 1.48-7.89, p = 0.003). Frailty was strongly associated with adverse outcomes and outperformed age as a predictor in emergency patients with suspected COVID-19.

10.
J Clin Med ; 10(11)2021 May 25.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1244049

ABSTRACT

Previous studies have indicated an association between coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) and acute kidney injury (AKI) but lacked a control group. The prospective observational COronaVIrus-surviVAl (COVIVA) study performed at the University Hospital, Basel, Switzerland consecutively enrolled patients with symptoms suggestive of COVID-19. We compared patients who tested positive for SARS-CoV-2 with patients who tested negative but with an adjudicated diagnosis of a respiratory tract infection, including pneumonia. The primary outcome measure was death at 30 days, and the secondary outcomes were AKI incidence and a composite endpoint of death, intensive care treatment or rehospitalization at 30 days. Five hundred and seven patients were diagnosed with respiratory tract infections, and of those, 183 (36%) had a positive PCR swab test for SARS-CoV-2. The incidence of AKI was higher in patients with COVID-19 (30% versus 12%, p < 0.001), more severe (KDIGO stage 3, 22% versus 13%, p = 0.009) and more often required renal replacement therapy (4.4% versus 0.93%; p = 0.03). The risk of 30-day mortality and a composite endpoint was higher in patients with COVID-19-associated AKI (adjusted hazard ratio (aHR) mortality 3.98, 95% confidence interval (CI) 1.10-14.46, p = 0.036; composite endpoint aHR 1.84, 95% CI 1.02-3.31, p = 0.042). The mortality risk was attenuated when adjusting for disease severity (aHR 3.60, 95% CI 0.93-13.96, p = 0.062). AKI occurs more frequently and with a higher severity in patients with COVID-19 and is associated with worse outcomes.

11.
Microorganisms ; 9(5)2021 May 19.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1234778

ABSTRACT

A variety of antiviral treatments for COVID-19 have been investigated, involving many repurposed drugs. Currently, the SARS-CoV-2 RNA-dependent RNA polymerase (RdRp, encoded by nsp12-nsp7-nsp8) has been targeted by numerous inhibitors, e.g., remdesivir, the only provisionally approved treatment to-date, although the clinical impact of these interventions remains inconclusive. However, the potential emergence of antiviral resistance poses a threat to the efficacy of any successful therapies on a wide scale. Here, we propose a framework to monitor the emergence of antiviral resistance, and as a proof of concept, we address the interaction between RdRp and remdesivir. We show that SARS-CoV-2 RdRp is under purifying selection, that potential escape mutations are rare in circulating lineages, and that those mutations, where present, do not destabilise RdRp. In more than 56,000 viral genomes from 105 countries from the first pandemic wave, we found negative selective pressure affecting nsp12 (Tajima's D = -2.62), with potential antiviral escape mutations in only 0.3% of sequenced genomes. Potential escape mutations included known key residues, such as Nsp12:Val473 and Nsp12:Arg555. Of the potential escape mutations involved globally, in silico structural models found that they were unlikely to be associated with loss of stability in RdRp. No potential escape mutation was found in a local cohort of remdesivir treated patients. Collectively, these findings indicate that RdRp is a suitable drug target, and that remdesivir does not seem to exert high selective pressure. We anticipate our framework to be the starting point of a larger effort for a global monitoring of drug resistance throughout the COVID-19 pandemic.

12.
J Med Virol ; 93(4): 2374-2384, 2021 04.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1217387

ABSTRACT

OBJECTIVES: Detecting severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) is key to the clinical and epidemiological assessment of CoVID-19. We cross-validated manual and automated high-throughput testing for SARS-CoV-2-RNA, evaluated SARS-CoV-2 loads in nasopharyngeal-oropharyngeal swabs (NOPS), lower respiratory fluids, and plasma, and analyzed detection rates after lockdown and relaxation measures. METHODS: Basel-S-gene, Roche-E-gene, and Roche-cobas®6800-Target1 and Target2 were prospectively validated in 1344 NOPS submitted during the first pandemic peak (Week 13). Follow-up cohort (FUP) 1, 2, and 3 comprised 10,999, 10,147, and 19,389 NOPS submitted during a 10-week period until Weeks 23, 33, and 43, respectively. RESULTS: Concordant results were obtained in 1308 cases (97%), including 97 (9%) SARS-CoV-2-positives showing high quantitative correlations (Spearman's r > .95; p < .001) for all assays and high precision by Bland-Altman analysis. Discordant samples (N = 36, 3%) had significantly lower SARS-CoV-2 loads (p < .001). Following lockdown, detection rates declined to <1% in FUP-1, reducing single-test positive predictive values from 99.3% to 85.1%. Following relaxation, rates flared up to 4% and 12% in FUP-2 and -3, but infected patients were younger than during lockdown (34 vs. 52 years, p < .001). In 261 patients providing 936 NOPS, SARS-CoV-2 loads declined by three orders of magnitude within 10 days postdiagnosis (p < .001). SARS-CoV-2 loads in NOPS correlated with those in time-matched lower respiratory fluids or in plasma but remained detectable in some cases with negative follow-up NOPS, respectively. CONCLUSION: Manual and automated assays significantly correlated qualitatively and quantitatively. Following a successful lockdown, declining positive predictive values require independent dual-target confirmation for reliable assessment. Confirmatory and quantitative follow-up testing should be obtained within <5 days and consider lower respiratory fluids in symptomatic patients with SARS-CoV-2-negative NOPS.


Subject(s)
COVID-19/epidemiology , Communicable Disease Control/methods , SARS-CoV-2/isolation & purification , Adult , Bronchoalveolar Lavage , COVID-19/prevention & control , COVID-19/transmission , COVID-19/virology , COVID-19 Testing , Disease Transmission, Infectious/prevention & control , Female , Genome, Viral , Humans , Male , Middle Aged , Nasopharynx/virology , Oropharynx/virology , Pandemics , RNA, Viral/analysis , RNA, Viral/genetics , SARS-CoV-2/genetics , Switzerland/epidemiology , Viral Load
13.
PLoS Pathog ; 17(3): e1009374, 2021 03.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1143300

ABSTRACT

The first case of SARS-CoV-2 in Basel, Switzerland was detected on February 26th 2020. We present a phylogenetic study to explore viral introduction and evolution during the exponential early phase of the local COVID-19 outbreak from February 26th until March 23rd. We sequenced SARS-CoV-2 naso-oropharyngeal swabs from 746 positive tests that were performed at the University Hospital Basel during the study period. We successfully generated 468 high quality genomes from unique patients and called variants with our COVID-19 Pipeline (COVGAP), and analysed viral genetic diversity using PANGOLIN taxonomic lineages. To identify introduction and dissemination events we incorporated global SARS-CoV-2 genomes and inferred a time-calibrated phylogeny. Epidemiological data from patient questionnaires was used to facilitate the interpretation of phylogenetic observations. The early outbreak in Basel was dominated by lineage B.1 (83·6%), detected first on March 2nd, although the first sample identified belonged to B.1.1. Within B.1, 68·2% of our samples fall within a clade defined by the SNP C15324T ('Basel cluster'), including 157 identical sequences at the root of the 'Basel cluster', some of which we can specifically trace to regional spreading events. We infer the origin of B.1-C15324T to mid-February in our tri-national region. The other genomes map broadly over the global phylogenetic tree, showing several introduction events from and/or dissemination to other regions of the world via travellers. Family transmissions can also be traced in our data. A single lineage variant dominated the outbreak in the Basel area while other lineages, such as the first (B.1.1), did not propagate. A mass gathering event was the predominant initial source of cases, with travel returners and family transmissions to a lesser extent. We highlight the importance of adding specific questions to epidemiological questionnaires, to obtain data on attendance of large gatherings and their locations, as well as travel history, to effectively identify routes of transmissions in up-coming outbreaks. This phylogenetic analysis in concert with epidemiological and contact tracing data, allows connection and interpretation of events, and can inform public health interventions. Trial Registration: ClinicalTrials.gov NCT04351503.


Subject(s)
COVID-19/diagnosis , Contact Tracing/methods , Crowding , Genome, Viral , Mutation , SARS-CoV-2/genetics , Adult , COVID-19/epidemiology , COVID-19/genetics , Female , Humans , Longitudinal Studies , Male , Mass Screening , Middle Aged , SARS-CoV-2/classification , SARS-CoV-2/isolation & purification , Switzerland/epidemiology
15.
Antimicrob Resist Infect Control ; 10(1): 44, 2021 02 27.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1105744

ABSTRACT

The proportion of asymptomatic carriers of severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) remains elusive and the potential benefit of systematic screening during the SARS-CoV-2-pandemic is controversial. We investigated the proportion of asymptomatic inpatients who were identified by systematic screening for SARS-CoV-2 upon hospital admission. Our analysis revealed that systematic screening of asymptomatic inpatients detects a low total number of SARS-CoV-2 infections (0.1%), questioning the cost-benefit ratio of this intervention. Even when the population-wide prevalence was low, the proportion of asymptomatic carriers remained stable, supporting the need for universal infection prevention and control strategies to avoid onward transmission by undetected SARS-CoV-2-carriers during the pandemic.


Subject(s)
Asymptomatic Infections/epidemiology , COVID-19/diagnosis , SARS-CoV-2/isolation & purification , Aged , COVID-19/epidemiology , COVID-19/transmission , COVID-19 Testing/economics , COVID-19 Testing/methods , Cost-Benefit Analysis , Female , Humans , Male , Mass Screening/economics , Mass Screening/methods , Middle Aged , Switzerland/epidemiology
16.
J Intensive Care ; 9(1): 10, 2021 Jan 18.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1067283

ABSTRACT

OBJECTIVES: SARS-CoV-2 may cause acute lung injury, and secondary infections are thus relevant complications in patients with COVID-19 pneumonia. However, detailed information on community- and hospital-acquired infections among patients with COVID-19 pneumonia is scarce. METHODS: We identified 220 SARS-CoV-2-positive patients hospitalized at the University Hospital Basel, Switzerland (between 25 February and 31 May 2020). We excluded patients who declined the general consent (n = 12), patients without clinical evidence of pneumonia (n = 29), and patients hospitalized for < 24 h (n = 17). We evaluated the frequency of community- and hospital-acquired infections using respiratory and blood culture materials with antigen, culture-based, and molecular diagnostics. For ICU patients, all clinical and microbial findings were re-evaluated interdisciplinary (intensive care, infectious disease, and clinical microbiology), and agreement reached to classify patients with infections. RESULTS: In the final cohort of 162 hospitalized patients (median age 64.4 years (IQR, 50.4-74.2); 61.1% male), 41 (25.3%) patients were admitted to the intensive care unit, 34/41 (82.9%) required mechanical ventilation, and 17 (10.5%) of all hospitalized patients died. In total, 31 infections were diagnosed including five viral co-infections, 24 bacterial infections, and three fungal infections (ventilator-associated pneumonia, n = 5; tracheobronchitis, n = 13; pneumonia, n = 1; and bloodstream infection, n = 6). Median time to respiratory tract infection was 12.5 days (IQR, 8-18) and time to bloodstream infection 14 days (IQR, 6-30). Hospital-acquired bacterial and fungal infections were more frequent among ICU patients than other patients (36.6% vs. 1.7%). Antibiotic or antifungal treatment was administered in 71 (43.8%) patients. CONCLUSIONS: Community-acquired viral and bacterial infections were rare among COVID-19 pneumonia patients. By contrast, hospital-acquired bacterial or fungal infections were frequently complicating the course among ICU patients.

17.
Eur J Endocrinol ; 184(3): 409-418, 2021 Mar.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1034947

ABSTRACT

OBJECTIVE: The pandemic of coronavirus disease (COVID-19) has rapidly spread globally and infected millions of people. The prevalence and prognostic impact of dysnatremia in COVID-19 is inconclusive. Therefore, we investigated the prevalence and outcome of dysnatremia in COVID-19. DESIGN: The prospective, observational, cohort study included consecutive patients with clinical suspicion of COVID-19 triaged to a Swiss Emergency Department between March and July 2020. METHODS: Collected data included clinical, laboratory and disease severity scoring parameters on admission. COVID-19 cases were identified based on a positive nasopharyngeal swab test for SARS-CoV-2, patients with a negative swab test served as controls. The primary analysis was to assess the prognostic impact of dysnatremia on 30-day mortality using a cox proportional hazard model. RESULTS: 172 (17%) cases with COVID-19 and 849 (83%) controls were included. Patients with COVID-19 showed a higher prevalence of hyponatremia compared to controls (28.1% vs 17.5%, P < 0.001); while comparable for hypernatremia (2.9% vs 2.1%, P = 0.34). In COVID-19 but not in controls, hyponatremia was associated with a higher 30-day mortality (HR: 1.4, 95% CI: 1.10-16.62, P = 0.05). In both groups, hypernatremia on admission was associated with higher 30-day mortality (COVID-19 - HR: 11.5, 95% CI: 5.00-26.43, P < 0.001; controls - HR: 5.3, 95% CI: 1.60-17.64, P = 0.006). In both groups, hyponatremia and hypernatremia were significantly associated with adverse outcome, for example, intensive care unit admission, longer hospitalization and mechanical ventilation. CONCLUSION: Our results underline the importance of dysnatremia as predictive marker in COVID-19. Treating physicians should be aware of appropriate treatment measures to be taken for patients with COVID-19 and dysnatremia.


Subject(s)
COVID-19/diagnosis , COVID-19/epidemiology , Hypernatremia/diagnosis , Hypernatremia/epidemiology , Hyponatremia/diagnosis , Hyponatremia/epidemiology , Adult , Aged , COVID-19/complications , COVID-19/therapy , Case-Control Studies , Cohort Studies , Critical Care/statistics & numerical data , Female , Hospital Mortality , Hospitalization/statistics & numerical data , Humans , Hypernatremia/complications , Hypernatremia/therapy , Hyponatremia/complications , Hyponatremia/therapy , Length of Stay/statistics & numerical data , Male , Middle Aged , Mortality , Pandemics , Prevalence , Prognosis , Prospective Studies , SARS-CoV-2 , Switzerland/epidemiology , Triage
18.
Int J Cardiol Heart Vasc ; 32: 100686, 2021 Feb.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-957119

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: To investigate the effect of the corona virus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic on the acute treatment of patients with ST-segment elevation (STEMI) and Non-ST-segment elevation acute coronary syndrome (NSTE-ACS). METHODS: We retrospectively identified patients presenting to the emergency department (ED) with suspected ACS. We evaluated the number of percutaneous coronary interventions (PCIs) for STEMI, NSTE-ACS, and elective PCI cases. In STEMI patients, we assessed the time from chest pain onset (cpo) to ED presentation, post-infarction left ventricular ejection fraction (LVEF), and time from ED presentation to PCI. We directly compared cases from two time intervals: January/February 2020 versus March/April 2020 (defined as 2 months before and after the COVID-19 outbreak). In a secondary analysis, we directly compared cases from March/April 2020 with patients from the same time interval in 2019. RESULTS: From January to April 2020, 765 patients presented with acute chest pain to the ED. A dramatic reduction of ED presentations after compared to before the COVID-19 outbreak (31% relative reduction) was observed. Overall, 398 PCIs were performed, 220/398 PCIs (55.3%) before versus 178/398 PCIs (44.7%) after the outbreak. While numbers for NSTE-ACS and elective interventions declined by 21% and 31%, respectively, the number of STEMI cases remained stable. Time from cpo to ED presentation, post-infarction LVEF, and median door-to-balloon time remained unchanged. CONCLUSIONS: In contrast to previous reports, our findings do not confirm the dramatic drop in STEMI cases and interventions in northwestern Switzerland as observed in other regions and hospitals around the world.

19.
J Clin Med ; 9(10)2020 Oct 07.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-905872

ABSTRACT

This prospective observational study evaluated the safety and feasibility of a low threshold testing process in a Triage and Test Center (TTC) during the early course of the coronavirus disease 19 (COVID-19) pandemic. In addition, we aimed to identify clinical predictors for a positive severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) swab result. Patients underwent informal triage, standardized history taking, and physician evaluation, only where indicated. Patients were observed for 30 days. Safety was the primary outcome and was defined as a COVID-19-related 30 day re-presentation rate <5% and mortality rate <1% in patients presenting to the TTC. Feasibility was defined as an overruling of informal triage <5%. Among 4815 presentations, 572 (11.9%) were tested positive for SARS-CoV-2, and 4774 were discharged. Mortality at 30-days was 0.04% (2 patients, one of which related to COVID-19). Fever (OR 2.03 [95% CI 1.70;2.42]), myalgia (OR 1.94 [1.63;2.31]), chills (OR 1.77 [1.44;2.16]), headache (OR 1.61 [1.34;1.94]), cough (OR 1.50 [1.24;1.83]), weakness (OR 1.46 [1.21;1.76]), and confusion (OR 1.39 [1.06;1.80]) were associated with test positivity. Re-presentation rate was 8% overall and 1.4% in COVID-19 related re-presentation (69 of 4774). The overruling rate of informal triage was 1.5%. According to our study, a low-threshold testing process in a TTC appeared to be safe (low re-presentation and low mortality) and is feasible (low overruling of informal triage). A COVID-19 diagnosis based on clinical parameters only does not appear possible.

20.
Journal of Clinical Medicine ; 9(10):3217, 2020.
Article | MDPI | ID: covidwho-833732

ABSTRACT

This prospective observational study evaluated the safety and feasibility of a low threshold testing process in a Triage and Test Center (TTC) during the early course of the coronavirus disease 19 (COVID-19) pandemic. In addition, we aimed to identify clinical predictors for a positive severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) swab result. Patients underwent informal triage, standardized history taking, and physician evaluation, only where indicated. Patients were observed for 30 days. Safety was the primary outcome and was defined as a COVID-19-related 30 day re-presentation rate <5% and mortality rate <1% in patients presenting to the TTC. Feasibility was defined as an overruling of informal triage <5%. Among 4815 presentations, 572 (11.9%) were tested positive for SARS-CoV-2, and 4774 were discharged. Mortality at 30-days was 0.04% (2 patients, one of which related to COVID-19). Fever (OR 2.03 [95% CI 1.70;2.42]), myalgia (OR 1.94 [1.63;2.31]), chills (OR 1.77 [1.44;2.16]), headache (OR 1.61 [1.34;1.94]), cough (OR 1.50 [1.24;1.83]), weakness (OR 1.46 [1.21;1.76]), and confusion (OR 1.39 [1.06;1.80]) were associated with test positivity. Re-presentation rate was 8% overall and 1.4% in COVID-19 related re-presentation (69 of 4774). The overruling rate of informal triage was 1.5%. According to our study, a low-threshold testing process in a TTC appeared to be safe (low re-presentation and low mortality) and is feasible (low overruling of informal triage). A COVID-19 diagnosis based on clinical parameters only does not appear possible.

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