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2.
Lancet Child Adolesc Health ; 6(4): 249-259, 2022 04.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1927002

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: In the 6 months following our estimates from March 1, 2020, to April 30, 2021, the proliferation of new coronavirus variants, updated mortality data, and disparities in vaccine access increased the amount of children experiencing COVID-19-associated orphanhood. To inform responses, we aimed to model the increases in numbers of children affected by COVID-19-associated orphanhood and caregiver death, as well as the cumulative orphanhood age-group distribution and circumstance (maternal or paternal orphanhood). METHODS: We used updated excess mortality and fertility data to model increases in minimum estimates of COVID-19-associated orphanhood and caregiver deaths from our original study period of March 1, 2020-April 30, 2021, to include the new period of May 1-Oct 31, 2021, for 21 countries. Orphanhood was defined as the death of one or both parents; primary caregiver loss included parental death or the death of one or both custodial grandparents; and secondary caregiver loss included co-residing grandparents or kin. We used logistic regression and further incorporated a fixed effect for western European countries into our previous model to avoid over-predicting caregiver loss in that region. For the entire 20-month period, we grouped children by age (0-4 years, 5-9 years, and 10-17 years) and maternal or paternal orphanhood, using fertility contributions, and we modelled global and regional extrapolations of numbers of orphans. 95% credible intervals (CrIs) are given for all estimates. FINDINGS: The number of children affected by COVID-19-associated orphanhood and caregiver death is estimated to have increased by 90·0% (95% CrI 89·7-90·4) from April 30 to Oct 31, 2021, from 2 737 300 (95% CrI 1 976 100-2 987 000) to 5 200 300 (3 619 400-5 731 400). Between March 1, 2020, and Oct 31, 2021, 491 300 (95% CrI 485 100-497 900) children aged 0-4 years, 736 800 (726 900-746 500) children aged 5-9 years, and 2 146 700 (2 120 900-2 174 200) children aged 10-17 years are estimated to have experienced COVID-19-associated orphanhood. Globally, 76·5% (95% CrI 76·3-76·7) of children were paternal orphans, whereas 23·5% (23·3-23·7) were maternal orphans. In each age group and region, the prevalence of paternal orphanhood exceeded that of maternal orphanhood. INTERPRETATION: Our findings show that numbers of children affected by COVID-19-associated orphanhood and caregiver death almost doubled in 6 months compared with the amount after the first 14 months of the pandemic. Over the entire 20-month period, 5·0 million COVID-19 deaths meant that 5·2 million children lost a parent or caregiver. Our data on children's ages and circumstances should support pandemic response planning for children globally. FUNDING: UK Research and Innovation (Global Challenges Research Fund, Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council, and Medical Research Council), Oak Foundation, UK National Institute for Health Research, US National Institutes of Health, and Imperial College London.


Subject(s)
COVID-19/mortality , Caregivers/supply & distribution , Child, Orphaned/statistics & numerical data , Adolescent , Adult , Child , Female , Humans , Male , Models, Statistical
3.
EuropePMC; 2022.
Preprint in English | EuropePMC | ID: ppcovidwho-337633

ABSTRACT

Covid-19 has caused more than 1 million deaths in the US, including at least 1,433 deaths among children and young people (CYP) aged 0-19 years. Deaths among US CYP are rare in general, and so we argue here that the mortality burden of Covid-19 in CYP is best understood in the context of all other causes of CYP death. Using publicly available data from the National Center for Health Statistics, and comparing to mortality in 2019, the immediate pre-pandemic period, we find that Covid-19 is a leading cause of death in CYP aged 0-19 years in the US, ranking #9 among all causes of deaths, #5 in disease related causes of deaths (excluding accidents, assault and suicide), and #1 in deaths caused by infectious / respiratory diseases. Due to the impact of mitigations such as social distancing and our comparison of a single disease (Covid-19) to groups of causes such as deaths from pneumonia and influenza, these rankings are likely conservative lower bounds. Our findings underscore the importance of continued vaccination campaigns for CYP over 5 years of age in the US and for effective Covid-19 vaccines for under 5 year olds.

4.
Nat Med ; 28(7): 1476-1485, 2022 07.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1830084

ABSTRACT

The severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) Gamma variant of concern has spread rapidly across Brazil since late 2020, causing substantial infection and death waves. Here we used individual-level patient records after hospitalization with suspected or confirmed coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) between 20 January 2020 and 26 July 2021 to document temporary, sweeping shocks in hospital fatality rates that followed the spread of Gamma across 14 state capitals, during which typically more than half of hospitalized patients aged 70 years and older died. We show that such extensive shocks in COVID-19 in-hospital fatality rates also existed before the detection of Gamma. Using a Bayesian fatality rate model, we found that the geographic and temporal fluctuations in Brazil's COVID-19 in-hospital fatality rates were primarily associated with geographic inequities and shortages in healthcare capacity. We estimate that approximately half of the COVID-19 deaths in hospitals in the 14 cities could have been avoided without pre-pandemic geographic inequities and without pandemic healthcare pressure. Our results suggest that investments in healthcare resources, healthcare optimization and pandemic preparedness are critical to minimize population-wide mortality and morbidity caused by highly transmissible and deadly pathogens such as SARS-CoV-2, especially in low- and middle-income countries.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Aged , Aged, 80 and over , Bayes Theorem , Brazil/epidemiology , COVID-19/epidemiology , Hospitals , Humans , SARS-CoV-2
5.
EuropePMC; 2021.
Preprint in English | EuropePMC | ID: ppcovidwho-317320

ABSTRACT

The COVID-19 pandemic has caused severe public health consequences in the United States. The United States began a vaccination campaign at the end of 2020 targeting primarily elderly residents before extending access to younger individuals. With both COVID-19 infection fatality ratios and vaccine uptake being heterogeneous across ages, an important consideration is whether the age contribution to deaths shifted over time towards younger age groups. In this study, we use a Bayesian non-parametric spatial approach to estimate the age-specific contribution to COVID-19 attributable deaths over time. The proposed spatial approach is a low-rank Gaussian Process projected by regularised B-splines. Simulation analyses and benchmark results show that the spatial approach performs better than a standard B-splines approach and equivalently well as a standard Gaussian Process, for considerably lower runtimes. We find that COVID-19 has been especially deadly in the United States. The mortality rates among individuals aged 85+ ranged from 1\% to 5\% across the US states. Since the beginning of the vaccination campaign, the number of weekly deaths reduced in every US state with a faster decrease among individuals aged 75+ than individuals aged 0-74. Simultaneously to this reduction, the contribution of individuals age 75+ to deaths decreased, with important disparities in the timing and rapidity of this decrease across the country.

6.
EuropePMC;
Preprint in English | EuropePMC | ID: ppcovidwho-326223

ABSTRACT

The COVID-19 pandemic has caused severe public health consequences in the United States. In this study, we use a hierarchical Bayesian model to estimate the age-specific COVID-19 attributable deaths over time in the United States. The model is specified by a novel non-parametric spatial approach, a low-rank Gaussian Process (GP) projected by regularised B-splines. We show that this projection defines a new GP with attractive smoothness and computational efficiency properties, derive its kernel function, and discuss the penalty terms induced by the projected GP. Simulation analyses and benchmark results show that the spatial approach performs better than standard B-splines and Bayesian P-splines and equivalently well as a standard GP, for considerably lower runtimes. The B-splines projected GP priors that we develop are likely an appealing addition to the arsenal of Bayesian regularising priors. We apply the model to weekly, age-stratified COVID-19 attributable deaths reported by the US Centers for Disease Control, which are subject to censoring and reporting biases. Using the B-splines projected GP, we can estimate longitudinal trends in COVID-19 associated deaths across the US by 1-year age bands. These estimates are instrumental to calculate age-specific mortality rates, describe variation in age-specific deaths across the US, and for fitting epidemic models. Here, we couple the model with age-specific vaccination rates to show that lower vaccination rates in younger adults aged 18-64 are associated with significantly stronger resurgences in COVID-19 deaths, especially in Florida and Texas. These results underscore the critical importance of medically able individuals of all ages to be vaccinated against COVID-19 in order to limit fatal outcomes.

7.
EuropePMC;
Preprint in English | EuropePMC | ID: ppcovidwho-326037

ABSTRACT

Background: Most COVID-19 deaths occur among adults, not children, and attention has focused on mitigating COVID-19 burden among adults. However, a tragic consequence of adult deaths is that high numbers of children might lose their parents and caregivers to COVID-19-associated deaths. Methods: We quantified COVID-19-associated caregiver loss and orphanhood in the US and for each state using fertility and excess and COVID-19 mortality data. We assessed burden and rates of COVID-19-associated orphanhood and deaths of custodial and co-residing grandparents, overall and by race/ethnicity. We further examined variations in COVID-19-associated orphanhood by race/ethnicity for each state. Results: We found that from April 1, 2020 through June 30, 2021, over 140,000 children in the US experienced the death of a parent or grandparent caregiver. The risk of such loss was 1.1 to 4.5 times higher among children of racial and ethnic minorities, compared to Non-Hispanic White children. The highest burden of COVID-19-associated death of parents and caregivers occurred in Southern border states for Hispanic children, Southeastern states for Black children, and in states with tribal areas for American Indian/Alaska Native populations. Conclusions: We found substantial disparities in distributions of COVID-19-associated death of parents and caregivers across racial and ethnic groups. Children losing caregivers to COVID-19 need care and safe, stable, and nurturing families with economic support, quality childcare and evidence-based parenting support programs. There is an urgent need to mount an evidence-based comprehensive response focused on those children at greatest risk, in the states most affected.

9.
Science ; 371(6536)2021 03 26.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1061088

ABSTRACT

After initial declines, in mid-2020 a resurgence in transmission of novel coronavirus disease (COVID-19) occurred in the United States and Europe. As efforts to control COVID-19 disease are reintensified, understanding the age demographics driving transmission and how these affect the loosening of interventions is crucial. We analyze aggregated, age-specific mobility trends from more than 10 million individuals in the United States and link these mechanistically to age-specific COVID-19 mortality data. We estimate that as of October 2020, individuals aged 20 to 49 are the only age groups sustaining resurgent SARS-CoV-2 transmission with reproduction numbers well above one and that at least 65 of 100 COVID-19 infections originate from individuals aged 20 to 49 in the United States. Targeting interventions-including transmission-blocking vaccines-to adults aged 20 to 49 is an important consideration in halting resurgent epidemics and preventing COVID-19-attributable deaths.


Subject(s)
COVID-19/epidemiology , COVID-19/transmission , Epidemics , Adolescent , Adult , Age Factors , Basic Reproduction Number , COVID-19/mortality , COVID-19/prevention & control , COVID-19 Vaccines , Cell Phone , Child , Child, Preschool , Communicable Disease Control , Epidemics/prevention & control , Humans , Infant , Middle Aged , Models, Theoretical , Pandemics/prevention & control , Schools , United States/epidemiology , Young Adult
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