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1.
Aust N Z J Public Health ; 2022 Oct 03.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-2136554

ABSTRACT

OBJECTIVE: Western Sydney Local Health District (WSLHD) measured the utility and validity of rapid molecular point-of-care testing (POCT) in aged care facilities (ACFs) experiencing influenza-like illness (ILI) outbreaks against routine laboratory testing. METHODS: A descriptive epidemiological study into 82 respiratory outbreaks reported across 63 ACFs within WSLHD supporting approximately 6,500 residents aged ≥65 years and staffed by ∼6,500 employees, from 1 August 2018 to 31 December 2019. RESULTS: WSLHD Public Health Unit performed on-site testing at 27 ACF outbreaks (34%), while 53(66%) ACFs conducted only routine laboratory testing. The Xpert®Xpress Flu/RSV molecular PCR provided a sensitivity and specificity of 100%. Those with on-site testing, antiviral prophylaxis was prescribed at 75% of facilities within 24 hours of testing, as opposed to 32% of those using laboratory testing (p<0.01). There were 24 of 181 ACF residents hospitalised in the POCT group compared to 76 of 357 in the laboratory-only group (OR=0.57; p=0.02). CONCLUSIONS: On-site ACF testing is reliable and practical for early identification of influenza, enabling timely use of antiviral treatment and prophylaxis, and was associated with decreased hospitalisation. PUBLIC HEALTH IMPLICATIONS: Enhanced respiratory surveillance and on-site testing should be strongly considered as part of routine management of respiratory outbreaks in ACFs and may reduce outbreak severity.

3.
Bulletin of the World Health Organization ; 100(10):651-652, 2022.
Article in English | EuropePMC | ID: covidwho-2046083
4.
Trop Med Infect Dis ; 7(8)2022 Aug 13.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1987970

ABSTRACT

This study estimates the point prevalence of symptomatic respiratory tract infections (RTIs) among returned Hajj pilgrims and their contacts in 2021. Using the computer-assisted telephone interview (CATI) technique, domestic pilgrims were invited to participate in this cross-sectional survey two weeks after their home return from Hajj. Of 600 pilgrims approached, 79.3% agreed to participate and completed the survey. Syndromic definitions were used to clinically diagnose possible influenza-like illnesses (ILI) and COVID-19. Median with range was applied to summarise the continuous data, and frequencies and proportions were used to present the categorical variables. Simple logistic regression was carried out to assess the correlations of potential factors with the prevalence of RTIs. The majority of pilgrims (88.7%) reported receiving at least two doses of the COVID-19 vaccine before Hajj. Eleven (2.3%) pilgrims reported respiratory symptoms with the estimated prevalence of possible ILI being 0.2%, and of possible COVID-19 being 0.4%. Among those who were symptomatic, five (45.5%) reported that one or more of their close contacts had developed similar RTI symptoms after the pilgrims' home return. The prevalence of RTIs among pilgrims who returned home after attending the Hajj 2021 was lower compared with those reported in the pre-pandemic studies; however, the risk of spread of infection among contacts following Hajj is still a concern.

5.
PLoS One ; 17(6): e0268625, 2022.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1933282

ABSTRACT

Whether the vaccine adjuvant potential of acute exercise is uniform among different populations, e.g., inactive persons, is unknown. This meta-analysis examines influenza vaccine antibody responses and the effect of physical activity, acute exercise, and their interaction. Inclusion criteria comprised randomized controlled trials with acute exercise intervention and influenza vaccination antibody measurements at baseline and 4-6 weeks, and participant baseline physical activity measurement; there were no exclusion criteria. Searching via six databases (Medline, Embase, CINAHL, Scopus, Web of Science, and Physiotherapy Evidence) and two clinical registries (WHO and NIH), nine studies were identified and assessed with the Cochrane revised risk-of-bias tool. Data analysis comprised one-stage random-effects generalized linear mixed-effects models with random intercept. Seven of nine identified studies, all of high risk of bias, provided data for 550 included participants. Clinical measures of antibody response tended to be higher in the acute-exercised participants compared to rested controls and physically active compared to inactive. Physical activity significantly increased H1 strain seroconversion (adjusted odds ratio (aOR) 1.69, 95%CI: 1.02-2.82) among all participants and titer response (aOR 1.20, 95%CI: 1.03-1.39) among the acute exercise group. Increasing age frequently reduced immunogenic responses whereas body mass index and sex had little-to-no effect. Adjuvant effects were more pronounced with interventions exercising the same arm in which the vaccination was administered. H1 response was increased by both physical activity and the acute exercise-physical activity interaction. Given the observed modifications by age and the subset analysis suggesting the benefit is more pronounced in older populations, future attention is due for acute exercise-PA interactions to impact vaccination response in the at-risk population of older adults. Further, we identify localized exercise as the likely most-effective protocol and encourage its use to augment the available evidence.


Subject(s)
Influenza, Human , Aged , Data Analysis , Exercise , Humans , Influenza, Human/prevention & control , Sedentary Behavior , Vaccination
7.
BMC Infect Dis ; 22(1): 578, 2022 Jun 27.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1910277

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: The risk of transmission of viral respiratory tract infections (RTIs) is high in mass gatherings including Hajj. This cohort study estimated the incidence of symptomatic RTIs and hand hygiene compliance with its impact among Hajj pilgrims during the COVID-19 pandemic. METHODS: During the week of Hajj rituals in 2021, domestic pilgrims were recruited by phone and asked to complete a baseline questionnaire. Pilgrims were followed up after seven days using a questionnaire about the development of symptoms, and practices of hand hygiene. Syndromic definitions were used to clinically diagnose 'possible' influenza-like illnesses (ILI) and COVID-19 infection. RESULTS: A total of 510 pilgrims aged between 18 and 69 (median of 50) years completed the questionnaire, 280 (54.9%) of whom were female, and all of them (except for one) were vaccinated against COVID-19 with at least one dose. The mean (± SD) of pilgrims' hand hygiene knowledge score (on a scale of 0 to 6) was 4.15 (± 1.22), and a higher level of knowledge was correlated with a higher frequency of handwashing using soap and water. Among those 445 pilgrims who completed the follow-up form, 21 (4.7%) developed one or more respiratory symptoms, of which sore throat and cough were the commonest (respectively 76.2% and 42.8%); 'possible ILI' and 'possible COVID-19' were present in 1.1% and 0.9% of pilgrims. Obesity was found to be a significant factor associated with the risk of developing RTIs (odds ratio = 4.45, 95% confidence interval 1.15-17.13). CONCLUSIONS: Hajj pilgrims are still at risk of respiratory infections. Further larger and controlled investigations are needed to assess the efficacy of hand hygiene during Hajj.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Hand Hygiene , Respiratory Tract Infections , Virus Diseases , Adolescent , Adult , Aged , COVID-19/epidemiology , COVID-19/prevention & control , Cohort Studies , Female , Humans , Islam , Male , Middle Aged , Pandemics/prevention & control , Respiratory Tract Infections/epidemiology , Respiratory Tract Infections/prevention & control , Saudi Arabia/epidemiology , Sentinel Surveillance , Travel , Virus Diseases/epidemiology , Young Adult
8.
Hum Vaccin Immunother ; 18(4): 2018863, 2022 11 30.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1895717

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: High-density microarray patch (HD-MAP) vaccines may increase vaccine acceptance and use. We aimed to ascertain whether professional immunizers (PIs) and other healthcare workers (HCWs) in Australia, a High-Income Country (HIC), found the HD-MAP applicator usable and acceptable for vaccine delivery. METHODS: This feasibility study recruited PIs and HCWs to administer/receive simulated HD-MAP administration, including via self-administration. We assessed usability against essential and desirable criteria. Participants completed a survey, rating their agreement to statements about HD-MAP administration. A subset also participated in an interview or focus group. Survey data were analyzed using descriptive statistics, and interviews were transcribed and subject to thematic analysis. RESULTS: We recruited 61 participants: 23 PIs and 38 HCWs. Findings indicated high usability and acceptability of HD-MAP use across both groups by a healthcare professional or trained user and for self-administration with safety measures in place. Most administrations met essential criteria, but PIs, on average, applied the HD-MAP for slightly less time than the required 10-seconds, which the HCWs achieved. PIs perceived safety concerns about home administration but found layperson self-administration acceptable in an emergency, pandemic, and rural or remote settings. CONCLUSIONS: Participants found HD-MAP administration usable and acceptable. Usability and acceptability are likely to be improved through end-user education and training.


Professional immunizers and healthcare workers found high-density microarray patch devices highly usable and acceptable to administer vaccines.HD-MAPs may have advantages over intramuscular injections in clinical settings and in pandemics.Vaccination with HD-MAP may improve acceptance for those with needle-related anxiety.


Subject(s)
Vaccination , Vaccines , Australia , Feasibility Studies , Health Personnel , Humans
10.
Med J Aust ; 216(7): 347-348, 2022 04 18.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1742895

Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Humans , SARS-CoV-2
11.
J Infect ; 84(3): 361-382, 2022 Mar.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1587235

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: The role of children and young people (CYP) in transmission of SARS-CoV-2 in household and educational settings remains unclear. We undertook a systematic review and meta-analysis of contact-tracing and population-based studies at low risk of bias. METHODS: We searched 4 electronic databases on 28 July 2021 for contact-tracing studies and population-based studies informative about transmission of SARS-CoV-2 from 0 to 19 year olds in household or educational settings. We excluded studies at high risk of bias, including from under-ascertainment of asymptomatic infections. We undertook multilevel random effects meta-analyses of secondary attack rates (SAR: contact-tracing studies) and school infection prevalence, and used meta-regression to examine the impact of community SARS-CoV-2 incidence on school infection prevalence. FINDINGS: 4529 abstracts were reviewed, resulting in 37 included studies (16 contact-tracing; 19 population studies; 2 mixed studies). The pooled relative transmissibility of CYP compared with adults was 0.92 (0.68, 1.26) in adjusted household studies. The pooled SAR from CYP was lower (p = 0.002) in school studies 0.7% (0.2, 2.7) than household studies (7.6% (3.6, 15.9) . There was no difference in SAR from CYP to child or adult contacts. School population studies showed some evidence of clustering in classes within schools. School infection prevalence was associated with contemporary community 14-day incidence (OR 1.003 (1.001, 1.004), p<0.001). INTERPRETATION: We found no difference in transmission of SARS-CoV-2 from CYP compared with adults within household settings. SAR were markedly lower in school compared with household settings, suggesting that household transmission is more important than school transmission in this pandemic. School infection prevalence was associated with community infection incidence, supporting hypotheses that school infections broadly reflect community infections. These findings are important for guiding policy decisions on shielding, vaccination school and operations during the pandemic.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , SARS-CoV-2 , Adolescent , Adult , COVID-19/epidemiology , Child , Contact Tracing , Humans , Pandemics , Schools
12.
Commun Dis Intell (2018) ; 452021 Oct 28.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1498419

ABSTRACT

ABSTRACT: For 27 years, national prospective data on selected rare childhood diseases have been collected monthly by the Australian Paediatric Surveillance Unit (APSU) from paediatricians and other clinical specialists who report cases in children aged up to 16 years. We report here the annual results of APSU surveillance in 2020 for ten rare communicable diseases and complications of communicable diseases, namely: acute flaccid paralysis (AFP); congenital cytomegalovirus (CMV) infection; neonatal herpes simplex virus (HSV) infection; perinatal exposure to human immunodeficiency virus (HIV); paediatric HIV infection; severe complications of seasonal influenza; juvenile onset recurrent respiratory papillomatosis (JoRRP); congenital rubella syndrome; congenital varicella syndrome; and neonatal varicella infection. We describe the results for each disease in the context of the total period of study, including demographics, clinical characteristics, treatment and short-term outcomes. Despite challenges presented by the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic in 2020, more than 1,400 paediatricians reported regularly to the APSU and an overall monthly reporting rate of > 90% was achieved. The minimum AFP target of 1 case per 100,000 children aged less than 15 years was achieved and there were few cases of vaccine-preventable diseases (JoRRP, rubella, varicella). However, high cases of congenital CMV, neonatal HSV and perinatal exposure to HIV persist. There were no severe complications of seasonal influenza reported for the first time in 13 years. This is consistent with other surveillance data reporting a decline of influenza and other communicable diseases in 2020, and likely reflects the wider effects of public health measures to reduce transmission of SARS-CoV-2 in the Australian community.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , HIV Infections , Australia/epidemiology , Child , Female , Humans , Infant, Newborn , Pregnancy , Prospective Studies , SARS-CoV-2
13.
EClinicalMedicine ; 33: 100771, 2021 Mar.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1120907

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: COVID-19 outbreaks in aged care facilities (ACFs) often have devastating consequences. However, epidemiologically these outbreaks are not well defined. We aimed to define such outbreaks in ACFs by systematically reviewing literature published during the current COVID-19 pandemic. METHODS: We searched 11 bibliographic databases for literature published on COVID-19 in ACFs between December 2019 and September 2020. Original studies reporting extractable epidemiological data as part of outbreak investigations or non-outbreak surveillance of ACFs were included in this systematic review and meta-analysis. PROSPERO registration: CRD42020211424. FINDINGS: We identified 5,148 publications and selected 49 studies from four continents reporting data on 214,380 residents in 8,502 ACFs with 25,567 confirmed cases of COVID-19. Aged care residents form a distinct vulnerable population with single-facility attack rates of 45% [95% CI 32-58%] and case fatality rates of 23% [95% CI 18-28%]. Of the cases, 31% [95% CI 28-34%] were asymptomatic. The rate of hospitalization amongst residents was 37% [95% CI 35-39%]. Data from 21 outbreaks identified a resident as the index case in 58% of outbreaks and a staff member in 42%. Findings from the included studies were heterogeneous and of low to moderate quality in risk of bias assessment. INTERPRETATION: The clinical presentation of COVID-19 varies widely in ACFs residents, from asymptomatic to highly serious cases. Preventing the introduction of COVID-19 into ACFs is key, and both residents and staff are a priority group for COVID-19 vaccination. Rapid diagnosis, identification of primary and secondary cases and close contacts plus their isolation and quarantine are of paramount importance. FUNDING: Queensland Advancing Clinical Research Fellowship awarded to Prof. Gulam Khandaker by Queensland Health's Health Innovation, Investment and Research Office (HIRO), Office of the Director-General.

14.
BMJ ; 372: n188, 2021 02 22.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1096979

ABSTRACT

The proportion of the global population aged 65 and older is rapidly increasing. Infections in this age group, most recently with SARS-CoV-2, cause substantial morbidity and mortality. Major improvements have been made in vaccines for older people, either through the addition of novel adjuvants-as in the new recombinant zoster vaccine and an adjuvanted influenza vaccine-or by increasing antigen concentration, as in influenza vaccines. In this article we review improvements in immunization for the three most important vaccine preventable diseases of aging. The recombinant zoster vaccine has an efficacy of 90% that is minimally affected by the age of the person being vaccinated and persists for more than four years. Increasing antigen dose or inclusion of adjuvant has improved the immunogenicity of influenza vaccines in older adults, although the relative effectiveness of the enhanced influenza vaccines and the durability of the immune response are the focus of ongoing clinical trials. Conjugate and polysaccharide pneumococcal vaccines have similar efficacy against invasive pneumococcal disease and pneumococcal pneumonia caused by vaccine serotypes in older adults. Their relative value varies by setting, depending on the prevalence of vaccine serotypes, largely related to conjugate vaccine coverage in children. Improved efficacy will increase public confidence and uptake of these vaccines. Co-administration of these vaccines is feasible and important for maximal uptake in older people. Development of new vaccine platforms has accelerated following the arrival of SARS-CoV-2, and will likely result in new vaccines against other pathogens in the future.


Subject(s)
Herpes Zoster Vaccine/immunology , Influenza Vaccines/immunology , Pneumococcal Vaccines/immunology , Adjuvants, Immunologic/pharmacology , Age Factors , Aged , Aged, 80 and over , Animals , COVID-19 , Female , Humans , Immunosenescence/immunology , Male , Mice , Middle Aged , Randomized Controlled Trials as Topic , SARS-CoV-2
15.
Int J Environ Res Public Health ; 18(2)2021 01 14.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1067716

ABSTRACT

This study aimed to assess hand hygiene knowledge, perception, and practices of visitors to the Prophet's Mosque in Al Madinah City, Saudi Arabia. Using a self-administered electronic questionnaire, a cross-sectional survey was conducted among domestic residents, who visited the mosque between 31 July and 3 August 2020. Participants' demographic data, hand hygiene knowledge, perception, and practices were collected. Four hundred participants aged 18-65 (median 36) years completed the survey, of which 215 (53.8%) were female. The visitors' mean knowledge score about hand hygiene was 6.4 (± standard deviation (SD) 1.35) of total 12. Most participants (392, 98%) were aware of the role of hand hygiene in preventing Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19); nevertheless, 384 (96%) said hand hygiene lowers body immunity and 316 (79%) thought <60% alcohol is sufficient for hand disinfection. Males had a higher knowledge score than females (6.46 (±1.41) vs. 6.14 (±1.27), p = 0.02) and, visitors who had no formal education scored higher than those with post-graduate education (6.88 (±1.45) vs 5.73 (±1.12), p = 0.01). Washing hands with soap and water was the predominant method practiced after a meal (365, 91.7%), after toilet visit (354, 88.5%), after touching a surface (262, 65.7%), after waste disposal (332, 83.2%), and when hands were visibly dirty (357, 89.5%). Al Madinah visitors had moderate knowledge about hand hygiene, but demonstrated some knowledge gaps and negligence in practice that are crucial to curb the spread of COVID-19.


Subject(s)
COVID-19/prevention & control , Hand Hygiene , Health Knowledge, Attitudes, Practice , Pandemics , Adolescent , Adult , Aged , Cross-Sectional Studies , Female , Hand Disinfection , Humans , Male , Middle Aged , Saudi Arabia , Surveys and Questionnaires , Young Adult
16.
JAMA Pediatr ; 175(2): 143-156, 2021 02 01.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1064305

ABSTRACT

Importance: The degree to which children and adolescents are infected by and transmit severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) is unclear. The role of children and adolescents in transmission of SARS-CoV-2 is dependent on susceptibility, symptoms, viral load, social contact patterns, and behavior. Objective: To systematically review the susceptibility to and transmission of SARS-CoV-2 among children and adolescents compared with adults. Data Sources: PubMed and medRxiv were searched from database inception to July 28, 2020, and a total of 13 926 studies were identified, with additional studies identified through hand searching of cited references and professional contacts. Study Selection: Studies that provided data on the prevalence of SARS-CoV-2 in children and adolescents (younger than 20 years) compared with adults (20 years and older) derived from contact tracing or population screening were included. Single-household studies were excluded. Data Extraction and Synthesis: PRISMA guidelines for abstracting data were followed, which was performed independently by 2 reviewers. Quality was assessed using a critical appraisal checklist for prevalence studies. Random-effects meta-analysis was undertaken. Main Outcomes and Measures: Secondary infection rate (contact-tracing studies) or prevalence or seroprevalence (population screening studies) among children and adolescents compared with adults. Results: A total of 32 studies comprising 41 640 children and adolescents and 268 945 adults met inclusion criteria, including 18 contact-tracing studies and 14 population screening studies. The pooled odds ratio of being an infected contact in children compared with adults was 0.56 (95% CI, 0.37-0.85), with substantial heterogeneity (I2 = 94.6%). Three school-based contact-tracing studies found minimal transmission from child or teacher index cases. Findings from population screening studies were heterogenous and were not suitable for meta-analysis. Most studies were consistent with lower seroprevalence in children compared with adults, although seroprevalence in adolescents appeared similar to adults. Conclusions and Relevance: In this meta-analysis, there is preliminary evidence that children and adolescents have lower susceptibility to SARS-CoV-2, with an odds ratio of 0.56 for being an infected contact compared with adults. There is weak evidence that children and adolescents play a lesser role than adults in transmission of SARS-CoV-2 at a population level. This study provides no information on the infectivity of children.


Subject(s)
COVID-19/transmission , Disease Susceptibility/epidemiology , Disease Transmission, Infectious/statistics & numerical data , Adolescent , COVID-19/epidemiology , Child , Communicable Disease Control/organization & administration , Disease Transmission, Infectious/prevention & control , Female , Humans , Male , Risk Assessment , Seroepidemiologic Studies
17.
Trop Med Infect Dis ; 5(4)2020 Oct 16.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1024649

ABSTRACT

This study examined Hajj pilgrims' knowledge and reported practice of hand hygiene. In Hajj 2019, a cross-sectional survey was undertaken in Mina, Makkah, Saudi Arabia, of domestic Saudi pilgrims aged ≥18 years by using a self-administered Arabic questionnaire that captured data on pilgrims' socio-demographics, hand hygiene knowledge, and reported practices of hand cleaning following certain actions. A total of 348 respondents aged 18 to 63 (median 32) years completed the survey, of whom 200 (57.5%) were female. The mean (±standard deviation (SD)) hand hygiene knowledge score was 6.7 (±SD 1.9). Two hundred and seventy one (77.9%) and 286 (82.2%) of respondents correctly identified that hand hygiene can prevent respiratory and gastrointestinal infections respectively, but 146 (42%) were not aware that it prevents hand-foot-mouth disease. Eighty-eight (25.3%) respondents erroneously reported that hand hygiene prevents HIV. Washing hands with water and soap was the most preferred method practiced before a meal (67.5% (235/348)), after a meal (80.2% (279/348)), after toilet action (81.6% (284/348)), when hands were visibly soiled (86.2% (300/348)), and after waste disposal (61.5% (214/348)). Hajj pilgrims demonstrated a good knowledge and practice of hand hygiene, but there are gaps that are vital to control outbreaks such as COVID-19.

18.
Pediatr Infect Dis J ; 40(3): 191-198, 2021 03 01.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-889612

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: Severe complications of influenza in children are uncommon but may result in admission to hospital or an intensive care unit (ICU) and death. METHODS: Active prospective surveillance using the Australian Paediatric Surveillance Unit with monthly reporting by pediatricians of national demographic and clinical data on children with <15 years of age hospitalized with severe complications of laboratory-confirmed influenza during ten influenza seasons 2008-2017. RESULTS: Of 722 children notified, 613 had laboratory-confirmed influenza and at least one severe complication. Most (60%) were <5 years of age; 10% were <6 months, hence ineligible for vaccination. Almost half of all cases were admitted to ICU and 30 died. Most children were previously healthy: 40.3% had at least one underlying medical condition. Sixty-five different severe complications were reported; pneumonia was the most common, occurring in over half of all cases. Influenza A accounted for 68.6% hospitalizations; however, influenza B was more often associated with acute renal failure (P = 0.014), rhabdomyolysis (P = 0.019), myocarditis (P = 0.015), pericarditis (P = 0.013), and cardiomyopathy (P = 0.035). Children who died were more likely to be older (5-14 years), have underlying medical conditions, be admitted to ICU, and have encephalitis, acute renal failure, or myocarditis. Only 36.1% of all children reported received antiviral medications, and 8.5% were known to be vaccinated for seasonal influenza. CONCLUSIONS: Severe influenza complications cause morbidity and mortality in children, which may increase if coinfection with COVID-19 occurs in the 2020 season and beyond. Increased vaccination rates, even in healthy children, early diagnosis and timely antiviral treatment are needed to reduce severe complications and death.


Subject(s)
COVID-19/epidemiology , Influenza A virus/isolation & purification , Influenza B virus/isolation & purification , Influenza, Human/epidemiology , SARS-CoV-2/isolation & purification , Vaccination , Adolescent , Antiviral Agents/therapeutic use , Australia/epidemiology , COVID-19/complications , COVID-19/mortality , COVID-19/virology , Child , Child, Preschool , Coinfection , Epidemiological Monitoring , Female , Hospitalization , Humans , Infant , Influenza, Human/complications , Influenza, Human/mortality , Influenza, Human/virology , Intensive Care Units , Male , Prospective Studies , Seasons
19.
Tropical Medicine and Infectious Disease ; 5(4):160, 2020.
Article in English | MDPI | ID: covidwho-875348

ABSTRACT

This study examined Hajj pilgrims’knowledge and reported practice of hand hygiene. In Hajj 2019, a cross-sectional survey was undertaken in Mina, Makkah, Saudi Arabia, of domestic Saudi pilgrims aged ≥18 years by using a self-administered Arabic questionnaire that captured data on pilgrims’socio-demographics, hand hygiene knowledge, and reported practices of hand cleaning following certain actions. A total of 348 respondents aged 18 to 63 (median 32) years completed the survey, of whom 200 (57.5%) were female. The mean (±standard deviation (SD)) hand hygiene knowledge score was 6.7 (±SD 1.9). Two hundred and seventy one (77.9%) and 286 (82.2%) of respondents correctly identified that hand hygiene can prevent respiratory and gastrointestinal infections respectively, but 146 (42%) were not aware that it prevents hand-foot-mouth disease. Eighty-eight (25.3%) respondents erroneously reported that hand hygiene prevents HIV. Washing hands with water and soap was the most preferred method practiced before a meal (67.5% (235/348)), after a meal (80.2% (279/348)), after toilet action (81.6% (284/348)), when hands were visibly soiled (86.2% (300/348)), and after waste disposal (61.5% (214/348)). Hajj pilgrims demonstrated a good knowledge and practice of hand hygiene, but there are gaps that are vital to control outbreaks such as COVID-19.

20.
PLoS One ; 15(10): e0240287, 2020.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-864256

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: In this large-scale cluster-randomized controlled trial (cRCT) we sought to assess the effectiveness of facemasks against viral respiratory infections. METHODS AND RESULTS: Over three consecutive Hajj seasons (2013, 2014, 2015) pilgrims' tents in Makkah were allocated to 'facemask' or 'no facemask' group. Fifty facemasks were offered to participants in intervention tents, to be worn over four days, and none were offered to participants in control tents. All participants recorded facemask use and respiratory symptoms in health diaries. Nasal swabs were collected from the symptomatic for virus detection by reverse transcription polymerase chain reaction. Clinical symptoms and laboratory results were analyzed by 'intention- to-treat' and 'per-protocol'. A total of 7687 adult participants from 318 tents were randomized: 3864 from 149 tents to the intervention group, and 3823 from 169 tents to the control group. Participants were aged 18 to 95 (median 34, mean 37) years, with a male to female ratio of 1:1.2. Overall, respiratory viruses were detected in 277 of 650 (43%) nasal/pharyngeal swabs collected from symptomatic pilgrims. Common viruses were rhinovirus (35.1%), influenza (4.5%) and parainfluenza (1.7%). In the intervention arm, respectively 954 (24.7%) and 1842 (47.7%) participants used facemasks daily and intermittently, while in the control arm, respectively 546 (14.3%) and 1334 (34.9%) used facemasks daily and intermittently. By intention-to-treat analysis, facemask use did not seem to be effective against laboratory-confirmed viral respiratory infections (odds ratio [OR], 1.4; 95% confidence interval [CI], 0.9 to 2.1, p = 0.18) nor against clinical respiratory infection (OR, 1.1; 95% CI, 0.9 to 1.4, p = 0.40). Similarly, in a per-protocol analysis, facemask use did not seem to be effective against laboratory-confirmed viral respiratory infections (OR 1.2, 95% CI 0.9-1.7, p = 0.26) nor against clinical respiratory infection (OR 1.3, 95% CI 1.0-1.8, p = 0.06). CONCLUSION: This trial was unable to provide conclusive evidence on facemask efficacy against viral respiratory infections most likely due to poor adherence to protocol.


Subject(s)
Masks , Respiratory Tract Infections/epidemiology , Respiratory Tract Infections/prevention & control , Adolescent , Adult , Aged , Aged, 80 and over , Confidence Intervals , Female , Humans , Male , Middle Aged , Odds Ratio , Saudi Arabia/epidemiology , Young Adult
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