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1.
Occup Environ Med ; 2022 Apr 21.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1807493

ABSTRACT

OBJECTIVES: Risk of SARS-CoV-2 infection varies across occupations; however, investigation into factors underlying differential risk is limited. We aimed to estimate the total effect of occupation on SARS-CoV-2 serological status, whether this is mediated by workplace close contact, and how exposure to poorly ventilated workplaces varied across occupations. METHODS: We used data from a subcohort (n=3775) of adults in the UK-based Virus Watch cohort study who were tested for SARS-CoV-2 anti-nucleocapsid antibodies (indicating natural infection). We used logistic decomposition to investigate the relationship between occupation, contact and seropositivity, and logistic regression to investigate exposure to poorly ventilated workplaces. RESULTS: Seropositivity was 17.1% among workers with daily close contact vs 10.0% for those with no work-related close contact. Compared with other professional occupations, healthcare, indoor trade/process/plant, leisure/personal service, and transport/mobile machine workers had elevated adjusted total odds of seropositivity (1.80 (1.03 to 3.14) - 2.46 (1.82 to 3.33)). Work-related contact accounted for a variable part of increased odds across occupations (1.04 (1.01 to 1.08) - 1.23 (1.09 to 1.40)). Occupations with raised odds of infection after accounting for work-related contact also had greater exposure to poorly ventilated workplaces. CONCLUSIONS: Work-related close contact appears to contribute to occupational variation in seropositivity. Reducing contact in workplaces is an important COVID-19 control measure.

2.
EuropePMC; 2022.
Preprint in English | EuropePMC | ID: ppcovidwho-332465

ABSTRACT

Background: Respiratory viruses, including SARS-CoV-2, can infect the eyes or pass into the nose via the nasolacrimal duct. The importance of transmission via the eyes is unknown but might plausibly be reduced in those who wear glasses. Previous studies have mainly focussed on protective eyewear in healthcare settings. Methods Participants from the Virus Watch prospective community cohort study in England and Wales responded to a questionnaire on the use of glasses and contact lenses. This included frequency of use, purpose, and likelihood of wearing a mask with glasses. Infection was confirmed through data linkage with Second Generation Surveillance System (Pillar 1 and Pillar 2), weekly questionnaires to self-report positive polymerase chain reaction or lateral flow results, and, for a subgroup, monthly capillary blood testing for antibodies (nucleocapsid and spike). A multivariable logistic regression model, controlling for age, sex, income and occupation, was used to identify odds of infection depending on the frequency and purpose of using glasses or contact lenses. Findings 19,166 Virus Watch participants responded to the questionnaire, with 13,681 (71.3%, CI 70.7-72.0) reporting they wore glasses. A multivariable logistic regression model showed a 15% lower odds of infection for those who reported using glasses always for general use (OR 0.85, 95% 0.77-0.95, p = 0.002) compared to those who never wore glasses. The protective effect was reduced in those who said that wearing glasses interfered with mask wearing. No protective effect was seen for contact lens wearers. Interpretation People who wear glasses have a moderate reduction in risk of COVID-19 infection highlighting the importance of the eye as a route of infection. Eye protection may make a valuable contribution to the reduction of transmission in community and healthcare settings.

3.
EuropePMC; 2022.
Preprint in English | EuropePMC | ID: ppcovidwho-330045

ABSTRACT

Background: Understanding symptomatology and accuracy of clinical case definitions for community COVID-19 cases is important for Test, Trace and Isolate (TTI) and future targeting of early antiviral treatment.   Methods: : Community cohort participants prospectively recorded daily symptoms and swab results (mainly undertaken through the UK TTI system).  We compared symptom frequency, severity, timing, and duration in test positive and negative illnesses.  We compared the test performance of the current UK TTI case definition (cough, high temperature, or loss of or altered sense of smell or taste) with a wider definition adding muscle aches, chills, headache, or loss of appetite.     Results: : Among 9706 swabbed illnesses, including 973 SARS-CoV-2 positives, symptoms were more common, severe and longer lasting in swab positive than negative illnesses.  Cough, headache, fatigue, and muscle aches were the most common symptoms in positive illnesses but also common in negative illnesses. Conversely, high temperature, loss or altered sense of smell or taste and loss of appetite were less frequent in positive illnesses, but comparatively even less frequent in negative illnesses.  The current UK definition had 81% sensitivity and 47% specificity versus 93% and 27% respectively for the broader definition. 1.7-fold more illnesses met the broader case definition than the current definition.  Conclusions: : Symptoms alone cannot reliably distinguish COVID-19 from other respiratory illnesses. Adding additional symptoms to case definitions could identify more infections, but with a large increase in the number needing testing and the number of unwell individuals and contacts self-isolating whilst awaiting results.

4.
EuropePMC;
Preprint in English | EuropePMC | ID: ppcovidwho-327509

ABSTRACT

The two most commonly-used SARS-CoV-2 vaccines in the UK, BNT162b2 (Pfizer-BioNTech) and ChAdOx1 nCoV-19 (Oxford-AstraZeneca), employ different immunogenic mechanisms. Compared to BNT162b2, two-dose immunisation with ChAdOx1 induces substantially lower peak anti-spike antibody (anti-S) levels and is associated with a higher risk of breakthrough infections. To provide preliminary indication of how a third booster BNT162b2 dose impacts anti-S levels, we performed a cross-sectional analysis using capillary blood samples from vaccinated adults (aged ≥18 years) participating in Virus Watch, a prospective community cohort study in England and Wales. Blood samples were analysed using Roche Elecsys Anti-SARS-CoV-2 S immunoassay. We analysed anti-S levels by week since the third dose for vaccines administered on or after September 1, 2021 and stratified the results by second dose vaccine type (ChAdOx1 or BNT162b2), age, sex and clinical vulnerability. Anti-S levels peaked at two weeks post-booster for BNT162b2 (22,185 U/mL;95%CI: 21,406-22,990) and ChAdOx1 second dose recipients (19,203 U/mL;95%CI: 18,094-20,377). These were higher than the corresponding peak antibody levels post-second dose for BNT162b2 (12,386 U/mL;95%CI: 9,801-15,653, week 2) and ChAdOx1 (1,192 U/mL;95%CI: 818-1735, week 3). No differences emerged by second dose vaccine type, age, sex or clinical vulnerability. Anti-S levels declined post-booster for BNT162b2 (half-life=44 days) and ChAdOx1 second dose recipients (half-life=40 days). These rates of decline were steeper than those post-second dose for BNT162b2 (half-life=54 days) and ChAdOx1 (half-life=80 days). Our findings suggest that peak anti-S levels are higher post-booster than post-second dose, but that levels are projected to be similar after six months for BNT162b2 recipients. Higher peak anti-S levels post-booster may partially explain the increased effectiveness of booster vaccination compared to two-dose vaccination against symptomatic infection with the Omicron variant. Faster waning trajectories post third-dose may have implications for the timing of future booster campaigns or four-dose vaccination regimens for the clinically vulnerable.

5.
EuropePMC;
Preprint in English | EuropePMC | ID: ppcovidwho-327441

ABSTRACT

Importance The Omicron (B.1.1.529) variant has increased SARs-CoV-2 infections in double vaccinated individuals globally, particularly in ChAdOx1 recipients. To tackle rising infections, the UK accelerated booster vaccination programmes used mRNA vaccines irrespective of an individual’s primary course vaccine type with booster doses rolled out according to clinical priority. There is limited understanding of the effectiveness of different primary vaccination courses on mRNA based booster vaccines against SARs-COV-2 infections and how time-varying confounders can impact the evaluations comparing different vaccines as primary courses for mRNA boosters. Objective To evaluate the comparative effectiveness of ChAdOx1 versus BNT162b2 as primary doses against SARs-CoV-2 in booster vaccine recipients whilst accounting for time-varying confounders. Design Trial emulation was used to reduce time-varying confounding-by-indication driven by prioritising booster vaccines based upon age, vulnerability and exposure status e.g. healthcare worker. Trial emulation was conducted by meta-analysing eight cohort results whose booster vaccinations were staggered between 16/09/2021 to 05/01/2022 and followed until 23/01/2022. Time from booster vaccination until SARS-CoV-2 infection, loss of follow-up or end-of-study was modelled using Cox proportional hazards models for each cohort and adjusted for age, sex, minority ethnic status, clinically vulnerability, and deprivation. Setting Prospective observational study using the Virus Watch community cohort in England and Wales. Participants People over the age of 18 years who had their booster vaccination between 16/09/2021 to 05/01/2022 without prior natural immunity. Exposures ChAdOx1 versus BNT162b2 as a primary dose, and an mRNA booster vaccine. Results Across eight cohorts, 19,692 mRNA vaccine boosted participants were analysed with 12,036 ChAdOx1 and 7,656 BNT162b2 primary courses with a median follow-up time of 73 days (IQR:54-90). Median age, clinical vulnerability status and infection rates fluctuate through time. 7.2% (n=864) of boosted adults with ChAdOx1 primary course experienced a SARS-CoV-2 infection compared to 7.6% (n=582) of those with BNT162b2 primary course during follow-up. The pooled adjusted hazard ratio was 0.99 [95%CI:0.88-1.11], demonstrating no difference between the incidence of SARs-CoV-2 infections based upon the primary vaccine course. Conclusion and Relevance In mRNA boosted individuals, we found no difference in protection comparing those with a primary course of BNT162b2 to those with aChAdOx1 primary course. This contrasts with pre-booster findings where previous research shows greater effectiveness of BNT162b2 than ChAdOx1 in preventing infection.

6.
EuropePMC;
Preprint in English | EuropePMC | ID: ppcovidwho-327349

ABSTRACT

Introduction: Seroprevalence studies can provide a measure of cumulative incidence of SARS-CoV-2 infection, but a better understanding of antibody dynamics following infection is needed to assess longevity of detectability. Infection is characterised by detection of spike (anti-S) and nucleocapsid (anti-N) antibodies, whereas vaccination only stimulates anti-S. Consequently, in the context of a highly vaccinated population, presence of anti-N can be used as a marker of previous infection but waning over time may limit its use. Methods: Adults aged 18 years and older, from households enrolled in the Virus Watch prospective community cohort study in England and Wales, provided monthly capillary blood samples which were tested for anti-S and anti-N. Participants self-reported vaccination dates and past medical history. Prior polymerase chain reaction (PCR) swabs were obtained through Second Generation Surveillance System (SGSS) linkage data. Primary outcome variables were seropositivity (antibodies at or above the manufacturer's cut-off for positivity) and total anti-N and anti-S levels after PCR confirmed infection. Outcomes were analysed by days since infection, self-reported demographic and clinical factors. Results: A total of 13,802 eligible individuals, median age 63, provided 58,770 capillary blood samples. 537 of these had a prior positive PCR confirmed SARS-CoV-2 infection 0-269 days before the antibody sample date. 432 out of the 537 (80.44%) were anti-N positive and detection remained stable through-out follow-up. Median anti-N levels peaked between days 90 and 119 post PCR results and then began to decline. Logistic regression models, both univariable and multivariable, only showed higher odds of positive anti-N result between 0-269 days for 35-49 year olds, compared to 18-34 year olds. There is evidence of anti-N waning from 120 days onwards, with earlier waning for females and younger age categories. Discussion: Approximately 4 in 5 participants with prior PCR-confirmed infection were anti-N positive, and this remained stable through follow-up for at least 269 days. However, median antibody levels began to decline from about 120 days post-infection. This suggests that anti-N have around 80% sensitivity for identifying previous COVID-19 infection and that this sensitivity is maintained through 269 days of follow up.

7.
EuropePMC;
Preprint in English | EuropePMC | ID: ppcovidwho-327279

ABSTRACT

Background: It is poorly understood which workers lack access to sick pay in England and Wales. This evidence gap has been of particular interest in the context of the Covid-19 epidemic given the relationship between presenteeism and infectious disease transmission. Method: This cross-sectional analysis is nested within a large community cohort study of Covid-19 epidemiology in England and Wales (Virus Watch). An online survey in February 2021 asked participants if they had access to paid sick leave. We use a fixed effect logistic regression model to examine sociodemographic factors associated with lacking access to sick pay. Results: 8,874 participants in work responded to the survey item about access to sick pay. Of those, 5,864 (66%) report having access to sick pay, 2,218 (25%) report no access to sick pay and 792 (8.9%) were unsure. Workers aged 45-64 (OR 1.72) and over 65 (OR 5.26) are more likely to lack access to sick pay compared to workers aged 25-44. South Asian workers (OR 1.40) and those from Other minority ethnic backgrounds (OR 2.93) are more likely to lack access to sick pay compared to White British workers. Workers in low income households (OR 1.43-2.53) and those with working class occupations (OR 2.04-5.29) are also more likely to lack access to sick pay compared to those in high income households and managerial occupations. Discussion: Unwarranted age and race inequalities in sick pay access are suggestive of labour market discrimination. Occupational differences are also cause for concern. Policymakers should consider expanding access to sick pay to mitigate transmission of Covid-19 and other endemic infectious disease epidemics in the community.

8.
EuropePMC; 2021.
Preprint in English | EuropePMC | ID: ppcovidwho-306539

ABSTRACT

We aimed to assess the relative importance of different settings for SARS-CoV-2 transmission in a large community cohort based on perceived location of infection for self-reported confirmed SARS-COV-2 cases. We demonstrate the importance of home, work and education as perceived venues for transmission. In children, education was most important and in older adults essential shopping was of high importance.  Our findings support public health messaging about infection control at home, advice on working from home and restrictions in different venues.

9.
EuropePMC; 2021.
Preprint in English | EuropePMC | ID: ppcovidwho-296511

ABSTRACT

Background: Household overcrowding is associated with increased risk of infectious diseases across contexts and countries. Limited data exist linking household overcrowding and risk of COVID-19. We used data collected from the Virus Watch cohort to examine the association between overcrowded households and SARS-CoV-2. Methods: The Virus Watch study is a household community cohort of acute respiratory infections in England and Wales. We calculated overcrowding using the measure of persons per room for each household. We considered two primary outcomes: PCR-confirmed positive SARS-CoV-2 antigen tests and laboratory-confirmed SARS-CoV-2 antibodies. We used mixed-effects logistic regression models that accounted for household structure to estimate the association between household overcrowding and SARS-CoV-2 infection. Results: 26,367 participants were included in our analyses. The proportion of participants with a positive SARS-CoV-2 PCR result was highest in the overcrowded group (9.0%;99/1,100) and lowest in the under-occupied group (4.2%;980/23,196). In a mixed-effects logistic regression model, we found strong evidence of an increased odds of a positive PCR SARS-CoV-2 antigen result (odds ratio 2.45;95% CI:1.43–4.19;p-value=0.001) and increased odds of a positive SARS-CoV-2 antibody result in individuals living in overcrowded houses (3.32;95% CI:1.54–7.15;p-value<0.001) compared with people living in under-occupied houses. Conclusion: Public health interventions to prevent and stop the spread of SARS-CoV-2 should consider the risk of infection for people living in overcrowded households and pay greater attention to reducing household transmission.

10.
2021.
Preprint in English | Other preprints | ID: ppcovidwho-296012

ABSTRACT

Background Vaccination constitutes the best long-term solution against Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19). Real-world immunogenicity data are sparse, particularly for ChAdOx1 and in populations with chronic conditions;and given the UK’s extended dosing interval, it is also important to understand antibody responses in SARS-CoV-2-naive individuals following a single dose. Methods Adults aged ≥18 years from households enrolled in Virus Watch, a prospective community cohort study in England and Wales, provided capillary blood samples and self-reported vaccination status. Primary outcome variables were quantitative Spike total antibody levels (U/ml) and seropositivity to Spike (≥0.8 U/ml), as per Roche’s Elecsys Anti-SARS-CoV-2 S assay. Samples seropositive for Nucleocapsid, and samples taken prior to vaccination, were excluded. Outcomes were analysed by days since vaccination, vaccine type (BNT162b2 and ChAdOx1), and a range of self-reported demographic and clinical factors. Results 8,837 vaccinated participants (median age 65 years [IQR: 58, 71]), contributed 17,160 samples (10,508 following ChAdOx1, 6,547 following BNT162b2). Seropositivity to Spike was 96.79% (95% CI 96.42, 97.12) from 28 days following a single dose, reaching 99.34% (98.91, 99.60) from 14 days after a second dose. Seropositivity rates, and Spike-antibody levels rose more quickly following the first dose of BNT162b2, however, were equivalent for both vaccines by 4 and 8 weeks, respectively. There was evidence for lower S-antibody levels with increasing age (p=0.0001). In partially vaccinated 65-79 year-olds, lower S-antibody levels were observed in men compared with women (26.50 vs 44.01 U/ml, p<0.0001), those with any chronic condition (33.8 vs 43.83 U/ml, p<0.0001), diabetes (22.46 vs 36.90 U/ml, p<0.0001), cardiovascular disease (32.9 vs 37.9 U/ml, p=0.0002), obesity (27.2 vs 37.42, p<0.0001), cancer diagnosis (31.39 vs 36.50 U/ml, p=0.0001), particularly those with haematological cancers (7.94 vs 32.50 U/ml, p<0.0001), and for those currently on statin therapy (30.03 vs 39.39, p<0.0001), or on any immunosuppressive therapy (28.7 vs 36.78 U/ml, p<0.0001), particularly those on oral steroids (16.8 vs 36.07, p<0.0001). Following a second dose, high S-antibody titres (≥250U/ml) were observed across all groups. Interpretation A single dose of either BNT162b2 or ChAdOx1 leads to high Spike seropositivity rates in SARS-CoV-2-naive individuals. Observed disparities in antibody levels by vaccine type, age, and comorbidities highlight the importance of ongoing non-pharmaceutical preventative measures for partially vaccinated adults, particularly those who are older and more clinically vulnerable;and high antibody levels across all groups following a second dose demonstrate the importance of complete vaccination. However, the relationship between Spike-antibody levels and protection against COVID-19, and thus the clinical significance of observed disparities, is not yet clear.

11.
J Epidemiol Community Health ; 76(4): 319-326, 2022 04.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1467721

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: Differential exposure to public activities may contribute to stark deprivation-related inequalities in SARS-CoV-2 infection and outcomes but has not been directly investigated. We set out to investigate whether participants in Virus Watch-a large community cohort study based in England and Wales-reported differential exposure to public activities and non-household contacts during the autumn-winter phase of the COVID-19 pandemic according to postcode-level socioeconomic deprivation. METHODS: Participants (n=20 120-25 228 across surveys) reported their daily activities during 3 weekly periods in late November 2020, late December 2020 and mid-February 2021. Deprivation was quantified based on participants' residential postcode using English or Welsh Index of Multiple Deprivation quintiles. We used Poisson mixed-effect models with robust standard errors to estimate the relationship between deprivation and risk of exposure to public activities during each survey period. RESULTS: Relative to participants in the least deprived areas, participants in the most deprived areas exhibited elevated risk of exposure to vehicle sharing (adjusted risk ratio (aRR) range across time points: 1.73-8.52), public transport (aRR: 3.13-5.73), work or education outside of the household (aRR: 1.09-1.21), essential shops (aRR: 1.09-1.13) and non-household contacts (aRR: 1.15-1.19) across multiple survey periods. CONCLUSION: Differential exposure to essential public activities-such as attending workplaces and visiting essential shops-is likely to contribute to inequalities in infection risk and outcomes. Public health interventions to reduce exposure during essential activities and financial and practical support to enable low-paid workers to stay at home during periods of intense transmission may reduce COVID-related inequalities.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , COVID-19/epidemiology , Cohort Studies , England/epidemiology , Health Status Disparities , Humans , Pandemics , SARS-CoV-2 , Wales/epidemiology
12.
Vaccine ; 39(48): 7108-7116, 2021 11 26.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1458555

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: Vaccination intention is key to the success of any vaccination programme, alongside vaccine availability and access. Public intention to take a COVID-19 vaccine is high in England and Wales compared to other countries, but vaccination rate disparities between ethnic, social and age groups has led to concern. METHODS: Online survey of prospective household community cohort study participants across England and Wales (Virus Watch). Vaccination intention was measured by individual participant responses to 'Would you accept a COVID-19 vaccine if offered?', collected in December 2020 and February 2021. Responses to a 13-item questionnaire collected in January 2021 were analysed using factor analysis to investigate psychological influences on vaccination intention. RESULTS: Survey response rate was 56% (20,785/36,998) in December 2020 and 53% (20,590/38,727) in February 2021, with 14,880 adults reporting across both time points. In December 2020, 1,469 (10%) participants responded 'No' or 'Unsure'. Of these people, 1,266 (86%) changed their mind and responded 'Yes' or 'Already had a COVID-19 vaccine' by February 2021. Vaccination intention increased across all ethnic groups and levels of social deprivation. Age was most strongly associated with vaccination intention, with 16-24-year-olds more likely to respond "Unsure" or "No" versus "Yes" than 65-74-year-olds in December 2020 (OR: 4.63, 95 %CI: 3.42, 6.27 & OR 7.17 95 %CI: 4.26, 12.07 respectively) and February 2021 (OR: 27.92 95 %CI: 13.79, 56.51 & OR 17.16 95 %CI: 4.12, 71.55). The association between ethnicity and vaccination intention weakened, but did not disappear, over time. Both vaccine- and illness-related psychological factors were shown to influence vaccination intention. CONCLUSIONS: Four in five adults (86%) who were reluctant or intending to refuse a COVID-19 vaccine in December 2020 had changed their mind in February 2021 and planned to accept, or had already accepted, a vaccine.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 Vaccines , COVID-19 , Adult , Cohort Studies , England , Humans , Intention , Prospective Studies , SARS-CoV-2 , Vaccination , Wales/epidemiology
13.
BJPsych Bull ; 45(4): 230-234, 2021 Aug.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1329122

ABSTRACT

Climate change is already having unequal effects on the mental health of individuals and communities and will increasingly compound pre-existing mental health inequalities globally. Psychiatrists have a vital part to play in improving both awareness and scientific understanding of structural mechanisms that perpetuate these inequalities, and in responding to global calls for action to promote climate justice and resilience, which are central foundations for good mental and physical health.

15.
Lancet Respir Med ; 8(12): 1181-1191, 2020 12.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-786438

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: People experiencing homelessness are vulnerable to COVID-19 due to the risk of transmission in shared accommodation and the high prevalence of comorbidities. In England, as in some other countries, preventive policies have been implemented to protect this population. We aimed to estimate the avoided deaths and health-care use among people experiencing homelessness during the so-called first wave of COVID-19 in England-ie, the peak of infections occurring between February and May, 2020-and the potential impact of COVID-19 on this population in the future. METHODS: We used a discrete-time Markov chain model of severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) infection that included compartments for susceptible, exposed, infectious, and removed individuals, to explore the impact of the pandemic on 46 565 individuals experiencing homelessness: 35 817 living in 1065 hostels for homeless people, 3616 sleeping in 143 night shelters, and 7132 sleeping outside. We ran the model under scenarios varying the incidence of infection in the general population and the availability of prevention measures: specialist hotel accommodation, infection control in homeless settings, and mixing with the general population. We divided our scenarios into first wave scenarios (covering Feb 1-May 31, 2020) and future scenarios (covering June 1, 2020-Jan 31, 2021). For each scenario, we ran the model 200 times and reported the median and 95% prediction interval (2·5% and 97·5% quantiles) of the total number of cases, the number of deaths, the number hospital admissions, and the number of intensive care unit (ICU) admissions. FINDINGS: Up to May 31, 2020, we calibrated the model to 4% of the homeless population acquiring SARS-CoV-2, and estimated that 24 deaths (95% prediction interval 16-34) occurred. In this first wave of SARS-CoV-2 infections in England, we estimated that the preventive measures imposed might have avoided 21 092 infections (19 777-22 147), 266 deaths (226-301), 1164 hospital admissions (1079-1254), and 338 ICU admissions (305-374) among the homeless population. If preventive measures are continued, we projected a small number of additional cases between June 1, 2020, and Jan 31, 2021, with 1754 infections (1543-1960), 31 deaths (21-45), 122 hospital admissions (100-148), and 35 ICU admissions (23-47) with a second wave in the general population. However, if preventive measures are lifted, outbreaks in homeless settings might lead to larger numbers of infections and deaths, even with low incidence in the general population. In a scenario with no second wave and relaxed measures in homeless settings in England, we projected 12 151 infections (10 718-13 349), 184 deaths (151-217), 733 hospital admissions (635-822), and 213 ICU admissions (178-251) between June 1, 2020, and Jan 31, 2021. INTERPRETATION: Outbreaks of SARS-CoV-2 in homeless settings can lead to a high attack rate among people experiencing homelessness, even if incidence remains low in the general population. Avoidance of deaths depends on prevention of transmission within settings such as hostels and night shelters. FUNDING: National Institute for Health Research, Wellcome, and Medical Research Council.


Subject(s)
COVID-19/mortality , Homeless Persons/statistics & numerical data , Adult , COVID-19/transmission , England/epidemiology , Female , Hospitalization/statistics & numerical data , Humans , Incidence , Male , Markov Chains , Middle Aged , Pandemics , SARS-CoV-2
16.
Lancet Digit Health ; 2(11): e607-e621, 2020 11.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-720783

ABSTRACT

Evidence for the use of automated or partly automated contact-tracing tools to contain severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 is scarce. We did a systematic review of automated or partly automated contact tracing. We searched PubMed, EMBASE, OVID Global Health, EBSCO Medical COVID Information Portal, Cochrane Library, medRxiv, bioRxiv, arXiv, and Google Advanced for articles relevant to COVID-19, severe acute respiratory syndrome, Middle East respiratory syndrome, influenza, or Ebola virus, published from Jan 1, 2000, to April 14, 2020. We also included studies identified through professional networks up to April 30, 2020. We reviewed all full-text manuscripts. Primary outcomes were the number or proportion of contacts (or subsequent cases) identified. Secondary outcomes were indicators of outbreak control, uptake, resource use, cost-effectiveness, and lessons learnt. This study is registered with PROSPERO (CRD42020179822). Of the 4036 studies identified, 110 full-text studies were reviewed and 15 studies were included in the final analysis and quality assessment. No empirical evidence of the effectiveness of automated contact tracing (regarding contacts identified or transmission reduction) was identified. Four of seven included modelling studies that suggested that controlling COVID-19 requires a high population uptake of automated contact-tracing apps (estimates from 56% to 95%), typically alongside other control measures. Studies of partly automated contact tracing generally reported more complete contact identification and follow-up compared with manual systems. Automated contact tracing could potentially reduce transmission with sufficient population uptake. However, concerns regarding privacy and equity should be considered. Well designed prospective studies are needed given gaps in evidence of effectiveness, and to investigate the integration and relative effects of manual and automated systems. Large-scale manual contact tracing is therefore still key in most contexts.


Subject(s)
Automation/methods , COVID-19/prevention & control , Contact Tracing/methods , COVID-19/epidemiology , COVID-19/transmission , Humans
17.
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