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1.
JAMA ; 2022 Jun 07.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1877529
2.
J Gen Intern Med ; 37(7): 1786-1788, 2022 May.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1681686

Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Humans , SARS-CoV-2
3.
MMWR Morb Mortal Wkly Rep ; 70(7): 254-257, 2021 Feb 19.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1389863

ABSTRACT

Universal masking is one of the prevention strategies recommended by CDC to slow the spread of SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) (1). As of February 1, 2021, 38 states and the District of Columbia had universal masking mandates. Mask wearing has also been mandated by executive order for federal property* as well as on domestic and international transportation conveyances.† Masks substantially reduce exhaled respiratory droplets and aerosols from infected wearers and reduce exposure of uninfected wearers to these particles. Cloth masks§ and medical procedure masks¶ fit more loosely than do respirators (e.g., N95 facepieces). The effectiveness of cloth and medical procedure masks can be improved by ensuring that they are well fitted to the contours of the face to prevent leakage of air around the masks' edges. During January 2021, CDC conducted experimental simulations using pliable elastomeric source and receiver headforms to assess the extent to which two modifications to medical procedure masks, 1) wearing a cloth mask over a medical procedure mask (double masking) and 2) knotting the ear loops of a medical procedure mask where they attach to the mask's edges and then tucking in and flattening the extra material close to the face (knotted and tucked masks), could improve the fit of these masks and reduce the receiver's exposure to an aerosol of simulated respiratory droplet particles of the size considered most important for transmitting SARS-CoV-2. The receiver's exposure was maximally reduced (>95%) when the source and receiver were fitted with modified medical procedure masks. These laboratory-based experiments highlight the importance of good fit to optimize mask performance. Until vaccine-induced population immunity is achieved, universal masking is a highly effective means to slow the spread of SARS-CoV-2** when combined with other protective measures, such as physical distancing, avoiding crowds and poorly ventilated indoor spaces, and good hand hygiene. Innovative efforts to improve the fit of cloth and medical procedure masks to enhance their performance merit attention.


Subject(s)
COVID-19/prevention & control , Masks/standards , COVID-19/epidemiology , COVID-19/transmission , Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, U.S. , Humans , Masks/statistics & numerical data , United States/epidemiology
4.
MMWR Morb Mortal Wkly Rep ; 69(49): 1860-1867, 2020 Dec 11.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1389860

ABSTRACT

In the 10 months since the first confirmed case of coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) was reported in the United States on January 20, 2020 (1), approximately 13.8 million cases and 272,525 deaths have been reported in the United States. On October 30, the number of new cases reported in the United States in a single day exceeded 100,000 for the first time, and by December 2 had reached a daily high of 196,227.* With colder weather, more time spent indoors, the ongoing U.S. holiday season, and silent spread of disease, with approximately 50% of transmission from asymptomatic persons (2), the United States has entered a phase of high-level transmission where a multipronged approach to implementing all evidence-based public health strategies at both the individual and community levels is essential. This summary guidance highlights critical evidence-based CDC recommendations and sustainable strategies to reduce COVID-19 transmission. These strategies include 1) universal face mask use, 2) maintaining physical distance from other persons and limiting in-person contacts, 3) avoiding nonessential indoor spaces and crowded outdoor spaces, 4) increasing testing to rapidly identify and isolate infected persons, 5) promptly identifying, quarantining, and testing close contacts of persons with known COVID-19, 6) safeguarding persons most at risk for severe illness or death from infection with SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes COVID-19, 7) protecting essential workers with provision of adequate personal protective equipment and safe work practices, 8) postponing travel, 9) increasing room air ventilation and enhancing hand hygiene and environmental disinfection, and 10) achieving widespread availability and high community coverage with effective COVID-19 vaccines. In combination, these strategies can reduce SARS-CoV-2 transmission, long-term sequelae or disability, and death, and mitigate the pandemic's economic impact. Consistent implementation of these strategies improves health equity, preserves health care capacity, maintains the function of essential businesses, and supports the availability of in-person instruction for kindergarten through grade 12 schools and preschool. Individual persons, households, and communities should take these actions now to reduce SARS-CoV-2 transmission from its current high level. These actions will provide a bridge to a future with wide availability and high community coverage of effective vaccines, when safe return to more everyday activities in a range of settings will be possible.


Subject(s)
COVID-19/prevention & control , Guidelines as Topic , Public Health Practice , COVID-19/mortality , COVID-19/transmission , Community-Acquired Infections/mortality , Community-Acquired Infections/prevention & control , Community-Acquired Infections/transmission , Humans , United States/epidemiology
5.
MMWR Morb Mortal Wkly Rep ; 70(30): 1044-1047, 2021 Jul 27.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1332446

ABSTRACT

COVID-19 vaccination remains the most effective means to achieve control of the pandemic. In the United States, COVID-19 cases and deaths have markedly declined since their peak in early January 2021, due in part to increased vaccination coverage (1). However, during June 19-July 23, 2021, COVID-19 cases increased approximately 300% nationally, followed by increases in hospitalizations and deaths, driven by the highly transmissible B.1.617.2 (Delta) variant* of SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes COVID-19. Available data indicate that the vaccines authorized in the United States (Pfizer-BioNTech, Moderna, and Janssen [Johnson & Johnson]) offer high levels of protection against severe illness and death from infection with the Delta variant and other currently circulating variants of the virus (2). Despite widespread availability, vaccine uptake has slowed nationally with wide variation in coverage by state (range = 33.9%-67.2%) and by county (range = 8.8%-89.0%).† Unvaccinated persons, as well as persons with certain immunocompromising conditions (3), remain at substantial risk for infection, severe illness, and death, especially in areas where the level of SARS-CoV-2 community transmission is high. The Delta variant is more than two times as transmissible as the original strains circulating at the start of the pandemic and is causing large, rapid increases in infections, which could compromise the capacity of some local and regional health care systems to provide medical care for the communities they serve. Until vaccination coverage is high and community transmission is low, public health practitioners, as well as schools, businesses, and institutions (organizations) need to regularly assess the need for prevention strategies to avoid stressing health care capacity and imperiling adequate care for both COVID-19 and other non-COVID-19 conditions. CDC recommends five critical factors be considered to inform local decision-making: 1) level of SARS-CoV-2 community transmission; 2) health system capacity; 3) COVID-19 vaccination coverage; 4) capacity for early detection of increases in COVID-19 cases; and 5) populations at increased risk for severe outcomes from COVID-19. Among strategies to prevent COVID-19, CDC recommends all unvaccinated persons wear masks in public indoor settings. Based on emerging evidence on the Delta variant (2), CDC also recommends that fully vaccinated persons wear masks in public indoor settings in areas of substantial or high transmission. Fully vaccinated persons might consider wearing a mask in public indoor settings, regardless of transmission level, if they or someone in their household is immunocompromised or is at increased risk for severe disease, or if someone in their household is unvaccinated (including children aged <12 years who are currently ineligible for vaccination).


Subject(s)
COVID-19 Vaccines/administration & dosage , COVID-19/prevention & control , Community-Acquired Infections/epidemiology , Community-Acquired Infections/transmission , Vaccination Coverage/statistics & numerical data , COVID-19/epidemiology , COVID-19/transmission , Humans , United States/epidemiology
6.
MMWR Morb Mortal Wkly Rep ; 70(27): 972-976, 2021 Jul 09.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1302821

ABSTRACT

SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes COVID-19, can be spread by exposure to droplets and aerosols of respiratory fluids that are released by infected persons when they cough, sing, talk, or exhale. To reduce indoor transmission of SARS-CoV-2 between persons, CDC recommends measures including physical distancing, universal masking (the use of face masks in public places by everyone who is not fully vaccinated), and increased room ventilation (1). Ventilation systems can be supplemented with portable high efficiency particulate air (HEPA) cleaners* to reduce the number of infectious particles in the air and provide enhanced protection from transmission between persons (2); two recent reports found that HEPA air cleaners in classrooms could reduce overall aerosol particle concentrations by ≥80% within 30 minutes (3,4). To investigate the effectiveness of portable HEPA air cleaners and universal masking at reducing exposure to exhaled aerosol particles, the investigation team used respiratory simulators to mimic a person with COVID-19 and other, uninfected persons in a conference room. The addition of two HEPA air cleaners that met the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA)-recommended clean air delivery rate (CADR) (5) reduced overall exposure to simulated exhaled aerosol particles by up to 65% without universal masking. Without the HEPA air cleaners, universal masking reduced the combined mean aerosol concentration by 72%. The combination of the two HEPA air cleaners and universal masking reduced overall exposure by up to 90%. The HEPA air cleaners were most effective when they were close to the aerosol source. These findings suggest that portable HEPA air cleaners can reduce exposure to SARS-CoV-2 aerosols in indoor environments, with greater reductions in exposure occurring when used in combination with universal masking.


Subject(s)
Air Conditioning/instrumentation , Air Filters , Air Pollution, Indoor/prevention & control , Masks , SARS-CoV-2 , Aerosols , Equipment Design , Humans , United States
10.
Clin Infect Dis ; 72(3): 403-410, 2021 02 01.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1059461

ABSTRACT

Among 146 nasopharyngeal (NP) and oropharyngeal (OP) swab pairs collected ≤7 days after illness onset, Real-Time Reverse Transcriptase Polymerase Chain Reaction assay for severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2 RT-PCR) diagnostic results were 95.2% concordant. However, NP swab cycle threshold values were lower (indicating more virus) in 66.7% of concordant-positive pairs, suggesting NP swabs may more accurately detect the amount of SARS-CoV-2.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Clinical Laboratory Techniques , Diagnostic Tests, Routine , Humans , Nasopharynx , Real-Time Polymerase Chain Reaction , SARS-CoV-2 , United States
11.
MMWR Morb Mortal Wkly Rep ; 70(3): 95-99, 2021 Jan 22.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1040194

ABSTRACT

On December 14, 2020, the United Kingdom reported a SARS-CoV-2 variant of concern (VOC), lineage B.1.1.7, also referred to as VOC 202012/01 or 20I/501Y.V1.* The B.1.1.7 variant is estimated to have emerged in September 2020 and has quickly become the dominant circulating SARS-CoV-2 variant in England (1). B.1.1.7 has been detected in over 30 countries, including the United States. As of January 13, 2021, approximately 76 cases of B.1.1.7 have been detected in 12 U.S. states.† Multiple lines of evidence indicate that B.1.1.7 is more efficiently transmitted than are other SARS-CoV-2 variants (1-3). The modeled trajectory of this variant in the U.S. exhibits rapid growth in early 2021, becoming the predominant variant in March. Increased SARS-CoV-2 transmission might threaten strained health care resources, require extended and more rigorous implementation of public health strategies (4), and increase the percentage of population immunity required for pandemic control. Taking measures to reduce transmission now can lessen the potential impact of B.1.1.7 and allow critical time to increase vaccination coverage. Collectively, enhanced genomic surveillance combined with continued compliance with effective public health measures, including vaccination, physical distancing, use of masks, hand hygiene, and isolation and quarantine, will be essential to limiting the spread of SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19). Strategic testing of persons without symptoms but at higher risk of infection, such as those exposed to SARS-CoV-2 or who have frequent unavoidable contact with the public, provides another opportunity to limit ongoing spread.


Subject(s)
COVID-19/epidemiology , COVID-19/virology , SARS-CoV-2/genetics , COVID-19/transmission , Genome, Viral , Humans , Mutation , United States/epidemiology
12.
JAMA Netw Open ; 4(1): e2035057, 2021 01 04.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1012156

ABSTRACT

Importance: Severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2), the etiology of coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19), is readily transmitted person to person. Optimal control of COVID-19 depends on directing resources and health messaging to mitigation efforts that are most likely to prevent transmission, but the relative importance of such measures has been disputed. Objective: To assess the proportion of SARS-CoV-2 transmissions in the community that likely occur from persons without symptoms. Design, Setting, and Participants: This decision analytical model assessed the relative amount of transmission from presymptomatic, never symptomatic, and symptomatic individuals across a range of scenarios in which the proportion of transmission from people who never develop symptoms (ie, remain asymptomatic) and the infectious period were varied according to published best estimates. For all estimates, data from a meta-analysis was used to set the incubation period at a median of 5 days. The infectious period duration was maintained at 10 days, and peak infectiousness was varied between 3 and 7 days (-2 and +2 days relative to the median incubation period). The overall proportion of SARS-CoV-2 was varied between 0% and 70% to assess a wide range of possible proportions. Main Outcomes and Measures: Level of transmission of SARS-CoV-2 from presymptomatic, never symptomatic, and symptomatic individuals. Results: The baseline assumptions for the model were that peak infectiousness occurred at the median of symptom onset and that 30% of individuals with infection never develop symptoms and are 75% as infectious as those who do develop symptoms. Combined, these baseline assumptions imply that persons with infection who never develop symptoms may account for approximately 24% of all transmission. In this base case, 59% of all transmission came from asymptomatic transmission, comprising 35% from presymptomatic individuals and 24% from individuals who never develop symptoms. Under a broad range of values for each of these assumptions, at least 50% of new SARS-CoV-2 infections was estimated to have originated from exposure to individuals with infection but without symptoms. Conclusions and Relevance: In this decision analytical model of multiple scenarios of proportions of asymptomatic individuals with COVID-19 and infectious periods, transmission from asymptomatic individuals was estimated to account for more than half of all transmissions. In addition to identification and isolation of persons with symptomatic COVID-19, effective control of spread will require reducing the risk of transmission from people with infection who do not have symptoms. These findings suggest that measures such as wearing masks, hand hygiene, social distancing, and strategic testing of people who are not ill will be foundational to slowing the spread of COVID-19 until safe and effective vaccines are available and widely used.


Subject(s)
COVID-19/transmission , Carrier State/transmission , Basic Reproduction Number , COVID-19/epidemiology , Carrier State/epidemiology , Decision Support Techniques , Humans , Infectious Disease Incubation Period , SARS-CoV-2
13.
Open Forum Infect Dis ; 8(1): ofaa555, 2021 Jan.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-933880

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: There is a need for validated and standardized severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) quantitative immunoglobulin G (IgG) and neutralization assays that can be used to understand the immunology and pathogenesis of SARS-CoV-2 infection and support the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic response. METHODS: Literature searches were conducted to identify English language publications from peer-reviewed journals and preprints from January 2020 through November 6, 2020. Relevant publications were reviewed for mention of IgG or neutralization assays for SARS-CoV-2, or both, and the methods of reporting assay results. RESULTS: Quantitative SARS-CoV-2 IgG results have been reported from a limited number of studies; most studies used in-house laboratory-developed tests in limited settings, and only two semiquantitative tests have received US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) Emergency Use Authorization (EUA). As of November 6, 2020, there is only one SARS-CoV-2 neutralization assay with FDA EUA. Relatively few studies have attempted correlation of quantitative IgG titers with neutralization results to estimate surrogates of protection. The number of individuals tested is small compared with the magnitude of the pandemic, and persons tested are not representative of disproportionately affected populations. Methods of reporting quantitative results are not standardized to enable comparisons and meta-analyses. CONCLUSIONS: Lack of standardized SARS-CoV-2 quantitative IgG and neutralization assays precludes comparison of results from published studies. Interassay and interlaboratory validation and standardization of assays will support efforts to better understand antibody kinetics and longevity of humoral immune responses postillness, surrogates of immune protection, and vaccine immunogenicity and efficacy. Public-private partnerships could facilitate realization of these advances in the United States and worldwide.

14.
MMWR Morb Mortal Wkly Rep ; 69(35): 1210-1215, 2020 Sep 04.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-745358

ABSTRACT

Hydroxychloroquine and chloroquine, primarily used to treat autoimmune diseases and to prevent and treat malaria, received national attention in early March 2020, as potential treatment and prophylaxis for coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) (1). On March 20, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) issued an emergency use authorization (EUA) for chloroquine phosphate and hydroxychloroquine sulfate in the Strategic National Stockpile to be used by licensed health care providers to treat patients hospitalized with COVID-19 when the providers determine the potential benefit outweighs the potential risk to the patient.* Following reports of cardiac and other adverse events in patients receiving hydroxychloroquine for COVID-19 (2), on April 24, 2020, FDA issued a caution against its use† and on June 15, rescinded its EUA for hydroxychloroquine from the Strategic National Stockpile.§ Following the FDA's issuance of caution and EUA rescindment, on May 12 and June 16, the federal COVID-19 Treatment Guidelines Panel issued recommendations against the use of hydroxychloroquine or chloroquine to treat COVID-19; the panel also noted that at that time no medication could be recommended for COVID-19 pre- or postexposure prophylaxis outside the setting of a clinical trial (3). However, public discussion concerning the effectiveness of these drugs on outcomes of COVID-19 (4,5), and clinical trials of hydroxychloroquine for prophylaxis of COVID-19 continue.¶ In response to recent reports of notable increases in prescriptions for hydroxychloroquine or chloroquine (6), CDC analyzed outpatient retail pharmacy transaction data to identify potential differences in prescriptions dispensed by provider type during January-June 2020 compared with the same period in 2019. Before 2020, primary care providers and specialists who routinely prescribed hydroxychloroquine, such as rheumatologists and dermatologists, accounted for approximately 97% of new prescriptions. New prescriptions by specialists who did not typically prescribe these medications (defined as specialties accounting for ≤2% of new prescriptions before 2020) increased from 1,143 prescriptions in February 2020 to 75,569 in March 2020, an 80-fold increase from March 2019. Although dispensing trends are returning to prepandemic levels, continued adherence to current clinical guidelines for the indicated use of these medications will ensure their availability and benefit to patients for whom their use is indicated (3,4), because current data on treatment and pre- or postexposure prophylaxis for COVID-19 indicate that the potential benefits of these drugs do not appear to outweigh their risks.


Subject(s)
Chloroquine/therapeutic use , Hydroxychloroquine/therapeutic use , Practice Patterns, Physicians'/statistics & numerical data , Specialization/statistics & numerical data , COVID-19/drug therapy , Coronavirus Infections/drug therapy , Female , Humans , Male , Treatment Outcome , United States
15.
17.
Emerg Infect Dis ; 26(7)2020 Jul.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-182721

ABSTRACT

Recent epidemiologic, virologic, and modeling reports support the possibility of severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) transmission from persons who are presymptomatic (SARS-CoV-2 detected before symptom onset) or asymptomatic (SARS-CoV-2 detected but symptoms never develop). SARS-CoV-2 transmission in the absence of symptoms reinforces the value of measures that prevent the spread of SARS-CoV-2 by infected persons who may not exhibit illness despite being infectious. Critical knowledge gaps include the relative incidence of asymptomatic and symptomatic SARS-CoV-2 infection, the public health interventions that prevent asymptomatic transmission, and the question of whether asymptomatic SARS-CoV-2 infection confers protective immunity.


Subject(s)
Asymptomatic Diseases , Betacoronavirus , Coronavirus Infections/transmission , Pneumonia, Viral/transmission , Asymptomatic Diseases/epidemiology , COVID-19 , Coronavirus Infections/epidemiology , Coronavirus Infections/prevention & control , Humans , Pandemics/prevention & control , Pneumonia, Viral/epidemiology , Pneumonia, Viral/prevention & control , Public Health , SARS-CoV-2
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