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1.
Prev Med Rep ; 28: 101882, 2022 Aug.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1914919

ABSTRACT

This study assesses the association between underlying health conditions and delaying medical care during the COVID-19 pandemic. An online cross-sectional survey administered by OutbreaksNearMe.org on Momentive.ai collected self-reported data from April 27 to June 2, 2020 and May 10 to June 13, 2021. We used weighted multivariable logistic regressions to assess the association between delaying care and self-reported health status, adjusting for demographics. Of 312,661 total responses (99.6% completion rate), 17.1% reported delayed medical care. Compared to good health, those with poor health were more likely to delay care (AOR = 2.62, 95% CI [2.47, 2.78]). Individuals with any underlying condition (AOR = 1.62, 95% CI [1.58, 1.65]) and each of the conditions were more likely to delay care. Differences in delaying care were observed across region, year, and demographics. Our finding is that those at higher risk of severe COVID-19 were more likely to delay medical care in 2020 and 2021, which could exacerbate existing health conditions and existing disparities.

3.
Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A ; 119(23): e2119266119, 2022 06 07.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1873628

ABSTRACT

The effectiveness of mask wearing at controlling severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) transmission has been unclear. While masks are known to substantially reduce disease transmission in healthcare settings [D. K. Chu et al., Lancet 395, 1973­1987 (2020); J. Howard et al., Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. U.S.A. 118, e2014564118 (2021); Y. Cheng et al., Science eabg6296 (2021)], studies in community settings report inconsistent results [H. M. Ollila et al., medRxiv (2020); J. Brainard et al., Eurosurveillance 25, 2000725 (2020); T. Jefferson et al., Cochrane Database Syst. Rev. 11, CD006207 (2020)]. Most such studies focus on how masks impact transmission, by analyzing how effective government mask mandates are. However, we find that widespread voluntary mask wearing, and other data limitations, make mandate effectiveness a poor proxy for mask-wearing effectiveness. We directly analyze the effect of mask wearing on SARS-CoV-2 transmission, drawing on several datasets covering 92 regions on six continents, including the largest survey of wearing behavior (n= 20 million) [F. Kreuter et al., https://gisumd.github.io/COVID-19-API-Documentation (2020)]. Using a Bayesian hierarchical model, we estimate the effect of mask wearing on transmission, by linking reported wearing levels to reported cases in each region, while adjusting for mobility and nonpharmaceutical interventions (NPIs), such as bans on large gatherings. Our estimates imply that the mean observed level of mask wearing corresponds to a 19% decrease in the reproduction number R. We also assess the robustness of our results in 60 tests spanning 20 sensitivity analyses. In light of these results, policy makers can effectively reduce transmission by intervening to increase mask wearing.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Masks , COVID-19/epidemiology , COVID-19/prevention & control , Humans , Public Policy , Surveys and Questionnaires
5.
MMWR Morb Mortal Wkly Rep ; 71(13): 489-494, 2022 Apr 01.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1771890

ABSTRACT

COVID-19 testing provides information regarding exposure and transmission risks, guides preventative measures (e.g., if and when to start and end isolation and quarantine), identifies opportunities for appropriate treatments, and helps assess disease prevalence (1). At-home rapid COVID-19 antigen tests (at-home tests) are a convenient and accessible alternative to laboratory-based diagnostic nucleic acid amplification tests (NAATs) for SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes COVID-19 (2-4). With the emergence of the SARS-CoV-2 B.1.617.2 (Delta) and B.1.1.529 (Omicron) variants in 2021, demand for at-home tests increased† (5). At-home tests are commonly used for school- or employer-mandated testing and for confirmation of SARS-CoV-2 infection in a COVID-19-like illness or following exposure (6). Mandated COVID-19 reporting requirements omit at-home tests, and there are no standard processes for test takers or manufacturers to share results with appropriate health officials (2). Therefore, with increased COVID-19 at-home test use, laboratory-based reporting systems might increasingly underreport the actual incidence of infection. Data from a cross-sectional, nonprobability-based online survey (August 23, 2021-March 12, 2022) of U.S. adults aged ≥18 years were used to estimate self-reported at-home test use over time, and by demographic characteristics, geography, symptoms/syndromes, and reasons for testing. From the Delta-predominant period (August 23-December 11, 2021) to the Omicron-predominant period (December 19, 2021-March 12, 2022)§ (7), at-home test use among respondents with self-reported COVID-19-like illness¶ more than tripled from 5.7% to 20.1%. The two most commonly reported reasons for testing among persons who used an at-home test were COVID-19 exposure (39.4%) and COVID-19-like symptoms (28.9%). At-home test use differed by race (e.g., self-identified as White [5.9%] versus self-identified as Black [2.8%]), age (adults aged 30-39 years [6.4%] versus adults aged ≥75 years [3.6%]), household income (>$150,000 [9.5%] versus $50,000-$74,999 [4.7%]), education (postgraduate degree [8.4%] versus high school or less [3.5%]), and geography (New England division [9.6%] versus West South Central division [3.7%]). COVID-19 testing, including at-home tests, along with prevention measures, such as quarantine and isolation when warranted, wearing a well-fitted mask when recommended after a positive test or known exposure, and staying up to date with vaccination,** can help reduce the spread of COVID-19. Further, providing reliable and low-cost or free at-home test kits to underserved populations with otherwise limited access to COVID-19 testing could assist with continued prevention efforts.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Adolescent , Adult , Aged , COVID-19/diagnosis , COVID-19/epidemiology , COVID-19/prevention & control , COVID-19 Testing , Cross-Sectional Studies , Humans , SARS-CoV-2 , United States/epidemiology
6.
Vaccines (Basel) ; 10(1)2022 Jan 14.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1625215

ABSTRACT

Although COVID-19 vaccination plans acknowledge a need for equity, disparities in two-dose vaccine initiation have been observed in the United States. We aim to assess if disparity patterns are emerging in COVID-19 vaccination completion. We gathered (n = 843,985) responses between February and November 2021 from a web survey. Individuals self-reported demographics and COVID-19 vaccination status. Dose initiation and completion rates were calculated incorporating survey weights. A multi-variate logistic regression assessed the association between income and completing vaccination, accounting for other demographics. Overall, 57.4% initiated COVID-19 vaccination, with 84.5% completing vaccination. Initiation varied by income, and we observed disparities in completion by occupation, race, age, and insurance. Accounting for demographics, higher incomes are more likely to complete vaccination than lower incomes. We observe disparities in completion across annual income. Differences in COVID-19 vaccination completion may lead to two tiers of protection in the population, with certain sub-groups being better protected from future infection.

7.
Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A ; 118(51)2021 12 21.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1569348

ABSTRACT

Simultaneously tracking the global impact of COVID-19 is challenging because of regional variation in resources and reporting. Leveraging self-reported survey outcomes via an existing international social media network has the potential to provide standardized data streams to support monitoring and decision-making worldwide, in real time, and with limited local resources. The University of Maryland Global COVID-19 Trends and Impact Survey (UMD-CTIS), in partnership with Facebook, has invited daily cross-sectional samples from the social media platform's active users to participate in the survey since its launch on April 23, 2020. We analyzed UMD-CTIS survey data through December 20, 2020, from 31,142,582 responses representing 114 countries/territories weighted for nonresponse and adjusted to basic demographics. We show consistent respondent demographics over time for many countries/territories. Machine Learning models trained on national and pooled global data verified known symptom indicators. COVID-like illness (CLI) signals were correlated with government benchmark data. Importantly, the best benchmarked UMD-CTIS signal uses a single survey item whereby respondents report on CLI in their local community. In regions with strained health infrastructure but active social media users, we show it is possible to define COVID-19 impact trajectories using a remote platform independent of local government resources. This syndromic surveillance public health tool is the largest global health survey to date and, with brief participant engagement, can provide meaningful, timely insights into the global COVID-19 pandemic at a local scale.


Subject(s)
COVID-19/epidemiology , Public Health Surveillance/methods , Social Media , COVID-19/diagnosis , COVID-19 Testing , Cross-Sectional Studies , Epidemiologic Methods , Humans , Internationality , Machine Learning , Pandemics/statistics & numerical data
8.
JAMA Netw Open ; 4(10): e2126714, 2021 10 01.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1469399

ABSTRACT

Importance: Tensions around COVID-19 and systemic racism have raised the question: are hospitals advocating for equity for their Black patients? It is imperative for hospitals to be supportive of the Black community and acknowledge themselves as safe spaces, run by clinicians and staff who care about social justice issues that impact the health of the Black community; without the expression of support, Black patients may perceive hospitals as uncaring and unsafe, potentially delaying or avoiding treatment, which can result in serious complications and death for those with COVID-19. Objective: To explore how hospitals showed public-facing support for the Black community as measured through tweets about social equity or the Black Lives Matter (BLM) movement. Design, Setting, and Participants: Using a retrospective longitudinal cohort study design, tweets from the top 100 ranked hospitals were collected, starting with the most recent over a 10-year span, from May 3, 2009, to June 26, 2020. The date of the George Floyd killing, May 25, 2020, was investigated as a point of interest. Data were analyzed from June 11 to December 4, 2020. Main Outcomes and Measures: Tweets were manually identified based on 4 categories: BLM, associated with the BLM movement; Black support, expressed support for Black population within the hospital's community; Black health, pertained to health concerns specific to and the creation of health care for the Black community; or social justice, associated with general social justice terms that were too general to label as Black. If a tweet did not contain any hashtags from these categories, it remained unlabeled. Results: A total of 281 850 tweets from 90 unique social media accounts were collected. Each handle returned at least 1279 tweets, with 85 handles (94.4%) returning at least 3000 tweets. Tweet publication dates ranged from 2009 to 2020. A total of 274 tweets (0.097%) from 67 handles (74.4%) used a hashtag to support the BLM movement. Among the tweets labeled BLM, the first tweet was published in 2018 and only 4 tweets (1.5%) predated the killing of George Floyd. A similar trend of low signal observed was detected for the other categories (Black support: 244 tweets [0.086%] from 42 handles [46.7%] starting in 2013; Black health: 28 tweets [0.0099%] from 15 handles [16.7%] starting in 2018; social justice: 40 tweets [0.014%] from 21 handles [23.3%] starting in 2015). Conclusions and Relevance: These findings reflect the low signal of tweets regarding the Black community and social justice in a generalized way across approximately 10 years of tweets for all the hospital handles within the data set. From 2009 to 2020, hospitals rarely engaged in issues pertaining to the Black community and if so, only within the last half of this time period. These later entrances into these discussions indicate that these discussions are relatively recent.


Subject(s)
Hospitals/statistics & numerical data , Social Justice/statistics & numerical data , Social Media/statistics & numerical data , African Americans , COVID-19/epidemiology , Humans , Longitudinal Studies , Pandemics , Racism , Retrospective Studies , SARS-CoV-2 , Social Justice/psychology , United States/epidemiology
9.
Vaccines (Basel) ; 9(8)2021 Aug 13.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1355063

ABSTRACT

While mass vaccination has blunted the pandemic in the United States, pockets of vaccine hesitancy remain. Through a nationally representative survey of 1027 adult Americans conducted in February 2021, this study examined individual misconceptions about COVID-19 vaccine safety; the demographic factors associated with these misconceptions; and the relationship between misconceptions and willingness to vaccinate. Misconceptions about vaccine safety were widespread. A sizeable minority (40%) believed that vaccine side effects are commonly severe or somewhat severe; 85% significantly underestimated the size and scale of the clinical trials; and a sizeable share believed either that the vaccines contain live coronavirus (10%) or were unsure (38%), a proxy for fears that vaccination itself may cause infection. These misconceptions were particularly acute among Republicans, Blacks, individuals with lower levels of educational attainment, and unvaccinated individuals. Perceived side effect severity and underestimating the size of the clinical trials were both significantly associated with vaccine hesitancy.

10.
SSM Popul Health ; 15: 100851, 2021 Sep.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1333757

ABSTRACT

As policies are adjusted throughout the COVID-19 pandemic according to public health best practices, there is a need to balance the importance of social distancing in preventing viral spread with the strain that these governmental public safety mandates put on public mental health. Thus, there is need for continuous observation of public sentiment and deliberation to inform further adaptation of mandated interventions. In this study, we explore how public response may be reflected in Massachusetts (MA) via social media by specifically exploring temporal patterns in Twitter posts (tweets) regarding sentiment and discussion of topics. We employ interrupted time series centered on (1) Massachusetts State of Emergency declaration (March 10), (2) US State of Emergency declaration (March 13) and (3) Massachusetts public school closure (March 17) to explore changes in tweet sentiment polarity (net negative/positive), expressed anxiety and discussion on risk and health topics on a random subset of all tweets coded within Massachusetts and published from January 1 to May 15, 2020 (n = 2.8 million). We find significant differences between tweets published before and after mandate enforcement for Massachusetts State of Emergency (increased discussion of risk and health, decreased polarity and increased anxiety expression), US State of Emergency (increased discussion of risk and health, and increased anxiety expression) and Massachusetts public school closure (increased discussion of risk and decreased polarity). Our work further validates that Twitter data is a reasonable way to monitor public sentiment and discourse within a crisis, especially in conjunction with other observation data.

11.
Lancet Digit Health ; 3(9): e577-e586, 2021 09.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1322425

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: Multiple voluntary surveillance platforms were developed across the world in response to the COVID-19 pandemic, providing a real-time understanding of population-based COVID-19 epidemiology. During this time, testing criteria broadened and health-care policies matured. We aimed to test whether there were consistent associations of symptoms with SARS-CoV-2 test status across three surveillance platforms in three countries (two platforms per country), during periods of testing and policy changes. METHODS: For this observational study, we used data of observations from three volunteer COVID-19 digital surveillance platforms (Carnegie Mellon University and University of Maryland Facebook COVID-19 Symptom Survey, ZOE COVID Symptom Study app, and the Corona Israel study) targeting communities in three countries (Israel, the UK, and the USA; two platforms per country). The study population included adult respondents (age 18-100 years at baseline) who were not health-care workers. We did logistic regression of self-reported symptoms on self-reported SARS-CoV-2 test status (positive or negative), adjusted for age and sex, in each of the study cohorts. We compared odds ratios (ORs) across platforms and countries, and we did meta-analyses assuming a random effects model. We also evaluated testing policy changes, COVID-19 incidence, and time scales of duration of symptoms and symptom-to-test time. FINDINGS: Between April 1 and July 31, 2020, 514 459 tests from over 10 million respondents were recorded in the six surveillance platform datasets. Anosmia-ageusia was the strongest, most consistent symptom associated with a positive COVID-19 test (robust aggregated rank one, meta-analysed random effects OR 16·96, 95% CI 13·13-21·92). Fever (rank two, 6·45, 4·25-9·81), shortness of breath (rank three, 4·69, 3·14-7·01), and cough (rank four, 4·29, 3·13-5·88) were also highly associated with test positivity. The association of symptoms with test status varied by duration of illness, timing of the test, and broader test criteria, as well as over time, by country, and by platform. INTERPRETATION: The strong association of anosmia-ageusia with self-reported positive SARS-CoV-2 test was consistently observed, supporting its validity as a reliable COVID-19 signal, regardless of the participatory surveillance platform, country, phase of illness, or testing policy. These findings show that associations between COVID-19 symptoms and test positivity ranked similarly in a wide range of scenarios. Anosmia, fever, and respiratory symptoms consistently had the strongest effect estimates and were the most appropriate empirical signals for symptom-based public health surveillance in areas with insufficient testing or benchmarking capacity. Collaborative syndromic surveillance could enhance real-time epidemiological investigations and public health utility globally. FUNDING: National Institutes of Health, National Institute for Health Research, Alzheimer's Society, Wellcome Trust, and Massachusetts Consortium on Pathogen Readiness.


Subject(s)
Ageusia , Anosmia , COVID-19 , Cough , Dyspnea , Fever , Population Surveillance/methods , Adolescent , Adult , Aged , Aged, 80 and over , Ageusia/epidemiology , Ageusia/etiology , Anosmia/epidemiology , Anosmia/etiology , COVID-19/complications , COVID-19/epidemiology , COVID-19/virology , Cough/epidemiology , Cough/etiology , Digital Technology , Dyspnea/epidemiology , Dyspnea/etiology , Female , Fever/epidemiology , Fever/etiology , Humans , Israel/epidemiology , Male , Middle Aged , Odds Ratio , Pandemics , SARS-CoV-2 , United Kingdom/epidemiology , United States/epidemiology , Young Adult
12.
BMC Infect Dis ; 21(1): 617, 2021 Jun 29.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1285993

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: Seasonal influenza leads to significant morbidity and mortality. Rapid self-tests could improve access to influenza testing in community settings. We aimed to evaluate the diagnostic accuracy of a mobile app-guided influenza rapid self-test for adults with influenza like illness (ILI), and identify optimal methods for conducting accuracy studies for home-based assays for influenza and other respiratory viruses. METHODS: This cross-sectional study recruited adults who self-reported ILI online. Participants downloaded a mobile app, which guided them through two low nasal swab self-samples. Participants tested the index swab using a lateral flow assay. Test accuracy results were compared to the reference swab tested in a research laboratory for influenza A/B using a molecular assay. RESULTS: Analysis included 739 participants, 80% were 25-64 years of age, 79% female, and 73% white. Influenza positivity was 5.9% based on the laboratory reference test. Of those who started their test, 92% reported a self-test result. The sensitivity and specificity of participants' interpretation of the test result compared to the laboratory reference standard were 14% (95%CI 5-28%) and 90% (95%CI 87-92%), respectively. CONCLUSIONS: A mobile app facilitated study procedures to determine the accuracy of a home based test for influenza, however, test sensitivity was low. Recruiting individuals outside clinical settings who self-report ILI symptoms may lead to lower rates of influenza and/or less severe disease. Earlier identification of study subjects within 48 h of symptom onset through inclusion criteria and rapid shipping of tests or pre-positioning tests is needed to allow self-testing earlier in the course of illness, when viral load is higher.


Subject(s)
Influenza A virus/immunology , Influenza B virus/immunology , Influenza, Human/diagnosis , Mobile Applications , Self-Testing , Adult , Cross-Sectional Studies , Data Accuracy , Enzyme-Linked Immunosorbent Assay/methods , Feasibility Studies , Female , Humans , Influenza, Human/virology , Male , Middle Aged , Sensitivity and Specificity
13.
Lancet Digit Health ; 3(6): e349-e359, 2021 06.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1240695

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: Until broad vaccination coverage is reached and effective therapeutics are available, controlling population mobility (ie, changes in the spatial location of a population that affect the spread and distribution of pathogens) is one of the major interventions used to reduce transmission of SARS-CoV-2. However, population mobility differs across locations, which could reduce the effectiveness of pandemic control measures. Here we assess the extent to which socioeconomic factors are associated with reductions in population mobility during the COVID-19 pandemic, at both the city level in China and at the country level worldwide. METHODS: In this retrospective, observational study, we obtained anonymised daily mobile phone location data for 358 Chinese cities from Baidu, and for 121 countries from Google COVID-19 Community Mobility Reports. We assessed the intra-city movement intensity, inflow intensity, and outflow intensity of each Chinese city between Jan 25 (when the national emergency response was implemented) and Feb 18, 2020 (when population mobility was lowest) and compared these data to the corresponding lunar calendar period from the previous year (Feb 5 to March 1, 2019). Chinese cities were classified into four socioeconomic index (SEI) groups (high SEI, high-middle SEI, middle SEI, and low SEI) and the association between socioeconomic factors and changes in population mobility were assessed using univariate and multivariable linear regression. At the country level, we compared six types of mobility (residential, transit stations, workplaces, retail and recreation, parks, and groceries and pharmacies) 35 days after the implementation of the national emergency response in each country and compared these to data from the same day of the week in the baseline period (Jan 3 to Feb 6, 2020). We assessed associations between changes in the six types of mobility and the country's sociodemographic index using univariate and multivariable linear regression. FINDINGS: The reduction in intra-city movement intensity in China was stronger in cities with a higher SEI than in those with a lower SEI (r=-0·47, p<0·0001). However, reductions in inter-city movement flow (both inflow and outflow intensity) were not associated with SEI and were only associated with government control measures. In the country-level analysis, countries with higher sociodemographic and Universal Health Coverage indexes had greater reductions in population mobility (ie, in transit stations, workplaces, and retail and recreation) following national emergency declarations than those with lower sociodemographic and Universal Health Coverage indexes. A higher sociodemographic index showed a greater reduction in mobility in transit stations (r=-0·27, p=0·0028), workplaces (r=-0·34, p=0·0002), and areas retail and recreation (rxs=-0·30, p=0·0012) than those with a lower sociodemographic index. INTERPRETATION: Although COVID-19 outbreaks are more frequently reported in larger cities, our analysis shows that future policies should prioritise the reduction of risks in areas with a low socioeconomic level-eg, by providing financial assistance and improving public health messaging. However, our study design only allows us to assess associations, and a long-term study is needed to decipher causality. FUNDING: Chinese Ministry of Science and Technology, Research Council of Norway, Beijing Municipal Science & Technology Commission, Beijing Natural Science Foundation, Beijing Advanced Innovation Program for Land Surface Science, National Natural Science Foundation of China, China Association for Science and Technology.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Population Dynamics , Socioeconomic Factors , Travel , Adult , Cell Phone , China , Cities , Global Health , Humans , Physical Distancing , Population Dynamics/trends , Population Surveillance/methods , Retrospective Studies , SARS-CoV-2
14.
NPJ Vaccines ; 6(1): 73, 2021 May 14.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1228258

ABSTRACT

While efficacious vaccines have been developed to inoculate against severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2; also known as COVID-19), public vaccine hesitancy could still undermine efforts to combat the pandemic. Employing a survey of 1096 adult Americans recruited via the Lucid platform, we examined the relationships between vaccine attributes, proposed policy interventions such as financial incentives, and misinformation on public vaccination preferences. Higher degrees of vaccine efficacy significantly increased individuals' willingness to receive a COVID-19 vaccine, while a high incidence of minor side effects, a co-pay, and Emergency Use Authorization to fast-track the vaccine decreased willingness. The vaccine manufacturer had no influence on public willingness to vaccinate. We also found no evidence that belief in misinformation about COVID-19 treatments was positively associated with vaccine hesitancy. The findings have implications for public health strategies intending to increase levels of community vaccination.

16.
Sci Rep ; 11(1): 6928, 2021 03 25.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1152881

ABSTRACT

We tested whether pregnant and non-pregnant women differ in COVID-19 symptom profile and severity, and we extended previous investigations on hospitalized pregnant women to those who did not require hospitalization. Two female community-based cohorts (18-44 years) provided longitudinal (smartphone application, N = 1,170,315, n = 79 pregnant tested positive) and cross-sectional (web-based survey, N = 1,344,966, n = 134 pregnant tested positive) data, prospectively collected through self-participatory citizen surveillance in UK, Sweden and USA. Pregnant and non-pregnant were compared for frequencies of events, including SARS-CoV-2 testing, symptoms and hospitalization rates. Multivariable regression was used to investigate symptoms severity and comorbidity effects. Pregnant and non-pregnant women positive for SARS-CoV-2 infection were not different in syndromic severity, except for gastrointestinal symptoms. Pregnant were more likely to have received testing, despite reporting fewer symptoms. Pre-existing lung disease was most closely associated with syndromic severity in pregnant hospitalized. Heart and kidney diseases and diabetes increased risk. The most frequent symptoms among non-hospitalized women were anosmia [63% pregnant, 92% non-pregnant] and headache [72%, 62%]. Cardiopulmonary symptoms, including persistent cough [80%] and chest pain [73%], were more frequent among pregnant who were hospitalized. Consistent with observations in non-pregnant populations, lung disease and diabetes were associated with increased risk of more severe SARS-CoV-2 infection during pregnancy.


Subject(s)
COVID-19/complications , Pregnancy Complications, Infectious/physiopathology , Adolescent , Adult , COVID-19/physiopathology , COVID-19/virology , Cohort Studies , Cross-Sectional Studies , Female , Humans , Mobile Applications , Pregnancy , SARS-CoV-2/isolation & purification , Severity of Illness Index , Young Adult
18.
Am J Public Health ; 111(5): 956-964, 2021 05.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1140581

ABSTRACT

Objectives. To examine the extent to which the phrases, "COVID-19" and "Chinese virus" were associated with anti-Asian sentiments.Methods. Data were collected from Twitter's Application Programming Interface, which included the hashtags "#covid19" or "#chinesevirus." We analyzed tweets from March 9 to 23, 2020, corresponding to the week before and the week after President Donald J. Trump's tweet with the phrase, "Chinese Virus." Our analysis focused on 1 273 141 hashtags.Results. One fifth (19.7%) of the 495 289 hashtags with #covid19 showed anti-Asian sentiment, compared with half (50.4%) of the 777 852 hashtags with #chinesevirus. When comparing the week before March 16, 2020, to the week after, there was a significantly greater increase in anti-Asian hashtags associated with #chinesevirus compared with #covid19 (P < .001).Conclusions. Our data provide new empirical evidence supporting recommendations to use the less-stigmatizing term "COVID-19," instead of "Chinese virus."


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Racism , Social Media/statistics & numerical data , Terminology as Topic , Humans , United States
19.
Lancet Digit Health ; 3(5): e278-e279, 2021 05.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1101592
20.
Lancet Digit Health ; 3(3): e148-e157, 2021 03.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1065707

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: Face masks have become commonplace across the USA because of the severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) epidemic. Although evidence suggests that masks help to curb the spread of the disease, there is little empirical research at the population level. We investigate the association between self-reported mask-wearing, physical distancing, and SARS-CoV-2 transmission in the USA, along with the effect of statewide mandates on mask uptake. METHODS: Serial cross-sectional surveys were administered via a web platform to randomly surveyed US individuals aged 13 years and older, to query self-reports of face mask-wearing. Survey responses were combined with instantaneous reproductive number (Rt) estimates from two publicly available sources, the outcome of interest. Measures of physical distancing, community demographics, and other potential sources of confounding (from publicly available sources) were also assessed. We fitted multivariate logistic regression models to estimate the association between mask-wearing and community transmission control (Rt<1). Additionally, mask-wearing in 12 states was evaluated 2 weeks before and after statewide mandates. FINDINGS: 378 207 individuals responded to the survey between June 3 and July 27, 2020, of which 4186 were excluded for missing data. We observed an increasing trend in reported mask usage across the USA, although uptake varied by geography. A logistic model controlling for physical distancing, population demographics, and other variables found that a 10% increase in self-reported mask-wearing was associated with an increased odds of transmission control (odds ratio 3·53, 95% CI 2·03-6·43). We found that communities with high reported mask-wearing and physical distancing had the highest predicted probability of transmission control. Segmented regression analysis of reported mask-wearing showed no statistically significant change in the slope after mandates were introduced; however, the upward trend in reported mask-wearing was preserved. INTERPRETATION: The widespread reported use of face masks combined with physical distancing increases the odds of SARS-CoV-2 transmission control. Self-reported mask-wearing increased separately from government mask mandates, suggesting that supplemental public health interventions are needed to maximise adoption and help to curb the ongoing epidemic. FUNDING: Flu Lab, Google.org (via the Tides Foundation), National Institutes for Health, National Science Foundation, Morris-Singer Foundation, MOOD, Branco Weiss Fellowship, Ending Pandemics, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (USA).


Subject(s)
COVID-19/prevention & control , COVID-19/transmission , Masks , Pandemics/prevention & control , Adolescent , Adult , Aged , Communicable Disease Control/methods , Cross-Sectional Studies , Female , Humans , Male , Middle Aged , Physical Distancing , Public Health , SARS-CoV-2 , Surveys and Questionnaires , United States , Young Adult
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