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1.
Infectious Disease Reports ; 14(3):492-500, 2022.
Article in English | MDPI | ID: covidwho-1893909

ABSTRACT

Background: Coronavirus disease is a pandemic that has disrupted many human lives, threatening people's physical and mental health. Each pandemic wave struck in different ways, infectiveness-wise and mortality-wise. This investigation focuses on critically ill patients affected by the last two variants, Delta and Omicron, and aims to analyse if any difference exists between the two groups. Methods: intensive care unit (ICU) COVID-19 consecutive admissions between 1 October 2021 and 31 March 2022 were recorded daily, and data concerning the patients' demographics, variants, main comorbidities, ICU parameters on admission, and the outcome were analysed by a univariate procedure and by a multivariate analysis. Results: 65 patients were enrolled, 31 (47.69%) belonging to the Omicron versus 34 (52.31%) to the Delta group. The mortality rate was 52.94% for the Omicron group versus 41.9% for the Delta group. A univariate analysis showed that the Omicron variant was associated with total comorbidities number, Charlson Comorbidity Index (CCI), pre-existing pulmonary disease, vaccination status, and acute kidney injury (AKI). In stepwise multivariate analysis, the total number of comorbidities was positively associated with the Omicron group, while pulmonary embolism was negatively correlated with the Omicron group. Conclusion: Omicron appears to have lost some of the hallmarks of the Delta variant, such as endothelialitis and more limited cellular tropism when it comes to the patients in the ICU. Further studies are encouraged to explore different therapeutic approaches to treat critical patients with COVID-19.

2.
Children (Basel) ; 9(6)2022 Jun 08.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1884024

ABSTRACT

Respiratory syncytial virus (RSV) infection is the most common cause of hospitalization in young children. In the last 2 years, public health measures aimed at controlling the spread of SARS-CoV-2 have affected the epidemiology and seasonality of RSV worldwide. The aim of this descriptive retrospective observational study was to describe the characteristics of children hospitalized with RSV in an academic tertiary care hospital in Southern Italy in 2021. We also investigate the seasonal trends of RSV from 2017 to 2021. The demographic characteristics, comorbidities, clinical data, and coinfections were retrospectively evaluated. Compared with previous seasons, the 2021 outbreak of RSV was characterized by an increased number of patients, with a delayed peak observed in November. Overall, 179 children, including 128 (71.5%) aged <12 months, were hospitalized for RSV infection between August and December 2021. Ten children (5.6%) were admitted to the intensive care unit (ICU), all aged <5 months. One patient (0.5%) aged <1 month with severe comorbidities died. The severity of symptoms was significantly associated with younger age, underlying chronic disease, and the length of hospital stay (p < 0.05 each). History of prematurity was not significantly associated with the presence of coinfections. Because of the high burden of RSV infection and the expected larger RSV epidemics resulting from a greater number of RSV-naïve children, systematic epidemiological and virological surveillance is needed. Appropriate pathways for access to RSV prevention in all infants should also be introduced.

3.
Vaccines (Basel) ; 10(5)2022 Apr 24.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1862933

ABSTRACT

Since its initial detection, the SARS-CoV-2 Omicron sublineage BA.2 has been spreading rapidly worldwide. The aims of this study were to describe the first 284 patients infected with the Omicron BA.2 variant of concern (VOC) in the Apulia region of southern Italy and to assess the differences in the demographic and clinical characteristics of patients infected with the SARS-CoV-2 BA.1 and BA.2 variants. The demographic characteristics of patients, as well as information about symptoms, vaccinations and hospitalizations for COVID-19, were collected. A subset of samples from patients infected with the BA.2 variant was subjected to whole-genome sequencing. The characteristics of the first 284 patients infected with Omicron BA.2 and the first 175 patients infected with Omicron BA.1 were compared. The proportion of patients infected with the BA.2 variant rapidly increased, from 0.5% during the third week of 2022 to 29.6% during the tenth week of 2022. Ten isolates (out of 34 BA.2 isolates) contain the substitutional mutation, H78K in ORF3a, and four isolates include two mutations, A2909V in ORF1a and L140F in ORDF3a. Compared with patients infected with BA.1, those infected with BA.2 were more likely to be symptomatic and booster-vaccinated, and showed a shorter time from the last dose of vaccine to infection. The high transmissibility and immune-evasive properties of Omicron BA.2, which will become the leading SARS-CoV-2 VOC, suggest that short-term public health measures should not be discontinued in Italy.

4.
Vaccines (Basel) ; 10(2)2022 Feb 13.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1687067

ABSTRACT

The Omicron variant of concern (VOC), first detected in Italy at the end of November 2021, has since spread rapidly, despite high vaccine coverage in the Italian population, especially in healthcare workers (HCWs). This study describes an outbreak of SARS-CoV-2 Omicron infection in 15 booster-vaccinated HCWs. On 16 December 2021, two HCWs working in the same ward were infected with SARS-CoV-2. The Omicron VOC was suspected due to S gene target failure on molecular testing. Further investigation revealed that 15 (65%) of 23 HCWs attending a social gathering on 13 December were infected with Omicron, as shown by whole-genome sequencing, with a phylogenetic tree suggesting a common source of exposure. Five of these HCWs experienced mild symptoms. A patient with multiple chronic conditions hospitalized in the same ward was also infected by one of the HCWs involved in the outbreak. Despite being booster vaccinated, this patient required ICU treatment. Ten subjects achieved negativity in 10-19 days. The outbreak in booster-vaccinated subjects confirms the high transmissibility and immune evasion of the Omicron VOC. More stringent non-pharmaceutical interventions, administration of booster doses, and genomic surveillance are crucial long-term strategies to mitigate the consequences of the spread of the Omicron VOC.

5.
PLoS One ; 16(12): e0260947, 2021.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1556896

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: On 9th January 2020, China CDC reported a novel coronavirus (later named SARS-CoV-2) as the causative agent of the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19). Identifying the first appearance of virus is of epidemiological importance to tracking and mapping the spread of SARS-CoV-2 in a country. We therefore conducted a retrospective observational study to detect SARS-CoV-2 in oropharyngeal samples collected from hospitalized patients with a Severe Acute Respiratory Infection (SARI) enrolled in the DRIVE (Development of Robust and Innovative Vaccine Effectiveness) study in five Italian hospitals (CIRI-IT BIVE hospitals network) (1st November 2019 - 29th February 2020). OBJECTIVES: To acquire new information on the real trend in SARS-CoV-2 infection during pandemic phase I and to determine the possible early appearance of the virus in Italy. MATERIALS AND METHODS: Samples were tested for influenza [RT-PCR assay (A/H1N1, A/H3N2, B/Yam, B/Vic)] in accordance with the DRIVE study protocol. Subsequently, swabs underwent molecular testing for SARS-COV-2. [one-step real-time multiplex retro-transcription (RT) PCR]. RESULTS: In the 1683 samples collected, no evidence of SARS-CoV-2 was found. Moreover, 28.3% (477/1683) of swabs were positive for influenza viruses, the majority being type A (358 vs 119 type B). A/H3N2 was predominant among influenza A viruses (55%); among influenza B viruses, B/Victoria was prevalent. The highest influenza incidence rate was reported in patients aged 0-17 years (40.3%) followed by those aged 18-64 years (24.4%) and ≥65 years (14.8%). CONCLUSIONS: In Italy, some studies have shown the early circulation of SARS-CoV-2 in northern regions, those most severely affected during phase I of the pandemic. In central and southern regions, by contrast no early circulation of the virus was registered. These results are in line with ours. These findings highlight the need to continue to carry out retrospective studies, in order to understand the epidemiology of the novel coronavirus, to better identify the clinical characteristics of COVID-19 in comparison with other acute respiratory illnesses (ARI), and to evaluate the real burden of COVID-19 on the healthcare system.


Subject(s)
Influenza, Human/epidemiology , Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome/epidemiology , Adolescent , Adult , Aged , Aged, 80 and over , COVID-19/diagnosis , COVID-19/virology , Female , Hospitals , Humans , Influenza A Virus, H1N1 Subtype/genetics , Influenza A Virus, H1N1 Subtype/isolation & purification , Influenza A Virus, H3N2 Subtype/genetics , Influenza A Virus, H3N2 Subtype/isolation & purification , Influenza B virus/genetics , Influenza B virus/isolation & purification , Influenza, Human/pathology , Influenza, Human/virology , Italy/epidemiology , Male , Middle Aged , RNA, Viral/genetics , RNA, Viral/metabolism , Retrospective Studies , SARS-CoV-2/genetics , SARS-CoV-2/isolation & purification , Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome/pathology , Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome/virology , Young Adult
6.
Vaccines (Basel) ; 9(11)2021 Nov 18.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1524228

ABSTRACT

Differences in the demographic and clinical characteristics of patients infected with the Alpha and Delta SARS-CoV-2 variants of concern in a large region of Southern Italy were assessed. Two cohorts of positive patients were compared. The Alpha group consisted of 11,135 subjects diagnosed between 21 March and 21 April 2021, and the Delta group consisted of 499 positive subjects diagnosed between 21 July and 21 August 2021. A descriptive and statistical analysis of the demographic and clinical characteristics of the two groups was performed. The proportion of patients with mild and moderate infections was significantly higher in the Delta than in the Alpha group (p < 0.001). In fully vaccinated patients, the proportion of symptomatic individuals was significantly higher in the Delta than in the Alpha group. The Delta group showed odds ratios of 3.08 (95% CI, 2.55-3.72) for symptomatic infection and 2.66 (95% CI, 1.76-3.94) for hospitalization. Improving COVID-19 vaccination rates is a priority, since infection with the SARS-CoV-2 Delta variant has a significant impact on patient outcomes. Additional targeted prevention strategies such as social distancing, the use of masks in indoor settings irrespective of vaccination status, and the use of a sanitary passport could be crucial to contain further spread of SARS-CoV-2 infection.

7.
Biomed Res Int ; 2021: 3893733, 2021.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1412962

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: In emergency hospital settings, rapid diagnosis and isolation of SARS-CoV-2 patients are required. The aim of the study was to evaluate the performance of an antigen chemiluminescence enzymatic immunoassay (CLEIA) and compare it with that of Real-time Reverse transcription-Polymerase Chain Reaction (RT-qPCR), the gold standard assay, to assess its suitability as a rapid diagnostic method for managing patients in the emergency department (ED). METHODS: Consecutive patients with no previous history of SARS-CoV-2 infection attending the ED of the Policlinico Hospital of Bari between 23rd October and 4th November 2020 were enrolled. Clinical and demographic data were collected for all patients. Nasopharyngeal swabs collected on admission were subjected both to molecular (RT-qPCR) and antigen (CLEIA) tests for SARS-CoV-2. The performance of the CLEIA antigen test was analyzed using R Studio software and Microsoft Excel. Receiver operating characteristics were also performed. RESULTS: A total of 911 patients were enrolled, of whom 469 (51.5%) were male. Of the whole cohort, 23.7% tested positive for SARS-CoV-2 by RT-qPCR and 24.5% by CLEIA. The overall concordance rate was 96.8%. The sensitivity, specificity, positive predictive value, and negative predictive value of the antigen test were 94.9% (95% CI, 91.9-97.0), 97.4% (95% CI, 96.5-98.1), 91.9% (95% CI, 89.0-94.0), and 98.4% (95% CI, 97.4-99.1), respectively. The area under the curve (AUC) was 0.99. The kappa coefficient was 0.91. The overall positive and negative likelihood ratios were 37 (95% CI 23-58) and 0.05 (95% CI, 0.03-0.09), respectively. CONCLUSIONS: Data analysis demonstrated that the antigen test showed very good accuracy for discriminating SARS-CoV-2-infected patients from negative participants. The CLEIA is suitable for rapid clinical diagnosis of patients in hospital settings, particularly in EDs with a high prevalence of symptomatic patients and where a rapid turnaround time is critical. Timely and accurate testing for SARS-CoV-2 plays a crucial role in limiting the spread of the virus.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 Serological Testing/methods , Nasopharynx/virology , Adult , Aged , Antigens, Viral/analysis , Area Under Curve , COVID-19 Nucleic Acid Testing/methods , Emergency Service, Hospital , Female , Humans , Immunoassay , Italy , Luminescent Measurements , Male , Middle Aged , Sensitivity and Specificity , Tertiary Care Centers
8.
Trop Med Infect Dis ; 6(3)2021 Aug 12.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1411038

ABSTRACT

The SARS-CoV-2 P.1 variant of concern (VOC) was first identified in Brazil and is now spreading in European countries. It is characterized by the E484K mutation in the receptor-binding domain, which could contribute to the evasion from neutralizing antibodies. In Italy, this variant was first identified in January 2021. Here, we report an autochthonous outbreak of SARS-CoV-2 P.1 variant infections in southern Italy in subjects who had not travelled to endemic areas or outside the Apulia region. The outbreak involved seven subjects, three of whom had received a COVID-19 vaccine (one had received two doses and two had received one dose). Four patients had a mild clinical presentation. Laboratory investigations of nasopharyngeal swabs revealed that all strains were S-gene target failure-negative and molecular tests revealed they were the P.1 variant. Whole-genome sequencing confirmed that five subjects were infected with closely related strains classified as the P.1 lineage. The circulation of VOCs highlights the importance of strictly monitoring the spread of SARS-CoV-2 variants through genomic surveillance and of investigating local outbreaks. Furthermore, public health measures including social distancing, screening, and quarantine for travelers are key tools to slow down the viral transmission and to contain and mitigate the impact of VOC diffusion, and rapid scaling-up of vaccination is crucial to avoid a possible new epidemic wave.

9.
Vaccines (Basel) ; 9(8)2021 Jul 21.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1325805

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: Solid-organ transplant (SOT) recipients are at a high risk of severe COVID-19, and are priority for vaccination. Here, we describe three cases of severe COVID-19 caused by SARS-CoV-2 B.1.1.7 lineage in vaccinated SOT recipients. METHODS: Three SOT patients were hospitalized in the Policlinico Hospital of Bari (southern Italy) and underwent nasopharyngeal swabs for molecular detection of SARS-CoV-2 genes and spike protein mutations by real-time PCR. One sample was subjected to whole-genome sequencing. RESULTS: One patient was a heart transplant recipient and two were kidney transplant recipients. All were hospitalized with severe COVID-19 between March and May 2021. Two patients were fully vaccinated and one had received only one dose of the BNT162b2 mRNA vaccine. All the patients showed a high viral load at diagnosis, and molecular typing revealed the presence of B.1.1.7 lineage SARS-CoV-2. In all three cases, prolonged viral shedding was reported. CONCLUSIONS: The three cases pose concern about the role of the B.1.1.7 lineage in severe COVID-19 and about the efficacy of COVID-19 vaccination in immunocompromised patients. Protecting immunocompromised patients from COVID-19 is a challenge. SOT recipients show a suboptimal response to standard vaccination, and thus, an additive booster or a combined vaccination strategy with mRNA, protein/subunit, and vector-based vaccines may be necessary. This population should continue to practice strict COVID-19 precautions post-vaccination, until new strategies for protection are available.

10.
Viruses ; 13(5)2021 05 12.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1227072

ABSTRACT

This study describes a case of SARS-CoV-2 reinfection confirmed by whole-genome sequencing in a healthy physician who had been working in a COVID-19 hospital in Italy since the beginning of the pandemic. Nasopharyngeal swabs were obtained from the patient at each presentation as part of routine surveillance. Nucleic acid amplification testing was performed on the two samples to confirm SARS-CoV-2 infection, and serological tests were used to detect SARS-CoV-2 IgG antibodies. Comparative genome analysis with whole-genome sequencing was performed on nasopharyngeal swabs collected during the two episodes of COVID-19. The first COVID-19 episode was in March 2020, and the second was in January 2021. Both SARS-CoV-2 infections presented with mild symptoms, and seroconversion for SARS-CoV-2 IgG was documented. Genomic analysis showed that the viral genome from the first infection belonged to the lineage B.1.1.74, while that from the second infection to the lineage B.1.177. Epidemiological, clinical, serological, and genomic analyses confirmed that the second episode of SARS-CoV-2 infection in the healthcare worker met the qualifications for "best evidence" for reinfection. Further studies are urgently needed to assess the frequency of such a worrisome occurrence, particularly in the light of the recent diffusion of SARS-CoV-2 variants of concern.


Subject(s)
COVID-19/transmission , Reinfection/genetics , SARS-CoV-2/pathogenicity , Adult , Antibodies, Viral/genetics , COVID-19/genetics , Female , Genome, Viral/genetics , Health Personnel , Humans , Immunoglobulin G , Italy/epidemiology , Reinfection/metabolism , SARS-CoV-2/genetics , Serologic Tests , Whole Genome Sequencing/methods
11.
Int J Environ Res Public Health ; 18(9)2021 Apr 29.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1217077

ABSTRACT

Epidemiological and virological studies have revealed that SARS-CoV-2 variants of concern (VOCs) are emerging globally, including in Europe. The aim of this study was to evaluate the spread of B.1.1.7-lineage SARS-CoV-2 in southern Italy from December 2020-March 2021 through the detection of the S gene target failure (SGTF), which could be considered a robust proxy of VOC B.1.1.7. SGTF was assessed on 3075 samples from week 52/2020 to week 10/2021. A subset of positive samples identified in the Apulia region during the study period was subjected to whole-genome sequencing (WGS). A descriptive and statistical analysis of the demographic and clinical characteristics of cases according to SGTF status was performed. Overall, 20.2% of samples showed SGTF; 155 strains were confirmed as VOC 202012/01 by WGS. The proportion of SGTF-positive samples rapidly increased over time, reaching 69.2% in week 10/2021. SGTF-positive cases were more likely to be symptomatic and to result in hospitalization (p < 0.0001). Despite the implementation of large-scale non-pharmaceutical interventions (NPIs), such as the closure of schools and local lockdowns, a rapid spread of VOC 202012/01 was observed in southern Italy. Strengthened NPIs and rapid vaccine deployment, first among priority groups and then among the general population, are crucial both to contain the spread of VOC 202012/01 and to flatten the curve of the third wave.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , SARS-CoV-2 , Communicable Disease Control , Europe , Humans , Italy/epidemiology
12.
Microbiol Resour Announc ; 10(4)2021 Jan 28.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1054616

ABSTRACT

The coding-complete sequence of severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) was obtained from a sample from a 25-year-old female returning to the Apulia region of Italy from England. The characterized strain showed all of the spike protein mutations defining SARS-CoV-2 VUI 202012/01, as well as other mutations in the spike protein and in other genomic regions.

13.
J Med Internet Res ; 22(10): e19152, 2020 10 30.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-982931

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: Real-time polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR) testing for the identification of viral nucleic acid is the current standard for the diagnosis of SARS-CoV-2 infection, but technical issues limit its utilization for large-scale screening. Serological immunoglobulin M (IgM)/IgG testing has been proposed as a useful tool for detecting SARS-CoV-2 exposure. OBJECTIVE: The objective of our study was to compare the results of the rapid serological VivaDiag test for SARS-CoV-2-related IgM/IgG detection with those of the standard RT-PCR laboratory test for identifying SARS-CoV-2 nucleic acid. METHODS: We simultaneously performed both serological and molecular tests with a consecutive series of 191 symptomatic patients. The results provided by a new rapid serological colorimetric test for analyzing IgM/IgG expression were compared with those of RT-PCR testing for SARS-CoV-2 detection. RESULTS: Of the 191 subjects, 70 (36.6%) tested positive for SARS-CoV-2 based on RT-PCR results, while 34 (17.3%) tested positive based on serological IgM/IgG expression. Additionally, 13 (6.8%) subjects tested positive based on serological test results, but also tested negative based on RT-PCR results. The rapid serological test had a sensitivity of 30% and a specificity of 89% compared to the standard RT-PCR assay. Interestingly, the performance of both assays improved 8 days after symptom appearance. After 10 days had passed since symptom appearance, the predictive value of the rapid serological test was higher than that of the standard molecular assay (proportion of positive results: 40% vs 20%). Multivariate analysis showed that age >58 years (P<.01) and period of >15 days after symptom onset (P<.02) were significant and independent factors associated with serological test positivity. CONCLUSIONS: The rapid serological test analyzed in this study seems limited in terms of usefulness when diagnosing SARS-CoV-2 infection. However, it may be useful for providing relevant information on people's immunoreaction to COVID-19 exposure.


Subject(s)
Betacoronavirus/immunology , Betacoronavirus/isolation & purification , Clinical Laboratory Techniques/methods , Coronavirus Infections/diagnosis , Coronavirus Infections/virology , Pneumonia, Viral/diagnosis , Pneumonia, Viral/virology , Real-Time Polymerase Chain Reaction/methods , Serologic Tests/methods , Betacoronavirus/genetics , COVID-19 , COVID-19 Testing , COVID-19 Vaccines , Coronavirus Infections/immunology , Female , Humans , Immunoglobulin G/analysis , Immunoglobulin G/immunology , Immunoglobulin M/analysis , Immunoglobulin M/immunology , Male , Middle Aged , Pandemics , Pneumonia, Viral/immunology , SARS-CoV-2 , Sensitivity and Specificity
14.
Int J Environ Res Public Health ; 17(18)2020 09 07.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-750673

ABSTRACT

A critical point in the management of the SARS-CoV-2 pandemic is the need to promptly identify the greatest number of infected people and to implement strict public health measures. In this study, the performance of a rapid serological test in a clinical setting was evaluated. Samples from 819 consecutive patients (with or without respiratory symptoms) admitted to a large Emergency Department were tested between 23 March and 21 April 2020. Patient samples were tested in a real-time PCR assay and a serological assay. In total, 148/819 patients (18.1%) tested positive for SARS-CoV-2 by real-time PCR. The serological test revealed that 70/819 patients (8.5%) had anti-SARS-CoV-2 IgM and/or IgG. The prevalence of anti-SARS-CoV-2 antibodies was significantly higher in patients with respiratory symptoms lasting for >7 days than in those with respiratory symptoms lasting for 0-7 days (p < 0.001). The serological assay had an overall sensitivity of 35.1% and an overall specificity of 97.3%. A high negative predictive value (96.7%) was reported for patients without respiratory symptoms. The results confirm that rapid serological assays alone are not sufficient for diagnosis of SARS-CoV-2 infection but can be incorporated into large-scale screening programs during periods in which the virus circulation is low.


Subject(s)
Antibodies, Viral/blood , Betacoronavirus/isolation & purification , Clinical Laboratory Techniques/methods , Coronavirus Infections/diagnosis , Emergency Service, Hospital/statistics & numerical data , Pandemics , Pneumonia, Viral/diagnosis , Serologic Tests/methods , COVID-19 , COVID-19 Testing , Coronavirus Infections/epidemiology , Humans , Immunoglobulin G/blood , Pneumonia, Viral/epidemiology , Real-Time Polymerase Chain Reaction , SARS-CoV-2 , Sensitivity and Specificity
15.
Int J Environ Res Public Health ; 17(17)2020 08 21.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-724955

ABSTRACT

At the beginning of the coronavirus-2019 (COVID-19) pandemic, Italy was one of the most affected countries in Europe. Severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus-2 (SARS-CoV-2) infection is less frequent and less severe in children than in adults. This study analyzed the frequency of SARS-CoV-2 infection among all children aged <18 years in the Apulia region of southern Italy and the characteristics of the infected children. Clinical and demographic data were collected through the national platform for COVID-19 surveillance. Of the 166 infected children in the Apulia region, 104 (62.6%) were asymptomatic, 37 (22.3%) had mild infections, 22 (13.3%) had moderate infections, and 3 (1.8%) had severe infections. Only ten children (6.0%) were hospitalized, but none required intensive care support and none died. SARS-CoV-2 infection was transmitted mainly from parents or relatives to children. Because of school closure during the lockdown, infection was unlikely to have been transmitted among children. It is unclear whether school reopening would enhance virus spread, leading the Italian government to develop guidelines for safe school reopening. The actual role of children in virus transmission remains unclear. A sensitive surveillance system, prompt identification of cases, testing, and contact tracing will be key to reducing the further spread of infection.


Subject(s)
Betacoronavirus/isolation & purification , Coronavirus Infections/epidemiology , Pneumonia, Viral/epidemiology , Adolescent , COVID-19 , Child , Child, Preschool , Coronavirus Infections/virology , Female , Humans , Italy/epidemiology , Male , Pandemics , Pneumonia, Viral/virology , SARS-CoV-2
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