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1.
Lancet ; 400(10359): 1213-1222, 2022 10 08.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-2184592

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: Little is known about the real-world effectiveness of oral antivirals against the SARS-CoV-2 omicron (B.1.1.529) variant. We aimed to assess the clinical effectiveness of two oral antiviral drugs among community-dwelling COVID-19 outpatients in Hong Kong. METHODS: In this observational study, we used data from the Hong Kong Hospital Authority to identify an unselected, territory-wide cohort of non-hospitalised patients with an officially registered diagnosis of SARS-CoV-2 infection between Feb 26 and June 26, 2022, during the period in which the omicron subvariant BA.2.2 was dominant in Hong Kong. We used a retrospective cohort design as primary analysis, and a case-control design as sensitivity analysis. We identified patients with COVID-19 who received either molnupiravir (800 mg twice daily for 5 days) or nirmatrelvir plus ritonavir (nirmatrelvir 300 mg and ritonavir 100 mg twice daily for 5 days, or nirmatrelvir 150 mg and ritonavir 100 mg if estimated glomerular filtration rate was 30-59 mL/min per 1·73 m2). Outpatient oral antiviral users were matched with controls using propensity score (1:10) according to age, sex, date of SARS-CoV-2 infection diagnosis, Charlson Comorbidity Index score, and vaccination status. Study outcomes were death, COVID-19-related hospitalisation, and in-hospital disease progression (in-hospital death, invasive mechanical ventilation, or intensive care unit admission). Hazard ratios (HRs) were estimated by Cox regression for the primary analysis, and odds ratios in oral antiviral users compared with non-users by logistic regression for the sensitivity analysis. FINDINGS: Among 1 074 856 non-hospitalised patients with COVID-19, 5383 received molnupiravir and 6464 received nirmatrelvir plus ritonavir in the community setting. Patients were followed up for a median of 103 days in the molnupiravir group and 99 days in the nirmatrelvir plus ritonavir group. Compared with nirmatrelvir plus ritonavir users, those on molnupiravir were older (4758 [85·9%] vs 4418 [88.7%] aged >60 years) and less likely to have been fully vaccinated (1850 [33·4%] vs 800 [16·1%]). Molnupiravir use was associated with lower risks of death (HR 0·76 [95% CI 0·61-0·95]) and in-hospital disease progression (0·57 [0·43-0·76]) than non-use was, whereas risk of hospitalisation was similar in both groups (0·98 [0·89-1·06]). Nirmatrelvir plus ritonavir use was associated with lower risks of death (0·34 [0·22-0·52]), hospitalisation (0·76 [0·67-0·86]), and in-hospital disease progression (0·57 [0·38-0·87]) than non-use was. We consistently found reduced risks of mortality and hospitalisation associated with early oral antiviral use among older patients. The findings from the case-control analysis broadly supported those from the primary analysis. INTERPRETATION: During Hong Kong's wave of SARS-CoV-2 omicron subvariant BA.2.2, among non-hospitalised patients with COVID-19, early initiation of novel oral antivirals was associated with reduced risks of mortality and in-hospital disease progression. Nirmatrelvir plus ritonavir use was additionally associated with a reduced risk of hospitalisation. FUNDING: Health and Medical Research Fund, Health Bureau, Government of Hong Kong Special Administrative Region, China. TRANSLATION: For the Chinese translation of the abstract see Supplementary Materials section.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Antiviral Agents/therapeutic use , COVID-19/drug therapy , Cytidine/analogs & derivatives , Disease Progression , Hong Kong/epidemiology , Hospital Mortality , Hospitalization , Humans , Hydroxylamines , Independent Living , Retrospective Studies , Ritonavir/therapeutic use , SARS-CoV-2
2.
The Lancet Regional Health - Western Pacific ; : 100678, 2023.
Article in English | ScienceDirect | ID: covidwho-2165675

ABSTRACT

Summary Background On-arrival quarantine has been one of the primary measures to prevent the introduction of SARS-CoV-2 into Hong Kong since the start of the pandemic. Most on-arrival quarantines have been done in hotels, with the duration of quarantine and testing frequency during quarantine modified over time along with other pandemic control measures. However, hotels are not designed with infection control in mind. We aimed to systematically study the potential risk of acquisition of SARS-CoV-2 infection among individuals undergoing hotel quarantine. Methods We examined data on each laboratory-confirmed COVID-19 case identified in on-arrival quarantine in a hotel in Hong Kong between 1 May 2020 and 31 January 2022. We sequenced the whole genomes of viruses from cases that overlapped with other confirmed cases in terms of the hotel of stay, date of arrival and date of testing positive. By combining multiple sources of evidence, we identify probable and plausible transmission events and calculate the overall risk of transmission. Findings Among 221 imported cases that overlapped with other cases detected during hotel quarantine with available sequence data, phylogenomic analyses identified five probable and two plausible clusters of within-hotel transmission. Only two of these clusters were recognised at the time. Including other clusters reported in Hong Kong, we estimate that 8–11 per 1000 cases identified in hotel quarantine may be infected by another unlinked case during quarantine, or 2–3 per 100,000 overseas arrivals. Interpretation We have identified additional undetected occurrences of COVID-19 transmission within hotel quarantine in Hong Kong. Although hotels provide suboptimal infection control as improvised quarantine facilities, the risk of contracting infection whilst in quarantine is low. However, these unlikely events could have high consequences by allowing the virus to spread into immunologically naïve communities. Additional vigilance should be taken in the absence of improved controls to identify such events. If on-arrival quarantine is expected to be used for a long time, quarantine facilities could be purpose-built to minimise the risk of transmission. Funding Health and Medical Research Fund, Hong Kong.

3.
IJID Regions ; 2022.
Article in English | ScienceDirect | ID: covidwho-2165406

ABSTRACT

Objectives : Variant of Concern (VOC) of SARS-CoV-2, such as Delta variant and Omicron variant have invaded all countries/regions and caused tremendous impact. We aim to study the global spread of VOCs of SARS-CoV-2. Methods : We download bi-weekly aggregated numbers of different VOC for 58 locations. We calculate the time interval of a VOC exceeding 60% (defined as invasion) among all samples sequenced in each locations. We define a metric ie, the time for a VOC to invade 12 (or 36) locations, to quantify the rate a VOC invaded a number of locations. Results : We found that it took 63 days, 56 days, and 28 days for Alpha, Delta and Omicron to invade 12 locations, respectively. It took 133, 70, and 28 days for Alpha, Delta and Omicron to dominate in 36 locations. Conclusions : We conclude that Omicron has much higher transmission advantage than Delta, while Delta has a higher transmission advantage than pre-Delta VOCs.

5.
Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A ; 119(48): e2213313119, 2022 Nov 29.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-2133967

ABSTRACT

Hong Kong has implemented stringent public health and social measures (PHSMs) to curb each of the four COVID-19 epidemic waves since January 2020. The third wave between July and September 2020 was brought under control within 2 m, while the fourth wave starting from the end of October 2020 has taken longer to bring under control and lasted at least 5 mo. Here, we report the pandemic fatigue as one of the potential reasons for the reduced impact of PHSMs on transmission in the fourth wave. We contacted either 500 or 1,000 local residents through weekly random-digit dialing of landlines and mobile telephones from May 2020 to February 2021. We analyze the epidemiological impact of pandemic fatigue by using the large and detailed cross-sectional telephone surveys to quantify risk perception and self-reported protective behaviors and mathematical models to incorporate population protective behaviors. Our retrospective prediction suggests that an increase of 100 daily new reported cases would lead to 6.60% (95% CI: 4.03, 9.17) more people worrying about being infected, increase 3.77% (95% CI: 2.46, 5.09) more people to avoid social gatherings, and reduce the weekly mean reproduction number by 0.32 (95% CI: 0.20, 0.44). Accordingly, the fourth wave would have been 14% (95% CI%: -53%, 81%) smaller if not for pandemic fatigue. This indicates the important role of mitigating pandemic fatigue in maintaining population protective behaviors for controlling COVID-19.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Influenza, Human , Humans , Pandemics/prevention & control , COVID-19/epidemiology , COVID-19/prevention & control , Influenza, Human/prevention & control , Hong Kong/epidemiology , Cross-Sectional Studies , Retrospective Studies , Fatigue/epidemiology , Fatigue/prevention & control
6.
The Lancet Regional Health - Western Pacific ; 30:100645, 2023.
Article in English | ScienceDirect | ID: covidwho-2122682

ABSTRACT

Summary Background Hong Kong followed a strict COVID-19 elimination strategy in 2020. We estimated the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic responses on all-cause and cause-specific hospitalizations and deaths in 2020. Methods Interrupted time-series analysis using negative binomial regression accounting for seasonality and long-term trend was used on weekly 2010–2020 data to estimate the change in hospitalization risk and excess mortality occurring both within and out of hospitals. Findings In 2020, as compared to a 2010–2019 baseline, we observed an overall reduction in all-cause hospitalizations, and a concurrent increase in deaths. The overall hospitalization reduction (per 100,000 population) was 4809 (95% CI: 4692, 4926) in 2020, with respiratory diseases (632, 95% CI: 607, 658) and cardiovascular diseases (275, 95% CI: 264, 286) contributing most. The overall excess mortality (per 100,000 population) was 25 (95% CI: 23, 27) in 2020, mostly among individuals with pre-existing cardiovascular diseases (12, 95% CI: 11, 13). A reduction in excess in-hospital mortality (−10 per 100,000, 95% CI: −12, −8) was accompanied by an increase in excess out-of-hospital mortality (32, 95% CI: 29, 34). Interpretation The COVID-19 pandemic might have caused indirect impact on population morbidity and mortality likely through changed healthcare seeking particularly in youngest and oldest individuals and those with cardiovascular diseases. Better healthcare planning is needed during public health emergencies with disruptions in healthcare services. Funding Health and Medical Research Fund, Collaborative Research Fund, AIR@InnoHK and RGC Senior Research Fellow Scheme, Hong Kong.

7.
BMC Med ; 20(1): 409, 2022 10 25.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-2089196

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: Dose fractionation of a coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) vaccine could effectively accelerate global vaccine coverage, while supporting evidence of efficacy, immunogenicity, and safety are unavailable, especially with emerging variants. METHODS: We systematically reviewed clinical trials that reported dose-finding results and estimated the dose-response relationship of neutralizing antibodies (nAbs) of COVID-19 vaccines using a generalized additive model. We predicted the vaccine efficacy against both ancestral and variants, using previously reported correlates of protection and cross-reactivity. We also reviewed and compared seroconversion to nAbs, T cell responses, and safety profiles between fractional and standard dose groups. RESULTS: We found that dose fractionation of mRNA and protein subunit vaccines could induce SARS-CoV-2-specific nAbs and T cells that confer a reasonable level of protection (i.e., vaccine efficacy > 50%) against ancestral strains and variants up to Omicron. Safety profiles of fractional doses were non-inferior to the standard dose. CONCLUSIONS: Dose fractionation of mRNA and protein subunit vaccines may be safe and effective, which would also vary depending on the characteristics of emerging variants and updated vaccine formulations.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 Vaccines , COVID-19 , Humans , Antibodies, Neutralizing , Antibodies, Viral , COVID-19/prevention & control , COVID-19 Vaccines/adverse effects , Protein Subunits , RNA, Messenger , SARS-CoV-2 , Viral Vaccines
8.
International Journal of Infectious Diseases ; 2022.
Article in English | ScienceDirect | ID: covidwho-2086293

ABSTRACT

Objectives : We aimed to explore the transmission dynamics of the Omicron BA.1.1 variant in an outbreak in China. Methods : We constructed 113 transmission pairs based on the time of exposure and symptom onset for identified infectors and infectees, using the epidemiological data collected during an outbreak in Hangzhou, Zhejiang province, China, between January and February 2022. Key epidemiological parameters were estimated. Results : The mean estimates of the incubation period and latent period distributions were 3.8 days (95% credible interval: 3.5, 4.1) and 3.1 days (2.8, 3.5), respectively. The overall transmission risk peaked at symptom onset, and we estimated that 33.6% (24.8, 42.5) of transmission occurred before symptom onset. The forward generation time decreased from 5.2 days (4.7, 5.7) at the start of the outbreak to 2.2 days (2.0, 2.5) by the end. Allowing for this variation over time in the generation time distribution, we estimated the Rt dropped rapidly from 9.5 (3.5, 18.4) to 0.8 (0.3, 1.5) over the outbreak. Conclusions : Shorter incubation period and latent period were estimated for the Omicron BA.1.1 variant. Stringent public health measures prevented a large epidemic by reducing transmission as indicated by the shortened generation time.

9.
Nat Commun ; 13(1): 6285, 2022 Oct 21.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-2087205

ABSTRACT

Vaccines that are broadly cross-protective against current and future SARS-CoV-2 variants of concern (VoC) or across the sarbecoviruses subgenus remain a priority for public health. Virus neutralization is the best available correlate of protection. To define the magnitude and breadth of cross-neutralization in individuals with different exposure to SARS-CoV-2 infection and vaccination, we here use a multiplex surrogate neutralization assay based on virus spike receptor binding domains of multiple SARS-CoV-2 VoC, as well as related bat and pangolin viruses. We include sera from cohorts of individuals vaccinated with two or three doses of mRNA (BNT162b2) or inactivated SARS-CoV-2 (Coronavac or Sinopharm) vaccines with or without a history of previous SARS-CoV-2 or SARS-CoV-1 infection. SARS-CoV-2 or SARS-CoV-1 infection followed by BNT162b2 vaccine, Omicron BA.2 breakthrough infection following BNT162b2 vaccine or a third dose of BNT162b2 following two doses of BNT162b2 or Coronavac elicit the highest and broadest neutralization across VoCs. For both breadth and magnitude of neutralization across all sarbecoviruses, those infected with SARS-CoV-1 immunized with BNT162b2 outperform all other combinations of infection and/or vaccination. These data may inform vaccine design strategies for generating broadly neutralizing antibodies to SARS-CoV-2 variants or across the sarbecovirus subgenus.


Subject(s)
Antibodies, Neutralizing , COVID-19 , Humans , SARS-CoV-2 , Neutralization Tests , Antibodies, Viral , Broadly Neutralizing Antibodies , BNT162 Vaccine , COVID-19/prevention & control , Receptors, Virus , RNA, Messenger
10.
J Travel Med ; 2022 Sep 24.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-2077806

ABSTRACT

We analysed the effectiveness of various non-pharmaceutical interventions in containing the 2022 Omicron outbreak in China. The results show that the Rapid Antigen Test contributed to containing the outbreak, reducing the reproduction number by 0.788 (95% CI:-0.306, 1.880) in studied cities.

11.
J Infect Dis ; 226(8): 1382-1384, 2022 Oct 17.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-2077786

ABSTRACT

There is limited evidence on vaccine effectiveness against asymptomatic or mild Omicron infections. We estimated that recent third doses of messenger RNA or inactivated vaccines reduced the risk of self-reported infection by 52% (95% confidence interval, 17%-73%) among randomly sampled adults during the Omicron BA.2-dominated surge in Hong Kong.


Subject(s)
BNT162 Vaccine , COVID-19 , Adult , COVID-19/prevention & control , COVID-19 Vaccines , Hong Kong/epidemiology , Humans , RNA, Messenger , SARS-CoV-2 , Vaccines, Inactivated
12.
Lancet Glob Health ; 10(11): e1612-e1622, 2022 11.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-2069828

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: The transmission dynamics of influenza were affected by public health and social measures (PHSMs) implemented globally since early 2020 to mitigate the COVID-19 pandemic. We aimed to assess the effect of COVID-19 PHSMs on the transmissibility of influenza viruses and to predict upcoming influenza epidemics. METHODS: For this modelling study, we used surveillance data on influenza virus activity for 11 different locations and countries in 2017-22. We implemented a data-driven mechanistic predictive modelling framework to predict future influenza seasons on the basis of pre-COVID-19 dynamics and the effect of PHSMs during the COVID-19 pandemic. We simulated the potential excess burden of upcoming influenza epidemics in terms of fold rise in peak magnitude and epidemic size compared with pre-COVID-19 levels. We also examined how a proactive influenza vaccination programme could mitigate this effect. FINDINGS: We estimated that COVID-19 PHSMs reduced influenza transmissibility by a maximum of 17·3% (95% CI 13·3-21·4) to 40·6% (35·2-45·9) and attack rate by 5·1% (1·5-7·2) to 24·8% (20·8-27·5) in the 2019-20 influenza season. We estimated a 10-60% increase in the population susceptibility for influenza, which might lead to a maximum of 1-5-fold rise in peak magnitude and 1-4-fold rise in epidemic size for the upcoming 2022-23 influenza season across locations, with a significantly higher fold rise in Singapore and Taiwan. The infection burden could be mitigated by additional proactive one-off influenza vaccination programmes. INTERPRETATION: Our results suggest the potential for substantial increases in infection burden in upcoming influenza seasons across the globe. Strengthening influenza vaccination programmes is the best preventive measure to reduce the effect of influenza virus infections in the community. FUNDING: Health and Medical Research Fund, Hong Kong.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Influenza, Human , COVID-19/epidemiology , Humans , Influenza, Human/epidemiology , Influenza, Human/prevention & control , Pandemics/prevention & control , Public Health , Seasons
13.
China CDC Wkly ; 4(40): 885-889, 2022 Oct 07.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-2067699

ABSTRACT

Introduction: Minimizing the importation and exportation risks of coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) is a primary concern for sustaining the "Dynamic COVID-zero" strategy in China. Risk estimation is essential for cities to conduct before relaxing border control measures. Methods: Informed by the daily number of passengers traveling between 367 prefectures (cities) in China, this study used a stochastic metapopulation model parameterized with COVID-19 epidemic characteristics to estimate the importation and exportation risks. Results: Under the transmission scenario (R0 =5.49), this study estimated the cumulative case incidence of Changchun City, Jilin Province as 3,233 (95% confidence interval: 1,480, 4,986) before a lockdown on March 14, 2022, which is close to the 3,168 cases reported in real life by March 16, 2022. In a total of 367 prefectures (cities), 127 (35%) had high exportation risks according to the simulation and could transmit the disease to 50% of all other regions within a period from 17 to 94 days. The average time until a new infection arrives in a location in 1 of the 367 prefectures (cities) ranged from 26 to 101 days. Conclusions: Estimating COVID-19 importation and exportation risks is necessary for preparedness, prevention, and control measures of COVID-19 - especially when new variants emerge.

14.
Eur Respir Rev ; 31(165)2022 Sep 30.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-2038627

ABSTRACT

The performance of gargling for severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) reverse transcriptase (RT)-PCR testing has not been previously reviewed. This review systematically assessed the performance of saline and water gargling for SARS-CoV-2 RT-PCR testing in the settings of diagnosing and monitoring viral shedding.We included original studies comparing the performance of gargling and (oropharyngeal-)nasopharyngeal swabs for SARS-CoV-2 RT-PCR testing. Studies conducted in either suspected individuals or confirmed cases were included and analysed separately. The sensitivity, specificity, positive predictive value (PPV) and negative predictive value (NPV) were examined using random-effects models.Gargles achieved a high overall sensitivity (91%), specificity (97%), PPV (95%) and NPV (91%) for SARS-CoV-2 RT-PCR testing. Studies using saline gargle and water gargle have an overall sensitivity of 97% and 86%, respectively. The sensitivity values were largely maintained for saline and water gargling on stratified analysis, for both diagnosis (96% and 92%) and viral shedding monitoring (98% and 78%). A higher sensitivity was also reported by studies using sterile saline (100%), a smaller amount of gargling solution (92% versus 87%) and a longer gargling duration (95% versus 86%).Our results supported the use of gargling as a sampling approach for SARS-CoV-2 RT-PCR testing, which achieved a high sensitivity for both diagnosis and viral shedding monitoring purposes. Further investigation on the comparative performance of different gargling mediums is needed to draw a definitive conclusion.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , SARS-CoV-2 , COVID-19/diagnosis , COVID-19 Testing , Humans , RNA-Directed DNA Polymerase , Reverse Transcriptase Polymerase Chain Reaction , SARS-CoV-2/genetics , Sensitivity and Specificity , Water
15.
J Infect Dis ; 2022 Sep 15.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-2029045

ABSTRACT

We administered BNT162b2 as a third dose to 314 adults aged ≥30 years who had previously received two doses of inactivated vaccination. We collected blood samples before the third dose and again after one month and six months, and found robust antibody responses to the ancestral strain at six months after receipt of BNT162b2. Antibody responses to Omicron BA.2 by live virus neutralization were weaker after the third dose and had declined to a low level by six months.

16.
Clin Infect Dis ; 75(1): e293-e295, 2022 08 24.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-2017835

ABSTRACT

The coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic continues to pose substantial risks to public health, worsened by the emergence of severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) variants that may have a higher transmissibility and reduce vaccine effectiveness. We conducted a systematic review and meta-analysis on reproduction numbers of SARS-CoV-2 variants and provided pooled estimates for each variant.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , SARS-CoV-2 , COVID-19/epidemiology , Humans , Pandemics , Reproduction , SARS-CoV-2/genetics
17.
Clin Infect Dis ; 2021 Oct 28.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-2017775

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: Testing of an entire community has been used as an approach to control COVID-19. In Hong Kong, a universal community testing programme (UCTP) was implemented at the fadeout phase of a community epidemic in July to September 2020. We described the utility of the UCTP in finding unrecognised infections, and analysed data from the UCTP and other sources to characterise transmission dynamics. METHODS: We described the characteristics of people participating in the UCTP and compared the clinical and epidemiological characteristics of COVID-19 cases detected by the UCTP versus those detected by clinical diagnosis and public health surveillance (CDPHS). We developed a Bayesian model to estimate the age-specific incidence of infection and the proportion of cases detected by CDPHS. RESULTS: 1.77 million people, 24% of the Hong Kong population, participated in the UCTP from 1 to 14 September 2020. The UCTP identified 32 new infections (1.8 per 100,000 samples tested), consisting of 29% of all local cases reported during the two-week UCTP period. Compared with the CDPHS, the UCTP detected a higher proportion of sporadic cases (62% versus 27%, p <0.01) and identified 6 (out of 18) additional clusters during that period. We estimated that 27% (95% credible interval: 22%, 34%) of all infections were detected by the CDPHS in the third wave. CONCLUSIONS: We reported empirical evidence of the utility of population-wide COVID-19 testing in detecting unrecognised infections and clusters. Around three quarters of infections have not been identified through existing surveillance approaches including contact tracing.

18.
Open Forum Infect Dis ; 9(8): ofac352, 2022 Aug.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-2008601

ABSTRACT

We conducted a scoping review of the epidemiological literature from the past 50 years to document the contribution of influenza virus infection to extrapulmonary clinical outcomes. We identified 99 publications reporting 243 associations using many study designs, exposure and outcome definitions, and methods. Laboratory confirmation of influenza was used in only 28 (12%) estimates, mostly in case-control and self-controlled case series study designs. We identified 50 individual clinical conditions associated with influenza. The most numerous estimates were of cardiocirculatory diseases, neurological/neuromuscular diseases, and fetal/newborn disorders, with myocardial infarction the most common individual outcome. Due to heterogeneity, we could not generate summary estimates of effect size, but of 130 relative effect estimates, 105 (81%) indicated an elevated risk of extrapulmonary outcome with influenza exposure. The literature is indicative of systemic complications of influenza virus infection, the requirement for more effective influenza control, and a need for robust confirmatory studies.

19.
Lancet Infect Dis ; 22(12): 1681-1693, 2022 Dec.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1996735

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: Data on the effectiveness of oral antivirals in patients with mild-to-moderate COVID-19 are urgently needed. This retrospective cohort study aimed to evaluate the clinical and virological outcomes associated with molnupiravir or nirmatrelvir-ritonavir use in hospitalised patients with mild-to-moderate COVID-19 during a pandemic wave dominated by the omicron BA.2 subvariant. METHODS: We analysed data from a territory-wide retrospective cohort of patients in Hong Kong who were hospitalised with a confirmed diagnosis of SARS-CoV-2 infection between Feb 26 and April 26, 2022. Data were extracted from the Hospital Authority, the Department of Health, and the Hong Kong Death Registry. Patients were eligible for inclusion if their admission date was within 3 days before or after confirmation of their COVID-19 diagnosis. Those who were admitted to hospital more than 5 days after symptom onset, were younger than 18 years, had a history of oral antiviral use before admission, required supplemental oxygen on admission, had drug-related contraindications to nirmatrelvir-ritonavir use, or had severe renal or severe liver impairment were excluded. Patients who received the oral antivirals molnupiravir or nirmatrelvir-ritonavir were matched with controls using propensity-score matching in a ratio of 1:1. The primary outcome was all-cause mortality and secondary outcomes included a composite outcome of disease progression (all-cause mortality, initiation of invasive mechanical ventilation [IMV], intensive care unit [ICU] admission, or the need for oxygen therapy) and each of these individual disease progression outcomes, and time to reaching a low viral burden (RT-PCR cycle threshold value ≥30). For each event outcome, crude incidence rates were calculated and hazard ratios (HRs) estimated using Cox regression models. FINDINGS: We identified 40 776 patients hospitalised with SARS-CoV-2 infection during the study period, with a mean follow-up of 41·3 days (total 925 713 person-days). After exclusions and propensity-score matching, we included 1856 molnupiravir recipients and 1856 matched controls, and 890 nirmatrelvir-ritonavir recipients and 890 matched controls. A lower risk of all-cause mortality was observed in molnupiravir recipients (crude incidence rate per 10 000 person-days 19·98 events [95% CI 16·91-23·45]) versus matched controls (38·07 events [33·85-42·67]; HR 0·48 [95% CI 0·40-0·59], p<0·0001) and in nirmatrelvir-ritonavir recipients (10·28 events [7·03-14·51]) versus matched controls (26·47 events [21·34-32·46]; HR 0·34 [0·23-0·50], p<0·0001). Oral antiviral recipients also had lower risks of the composite disease progression outcome (molnupiravir HR 0·60 [95% CI 0·52-0·69], p<0·0001; nirmatrelvir-ritonavir 0·57 [0·45-0·72], p<0·0001) and need for oxygen therapy (molnupiravir 0·69 [0·57-0·83], p=0·0001; nirmatrelvir-ritonavir 0·73 [0·54-0·97], p=0·032) compared with controls. Time to achieving a low viral burden was significantly shorter among oral antiviral recipients than matched controls (molnupiravir HR 1·38 [95% CI 1·15-1·64], p=0·0005; nirmatrelvir-ritonavir 1·38 [1·07-1·79], p=0·013). Significant differences in initiation of IMV and ICU admission were not found. INTERPRETATION: During a wave of SARS-CoV-2 omicron BA.2, initiation of novel oral antiviral treatments in hospitalised patients not requiring oxygen therapy on admission showed substantial clinical benefit. Our findings support the early use of oral antivirals in this population of patients. FUNDING: Health and Medical Research Fund (Health Bureau, Government of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region). TRANSLATION: For the Chinese translation of the abstract see Supplementary Materials section.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Humans , COVID-19/drug therapy , Ritonavir/therapeutic use , SARS-CoV-2 , Retrospective Studies , COVID-19 Testing , Hong Kong/epidemiology , Antiviral Agents/therapeutic use , Disease Progression , Oxygen
20.
Clin Infect Dis ; 2022 Aug 12.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1992158

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: Influenza circulated at historically-low levels during 2020 and 2021 due to COVID-19 pandemic travel restrictions. In Australia, international arrivals to Australia were required to undertake 14 days hotel quarantine to limit new introduction of SARS-CoV-2 virus. METHODS: We used routine testing data for travellers arriving on repatriation flights to Darwin, Australia from 3 January to 11 October 2021 to identify importations of influenza virus into Australia and used this information to estimate the risk of a case exiting quarantine while still infectious. Influenza-positive samples were sequenced and cases were followed-up to identify transmission clusters. Data on the number of cases and total passengers was used to infer the risk of influenza cases existing quarantine while infectious. RESULTS: Despite very low circulation of influenza globally, 42 cases were identified among 15,026 returned travellers, of which 30 were A(H3N2), two were A(H1N1)pdm09 and 10 were B/Victoria. Virus sequencing data identified potential in-flight transmission, as well as independent infections prior to travel. Under the quarantine strategy in place at the time, the probability that these cases could initiate influenza outbreaks in Australia neared 0. However, this probability rose as quarantine requirements relaxed. CONCLUSIONS: Detection of influenza virus infections in repatriated travellers provided a source of influenza viruses otherwise unavailable and enabled development of the A(H3N2) vaccine seed viruses included in the 2022 Southern Hemisphere influenza vaccine. Failing to test quarantined returned travellers for influenza, represents a missed opportunity for enhanced surveillance to better inform public health preparedness.

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