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1.
Int J Environ Res Public Health ; 18(22)2021 11 19.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1523998

ABSTRACT

During the COVID-19 pandemic, many countries adopted various non-pharmacological interventions to contain the number of infections. The most often used policy was school closures. We describe the strategy adopted by the Veneto Regional Authority to contain transmission in school settings. This included a detailed school surveillance system, strict contact tracing, and maintaining school attendance with self-monitoring for symptoms whenever possible. All analyzed COVID-19 cases among children, adolescents (0-19 years old), and school staff were registered using a web-based application between 4 January 2021 and 13 June 2021. During the study period, 6272 episodes of infection in schools were identified; 87% were linked to a student index case and 13% to school staff; 69% generated no secondary cases; 24% generated one or two; and only 7% caused more than two. Our data may help to clarify the role of school closures, providing useful input for decisions in the months to come. Good practice in public health management needs tools that provide a real-time interpretation of phenomena like COVID-19 outbreaks. The proposed measures should be easy to adopt and accessible to policymakers.

2.
Vaccines (Basel) ; 9(7)2021 Jul 01.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1317265

ABSTRACT

To investigate the association of the 2019-2020 influenza vaccine with prognosis of patients positive for SARS-CoV-2A, a large multi-database cohort study was conducted in four Italian regions (i.e., Lazio, Lombardy, Veneto, and Tuscany) and the Reggio Emilia province (Emilia-Romagna). More than 21 million adults were residing in the study area (42% of the population). We included 115,945 COVID-19 cases diagnosed during the first wave of the pandemic (February-May, 2020); 34.6% of these had been vaccinated against influenza. Three outcomes were considered: hospitalization, death, and intensive care unit (ICU) admission/death. The adjusted relative risk (RR) of being hospitalized in the vaccinated group when compared with the non-vaccinated group was 0.87 (95% CI: 0.86-0.88). This reduction in risk was not confirmed for death (RR = 1.04; 95% CI: 1.01-1.06), or for the combined outcome of ICU admission or death. In conclusion, our study, conducted on the vast majority of the population during the first wave of the pandemic in Italy, showed a 13% statistically significant reduction in the risk of hospitalization in some geographical areas and in the younger population. No impact of seasonal influenza vaccination on COVID-19 prognosis in terms of death and death or ICU admission was estimated.

3.
Int J Environ Res Public Health ; 18(5)2021 03 08.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1134151

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: In the context of the COVID-19 pandemic, there is interest in assessing if per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS) exposures are associated with any increased risk of COVID-19 or its severity, given the evidence of immunosuppression by some PFAS. The objective of this paper is to evaluate at the ecological level if a large area (Red Zone) of the Veneto Region, where residents were exposed for decades to drinking water contaminated by PFAS, showed higher mortality for COVID-19 than the rest of the region. METHODS: We fitted a Bayesian ecological regression model with spatially and not spatially structured random components on COVID-19 mortality at the municipality level (period between 21 February and 15 April 2020). The model included education score, background all-cause mortality (for the years 2015-2019), and an indicator for the Red Zone. The two random components are intended to adjust for potential hidden confounders. RESULTS: The COVID-19 crude mortality rate ratio for the Red Zone was 1.55 (90% Confidence Interval 1.25; 1.92). From the Bayesian ecological regression model adjusted for education level and baseline all-cause mortality, the rate ratio for the Red Zone was 1.60 (90% Credibility Interval 0.94; 2.51). CONCLUSION: In conclusion, we observed a higher mortality risk for COVID-19 in a population heavily exposed to PFAS, which was possibly explained by PFAS immunosuppression, bioaccumulation in lung tissue, or pre-existing disease being related to PFAS.


Subject(s)
Alkanesulfonic Acids , COVID-19 , Fluorocarbons , Bayes Theorem , Cities , Fluorocarbons/toxicity , Humans , Italy/epidemiology , Pandemics , SARS-CoV-2
4.
Euro Surveill ; 25(47)2020 11.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-976159

ABSTRACT

BackgroundVeneto was one of the Italian regions hit hardest by the early phase of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) pandemic.AimThis paper describes the public health response and epidemiology of severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) infections in the Veneto Region from 21 February to 2 April 2020.MethodsInformation on the public health response was collected from regional health authorities' official sources. Epidemiological data were extracted from a web-based regional surveillance system. The epidemic curve was represented by date of testing. Characteristics of hospitalised COVID-19 cases were described and compared to those never admitted to hospital. Age- and sex-stratified case-fatality ratios (CFRs) were calculated.ResultsKey elements of the regional public health response were thorough case-finding and contact tracing, home care for non-severe cases, creation of dedicated COVID-19 healthcare facilities and activation of sub-intensive care units for non-invasive ventilation. As at 2 April 2020, 91,345 individuals were tested for SARS-CoV-2 and 10,457 (11.4%) were positive. Testing and attack rates were 18.6 per 1,000 and 213.2 per 100,000 population, respectively. The epidemic peaked around 20 to 24 March, with case numbers declining thereafter. Hospitalised cases (n = 3,623; 34.6%) were older and more frequently male compared with never-hospitalised cases. The CFR was 5.6% overall, and was higher among males and people > 60 years of age.ConclusionIn the Veneto Region, the strict social distancing measures imposed by the Italian government were supported by thorough case finding and contact tracing, as well as well-defined roles for different levels of care.


Subject(s)
Coronavirus Infections/epidemiology , Coronavirus , Hospitalization/statistics & numerical data , Pneumonia, Viral/epidemiology , Public Health , Adolescent , Adult , Aged , Aged, 80 and over , COVID-19 , COVID-19 Nucleic Acid Testing , Child , Child, Preschool , Contact Tracing , Coronavirus Infections/virology , Female , Humans , Incidence , Infant , Infant, Newborn , Italy/epidemiology , Male , Middle Aged , Pandemics , Physical Distancing , Pneumonia, Viral/virology , SARS-CoV-2 , Young Adult
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