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1.
South African Journal of Higher Education ; 36(3):109-122, 2022.
Article in English | Web of Science | ID: covidwho-1998117

ABSTRACT

Under COVID-19 lockdown conditions, the imposition of social distancing and restricted mobility, disrupted the traditional way of assessment in higher education. The closed book examination, conducted under proctored conditions, had to be substituted for the online open book examination (OOBE), posing challenges to both conventional and Open Distance Learning (ODL) institutions. The OOBE became a new experience to lecturers and students. Considering COVID-19 as a potential catalyst for educational transformation, the experiences gained in this format of assessment presents a valuable frame of reference for future learning. The aim is to extract lessons from this innovative learning experience to inform future assessment practices. The study is set in the context of a B.Ed. (Hons) compulsory module, offered at an Open Distance Learning (ODL) institution in South Africa. It is guided by the research question: "what were students' experiences of their first online, open-book final examination and what are the implications for policy, practice and research?" This is a qualitative study, using as data, student emails on their experiences of the OOBE. The results show that the OOBE is an innovative assessment practice in higher education, in need of deeper understanding and (re)training. We conclude that the OOBE offers transformational opportunities in higher education assessment practices, to replace the traditional closed-book examination. We make recommendations to assist lecturers and students in approaching the OOBE in future.

2.
Embase;
Preprint in English | EMBASE | ID: ppcovidwho-326897

ABSTRACT

The severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) epidemic in southern Africa has been characterised by three distinct waves. The first was associated with a mix of SARS-CoV-2 lineages, whilst the second and third waves were driven by the Beta and Delta variants respectively1–3. In November 2021, genomic surveillance teams in South Africa and Botswana detected a new SARS-CoV-2 variant associated with a rapid resurgence of infections in Gauteng Province, South Africa. Within three days of the first genome being uploaded, it was designated a variant of concern (Omicron) by the World Health Organization and, within three weeks, had been identified in 87 countries. The Omicron variant is exceptional for carrying over 30 mutations in the spike glycoprotein, predicted to influence antibody neutralization and spike function4. Here, we describe the genomic profile and early transmission dynamics of Omicron, highlighting the rapid spread in regions with high levels of population immunity.

5.
Afr J Thorac Crit Care Med ; 26(2)2020.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1304841

ABSTRACT

Coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) due to a novel virus, severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2), is a global pandemic that has resulted in over 1.5 million confirmed cases and close to 100 000 deaths. In the majority of symptomatic cases, COVID-19 results in a mild disease predominantly characterised by upper respiratory tract symptoms. Reverse transcription polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR) using a nasopharyngeal sample is the mainstay of diagnosis, but there is an ~30% false negative rate early in the disease and in patients with mild disease, and therefore repeat testing may be required. RT-PCR positivity can persist for several days after resolution of symptoms. IgM and IgG antibody responses become positive several days after the onset of symptoms, and robust antibody responses are detectable in the second week of illness. Antibody-based immunoassays have a limited role in the diagnosis of early symptomatic disease. However, their incremental benefit over RT-PCR in the first 2 weeks of illness is currently being clarified in ongoing studies. Such assays may be useful for surveillance purposes. However, their role in potentially selecting individuals who may benefit from vaccination, or as a biomarker identifying persons who could be redeployed into essential employment roles, is being investigated. Rapid antibody-based immunoassays that detect viral antigen in nasopharyngeal samples are being developed and evaluated.

6.
Clin Nephrol ; 95(4): 171-181, 2021 Apr.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1154725

ABSTRACT

The first documented case of SARS-CoV-2 infection was confirmed in South Africa (SA) in March 2020. The Western Cape (WC) province was the initial epicenter. The pandemic peaked in July 2020 when 76,851 cases were documented and 2,323 deaths reported. COVID-19 can have multisystem involvement. Acute kidney injury (AKI) is well-documented and associated with increased mortality. We report our experience as the pandemic evolved in the WC province, focusing on those patients with a SARS-CoV-2 positive test presenting with AKI. We also reviewed our chronic dialysis cohort and renal transplant recipients who tested positive to assess incidence and outcomes. All patients presenting to nephrology services at the four main public hospitals were included. Information regarding demographics, co-morbidities, medical care, laboratory data, and outcomes were recorded. There were 86 patients referred with AKI, 48 required dialysis, and 47 died. There were 52 patients admitted to the intensive care unit with AKI (37 received dialysis, 1 of whom survived). In those presenting with AKI, diabetes, obesity, hypertension, and HIV were the most common comorbidities. Of the 295 patients receiving chronic dialysis within our services, 31 tested positive for SARS-CoV-2, and 6 died. Of the 45 kidney transplant recipients who tested positive, 9 died. Only 3 required dialysis. In conclusion, we report a high rate of AKI and poor prognosis in those requiring kidney replacement therapy, a better prognosis than anticipated was found in our chronic dialysis cohort, and high numbers of admissions were required for renal transplant recipients.


Subject(s)
Acute Kidney Injury/therapy , COVID-19/complications , Renal Replacement Therapy , Acute Kidney Injury/etiology , Acute Kidney Injury/physiopathology , COVID-19/physiopathology , Hospitalization , Humans , Intensive Care Units , Kidney/physiopathology , Pandemics , Prognosis , South Africa
7.
Roeker, L. E.; Scarfo, L.; Chatzikonstantinou, T.; Abrisqueta, P.; Eyre, T. A.; Cordoba, R.; Prat, A. M.; Villacampa, G.; Leslie, L. A.; Koropsak, M.; Quaresmini, G.; Allan, J. N.; Furman, R. R.; Bhavsar, E. B.; Pagel, J. M.; Hernandez-Rivas, J. A.; Patel, K.; Motta, M.; Bailey, N.; Miras, F.; Lamanna, N.; Alonso, R.; Osorio-Prendes, S.; Vitale, C.; Kamdar, M.; Baltasar, P.; Osterborg, A.; Hanson, L.; Baile, M.; Rodriguez-Hernandez, I.; Valenciano, S.; Popov, V. M.; Garcia, A. B.; Alfayate, A.; Oliveira, A. C.; Eichhorst, B.; Quaglia, F. M.; Reda, G.; Jimenez, J. L.; Varettoni, M.; Marchetti, M.; Romero, P.; Grau, R. R.; Munir, T.; Zabalza, A.; Janssens, A.; Niemann, C. U.; Perini, G. F.; Delgado, J.; San Segundo, L. Y.; Roncero, M. I. G.; Wilson, M.; Patten, P.; Marasca, R.; Iyengar, S.; Seddon, A.; Torres, A.; Ferrari, A.; Cuellar-Garcia, C.; Wojenski, D.; El-Sharkawi, D.; Itchaki, G.; Parry, H.; Mateos-Mazon, J. J.; Martinez-Calle, N.; Ma, S.; Naya, D.; Van der Spek, E.; Seymour, E. K.; Vazquez, E. G.; Rigolin, G. M.; Mauro, F. R.; Walter, H. S.; Labrador, J.; De Paoli, L.; Laurenti, L.; Ruiz, E.; Levin, M. D.; Simkovic, M.; Spacek, M.; Andreu, R.; Walewska, R.; Perez-Gonzalez, S.; Sundaram, S.; Wiestner, A.; Cuesta, A.; Broom, A.; Kater, A. P.; Muina, B.; Velasquez, C. A.; Ujjani, C. S.; Seri, C.; Antic, D.; Bron, D.; Vandenberghe, E.; Chong, E. A.; Lista, E.; Garcia, F. C.; Del Poeta, G.; Ahn, I.; Pu, J. J.; Brown, J. R.; Campos, J. A. S.; Malerba, L.; Trentin, L.; Orsucci, L.; Farina, L.; Villalon, L.; Vidal, M. J.; Sanchez, M. J.; Terol, M. J.; De Paolis, M. R.; Gentile, M.; Davids, M. S.; Shadman, M.; Yassin, M. A.; Foglietta, M.; Jaksic, O.; Sportoletti, P.; Barr, P. M.; Ramos, R.; Santiago, R.; Ruchlemer, R.; Kersting, S.; Huntington, S. F.; Herold, T.; Herishanu, Y.; Thompson, M. C.; Lebowitz, S.; Ryan, C.; Jacobs, R. W.; Portell, C. A.; Isaac, K.; Rambaldi, A.; Nabhan, C.; Brander, D. M.; Montserrat, E.; Rossi, G.; Garcia-Marco, J. A.; Coscia, M.; Malakhov, N.; Fernandez-Escalada, N.; Skanland, S. S.; Coombs, C. C.; Ghione, P.; Schuster, S. J.; Foa, R.; Cuneo, A.; Bosch, F.; Stamatopoulos, K.; Ghia, P.; Mato, A. R.; Patel, M..
Blood ; 136:14, 2020.
Article in English | Web of Science | ID: covidwho-1088505
8.
Clin Nephrol ; 95(4): 171-181, 2021 Apr.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1073679

ABSTRACT

The first documented case of SARS-CoV-2 infection was confirmed in South Africa (SA) in March 2020. The Western Cape (WC) province was the initial epicenter. The pandemic peaked in July 2020 when 76,851 cases were documented and 2,323 deaths reported. COVID-19 can have multisystem involvement. Acute kidney injury (AKI) is well-documented and associated with increased mortality. We report our experience as the pandemic evolved in the WC province, focusing on those patients with a SARS-CoV-2 positive test presenting with AKI. We also reviewed our chronic dialysis cohort and renal transplant recipients who tested positive to assess incidence and outcomes. All patients presenting to nephrology services at the four main public hospitals were included. Information regarding demographics, co-morbidities, medical care, laboratory data, and outcomes were recorded. There were 86 patients referred with AKI, 48 required dialysis, and 47 died. There were 52 patients admitted to the intensive care unit with AKI (37 received dialysis, 1 of whom survived). In those presenting with AKI, diabetes, obesity, hypertension, and HIV were the most common comorbidities. Of the 295 patients receiving chronic dialysis within our services, 31 tested positive for SARS-CoV-2, and 6 died. Of the 45 kidney transplant recipients who tested positive, 9 died. Only 3 required dialysis. In conclusion, we report a high rate of AKI and poor prognosis in those requiring kidney replacement therapy, a better prognosis than anticipated was found in our chronic dialysis cohort, and high numbers of admissions were required for renal transplant recipients.


Subject(s)
Acute Kidney Injury/therapy , COVID-19/complications , Renal Replacement Therapy , Acute Kidney Injury/etiology , Acute Kidney Injury/physiopathology , COVID-19/physiopathology , Hospitalization , Humans , Intensive Care Units , Kidney/physiopathology , Pandemics , Prognosis , South Africa
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