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1.
Ann Fam Med ; 20(3): 273-276, 2022.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1862230

ABSTRACT

Integrating primary care with the health response is key to managing pandemics and other health emergencies. In recognition of this, the Australian Government established a network of respiratory clinics led by general practitioners in response to the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic as part of broader measures aimed at supporting primary care. General practitioner (GP) respiratory clinics provide holistic face-to-face assessment and treatment to those with respiratory symptoms in an environment with strict protocols for infection prevention and control. This ensures that these patients are able to access high quality primary care while protecting the general practice workforce and other patients. The GP respiratory clinic model was developed and operationalized 10 days after the policy was announced, with the first 2 respiratory clinics opening on March 21, 2020. Subsequently a total of 150 respiratory clinics were opened and served over 800,000 patients within more than 99% of Australia's postcodes. These clinics used a standardized data collection tool that has provided the largest and most complete primary care surveillance database of respiratory illness in Australia. The success of the GP respiratory clinic model was made possible due to strong partnerships with Primary Health Networks and individual general practices that rapidly shifted operations to embrace this new approach. This article describes the development and early implementation of this model.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , General Practice , General Practitioners , Australia/epidemiology , COVID-19/epidemiology , Humans , Pandemics/prevention & control
2.
Methods Mol Biol ; 2452: 131-146, 2022.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1844264

ABSTRACT

A number of viral quantification methods are used to measure the concentration of infectious severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2). While the traditional plaque-based assay allows for direct enumeration of replication competent lytic virions and remains the gold standard for the quantification of infectious virus, the 50% tissue culture infectious dose (TCID50) endpoint dilution assay allows for a more rapid, large-scale analysis of experimental samples. In this chapter, we describe a well-established TCID50 assay protocol to measure the SARS-CoV-2 infectious titer in viral stocks, in vitro cell or organoid models, and animal tissue. We also present alternative assays for scoring the cytopathic effect of SARS-CoV-2 in cell culture and comparable methods to calculate the 50% endpoint by serial dilution.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Communicable Diseases , Animals , Biological Assay/methods , Cytopathogenic Effect, Viral , SARS-CoV-2
3.
Commun Dis Intell (2018) ; 462022 Apr 26.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1812120

ABSTRACT

Effective control of coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) has been challenging, in part due to significant asymptomatic and pre-symptomatic transmission of disease. Reducing the time between symptom onset and COVID-19 testing and isolation allows enhanced outbreak control. The purpose of this study is to describe the time taken by participants to present to general practitioner-led (GP) respiratory clinics for assessment following the development of symptoms, and to explore associations between demographic and geographic characteristics and the time to presentation. A total of 314,148 participants, who were assessed in GP respiratory clinics between 1 February and 31 August 2021, were included in the analysis. The median age of participants at presentation was 33 years (interquartile range, IQR: 15-49). The median time from development of symptoms to presentation for assessment at GP respiratory clinics was 2 days (IQR: 1-3). Participants were more likely to present within one day of symptom onset if they were aged between 15 and 64 years (43.4%), lived in urban areas (40.9%) or were non-Indigenous (40.2%). Participants in New South Wales and Victoria had twice the odds (OR 2.01; 95% confidence interval (CI): 1.95, 2.08) of presenting at a GP respiratory clinic within one day of symptom onset in August 2021, when there was a COVID-19 outbreak in those states, than they did in March 2021, when there was no COVID-19 outbreak in Australia. The number of days from symptom onset to presentation at a GP respiratory clinic was strongly associated with the presence of a COVID-19 outbreak. Participant age, location of the clinic, and Indigenous status of participants were also associated with the time to presentation. This study highlights the importance of recognising COVID-19 as a potential cause of symptoms, as well as the importance of providing easily accessible, and culturally appropriate, testing facilities for the population.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , General Practitioners , Adolescent , Adult , COVID-19/diagnosis , COVID-19/epidemiology , COVID-19 Testing , Humans , Middle Aged , Primary Health Care , SARS-CoV-2 , Victoria , Young Adult
4.
Perspectives of the ASHA Special Interest Groups ; 7(2):533-542, 2022.
Article in English | CINAHL | ID: covidwho-1805688

ABSTRACT

Background: The COVID-19 pandemic required a shift in the landscape of practice patterns regarding management of pediatric feeding disorders. The challenging limitations impacted routine service delivery models and deemed it necessary for abrupt transition to optimize professional care to best meet the needs of clients and families. Telepractice platforms were explored across practice settings and often integrated new technology, telehealth practices, and family support systems. Purpose: The purpose of this clinical focus article was to consider the impact of COVID-19 on modifications in clinical practice related to pediatric feeding disorders and dysphagia. Conclusions: The COVID-19 pandemic demanded modification of clinical service delivery to pediatric clients having feeding disorders and dysphagia. The service challenges prior to the pandemic were further complicated by challenging limitations in service delivery, client accessibility, and family support resources. Telehealth offered a hybrid model for quality care when access to traditional in-person sessions was limited. Future research on this dynamic framework will guide us in evaluating the benefits and limitations in clinical practices. Ongoing research and development of resources are needed to ensure equitable and accessible services across settings.

5.
Aust Health Rev ; 46(3): 269-272, 2022 Jun.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1751824

ABSTRACT

The urgency of the COVID-19 pandemic in Australia has seen the implementation of digital health technologies to support continuity of high-quality primary care provision. Digital health innovation has been used to operationalise the nation's pandemic preparedness principles by reducing risk of infection to both healthcare workers and at-risk patients, sustaining care for chronic and acute health conditions, and supporting the mental health of the population. In this perspective piece, we document the Australian Federal government's digital health response to ensure the ongoing delivery of high-quality primary care. This includes the implementation of telehealth, point-of-care testing, electronic records and e-prescriptions, national primary care data collection and analysis, and digital communication. Digital health has been a critical element of the pandemic response and paves the way for future primary care provision during disasters and emergencies. Further research is needed to capture the effectiveness, feasibility and acceptability of these innovations for both patients and primary care practitioners.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Pandemics , Australia/epidemiology , Humans , Primary Health Care , SARS-CoV-2
6.
Commun Biol ; 5(1): 242, 2022 03 18.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1751765

ABSTRACT

Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome Coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2), the cause of coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19), has incited a global health crisis. Currently, there are limited therapeutic options for the prevention and treatment of SARS-CoV-2 infections. We evaluated the antiviral activity of sulforaphane (SFN), the principal biologically active phytochemical derived from glucoraphanin, the naturally occurring precursor present in high concentrations in cruciferous vegetables. SFN inhibited in vitro replication of six strains of SARS-CoV-2, including Delta and Omicron, as well as that of the seasonal coronavirus HCoV-OC43. Further, SFN and remdesivir interacted synergistically to inhibit coronavirus infection in vitro. Prophylactic administration of SFN to K18-hACE2 mice prior to intranasal SARS-CoV-2 infection significantly decreased the viral load in the lungs and upper respiratory tract and reduced lung injury and pulmonary pathology compared to untreated infected mice. SFN treatment diminished immune cell activation in the lungs, including significantly lower recruitment of myeloid cells and a reduction in T cell activation and cytokine production. Our results suggest that SFN should be explored as a potential agent for the prevention or treatment of coronavirus infections.


Subject(s)
Antiviral Agents/therapeutic use , Common Cold/drug therapy , Coronavirus Infections/drug therapy , Coronavirus OC43, Human , Isothiocyanates/therapeutic use , SARS-CoV-2 , Sulfoxides/therapeutic use , Adenosine Monophosphate/analogs & derivatives , Adenosine Monophosphate/therapeutic use , Alanine/analogs & derivatives , Alanine/therapeutic use , Animals , COVID-19/drug therapy , Caco-2 Cells , Chlorocebus aethiops , Common Cold/virology , Coronavirus Infections/immunology , Coronavirus Infections/virology , Cytokines/immunology , Drug Synergism , Humans , Lung/immunology , Lung/virology , Macrophages, Alveolar/immunology , Male , Mice, Transgenic , Spleen/immunology , T-Lymphocytes/immunology , Vero Cells , Viral Load
7.
EuropePMC; 2022.
Preprint in English | EuropePMC | ID: ppcovidwho-330321

ABSTRACT

COVID-19 continues to exact a toll on human health despite the availability of several vaccines. Bacillus Calmette Guérin (BCG) has been shown to confer heterologous immune protection against viral infections including COVID-19 and has been proposed as vaccine against SARS-CoV-2 (SCV2). Here we tested intravenous BCG vaccination against COVID-19 using the golden Syrian hamster model together with immune profiling and single cell RNA sequencing (scRNAseq). We observed that BCG reduced both lung SCV2 viral load and bronchopneumonia. This was accompanied by an increase in lung alveolar macrophages, a reversal of SCV2-mediated T cell lymphopenia, and reduced lung granulocytes. Single cell transcriptome profiling showed that BCG uniquely recruits immunoglobulin-producing plasma cells to the lung suggesting accelerated antibody production. BCG vaccination also recruited elevated levels of Th1, Th17, Treg, CTLs, and Tmem cells, and differentially expressed gene (DEG) analysis showed a transcriptional shift away from exhaustion markers and towards antigen presentation and repair. Similarly, BCG enhanced lung recruitment of alveolar macrophages and reduced key interstitial macrophage subsets, with both cell-types also showing reduced IFN-associated gene expression. Our observations indicate that BCG vaccination protects against SCV2 immunopathology by promoting early lung immunoglobulin production and immunotolerizing transcriptional patterns among key myeloid and lymphoid populations.

9.
Int J Med Inform ; 151: 104483, 2021 07.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1263286

ABSTRACT

INTRODUCTION: Internationally the COVID-19 pandemic has triggered a dramatic and unprecedented shift in telehealth uptake as a means of protecting healthcare consumers and providers through remote consultation modes. Early in the pandemic, Australia implemented a comprehensive and responsive set of policy measures to support telehealth. Initially targeted at protecting vulnerable individuals, including health professionals, this rapidly expanded to a "whole population" approach as the pandemic evolved. This policy response supported health system capacity and community confidence by protecting patients and healthcare providers; creating opportunities for controlled triage, remote assessment and treatment of mild COVID-19 cases; redeploying quarantined or isolated health care workers (HCWs); and maintaining routine and non-COVID healthcare. PURPOSE: This paper provides a review of the literature regarding telephone and video consulting, outlines the pre-COVID background to telehealth implementation in Australia, and describes the national telehealth policy measures instituted in response to COVID-19. Aligned with the existing payment system for out of hospital care, and funded by the national health insurance scheme, a suite of approximately 300 temporary telehealth Medicare-subsidised services were introduced. Response to these initiatives was swift and strong, with 30.01 million services, at a cost of AUD $1.54 billion, claimed in the first six months. FINDINGS: This initiative has been a major policy success, ensuring the safety of healthcare consumers and healthcare workers during a time of great uncertainty, and addressing known financial risks and barriers for health service providers. The risks posed by COVID-19 have radically altered the value proposition of telehealth for patients and clinicians, overcoming many previously encountered barriers to implementation, including willingness of clinicians to adopt telehealth, consumer awareness and demand, and the necessity of learning new ways of conducting safe consultations. However, ensuring the quality of telehealth services is a key ongoing concern. CONCLUSIONS: Despite a preference by policymakers for video consultation, the majority of telehealth consults in Australia were conducted by telephone. The pronounced dominance of telephone item numbers in early utilisation data suggests there are still barriers to video-consultations, and a number of challenges remain before the well-described benefits of telehealth can be fully realised from this policy and investment. Ongoing exposure to a range of clinical, legislative, insurance, educational, regulatory, and interoperability concerns and solutions, driven by necessity, may drive changes in expectations about what is desirable and feasible - among both patients and clinicians.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , National Health Programs , Telemedicine , Aged , Australia , Humans , Pandemics , SARS-CoV-2
10.
Fam Pract ; 38(6): 811-825, 2021 11 24.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1081315

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: COVID-19 is the fifth and most significant infectious disease epidemic this century. Primary health care providers, which include those working in primary care and public health roles, have critical responsibilities in the management of health emergencies. OBJECTIVE: To synthesize accounts of primary care lessons learnt from past epidemics and their relevance to COVID-19. METHODS: We conducted a review of lessons learnt from previous infectious disease epidemics for primary care, and their relevance to COVID-19. We searched PubMed/MEDLINE, PROQUEST and Google Scholar, hand-searched reference lists of included studies, and included research identified through professional contacts. RESULTS: Of 173 publications identified, 31 publications describing experiences of four epidemics in 11 countries were included. Synthesis of findings identified six key lessons: (i) improve collaboration, communication and integration between public health and primary care; (ii) strengthen the primary health care system; (iii) provide consistent, coordinated and reliable information emanating from a trusted source; (iv) define the role of primary care during pandemics; (v) protect the primary care workforce and the community and (vi) evaluate the effectiveness of interventions. CONCLUSIONS: Evidence highlights distinct challenges to integrating and supporting primary care in response to infectious disease epidemics that have persisted over time, emerging again during COVID-19. These insights provide an opportunity for strengthening, and improved preparedness, that cannot be ignored in a world where the frequency, virility and global reach of infectious disease outbreaks are increasing. It is not too soon to plan for the next pandemic, which may already be on the horizon.


Infectious disease epidemics are increasing in frequency and spread. Primary health care providers are at the forefront of community health care, and have an important role in managing health emergencies such as infectious disease epidemics. It is important to use lessons learnt from past epidemics to inform current health system responses. We examined evidence from past epidemics and identified six key lessons that have emerged in 11 countries during four previous epidemics and again during the COVID-19 pandemic. These lessons highlight the importance of integrating pandemic responses across health care disciplines, strengthening the primary health care system, defining the role of primary care during epidemics, protecting the health care workforce and the community, providing clear and consistent information and evaluating the effectiveness of health care responses. Health system weaknesses are exposed to health emergencies. Identification of these recurring lessons for primary health care provides an opportunity to definitively prepare for future infectious disease epidemics.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Disease Outbreaks , Humans , Pandemics , Primary Health Care , SARS-CoV-2
11.
Aust J Gen Pract ; 502021 02 05.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1068282

ABSTRACT

In scoping the emerging literature on COVID-19 during 2020 and considering its policy relevance, we identified six emerging challenges that highlight the importance of the five principles.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Australia/epidemiology , Humans , Pandemics , Primary Health Care , SARS-CoV-2
12.
Pediatr Pulmonol ; 56(2): 539-550, 2021 02.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1023306

ABSTRACT

Coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) has been an unprecedented and continuously evolving healthcare crisis. Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome Coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) spread rapidly and initially little was known about the virus or the clinical course for infected children. In the United States of America, the medical response has been regionalized, based on variation in community transmission of the virus and localized outbreaks. Pediatric pulmonary and sleep divisions evolved in response to administrative and clinical challenges. As the workforce transitioned to working remotely, video conferencing technology and multicenter collaborative efforts were implemented to create clinical protocols. The COVID-19 pandemic challenges the framework of current medical practice but also highlights the dynamic and cooperative nature of pediatric pulmonology and sleep medicine. Our response to this pandemic has laid the groundwork for future challenges.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Lung Diseases/drug therapy , Sleep Wake Disorders/drug therapy , Child , Consensus , Humans , Pandemics , SARS-CoV-2
14.
Pediatr Pulmonol ; 55(8): 1859-1867, 2020 08.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-597152

ABSTRACT

Unprecedented opportunities and daunting difficulties are anticipated in the future of pediatric pulmonary medicine. To address these issues and optimize pediatric pulmonary training, a group of faculty from various institutions met in 2019 and proposed specific, long-term solutions to the emerging problems in the field. Input on these ideas was then solicited more broadly from faculty with relevant expertise and from recent trainees. This proposal is a synthesis of these ideas. Pediatric pulmonology was among the first pediatric specialties to be grounded deliberately in science, requiring its fellows to demonstrate expertise in scientific inquiry (1). In the future, we will need more training in science, not less. Specifically, the scope of scientific inquiry will need to be broader. The proposal outlined below is designed to help optimize the practices of current providers and to prepare the next generation to be leaders in pediatric care in the future. We are optimistic that this can be accomplished. Our broad objectives are (a) to meet the pediatric subspecialty workforce demand by increasing interest and participation in pediatric pulmonary training; (b) to modernize training to ensure that future pediatric pulmonologists will be prepared clinically and scientifically for the future of the field; (c) to train pediatric pulmonologists who will add value in the future of pediatric healthcare, complemented by advanced practice providers and artificial intelligence systems that are well-informed to optimize quality healthcare delivery; and (d) to decrease the cost and improve the quality of care provided to children with respiratory diseases.


Subject(s)
Pediatrics , Pulmonary Medicine , Artificial Intelligence , Child , Delivery of Health Care , Health Workforce , Humans , Pediatrics/education , Pulmonary Medicine/education
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