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1.
Stat Methods Med Res ; : 9622802221106720, 2022 Jul 15.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1932991

ABSTRACT

We compare two multi-state modelling frameworks that can be used to represent dates of events following hospital admission for people infected during an epidemic. The methods are applied to data from people admitted to hospital with COVID-19, to estimate the probability of admission to intensive care unit, the probability of death in hospital for patients before and after intensive care unit admission, the lengths of stay in hospital, and how all these vary with age and gender. One modelling framework is based on defining transition-specific hazard functions for competing risks. A less commonly used framework defines partially-latent subpopulations who will experience each subsequent event, and uses a mixture model to estimate the probability that an individual will experience each event, and the distribution of the time to the event given that it occurs. We compare the advantages and disadvantages of these two frameworks, in the context of the COVID-19 example. The issues include the interpretation of the model parameters, the computational efficiency of estimating the quantities of interest, implementation in software and assessing goodness of fit. In the example, we find that some groups appear to be at very low risk of some events, in particular intensive care unit admission, and these are best represented by using 'cure-rate' models to define transition-specific hazards. We provide general-purpose software to implement all the models we describe in the flexsurv R package, which allows arbitrarily flexible distributions to be used to represent the cause-specific hazards or times to events.

2.
J R Stat Soc Ser C Appl Stat ; 2022 Jun 15.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1896032

ABSTRACT

Understanding the trajectory of the daily number of COVID-19 deaths is essential to decisions on how to respond to the pandemic, but estimating this trajectory is complicated by the delay between deaths occurring and being reported. In England the delay is typically several days, but it can be weeks. This causes considerable uncertainty about how many deaths occurred in recent days. Here we estimate the deaths per day in five age strata within seven English regions, using a Bayesian model that accounts for reporting-day effects and longer-term changes in the delay distribution. We show how the model can be computationally efficiently fitted when the delay distribution is the same in multiple strata, for example, over a wide range of ages.

3.
Stat Methods Med Res ; : 9622802221107105, 2022 Jun 12.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1886865

ABSTRACT

When comparing the risk of a post-infection binary outcome, for example, hospitalisation, for two variants of an infectious pathogen, it is important to adjust for calendar time of infection. Typically, the infection time is unknown and positive test time used as a proxy for it. Positive test time may also be used when assessing how risk of the outcome changes over calendar time. We show that if time from infection to positive test is correlated with the outcome, the risk conditional on positive test time is a function of the trajectory of infection incidence. Hence, a risk ratio adjusted for positive test time can be quite different from the risk ratio adjusted for infection time. We propose a simple sensitivity analysis that indicates how risk ratios adjusted for positive test time and infection time may differ. This involves adjusting for a shifted positive test time, shifted to make the difference between it and infection time uncorrelated with the outcome. We illustrate this method by reanalysing published results on the relative risk of hospitalisation following infection with the Alpha versus pre-existing variants of SARS-CoV-2. Results indicate the relative risk adjusted for infection time may be lower than that adjusted for positive test time.

4.
BMJ Open ; 12(3): e054859, 2022 03 24.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1765124

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: For people with symptomatic COVID-19, the relative risks of hospital admission, death without hospital admission and recovery without admission, and the times to those events, are not well understood. We describe how these quantities varied with individual characteristics, and through the first wave of the pandemic, in Milan, Italy. METHODS: A cohort study of 27 598 people with known COVID-19 symptom onset date in Milan, Italy, testing positive between February and June 2020 and followed up until 17 July 2020. The probabilities of different events, and the times to events, were estimated using a mixture multistate model. RESULTS: The risk of death without hospital admission was higher in March and April (for non-care home residents, 6%-8% compared with 2%-3% in other months) and substantially higher for care home residents (22%-29% in March). For all groups, the probabilities of hospitalisation decreased from February to June. The probabilities of hospitalisation also increased with age, and were higher for men, substantially lower for healthcare workers and care home residents, and higher for people with comorbidities. Times to hospitalisation and confirmed recovery also decreased throughout the first wave. Combining these results with our previously developed model for events following hospitalisation, the overall symptomatic case fatality risk was 15.8% (15.4%-16.2%). CONCLUSIONS: The highest risks of death before hospital admission coincided with periods of severe burden on the healthcare system in Lombardy. Outcomes for care home residents were particularly poor. Outcomes improved as the first wave waned, community healthcare resources were reinforced and testing became more widely available.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , COVID-19/epidemiology , Cohort Studies , Comorbidity , Hospitalization , Humans , Male , Pandemics
5.
J Infect Dis ; 2022 Feb 20.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1758754

ABSTRACT

To investigate if the AY.4.2 sub-lineage of the SARS-CoV-2 Delta variant is associated with hospitalisation and mortality risks that differ from non-AY.4.2 Delta risks, we performed a retrospective cohort study of sequencing-confirmed COVID-19 cases in England based on linkage of routine healthcare datasets. Using stratified Cox regression, we estimated adjusted hazard ratios (aHR) of hospital admission (aHR=0.85, 95% CI 0.77-0.94), hospital admission or emergency care attendance (aHR=0.87, 95% CI 0.81-0.94) and COVID-19 mortality (aHR=0.85, 95% CI 0.71-1.03). The results indicate that the risks of hospitalisation and mortality is similar or lower for AY.4.2 compared to cases with other Delta sub-lineages.

6.
Lancet ; 399(10332): 1303-1312, 2022 04 02.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1740323

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: The omicron variant (B.1.1.529) of SARS-CoV-2 has demonstrated partial vaccine escape and high transmissibility, with early studies indicating lower severity of infection than that of the delta variant (B.1.617.2). We aimed to better characterise omicron severity relative to delta by assessing the relative risk of hospital attendance, hospital admission, or death in a large national cohort. METHODS: Individual-level data on laboratory-confirmed COVID-19 cases resident in England between Nov 29, 2021, and Jan 9, 2022, were linked to routine datasets on vaccination status, hospital attendance and admission, and mortality. The relative risk of hospital attendance or admission within 14 days, or death within 28 days after confirmed infection, was estimated using proportional hazards regression. Analyses were stratified by test date, 10-year age band, ethnicity, residential region, and vaccination status, and were further adjusted for sex, index of multiple deprivation decile, evidence of a previous infection, and year of age within each age band. A secondary analysis estimated variant-specific and vaccine-specific vaccine effectiveness and the intrinsic relative severity of omicron infection compared with delta (ie, the relative risk in unvaccinated cases). FINDINGS: The adjusted hazard ratio (HR) of hospital attendance (not necessarily resulting in admission) with omicron compared with delta was 0·56 (95% CI 0·54-0·58); for hospital admission and death, HR estimates were 0·41 (0·39-0·43) and 0·31 (0·26-0·37), respectively. Omicron versus delta HR estimates varied with age for all endpoints examined. The adjusted HR for hospital admission was 1·10 (0·85-1·42) in those younger than 10 years, decreasing to 0·25 (0·21-0·30) in 60-69-year-olds, and then increasing to 0·47 (0·40-0·56) in those aged at least 80 years. For both variants, past infection gave some protection against death both in vaccinated (HR 0·47 [0·32-0·68]) and unvaccinated (0·18 [0·06-0·57]) cases. In vaccinated cases, past infection offered no additional protection against hospital admission beyond that provided by vaccination (HR 0·96 [0·88-1·04]); however, for unvaccinated cases, past infection gave moderate protection (HR 0·55 [0·48-0·63]). Omicron versus delta HR estimates were lower for hospital admission (0·30 [0·28-0·32]) in unvaccinated cases than the corresponding HR estimated for all cases in the primary analysis. Booster vaccination with an mRNA vaccine was highly protective against hospitalisation and death in omicron cases (HR for hospital admission 8-11 weeks post-booster vs unvaccinated: 0·22 [0·20-0·24]), with the protection afforded after a booster not being affected by the vaccine used for doses 1 and 2. INTERPRETATION: The risk of severe outcomes following SARS-CoV-2 infection is substantially lower for omicron than for delta, with higher reductions for more severe endpoints and significant variation with age. Underlying the observed risks is a larger reduction in intrinsic severity (in unvaccinated individuals) counterbalanced by a reduction in vaccine effectiveness. Documented previous SARS-CoV-2 infection offered some protection against hospitalisation and high protection against death in unvaccinated individuals, but only offered additional protection in vaccinated individuals for the death endpoint. Booster vaccination with mRNA vaccines maintains over 70% protection against hospitalisation and death in breakthrough confirmed omicron infections. FUNDING: Medical Research Council, UK Research and Innovation, Department of Health and Social Care, National Institute for Health Research, Community Jameel, and Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , SARS-CoV-2 , COVID-19/epidemiology , COVID-19/prevention & control , Cohort Studies , England/epidemiology , Hospitalization , Humans , Vaccines, Synthetic
7.
Epidemics ; 38: 100547, 2022 03.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1700614

ABSTRACT

The estimation of parameters and model structure for informing infectious disease response has become a focal point of the recent pandemic. However, it has also highlighted a plethora of challenges remaining in the fast and robust extraction of information using data and models to help inform policy. In this paper, we identify and discuss four broad challenges in the estimation paradigm relating to infectious disease modelling, namely the Uncertainty Quantification framework, data challenges in estimation, model-based inference and prediction, and expert judgement. We also postulate priorities in estimation methodology to facilitate preparation for future pandemics.


Subject(s)
Pandemics , Forecasting , Uncertainty
8.
EuropePMC; 2021.
Preprint in English | EuropePMC | ID: ppcovidwho-304909

ABSTRACT

Understanding the drivers for spread of SARS-CoV-2 in higher education settings is important to limit transmission between students, and onward spread into at-risk populations. In this study, we prospectively sequenced 482 SARS-CoV-2 isolates derived from asymptomatic student screening and symptomatic testing of students and staff at the University of Cambridge from 5 October to 6 December 2020. We performed a detailed phylogenetic comparison with 972 isolates from the surrounding community, complemented with epidemiological and contact tracing data, to determine transmission dynamics. After a limited number of viral introductions into the university, the majority of student cases were linked to a single genetic cluster, likely dispersed across the university following social gatherings at a venue outside the university. We identified considerable onward transmission associated with student accommodation and courses;this was effectively contained using local infection control measures and dramatically reduced following a national lockdown. We observed that transmission clusters were largely segregated within the university or within the community. This study highlights key determinants of SARS-CoV-2 transmission and effective interventions in a higher education setting that will inform public health policy during pandemics.

9.
Statistics in biopharmaceutical research ; 14(1):33-41, 2021.
Article in English | EuropePMC | ID: covidwho-1651995

ABSTRACT

Clinical trials of a vaccine during an epidemic face particular challenges, such as the pressure to identify an effective vaccine quickly to control the epidemic, and the effect that time-space-varying infection incidence has on the power of a trial. We illustrate how the operating characteristics of different trial design elements maybe evaluated using a network epidemic and trial simulation model, based on COVID-19 and individually randomized two-arm trials with a binary outcome. We show that “ring” recruitment strategies, prioritizing participants at an imminent risk of infection, can result in substantial improvement in terms of power in the model we present. In addition, we introduce a novel method to make more efficient use of the data from the earliest cases of infection observed in the trial, whose infection may have been too early to be vaccine-preventable. Finally, we compare several methods of response-adaptive randomization (RAR), discussing their advantages and disadvantages in the context of our model and identifying particular adaptation strategies that preserve power and estimation properties, while slightly reducing the number of infections, given an effective vaccine.

10.
Lancet Infect Dis ; 22(1): 35-42, 2022 01.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1598838

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: The SARS-CoV-2 delta (B.1.617.2) variant was first detected in England in March, 2021. It has since rapidly become the predominant lineage, owing to high transmissibility. It is suspected that the delta variant is associated with more severe disease than the previously dominant alpha (B.1.1.7) variant. We aimed to characterise the severity of the delta variant compared with the alpha variant by determining the relative risk of hospital attendance outcomes. METHODS: This cohort study was done among all patients with COVID-19 in England between March 29 and May 23, 2021, who were identified as being infected with either the alpha or delta SARS-CoV-2 variant through whole-genome sequencing. Individual-level data on these patients were linked to routine health-care datasets on vaccination, emergency care attendance, hospital admission, and mortality (data from Public Health England's Second Generation Surveillance System and COVID-19-associated deaths dataset; the National Immunisation Management System; and NHS Digital Secondary Uses Services and Emergency Care Data Set). The risk for hospital admission and emergency care attendance were compared between patients with sequencing-confirmed delta and alpha variants for the whole cohort and by vaccination status subgroups. Stratified Cox regression was used to adjust for age, sex, ethnicity, deprivation, recent international travel, area of residence, calendar week, and vaccination status. FINDINGS: Individual-level data on 43 338 COVID-19-positive patients (8682 with the delta variant, 34 656 with the alpha variant; median age 31 years [IQR 17-43]) were included in our analysis. 196 (2·3%) patients with the delta variant versus 764 (2·2%) patients with the alpha variant were admitted to hospital within 14 days after the specimen was taken (adjusted hazard ratio [HR] 2·26 [95% CI 1·32-3·89]). 498 (5·7%) patients with the delta variant versus 1448 (4·2%) patients with the alpha variant were admitted to hospital or attended emergency care within 14 days (adjusted HR 1·45 [1·08-1·95]). Most patients were unvaccinated (32 078 [74·0%] across both groups). The HRs for vaccinated patients with the delta variant versus the alpha variant (adjusted HR for hospital admission 1·94 [95% CI 0·47-8·05] and for hospital admission or emergency care attendance 1·58 [0·69-3·61]) were similar to the HRs for unvaccinated patients (2·32 [1·29-4·16] and 1·43 [1·04-1·97]; p=0·82 for both) but the precision for the vaccinated subgroup was low. INTERPRETATION: This large national study found a higher hospital admission or emergency care attendance risk for patients with COVID-19 infected with the delta variant compared with the alpha variant. Results suggest that outbreaks of the delta variant in unvaccinated populations might lead to a greater burden on health-care services than the alpha variant. FUNDING: Medical Research Council; UK Research and Innovation; Department of Health and Social Care; and National Institute for Health Research.


Subject(s)
COVID-19/virology , Emergency Medical Services/statistics & numerical data , Hospitalization/statistics & numerical data , SARS-CoV-2/pathogenicity , Severity of Illness Index , Adolescent , Adult , Aged , Aged, 80 and over , COVID-19/epidemiology , Child , Child, Preschool , Cohort Studies , England/epidemiology , Female , Humans , Male , Middle Aged , Proportional Hazards Models , SARS-CoV-2/classification , Young Adult
11.
Stat Methods Med Res ; : 9622802211046384, 2021 Oct 23.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1480361

ABSTRACT

Excess mortality is an important measure of the scale of the coronavirus-2019 pandemic. It includes both deaths caused directly by the pandemic, and deaths caused by the unintended consequences of containment such as delays to accessing care or postponements of healthcare provision in the population. In 2020 and 2021, in England, multiple groups have produced measures of excess mortality during the pandemic. This paper describes the data and methods used in five different approaches to estimating excess mortality and compares their estimates.The fundamental principles of estimating excess mortality are described, as well as the key commonalities and differences between five approaches. Two of these are based on the date of registration: a quasi-Poisson model with offset and a 5-year average; and three are based on date of occurrence: a Poisson model without offset, the European monitoring of excess mortality model and a synthetic controls model. Comparisons between estimates of excess mortality are made for the period March 2020 through March 2021 and for the two waves of the pandemic that occur within that time-period.Model estimates are strikingly similar during the first wave of the pandemic though larger differences are observed during the second wave. Models that adjusted for reduced circulation of winter infection produced higher estimates of excess compared with those that did not. Models that do not adjust for reduced circulation of winter infection captured the effect of reduced winter illness as a result of mobility restrictions during the period. None of the estimates captured mortality displacement and therefore may underestimate excess at the current time, though the extent to which this has occurred is not yet identified. Models use different approaches to address variation in data availability and stakeholder requirements of the measure. Variation between estimates reflects differences in the date of interest, population denominators and parameters in the model relating to seasonality and trend.

12.
BMC Infect Dis ; 21(1): 1041, 2021 Oct 07.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1455944

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: Understanding the risk factors associated with hospital burden of COVID-19 is crucial for healthcare planning for any future waves of infection. METHODS: An observational cohort study is performed, using data on all PCR-confirmed cases of COVID-19 in Regione Lombardia, Italy, during the first wave of infection from February-June 2020. A multi-state modelling approach is used to simultaneously estimate risks of progression through hospital to final outcomes of either death or discharge, by pathway (via critical care or not) and the times to final events (lengths of stay). Logistic and time-to-event regressions are used to quantify the association of patient and population characteristics with the risks of hospital outcomes and lengths of stay respectively. RESULTS: Risks of severe outcomes such as ICU admission and mortality have decreased with month of admission (for example, the odds ratio of ICU admission in June vs March is 0.247 [0.120-0.508]) and increased with age (odds ratio of ICU admission in 45-65 vs 65 + age group is 0.286 [0.201-0.406]). Care home residents aged 65 + are associated with increased risk of hospital mortality and decreased risk of ICU admission. Being a healthcare worker appears to have a protective association with mortality risk (odds ratio of ICU mortality is 0.254 [0.143-0.453] relative to non-healthcare workers) and length of stay. Lengths of stay decrease with month of admission for survivors, but do not appear to vary with month for non-survivors. CONCLUSIONS: Improvements in clinical knowledge, treatment, patient and hospital management and public health surveillance, together with the waning of the first wave after the first lockdown, are hypothesised to have contributed to the reduced risks and lengths of stay over time.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Cohort Studies , Communicable Disease Control , Hospitals , Humans , Intensive Care Units , Length of Stay , Risk Factors , SARS-CoV-2
13.
Elife ; 102021 08 24.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1371047

ABSTRACT

SARS-CoV-2 is notable both for its rapid spread, and for the heterogeneity of its patterns of transmission, with multiple published incidences of superspreading behaviour. Here, we applied a novel network reconstruction algorithm to infer patterns of viral transmission occurring between patients and health care workers (HCWs) in the largest clusters of COVID-19 infection identified during the first wave of the epidemic at Cambridge University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust, UK. Based upon dates of individuals reporting symptoms, recorded individual locations, and viral genome sequence data, we show an uneven pattern of transmission between individuals, with patients being much more likely to be infected by other patients than by HCWs. Further, the data were consistent with a pattern of superspreading, whereby 21% of individuals caused 80% of transmission events. Our study provides a detailed retrospective analysis of nosocomial SARS-CoV-2 transmission, and sheds light on the need for intensive and pervasive infection control procedures.


The COVID-19 pandemic, caused by the SARS-CoV-2 virus, presents a global public health challenge. Hospitals have been at the forefront of this battle, treating large numbers of sick patients over several waves of infection. Finding ways to manage the spread of the virus in hospitals is key to protecting vulnerable patients and workers, while keeping hospitals running, but to generate effective infection control, researchers must understand how SARS-CoV-2 spreads. A range of factors make studying the transmission of SARS-CoV-2 in hospitals tricky. For instance, some people do not present any symptoms, and, amongst those who do, it can be difficult to determine whether they caught the virus in the hospital or somewhere else. However, comparing the genetic information of the SARS-CoV-2 virus from different people in a hospital could allow scientists to understand how it spreads. Samples of the genetic material of SARS-CoV-2 can be obtained by swabbing infected individuals. If the genetic sequences of two samples are very different, it is unlikely that the individuals who provided the samples transmitted the virus to one another. Illingworth, Hamilton et al. used this information, along with other data about how SARS-CoV-2 is transmitted, to develop an algorithm that can determine how the virus spreads from person to person in different hospital wards. To build their algorithm, Illingworth, Hamilton et al. collected SARS-CoV-2 genetic data from patients and staff in a hospital, and combined it with information about how SARS-CoV-2 spreads and how these people moved in the hospital . The algorithm showed that, for the most part, patients were infected by other patients (20 out of 22 cases), while staff were infected equally by patients and staff. By further probing these data, Illingworth, Hamilton et al. revealed that 80% of hospital-acquired infections were caused by a group of just 21% of individuals in the study, identifying a 'superspreader' pattern. These findings may help to inform SARS-CoV-2 infection control measures to reduce spread within hospitals, and could potentially be used to improve infection control in other contexts.


Subject(s)
COVID-19/epidemiology , COVID-19/transmission , Disease Outbreaks/statistics & numerical data , Hospitals/statistics & numerical data , Female , Humans , Male , Middle Aged , Retrospective Studies
14.
Lancet Respir Med ; 9(7): 773-785, 2021 07.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1337040

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: Mortality rates in hospitalised patients with COVID-19 in the UK appeared to decline during the first wave of the pandemic. We aimed to quantify potential drivers of this change and identify groups of patients who remain at high risk of dying in hospital. METHODS: In this multicentre prospective observational cohort study, the International Severe Acute Respiratory and Emerging Infections Consortium WHO Clinical Characterisation Protocol UK recruited a prospective cohort of patients with COVID-19 admitted to 247 acute hospitals in England, Scotland, and Wales during the first wave of the pandemic (between March 9 and Aug 2, 2020). We included all patients aged 18 years and older with clinical signs and symptoms of COVID-19 or confirmed COVID-19 (by RT-PCR test) from assumed community-acquired infection. We did a three-way decomposition mediation analysis using natural effects models to explore associations between week of admission and in-hospital mortality, adjusting for confounders (demographics, comorbidities, and severity of illness) and quantifying potential mediators (level of respiratory support and steroid treatment). The primary outcome was weekly in-hospital mortality at 28 days, defined as the proportion of patients who had died within 28 days of admission of all patients admitted in the observed week, and it was assessed in all patients with an outcome. This study is registered with the ISRCTN Registry, ISRCTN66726260. FINDINGS: Between March 9, and Aug 2, 2020, we recruited 80 713 patients, of whom 63 972 were eligible and included in the study. Unadjusted weekly in-hospital mortality declined from 32·3% (95% CI 31·8-32·7) in March 9 to April 26, 2020, to 16·4% (15·0-17·8) in June 15 to Aug 2, 2020. Reductions in mortality were observed in all age groups, in all ethnic groups, for both sexes, and in patients with and without comorbidities. After adjustment, there was a 32% reduction in the risk of mortality per 7-week period (odds ratio [OR] 0·68 [95% CI 0·65-0·71]). The higher proportions of patients with severe disease and comorbidities earlier in the first wave (March and April) than in June and July accounted for 10·2% of this reduction. The use of respiratory support changed during the first wave, with gradually increased use of non-invasive ventilation over the first wave. Changes in respiratory support and use of steroids accounted for 22·2%, OR 0·95 (0·94-0·95) of the reduction in in-hospital mortality. INTERPRETATION: The reduction in in-hospital mortality in patients with COVID-19 during the first wave in the UK was partly accounted for by changes in the case-mix and illness severity. A significant reduction in in-hospital mortality was associated with differences in respiratory support and critical care use, which could partly reflect accrual of clinical knowledge. The remaining improvement in in-hospital mortality is not explained by these factors, and could be associated with changes in community behaviour, inoculum dose, and hospital capacity strain. FUNDING: National Institute for Health Research and the Medical Research Council.


Subject(s)
COVID-19/mortality , Hospital Mortality , Aged , Aged, 80 and over , COVID-19/epidemiology , Clinical Protocols , Cohort Studies , Female , Humans , Male , Middle Aged , Prospective Studies , United Kingdom/epidemiology , World Health Organization
15.
Philos Trans R Soc Lond B Biol Sci ; 376(1829): 20200279, 2021 07 19.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1309696

ABSTRACT

England has been heavily affected by the SARS-CoV-2 pandemic, with severe 'lockdown' mitigation measures now gradually being lifted. The real-time pandemic monitoring presented here has contributed to the evidence informing this pandemic management throughout the first wave. Estimates on the 10 May showed lockdown had reduced transmission by 75%, the reproduction number falling from 2.6 to 0.61. This regionally varying impact was largest in London with a reduction of 81% (95% credible interval: 77-84%). Reproduction numbers have since then slowly increased, and on 19 June the probability of the epidemic growing was greater than 5% in two regions, South West and London. By this date, an estimated 8% of the population had been infected, with a higher proportion in London (17%). The infection-to-fatality ratio is 1.1% (0.9-1.4%) overall but 17% (14-22%) among the over-75s. This ongoing work continues to be key to quantifying any widespread resurgence, should accrued immunity and effective contact tracing be insufficient to preclude a second wave. This article is part of the theme issue 'Modelling that shaped the early COVID-19 pandemic response in the UK'.


Subject(s)
COVID-19/epidemiology , Models, Statistical , Pandemics , SARS-CoV-2/pathogenicity , Basic Reproduction Number/statistics & numerical data , COVID-19/transmission , COVID-19/virology , Communicable Disease Control/trends , Contact Tracing/trends , England/epidemiology , Forecasting , Humans , London/epidemiology
16.
BMJ ; 373: n1412, 2021 06 15.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1270886

ABSTRACT

OBJECTIVE: To evaluate the relation between diagnosis of covid-19 with SARS-CoV-2 variant B.1.1.7 (also known as variant of concern 202012/01) and the risk of hospital admission compared with diagnosis with wild-type SARS-CoV-2 variants. DESIGN: Retrospective cohort analysis. SETTING: Community based SARS-CoV-2 testing in England, individually linked with hospital admission data. PARTICIPANTS: 839 278 patients with laboratory confirmed covid-19, of whom 36 233 had been admitted to hospital within 14 days, tested between 23 November 2020 and 31 January 2021 and analysed at a laboratory with an available TaqPath assay that enables assessment of S-gene target failure (SGTF), a proxy test for the B.1.1.7 variant. Patient data were stratified by age, sex, ethnicity, deprivation, region of residence, and date of positive test. MAIN OUTCOME MEASURES: Hospital admission between one and 14 days after the first positive SARS-CoV-2 test. RESULTS: 27 710 (4.7%) of 592 409 patients with SGTF variants and 8523 (3.5%) of 246 869 patients without SGTF variants had been admitted to hospital within one to 14 days. The stratum adjusted hazard ratio of hospital admission was 1.52 (95% confidence interval 1.47 to 1.57) for patients with covid-19 infected with SGTF variants, compared with those infected with non-SGTF variants. The effect was modified by age (P<0.001), with hazard ratios of 0.93-1.21 in patients younger than 20 years with versus without SGTF variants, 1.29 in those aged 20-29, and 1.45-1.65 in those aged ≥30 years. The adjusted absolute risk of hospital admission within 14 days was 4.7% (95% confidence interval 4.6% to 4.7%) for patients with SGTF variants and 3.5% (3.4% to 3.5%) for those with non-SGTF variants. CONCLUSIONS: The results suggest that the risk of hospital admission is higher for people infected with the B.1.1.7 variant compared with wild-type SARS-CoV-2, likely reflecting a more severe disease. The higher severity may be specific to adults older than 30 years.


Subject(s)
COVID-19/virology , Hospitalization/statistics & numerical data , SARS-CoV-2/pathogenicity , Adolescent , Adult , Age Factors , Aged , Aged, 80 and over , COVID-19/diagnosis , COVID-19/mortality , COVID-19/therapy , COVID-19 Testing , Child , England/epidemiology , Female , Humans , Male , Middle Aged , Proportional Hazards Models , Retrospective Studies , Risk Factors , Young Adult
17.
Stat Biopharm Res ; 14(1): 33-41, 2022 Jan 02.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1266078

ABSTRACT

Clinical trials of a vaccine during an epidemic face particular challenges, such as the pressure to identify an effective vaccine quickly to control the epidemic, and the effect that time-space-varying infection incidence has on the power of a trial. We illustrate how the operating characteristics of different trial design elements maybe evaluated using a network epidemic and trial simulation model, based on COVID-19 and individually randomized two-arm trials with a binary outcome. We show that "ring" recruitment strategies, prioritizing participants at an imminent risk of infection, can result in substantial improvement in terms of power in the model we present. In addition, we introduce a novel method to make more efficient use of the data from the earliest cases of infection observed in the trial, whose infection may have been too early to be vaccine-preventable. Finally, we compare several methods of response-adaptive randomization (RAR), discussing their advantages and disadvantages in the context of our model and identifying particular adaptation strategies that preserve power and estimation properties, while slightly reducing the number of infections, given an effective vaccine.

19.
Sci Rep ; 11(1): 2652, 2021 01 29.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1054058

ABSTRACT

COVID-19 is reported to have been brought under control in China. To understand the COVID-19 outbreak in China and provide potential lessons for other parts of the world, in this study we apply a mathematical model with multiple datasets to estimate the transmissibility of the SARS-CoV-2 virus and the severity of the illness associated with the infection, and how both were affected by unprecedented control measures. Our analyses show that before 19th January 2020, 3.5% (95% CI 1.7-8.3%) of  infected people were detected; this percentage increased to 36.6% (95% CI 26.1-55.4%) thereafter. The basic reproduction number (R0) was 2.33 (95% CI 1.96-3.69) before 8th February 2020; then the effective reproduction number dropped to 0.04(95% CI 0.01-0.10). This estimation also indicates that control measures taken since 23rd January 2020 affected the transmissibility about 2 weeks after they were introduced. The confirmed case fatality rate is estimated at 9.6% (95% CI 8.1-11.4%) before 15 February 2020, and then it reduced to 0.7% (95% CI 0.4-1.0%). This shows that SARS-CoV-2 virus is highly transmissible but may be less severe than SARS-CoV-1 and MERS-CoV. We found that at the early stage, the majority of R0 comes from undetected infectious people. This implies that successful control in China was achieved through reducing the contact rates among people in the general population and increasing the rate of detection and quarantine of the infectious cases.


Subject(s)
COVID-19/epidemiology , COVID-19/transmission , Disease Outbreaks , Models, Theoretical , Basic Reproduction Number , COVID-19/virology , China/epidemiology , Humans , SARS-CoV-2/isolation & purification
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