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1.
J Clin Med ; 10(18)2021 Sep 14.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1409883

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: Long COVID is a syndrome characterized by the persistence of SARS-CoV-2 infection symptoms. Among HCWs, prolonged COVID symptoms could lead to the inability to perform work tasks. The aim of this study is to investigate 35-day long-COVID (35-LC) characteristics and risk factors in a one-year period. METHODS: We carried out a retrospective cohort study during the COVID-19 pandemic at University Hospital of Bari. A total of 5750 HCWs were tested for close contact with a confirmed case, in the absence of personal protective equipment, or for symptom development. RESULTS: Each positive HCW was investigated for cardiovascular risk factors or respiratory diseases. An amount of 352 HCWs (6.1%) were infected by SARS-CoV-2, and 168 cases evolved to long COVID. The 35-LC group showed mean BMI values higher than the non-35-LC group (25.9 kg/m2 vs. 24.8 kg/m2, respectively), and this difference was significant (p-value: 0.020). Moreover, HCWs who suffered from pulmonary disease (OR = 3.7, CL 95%: 1.35-10.53; p-value = 0.007) or overweight (OR = 1.6 CL 95%: 1.05-2.56; p-value = 0.029) had an increased risk of developing 35-LC. CONCLUSIONS: Long COVID is an emerging problem for hospital managers as it may reduce the number of HCWs deployed in the fight against COVID-19. High BMI and previous pulmonary disease could be risk factors for 35-LC development in exposed HCWs.

2.
Clin Infect Dis ; 73(3): e754-e764, 2021 08 02.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1338688

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: Understanding the drivers of severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) transmission is crucial for control policies, but evidence of transmission rates in different settings remains limited. METHODS: We conducted a systematic review to estimate secondary attack rates (SARs) and observed reproduction numbers (Robs) in different settings exploring differences by age, symptom status, and duration of exposure. To account for additional study heterogeneity, we employed a beta-binomial model to pool SARs across studies and a negative-binomial model to estimate Robs. RESULTS: Households showed the highest transmission rates, with a pooled SAR of 21.1% (95% confidence interval [CI]:17.4-24.8). SARs were significantly higher where the duration of household exposure exceeded 5 days compared with exposure of ≤5 days. SARs related to contacts at social events with family and friends were higher than those for low-risk casual contacts (5.9% vs 1.2%). Estimates of SARs and Robs for asymptomatic index cases were approximately one-seventh, and for presymptomatic two-thirds of those for symptomatic index cases. We found some evidence for reduced transmission potential both from and to individuals younger than 20 years of age in the household context, which is more limited when examining all settings. CONCLUSIONS: Our results suggest that exposure in settings with familiar contacts increases SARS-CoV-2 transmission potential. Additionally, the differences observed in transmissibility by index case symptom status and duration of exposure have important implications for control strategies, such as contact tracing, testing, and rapid isolation of cases. There were limited data to explore transmission patterns in workplaces, schools, and care homes, highlighting the need for further research in such settings.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , SARS-CoV-2 , Contact Tracing , Family Characteristics , Humans , Incidence
3.
Medicina (Kaunas) ; 57(5)2021 May 12.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1227042

ABSTRACT

Background and Objectives: The first clusters of SARS-CoV-2 infection were identified in an occupational setting, and to date, a significant portion of the cases may result from occupational exposure; thus, COVID-19 should also be considered a new occupational risk that both directly and indirectly impacts the health of workers. Given the significance of occupational-exposure-related infections and deaths, this study aims to assess the roles and tasks of occupational physicians (OPs) in countering the spread of the infection. Indeed, despite the OP's centrality in risk management in the workplace, its activity in the current epidemic context has rarely been mentioned. Materials and Methods: Three different databases (PubMed, Google Scholar, and Embase) were questioned using the main keywords "COVID-19" and "SARS-CoV-2" that were crossed, according to different needs, with the terms "occupational medicine", "occupational physician", "workplace", and "risk assessment" using, when possible, the MeSH database research. Additionally, a systematic research of the regulatory changes of workplaces health surveillance was performed on reference sites of international, European, and Italian authorities. Results: Fundamental tasks and duties of OPs in the current COVID-19 outbreak are highlighted by examining their clinical activity and technical action. A risk assessment and management workflow is proposed, and medico-legal implications in case of infection at work are also discussed in the light of recent regulatory changes that clearly attribute to OPs an important role in safeguarding public health. Conclusion: The proposed approach can provide new instruments to contrast the spread of the infection as part of a comprehensive system response to the current pandemic, for which OPs are called to assume full responsibility.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Physicians , Humans , Italy , Pandemics , SARS-CoV-2
4.
Clin Infect Dis ; 73(3): e754-e764, 2021 08 02.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1072352

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: Understanding the drivers of severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) transmission is crucial for control policies, but evidence of transmission rates in different settings remains limited. METHODS: We conducted a systematic review to estimate secondary attack rates (SARs) and observed reproduction numbers (Robs) in different settings exploring differences by age, symptom status, and duration of exposure. To account for additional study heterogeneity, we employed a beta-binomial model to pool SARs across studies and a negative-binomial model to estimate Robs. RESULTS: Households showed the highest transmission rates, with a pooled SAR of 21.1% (95% confidence interval [CI]:17.4-24.8). SARs were significantly higher where the duration of household exposure exceeded 5 days compared with exposure of ≤5 days. SARs related to contacts at social events with family and friends were higher than those for low-risk casual contacts (5.9% vs 1.2%). Estimates of SARs and Robs for asymptomatic index cases were approximately one-seventh, and for presymptomatic two-thirds of those for symptomatic index cases. We found some evidence for reduced transmission potential both from and to individuals younger than 20 years of age in the household context, which is more limited when examining all settings. CONCLUSIONS: Our results suggest that exposure in settings with familiar contacts increases SARS-CoV-2 transmission potential. Additionally, the differences observed in transmissibility by index case symptom status and duration of exposure have important implications for control strategies, such as contact tracing, testing, and rapid isolation of cases. There were limited data to explore transmission patterns in workplaces, schools, and care homes, highlighting the need for further research in such settings.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , SARS-CoV-2 , Contact Tracing , Family Characteristics , Humans , Incidence
5.
Environ Res ; 195: 110793, 2021 04.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1051629

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: Healthcare workers (HCWs) are highly exposed to SARS-CoV-2 infection given their specific tasks. The IgG-IgM serological assay has demonstrated good accuracy in early detection in symptomatic patients, but its role in the diagnosis of asymptomatic patients is uncertain. The aim of our study was to assess IgM and IgG prevalence in sera in a large cohort of HCWs previously subjected to Nasopharyngeal swab test (NST) after accurate risk assessment due to positive COVID-19 patient exposure during an observation period of 90 days. METHODS: 2407 asymptomatic HCWs that had close contact with COVID-19 patients in the period between April 8th and June 7th were screened with NST based on the RT-PCR method. In parallel, they underwent large-scale chemiluminescence immunoassays involving IgM-IgG serological screening to determine actual viral spread in the same cohort. RESULTS: During the 90-day observation period, 18 workers (0.75%) resulted positive for SARS-CoV-2 infection at the NST, whereas the positivity rates for IgM and IgG were 11.51% and 2.37%, respectively (277 workers). Despite high specificity, serological tests were inadequate for detecting SARS-CoV-2 infection in patients with previous positive NST results (IgM and IgG sensitivities of 27.78% and 50.00%, respectively). CONCLUSIONS: These findings indicate a widespread low viral load of SARS-CoV-2 among hospital workers. However, serological screening showed very low sensitivity with respect to NST in identifying infected workers, and negative IgG and IgM results should not exclude the diagnosis of COVID-19. IgG-IgM chemiluminescence immunoassays could increase the diagnosis of COVID-19 only in association with NST, and this association is considered helpful for decision-making regarding returning to work.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , SARS-CoV-2 , Antibodies, Viral , Health Personnel , Hospitals , Humans , Immunoglobulin G , Immunoglobulin M , Italy/epidemiology , Prevalence , Public Health , Sensitivity and Specificity
6.
Int J Infect Dis ; 102: 532-537, 2021 Jan.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-907182

ABSTRACT

OBJECTIVES: To determine the prevalence of SARS-CoV-2 infection among exposed healthcare workers (HCWs) after preventive protocol implementation. METHODS: A total of 5750 HCWs were included in the study. Those in contact with COVID-19 patients were allocated into a high-risk or a low-risk group based on contact type (PPE- or non-PPE-protected); high-risk workers underwent nasopharyngeal swab tests, while among low-risk workers, swab tests were carried out only for symptomatic workers (active surveillance). The prevalence was determined by real-time reverse transcriptase-polymerase chain reaction on nasopharyngeal samples. RESULTS: 3570 HCWs had contact with 1065 COVID-19 patients. Among them, 3494 were subjected to active surveillance (low-risk group); 2886 (82.60%) were subjected to a swab test; and 15 were positive (0.52%). Seventy-six HCWs (2.13% of exposed) were included in the high-risk group, and a swab test was mandatory for each participant. Overall, 66 (86.84% of high-risk) were negative, and 10 were positive (13.16%), resulting in a higher risk of infection than in the low-risk group [OR = 29.00; 95% CI:12.56-66.94; p < 0.0001]. CONCLUSION: To date, the SARS-CoV-2 infection prevalence is 0.70% among exposed HCWs and 0.435% among all HCWs working at the examined university hospital. The correct use of PPE and the early identification of symptomatic workers are essential factors to avoiding nosocomial clusters.


Subject(s)
COVID-19/epidemiology , COVID-19/transmission , Cross Infection/epidemiology , Health Personnel/statistics & numerical data , Adult , Aged , COVID-19/virology , Cohort Studies , Cross Infection/transmission , Cross Infection/virology , Disease Outbreaks , Female , Frail Elderly/statistics & numerical data , Hospitals, University/statistics & numerical data , Humans , Italy/epidemiology , Male , Middle Aged , Prevalence , Risk Factors , SARS-CoV-2/physiology
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