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ERJ Open Res ; 7(4)2021 Oct.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1546754


Background: The relationship between asthma and coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) risk is not clear and may be influenced by level of airway obstruction, asthma medication and known COVID-19 risk factors. We aimed to investigate COVID-19 risk in people with asthma. Methods: We used UK Biobank data from all participants tested for severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) (n=107 412; 17 979 test positive). Questions at baseline defined ever asthma and asthma medications. Baseline forced expiratory volume in 1 s (FEV1) was categorised into quartiles. Logistic regression modelled relationships between asthma, and asthma categories (age at onset, medications, FEV1 quartiles), and risk of SARS-CoV-2 positive test. We investigated modification by sex, ethnic group, smoking and body mass index. Results: There was a reduced risk of a positive test associated with early-onset asthma (<13 years) (OR 0.91, 95% CI 0.84-0.99). This was found for participants with early-onset asthma who were male (OR 0.87, 95% CI 0.78-0.98), nonsmokers (OR 0.87, 95% CI 0.78-0.98), overweight/obese (OR 0.85, 95% CI 0.77-0.93) and non-Black (OR 0.90, 95% CI 0.82-0.98). There was increased risk amongst early-onset individuals with asthma in the highest compared to lowest quartile of lung function (1.44, 1.05-1.72). Conclusion: Amongst male, nonsmoking, overweight/obese and non-Black participants, having early-onset asthma was associated with lower risk of a SARS-CoV-2 positive test. We found no evidence of a protective effect from asthma medication. Individuals with early-onset asthma of normal weight and with better lung function may have lifestyle differences placing them at higher risk. Further research is needed to elucidate the contribution of asthma pathophysiology and different health-related behaviour, across population groups, to the observed risks.

Gen Hosp Psychiatry ; 72: 124-130, 2021.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1364025


OBJECTIVES: The Australian COVID-19 Frontline Healthcare Workers Study investigated coping strategies and help-seeking behaviours, and their relationship to mental health symptoms experienced by Australian healthcare workers (HCWs) during the COVID-19 pandemic. METHODS: Australian HCWs were invited to participate a nationwide, voluntary, anonymous, single time-point, online survey between 27th August and 23rd October 2020. Complete responses on demographics, home and work situation, and measures of health and psychological wellbeing were received from 7846 participants. RESULTS: The most commonly reported adaptive coping strategies were maintaining exercise (44.9%) and social connections (31.7%). Over a quarter of HCWs (26.3%) reported increased alcohol use which was associated with a history of poor mental health and worse personal relationships. Few used psychological wellbeing apps or sought professional help; those who did were more likely to be suffering from moderate to severe symptoms of mental illness. People living in Victoria, in regional areas, and those with children at home were significantly less likely to report adaptive coping strategies. CONCLUSIONS: Personal, social, and workplace predictors of coping strategies and help-seeking behaviour during the pandemic were identified. Use of maladaptive coping strategies and low rates of professional help-seeking indicate an urgent need to understand the effectiveness of, and the barriers and enablers of accessing, different coping strategies.

Adaptation, Psychological , COVID-19 , Health Personnel , Pandemics , Psychological Distress , Adult , Australia/epidemiology , COVID-19/epidemiology , COVID-19/psychology , COVID-19/therapy , Female , Health Personnel/psychology , Health Personnel/statistics & numerical data , Help-Seeking Behavior , Humans , Male , Mental Disorders/epidemiology , Middle Aged , Surveys and Questionnaires , Young Adult
Risk Manag Healthc Policy ; 14: 247-252, 2021.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1052463


This work is part of a project on the development of a smart prefabricated sanitising chamber (SPSC) to provide extra measures against the transmission of the severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2). Stabilised hypochlorous acid (HOCl) is an approved disinfectant against SARS-CoV-2 by the Environmental Protection Association US in its liquid form on non-porous surfaces. This review is extended to cover its viricidal/bactericidal efficacy in aerosolised or sprayed form which showed an effective dose of as low as 20 ppm and the exposure duration of at least 60 s. The aerosolised application was also recommended with particle size of less than 200 µm to increase the contact with pathogens. The review also includes the safety and toxicity of HOCl with different concentrations. The review calls for more investigations into the effect of HOCl in mist and fog form on the respiratory system when transitioning through the proposed SPSC.