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Emerg Infect Dis ; 28(13): S203-S207, 2022 12.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-2162896


Global emergence of the COVID-19 pandemic in 2020 curtailed vaccine-preventable disease (VPD) surveillance activities, but little is known about which surveillance components were most affected. In May 2021, we surveyed 214 STOP (originally Stop Transmission of Polio) Program consultants to determine how VPD surveillance activities were affected by the COVID-19 pandemic throughout 2020, primarily in low- and middle-income countries, where program consultants are deployed. Our report highlights the responses from 154 (96%) of the 160 consultants deployed to the World Health Organization African Region, which comprises 75% (160/214) of all STOP Program consultants deployed globally in early 2021. Most survey respondents observed that VPD surveillance activities were somewhat or severely affected by the COVID-19 pandemic in 2020. Reprioritization of surveillance staff and changes in health-seeking behaviors were factors commonly perceived to decrease VPD surveillance activities. Our findings suggest the need for strategies to restore VPD surveillance to prepandemic levels.

COVID-19 , Poliomyelitis , Vaccine-Preventable Diseases , Humans , Vaccine-Preventable Diseases/epidemiology , Vaccine-Preventable Diseases/prevention & control , Pandemics/prevention & control , COVID-19/epidemiology , COVID-19/prevention & control , Poliomyelitis/epidemiology , World Health Organization
Clin Infect Dis ; 74(2): 319-326, 2022 01 29.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1662107


BACKGROUND: To inform prevention strategies, we assessed the extent of severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) transmission and settings in which transmission occurred in a Georgia public school district. METHODS: During 1 December 2020-22 January 2021, SARS-CoV-2-infected index cases and their close contacts in schools were identified by school and public health officials. For in-school contacts, we assessed symptoms and offered SARS-CoV-2 reverse-transcription polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR) testing; performed epidemiologic investigations and whole-genome sequencing to identify in-school transmission; and calculated secondary attack rate (SAR) by school setting (eg, sports, elementary school classroom), index case role (ie, staff, student), and index case symptomatic status. RESULTS: We identified 86 index cases and 1119 contacts, 688 (61.5%) of whom received testing. Fifty-nine of 679 (8.7%) contacts tested positive; 15 of 86 (17.4%) index cases resulted in ≥2 positive contacts. Among 55 persons testing positive with available symptom data, 31 (56.4%) were asymptomatic. Highest SARs were in indoor, high-contact sports settings (23.8% [95% confidence interval {CI}, 12.7%-33.3%]), staff meetings/lunches (18.2% [95% CI, 4.5%-31.8%]), and elementary school classrooms (9.5% [95% CI, 6.5%-12.5%]). The SAR was higher for staff (13.1% [95% CI, 9.0%-17.2%]) vs student index cases (5.8% [95% CI, 3.6%-8.0%]) and for symptomatic (10.9% [95% CI, 8.1%-13.9%]) vs asymptomatic index cases (3.0% [95% CI, 1.0%-5.5%]). CONCLUSIONS: Indoor sports may pose a risk to the safe operation of in-person learning. Preventing infection in staff members, through measures that include coronavirus disease 2019 vaccination, is critical to reducing in-school transmission. Because many positive contacts were asymptomatic, contact tracing should be paired with testing, regardless of symptoms.

COVID-19 , SARS-CoV-2 , Contact Tracing , Georgia/epidemiology , Humans , Schools , Students