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1.
Science ; : eabq4411, 2022 May 24.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1861571

ABSTRACT

Rapid transmission of severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) Omicron variant has led to record-breaking incidence rates around the world. The REal-time Assessment of Community Transmission-1 (REACT-1) study has tracked SARS-CoV-2 infection in England using reverse transcription polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR) results from self-administered throat and nose swabs from randomly selected participants aged 5+ years, approximately monthly from May 2020 to March 2022. Weighted prevalence in March 2022 was the highest recorded in REACT-1 at 6.37% (N=109,181) with Omicron BA.2 largely replacing BA.1. Prevalence was increasing overall with the greatest increase in those aged 65-74 and 75+ years. This was associated with increased hospitalizations and deaths but at much lower levels than in previous waves against a backdrop of high levels of vaccination.

2.
EClinicalMedicine ; 48: 101419, 2022 Jun.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1821213

ABSTRACT

Background: Prevalence of SARS-CoV-2 infection with Delta variant was increasing in England in late summer 2021 among children aged 5 to 17 years, and adults who had received two vaccine doses. In September 2021, a third (booster) dose was offered to vaccinated adults aged 50 years and over, vulnerable adults and healthcare/care-home workers, and a single vaccine dose already offered to 16 and 17 year-olds was extended to children aged 12 to 15 years. Methods: SARS-CoV-2 community prevalence in England was available from self-administered throat and nose swabs using reverse transcriptase polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR) in round 13 (24 June to 12 July 2021, N = 98,233), round 14 (9 to 27 September 2021, N = 100,527) and round 15 (19 October to 5 November 2021, N = 100,112) from the REACT-1 study randomised community surveys. Linking to National Health Service (NHS) vaccination data for consenting participants, we estimated vaccine effectiveness in children aged 12 to 17 years and compared swab-positivity rates in adults who received a third dose with those who received two doses. Findings: Weighted SARS-CoV-2 prevalence was 1.57% (1.48%, 1.66%) in round 15 compared with 0.83% (0.76%, 0.89%) in round 14, and the previously observed link between infections and hospitalisations and deaths had weakened. Vaccine effectiveness against infection in children aged 12 to 17 years was estimated (round 15) at 64.0% (50.9%, 70.6%) and 67.7% (53.8%, 77.5%) for symptomatic infections. Adults who received a third vaccine dose were less likely to test positive compared to those who received two doses, with adjusted OR of 0.36 (0.25, 0.53). Interpretation: Vaccination of children aged 12 to 17 years and third (booster) doses in adults were effective at reducing infection risk. High rates of vaccination, including booster doses, are a key part of the strategy to reduce infection rates in the community. Funding: Department of Health and Social Care, England.

3.
Lancet Child Adolesc Health ; 6(4): 249-259, 2022 04.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1700197

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: In the 6 months following our estimates from March 1, 2020, to April 30, 2021, the proliferation of new coronavirus variants, updated mortality data, and disparities in vaccine access increased the amount of children experiencing COVID-19-associated orphanhood. To inform responses, we aimed to model the increases in numbers of children affected by COVID-19-associated orphanhood and caregiver death, as well as the cumulative orphanhood age-group distribution and circumstance (maternal or paternal orphanhood). METHODS: We used updated excess mortality and fertility data to model increases in minimum estimates of COVID-19-associated orphanhood and caregiver deaths from our original study period of March 1, 2020-April 30, 2021, to include the new period of May 1-Oct 31, 2021, for 21 countries. Orphanhood was defined as the death of one or both parents; primary caregiver loss included parental death or the death of one or both custodial grandparents; and secondary caregiver loss included co-residing grandparents or kin. We used logistic regression and further incorporated a fixed effect for western European countries into our previous model to avoid over-predicting caregiver loss in that region. For the entire 20-month period, we grouped children by age (0-4 years, 5-9 years, and 10-17 years) and maternal or paternal orphanhood, using fertility contributions, and we modelled global and regional extrapolations of numbers of orphans. 95% credible intervals (CrIs) are given for all estimates. FINDINGS: The number of children affected by COVID-19-associated orphanhood and caregiver death is estimated to have increased by 90·0% (95% CrI 89·7-90·4) from April 30 to Oct 31, 2021, from 2 737 300 (95% CrI 1 976 100-2 987 000) to 5 200 300 (3 619 400-5 731 400). Between March 1, 2020, and Oct 31, 2021, 491 300 (95% CrI 485 100-497 900) children aged 0-4 years, 736 800 (726 900-746 500) children aged 5-9 years, and 2 146 700 (2 120 900-2 174 200) children aged 10-17 years are estimated to have experienced COVID-19-associated orphanhood. Globally, 76·5% (95% CrI 76·3-76·7) of children were paternal orphans, whereas 23·5% (23·3-23·7) were maternal orphans. In each age group and region, the prevalence of paternal orphanhood exceeded that of maternal orphanhood. INTERPRETATION: Our findings show that numbers of children affected by COVID-19-associated orphanhood and caregiver death almost doubled in 6 months compared with the amount after the first 14 months of the pandemic. Over the entire 20-month period, 5·0 million COVID-19 deaths meant that 5·2 million children lost a parent or caregiver. Our data on children's ages and circumstances should support pandemic response planning for children globally. FUNDING: UK Research and Innovation (Global Challenges Research Fund, Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council, and Medical Research Council), Oak Foundation, UK National Institute for Health Research, US National Institutes of Health, and Imperial College London.


Subject(s)
COVID-19/mortality , Caregivers/supply & distribution , Child, Orphaned/statistics & numerical data , Adolescent , Adult , Child , Female , Humans , Male , Models, Statistical
4.
Nat Commun ; 13(1): 907, 2022 02 16.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1692613

ABSTRACT

Population antibody surveillance helps track immune responses to COVID-19 vaccinations at scale, and identify host factors that may affect antibody production. We analyse data from 212,102 vaccinated individuals within the REACT-2 programme in England, which uses self-administered lateral flow antibody tests in sequential cross-sectional community samples; 71,923 (33.9%) received at least one dose of BNT162b2 vaccine and 139,067 (65.6%) received ChAdOx1. For both vaccines, antibody positivity peaks 4-5 weeks after first dose and then declines. At least 21 days after second dose of BNT162b2, close to 100% of respondents test positive, while for ChAdOx1, this is significantly reduced, particularly in the oldest age groups (72.7% [70.9-74.4] at ages 75 years and above). For both vaccines, antibody positivity decreases with age, and is higher in females and those with previous infection. Antibody positivity is lower in transplant recipients, obese individuals, smokers and those with specific comorbidities. These groups will benefit from additional vaccine doses.


Subject(s)
Aging/immunology , Antibodies, Viral/blood , /immunology , SARS-CoV-2/immunology , Age Factors , Aged , Antibody Formation/immunology , COVID-19/epidemiology , COVID-19/prevention & control , Cross-Sectional Studies , England/epidemiology , Female , Humans , Immunization Programs , Immunoglobulin G/blood , Male , Middle Aged , Prospective Studies , Sex Factors , Vaccination
5.
ERJ Open Res ; 8(1)2022 Jan.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1690978

ABSTRACT

Due to the large number of patients with severe coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19), many were treated outside the traditional walls of the intensive care unit (ICU), and in many cases, by personnel who were not trained in critical care. The clinical characteristics and the relative impact of caring for severe COVID-19 patients outside the ICU is unknown. This was a multinational, multicentre, prospective cohort study embedded in the International Severe Acute Respiratory and Emerging Infection Consortium World Health Organization COVID-19 platform. Severe COVID-19 patients were identified as those admitted to an ICU and/or those treated with one of the following treatments: invasive or noninvasive mechanical ventilation, high-flow nasal cannula, inotropes or vasopressors. A logistic generalised additive model was used to compare clinical outcomes among patients admitted or not to the ICU. A total of 40 440 patients from 43 countries and six continents were included in this analysis. Severe COVID-19 patients were frequently male (62.9%), older adults (median (interquartile range (IQR), 67 (55-78) years), and with at least one comorbidity (63.2%). The overall median (IQR) length of hospital stay was 10 (5-19) days and was longer in patients admitted to an ICU than in those who were cared for outside the ICU (12 (6-23) days versus 8 (4-15) days, p<0.0001). The 28-day fatality ratio was lower in ICU-admitted patients (30.7% (5797 out of 18 831) versus 39.0% (7532 out of 19 295), p<0.0001). Patients admitted to an ICU had a significantly lower probability of death than those who were not (adjusted OR 0.70, 95% CI 0.65-0.75; p<0.0001). Patients with severe COVID-19 admitted to an ICU had significantly lower 28-day fatality ratio than those cared for outside an ICU.

6.
Science ; 375(6587): 1406-1411, 2022 03 25.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1673338

ABSTRACT

The unprecedented rise in severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) infections during December 2021 was concurrent with rapid spread of the Omicron variant in England and globally. We analyzed the prevalence of SARS-CoV-2 and its dynamics in England from the end of November to mid-December 2021 among almost 100,000 participants in the REACT-1 study. Prevalence was high with rapid growth nationally and particularly in London during December 2021, with an increasing proportion of infections due to Omicron. We observed large decreases in swab positivity among mostly vaccinated older children (12 to 17 years) relative to unvaccinated younger children (5 to 11 years), and in adults who received a third (booster) vaccine dose versus two doses. Our results reinforce the importance of vaccination and booster campaigns, although additional measures have been needed to control the rapid growth of the Omicron variant.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 Vaccines/administration & dosage , COVID-19 , SARS-CoV-2/isolation & purification , Adolescent , Adult , Aged , COVID-19/epidemiology , COVID-19/prevention & control , COVID-19/virology , Child , Child, Preschool , England/epidemiology , Humans , Immunization, Secondary , Middle Aged , Prevalence
7.
Lancet Respir Med ; 10(4): 355-366, 2022 04.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1655306

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: England has experienced a third wave of the COVID-19 epidemic since the end of May, 2021, coinciding with the rapid spread of the delta (B.1.617.2) variant, despite high levels of vaccination among adults. Vaccination rates (single dose) in England are lower among children aged 16-17 years and 12-15 years, whose vaccination in England commenced in August and September, 2021, respectively. We aimed to analyse the underlying dynamics driving patterns in SARS-CoV-2 prevalence during September, 2021, in England. METHODS: The REal-time Assessment of Community Transmission-1 (REACT-1) study, which commenced data collection in May, 2020, involves a series of random cross-sectional surveys in the general population of England aged 5 years and older. Using RT-PCR swab positivity data from 100 527 participants with valid throat and nose swabs in round 14 of REACT-1 (Sept 9-27, 2021), we estimated community-based prevalence of SARS-CoV-2 and vaccine effectiveness against infection by combining round 14 data with data from round 13 (June 24 to July 12, 2021; n=172 862). FINDINGS: During September, 2021, we estimated a mean RT-PCR positivity rate of 0·83% (95% CrI 0·76-0·89), with a reproduction number (R) overall of 1·03 (95% CrI 0·94-1·14). Among the 475 (62·2%) of 764 sequenced positive swabs, all were of the delta variant; 22 (4·63%; 95% CI 3·07-6·91) included the Tyr145His mutation in the spike protein associated with the AY.4 sublineage, and there was one Glu484Lys mutation. Age, region, key worker status, and household size jointly contributed to the risk of swab positivity. The highest weighted prevalence was observed among children aged 5-12 years, at 2·32% (95% CrI 1·96-2·73) and those aged 13-17 years, at 2·55% (2·11-3·08). The SARS-CoV-2 epidemic grew in those aged 5-11 years, with an R of 1·42 (95% CrI 1·18-1·68), but declined in those aged 18-54 years, with an R of 0·81 (0·68-0·97). At ages 18-64 years, the adjusted vaccine effectiveness against infection was 62·8% (95% CI 49·3-72·7) after two doses compared to unvaccinated people, for all vaccines combined, 44·8% (22·5-60·7) for the ChAdOx1 nCov-19 (Oxford-AstraZeneca) vaccine, and 71·3% (56·6-81·0) for the BNT162b2 (Pfizer-BioNTech) vaccine. In individuals aged 18 years and older, the weighted prevalence of swab positivity was 0·35% (95% CrI 0·31-0·40) if the second dose was administered up to 3 months before their swab but 0·55% (0·50-0·61) for those who received their second dose 3-6 months before their swab, compared to 1·76% (1·60-1·95) among unvaccinated individuals. INTERPRETATION: In September, 2021, at the start of the autumn school term in England, infections were increasing exponentially in children aged 5-17 years, at a time when vaccination rates were low in this age group. In adults, compared to those who received their second dose less than 3 months ago, the higher prevalence of swab positivity at 3-6 months following two doses of the COVID-19 vaccine suggests an increased risk of breakthrough infections during this period. The vaccination programme needs to reach children as well as unvaccinated and partially vaccinated adults to reduce SARS-CoV-2 transmission and associated disruptions to work and education. FUNDING: Department of Health and Social Care, England.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Adolescent , Adult , COVID-19/epidemiology , COVID-19/prevention & control , COVID-19 Vaccines , Child , Child, Preschool , Cross-Sectional Studies , England/epidemiology , Humans , Middle Aged , SARS-CoV-2/genetics , Surveys and Questionnaires , Young Adult
8.
ERJ open research ; 2021.
Article in English | EuropePMC | ID: covidwho-1610380

ABSTRACT

Due to the large number of patients with severe COVID-19, many were treated outside of the traditional walls of the ICU, and in many cases, by personnel who were not trained in critical care. The clinical characteristics and the relative impact of caring for severe COVID-19 patients outside of the ICU is unknown. This was a multinational, multicentre, prospective cohort study embedded in the ISARIC WHO COVID-19 platform. Severe COVID-19 patients were identified as those admitted to an ICU and/or those treated with one of the following treatments: invasive or non-invasive mechanical ventilation, high-flow nasal cannula, inotropes, and vasopressors. A logistic Generalised Additive Model was used to compare clinical outcomes among patients admitted and not to the ICU. A total of 40 440 patients from 43 countries and six continents were included in this analysis. Severe COVID-19 patients were frequently male (62.9%), older adults (median [IQR], 67 years [55, 78]), and with at least one comorbidity (63.2%). The overall median (IQR) length of hospital stay was 10 days (5–19) and was longer in patients admitted to an ICU than in those that were cared for outside of ICU (12 [6–23] versus 8 [4–15] days, p<0.0001). The 28-day fatality ratio was lower in ICU-admitted patients (30.7% [5797/18831] versus 39.0% [7532/19295], p<0.0001). Patients admitted to an ICU had a significantly lower probability of death than those who were not (adjusted OR:0.70, 95%CI: 0.65-0.75, p<0.0001). Patients with severe COVID-19 admitted to an ICU had significantly lower 28-day fatality ratio than those cared for outside of an ICU.

9.
J R Soc Interface ; 18(185): 20210569, 2021 12.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1575238

ABSTRACT

Inferring the transmission potential of an infectious disease during low-incidence periods following epidemic waves is crucial for preparedness. In such periods, scarce data may hinder existing inference methods, blurring early-warning signals essential for discriminating between the likelihoods of resurgence versus elimination. Advanced insight into whether elevating caseloads (requiring swift community-wide interventions) or local elimination (allowing controls to be relaxed or refocussed on case-importation) might occur can separate decisive from ineffective policy. By generalizing and fusing recent approaches, we propose a novel early-warning framework that maximizes the information extracted from low-incidence data to robustly infer the chances of sustained local transmission or elimination in real time, at any scale of investigation (assuming sufficiently good surveillance). Applying this framework, we decipher hidden disease-transmission signals in prolonged low-incidence COVID-19 data from New Zealand, Hong Kong and Victoria, Australia. We uncover how timely interventions associate with averting resurgent waves, support official elimination declarations and evidence the effectiveness of the rapid, adaptive COVID-19 responses employed in these regions.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Communicable Diseases , Australia , Humans , New Zealand , SARS-CoV-2
10.
Epidemics ; 37: 100520, 2021 12.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1568688

ABSTRACT

While mathematical models of disease transmission are widely used to inform public health decision-makers globally, the uncertainty inherent in results are often poorly communicated. We outline some potential sources of uncertainty in epidemic models, present traditional methods used to illustrate uncertainty and discuss alternative presentation formats used by modelling groups throughout the COVID-19 pandemic. Then, by drawing on the experience of our own recent modelling, we seek to contribute to the ongoing discussion of how to improve upon traditional methods used to visualise uncertainty by providing a suggestion of how this can be presented in a clear and simple manner.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Humans , Pandemics , SARS-CoV-2 , Uncertainty
11.
Interface Focus ; 11(6): 20210013, 2021 Dec 06.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1546110

ABSTRACT

The coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic has disrupted the lives of billions across the world. Mathematical modelling has been a key tool deployed throughout the pandemic to explore the potential public health impact of an unmitigated epidemic. The results of such studies have informed governments' decisions to implement non-pharmaceutical interventions to control the spread of the virus. In this article, we explore the complex relationships between models, decision-making, the media and the public during the COVID-19 pandemic in the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland (UK). Doing so not only provides an important historical context of COVID-19 modelling and how it has shaped the UK response, but as the pandemic continues and looking towards future pandemic preparedness, understanding these relationships and how they might be improved is critical. As such, we have synthesized information gathered via three methods: a survey to publicly list attendees of the Scientific Advisory Group for Emergencies, the Scientific Pandemic Influenza Group on Modelling and other comparable advisory bodies, interviews with science communication experts and former scientific advisors, and reviewing some of the key COVID-19 modelling literature from 2020. Our research highlights the desire for increased bidirectional communication between modellers, decision-makers and the public, as well as the need to convey uncertainty inherent in transmission models in a clear manner. These aspects should be considered carefully ahead of the next emergency response.

12.
Elife ; 102021 11 23.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1529015

ABSTRACT

Background: There is potentially considerable variation in the nature and duration of the care provided to hospitalised patients during an infectious disease epidemic or pandemic. Improvements in care and clinician confidence may shorten the time spent as an inpatient, or the need for admission to an intensive care unit (ICU) or high dependency unit (HDU). On the other hand, limited resources at times of high demand may lead to rationing. Nevertheless, these variables may be used as static proxies for disease severity, as outcome measures for trials, and to inform planning and logistics. Methods: We investigate these time trends in an extremely large international cohort of 142,540 patients hospitalised with COVID-19. Investigated are: time from symptom onset to hospital admission, probability of ICU/HDU admission, time from hospital admission to ICU/HDU admission, hospital case fatality ratio (hCFR) and total length of hospital stay. Results: Time from onset to admission showed a rapid decline during the first months of the pandemic followed by peaks during August/September and December 2020. ICU/HDU admission was more frequent from June to August. The hCFR was lowest from June to August. Raw numbers for overall hospital stay showed little variation, but there is clear decline in time to discharge for ICU/HDU survivors. Conclusions: Our results establish that variables of these kinds have limitations when used as outcome measures in a rapidly evolving situation. Funding: This work was supported by the UK Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office and Wellcome [215091/Z/18/Z] and the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation [OPP1209135]. The funders had no role in study design, data collection and analysis, decision to publish, or preparation of the manuscript.


Subject(s)
Hospitalization/statistics & numerical data , Outcome Assessment, Health Care/statistics & numerical data , SARS-CoV-2/pathogenicity , Adolescent , Adult , Aged , Aged, 80 and over , COVID-19/therapy , Child , Child, Preschool , Female , Humans , Infant , Intensive Care Units/statistics & numerical data , Length of Stay/statistics & numerical data , Male , Middle Aged , Retrospective Studies , Young Adult
13.
Science ; 374(6574): eabl9551, 2021 Dec 17.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1494927

ABSTRACT

Severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) infections were rising during early summer 2021 in many countries as a result of the Delta variant. We assessed reverse transcription polymerase chain reaction swab positivity in the Real-time Assessment of Community Transmission­1 (REACT-1) study in England. During June and July 2021, we observed sustained exponential growth with an average doubling time of 25 days, driven by complete replacement of the Alpha variant by Delta and by high prevalence at younger, less-vaccinated ages. Prevalence among unvaccinated people [1.21% (95% credible interval 1.03%, 1.41%)] was three times that among double-vaccinated people [0.40% (95% credible interval 0.34%, 0.48%)]. However, after adjusting for age and other variables, vaccine effectiveness for double-vaccinated people was estimated at between ~50% and ~60% during this period in England. Increased social mixing in the presence of Delta had the potential to generate sustained growth in infections, even at high levels of vaccination.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 Vaccines , COVID-19/epidemiology , COVID-19/virology , SARS-CoV-2 , Adolescent , Adult , Age Factors , Aged , COVID-19/diagnosis , COVID-19/prevention & control , COVID-19 Nucleic Acid Testing , COVID-19 Vaccines/administration & dosage , COVID-19 Vaccines/immunology , Child , Child, Preschool , England/epidemiology , Family Characteristics , Female , Hospitalization , Humans , Male , Middle Aged , Prevalence , Self Report , Socioeconomic Factors , Vaccination Coverage , Young Adult
14.
Clin Infect Dis ; 2021 Oct 26.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1483418

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: Phase III trials have estimated COVID-19 vaccine efficacy (VE) against symptomatic and asymptomatic infection. We explore the direction and magnitude of potential biases in these estimates and their implications for vaccine protection against infection and against disease in breakthrough infections. METHODS: We developed a mathematical model that accounts for natural and vaccine-induced immunity, changes in serostatus and imperfect sensitivity and specificity of tests for infection and antibodies. We estimated expected biases in VE against symptomatic, asymptomatic and any SARS͏CoV2 infections and against disease following infection for a range of vaccine characteristics and measurement approaches, and the likely overall biases for published trial results that included asymptomatic infections. RESULTS: VE against asymptomatic infection measured by PCR or serology is expected to be low or negative for vaccines that prevent disease but not infection. VE against any infection is overestimated when asymptomatic infections are less likely to be detected than symptomatic infections and the vaccine protects against symptom development. A competing bias towards underestimation arises for estimates based on tests with imperfect specificity, especially when testing is performed frequently. Our model indicates considerable uncertainty in Oxford-AstraZeneca ChAdOx1 and Janssen Ad26.COV2.S VE against any infection, with slightly higher than published, bias-adjusted values of 59.0% (95% uncertainty interval [UI] 38.4 to 77.1) and 70.9% (95% UI 49.8 to 80.7) respectively. CONCLUSIONS: Multiple biases are likely to influence COVID-19 VE estimates, potentially explaining the observed difference between ChAdOx1 and Ad26.COV2.S vaccines. These biases should be considered when interpreting both efficacy and effectiveness study results.

16.
PLoS Med ; 18(10): e1003816, 2021 10.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1463303

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: Nosocomial spread of Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome Coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) has been widely reported, but the transmission pathways among patients and healthcare workers (HCWs) are unclear. Identifying the risk factors and drivers for these nosocomial transmissions is critical for infection prevention and control interventions. The main aim of our study was to quantify the relative importance of different transmission pathways of SARS-CoV-2 in the hospital setting. METHODS AND FINDINGS: This is an observational cohort study using data from 4 teaching hospitals in Oxfordshire, United Kingdom, from January to October 2020. Associations between infectious SARS-CoV-2 individuals and infection risk were quantified using logistic, generalised additive and linear mixed models. Cases were classified as community- or hospital-acquired using likely incubation periods of 3 to 7 days. Of 66,184 patients who were hospitalised during the study period, 920 had a positive SARS-CoV-2 PCR test within the same period (1.4%). The mean age was 67.9 (±20.7) years, 49.2% were females, and 68.5% were from the white ethnic group. Out of these, 571 patients had their first positive PCR tests while hospitalised (62.1%), and 97 of these occurred at least 7 days after admission (10.5%). Among the 5,596 HCWs, 615 (11.0%) tested positive during the study period using PCR or serological tests. The mean age was 39.5 (±11.1) years, 78.9% were females, and 49.8% were nurses. For susceptible patients, 1 day in the same ward with another patient with hospital-acquired SARS-CoV-2 was associated with an additional 7.5 infections per 1,000 susceptible patients (95% credible interval (CrI) 5.5 to 9.5/1,000 susceptible patients/day) per day. Exposure to an infectious patient with community-acquired Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) or to an infectious HCW was associated with substantially lower infection risks (2.0/1,000 susceptible patients/day, 95% CrI 1.6 to 2.2). As for HCW infections, exposure to an infectious patient with hospital-acquired SARS-CoV-2 or to an infectious HCW were both associated with an additional 0.8 infection per 1,000 susceptible HCWs per day (95% CrI 0.3 to 1.6 and 0.6 to 1.0, respectively). Exposure to an infectious patient with community-acquired SARS-CoV-2 was associated with less than half this risk (0.2/1,000 susceptible HCWs/day, 95% CrI 0.2 to 0.2). These assumptions were tested in sensitivity analysis, which showed broadly similar results. The main limitations were that the symptom onset dates and HCW absence days were not available. CONCLUSIONS: In this study, we observed that exposure to patients with hospital-acquired SARS-CoV-2 is associated with a substantial infection risk to both HCWs and other hospitalised patients. Infection control measures to limit nosocomial transmission must be optimised to protect both staff and patients from SARS-CoV-2 infection.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Community-Acquired Infections , Cross Infection/epidemiology , Health Personnel , Hospitals , Infectious Disease Transmission, Patient-to-Professional , Infectious Disease Transmission, Professional-to-Patient , Adult , Aged , Aged, 80 and over , COVID-19/transmission , Cohort Studies , Female , Hospitalization , Hospitals/statistics & numerical data , Humans , Infection Control , Infectious Disease Transmission, Patient-to-Professional/statistics & numerical data , Infectious Disease Transmission, Professional-to-Patient/statistics & numerical data , Male , Middle Aged , Nurses , Risk Factors , SARS-CoV-2 , United Kingdom/epidemiology
17.
Lancet ; 398(10298): 391-402, 2021 07 31.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1454623

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: The COVID-19 pandemic priorities have focused on prevention, detection, and response. Beyond morbidity and mortality, pandemics carry secondary impacts, such as children orphaned or bereft of their caregivers. Such children often face adverse consequences, including poverty, abuse, and institutionalisation. We provide estimates for the magnitude of this problem resulting from COVID-19 and describe the need for resource allocation. METHODS: We used mortality and fertility data to model minimum estimates and rates of COVID-19-associated deaths of primary or secondary caregivers for children younger than 18 years in 21 countries. We considered parents and custodial grandparents as primary caregivers, and co-residing grandparents or older kin (aged 60-84 years) as secondary caregivers. To avoid overcounting, we adjusted for possible clustering of deaths using an estimated secondary attack rate and age-specific infection-fatality ratios for SARS-CoV-2. We used these estimates to model global extrapolations for the number of children who have experienced COVID-19-associated deaths of primary and secondary caregivers. FINDINGS: Globally, from March 1, 2020, to April 30, 2021, we estimate 1 134 000 children (95% credible interval 884 000-1 185 000) experienced the death of primary caregivers, including at least one parent or custodial grandparent. 1 562 000 children (1 299 000-1 683 000) experienced the death of at least one primary or secondary caregiver. Countries in our study set with primary caregiver death rates of at least one per 1000 children included Peru (10·2 per 1000 children), South Africa (5·1), Mexico (3·5), Brazil (2·4), Colombia (2·3), Iran (1·7), the USA (1·5), Argentina (1·1), and Russia (1·0). Numbers of children orphaned exceeded numbers of deaths among those aged 15-50 years. Between two and five times more children had deceased fathers than deceased mothers. INTERPRETATION: Orphanhood and caregiver deaths are a hidden pandemic resulting from COVID-19-associated deaths. Accelerating equitable vaccine delivery is key to prevention. Psychosocial and economic support can help families to nurture children bereft of caregivers and help to ensure that institutionalisation is avoided. These data show the need for an additional pillar of our response: prevent, detect, respond, and care for children. FUNDING: UK Research and Innovation (Global Challenges Research Fund, Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council, Medical Research Council), UK National Institute for Health Research, US National Institutes of Health, and Imperial College London.


Subject(s)
COVID-19/mortality , Caregivers/supply & distribution , Child, Orphaned/statistics & numerical data , Models, Statistical , Adolescent , Adult , Aged , Child , Female , Global Health , Humans , Male , Middle Aged , Young Adult
20.
Sci Rep ; 11(1): 16342, 2021 08 11.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1354114

ABSTRACT

The UK and Sweden have among the worst per-capita COVID-19 mortality in Europe. Sweden stands out for its greater reliance on voluntary, rather than mandatory, control measures. We explore how the timing and effectiveness of control measures in the UK, Sweden and Denmark shaped COVID-19 mortality in each country, using a counterfactual assessment: what would the impact have been, had each country adopted the others' policies? Using a Bayesian semi-mechanistic model without prior assumptions on the mechanism or effectiveness of interventions, we estimate the time-varying reproduction number for the UK, Sweden and Denmark from daily mortality data. We use two approaches to evaluate counterfactuals which transpose the transmission profile from one country onto another, in each country's first wave from 13th March (when stringent interventions began) until 1st July 2020. UK mortality would have approximately doubled had Swedish policy been adopted, while Swedish mortality would have more than halved had Sweden adopted UK or Danish strategies. Danish policies were most effective, although differences between the UK and Denmark were significant for one counterfactual approach only. Our analysis shows that small changes in the timing or effectiveness of interventions have disproportionately large effects on total mortality within a rapidly growing epidemic.


Subject(s)
COVID-19/epidemiology , COVID-19/prevention & control , Health Policy , Models, Theoretical , COVID-19/therapy , Denmark/epidemiology , Humans , Sweden/epidemiology , United Kingdom/epidemiology
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