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Preprint in English | medRxiv | ID: ppmedrxiv-21250922


INTRODUCTIONDuring the first phase of COVID-19 pandemic, Italian medical students transitioned from in-person to remote learning. This study was carried out to early assess students sources of information, perceived risk of infection, knowledge and preventive practices in order to resume academic activity. The impact of training and volunteer work was also assessed. METHODSA cross-sectional online survey was conducted in May 2020 among medical students enrolled in the School of Medicine and Surgery, Bologna University. RESULTSThe analysis included 537 responses. On average students used seven sources of information on COVID-19. Scientific journals were considered the most trustworthy but they ranked only 6th in the frequency of use. Perceived risk of infection was higher for academic activities, especially in the hospital than daily living activities. Less than 50% of students reported being trained on biological risk and use of PPE. Training received was significantly associated with both perceived risk of infection and confidence in the use of PPE. Students engaged in volunteer work had higher confidence in PPE usage. DISCUSSIONAccessible scientific information and students engagement in spreading correct knowledge play an important role in challenging misinformation during the pandemic crisis. Students showed suboptimal knowledge about PPE use, calling for additional training. We found a moderate-high perceived risk of infection that could be mitigated with specific educational programs and by promoting voluntary work. Students engagement in public health emergencies (PHE) could potentially be beneficial for their training and as well as for the healthcare system.

Preprint in English | medRxiv | ID: ppmedrxiv-20155986


At present, existing evidence about the association between SARS-CoV-2 infection and ABO blood group polymorphism is preliminary and controversial. In this meta-analysis we investigate this association and determine SARS-CoV-2 positive individuals odds of having a specific blood group compared to controls. We performed a systematic search on MEDLINE and LitCovid databases for studies published through July 15, 2020. Seven studies met inclusion criteria for meta-analysis, including a total of 13 subgroups of populations (7503 SARS-CoV-2 positive cases and 2962160 controls). We analysed the odds of having each blood group among SARS-CoV-2 positive patients compared with controls. Random-effects models were used to obtain the overall pooled odds ratio (OR). Subgroup and sensitivity analyses were performed in order to explore the source of heterogeneity and results consistency. The results of our meta-analysis indicate that SARS-CoV-2 positive individuals are more likely to have blood group A (pooled OR 1.23, 95%CI: 1.09-1.40) and less likely to have blood group O (pooled OR=0.77, 95%CI: 0.67-0.88). Further studies are needed to investigate the mechanisms at the basis of this association, which may affect the kinetics of the pandemic according to the blood group distribution within the population.