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Viruses ; 14(5)2022 05 17.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1875808


Despite the existence of an effective live-attenuated vaccine, measles can appear in vaccinated individuals. We investigated breakthrough measles cases identified during our surveillance activities within the measles/rubella surveillance network (MoRoNet) in Milan and surrounding areas (Northern Italy). Between 2017 and 2021, we confirmed measles virus (genotypes B3 or D8) infections in 653 patients and 51 of these (7.8%) were vaccinees. Among vaccinated individuals whose serum was available, a secondary failure was evidenced in 69.4% (25/36) of cases while 11 patients (30.6%) were non-responders. Non-responders were more frequently hospitalized and had significantly lower Ct values in both respiratory and urine samples. Median age and time since the last immunization were similar in the two groups. Importantly, we identified onward transmissions from vaccine failure cases. Vaccinees were involved in 20 outbreaks, in 10 of them they were able to transmit the virus, and in 8 of them, they were the index case. Comparing viral hemagglutinin sequences from vaccinated and non-vaccinated subjects did not show a specific mutation pattern. These results suggest that vaccination failure was likely due to the poor immune response of single individuals and highlights the importance of identifying breakthrough cases and characterizing their clinical and virologic profiles.

Measles , Disease Outbreaks/prevention & control , Humans , Italy/epidemiology , Measles/epidemiology , Measles/prevention & control , Measles Vaccine , Measles virus/genetics , Vaccines, Attenuated
Epidemics ; 37: 100528, 2021 12.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1520903


BACKGROUND: In the night of February 20, 2020, the first epidemic of the novel coronavirus disease (COVID-19) outside Asia was uncovered by the identification of its first patient in Lombardy region, Italy. In the following weeks, Lombardy experienced a sudden increase in the number of ascertained infections and strict measures were imposed to contain the epidemic spread. METHODS: We analyzed official records of cases occurred in Lombardy to characterize the epidemiology of SARS-CoV-2 during the early phase of the outbreak. A line list of laboratory-confirmed cases was set up and later retrospectively consolidated, using standardized interviews to ascertained cases and their close contacts. We provide estimates of the serial interval, of the basic reproduction number, and of the temporal variation of the net reproduction number of SARS-CoV-2. RESULTS: Epidemiological investigations detected over 500 cases (median age: 69, IQR: 57-78) before the first COVID-19 diagnosed patient (February 20, 2020), and suggested that SARS-CoV-2 was already circulating in at least 222 out of 1506 (14.7%) municipalities with sustained transmission across all the Lombardy provinces. We estimated the mean serial interval to be 6.6 days (95% CrI, 0.7-19). Our estimates of the basic reproduction number range from 2.6 in Pavia (95% CI, 2.1-3.2) to 3.3 in Milan (95% CI, 2.9-3.8). A decreasing trend in the net reproduction number was observed following the detection of the first case. CONCLUSIONS: At the time of first case notification, COVID-19 was already widespread in the entire Lombardy region. This may explain the large number of critical cases experienced by this region in a very short timeframe. The slight decrease of the reproduction number observed in the early days after February 20, 2020 might be due to increased population awareness and early interventions implemented before the regional lockdown imposed on March 8, 2020.

COVID-19 , Aged , Communicable Disease Control , Humans , Italy/epidemiology , Retrospective Studies , SARS-CoV-2
BMJ Open ; 11(3): e046044, 2021 03 10.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1127586


OBJECTIVES: This study describes a new strategy to reduce the impact of COVID-19 on the elderly and other clinically vulnerable subjects, where general practitioners (GPs) play an active role in managing high-risk patients, reducing adverse health outcomes. DESIGN: Retrospective cohort study. SETTING: Population-based study including subjects resident in the province of Milan and Lodi. PARTICIPANTS: 127 735 residents older than 70 years, with specific chronic conditions. INTERVENTIONS: We developed a predictive algorithm for overall mortality risk based on demographic and clinical characteristics. All residents older than 70 years were classified as being at low or high risk of death from COVID-19 infection according to the algorithm. The high-risk group was assigned to their GPs for telephone triage and consultation. The high-risk cohort was divided into two groups based on GP intervention: patients who were not contacted and patients who were contacted by their GPs. OUTCOME MEASURES: Overall mortality, COVID-19 morbidity and hospitalisation. RESULTS: Patients with increased risk of death from COVID-19 were 127 735; 495 669 patients were not at high risk and were not included in the intervention. Out of the high-risk subjects, 79 110 were included but not contacted by their GPs, while 48 625 high-risk subjects were included and contacted. Overall mortality, morbidity and hospitalisation was higher in high-risk patients compared with low-risk populations. High-risk patients contacted by their GPs had a 50% risk reduction in COVID-19 mortality, and a 70% risk reduction in morbidity and hospitalisation for COVID-19 compared with non-contacted patients. CONCLUSIONS: The study showed that, during the COVID-19 outbreak, involvement of GPs and changes in care management of high-risk groups produced a significant reduction in all adverse health outcomes.

COVID-19/mortality , Health Status , Outcome Assessment, Health Care , Aged , Hospitalization , Humans , Italy/epidemiology , Morbidity , Mortality , Retrospective Studies