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1.
Clin Infect Dis ; 2022 Apr 12.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1784326

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: The COVID-19 pandemic is dominated by variant viruses; the resulting impact on disease severity remains unclear. Using a retrospective cohort study, we assessed the hospitalization risk following infection with seven SARS-CoV-2 variants. METHODS: Our study includes individuals with positive SARS-CoV-2 RT-PCR in the Washington Disease Reporting System with available viral genome data, from December 1, 2020 to January 14, 2022. The analysis was restricted to cases with specimens collected through sentinel surveillance. Using a Cox proportional hazards model with mixed effects, we estimated hazard ratios (HR) for hospitalization risk following infection with a variant, adjusting for age, sex, calendar week, and vaccination. FINDINGS: 58,848 cases were sequenced through sentinel surveillance, of which 1705 (2.9%) were hospitalized due to COVID-19. Higher hospitalization risk was found for infections with Gamma (HR 3.20, 95%CI 2.40-4.26), Beta (HR 2.85, 95%CI 1.56-5.23), Delta (HR 2.28 95%CI 1.56-3.34) or Alpha (HR 1.64, 95%CI 1.29-2.07) compared to infections with ancestral lineages; Omicron (HR 0.92, 95%CI 0.56-1.52) showed no significant difference in risk. Following Alpha, Gamma, or Delta infection, unvaccinated patients show higher hospitalization risk, while vaccinated patients show no significant difference in risk, both compared to unvaccinated, ancestral lineage cases. Hospitalization risk following Omicron infection is lower with vaccination. CONCLUSION: Infection with Alpha, Gamma, or Delta results in a higher hospitalization risk, with vaccination attenuating that risk. Our findings support hospital preparedness, vaccination, and genomic surveillance.

2.
EuropePMC; 2022.
Preprint in English | EuropePMC | ID: ppcovidwho-330107

ABSTRACT

The Omicron wave has left a global imprinting of immunity which changes the COVID landscape. In this study, we simulate six hypothetical variants emerging over the next year and evaluate the impact of existing and improved vaccines. We base our study on South Africa's infection- and vaccination-derived immunity. Our findings illustrate that variant-chasing vaccines will only add value above existing vaccines in the setting where a variant emerges if we can shorten the window between variant introduction and vaccine deployment to under three weeks, an impossible time-frame without significant NPI use. This strategy may have global utility, depending on the rate of spread from setting to setting. Broadly neutralizing and durable next-generation vaccines could avert over three-times as many deaths from an immune-evading variant compared to existing vaccines. Our results suggest it is crucial to develop next-generation vaccines and redress inequities in vaccine distribution to tackle future emerging variants.

3.
EuropePMC;
Preprint in English | EuropePMC | ID: ppcovidwho-327439

ABSTRACT

Background Co-circulating respiratory pathogens can interfere with or promote each other, leading to important effects on disease epidemiology. Estimating the magnitude of pathogen-pathogen interactions from clinical specimens is challenging because sampling from symptomatic individuals can create biased estimates. Methods We conducted an observational, cross-sectional study using samples collected by the Seattle Flu Study between 11 November 2018 and 20 August 2021. Samples that tested positive via RT-qPCR for at least one of 17 potential respiratory pathogens were included in this study. Semi-quantitative cycle threshold (Ct) values were used to measure pathogen load. Differences in pathogen load between monoinfected and coinfected samples were assessed using linear regression adjusting for age, season, and recruitment channel. Results 21,686 samples were positive for at least one potential pathogen. Most prevalent were rhinovirus (33·5%), Streptococcus pneumoniae ( SPn , 29·0%), SARS-CoV-2 (13.8%) and influenza A/H1N1 (9·6%). 140 potential pathogen pairs were included for analysis, and 56 (40%) pairs yielded significant Ct differences (p < 0.01) between monoinfected and co-infected samples. We observed no virus-virus pairs showing evidence of significant facilitating interactions, and found significant viral load decrease among 37 of 108 (34%) assessed pairs. Samples positive with SPn and a virus were consistently associated with increased SPn load. Conclusions Viral load data can be used to overcome sampling bias in studies of pathogen-pathogen interactions. When applied to respiratory pathogens, we found evidence of viral- SPn facilitation and several examples of viral-viral interference. Multipathogen surveillance is a cost-efficient data collection approach, with added clinical and epidemiological informational value over single-pathogen testing, but requires careful analysis to mitigate selection bias.

4.
2021.
Preprint in English | Other preprints | ID: ppcovidwho-294499

ABSTRACT

The functional relationship between neutralizing antibodies (NAbs) and protection against SARS-CoV-2 infection and disease remains unclear. We jointly estimated protection against infection and disease progression following natural infection and vaccination from meta-study data. We find that NAbs are strongly correlated with prevention of infection and that any history of NAbs will stimulate immune memory to moderate disease progression. We also find that natural infection provides stronger protection than vaccination for the same level of NAbs, noting that infection itself, unlike vaccination, carries risk of morbidity and mortality, and that our most potent vaccines induce much higher NAb levels than natural infection. These results suggest that while sterilizing immunity may decay, we expect protection against severe disease to be robust over time and in the face of immune-evading variants.

5.
PLoS Comput Biol ; 17(7): e1009149, 2021 07.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1325366

ABSTRACT

The COVID-19 pandemic has created an urgent need for models that can project epidemic trends, explore intervention scenarios, and estimate resource needs. Here we describe the methodology of Covasim (COVID-19 Agent-based Simulator), an open-source model developed to help address these questions. Covasim includes country-specific demographic information on age structure and population size; realistic transmission networks in different social layers, including households, schools, workplaces, long-term care facilities, and communities; age-specific disease outcomes; and intrahost viral dynamics, including viral-load-based transmissibility. Covasim also supports an extensive set of interventions, including non-pharmaceutical interventions, such as physical distancing and protective equipment; pharmaceutical interventions, including vaccination; and testing interventions, such as symptomatic and asymptomatic testing, isolation, contact tracing, and quarantine. These interventions can incorporate the effects of delays, loss-to-follow-up, micro-targeting, and other factors. Implemented in pure Python, Covasim has been designed with equal emphasis on performance, ease of use, and flexibility: realistic and highly customized scenarios can be run on a standard laptop in under a minute. In collaboration with local health agencies and policymakers, Covasim has already been applied to examine epidemic dynamics and inform policy decisions in more than a dozen countries in Africa, Asia-Pacific, Europe, and North America.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Models, Biological , SARS-CoV-2 , Systems Analysis , Basic Reproduction Number , COVID-19/etiology , COVID-19/prevention & control , COVID-19/transmission , COVID-19 Testing , COVID-19 Vaccines , Computational Biology , Computer Simulation , Contact Tracing , Disease Progression , Hand Disinfection , Host Microbial Interactions , Humans , Masks , Mathematical Concepts , Pandemics , Physical Distancing , Quarantine , Software
6.
JAMA Pediatr ; 175(10): e212025, 2021 10 01.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1265361

ABSTRACT

Importance: The association between COVID-19 symptoms and SARS-CoV-2 viral levels in children living in the community is not well understood. Objective: To characterize symptoms of pediatric COVID-19 in the community and analyze the association between symptoms and SARS-CoV-2 RNA levels, as approximated by cycle threshold (Ct) values, in children and adults. Design, Setting, and Participants: This cross-sectional study used a respiratory virus surveillance platform in persons of all ages to detect community COVID-19 cases from March 23 to November 9, 2020. A population-based convenience sample of children younger than 18 years and adults in King County, Washington, who enrolled online for home self-collection of upper respiratory samples for SARS-CoV-2 testing were included. Exposures: Detection of SARS-CoV-2 RNA by reverse transcription-polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR) from participant-collected samples. Main Outcomes and Measures: RT-PCR-confirmed SARS-CoV-2 infection, with Ct values stratified by age and symptoms. Results: Among 555 SARS-CoV-2-positive participants (mean [SD] age, 33.7 [20.1] years; 320 were female [57.7%]), 47 of 123 children (38.2%) were asymptomatic compared with 31 of 432 adults (7.2%). When symptomatic, fewer symptoms were reported in children compared with adults (mean [SD], 1.6 [2.0] vs 4.5 [3.1]). Symptomatic individuals had lower Ct values (which corresponded to higher viral RNA levels) than asymptomatic individuals (adjusted estimate for children, -3.0; 95% CI, -5.5 to -0.6; P = .02; adjusted estimate for adults, -2.9; 95% CI, -5.2 to -0.6; P = .01). The difference in mean Ct values was neither statistically significant between symptomatic children and symptomatic adults (adjusted estimate, -0.7; 95% CI, -2.2 to 0.9; P = .41) nor between asymptomatic children and asymptomatic adults (adjusted estimate, -0.6; 95% CI, -4.0 to 2.8; P = .74). Conclusions and Relevance: In this community-based cross-sectional study, SARS-CoV-2 RNA levels, as determined by Ct values, were significantly higher in symptomatic individuals than in asymptomatic individuals and no significant age-related differences were found. Further research is needed to understand the role of SARS-CoV-2 RNA levels and viral transmission.


Subject(s)
COVID-19/complications , COVID-19/diagnosis , RNA, Viral/metabolism , SARS-CoV-2/isolation & purification , Viral Load , Adolescent , Adult , Age Factors , Aged , Aged, 80 and over , COVID-19 Nucleic Acid Testing , Child , Child, Preschool , Cross-Sectional Studies , Female , Humans , Infant , Male , Middle Aged , Reverse Transcriptase Polymerase Chain Reaction , Symptom Assessment , Washington , Young Adult
7.
Nat Commun ; 12(1): 2993, 2021 05 20.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1237998

ABSTRACT

Initial COVID-19 containment in the United States focused on limiting mobility, including school and workplace closures. However, these interventions have had enormous societal and economic costs. Here, we demonstrate the feasibility of an alternative control strategy, test-trace-quarantine: routine testing of primarily symptomatic individuals, tracing and testing their known contacts, and placing their contacts in quarantine. We perform this analysis using Covasim, an open-source agent-based model, which has been calibrated to detailed demographic, mobility, and epidemiological data for the Seattle region from January through June 2020. With current levels of mask use and schools remaining closed, we find that high but achievable levels of testing and tracing are sufficient to maintain epidemic control even under a return to full workplace and community mobility and with low vaccine coverage. The easing of mobility restrictions in June 2020 and subsequent scale-up of testing and tracing programs through September provided real-world validation of our predictions. Although we show that test-trace-quarantine can control the epidemic in both theory and practice, its success is contingent on high testing and tracing rates, high quarantine compliance, relatively short testing and tracing delays, and moderate to high mask use. Thus, in order for test-trace-quarantine to control transmission with a return to high mobility, strong performance in all aspects of the program is required.


Subject(s)
COVID-19/prevention & control , COVID-19/transmission , Contact Tracing/methods , Quarantine/methods , Humans , SARS-CoV-2/isolation & purification , United States
8.
BMC Infect Dis ; 21(1): 335, 2021 Apr 09.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1175296

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: Unusually high snowfall in western Washington State in February 2019 led to widespread school and workplace closures. We assessed the impact of social distancing caused by this extreme weather event on the transmission of respiratory viruses. METHODS: Residual specimens from patients evaluated for acute respiratory illness at hospitals in the Seattle metropolitan area were screened for a panel of respiratory viruses. Transmission models were fit to each virus to estimate the magnitude reduction in transmission due to weather-related disruptions. Changes in contact rates and care-seeking were informed by data on local traffic volumes and hospital visits. RESULTS: Disruption in contact patterns reduced effective contact rates during the intervention period by 16 to 95%, and cumulative disease incidence through the remainder of the season by 3 to 9%. Incidence reductions were greatest for viruses that were peaking when the disruption occurred and least for viruses in an early epidemic phase. CONCLUSION: High-intensity, short-duration social distancing measures may substantially reduce total incidence in a respiratory virus epidemic if implemented near the epidemic peak. For SARS-CoV-2, this suggests that, even when SARS-CoV-2 spread is out of control, implementing short-term disruptions can prevent COVID-19 deaths.


Subject(s)
Epidemics/prevention & control , Physical Distancing , Respiratory Tract Infections/transmission , Respiratory Tract Infections/virology , Weather , COVID-19 , Cities , Humans , Incidence , Models, Theoretical , Retrospective Studies , Washington
9.
medRxiv ; 2020 Sep 30.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-835251

ABSTRACT

The rapid spread of SARS-CoV-2 has gravely impacted societies around the world. Outbreaks in different parts of the globe are shaped by repeated introductions of new lineages and subsequent local transmission of those lineages. Here, we sequenced 3940 SARS-CoV-2 viral genomes from Washington State to characterize how the spread of SARS-CoV-2 in Washington State (USA) was shaped by differences in timing of mitigation strategies across counties, as well as by repeated introductions of viral lineages into the state. Additionally, we show that the increase in frequency of a potentially more transmissible viral variant (614G) over time can potentially be explained by regional mobility differences and multiple introductions of 614G, but not the other variant (614D) into the state. At an individual level, we see evidence of higher viral loads in patients infected with the 614G variant. However, using clinical records data, we do not find any evidence that the 614G variant impacts clinical severity or patient outcomes. Overall, this suggests that at least to date, the behavior of individuals has been more important in shaping the course of the pandemic than changes in the virus.

11.
Science ; 370(6516): 571-575, 2020 10 30.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-760213

ABSTRACT

After its emergence in Wuhan, China, in late November or early December 2019, the severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) virus rapidly spread globally. Genome sequencing of SARS-CoV-2 allows the reconstruction of its transmission history, although this is contingent on sampling. We analyzed 453 SARS-CoV-2 genomes collected between 20 February and 15 March 2020 from infected patients in Washington state in the United States. We find that most SARS-CoV-2 infections sampled during this time derive from a single introduction in late January or early February 2020, which subsequently spread locally before active community surveillance was implemented.


Subject(s)
Betacoronavirus/genetics , Coronavirus Infections/epidemiology , Coronavirus Infections/transmission , Genome, Viral , Pneumonia, Viral/epidemiology , Pneumonia, Viral/transmission , Bayes Theorem , COVID-19 , Humans , Likelihood Functions , Pandemics , Phylogeny , SARS-CoV-2 , Washington/epidemiology
12.
Science ; 369(6503): 582-587, 2020 07 31.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-591377

ABSTRACT

The coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic caused by severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) has spread globally, with >365,000 cases in California as of 17 July 2020. We investigated the genomic epidemiology of SARS-CoV-2 in Northern California from late January to mid-March 2020, using samples from 36 patients spanning nine counties and the Grand Princess cruise ship. Phylogenetic analyses revealed the cryptic introduction of at least seven different SARS-CoV-2 lineages into California, including epidemic WA1 strains associated with Washington state, with lack of a predominant lineage and limited transmission among communities. Lineages associated with outbreak clusters in two counties were defined by a single base substitution in the viral genome. These findings support contact tracing, social distancing, and travel restrictions to contain the spread of SARS-CoV-2 in California and other states.


Subject(s)
Betacoronavirus/genetics , Coronavirus Infections/epidemiology , Coronavirus Infections/virology , Genome, Viral , Phylogeny , Pneumonia, Viral/epidemiology , Pneumonia, Viral/virology , COVID-19 , California/epidemiology , Coronavirus Infections/transmission , Epidemiological Monitoring , Humans , Pandemics , Pneumonia, Viral/transmission , SARS-CoV-2 , Sequence Alignment , Ships , Travel , Washington
13.
MMWR Morb Mortal Wkly Rep ; 69(22): 680-684, 2020 Jun 05.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-437696

ABSTRACT

From January 21 through February 23, 2020, public health agencies detected 14 U.S. cases of coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19), all related to travel from China (1,2). The first nontravel-related U.S. case was confirmed on February 26 in a California resident who had become ill on February 13 (3). Two days later, on February 28, a second nontravel-related case was confirmed in the state of Washington (4,5). Examination of four lines of evidence provides insight into the timing of introduction and early transmission of SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes COVID-19, into the United States before the detection of these two cases. First, syndromic surveillance based on emergency department records from counties affected early by the pandemic did not show an increase in visits for COVID-19-like illness before February 28. Second, retrospective SARS-CoV-2 testing of approximately 11,000 respiratory specimens from several U.S. locations beginning January 1 identified no positive results before February 20. Third, analysis of viral RNA sequences from early cases suggested that a single lineage of virus imported directly or indirectly from China began circulating in the United States between January 18 and February 9, followed by several SARS-CoV-2 importations from Europe. Finally, the occurrence of three cases, one in a California resident who died on February 6, a second in another resident of the same county who died February 17, and a third in an unidentified passenger or crew member aboard a Pacific cruise ship that left San Francisco on February 11, confirms cryptic circulation of the virus by early February. These data indicate that sustained, community transmission had begun before detection of the first two nontravel-related U.S. cases, likely resulting from the importation of a single lineage of virus from China in late January or early February, followed by several importations from Europe. The widespread emergence of COVID-19 throughout the United States after February highlights the importance of robust public health systems to respond rapidly to emerging infectious threats.


Subject(s)
Coronavirus Infections/epidemiology , Pneumonia, Viral/epidemiology , Sentinel Surveillance , Betacoronavirus/genetics , COVID-19 , Humans , Pandemics , Phylogeny , SARS-CoV-2 , Travel , United States/epidemiology
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