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1.
Diagnostics ; 12(8):1856, 2022.
Article in English | MDPI | ID: covidwho-1969136

ABSTRACT

Purpose: We aimed to assess the role of lung ultrasound (LUS) in the diagnosis and prognosis of SARS-CoV-2 pneumonia, by comparing it with High Resolution Computed Tomography (HRCT). Patients and methods: All consecutive patients with laboratory-confirmed SARS-CoV-2 infection and hospitalized in COVID Centers were enrolled. LUS and HRCT were carried out on all patients by expert operators within 48–72 h of admission. A four-level scoring system computed in 12 regions of the chest was used to categorize the ultrasound imaging, from 0 (absence of visible alterations with ultrasound) to 3 (large consolidation and cobbled pleural line). Likewise, a semi-quantitative scoring system was used for HRCT to estimate pulmonary involvement, from 0 (no involvement) to 5 (>75% involvement for each lobe). The total CT score was the sum of the individual lobar scores and ranged from 0 to 25. LUS scans were evaluated according to a dedicated scoring system. CT scans were assessed for typical findings of COVID-19 pneumonia (bilateral, multi-lobar lung infiltration, posterior peripheral ground glass opacities). Oxygen requirement and mortality were also recorded. Results: Ninety-nine patients were included in the study (male 68.7%, median age 71). 40.4% of patients required a Venturi mask and 25.3% required non-invasive ventilation (C-PAP/Bi-level). The overall mortality rate was 21.2% (median hospitalization 30 days). The median ultrasound thoracic score was 28 (IQR 20–36). For the CT evaluation, the mean score was 12.63 (SD 5.72), with most of the patients having LUS scores of 2 (59.6%). The bivariate correlation analysis displayed statistically significant and high positive correlations between both the CT and composite LUS scores and ventilation, lactates, COVID-19 phenotype, tachycardia, dyspnea, and mortality. Moreover, the most relevant and clinically important inverse proportionality in terms of P/F, i.e., a decrease in P/F levels, was indicative of higher LUS/CT scores. Inverse proportionality P/F levels and LUS and TC scores were evaluated by univariate analysis, with a P/F–TC score correlation coefficient of −0.762, p < 0.001, and a P/F–LUS score correlation coefficient of −0.689, p < 0.001. Conclusions: LUS and HRCT show a synergistic role in the diagnosis and disease severity evaluation of COVID-19.

2.
Int J Environ Res Public Health ; 19(8)2022 04 17.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1809883

ABSTRACT

Healthcare-related infections are sustained by various bacteria and fungi. In recent years, various technologies have emerged for the sanitation of healthcare-related environments. This study evaluated the effectiveness of a no-touch disinfection system that aerosolizes 5% hydrogen peroxide and 10% ethyl alcohol. After selecting an environment, the Total Bacterial Count and the Total Fungal Count in the air and on a surface of the room were determined to evaluate the effectiveness of the aerosolization system. In addition, sterile stainless-steel plates inoculated with S. aureus, P. aeruginosa, and Aspergillus spp. isolated from hospitalized patients and reference strains were used to evaluate the effectiveness of the system. For each organism, three plates were used: A (cleaned), B (not cleaned), and C (control). The A plates were treated with non-ionic surfactant and the aerosolization system, the B plates were subjected to the aerosolization system, and the plates C were positioned outside the room that was sanitized. Following sanitization, air and surface sampling was conducted, after which, swabs were processed for bacterial and fungal enumeration. The results showed that the air sanitization system had good efficacy for both bacteria and fungi in the air and on stainless-steel plates, particularly for the A plates.


Subject(s)
Disinfectants , Disinfection , Aerosols , Bacteria , Delivery of Health Care , Disinfection/methods , Ethanol , Humans , Hydrogen Peroxide , Pseudomonas aeruginosa , Stainless Steel , Staphylococcus aureus
3.
Int J Environ Res Public Health ; 18(19)2021 Sep 29.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1444203

ABSTRACT

As a complement to clinical disease surveillance, the monitoring of Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome Coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) in wastewater can be used as an early warning system for impending epidemics. This study investigated the dynamics of SARS-CoV-2 in untreated wastewater with respect to the trend of coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) prevalence in Southern Italy. A total of 210 wastewater samples were collected between May and November 2020 from 15 Apulian wastewater treatment plants (WWTP). The samples were concentrated in accordance with the standard of World Health Organization (WHO, Geneva, Switzerland) procedure for Poliovirus sewage surveillance, and molecular analysis was undertaken with real-time reverse-transcription quantitative PCR (RT-(q) PCR). Viral ribonucleic acid (RNA) was found in 12.4% (26/210) of the samples. The virus concentration in the positive samples ranged from 8.8 × 102 to 6.5 × 104 genome copies/L. The receiver operating characteristic (ROC) curve modeling showed that at least 11 cases/100,000 inhabitants would occur after a wastewater sample was found to be positive for SARS-CoV-2 (sensitivity = 80%, specificity = 80.9%). To our knowledge, this is the first study in Italy that has applied wastewater-based epidemiology to predict COVID-19 prevalence. Further studies regarding methods that include all variables (meteorological phenomena, characteristics of the WWTP, etc.) affecting this type of wastewater surveillance data would be useful to improve data interpretation.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Humans , Italy/epidemiology , SARS-CoV-2 , Sewage , Waste Water
4.
Int J Environ Res Public Health ; 18(17)2021 09 06.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1390650

ABSTRACT

Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome Coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) emerged in March 2020 in Italy, leading to the pandemic of coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) that continues to cause high global morbidity and mortality in human populations. Numerous studies have focused on the spread and persistence of the virus in the hospital setting. New scientific evidence shows that SARS-CoV-2 is present in different community environments. Although aerosol is one of the main routes of transmission for SARS-CoV-2, indirect contact through virus-contaminated surfaces could also play a key role. The survival and persistence of SARS-CoV-2 on surfaces appear to be influenced by the characteristics of the material, temperature, and humidity. In this study, we investigated the presence of SARS-CoV-2 RNA on surfaces in 20 supermarkets throughout the Apulia region during the lockdown period. We collected a total of 300 swab samples from various surfaces including supermarket scales, trolley handles, refrigerator and freezer handles, and keyboards. In total, 13 (4.3%) surfaces were positive for SARS-CoV-2 RNA contamination, with shopping trolley handles being the most frequently contaminated. This study showed that contamination in public spaces can occur, so we remark the importance to adopt adequate preventive measures, including environment ventilation, careful surfaces sanitation, hand hygiene, and correct usage of masks, to reduce the likelihood of virus transmission.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , SARS-CoV-2 , Communicable Disease Control , Humans , RNA, Viral , Supermarkets
5.
J Pers Med ; 11(4)2021 Apr 08.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1178321

ABSTRACT

Globally, at the time of writing (20 March 2021), 121.759.109 confirmed COVID-19 cases have been reported to the WHO, including 2.690.731 deaths. Globally, on 18 March 2021, a total of 364.184.603 vaccine doses have been administered. In Italy, 3.306.711 confirmed COVID-19 cases with 103.855 deaths have been reported to WHO. In Italy, on 9 March 2021, a total of 6.634.450 vaccine doses have been administered. On 15 March 2021, Italian Medicines Agency (AIFA) decided to temporarily suspend the use of the AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine throughout the country as a precaution, pending the rulings of the European Medicines Agency (EMA). This decision was taken in line with similar measures adopted by other European countries due to the death of vaccinated people. On 18 March 2021, EMA's safety committee concluded its preliminary review about thromboembolic events in people vaccinated with COVID-19 Vaccine AstraZeneca at its extraordinary meeting, confirming the benefits of the vaccine continue to outweigh the risk of side effects, however, the vaccine may be associated with very rare cases of blood clots associated with thrombocytopenia, i.e., low levels of blood platelets with or without bleeding, including rare cases of cerebral venous thrombosis (CVT). We report the case of a 54-year-old woman who developed disseminated intravascular coagulation (DIC) with multi-district thrombosis 12 days after the AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine administration. A brain computed tomography (CT) scan showed multiple subacute intra-axial hemorrhages in atypical locations, including the right frontal and the temporal lobes. A plain old balloon angioplasty (POBA) of the right coronary artery was performed, without stent implantation, with restoration of distal flow, but with persistence of extensive thrombosis of the vessel. A successive thorax angio-CT added the findings of multiple contrast filling defects with multi-vessel involvement: at the level of the left upper lobe segmental branches, of left interlobar artery, of the right middle lobe segmental branches and of the right interlobar artery. A brain magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) in the same day showed the presence of an acute basilar thrombosis associated with the superior sagittal sinus thrombosis. An abdomen angio-CT showed filling defects at the level of left portal branch and at the level of right suprahepatic vein. Bilaterally, it was adrenal hemorrhage and blood in the pelvis. An evaluation of coagulation factors did not show genetic alterations so as the nasopharyngeal swab ruled out a COVID-19 infection. The patient died after 5 days of hospitalization in intensive care.

6.
Environ Res ; 191: 110231, 2020 12.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-785565

ABSTRACT

The COVID-19 pandemic started in China in early December 2019, and quickly spread around the world. The epidemic gradually started in Italy at the end of February 2020, and by May 31, 2020, 232,664 cases and 33,340 deaths were confirmed. As a result of this pandemic, the Italian Ministerial Decree issued on March 11, 2020, enforced lockdown; therefore, many social, recreational, and cultural centers remained closed for months. In Apulia (southern Italy), all non-urgent hospital activities were suspended, and some wards were closed, with a consequent reduction in the use of the water network and the formation of stagnant water. This situation could enhance the risk of exposure of people to waterborne diseases, including legionellosis. The purpose of this study was to monitor the microbiological quality of the water network (coliforms, E. coli, Enterococci, P. aeruginosa, and Legionella) in three wards (A, B and C) of a large COVID-19 regional hospital, closed for three months due to the COVID-19 emergency. Our study revealed that all three wards' water network showed higher contamination by Legionella pneumophila sg 1 and sg 6 at T1 (after lockdown) compared to the period before the lockdown (T0). In particular, ward A at T1 showed a median value = 5600 CFU/L (range 0-91,000 CFU/L) vs T0, median value = 75 CFU/L (range 0-5000 CFU/L) (p-value = 0.014); ward B at T1 showed a median value = 200 CFU/L (range 0-4200 CFU/L) vs T0, median value = 0 CFU/L (range 0-300 CFU/L) (p-value = 0.016) and ward C at T1 showed a median value = 175 CFU/L (range 0-22,000 CFU/L) vs T0, median value = 0 CFU/L (range 0-340 CFU/L) (p-value < 0.001). In addition, a statistically significant difference was detected in ward B between the number of positive water samples at T0 vs T1 for L. pneumophila sg 1 and sg 6 (24% vs 80% p-value < 0.001) and for coliforms (0% vs 64% p-value < 0.001). Moreover, a median value of coliform load resulted 3 CFU/100 ml (range 0-14 CFU/100 ml) at T1, showing a statistically significant increase versus T0 (0 CFU/100 ml) (p-value < 0.001). Our results highlight the need to implement a water safety plan that includes staff training and a more rigorous environmental microbiological surveillance in all hospitals before occupying a closed ward for a longer than one week, according to national and international guidelines.


Subject(s)
Coronavirus Infections , Legionella pneumophila , Pandemics , Pneumonia, Viral , Betacoronavirus , COVID-19 , China/epidemiology , Escherichia coli , Humans , Italy/epidemiology , SARS-CoV-2 , Water , Water Microbiology , Water Supply
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