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Clin Infect Dis ; 75(1): e536-e544, 2022 08 24.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1886386


BACKGROUND: The coronavirus disease 2019 (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 7 severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) variants. METHODS: Our study includes individuals with positive SARS-CoV-2 reverse transcription polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR) in the Washington Disease Reporting System with available viral genome data, from 1 December 2020 to 14 January 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. RESULTS: In total, 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% confidence interval [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 .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. CONCLUSIONS: 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.

COVID-19 , SARS-CoV-2 , COVID-19/epidemiology , Hospitalization , Humans , Retrospective Studies , SARS-CoV-2/genetics , Washington/epidemiology
medRxiv ; 2020 Sep 30.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-835251


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.

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


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.

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