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1.
Thorax ; 2022 Mar 31.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1774983

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: Ambient air pollution is thought to contribute to increased risk of COVID-19, but the evidence is controversial. OBJECTIVE: To evaluate the associations between short-term variations in outdoor concentrations of ambient air pollution and COVID-19 emergency department (ED) visits. METHODS: We conducted a case-crossover study of 78 255 COVID-19 ED visits in Alberta and Ontario, Canada between 1 March 2020 and 31 March 2021. Daily air pollution data (ie, fine particulate matter with diameter less than 2.5 µm (PM2.5), nitrogen dioxide (NO2) and ozone were assigned to individual case of COVID-19 in 10 km × 10 km grid resolution. Conditional logistic regression was used to estimate associations between air pollution and ED visits for COVID-19. RESULTS: Cumulative ambient exposure over 0-3 days to PM2.5 (OR 1.010; 95% CI 1.004 to 1.015, per 6.2 µg/m3) and NO2 (OR 1.021; 95% CI 1.015 to 1.028, per 7.7 ppb) concentrations were associated with ED visits for COVID-19. We found that the association between PM2.5 and COVID-19 ED visits was stronger among those hospitalised following an ED visit, as a measure of disease severity, (OR 1.023; 95% CI 1.015 to 1.031) compared with those not hospitalised (OR 0.992; 95% CI 0.980 to 1.004) (p value for effect modification=0.04). CONCLUSIONS: We found associations between short-term exposure to ambient air pollutants and COVID-19 ED visits. Exposure to air pollution may also lead to more severe COVID-19 disease.

2.
Sci Rep ; 12(1): 726, 2022 01 26.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1655612

ABSTRACT

Previous studies have reported a decrease in air pollution levels following the enforcement of lockdown measures during the first wave of the COVID-19 pandemic. However, these investigations were mostly based on simple pre-post comparisons using past years as a reference and did not assess the role of different policy interventions. This study contributes to knowledge by quantifying the association between specific lockdown measures and the decrease in NO2, O3, PM2.5, and PM10 levels across 47 European cities. It also estimated the number of avoided deaths during the period. This paper used new modelled data from the Copernicus Atmosphere Monitoring Service (CAMS) to define business-as-usual and lockdown scenarios of daily air pollution trends. This study applies a spatio-temporal Bayesian non-linear mixed effect model to quantify the changes in pollutant concentrations associated with the stringency indices of individual policy measures. The results indicated non-linear associations with a stronger decrease in NO2 compared to PM2.5 and PM10 concentrations at very strict policy levels. Differences across interventions were also identified, specifically the strong effects of actions linked to school/workplace closure, limitations on gatherings, and stay-at-home requirements. Finally, the observed decrease in pollution potentially resulted in hundreds of avoided deaths across Europe.


Subject(s)
Air Pollution/analysis , Air Pollutants/analysis , Bayes Theorem , COVID-19/epidemiology , COVID-19/virology , Environmental Monitoring , Europe/epidemiology , Humans , Nitrogen Oxides/analysis , Pandemics , Particulate Matter/analysis , Quarantine , SARS-CoV-2/isolation & purification
3.
Nat Commun ; 12(1): 5968, 2021 10 13.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1467102

ABSTRACT

There is conflicting evidence on the influence of weather on COVID-19 transmission. Our aim is to estimate weather-dependent signatures in the early phase of the pandemic, while controlling for socio-economic factors and non-pharmaceutical interventions. We identify a modest non-linear association between mean temperature and the effective reproduction number (Re) in 409 cities in 26 countries, with a decrease of 0.087 (95% CI: 0.025; 0.148) for a 10 °C increase. Early interventions have a greater effect on Re with a decrease of 0.285 (95% CI 0.223; 0.347) for a 5th - 95th percentile increase in the government response index. The variation in the effective reproduction number explained by government interventions is 6 times greater than for mean temperature. We find little evidence of meteorological conditions having influenced the early stages of local epidemics and conclude that population behaviour and government interventions are more important drivers of transmission.


Subject(s)
COVID-19/transmission , Meteorological Concepts , SARS-CoV-2/pathogenicity , Basic Reproduction Number , COVID-19/epidemiology , Cities , Cross-Sectional Studies , Humans , Meta-Analysis as Topic , Pandemics , Regression Analysis , Seasons , Temperature , Weather
4.
Int J Epidemiol ; 49(6): 1909-1917, 2021 01 23.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-857629

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: Italy was the first country outside China to experience the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic, which resulted in a significant health burden. This study presents an analysis of the excess mortality across the 107 Italian provinces, stratified by sex, age group and period of the outbreak. METHODS: The analysis was performed using a two-stage interrupted time-series design using daily mortality data for the period January 2015-May 2020. In the first stage, we performed province-level quasi-Poisson regression models, with smooth functions to define a baseline risk while accounting for trends and weather conditions and to flexibly estimate the variation in excess risk during the outbreak. Estimates were pooled in the second stage using a mixed-effects multivariate meta-analysis. RESULTS: In the period 15 February-15 May 2020, we estimated an excess of 47 490 [95% empirical confidence intervals (eCIs): 43 984 to 50 362] deaths in Italy, corresponding to an increase of 29.5% (95% eCI: 26.8 to 31.9%) from the expected mortality. The analysis indicates a strong geographical pattern, with the majority of excess deaths occurring in northern regions, where few provinces experienced increases up to 800% during the peak in late March. There were differences by sex, age and area both in the overall impact and in its temporal distribution. CONCLUSION: This study offers a detailed picture of excess mortality during the first months of the COVID-19 pandemic in Italy. The strong geographical and temporal patterns can be related to the implementation of lockdown policies and multiple direct and indirect pathways in mortality risk.


Subject(s)
COVID-19/mortality , Disease Outbreaks , Mortality/trends , Pandemics , SARS-CoV-2 , Adult , Aged , Aged, 80 and over , Communicable Disease Control , Female , Humans , Interrupted Time Series Analysis , Italy/epidemiology , Male , Middle Aged
6.
JAMA Netw Open ; 3(7): e2016099, 2020 07 01.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-665306

ABSTRACT

Importance: Local variation in the transmission of severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) across the United States has not been well studied. Objective: To examine the association of county-level factors with variation in the SARS-CoV-2 reproduction number over time. Design, Setting, and Participants: This cohort study included 211 counties, representing state capitals and cities with at least 100 000 residents and including 178 892 208 US residents, in 46 states and the District of Columbia between February 25, 2020, and April 23, 2020. Exposures: Social distancing, measured by percentage change in visits to nonessential businesses; population density; and daily wet-bulb temperatures. Main Outcomes and Measures: Instantaneous reproduction number (Rt), or cases generated by each incident case at a given time, estimated from daily case incidence data. Results: The 211 counties contained 178 892 208 of 326 289 971 US residents (54.8%). Median (interquartile range) population density was 1022.7 (471.2-1846.0) people per square mile. The mean (SD) peak reduction in visits to nonessential business between April 6 and April 19, as the country was sheltering in place, was 68.7% (7.9%). Median (interquartile range) daily wet-bulb temperatures were 7.5 (3.8-12.8) °C. Median (interquartile range) case incidence and fatality rates per 100 000 people were approximately 10 times higher for the top decile of densely populated counties (1185.2 [313.2-1891.2] cases; 43.7 [10.4-106.7] deaths) than for counties in the lowest density quartile (121.4 [87.8-175.4] cases; 4.2 [1.9-8.0] deaths). Mean (SD) Rt in the first 2 weeks was 5.7 (2.5) in the top decile compared with 3.1 (1.2) in the lowest quartile. In multivariable analysis, a 50% decrease in visits to nonessential businesses was associated with a 45% decrease in Rt (95% CI, 43%-49%). From a relative Rt at 0 °C of 2.13 (95% CI, 1.89-2.40), relative Rt decreased to a minimum as temperatures warmed to 11 °C, increased between 11 and 20 °C (1.61; 95% CI, 1.42-1.84) and then declined again at temperatures greater than 20 °C. With a 70% reduction in visits to nonessential business, 202 counties (95.7%) were estimated to fall below a threshold Rt of 1.0, including 17 of 21 counties (81.0%) in the top density decile and 52 of 53 counties (98.1%) in the lowest density quartile.2. Conclusions and Relevance: In this cohort study, social distancing, lower population density, and temperate weather were associated with a decreased Rt for SARS-CoV-2 in counties across the United States. These associations could inform selective public policy planning in communities during the coronavirus disease 2019 pandemic.


Subject(s)
Basic Reproduction Number , COVID-19/epidemiology , Coronavirus Infections/epidemiology , Pandemics , Physical Distancing , Pneumonia, Viral/epidemiology , Population Density , Temperature , Betacoronavirus , COVID-19/transmission , Coronavirus Infections/transmission , Disease Transmission, Infectious/prevention & control , Epidemiological Monitoring , Humans , Incidence , Pneumonia, Viral/transmission , SARS-CoV-2 , United States/epidemiology
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