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1.
Journal of Personalized Medicine ; 12(9):1423, 2022.
Article in English | MDPI | ID: covidwho-2006111

ABSTRACT

Background: Vaccination against SARS-CoV-2 (COVID-19) has become crucial for limiting disease transmission and reducing its severity, hospitalizations and mortality;however, despite universal acceptance, vaccine hesitancy is still significant. In the present manuscript, we aim to assess COVID-19-attributed mortality after the prevalence of new variants of the virus (Delta and Omicron viral strains) and to evaluate the vaccination effect. Methods: All patients that were hospitalized due to COVID-19 infection in the Respiratory Department of a tertiary referral center in central Greece between 1st of June 2021 and 1st of February 2022 were included in the present study. Results: 760 consecutive patients were included in the study;89 (11.7%) were diagnosed with severe COVID-19 and 220 (38.7%) patients were fully vaccinated. In logistic regression, increased age (aOR = 1.12, p < 0.001), male gender (aOR = 2.29, p = 0.013) and vaccination against SARS-CoV-2 virus (aOR = 0.2, p < 0.001) were associated with mortality attributed to COVID-19 with a statistically significant association. Moreover, increased age (aOR = 1.09, p < 0.001), male gender (aOR = 1.92, p = 0.025) and vaccination against SARS-CoV-2 virus (aOR = 0.25, p < 0.001) were statistically significantly associated with clinical severity of COVID-19 infection. However, when comparing the length of hospitalization between vaccinated and unvaccinated patients, the difference was not statistically significant between the two groups (p = 0.138). Conclusions: Vaccination against SARS-CoV-2 virus had a protective effect in terms of mortality and clinical severity of COVID-19 during the fourth wave of the pandemic in Central Greece. The national vaccination policy has to focus on vulnerable populations that are expected to benefit the most from the vaccine's protection.

2.
Rural Remote Health ; 22(3): 6751, 2022 Jul.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1955301

ABSTRACT

INTRODUCTION: Coronavirus disease-19 (COVID-19), caused by the severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2), has become a global pandemic, giving rise to a serious global health threat. Many countries including Greece have seen a two-wave pattern of reported cases, with a first wave in spring and a second in autumn of 2020. METHODS: A cross-sectional seroprevalence study was designed to measure the prevalence of IgG antibodies with a quantitative SARS-CoV-2 IgG lab-based serology test, chemiluminescent microparticle immunoassay, against novel coronavirus in rural areas in Greece after the second pandemic wave. The study was conducted on 29 January 2021 in a rural semi-closed area, the municipality of Deskati, prefecture of western Macedonia in Greece after the second pandemic wave. RESULTS: Sixty-nine participants were included in this study. The present study demonstrated a high prevalence of COVID-19 infection (31 of 69 total participants; 45%) and those who were working in the public sector were at higher risk of COVID-19 infection in comparison to their counterparts in private sector (p=0.05364), (relative risk 2.64; 95% confidence interval 1.001-7.086). CONCLUSION: The study presents data showing a high prevalence of herd immunity for COVID-19 in a semi-closed area in Greece. These findings might help to understand the characteristics of this second wave, the behaviour and danger of SARS-CoV-2 in rural areas in Greece and Europe generally.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , COVID-19/epidemiology , Cross-Sectional Studies , Greece/epidemiology , Humans , Immunoglobulin G , Prevalence , Rural Population , SARS-CoV-2 , Seroepidemiologic Studies , Workplace
4.
J Allergy Clin Immunol Pract ; 2022 Jun 23.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1907243

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: At the beginning of the pandemic, there have been considerable concerns regarding coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) severity and outcomes in patients with severe asthma treated with biologics. OBJECTIVE: To prospectively observe a cohort of severe asthmatics treated with biologics for the risk of severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) infection and disease severity during the COVID-19 pandemic. METHODS: Physicians from centers treating patients with severe asthma all over Greece provided demographic and medical data regarding their patients treated with biologics. Physicians were also asked to follow up patients during the pandemic and to perform a polymerase chain reaction test in case of a suspected SARS-Cov-2 infection. RESULTS: Among the 591 severe asthmatics (63.5% female) included in the study, 219 (37.1%) were treated with omalizumab, 358 (60.6%) with mepolizumab, and 14 (2.4%) with benralizumab. In total, 26 patients (4.4%) had a confirmed SARS-CoV-2 infection, 9 (34.6%) of whom were admitted to the hospital because of severe COVID-19, and 1 required mechanical ventilation and died 19 days after admission. Of the 26 infected patients, 5 (19.2%) experienced asthma control deterioration, characterized as exacerbation that required treatment with systemic corticosteroids. The scheduled administration of the biological therapy was performed timely in all patients with the exception of 2, in whom it was postponed for 1 week according to their doctors' suggestion. CONCLUSION: Our study confirms that despite the initial concerns, SARS-CoV-2 infection is not more common in asthmatics treated with biologics compared with the general population, whereas the use of biologic treatments for severe asthma during the COVID-19 pandemic does not seem to be related to adverse outcomes from severe COVID-19.

5.
Int J Environ Res Public Health ; 19(10)2022 05 17.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1862780

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: Antibody seroprevalence in rural communities remains poorly investigated. We compared the SARS-CoV-2 seroprevalence in two Greek communities in June and July 2021 after the end of the Delta-driven pandemic wave that started in November 2020. One community was affected worse than the other. METHODS: The SARS-CoV-2 IgG II Quant method (Architect, Abbott, IL, USA) was used for antibody testing. RESULTS: We found a high rate of SARS-CoV-2 seropositivity in both communities, approaching 77.5%. In the area with a higher burden of COVID-19, Malesina, seropositivity was achieved with vaccine-acquired and naturally acquired immunity, whereas in the low-burden context of Domokos, the high rates of seropositivity were achieved mainly with vaccination. Previously infected individuals were less likely to be vaccinated than previously uninfected adults. The antibody titers were significantly higher in previously infected, vaccinated participants than in unvaccinated ones. In total, 4% and 10% of the unvaccinated population were diagnosed seropositive for the first time while not knowing about the previous infection. Age and gender did not impact antibody titers in high- or low-burden contexts. CONCLUSIONS: Before the Omicron pandemic wave, herd immunity was reached in different contexts in Greece. Higher antibody titers were measured in infected vaccinated individuals than in infected unvaccinated ones.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Viral Vaccines , Adult , COVID-19/epidemiology , Greece/epidemiology , Humans , Pandemics , SARS-CoV-2 , Seroepidemiologic Studies
7.
ERJ Open Res ; 8(2)2022 Apr.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1822157

ABSTRACT

Patients with #IPF do not mount appreciable anti-spike antibody responses to two doses of #SARSCoV2 mRNA vaccine compared to the general population. National authorities should prioritise patients with IPF for booster doses. https://bit.ly/3K2KXQ0.

8.
J Pers Med ; 12(5)2022 Apr 30.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1820320

ABSTRACT

Patients recovering from novel coronavirus are reporting a variety of symptoms such as cough, dyspnea, myalgia as well as psychological distress and poor quality of life. The aim of this study is to assess quality of life and psychological distress in COVID-19 survivors and the sociodemographic and clinical characteristics that affect COVID-19 survivors' mental health status and quality of life. A quantitative study was conducted among COVID-19 survivors, who had previously been admitted to the University Hospital of Larissa, Greece. Data were collected via a questionnaire consisting of three-parts. The first part consisted of questions about the demographic characteristics. The second part was the SF-36 QoL index. The third part was the Symptom Checklist-90r (SCL 90-R). In addition, clinical information such as the length and the department of hospitalization, days since discharge and pulmonary function (spirometry values) were recorded. From a total of 145 patients, 60% were male, aged 59.72 ± 12.74 and 78.6% of them were married; the majority had completed secondary education, 35.9% were pensioners and 58.6 were living in urban areas. The most frequently reported symptoms were fatigue (67.6%) and pain (44.8%) and 11.7% were experiencing psychological distress. Pain, loss of smell, mandatory education, ICU admission, female gender and the experiencing of skin disturbance are associated with poor physical QoL among COVID-19 recovered patients. Greek COVID-19 previously hospitalized patients were reporting several symptoms associated with COVID-19. Good QoL and mental health were also reported. Physical pain, loss of smell and female gender were associated with poor QoL and psychological distress.

9.
J Pers Med ; 12(4)2022 Apr 15.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1792627

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: SARS-CoV-2 vaccines have shown high efficacy in protecting against COVID-19, although the determinants of vaccine effectiveness and breakthrough rates are yet to be determined. We aimed at investigating several factors affecting the SARS-CoV-2 IgG Spike (S) antibody responses on admission and clinical outcomes of COVID-19 disease in fully vaccinated, hospitalized patients. METHODS: 102 subjects were enrolled in the study. Blood serum samples were collected from each patient upon admission for the semiquantitative determination of the SARS-CoV-2 IgG S levels with lateral flow assays. Factors influencing vaccine responses were documented. RESULTS: 27 subjects had a negative antibody test upon hospital admission. Out of the 102 patients admitted to the hospital, 88 were discharged and 14 died. Both the absence of anti-S SARS-CoV-2 antibodies and poor clinical outcomes of COVID-19 disease were associated with older age, lower Ct values, and a shorter period between symptom onset and hospital admission. Ct values and time between symptom onset and hospitalization were independently associated with SARS-CoV-2 IgG S responses upon admission. The PaO2/FiO2 ratio was identified as an independent predictor of in-hospital mortality. CONCLUSIONS: Host- and disease-associated factors can predict SARS-CoV-2 IgG S responses and mortality in hospitalized patients with breakthrough SARS-CoV-2 Infection.

10.
J Pers Med ; 12(4)2022 Apr 17.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1792626

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: Obese people are at risk of becoming severely ill due to SARS-CoV-2. The exercise benefits on health have been emphasized. AIM: To investigate the correlation of obesity with the length of hospitalization, the pre- and post-hospitalization exercise preferences of COVID-19 patients, and the impact of pre-admission or post-hospitalization physical activity on dyspnea one month after hospitalization and recovery time. METHODS: A telephone survey was conducted in patients hospitalized at the Respiratory Medicine Department, University of Thessaly, Greece, from November to December 2020. RESULTS: Two-thirds of the patients were obese. Obesity was not associated with the hospitalization time. Two-thirds of the patients used to engage in physical activity before hospitalization. Males exercised in a higher percentage and more frequently than women before and after hospitalization. The methodical pre-hospitalization exercise was associated with lower levels of dyspnea one month after hospitalization. In-hospital weight loss, comorbidities, and dyspnea on admission independently predicted longer recovery time. Lockdown had boosted men's desire to exercise than females who were negatively affected. CONCLUSIONS: Obesity is common in COVID-19 hospitalized patients. In-hospital weight loss, comorbidities, and dyspnea on admission predicted a longer post-hospitalization recovery time. The pre-hospitalization exercise was associated with less post-hospitalization dyspnea and recovery time.

11.
Vaccines (Basel) ; 10(5)2022 Apr 19.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1792363

ABSTRACT

Little is known about the risk of COVID-19 infection among footballers. We aimed to investigate the incidence and characteristics of COVID-19 infection among footballers. In total, 480 football players of Super League Greece and 420 staff members participated in a prospective cohort study, which took place from May 2020 to May 2021. Nasopharyngeal swabs were collected from footballers and staff members weekly. All samples (n = 43,975) collected were tested using the reverse transcriptase polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR) test for the detection of "SARS-CoV-2". In total, 190 positive cases (130 among professional football players and 60 among staff) were recorded. Out of the 190 cases that turned positive, 64 (34%) cases were considered as symptomatic, and 126 (66%) cases were asymptomatic. The incidence rate of a positive test result for footballers was 0.57% (confidence interval (CI) 0.48-0.68%) and for staff members it was 0.27% (CI 0.20%, 0.34%), respectively. Footballers recorded a twofold increased risk of COVID-19 infection in comparison to staff members (relative risk = 2.16; 95% CI = 1.59-2.93; p-value < 0.001). No significant transmission events were observed during the follow-up period. We found a low incidence of COVID-19 infection among professional footballers over a long follow-up period. Furthermore, the implementation of a weekly diagnostic testing (RT-PCR) was critical to break the transmission chain of COVID-19, especially among asymptomatic football players and staff members.

12.
ERJ open research ; 2022.
Article in English | EuropePMC | ID: covidwho-1782002

ABSTRACT

The emergence and spread of 2019 coronavirus disease (COVID-19) are causing a growing global public health crisis. Despite advances in treatment, vaccination remains the best way to contain the pandemic [1]. Vaccines are currently available by means of conditional marketing approval, full approval and emergency use authorization pathways [2]. Evidence suggest that immunocompromised individuals including solid organ transplants recipients and patients under immunosuppressive treatment may have increased mortality from SARS-CoV-2 infection despite double dose messenger RNA (mRNA) vaccine regimens [3]. This is partially attributed to blunted immune responses to vaccination since only 38–54% of kidney and liver transplant recipients developed detectable SARS-CoV-2 antibodies following the second dose of mRNA vaccines [3, 4].

13.
Int J Environ Res Public Health ; 19(8)2022 04 12.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1785702

ABSTRACT

The aim of our study was to determine COVID-19 syndromic phenotypes in a data-driven manner using the survey results based on survey results from Carnegie Mellon University's Delphi Group. Monthly survey results (>1 million responders per month; 320,326 responders with a certain COVID-19 test status and disease duration <30 days were included in this study) were used sequentially in identifying and validating COVID-19 syndromic phenotypes. Logistic Regression-weighted multiple correspondence analysis (LRW-MCA) was used as a preprocessing procedure, in order to weigh and transform symptoms recorded by the survey to eigenspace coordinates, capturing a total variance of >75%. These scores, along with symptom duration, were subsequently used by the Two Step Clustering algorithm to produce symptom clusters. Post-hoc logistic regression models adjusting for age, gender, and comorbidities and confirmatory linear principal components analyses were used to further explore the data. Model creation, based on August's 66,165 included responders, was subsequently validated in data from March-December 2020. Five validated COVID-19 syndromes were identified in August: 1. Afebrile (0%), Non-Coughing (0%), Oligosymptomatic (ANCOS); 2. Febrile (100%) Multisymptomatic (FMS); 3. Afebrile (0%) Coughing (100%) Oligosymptomatic (ACOS); 4. Oligosymptomatic with additional self-described symptoms (100%; OSDS); 5. Olfaction/Gustatory Impairment Predominant (100%; OGIP). Our findings indicate that the COVID-19 spectrum may be undetectable when applying current disease definitions focusing on respiratory symptoms alone.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , COVID-19/epidemiology , Comorbidity , Cough , Humans , Phenotype , SARS-CoV-2 , United States/epidemiology
15.
J Pers Med ; 12(3)2022 Feb 25.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1760718

ABSTRACT

Background: The assignment of mortality risk from SARS-CoV-2 virus (COVID-19) to vulnerable patient groups is an important step toward containment of the pandemic. Methods: A total of 760 patients with a positive molecular test for SARS-CoV-2 who were unvaccinated against COVID-19 were recruited between 1 January and 30 June 2021. Patients were grouped by age; sex; and common morbidities, such as atrial fibrillation, chronic respiratory disease, coronary disease, diabetes type II, neoplasia, hypertension and ß-Thalassemia heterozygosity. As a primary endpoint, we assessed mortality risk from COVID-19, and as secondary endpoints, we considered clinical severity and need for Intense Care Unit (ICU) admission. Results: In multivariate analysis, male sex (p < 0.001, OR = 2.59), increasing age (p < 0.001, OR = 1.049), ß-Thalassemia heterozygosity (p = 0.001, OR = 2.41) and chronic respiratory disease (p = 0.018, OR = 1.84) were identified as risk factors associated with mortality due to COVID-19. Moreover, male sex (p < 0.001, OR = 1.98), increasing age (p < 0.001, OR = 1.052) and ß-Thalassemia heterozygosity (p = 0.001, OR = 2.59) were associated with clinical severity in logistic regression. Regarding ICU admission, the risk factors were identified as male sex (p = 0.002, OR = 1.99), chronic respiratory disease (p = 0.007, OR = 2.06) and hypertension (p < 0.001, OR = 5.81). Conclusions: An increased mortality risk from COVID-19 was observed for older age, male sex, ß-Thalassemia heterozygosity and respiratory disease. Carriers of ß-Thalassemia were identified as more vulnerable for severe clinical symptomatology, but there was no increased possibility for ICU admission. Readjustment of these findings to consider impacts of variant strains prevailing during the latest viral outbreak among vulnerable patient groups may offer timely relief from the pandemic.

16.
Cureus ; 14(2): e22150, 2022 Feb.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1753934

ABSTRACT

COVID-19 is a pandemic viral disease with a catastrophic global impact. The severity of COVID-19 symptoms ranges from very mild to severe and affects mainly the respiratory system. Spontaneous pneumothorax and pleural effusion are rarely seen in spontaneously breathing COVID-19 patients. We herein report a case of a patient with mild COVID-19 disease presenting to the emergency department with hydropneumothorax. Due to persistent air leak, the patient was managed with video-assisted thoracoscopic surgery (VATS) bullectomy and talc pleurodesis. Clinicians managing these patients should be alert to early diagnose this complication.

18.
Expert Rev Respir Med ; 16(3): 263-272, 2022 03.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1730523

ABSTRACT

INTRODUCTION: Coronavirus Disease 19 (COVID-19) diagnosis has been a major problem in most Emergency Departments (EDs) and other senior care facilities. Various clinical manifestations, and the several radiologic and laboratory data combined with the misleading test results to identify the virus, are responsible for certain misdiagnoses, especially in suspected cases needing urgent management and treatment. Although emergency and other front-line physicians struggle to manage COVID-19 patients, still existent cases with ambiguous diagnosis trammel the ED safety and responsibility. AREAS COVERED: This review article summarizes on a large scale the common information for the medical history, clinical examinations, radiology and laboratory data for SARS-CoV-2. We summarize the available literature using the PubMed, Science Direct and EMBASE databases published until December 2021 on the general information for COVID-19 diagnosis, and, finally, we propose algorithms for a precise and on-the-spot diagnosis the disease. EXPERT OPINION: COVID-19 diagnosis has appeared to be such ambiguous, and physicians need to correlate medical history, medical examination, potential extrapulmonary manifestations, along with laboratory and radiologic data, for a prompt COVID-19 diagnosis.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , COVID-19 Testing , Emergency Service, Hospital , Humans , SARS-CoV-2
19.
Vaccines (Basel) ; 10(2)2022 Feb 21.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1703911

ABSTRACT

The available coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) vaccines have shown their effectiveness in clinical trials. We aimed to assess the real-world effects of SARS-CoV-2 vaccinations in Greece. We combined national data on vaccinations, SARS-CoV-2 cases, COVID-19-related ICU admissions and COVID-19-related deaths. We observed 3,367,673 vaccinations (30.68% of the Greek population), 278,821 SARS-CoV-2 infections and 7401 COVID-19-related deaths. The vaccination rate significantly increased from week 2 to week 6 by 85.70%, and from week 7 to 25 by 15.65%. The weekly mean of SARS-CoV-2 cases, COVID-19 ICU patients and COVID-19 deaths markedly declined as vaccination coverage accumulated. The rate of SARS-CoV-2 cases increased significantly from week 2 to week 13 by 16.15%, while from weeks 14-25 the rate decreased significantly by 13.50%. The rate of COVID-19-related ICU admissions decreased significantly by 7.41% from week 2 to week 4, increased significantly by 17.22% from weeks 5-11, then decreased significantly from weeks 17-20, by 11.99%, and from weeks 21-25, by 16.77%. The rate of COVID-19-related deaths increased significantly from week 2 to week 15 by 12.08% and decreased significantly by 16.58% from weeks 16-25. The data from this nationwide observational study underline the beneficial impact of the national vaccination campaign in Greece, which may offer control of the SARS-CoV-2 pandemic.

20.
J Pers Med ; 12(3)2022 Feb 22.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1703275

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: Social distancing and mask-wearing were recommended and mandatory for people during the COVID-19 pandemic. METHODS: A web-based questionnaire was disseminated through social media assessing mask type preference and COVID-19 history amongst tertiary sector services and the rates of the triad of respiratory symptoms in each mask type, along with other respiratory-related parameters. RESULTS: Amongst 4107 participants, 63.4% of the responders, mainly women, preferred medical/surgical masks; 20.5%, mainly men, preferred cotton cloth masks; and 13.8% preferred FFP/(K)N95 masks. COVID-19 history was less common in FFP/(K)N95 compared to medical/surgical (9.2% vs. 15.6%, p < 0.001) or cloth masks (9.2% vs. 14.4%, p = 0.006). Compared to the control group (rare mask-wearing, nonsmokers and without lung conditions), those wearing one medical mask were more likely to report frequent sputum production (4.4% vs. 1.9%, p = 0.026) and frequent cough (4.4% vs. 1.6%, p = 0.013), and those wearing FFP/(K)N95 masks were more likely to report frequent cough (4.1% vs. 1.6%, p = 0.048). Compared to the control group, those preferring cotton cloth masks were more likely to report a frequent cough (7.3% vs. 1.6%, p = 0.0002), sputum production (6.3% vs. 1.9%, p = 0.003) and dyspnea (8% vs. 1.3%, p = 0.00001). CONCLUSIONS: Safe mask-wearing should be in parallel with a more personalized and social interaction approach.

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