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1.
EuropePMC; 2022.
Preprint in English | EuropePMC | ID: ppcovidwho-335665

ABSTRACT

Within-host models have been used to successfully describe the dynamics of multiple viral infections, however, the dynamics of SARS-CoV-2 virus infection remain poorly understood. A greater understanding of how the virus interacts with the host can contribute to more realistic epidemiological models and help evaluate the effect of antiviral therapies and vaccines. Here, we present a within-host model to describe SARS-CoV-2 viral dynamics in the upper respiratory tract of individuals enrolled in the UK COVID-19 Human Challenge Study. Using this model, we investigate the viral dynamics and provide timescales of infection that independently verify key epidemiological parameters important in the management of an epidemic. In particular, we estimate that an infected individual is first capable of transmitting the virus after approximately 2.1 days, remains infectious for a further 8.3 days, but can continue to test positive using a PCR test for up to 27 days.

2.
EuropePMC; 2022.
Preprint in English | EuropePMC | ID: ppcovidwho-331074

ABSTRACT

Objective We aimed to use mathematical models of SARS-COV-2 to assess the potential efficacy of non-pharmaceutical interventions on transmission in the parcel delivery and logistics sector. Methods We developed a network-based model of workplace contacts based on data and consultations from companies in the parcel delivery and logistics sectors. We used these in stochastic simulations of disease transmission to predict the probability of workplace outbreaks in this settings. Individuals in the model have different viral load trajectories based on SARS-CoV-2 in-host dynamics, which couple to their infectiousness and test positive probability over time, in order to determine the impact of testing and isolation measures. Results The baseline model (without any interventions) showed different workplace infection rates for staff in different job roles. Based on our assumptions of contact patterns in the parcel delivery work setting we found that when a delivery driver was the index case, on average they infect only 0.18 other employees, while for warehouse and office workers this went up to 0.93 and 2.58 respectively. In the large-item delivery setting this was predicted to be 0.83, 0.94, and 1.61 respectively. Nonetheless, the vast majority of simulations resulted in 0 secondary cases among customers (even without contact-free delivery). Our results showed that a combination of social distancing, office staff working from home, and fixed driver pairings (all interventions carried out by the companies we consulted) reduce the risk of workplace outbreaks by 3-4 times. Conclusion This work suggests that, without interventions, significant transmission could occur in these workplaces, but that these pose minimal risk to customers. We found that identifying and isolating regular close-contacts of infectious individuals (i.e. house-share, carpools, or delivery pairs) is an efficient measure for stopping workplace outbreaks. Regular testing can make these isolation measures even more effective but also increases the number of staff isolating at one time. It is therefore more efficient to combine these measures with social distancing and contact reduction interventions, as these reduce both transmission and the number of people needing to isolate. IMPORTANCE During the COVID-19 pandemic the home-delivery sector has been vital to maintaining people’s access to certain goods, and sustaining levels of economic activity for a variety of businesses. However, this important work necessarily involves contact with a large number of customers as well as colleagues. This means that questions have often been raised about whether enough is being done to keep customers and staff safe. Estimating the potential risk to customers and staff is complex, but here we tackle this problem by building a model of workplace and customer contacts, from which we simulate SARS-CoV-2 transmission. By involving industry representatives in the development of this model, we have simulated interventions that have either been applied or considered, and so the findings of this study are extremely relevant to decisions made in that sector moving forward. Furthermore, we can learn generic lessons from this specific case study which apply to many types of shared workplace as well as highlighting implications of the highly stochastic nature of disease transmission in small populations.

3.
BMC Infect Dis ; 22(1): 270, 2022 Mar 20.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1745481

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: From January to May 2021 the alpha variant (B.1.1.7) of SARS-CoV-2 was the most commonly detected variant in the UK. Following this, the Delta variant (B.1.617.2) then became the predominant variant. The UK COVID-19 vaccination programme started on 8th December 2020. Prior to the Delta variant, most vaccine effectiveness studies focused on the alpha variant. We therefore aimed to estimate the effectiveness of the BNT162b2 (Pfizer-BioNTech) and the ChAdOx1 nCoV-19 (Oxford-AstraZeneca) vaccines in preventing symptomatic and asymptomatic infection with respect to the Delta variant in a UK setting. METHODS: We used anonymised public health record data linked to infection data (PCR) using the Combined Intelligence for Population Health Action resource. We then constructed an SIR epidemic model to explain SARS-CoV-2 infection data across the Cheshire and Merseyside region of the UK. Vaccines were assumed to be effective after 21 days for 1 dose and 14 days for 2 doses. RESULTS: We determined that the effectiveness of the Oxford-AstraZeneca vaccine in reducing susceptibility to infection is 39% (95% credible interval [34, 43]) and 64% (95% credible interval [61, 67]) for a single dose and a double dose respectively. For the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine, the effectiveness is 20% (95% credible interval [10, 28]) and 84% (95% credible interval [82, 86]) for a single-dose and a double dose respectively. CONCLUSION: Vaccine effectiveness for reducing susceptibility to SARS-CoV-2 infection shows noticeable improvement after receiving two doses of either vaccine. Findings also suggest that a full course of the Pfizer-BioNTech provides the optimal protection against infection with the Delta variant. This reinforces the need to complete the full course programme to maximise individual protection and reduce transmission.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Viral Vaccines , COVID-19/prevention & control , COVID-19 Vaccines , Humans , SARS-CoV-2/genetics
4.
BMJ Glob Health ; 7(3)2022 03.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1736059

ABSTRACT

The spread of infectious diseases such as COVID-19 presents many challenges to healthcare systems and infrastructures across the world, exacerbating inequalities and leaving the world's most vulnerable populations at risk. Epidemiological modelling is vital to guiding evidence-informed or data-driven decision making. In forced displacement contexts, and in particular refugee and internally displaced people (IDP) settlements, it meets several challenges including data availability and quality, the applicability of existing models to those contexts, the accurate modelling of cultural differences or specificities of those operational settings, the communication of results and uncertainties, as well as the alignment of strategic goals between diverse partners in complex situations. In this paper, we systematically review the limited epidemiological modelling work applied to refugee and IDP settlements so far, and discuss challenges and identify lessons learnt from the process. With the likelihood of disease outbreaks expected to increase in the future as more people are displaced due to conflict and climate change, we call for the development of more approaches and models specifically designed to include the unique features and populations of refugee and IDP settlements. To strengthen collaboration between the modelling and the humanitarian public health communities, we propose a roadmap to encourage the development of systems and frameworks to share needs, build tools and coordinate responses in an efficient and scalable manner, both for this pandemic and for future outbreaks.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Communicable Diseases , Refugees , Communicable Diseases/epidemiology , Humans , Pandemics , SARS-CoV-2
5.
Sci Rep ; 12(1): 3070, 2022 02 23.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1697478

ABSTRACT

Pandemics have the potential to incur significant health and economic impacts, and can reach a large number of countries from their origin within weeks. Early identification and containment of a newly emerged pandemic within the source country is key for minimising global impact. To identify a country's potential to control and contain a pathogen with pandemic potential, we compared the quality of a country's healthcare system against its global airline connectivity. Healthcare development was determined using three multi-factorial indices, while detailed airline passenger data was used to identify the global connectivity of all countries. Proximities of countries to a putative 'Worst Case Scenario' (extreme high-connectivity and low-healthcare development) were calculated. We found a positive relationship between a country's connectivity and healthcare metrics. We also identified countries that potentially pose the greatest risk for pandemic dissemination, notably Dominican Republic, India and Pakistan. China and Mexico, both sources of recent influenza and coronavirus pandemics were also identified as among the highest risk countries. Collectively, lower-middle and upper-middle income countries represented the greatest risk, while high income countries represented the lowest risk. Our analysis represents an alternative approach to identify countries where increased within-country disease surveillance and pandemic preparedness may benefit global health.


Subject(s)
Pandemics
6.
EuropePMC; 2020.
Preprint in English | EuropePMC | ID: ppcovidwho-319480

ABSTRACT

Background: Infection with severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) in children is associated with better outcomes than in adults. The inflammatory response to COVID-19 infection in children remains poorly characterised.Methods: We retrospectively analysed the medical records of 127 laboratory-confirmed COVID-19 patients aged 1 month to 16 years from Wuhan and Jingzhou of Hubei Province. Patients presented between January 25th and March 24th 2020. Information on clinical features, laboratory results, plasma cytokines/chemokines and lymphocyte subsets were analysed.Findings: Children admitted to hospital with COVID-19 were more likely to be male (67.7%) and the median age was 7.3 [IQR 4.9] years. All but one patient with severe disease was aged under 2 and the majority (5/7) had significant co-morbidities. Despite 53% having viral pneumonia on CT scanning only 2 patients had low lymphocyte counts and no differences were observed in the levels of plasma proinflammatory cytokines, including interleukin (IL)-2, IL-4, IL-6, tumour necrosis factor (TNF)- , and interferon (IFN)- between patients with mild, moderate or severe disease.Interpretations: We demonstrated that the immune responses of children to COVID-19 infection is significantly different from that seen in adults. Our evidence suggests that SARS-CoV-2 does not trigger a robust inflammatory response or ‘cytokine storm’ in children with COVID-19, and this may underlie the generally better outcomes seen in children with this disease. These data also imply anti-cytokine therapies may not be effective in children with moderate COVID-19.Funding Statement: This study was funded by National Natural Foundation of China (No. 81970653).Declaration of Interests: The authors declare no competing interests.Ethics Approval Statement: This study was conducted in accordance with the Declaration of Helsinki and was reviewed and approved by the Medical Ethical Committees (2020-R120). Due to the urgent need to collect data on this emerging infectious disease, the requirement for written informed consent was waived.

7.
EuropePMC; 2020.
Preprint in English | EuropePMC | ID: ppcovidwho-318473

ABSTRACT

During an infectious disease outbreak, biases in the data and complexities of the underlying dynamics pose significant challenges in mathematically modelling the outbreak and designing policy. Motivated by the ongoing response to COVID-19, we provide a toolkit of statistical and mathematical models beyond the simple SIR-type differential equation models for analysing the early stages of an outbreak and assessing interventions. In particular, we focus on parameter estimation in the presence of known biases in the data, and the effect of non-pharmaceutical interventions in enclosed subpopulations, such as households and care homes. We illustrate these methods by applying them to the COVID-19 pandemic.

8.
EuropePMC;
Preprint in English | EuropePMC | ID: ppcovidwho-327241

ABSTRACT

Background: The emergence of SARS-CoV-2 triggered a chain of public health responses that radically changed our way of living and working. Non-healthcare sectors, such as the logistics sector, play a key role in such responses. This research aims to qualitatively evaluate the non-pharmaceutical interventions (NPIs) implemented in the UK logistics sector during the COVID-19 pandemic. Methods: We conducted nine semi-structured interviews in July-August 2020 and May-June 2021. In total 11 interviewees represented six companies occupying a range of positions in the UK logistics sector, including takeaway food delivery, large and small goods delivery and home appliance installation, and logistics technology providers. Inductive thematic analysis was completed using NVivo12 to generate emerging themes and subthemes. Themes/subthemes relevant to interventions were mapped deductively onto an adapted Hierarchy of Control (HoC) framework, focusing on delivery workers. Themes/subthemes relevant to the process of implementation were analyzed to understand the barriers and facilitators of rapid responses. Results: HoC analysis suggests the sector has implemented a wide range of risk mitigation measures, with each company developing their own portfolio of measures. Contact-free delivery was the most commonly implemented measure and perceived effective. In addition, a broad range of measures were implemented, including social distancing, internal contact tracing, communication and collaboration with other key stakeholders of the sector. Process evaluation identified facilitators of rapid responses including capacity to develop interventions internally, localized government support, overwhelming external mandates, effective communication, leadership support and financial support for self-isolation, while barriers included unclear government guidance, shortage of testing capacity and supply, high costs and diversified language and cultural backgrounds. Main sustainability issues included compliance fatigue, and the possible mental health impacts of a prolonged rapid response. Conclusions: This research identified drivers and obstacles of rapid implementation of NPIs in response to a respiratory infection pandemic. Existing implementation process models do not consider speed to respond and the absence or lack of guidance in emergency situations such as the COVID-19. We recommend the development of a rapid response model to inform the design of effective and sustainable infection prevention and control policies and to focus future research priorities.

9.
Indoor Air ; 32(2): e12976, 2022 02.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1669148

ABSTRACT

We propose the Transmission of Virus in Carriages (TVC) model, a computational model which simulates the potential exposure to SARS-CoV-2 for passengers traveling in a subway rail system train. This model considers exposure through three different routes: fomites via contact with contaminated surfaces; close-range exposure, which accounts for aerosol and droplet transmission within 2 m of the infectious source; and airborne exposure via small aerosols which does not rely on being within 2 m distance from the infectious source. Simulations are based on typical subway parameters and the aim of the study is to consider the relative effect of environmental and behavioral factors including prevalence of the virus in the population, number of people traveling, ventilation rate, and mask wearing as well as the effect of model assumptions such as emission rates. Results simulate generally low exposures in most of the scenarios considered, especially under low virus prevalence. Social distancing through reduced loading and high mask-wearing adherence is predicted to have a noticeable effect on reducing exposure through all routes. The highest predicted doses happen through close-range exposure, while the fomite route cannot be neglected; exposure through both routes relies on infrequent events involving relatively few individuals. Simulated exposure through the airborne route is more homogeneous across passengers, but is generally lower due to the typically short duration of the trips, mask wearing, and the high ventilation rate within the carriage. The infection risk resulting from exposure is challenging to estimate as it will be influenced by factors such as virus variant and vaccination rates.


Subject(s)
Air Pollution, Indoor , COVID-19 , Railroads , Aerosols , Air Microbiology , COVID-19/transmission , Fomites/virology , Humans , SARS-CoV-2
10.
Chron Respir Dis ; 19: 14799731211069391, 2022.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1613200

ABSTRACT

Survivors of COVID-19 can present with varied and persisting symptoms, regardless of hospitalisation. We describe the ongoing symptoms, quality of life and return to work status in a cohort of non-hospitalised COVID-19 survivors with persisting respiratory symptoms presenting to clinic, who consented and completed patient-reported outcome measures. We identified fatigue, reduced quality of life and dysregulated breathing alongside the breathlessness. Those with co-existent fatigue had worse mood and quality of life and were less likely to have returned to normal working arrangements compared to those without fatigue. For non-hospitalised people with persisting symptoms following COVID-19 referred to a respiratory assessment clinic, there was a need for a wider holistic assessment, including return to work strategies.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Cohort Studies , Humans , Quality of Life , SARS-CoV-2 , Survivors
11.
EuropePMC; 2021.
Preprint in English | EuropePMC | ID: ppcovidwho-295666

ABSTRACT

The first year of the COVID-19 pandemic put considerable strain on the national healthcare system in England. In order to predict the effect of the local epidemic on hospital capacity in England, we used a variety of data streams to inform the construction and parameterisation of a hospital progression model, which was coupled to a model of the generalised epidemic. We named this model EpiBeds. Data from a partially complete patient-pathway line-list was used to provide initial estimates of the mean duration that individuals spend in the different hospital compartments. We then fitted EpiBeds using complete data on hospital occupancy and hospital deaths, enabling estimation of the proportion of individuals that follow different clinical pathways, and the reproduction number of the generalised epidemic. The construction of EpiBeds makes it straightforward to adapt to different patient pathways and settings beyond England. As part of the UK response to the pandemic, EpiBeds has provided weekly forecasts to the NHS for hospital bed occupancy and admissions in England, Wales, Scotland, and Northern Ireland.

12.
2021.
Preprint in English | Other preprints | ID: ppcovidwho-294889

ABSTRACT

As the SARS-CoV-2 virus mutates, mutations harboured in patients become increasingly diverse. Patients classified into two strains may have overlapping non-variant-defining mutations. Mutation calling by sequencing is relative to a reference genome . As SARS-CoV-2 mutates, tracking emerging mutant strains may become increasingly problematic if the reference genome remains Wuhan-Hu-1, because the comparison then becomes indirect : current dominant strain relative to Wuhan-Hu-1 versus emerging strain relative to Wuhan-Hu-1. The original Thermo Fisher’s TaqPath PCR test, on which the UK has standardized national testing of SARS-CoV-2 primarily, targets Wuhan-Hu-1. PCR targets appear readily updated, as TaqPath 2.0 now targets both currently known and future SARS-CoV-2 mutations, probing the N gene and ORF1ab but not the S gene, with 8 probes instead of the original 3 probes. Going forward, our statistical method can more directly compare current wildtype versus emerging mutants, since our new method can use any pair of probes updated to probe the current wildtype and anticipated mutations. The fact that patients harbour mixtures of mutations allows our statistical methods to potentially catch emerging mutants. Given a PCR test which targets the current dominant strain (current wildtype), our statistical method can potentially directly differentiate the current wildtype from an emerging strain.

13.
2021.
Preprint in English | Other preprints | ID: ppcovidwho-294557

ABSTRACT

ABSTRACT Background Workplace transmission is a significant contributor to severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) outbreaks. Previous studies have found that infectious illness presenteeism could contribute to outbreaks in occupational settings and identified multiple occupational and organisational risk factors. Amid the COVID-19 pandemic, it is imperative to investigate presenteeism particularly in relation to respiratory infectious disease (RID). Hence, this rapid review aims to determine the prevalence of RID-related presenteeism, including COVID-19, and examines the reported reasons and associated risk factors. Methods The review followed a Preferred Reporting Items for Systematic Reviews and Meta-Analyses (PRISMA) search approach and focused on studies published in English and Chinese. Database searches included MEDLINE, EMBASE, Web of Science, China Knowledge Resource Integrated Database (CNKI) and preprint databases MedRxiv and BioRxiv. Results The search yielded 54 studies, of which four investigated COVID-19-related presenteeism. Prevalence of work presenteeism ranged from 14.1% to 55% for confirmed RID, and 6.6% to 100% for those working with suspected or subclinical RID. The included studies demonstrated that RID-related presenteeism is associated with occupation, sick pay policy, age, gender, health behaviour and perception, vaccination, peer pressure and organisational factors such as presenteeism culture. Conclusions This review demonstrates that presenteeism or non-adherence to isolation guidance is a real concern and can contribute to workplace transmissions and outbreaks. Policies which would support workers financially and improve productivity, should include a range of effective non-pharmaceutical inventions such as workplace testing, promoting occupational health services, reviewing pay and bonus schemes and clear messaging to encourage workers to stay at home when ill. Future research should focus on the more vulnerable and precarious occupational groups, and their inter-relationships, to develop comprehensive intervention programs to reduce RID-related presenteeism.

14.
BMJ Open ; 11(11): e056636, 2021 11 24.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1533053

ABSTRACT

OBJECTIVES: Importations of novel variants of concern (VOC), particularly B.1.617.2, have become the impetus behind recent outbreaks of SARS-CoV-2. Concerns around the impact on vaccine effectiveness, transmissibility and severity are now driving the public health response to these variants. This paper analyses the patterns of growth in hospitalisations and confirmed cases for novel VOCs by age groups, geography and ethnicity in the context of changing behaviour, non-pharmaceutical interventions (NPIs) and the UK vaccination programme. We seek to highlight where strategies have been effective and periods that have facilitated the establishment of new variants. DESIGN: We have algorithmically linked the most complete testing and hospitalisation data in England to create a data set of confirmed infections and hospitalisations by SARS-CoV-2 genomic variant. We have used these linked data sets to analyse temporal, geographic and demographic distinctions. SETTING AND PARTICIPANTS: The setting is England from October 2020 to July 2021. Participants included all COVID-19 tests that included RT-PCR CT gene target data or underwent sequencing and hospitalisations that could be linked to these tests. METHODS: To calculate the instantaneous growth rate for VOCs we have developed a generalised additive model fit to multiple splines and varying day of the week effects. We have further modelled the instantaneous reproduction number Rt for the B.1.1.7 and B.1.617.2 variants and included a doubly interval censored model to temporally adjust the confirmed variant cases. RESULTS: We observed a clear replacement of the predominant B.1.1.7 by the B.1.617.2 variant without observing sustained exponential growth in other novel variants. Modelled exponential growth of RT PCR gene target triple-positive cases was initially detected in the youngest age groups, although we now observe across all ages a very small doubling time of 10.7 (95% CI 9.1 to 13.2) days and 8 (95% CI 6.9 to 9.1) days for cases and hospitalisations, respectively. We observe that growth in RT PCR gene target triple-positive cases was first detected in the Indian ethnicity group in late February, with a peak of 0.06 (95% CI 0.07 to 0.05) in the instantaneous growth rate, but is now maintained by the white ethnicity groups, observing a doubling time of 6.8 (95% CI 4.9 to 11) days. Rt analysis indicates a reproduction number advantage of 0.45 for B.1.617.2 relative to B.1.1.7, with the Rt value peaking at 1.85 for B.1.617.2. CONCLUSIONS: Our results illustrate a clear transmission advantage for the B.1.617.2 variant and the growth in hospitalisations illustrates that this variant is able to maintain exponential growth within age groups that are largely doubly vaccinated. There are concerning signs of intermittent growth in the B.1.351 variant, reaching a 28-day doubling time peak in March 2021, although this variant is presently not showing any evidence of a transmission advantage over B.1.617.2. Step 1b of the UK national lockdown easing was sufficient to precipitate exponential growth in B.1.617.2 cases for most regions and younger adult age groups. The final stages of NPI easing appeared to have a negligible impact on the growth of B.1.617.2 with every region experiencing sustained exponential growth from step 2. Nonetheless, early targeted local NPIs appeared to markedly reduced growth of B.1.617.2. Later localised interventions, at a time of higher prevalence and greater geographic dispersion of this variant, appeared to have a negligible impact on growth.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , SARS-CoV-2 , Communicable Disease Control , England/epidemiology , Humans , Reproduction
15.
BMC Public Health ; 21(1): 1955, 2021 10 28.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1496158

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: Workplace transmission is a significant contributor to severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) outbreaks. Previous studies have found that infectious illness presenteeism could contribute to outbreaks in occupational settings and identified multiple occupational and organisational risk factors. Amid the COVID-19 pandemic, it is imperative to investigate presenteeism particularly in relation to respiratory infectious disease (RID). Hence, this rapid review aims to determine the prevalence of RID-related presenteeism, including COVID-19, and examines the reported reasons and associated risk factors. METHODS: The review followed a Preferred Reporting Items for Systematic Reviews and Meta-Analyses (PRISMA) search approach and focused on studies published in English and Chinese. Database searches included MEDLINE, EMBASE, Web of Science, China Knowledge Resource Integrated Database (CNKI) and preprint databases MedRxiv and BioRxiv. RESULTS: The search yielded 54 studies, of which four investigated COVID-19-related presenteeism. Prevalence of work presenteeism ranged from 14.1 to 55% for confirmed RID, and 6.6 to 100% for those working with suspected or subclinical RID. The included studies demonstrated that RID-related presenteeism is associated with occupation, sick pay policy, age, gender, health behaviour and perception, vaccination, peer pressure and organisational factors such as presenteeism culture. CONCLUSIONS: This review demonstrates that presenteeism or non-adherence to isolation guidance is a real concern and can contribute to workplace transmissions and outbreaks. Policies which would support workers financially and improve productivity, should include a range of effective non-pharmaceutical inventions such as workplace testing, promoting occupational health services, reviewing pay and bonus schemes and clear messaging to encourage workers to stay at home when ill. Future research should focus on the more vulnerable and precarious occupational groups, and their inter-relationships, to develop comprehensive intervention programs to reduce RID-related presenteeism.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Communicable Diseases , Humans , Pandemics , Presenteeism , Risk Factors , SARS-CoV-2
16.
BMJ Open Respir Res ; 8(1)2021 09.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1438096

ABSTRACT

INTRODUCTION: The COVID-19 pandemic has led to over 100 million cases worldwide. The UK has had over 4 million cases, 400 000 hospital admissions and 100 000 deaths. Many patients with COVID-19 suffer long-term symptoms, predominantly breathlessness and fatigue whether hospitalised or not. Early data suggest potentially severe long-term consequence of COVID-19 is development of long COVID-19-related interstitial lung disease (LC-ILD). METHODS AND ANALYSIS: The UK Interstitial Lung Disease Consortium (UKILD) will undertake longitudinal observational studies of patients with suspected ILD following COVID-19. The primary objective is to determine ILD prevalence at 12 months following infection and whether clinically severe infection correlates with severity of ILD. Secondary objectives will determine the clinical, genetic, epigenetic and biochemical factors that determine the trajectory of recovery or progression of ILD. Data will be obtained through linkage to the Post-Hospitalisation COVID platform study and community studies. Additional substudies will conduct deep phenotyping. The Xenon MRI investigation of Alveolar dysfunction Substudy will conduct longitudinal xenon alveolar gas transfer and proton perfusion MRI. The POST COVID-19 interstitial lung DiseasE substudy will conduct clinically indicated bronchoalveolar lavage with matched whole blood sampling. Assessments include exploratory single cell RNA and lung microbiomics analysis, gene expression and epigenetic assessment. ETHICS AND DISSEMINATION: All contributing studies have been granted appropriate ethical approvals. Results from this study will be disseminated through peer-reviewed journals. CONCLUSION: This study will ensure the extent and consequences of LC-ILD are established and enable strategies to mitigate progression of LC-ILD.


Subject(s)
COVID-19/complications , Lung Diseases, Interstitial , Humans , Longitudinal Studies , Lung Diseases, Interstitial/epidemiology , Observational Studies as Topic , Pandemics , Prospective Studies , United Kingdom/epidemiology
18.
Philos Trans R Soc Lond B Biol Sci ; 376(1829): 20200269, 2021 07 19.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1309688

ABSTRACT

The number of COVID-19 outbreaks reported in UK care homes rose rapidly in early March of 2020. Owing to the increased co-morbidities and therefore worse COVID-19 outcomes for care home residents, it is important that we understand this increase and its future implications. We demonstrate the use of an SIS model where each nursing home is an infective unit capable of either being susceptible to an outbreak (S) or in an active outbreak (I). We use a generalized additive model to approximate the trend in growth rate of outbreaks in care homes and find the fit to be improved in a model where the growth rate is proportional to the number of current care home outbreaks compared with a model with a constant growth rate. Using parameters found from the outbreak-dependent growth rate, we predict a 73% prevalence of outbreaks in UK care homes without intervention as a reasonable worst-case planning assumption. This article is part of the theme issue 'Modelling that shaped the early COVID-19 pandemic response in the UK'.


Subject(s)
COVID-19/epidemiology , Pandemics , SARS-CoV-2/pathogenicity , Aged , COVID-19/virology , Cost of Illness , Female , Humans , Male , Nursing Homes/statistics & numerical data , United Kingdom/epidemiology
19.
Philos Trans R Soc Lond B Biol Sci ; 376(1829): 20200267, 2021 07 19.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1309687

ABSTRACT

We explore strategies of contact tracing, case isolation and quarantine of exposed contacts to control the SARS-CoV-2 epidemic using a branching process model with household structure. This structure reflects higher transmission risks among household members than among non-household members. We explore strategic implementation choices that make use of household structure, and investigate strategies including two-step tracing, backwards tracing, smartphone tracing and tracing upon symptom report rather than test results. The primary model outcome is the effect of contact tracing, in combination with different levels of physical distancing, on the growth rate of the epidemic. Furthermore, we investigate epidemic extinction times to indicate the time period over which interventions must be sustained. We consider effects of non-uptake of isolation/quarantine, non-adherence, and declining recall of contacts over time. Our results find that, compared to self-isolation of cases without contact tracing, a contact tracing strategy designed to take advantage of household structure allows for some relaxation of physical distancing measures but cannot completely control the epidemic absent of other measures. Even assuming no imported cases and sustainment of moderate physical distancing, testing and tracing efforts, the time to bring the epidemic to extinction could be in the order of months to years. This article is part of the theme issue 'Modelling that shaped the early COVID-19 pandemic response in the UK'.


Subject(s)
COVID-19/epidemiology , Models, Theoretical , Pandemics , SARS-CoV-2/pathogenicity , COVID-19/transmission , COVID-19/virology , Contact Tracing/methods , Family Characteristics , Humans , Quarantine/methods
20.
Philos Trans R Soc Lond B Biol Sci ; 376(1829): 20200264, 2021 07 19.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1309684

ABSTRACT

Early assessments of the growth rate of COVID-19 were subject to significant uncertainty, as expected with limited data and difficulties in case ascertainment, but as cases were recorded in multiple countries, more robust inferences could be made. Using multiple countries, data streams and methods, we estimated that, when unconstrained, European COVID-19 confirmed cases doubled on average every 3 days (range 2.2-4.3 days) and Italian hospital and intensive care unit admissions every 2-3 days; values that are significantly lower than the 5-7 days dominating the early published literature. Furthermore, we showed that the impact of physical distancing interventions was typically not seen until at least 9 days after implementation, during which time confirmed cases could grow eightfold. We argue that such temporal patterns are more critical than precise estimates of the time-insensitive basic reproduction number R0 for initiating interventions, and that the combination of fast growth and long detection delays explains the struggle in countries' outbreak response better than large values of R0 alone. One year on from first reporting these results, reproduction numbers continue to dominate the media and public discourse, but robust estimates of unconstrained growth remain essential for planning worst-case scenarios, and detection delays are still key in informing the relaxation and re-implementation of interventions. This article is part of the theme issue 'Modelling that shaped the early COVID-19 pandemic response in the UK'.


Subject(s)
COVID-19/epidemiology , Models, Theoretical , Pandemics , COVID-19/virology , Humans , Italy/epidemiology , Physical Distancing , SARS-CoV-2
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