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1.
EuropePMC; 2022.
Preprint in English | EuropePMC | ID: ppcovidwho-330045

ABSTRACT

Background: Understanding symptomatology and accuracy of clinical case definitions for community COVID-19 cases is important for Test, Trace and Isolate (TTI) and future targeting of early antiviral treatment.   Methods: : Community cohort participants prospectively recorded daily symptoms and swab results (mainly undertaken through the UK TTI system).  We compared symptom frequency, severity, timing, and duration in test positive and negative illnesses.  We compared the test performance of the current UK TTI case definition (cough, high temperature, or loss of or altered sense of smell or taste) with a wider definition adding muscle aches, chills, headache, or loss of appetite.     Results: : Among 9706 swabbed illnesses, including 973 SARS-CoV-2 positives, symptoms were more common, severe and longer lasting in swab positive than negative illnesses.  Cough, headache, fatigue, and muscle aches were the most common symptoms in positive illnesses but also common in negative illnesses. Conversely, high temperature, loss or altered sense of smell or taste and loss of appetite were less frequent in positive illnesses, but comparatively even less frequent in negative illnesses.  The current UK definition had 81% sensitivity and 47% specificity versus 93% and 27% respectively for the broader definition. 1.7-fold more illnesses met the broader case definition than the current definition.  Conclusions: : Symptoms alone cannot reliably distinguish COVID-19 from other respiratory illnesses. Adding additional symptoms to case definitions could identify more infections, but with a large increase in the number needing testing and the number of unwell individuals and contacts self-isolating whilst awaiting results.

2.
The Lancet ; 398, 2021.
Article in English | ProQuest Central | ID: covidwho-1537154

ABSTRACT

Background A strong association between deprivation and severe COVID-19 outcomes has been reported among adults. We estimated population-based rates of SARS-CoV-2 testing, laboratory-confirmed infections, and hospital admissions with COVID-19 in children and young people (aged 0–23 years) in Scotland according to sociodemographic risk factors. Methods We used a birth cohort of all children and young people born in Scotland in 1997–2020, consisting of linked vital registration, maternity, hospital admissions, and SARS-CoV-2 PCR testing data. Participants were followed from birth or Jan 1, 2020 (whichever occurred last) until Dec 31, 2020, death, or emigration. Admissions with COVID-19 were defined as participants with a positive SARS-CoV-2 test during or up to 28 days before admission to hospital, or a relevant International Classification of Diseases version 10 code recorded (U07.1/U07.2). We calculated crude rates of tests, laboratory-confirmed infections, and admissions, by age group, sex, and Scottish Index of Multiple Deprivation (SIMD) quintiles with 95% CIs. Findings The cohort included 1 230 290 children and young people living in Scotland during 2020. By Dec 31, 2020, 243 958 (19·8%) were tested for SARS-CoV-2 at least once, and 17 709 (7·3%) had tested positive. Infants (aged <2 years) and 18–23-year-olds were most likely to be tested;there was no clear trend in testing rates by SIMD quintile. 18–23-year-olds, females, and those from the most deprived SIMD quintile were most likely to test positive. 379 participants had an admission with COVID-19, corresponding to a rate of 32·0 per 100 000 person-years (95% CI 28·9–35·4). Females (admission rate 35·4 per 100 000 person-years [95% CI 30·9–40·6]) and infants (143·5 per 100 000 person-years [113·3–181·7]) were most likely to be admitted to hospital. There was a clear gradient in hospital admissions by SIMD, with participants in the most deprived quintile (42·9 per 100 000 person-years [36·1–50·8]) experiencing 1·9 times (95% CI 1·3–2·6) the admission rate compared with those in the least deprived (22·6 per 100 000 person-years [16·9–30·3]). Interpretation Rates of infection and admissions with COVID-19 were associated with area-level deprivation among children and young people. Infants had a relatively low infection rate but the highest admission rate. Analyses examining risk factors, including ethnic group and long-term conditions are underway, to inform the public health response to SARS-CoV-2 in children. Although children and young people in Scotland had low COVID-19-related admission rates versus adults, a socioeconomic gradient was evident, indicating children living in more deprived areas are at increased risk of short-term, and potential long-term, health and education impacts of COVID-19. Funding UKRI Medical Research Council and the Great Ormond Street Biomedical Research Centre.

3.
J Epidemiol Community Health ; 76(4): 319-326, 2022 04.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1467721

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: Differential exposure to public activities may contribute to stark deprivation-related inequalities in SARS-CoV-2 infection and outcomes but has not been directly investigated. We set out to investigate whether participants in Virus Watch-a large community cohort study based in England and Wales-reported differential exposure to public activities and non-household contacts during the autumn-winter phase of the COVID-19 pandemic according to postcode-level socioeconomic deprivation. METHODS: Participants (n=20 120-25 228 across surveys) reported their daily activities during 3 weekly periods in late November 2020, late December 2020 and mid-February 2021. Deprivation was quantified based on participants' residential postcode using English or Welsh Index of Multiple Deprivation quintiles. We used Poisson mixed-effect models with robust standard errors to estimate the relationship between deprivation and risk of exposure to public activities during each survey period. RESULTS: Relative to participants in the least deprived areas, participants in the most deprived areas exhibited elevated risk of exposure to vehicle sharing (adjusted risk ratio (aRR) range across time points: 1.73-8.52), public transport (aRR: 3.13-5.73), work or education outside of the household (aRR: 1.09-1.21), essential shops (aRR: 1.09-1.13) and non-household contacts (aRR: 1.15-1.19) across multiple survey periods. CONCLUSION: Differential exposure to essential public activities-such as attending workplaces and visiting essential shops-is likely to contribute to inequalities in infection risk and outcomes. Public health interventions to reduce exposure during essential activities and financial and practical support to enable low-paid workers to stay at home during periods of intense transmission may reduce COVID-related inequalities.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , COVID-19/epidemiology , Cohort Studies , England/epidemiology , Health Status Disparities , Humans , Pandemics , SARS-CoV-2 , Wales/epidemiology
4.
Vaccine ; 39(48): 7108-7116, 2021 11 26.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1458555

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: Vaccination intention is key to the success of any vaccination programme, alongside vaccine availability and access. Public intention to take a COVID-19 vaccine is high in England and Wales compared to other countries, but vaccination rate disparities between ethnic, social and age groups has led to concern. METHODS: Online survey of prospective household community cohort study participants across England and Wales (Virus Watch). Vaccination intention was measured by individual participant responses to 'Would you accept a COVID-19 vaccine if offered?', collected in December 2020 and February 2021. Responses to a 13-item questionnaire collected in January 2021 were analysed using factor analysis to investigate psychological influences on vaccination intention. RESULTS: Survey response rate was 56% (20,785/36,998) in December 2020 and 53% (20,590/38,727) in February 2021, with 14,880 adults reporting across both time points. In December 2020, 1,469 (10%) participants responded 'No' or 'Unsure'. Of these people, 1,266 (86%) changed their mind and responded 'Yes' or 'Already had a COVID-19 vaccine' by February 2021. Vaccination intention increased across all ethnic groups and levels of social deprivation. Age was most strongly associated with vaccination intention, with 16-24-year-olds more likely to respond "Unsure" or "No" versus "Yes" than 65-74-year-olds in December 2020 (OR: 4.63, 95 %CI: 3.42, 6.27 & OR 7.17 95 %CI: 4.26, 12.07 respectively) and February 2021 (OR: 27.92 95 %CI: 13.79, 56.51 & OR 17.16 95 %CI: 4.12, 71.55). The association between ethnicity and vaccination intention weakened, but did not disappear, over time. Both vaccine- and illness-related psychological factors were shown to influence vaccination intention. CONCLUSIONS: Four in five adults (86%) who were reluctant or intending to refuse a COVID-19 vaccine in December 2020 had changed their mind in February 2021 and planned to accept, or had already accepted, a vaccine.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 Vaccines , COVID-19 , Adult , Cohort Studies , England , Humans , Intention , Prospective Studies , SARS-CoV-2 , Vaccination , Wales/epidemiology
5.
BMJ Open ; 11(6): e048042, 2021 06 23.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1285085

ABSTRACT

INTRODUCTION: The coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic has caused significant global mortality and impacted lives around the world. Virus Watch aims to provide evidence on which public health approaches are most likely to be effective in reducing transmission and impact of the virus, and will investigate community incidence, symptom profiles and transmission of COVID-19 in relation to population movement and behaviours. METHODS AND ANALYSIS: Virus Watch is a household community cohort study of acute respiratory infections in England and Wales and will run from June 2020 to August 2021. The study aims to recruit 50 000 people, including 12 500 from minority ethnic backgrounds, for an online survey cohort and monthly antibody testing using home fingerprick test kits. Nested within this larger study will be a subcohort of 10 000 individuals, including 3000 people from minority ethnic backgrounds. This cohort of 10 000 people will have full blood serology taken between October 2020 and January 2021 and repeat serology between May 2021 and August 2021. Participants will also post self-administered nasal swabs for PCR assays of SARS-CoV-2 and will follow one of three different PCR testing schedules based on symptoms. ETHICS AND DISSEMINATION: This study has been approved by the Hampstead National Health Service (NHS) Health Research Authority Ethics Committee (ethics approval number 20/HRA/2320). We are monitoring participant queries and using these to refine methodology where necessary, and are providing summaries and policy briefings of our preliminary findings to inform public health action by working through our partnerships with our study advisory group, Public Health England, NHS and government scientific advisory panels.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Guideline Adherence/statistics & numerical data , Patient Acceptance of Health Care/statistics & numerical data , Public Health , COVID-19/epidemiology , England/epidemiology , Humans , Prospective Studies , Risk Factors , State Medicine , Wales/epidemiology
6.
BMJ Open ; 11(5): e048038, 2021 05 03.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1214978

ABSTRACT

INTRODUCTION: Respiratory tract infections (RTIs) are the most common reason for hospital admission among children <5 years in the UK. The relative contribution of ambient air pollution exposure and adverse housing conditions to RTI admissions in young children is unclear and has not been assessed in a UK context. METHODS AND ANALYSIS: The aim of the PICNIC study (Air Pollution, housing and respiratory tract Infections in Children: NatIonal birth Cohort Study) is to quantify the extent to which in-utero, infant and childhood exposures to ambient air pollution and adverse housing conditions are associated with risk of RTI admissions in children <5 years old. We will use national administrative data birth cohorts, including data from all children born in England in 2005-2014 and in Scotland in 1997-2020, created via linkage between civil registration, maternity and hospital admission data sets. We will further enhance these cohorts via linkage to census data on housing conditions and socioeconomic position and small area-level data on ambient air pollution and building characteristics. We will use time-to-event analyses to examine the association between air pollution, housing characteristics and the risk of RTI admissions in children, calculate population attributable fractions for ambient air pollution and housing characteristics, and use causal mediation analyses to explore the mechanisms through which housing and air pollution influence the risk of infant RTI admission. ETHICS, EXPECTED IMPACT AND DISSEMINATION: To date, we have obtained approval from six ethics and information governance committees in England and two in Scotland. Our results will inform parents, national and local governments, the National Health Service and voluntary sector organisations of the relative contribution of adverse housing conditions and air pollution to RTI admissions in young children. We will publish our results in open-access journals and present our results to the public via parent groups and social media and on the PICNIC website. Code and metadata will be published on GitHub.


Subject(s)
Air Pollutants , Air Pollution , Air Pollutants/adverse effects , Air Pollutants/analysis , Air Pollution/adverse effects , Air Pollution/analysis , Child , Child, Preschool , Cohort Studies , England/epidemiology , Female , Housing , Humans , Infant , Pregnancy , Scotland/epidemiology , State Medicine
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