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1.
Epidemiol Infect ; 150: e79, 2022 Mar 21.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1805520

ABSTRACT

Hand hygiene is a simple, low-cost intervention that may lead to substantial population-level effects in suppressing acute respiratory infection epidemics. However, quantification of the efficacy of hand hygiene on respiratory infection in the community is lacking. We searched PubMed for randomised controlled trials on the effect of hand hygiene for reducing acute respiratory infections in the community published before 11 March 2021. We performed a meta-regression analysis using a Bayesian mixed-effects model. A total of 105 publications were identified, out of which six studies reported hand hygiene frequencies. Four studies were performed in household settings and two were in schools. The average number of handwashing events per day ranged from one to eight in the control arms, and four to 17 in the intervention arms. We estimated that a single hand hygiene event is associated with a 3% (80% credible interval (-1% to 7%)) decrease in the daily probability of an acute respiratory infection. Three of these six studies were potentially at high risk of bias because the primary outcome depended on self-reporting of upper respiratory tract symptoms. Well-designed trials with an emphasis on monitoring hand hygiene adherence are needed to confirm these findings.


Subject(s)
Epidemics , Hand Hygiene , Respiratory Tract Infections , Bayes Theorem , Hand Disinfection , Humans , Respiratory Tract Infections/epidemiology , Respiratory Tract Infections/prevention & control
2.
Lancet Infect Dis ; 22(5): e153-e158, 2022 05.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1805378

ABSTRACT

Clinicians have worked feverishly to treat patients with COVID-19 while also carrying out clinical research studies. We discuss how the clinical research community responded to the pandemic in Europe, what lessons were learned, and provide recommendations for future clinical research response during pandemics. We focused on two platform trials: RECOVERY and REMAP-CAP. Both trials were able to enrol patients very rapidly during the beginning of the pandemic because of pre-established structures and procedures, and because they share simple execution and flexibility to adjust when evidence emergences. However, contracting, regulatory hurdles, and competition with (often inadequately designed or underpowered) national trials was a major challenge in several EU countries. We recommend the creation of structures and partnerships that facilitate prioritisation of clinical research, simplification of clinical trial delivery, development of digital models and procedures for data collection and sharing, development of a mechanism to rapidly leverage pandemic funding and to connect EU funding with national funding, and investment in clinical trial networks, platform trials, and master protocols. Finally, the future pandemic clinical research response of the EU should be embedded in the global response. We believe that globally connected clinical trial networks will be essential to respond more effectively to future infectious diseases outbreaks.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Disease Outbreaks , Europe/epidemiology , Humans , Pandemics
3.
EuropePMC; 2022.
Preprint in English | EuropePMC | ID: ppcovidwho-329063

ABSTRACT

Background: We evaluated the use of baricitinib, a Janus kinase (JAK) 1/2 inhibitor, for the treatment of patients admitted to hospital because of COVID-19. Methods: This randomised, controlled, open-label platform trial (Randomised Evaluation of COVID-19 Therapy [RECOVERY]), is assessing multiple possible treatments in patients hospitalised for COVID-19. Eligible and consenting patients were randomly allocated (1:1) to either usual standard of care alone (usual care group) or usual care plus baricitinib 4 mg once daily by mouth for 10 days or until discharge if sooner (baricitinib group). The primary outcome was 28-day mortality assessed in the intention-to-treat population. A meta-analysis was conducted that included the results from the RECOVERY trial and all previous randomised controlled trials of baricitinib or other JAK inhibitor in patients hospitalised with COVID-19. Findings: Between 2 February 2021 and 29 December 2021, 8156 patients were randomly allocated to receive usual care plus baricitinib versus usual care alone. At randomisation, 95% of patients were receiving corticosteroids and 23% receiving tocilizumab (with planned use within the next 24 hours recorded for a further 9%). Overall, 513 (12%) of 4148 patients allocated to baricitinib versus 546 (14%) of 4008 patients allocated to usual care died within 28 days (age-adjusted rate ratio 0.87;95% CI 0.77-0.98;p=0.026). This 13% proportional reduction in mortality was somewhat smaller than that seen in a meta-analysis of 8 previous trials of a JAK inhibitor (involving 3732 patients and 425 deaths) in which allocation to a JAK inhibitor was associated with a 43% proportional reduction in mortality (rate ratio 0.57;95% CI 0.45-0.72). Including the results from RECOVERY into an updated meta-analysis of all 9 completed trials (involving 11,888 randomised patients and 1484 deaths) allocation to baricitinib or other JAK inhibitor was associated with a 20% proportional reduction in mortality (rate ratio 0.80;95% CI 0.71-0.89;p<0.001). In RECOVERY, there was no significant excess in death or infection due to non-COVID-19 causes and no excess of thrombosis, or other safety outcomes. Interpretation: In patients hospitalised for COVID-19, baricitinib significantly reduced the risk of death but the size of benefit was somewhat smaller than that suggested by previous trials. The total randomised evidence to date suggests that JAK inhibitors (chiefly baricitinib) reduce mortality in patients hospitalised for COVID-19 by about one-fifth.

4.
Sci Bull (Beijing) ; 2022 Feb 19.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1692906
5.
EuropePMC; 2021.
Preprint in English | EuropePMC | ID: ppcovidwho-315550

ABSTRACT

Background: Clinical management guidelines (CMGs) can be useful tools to guide clinician’s decision making and enable consistent evidence-based high-quality care. Here, we assessed whether their objective quality has improved over time by considering CMGs for severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS), Middle East respiratory syndrome (MERS) and from different timepoints for coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19). Methods: We performed a rapid literature review, quality assessment and focus group consultation. The Appraisal of Guidelines for Research and Evaluation (AGREE-II) tool was used to evaluate the quality of the CMGs. In total, six COVID-19 treatments were selected to assess the responsiveness of a subset of guidelines and their updates to 20th November 2020. We ran two sessions of focus groups with patient advocates to elicit their views on guideline development. Results: : We included 37 COVID-19, six SARS, and four MERS CMGs. Evidence appraisals in CMGs generally focused on novel drugs rather than basic supportive care;where evidence for the latter was provided it was generally of a low quality. Most CMGs had major methodological flaws and there was no evidence of improvement in quality over time. CMGs scored lowest in the following AGREE-II domains: scope and purpose, editorial independence, stakeholder engagement, and rigour of development. Of the COVID-19 CMGs, only eight included specific guidance for the management of elderly patients and only ten for high-risk groups;a further eight did not specify the target patient group. Early in the pandemic, multiple guidelines recommended unproven treatments and whilst in general findings of major clinical trials were eventually adopted, this was not universally the case. Conclusions: : The quality of most CMGs produced in coronaviridae outbreaks is poor and we have found limited evidence of improvement over time, highlighting that current development frameworks must be improved. PROSPERO registration CRD42020167361 (17/02/2020)

6.
EuropePMC; 2020.
Preprint in English | EuropePMC | ID: ppcovidwho-312520

ABSTRACT

Background: A novel coronavirus emerged in Wuhan, Hubei Province, China towards the end of 2019 (SARS-CoV-2 or COVID-19 virus). Large scale spread within China and internationally led the World Health Organisation to declare a Public Health Emergency of International Concern on 30 th January 2020. The clinical manifestations of COVID-19 virus infection include asymptomatic infection, mild upper respiratory symptoms, severe viral pneumonia with respiratory failure and even death. There are no antivirals of proven clinical efficacy in coronavirus infections. Remdesivir (GS-5734), a nucleoside analogue, has inhibitory effects on animal and human highly pathogenic coronaviruses, including MERS-CoV and SARS-CoV, in in-vitro and in-vivo experiments. It is also inhibitory against the COVID-19 virus in-vitro. The aim of this study is to assess the efficacy and safety of remdesivir in adult patients with severe pneumonia caused by COVID-19 virus infection. Methods: The protocol is prepared in accordance with the SPIRIT (Standard Protocol Items: Recommendations for Interventional Trials) guidelines. This is a phase 3, randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled, multicentre trial. Adults (≥18 years) with laboratory confirmed COVID-19 virus infection, and severe pneumonia signs or symptoms, and radiologically confirmed severe pneumonia are randomly assigned in a 2:1 ratio to intravenous remdesivir or placebo for 10 days. The primary endpoint is time to clinical improvement (censored at Day 28), defined as the time (in days) from randomization of study treatment (remdesivir or placebo) until a decline of two categories on a six-category ordinal scale of clinical status (1 ꞊ discharged;6 ꞊ death) or live discharge from hospital. One interim analysis for efficacy and futility will be conducted once half of the total number of events required had been observed. Discussion: This is the first randomized, placebo-controlled trial in 2019-nCoV. Enrolment began in sites in Wuhan, Hubei Province, China on 6 th February 2020. Trial registration : ClinicalTrials.gov, NCT04257656, 6 th February 2020.

7.
Lancet Infect Dis ; 21(11): 1518-1528, 2021 11.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1636381

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: A more transmissible variant of SARS-CoV-2, the variant of concern 202012/01 or lineage B.1.1.7, has emerged in the UK. We aimed to estimate the risk of critical care admission, mortality in patients who are critically ill, and overall mortality associated with lineage B.1.1.7 compared with non-B.1.1.7. We also compared clinical outcomes between these two groups. METHODS: For this observational cohort study, we linked large primary care (QResearch), national critical care (Intensive Care National Audit & Research Centre Case Mix Programme), and national COVID-19 testing (Public Health England) databases. We used SARS-CoV-2 positive samples with S-gene molecular diagnostic assay failure (SGTF) as a proxy for the presence of lineage B.1.1.7. We extracted two cohorts from the data: the primary care cohort, comprising patients in primary care with a positive community COVID-19 test reported between Nov 1, 2020, and Jan 26, 2021, and known SGTF status; and the critical care cohort, comprising patients admitted for critical care with a positive community COVID-19 test reported between Nov 1, 2020, and Jan 27, 2021, and known SGTF status. We explored the associations between SARS-CoV-2 infection with and without lineage B.1.1.7 and admission to a critical care unit (CCU), 28-day mortality, and 28-day mortality following CCU admission. We used Royston-Parmar models adjusted for age, sex, geographical region, other sociodemographic factors (deprivation index, ethnicity, household housing category, and smoking status for the primary care cohort; and ethnicity, body-mass index, deprivation index, and dependency before admission to acute hospital for the CCU cohort), and comorbidities (asthma, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, type 1 and 2 diabetes, and hypertension for the primary care cohort; and cardiovascular disease, respiratory disease, metastatic disease, and immunocompromised conditions for the CCU cohort). We reported information on types and duration of organ support for the B.1.1.7 and non-B.1.1.7 groups. FINDINGS: The primary care cohort included 198 420 patients with SARS-CoV-2 infection. Of these, 117 926 (59·4%) had lineage B.1.1.7, 836 (0·4%) were admitted to CCU, and 899 (0·4%) died within 28 days. The critical care cohort included 4272 patients admitted to CCU. Of these, 2685 (62·8%) had lineage B.1.1.7 and 662 (15·5%) died at the end of critical care. In the primary care cohort, we estimated adjusted hazard ratios (HRs) of 2·15 (95% CI 1·75-2·65) for CCU admission and 1·65 (1·36-2·01) for 28-day mortality for patients with lineage B.1.1.7 compared with the non-B.1.1.7 group. The adjusted HR for mortality in critical care, estimated with the critical care cohort, was 0·91 (0·76-1·09) for patients with lineage B.1.1.7 compared with those with non-B.1.1.7 infection. INTERPRETATION: Patients with lineage B.1.1.7 were at increased risk of CCU admission and 28-day mortality compared with patients with non-B.1.1.7 SARS-CoV-2. For patients receiving critical care, mortality appeared to be independent of virus strain. Our findings emphasise the importance of measures to control exposure to and infection with COVID-19. FUNDING: Wellcome Trust, National Institute for Health Research Oxford Biomedical Research Centre, and the Medical Sciences Division of the University of Oxford.


Subject(s)
COVID-19/mortality , Critical Care/statistics & numerical data , Intensive Care Units/statistics & numerical data , SARS-CoV-2/isolation & purification , Adolescent , Adult , Aged , Aged, 80 and over , COVID-19/diagnosis , COVID-19/therapy , COVID-19/virology , COVID-19 Nucleic Acid Testing/statistics & numerical data , England/epidemiology , Female , Hospital Mortality , Humans , Male , Middle Aged , Risk Assessment/statistics & numerical data , Risk Factors , SARS-CoV-2/genetics , SARS-CoV-2/pathogenicity , Severity of Illness Index , Young Adult
8.
J Ment Health ; : 1-10, 2022 Jan 04.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1604963

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: The coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic has seen a global surge in anxiety, depression, post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), and stress. AIMS: This study aimed to describe the perspectives of patients with COVID-19, their family, health professionals, and the general public on the impact of COVID-19 on mental health. METHODS: A secondary thematic analysis was conducted using data from the COVID-19 COS project. We extracted data on the perceived causes and impact of COVID-19 on mental health from an international survey and seven online consensus workshops. RESULTS: We identified four themes (with subthemes in parenthesis): anxiety amidst uncertainty (always on high alert, ebb and flow of recovery); anguish of a threatened future (intense frustration of a changed normality, facing loss of livelihood, trauma of ventilation, a troubling prognosis, confronting death); bearing responsibility for transmission (fear of spreading COVID-19 in public; overwhelming guilt of infecting a loved one); and suffering in isolation (severe solitude of quarantine, sick and alone, separation exacerbating grief). CONCLUSION: We found that the unpredictability of COVID-19, the fear of long-term health consequences, burden of guilt, and suffering in isolation profoundly impacted mental health. Clinical and public health interventions are needed to manage the psychological consequences arising from this pandemic.

9.
EuropePMC; 2021.
Preprint in English | EuropePMC | ID: ppcovidwho-294512

ABSTRACT

Hospital-based transmission played a dominant role in MERS-CoV and SARS-CoV epidemics but large-scale studies of its role in the SARS-CoV-2 pandemic are lacking. Such transmission risks spreading the virus to the most vulnerable individuals and can have wider-scale impacts through hospital-community interactions. Using data from acute hospitals in England we quantify within-hospital transmission, evaluate likely pathways of spread and factors associated with heightened transmission risk, and explore the wider dynamical consequences. We show that hospital transmission is likely to have been a major contributor to the burden of COVID-19 in England. We estimate that between June 2020 and March 2021 between 95,000 and 167,000 patients acquired SARS-CoV-2 in hospitals with nosocomially-infected patients likely to have been the main sources of transmission to other patients. Increased transmission to patients was associated with hospitals having fewer single rooms and lower heated volume per bed. Moreover, we show that reducing hospital transmission could substantially enhance the efficiency of punctuated lockdown measures in suppressing community transmission. These findings reveal the previously unrecognised scale of hospital transmission, have direct implications for targeting of hospital control measures, and highlight the need to design hospitals better-equipped to limit the transmission of future high consequence pathogens.

10.
EuropePMC; 2021.
Preprint in English | EuropePMC | ID: ppcovidwho-293262

ABSTRACT

Hospital-based transmission played a dominant role in MERS-CoV and SARS-CoV epidemics but large-scale studies of its role in the SARS-CoV-2 pandemic are lacking. Such transmission risks spreading the virus to the most vulnerable individuals and can have wider-scale impacts through hospital-community interactions. Using data from acute hospitals in England we quantify within-hospital transmission, evaluate likely pathways of spread and factors associated with heightened transmission risk, and explore the wider dynamical consequences. We show that hospital transmission is likely to have been a major contributor to the burden of COVID-19 in England. We estimate that between June 2020 and March 2021 between 95,000 and 167,000 patients acquired SARS-CoV-2 in hospitals with nosocomially-infected patients likely to have been the main sources of transmission to other patients. Increased transmission to patients was associated with hospitals having fewer single rooms and lower heated volume per bed. Moreover, we show that reducing hospital transmission could substantially enhance the efficiency of punctuated lockdown measures in suppressing community transmission. These findings reveal the previously unrecognised scale of hospital transmission, have direct implications for targeting of hospital control measures, and highlight the need to design hospitals better-equipped to limit the transmission of future high consequence pathogens.

11.
Elife ; 102021 11 23.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1529015

ABSTRACT

Background: There is potentially considerable variation in the nature and duration of the care provided to hospitalised patients during an infectious disease epidemic or pandemic. Improvements in care and clinician confidence may shorten the time spent as an inpatient, or the need for admission to an intensive care unit (ICU) or high dependency unit (HDU). On the other hand, limited resources at times of high demand may lead to rationing. Nevertheless, these variables may be used as static proxies for disease severity, as outcome measures for trials, and to inform planning and logistics. Methods: We investigate these time trends in an extremely large international cohort of 142,540 patients hospitalised with COVID-19. Investigated are: time from symptom onset to hospital admission, probability of ICU/HDU admission, time from hospital admission to ICU/HDU admission, hospital case fatality ratio (hCFR) and total length of hospital stay. Results: Time from onset to admission showed a rapid decline during the first months of the pandemic followed by peaks during August/September and December 2020. ICU/HDU admission was more frequent from June to August. The hCFR was lowest from June to August. Raw numbers for overall hospital stay showed little variation, but there is clear decline in time to discharge for ICU/HDU survivors. Conclusions: Our results establish that variables of these kinds have limitations when used as outcome measures in a rapidly evolving situation. Funding: This work was supported by the UK Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office and Wellcome [215091/Z/18/Z] and the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation [OPP1209135]. The funders had no role in study design, data collection and analysis, decision to publish, or preparation of the manuscript.


Subject(s)
Hospitalization/statistics & numerical data , Outcome Assessment, Health Care/statistics & numerical data , SARS-CoV-2/pathogenicity , Adolescent , Adult , Aged , Aged, 80 and over , COVID-19/therapy , Child , Child, Preschool , Female , Humans , Infant , Intensive Care Units/statistics & numerical data , Length of Stay/statistics & numerical data , Male , Middle Aged , Retrospective Studies , Young Adult
12.
Thorax ; 2021 Nov 22.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1528562

ABSTRACT

PURPOSE: To prospectively validate two risk scores to predict mortality (4C Mortality) and in-hospital deterioration (4C Deterioration) among adults hospitalised with COVID-19. METHODS: Prospective observational cohort study of adults (age ≥18 years) with confirmed or highly suspected COVID-19 recruited into the International Severe Acute Respiratory and emerging Infections Consortium (ISARIC) WHO Clinical Characterisation Protocol UK (CCP-UK) study in 306 hospitals across England, Scotland and Wales. Patients were recruited between 27 August 2020 and 17 February 2021, with at least 4 weeks follow-up before final data extraction. The main outcome measures were discrimination and calibration of models for in-hospital deterioration (defined as any requirement of ventilatory support or critical care, or death) and mortality, incorporating predefined subgroups. RESULTS: 76 588 participants were included, of whom 27 352 (37.4%) deteriorated and 12 581 (17.4%) died. Both the 4C Mortality (0.78 (0.77 to 0.78)) and 4C Deterioration scores (pooled C-statistic 0.76 (95% CI 0.75 to 0.77)) demonstrated consistent discrimination across all nine National Health Service regions, with similar performance metrics to the original validation cohorts. Calibration remained stable (4C Mortality: pooled slope 1.09, pooled calibration-in-the-large 0.12; 4C Deterioration: 1.00, -0.04), with no need for temporal recalibration during the second UK pandemic wave of hospital admissions. CONCLUSION: Both 4C risk stratification models demonstrate consistent performance to predict clinical deterioration and mortality in a large prospective second wave validation cohort of UK patients. Despite recent advances in the treatment and management of adults hospitalised with COVID-19, both scores can continue to inform clinical decision making. TRIAL REGISTRATION NUMBER: ISRCTN66726260.

13.
JAMA ; 326(6): 499-518, 2021 08 10.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1413703

ABSTRACT

Importance: Clinical trials assessing the efficacy of IL-6 antagonists in patients hospitalized for COVID-19 have variously reported benefit, no effect, and harm. Objective: To estimate the association between administration of IL-6 antagonists compared with usual care or placebo and 28-day all-cause mortality and other outcomes. Data Sources: Trials were identified through systematic searches of electronic databases between October 2020 and January 2021. Searches were not restricted by trial status or language. Additional trials were identified through contact with experts. Study Selection: Eligible trials randomly assigned patients hospitalized for COVID-19 to a group in whom IL-6 antagonists were administered and to a group in whom neither IL-6 antagonists nor any other immunomodulators except corticosteroids were administered. Among 72 potentially eligible trials, 27 (37.5%) met study selection criteria. Data Extraction and Synthesis: In this prospective meta-analysis, risk of bias was assessed using the Cochrane Risk of Bias Assessment Tool. Inconsistency among trial results was assessed using the I2 statistic. The primary analysis was an inverse variance-weighted fixed-effects meta-analysis of odds ratios (ORs) for 28-day all-cause mortality. Main Outcomes and Measures: The primary outcome measure was all-cause mortality at 28 days after randomization. There were 9 secondary outcomes including progression to invasive mechanical ventilation or death and risk of secondary infection by 28 days. Results: A total of 10 930 patients (median age, 61 years [range of medians, 52-68 years]; 3560 [33%] were women) participating in 27 trials were included. By 28 days, there were 1407 deaths among 6449 patients randomized to IL-6 antagonists and 1158 deaths among 4481 patients randomized to usual care or placebo (summary OR, 0.86 [95% CI, 0.79-0.95]; P = .003 based on a fixed-effects meta-analysis). This corresponds to an absolute mortality risk of 22% for IL-6 antagonists compared with an assumed mortality risk of 25% for usual care or placebo. The corresponding summary ORs were 0.83 (95% CI, 0.74-0.92; P < .001) for tocilizumab and 1.08 (95% CI, 0.86-1.36; P = .52) for sarilumab. The summary ORs for the association with mortality compared with usual care or placebo in those receiving corticosteroids were 0.77 (95% CI, 0.68-0.87) for tocilizumab and 0.92 (95% CI, 0.61-1.38) for sarilumab. The ORs for the association with progression to invasive mechanical ventilation or death, compared with usual care or placebo, were 0.77 (95% CI, 0.70-0.85) for all IL-6 antagonists, 0.74 (95% CI, 0.66-0.82) for tocilizumab, and 1.00 (95% CI, 0.74-1.34) for sarilumab. Secondary infections by 28 days occurred in 21.9% of patients treated with IL-6 antagonists vs 17.6% of patients treated with usual care or placebo (OR accounting for trial sample sizes, 0.99; 95% CI, 0.85-1.16). Conclusions and Relevance: In this prospective meta-analysis of clinical trials of patients hospitalized for COVID-19, administration of IL-6 antagonists, compared with usual care or placebo, was associated with lower 28-day all-cause mortality. Trial Registration: PROSPERO Identifier: CRD42021230155.


Subject(s)
Antibodies, Monoclonal, Humanized/therapeutic use , COVID-19/drug therapy , Interleukin-6/antagonists & inhibitors , Aged , COVID-19/complications , COVID-19/mortality , COVID-19/therapy , Cause of Death , Coinfection , Disease Progression , Drug Therapy, Combination , Female , Glucocorticoids/therapeutic use , Hospitalization , Humans , Male , Middle Aged , Prospective Studies , Randomized Controlled Trials as Topic , Respiration, Artificial
14.
Clin Exp Allergy ; 51(9): 1107-1120, 2021 09.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1398367

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: The long-term sequalae of COVID-19 remain poorly characterized. We assessed persistent symptoms in previously hospitalized patients with COVID-19 and assessed potential risk factors. METHODS: Data were collected from patients discharged from 4 hospitals in Moscow, Russia between 8 April and 10 July 2020. Participants were interviewed via telephone using an ISARIC Long-term Follow-up Study questionnaire. RESULTS: 2,649 of 4755 (56%) discharged patients were successfully evaluated, at median 218 (IQR 200, 236) days post-discharge. COVID-19 diagnosis was clinical in 1291 and molecular in 1358. Most cases were mild, but 902 (34%) required supplemental oxygen and 68 (2.6%) needed ventilatory support. Median age was 56 years (IQR 46, 66) and 1,353 (51.1%) were women. Persistent symptoms were reported by 1247 (47.1%) participants, with fatigue (21.2%), shortness of breath (14.5%) and forgetfulness (9.1%) the most common symptoms and chronic fatigue (25%) and respiratory (17.2%) the most common symptom categories. Female sex was associated with any persistent symptom category OR 1.83 (95% CI 1.55 to 2.17) with association being strongest for dermatological (3.26, 2.36 to 4.57) symptoms. Asthma and chronic pulmonary disease were not associated with persistent symptoms overall, but asthma was associated with neurological (1.95, 1.25 to 2.98) and mood and behavioural changes (2.02, 1.24 to 3.18), and chronic pulmonary disease was associated with chronic fatigue (1.68, 1.21 to 2.32). CONCLUSIONS: Almost half of adults admitted to hospital due to COVID-19 reported persistent symptoms 6 to 8 months after discharge. Fatigue and respiratory symptoms were most common, and female sex was associated with persistent symptoms.


Subject(s)
Aftercare , COVID-19 Testing , COVID-19/drug therapy , COVID-19/epidemiology , Hospitalization , SARS-CoV-2 , Surveys and Questionnaires , Adolescent , Adult , Aged , Aged, 80 and over , Female , Follow-Up Studies , Humans , Incidence , Male , Middle Aged , Risk Factors , Russia/epidemiology
15.
BMC Med Ethics ; 22(1): 106, 2021 07 28.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1331940

ABSTRACT

Over recent years, the research community has been increasingly using preprint servers to share manuscripts that are not yet peer-reviewed. Even if it enables quick dissemination of research findings, this practice raises several challenges in publication ethics and integrity. In particular, preprints have become an important source of information for stakeholders interested in COVID19 research developments, including traditional media, social media, and policy makers. Despite caveats about their nature, many users can still confuse pre-prints with peer-reviewed manuscripts. If unconfirmed but already widely shared first-draft results later prove wrong or misinterpreted, it can be very difficult to "unlearn" what we thought was true. Complexity further increases if unconfirmed findings have been used to inform guidelines. To help achieve a balance between early access to research findings and its negative consequences, we formulated five recommendations: (a) consensus should be sought on a term clearer than 'pre-print', such as 'Unrefereed manuscript', "Manuscript awaiting peer review" or ''Non-reviewed manuscript"; (b) Caveats about unrefereed manuscripts should be prominent on their first page, and each page should include a red watermark stating 'Caution-Not Peer Reviewed'; (c) pre-print authors should certify that their manuscript will be submitted to a peer-review journal, and should regularly update the manuscript status; (d) high level consultations should be convened, to formulate clear principles and policies for the publication and dissemination of non-peer reviewed research results; (e) in the longer term, an international initiative to certify servers that comply with good practices could be envisaged.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Social Media , Humans , Peer Review, Research , SARS-CoV-2
17.
Future Healthc J ; 8(2): e243-e250, 2021 Jul.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1319843

ABSTRACT

When COVID-19 hit the UK in early 2020, there were no known treatments for a condition that results in the death of around one in four patients hospitalised with this disease. Around the world, possible treatments were administered to huge numbers of patients, without any reliable assessments of safety and efficacy. The rapid generation of high-quality evidence was vital. RECOVERY is a streamlined, pragmatic, randomised controlled trial, which was set up in response to this challenge. As of April 2021, over 39,000 patients have been enrolled from 178 hospital sites in the UK. Within 100 days of its initiation, RECOVERY demonstrated that dexamethasone improves survival for patients with severe disease; a result that was rapidly implemented in the UK and internationally saving hundreds of thousands of lives. Importantly, it also showed that other widely used treatments (such as hydroxychloroquine and azithromycin) have no meaningful benefit for hospitalised patients. This was only possible through randomisation of large numbers of patients and the adoption of streamlined and pragmatic procedures focused on quality, together with widespread collaboration focused on a single goal. RECOVERY illustrates how clinical trials and healthcare can be integrated, even in a pandemic. This approach provides new opportunities to generate the evidence needed for high-quality healthcare not only for a pandemic but for the many other conditions that place a burden on patients and the healthcare system.

18.
Trials ; 22(1): 370, 2021 May 29.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1247591

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: Chemoprophylactics against emerging epidemic and pandemic infectious diseases offer potential for prevention but require efficacy and safety analysis before widespread use can be recommended. Chemoprophylaxis with repurposed drugs enables deployment ahead of development of novel vaccines. It may have particular utility as a stopgap ahead of vaccine deployment or when vaccines become less effective on virus variants, in countries where there may be structural inaccessibility to vaccines or in specific risk-groups. Rapid implementation of robust trial designs is a persistent challenge in epidemics. We systematically reviewed SARS-CoV-2 and COVID-19 chemoprophylaxis trial registrations from the first 21 weeks of the pandemic to critically appraise significant design features and alignment of study populations to clinical and public health uses, and describe candidate chemoprophylactic agents. METHODS: We searched online international trial databases from 31 Dec 2019 to 26 May 2020 using keywords "proph*" or "prevention". Trial protocols assessing efficacy of chemoprophylactic agents for COVID-19 were included. Trial components were screened for eligibility and relevant studies extracted. Key trial design features were assessed. RESULTS: We found 76 chemoprophylaxis study registrations, proposing enrolment of 208,367 people with median size of 490 (IQR 262-1710). A randomised design was specified for 63 trials, 61 included a control group and total proposed enrolment size was 197,010, median 600 (IQR 236-1834). Four protocols provided information on effect size sought. We estimate that for a control group attack rate of 10%, 66% of trials would be underpowered to detect a 50% effect size, and 97% of trials would be underpowered to detect a 30% effect size (at the 80% level). We found evidence of adaptive design in one trial registration only. Laboratory-confirmed infection with or without symptoms was the most common primary outcome. Polymerase chain reaction testing alone was used in 46% of trials, serological testing in 6.6% and 14.5% used both testing methods. Healthcare workers were the target population in 52/79 (65.8%) trials: 49 pre-exposure prophylaxis (PrEP) and 3 post-exposure prophylaxis (PEP). Sixteen trials (20.3%) planned PEP in close contacts. Five studies (6.3%) considered chemoprophylaxis in clinical-risk patients. Older adults were the focus of recruitment in only 3 (3.8%) studies (all long-term care facilities). Two (2.5%) studies of PrEP in the general population included older adults. Hydroxychloroquine was the most common candidate agent in 55/79 trials (69.6%), followed by chloroquine (4/79, 5.0%) and lopinavir/ritonavir (3/79, 3.8%). CONCLUSION: Many registered COVID-19 chemoprophylaxis efficacy trials were underpowered to detect clinically meaningful protection at epidemiologically informed attack rates. This, compounded with the time that has taken to organise these trials as compared to the rapid development of COVID-19 vaccines, has rendered these trials of marginal importance. International coordination mechanisms and collaboration is required. Supporting the design of feasible chemoprophylaxis trials, large enough to generate strong evidence, early on in an epidemic using adaptive platform trial designs will allow structured entry and exit of candidate agents and rapid stand-up of trial infrastructure. REVIEW PROTOCOL REGISTRATION: Our protocol is registered at https://www.osf.io/vp56f on May 20, 2020.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Aged , Antiviral Agents/adverse effects , COVID-19 Vaccines , Chemoprevention , Humans , Pandemics , SARS-CoV-2 , Treatment Outcome
19.
PLoS One ; 16(5): e0251250, 2021.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1232461

ABSTRACT

OBJECTIVES: Clinical characterisation studies have been essential in helping inform research, diagnosis and clinical management efforts, particularly early in a pandemic. This systematic review summarises the early literature on clinical characteristics of patients admitted to hospital, and evaluates the quality of evidence produced during the initial stages of the pandemic. METHODS: MEDLINE, EMBASE and Global Health databases were searched for studies published from January 1st 2020 to April 28th 2020. Studies which reported on at least 100 hospitalised patients with Covid-19 of any age were included. Data on clinical characteristics were independently extracted by two review authors. Study design specific critical appraisal tools were used to evaluate included studies: the Newcastle Ottawa scale for cohort and cross sectional studies, Joanna Briggs Institute checklist for case series and the Cochrane collaboration tool for assessing risk of bias in randomised trials. RESULTS: The search yielded 78 studies presenting data on 77,443 people. Most studies (82%) were conducted in China. No studies included patients from low- and middle-income countries. The overall quality of included studies was low to moderate, and the majority of studies did not include a control group. Fever and cough were the most commonly reported symptoms early in the pandemic. Laboratory and imaging findings were diverse with lymphocytopenia and ground glass opacities the most common findings respectively. Clinical data in children and vulnerable populations were limited. CONCLUSIONS: The early Covid-19 literature had moderate to high risk of bias and presented several methodological issues. Early clinical characterisation studies should aim to include different at-risk populations, including patients in non-hospital settings. Pandemic preparedness requires collection tools to ensure observational studies are methodologically robust and will help produce high-quality data early on in the pandemic to guide clinical practice and public health policy. REVIEW REGISTRATION: Available at https://osf.io/mpafn.


Subject(s)
COVID-19/pathology , C-Reactive Protein/analysis , COVID-19/complications , COVID-19/epidemiology , COVID-19/virology , Cough/epidemiology , Cough/etiology , Databases, Factual , Fever/epidemiology , Fever/etiology , Headache/epidemiology , Headache/etiology , Humans , Lymphopenia/etiology , Pandemics , SARS-CoV-2/isolation & purification
20.
Lancet Respir Med ; 9(4): 349-359, 2021 04.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1180127

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: Prognostic models to predict the risk of clinical deterioration in acute COVID-19 cases are urgently required to inform clinical management decisions. METHODS: We developed and validated a multivariable logistic regression model for in-hospital clinical deterioration (defined as any requirement of ventilatory support or critical care, or death) among consecutively hospitalised adults with highly suspected or confirmed COVID-19 who were prospectively recruited to the International Severe Acute Respiratory and Emerging Infections Consortium Coronavirus Clinical Characterisation Consortium (ISARIC4C) study across 260 hospitals in England, Scotland, and Wales. Candidate predictors that were specified a priori were considered for inclusion in the model on the basis of previous prognostic scores and emerging literature describing routinely measured biomarkers associated with COVID-19 prognosis. We used internal-external cross-validation to evaluate discrimination, calibration, and clinical utility across eight National Health Service (NHS) regions in the development cohort. We further validated the final model in held-out data from an additional NHS region (London). FINDINGS: 74 944 participants (recruited between Feb 6 and Aug 26, 2020) were included, of whom 31 924 (43·2%) of 73 948 with available outcomes met the composite clinical deterioration outcome. In internal-external cross-validation in the development cohort of 66 705 participants, the selected model (comprising 11 predictors routinely measured at the point of hospital admission) showed consistent discrimination, calibration, and clinical utility across all eight NHS regions. In held-out data from London (n=8239), the model showed a similarly consistent performance (C-statistic 0·77 [95% CI 0·76 to 0·78]; calibration-in-the-large 0·00 [-0·05 to 0·05]); calibration slope 0·96 [0·91 to 1·01]), and greater net benefit than any other reproducible prognostic model. INTERPRETATION: The 4C Deterioration model has strong potential for clinical utility and generalisability to predict clinical deterioration and inform decision making among adults hospitalised with COVID-19. FUNDING: National Institute for Health Research (NIHR), UK Medical Research Council, Wellcome Trust, Department for International Development, Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, EU Platform for European Preparedness Against (Re-)emerging Epidemics, NIHR Health Protection Research Unit (HPRU) in Emerging and Zoonotic Infections at University of Liverpool, NIHR HPRU in Respiratory Infections at Imperial College London.


Subject(s)
COVID-19/diagnosis , Clinical Decision Rules , Clinical Decision-Making/methods , Clinical Deterioration , Aged , Aged, 80 and over , COVID-19/mortality , COVID-19/therapy , Critical Care/statistics & numerical data , Female , Hospital Mortality , Humans , Intensive Care Units/statistics & numerical data , Logistic Models , Male , Middle Aged , Patient Admission/statistics & numerical data , Prognosis , Prospective Studies , Reproducibility of Results , Respiration, Artificial/statistics & numerical data , SARS-CoV-2/isolation & purification , Severity of Illness Index , United Kingdom/epidemiology
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