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1.
Gut ; 72(Suppl 1):A218-A219, 2023.
Article in English | ProQuest Central | ID: covidwho-20236992

ABSTRACT

BackgroundThe COVID-19 pandemic has led to changes in dietary and lifestyle habits among children and adolescents. This study investigated the prevalence and factors associated with unhealthy dietary habits among 1,475 primary and secondary school students from 2021 to 2022.MethodsA cross-sectional study was conducted in randomly selected primary and secondary schools participating in a project promoting online health education and promotion named GoSmart using self-administered questionnaires. Logistic regression analyses were conducted to investigate the demographic and lifestyle habits associated with various unhealthy dietary habits. This study was approved by Survey and Behavioural Research Ethics (SBRE) [Reference No.: SBRE-21-0052] and funded by Quality Education Fund (QEF#2019/0883).ResultsThe prevalence of inadequate consumption of vegetables and fruits was high among both primary (81.5%) and secondary school students (89.5%) and associated with physical inactivity in both primary (aOR=3.35, 95%CI: 1.41-7.97, p=0.006) and secondary students (aOR=4.30, 95%CI: 1.51-12.25, p=0.006). A substantial prevalence of breakfast skipping was observed among primary students (22.9%) who spent two or more hours on video games or social media (aORs=1.84-2.27);and among secondary students (23.7%) who consumed two or more hours on social media, alcohol consumption, and consumption of unhealthy food (aORs=1.42-2.79). Consumption of unhealthy food was reported by 43.9% and 48.2% for primary and secondary students respectively, with primary and secondary students who spent two or more hours on video games or social media (aORs=1.62-2.27) and secondary students who perceived themselves as underweight (aOR=1.79, 95%CI: 1.13-2.83, p=0.012) having a higher frequency of consumption.ConclusionsThere was a high prevalence of unhealthy dietary habits among schoolchildren in Hong Kong. Alarming results were observed with physical inactivity being associated with a higher risk of unhealthy dietary habits among primary and secondary students, which may increase the risk of obesity. Moreover, the apparent interrelationship between unhealthy habits highlights the need for a comprehensive approach to promoting healthy habits through education in this population.

2.
Nutrients ; 15(8)2023 Apr 20.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-2305790

ABSTRACT

Gut microbiota is believed to be a major determinant of health outcomes. We hypothesised that a novel oral microbiome formula (SIM01) can reduce the risk of adverse health outcomes in at-risk subjects during the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic. In this single-centre, double-blind, randomised, placebo-controlled trial, we recruited subjects aged ≥65 years or with type two diabetes mellitus. Eligible subjects were randomised in a 1:1 ratio to receive three months of SIM01 or placebo (vitamin C) within one week of the first COVID-19 vaccine dose. Both the researchers and participants were blinded to the groups allocated. The rate of adverse health outcomes was significantly lower in the SIM01 group than the placebo at one month (6 [2.9%] vs. 25 [12.6], p < 0.001) and three months (0 vs. 5 [3.1%], p = 0.025). At three months, more subjects who received SIM01 than the placebo reported better sleep quality (53 [41.4%] vs. 22 [19.3%], p < 0.001), improved skin condition (18 [14.1%] vs. 8 [7.0%], p = 0.043), and better mood (27 [21.2%] vs. 13 [11.4%], p = 0.043). Subjects who received SIM01 showed a significant increase in beneficial Bifidobacteria and butyrate-producing bacteria in faecal samples and strengthened the microbial ecology network. SIM01 reduced adverse health outcomes and restored gut dysbiosis in elderly and diabetes patients during the COVID-19 pandemic.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Diabetes Mellitus , Gastrointestinal Microbiome , Aged , Humans , Pandemics/prevention & control , COVID-19 Vaccines , Outcome Assessment, Health Care , Double-Blind Method
3.
Vaccines (Basel) ; 11(3)2023 Feb 24.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-2296684

ABSTRACT

Childhood vaccination is crucial to protect young children from harmful infectious diseases. This study aimed to investigate the recent childhood immunization rate of recommended and additional vaccinations and identify the factors affecting the vaccination uptake of young children in Hong Kong. The self-administrated questionnaires were distributed to parents of toddlers aged 2 to 5. They were asked to provide information on (1) socioeconomic demographic factors; (2) experiences during pregnancy; and (3) the medical history of the toddler. A total of 1799 responses were collected. Children were more likely to be fully vaccinated when they were at a younger age (aOR = 0.61, 95% CI: 0.48-0.78, p < 0.001), the first child in the family (aOR second-born = 0.62, 95% CI: 0.48-0.81, p < 0.001; aOR third-born = 0.33, 95% CI: 0.19-0.55, p < 0.001), had a higher household income (aOR HKD 15,000-HKD 29,999 = 1.80, 95% CI: 1.27-2.55, p = 0.001; aOR ≥ HKD 30,000 = 3.42, 95% CI: 2.39-4.90, p < 0.001; compared with

4.
PLoS One ; 18(4): e0284283, 2023.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-2296683

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: The coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic has resulted in changes in lifestyle habits and experiences of mental health outcomes, some of which were possibly related to weight gain, leading to an increase in the prevalence of obesity, which is associated with the development of several severe diseases. Concerns regarding weight gain and its impact on health outcomes are prevalent worldwide, with obesity being one of the highest causes of mortality in current society. METHODS: A self-reported questionnaire collected data from participants aged 18 years of age and above from 26 countries and regions worldwide. Post-hoc multiple logistic regression analyses have been done to evaluate the association between demographic and socioeconomic factors, and the perspectives that were identified to be associated with weight gain. RESULTS: Participants belonging to a younger age group; with a higher level of education; living in an urban area; living with family members; employed full-time; and had obesity were found to be more vulnerable to weight gain. After adjusting for socio-demographic factors, participants who were quarantined; exercised less prior to the pandemic; consumed unhealthy foods; and reported negative thoughts such as helplessness and the perceived risk of COVID-19, were more likely to experience weight gain; while negative thoughts such as having no means of control over the COVID-19 pandemic and the consequences of the COVID-19 pandemic will have great personal effect were associated with females, students, and people living in the rural area. CONCLUSIONS: Weight gain risk during the pandemic was significantly associated with certain socio-demographic and COVID-19 related factors. To improve public health outcomes, future research should conduct a longitudinal evaluation on the effects of COVID-19 experiences upon health choices. Streamlined mental support should also be provided to the vulnerable groups which were prone to negative thoughts that were associated with weight gain.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Female , Humans , Adolescent , COVID-19/epidemiology , Pandemics , SARS-CoV-2 , Weight Gain , Obesity/epidemiology
5.
JMIR Public Health Surveill ; 9: e42315, 2023 03 07.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-2286920

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: Long COVID induces a substantial global burden of disease. The pathogenesis, complications, and epidemiological and clinical characteristics of patients with COVID-19 in the acute phase have been evaluated, while few studies have characterized the epidemiology, symptomatology, and risk factors of long COVID symptoms. Its characteristics among patients with COVID-19 in the general population remain unaddressed. OBJECTIVE: We examined the prevalence of long COVID symptoms, its symptom patterns, and its risk factors in 4 major Chinese cities in order to fill the knowledge gap. METHODS: We performed a population-based, multicenter survey using a representative sampling strategy via the Qualtrics platform in Beijing, Shanghai, Guangzhou, and Hong Kong in June 2022. We included 2712 community-dwelling patients with COVID-19 and measured the prevalence of long COVID symptoms defined by the World Health Organization (WHO), and their risk factors. The primary outcomes were the symptoms of long COVID, with various levels of impact. A descriptive analysis of the prevalence and distribution of long COVID symptoms according to disease severity was conducted. A sensitivity analysis of increasing the number of long COVID symptoms was also conducted. Univariate and multivariate regression analyses were performed to examine the risk factors of severe long COVID symptoms, including age, gender, marital status, current occupation, educational level, living status, smoking habits, monthly household income, self-perceived health status, the presence of chronic diseases, the use of chronic medication, COVID-19 vaccination status, and the severity of COVID-19. RESULTS: The response rate was 63.6% (n=2712). The prevalence of long COVID, moderate or severe long COVID, and severe long COVID was 90.4% (n=2452), 62.4% (n=1692), and 31.0% (n=841), respectively. Fatigue (n=914, 33.7%), cough (n=865, 31.9%), sore throat (n=841, 31.0%), difficulty in concentrating (n=828, 30.5%), feeling of anxiety (n=817, 30.2%), myalgia (n=811, 29.9%), and arthralgia (n=811, 29.9%) were the most common severe long COVID symptoms. From multivariate regression analysis, female gender (adjusted odds ratio [aOR]=1.49, 95% CI 1.13-1.95); engagement in transportation, logistics, or the discipline workforce (aOR=2.52, 95% CI 1.58-4.03); living with domestic workers (aOR=2.37, 95% CI 1.39-4.03); smoking (aOR=1.55, 95% CI 1.17-2.05); poor or very poor self-perceived health status (aOR=15.4, 95% CI 7.88-30.00); ≥3 chronic diseases (aOR=2.71, 95% CI 1.54-4.79); chronic medication use (aOR=4.38, 95% CI 1.66-11.53); and critical severity of COVID-19 (aOR=1.52, 95% CI 1.07-2.15) were associated with severe long COVID. Prior vaccination with ≥2 doses of COVID-19 vaccines was a protective factor (aOR=0.35-0.22, 95% CI 0.08-0.90). CONCLUSIONS: We examined the prevalence of long COVID symptoms in 4 Chinese cities according to the severity of COVID-19. We also evaluated the pattern of long COVID symptoms and their risk factors. These findings may inform early identification of patients with COVID-19 at risk of long COVID and planning of rehabilitative services.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Humans , Female , COVID-19/epidemiology , Post-Acute COVID-19 Syndrome , COVID-19 Vaccines , China/epidemiology , Risk Factors
6.
IEEE Trans Pattern Anal Mach Intell ; PP2022 Apr 26.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-2246829

ABSTRACT

In this paper, we contribute a new million-scale recognition benchmark, containing uncurated 4M identities/260M faces (WebFace260M) and cleaned 2M identities/42M faces (WebFace42M) training data, as well as an elaborately designed time-constrained evaluation protocol. Firstly, we collect 4M name lists and download 260M faces from the Internet. Then, a Cleaning Automatically utilizing Self-Training pipeline is devised to purify the tremendous WebFace260M, which is efficient and scalable. To our best knowledge, the cleaned WebFace42M is the largest public face recognition training set in the community. Referring to practical deployments, Face Recognition under Inference Time conStraint (FRUITS) protocol and a new test set with rich attributes are constructed. Moreover, we gather a large-scale masked face sub-set for biometrics assessment under COVID-19. For a comprehensive evaluation of face matchers, three recognition tasks are performed under standard, masked and unbiased settings, respectively. Equipped with this benchmark, we delve into million-scale face recognition problems. Enabled by WebFace42M, we reduce 40% failure rate on the challenging IJB-C set and rank the 3rd among 430 entries on NIST-FRVT. Even 10% data (WebFace4M) shows superior performance compared with the public training set. The proposed benchmark shows enormous potential on standard, masked and unbiased face recognition scenarios.

8.
Global Health ; 19(1): 1, 2023 01 03.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-2196360

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: The coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic has induced a significant global concern on mental health. However few studies have measured the ability of individuals to "withstand setbacks, adapt positively, and bounce back from adversity" on a global scale. We aimed to examine the level of resilience, its determinants, and its association with maladaptive coping behaviours during the pandemic. METHODS: The Association of Pacific Rim Universities (APRU) conducted a global survey involving 26 countries by online, self-administered questionnaire (October 2020-December 2021). It was piloted-tested and validated by an expert panel of epidemiologists and primary care professionals. We collected data on socio-demographics, socioeconomic status, clinical information, lifestyle habits, and resilience levels measured by the Brief Resilience Scale (BRS) among adults aged ≥ 18 years. We examined factors associated with low resilience level, and evaluated whether low resilience was correlated with engagement of maladaptive coping behaviours. RESULTS: From 1,762 surveys, the prevalence of low resilience level (BRS score 1.00-2.99) was 36.4% (America/Europe) and 24.1% (Asia Pacific). Young age (18-29 years; adjusted odds ratio [aOR] = 0.31-0.58 in older age groups), female gender (aOR = 1.72, 95% C.I. = 1.34-2.20), poorer financial situation in the past 6 months (aOR = 2.32, 95% C.I. = 1.62-3.34), the presence of one (aOR = 1.56, 95% C.I. = 1.19-2.04) and more than two (aOR = 2.32, 95% C.I. = 1.59-3.39) medical conditions were associated with low resilience level. Individuals with low resilience were significantly more likely to consume substantially more alcohol than usual (aOR = 3.84, 95% C.I. = 1.62-9.08), take considerably more drugs (aOR = 12.1, 95% C.I. = 2.72-54.3), buy supplements believed to be good for treating COVID-19 (aOR = 3.34, 95% C.I. = 1.56-7.16), exercise less than before the pandemic (aOR = 1.76, 95% C.I. = 1.09-2.85), consume more unhealthy food than before the pandemic (aOR = 2.84, 95% C.I. = 1.72-4.67), self-isolate to stay away from others to avoid infection (aOR = 1.83, 95% C.I. = 1.09-3.08), have an excessive urge to disinfect hands for avoidance of disease (aOR = 3.08, 95% C.I. = 1.90-4.99) and transmission (aOR = 2.54, 95% C.I. = 1.57-4.10). CONCLUSIONS: We found an association between low resilience and maladaptive coping behaviours in the COVID-19 pandemic. The risk factors identified for low resilience in this study were also conditions known to be related to globalization-related economic and social inequalities. Our findings could inform design of population-based, resilience-enhancing intervention programmes.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Adult , Humans , Female , Aged , COVID-19/epidemiology , Pandemics , Adaptation, Psychological , Surveys and Questionnaires , Mental Health
9.
Vaccines (Basel) ; 10(9)2022 Sep 16.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-2044014

ABSTRACT

Several vaccines have been developed for COVID-19 since the pandemic began. This study aimed to evaluate the factors associated with COVID-19 vaccination intention. A global survey was conducted across 26 countries from October, 2020 to December, 2021 using an online self-administered questionnaire. Demographic information, socio-economic status, and clinical information were collected. A logistic regression examined the associations between vaccine intention and factors such as perceptions and the presence of chronic physical and mental conditions. The sample included 2459 participants, with 384 participants (15.7%) expressing lower COVID-19 vaccination intent. Individuals who identified as female; belonged to an older age group; had a higher level of education; were students; had full health insurance coverage; or had a previous history of influenza vaccination were more willing to receive vaccination. Conversely, those who were working part-time, were self-employed, or were receiving social welfare were less likely to report an intention to get vaccinated. Participants with mental or physical health conditions were more unwilling to receive vaccination, especially those with sickle cell disease, cancer history within the past five years, or mental illness. Stronger vaccination intent was associated with recommendations from the government or family doctors. The presence of chronic conditions was associated with lower vaccine intention. Individuals with health conditions are especially vulnerable to health complications and may experience an increased severity of COVID-19 symptoms. Future research should evaluate the effectiveness of interventions targeting the vaccine perceptions and behaviours of at-risk groups. As such, public awareness campaigns conducted by the government and proactive endorsement from health physicians may help improve COVID-19 vaccination intention.

10.
Vaccines (Basel) ; 10(7)2022 Jul 21.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-2010324

ABSTRACT

Invasive pneumococcal disease (IPD) is a leading cause of disability and mortality worldwide, particularly in the elderly population. With the implementation of the Government Vaccination Programme (GVP) and the Vaccination Subsidy Scheme (VSS), enabling factors and barriers in service provider scheme participation and vaccination uptake were examined in 32 interviews with doctors and 16 interviews with vaccine recipients. Interview data were analysed in NVivo 11.0 with reference to the Consolidated Framework for Implementation Research (CFIR) and the REAIM Framework to develop codes and themes. Barriers to pneumococcal vaccination uptake included concerns on vaccine efficacy and poor understanding of the disease and vaccine schemes, whilst service provider participation was hindered by ill-defined parameters for patient eligibility and time, location, and logistical constraints. Enabling factors to improve intervention implementation were involvement of the government and physicians to encourage participation, clarifying eligibility criteria, and improving individual knowledge of IPD and vaccination schemes. As participation rates in the GVP and VSS remains low in Hong Kong, efforts concentrating on health promotion strategies encouraging pneumococcal vaccination amongst the elderly population are recommended.

11.
Health Sci Rep ; 5(5): e771, 2022 Sep.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1976727

ABSTRACT

Background: Antimicrobial self-medication and use have significantly increased in the COVID-19 era-increasing antibiotic consumption and resulting in a high prevalence of antimicrobial resistance in Africa (AMR). We conducted a narrative review to investigate challenges associated with curbing AMR in a post-COVID-19 setting in Africa, suggesting practical measures applicable for policy-informed implementation. Method: A narrative review was performed to pinpoint AMR challenges and actions on the African continent. A comprehensive search was conducted in the scientific databases that include PubMed, PubMed Central and Google Scholar using predetermined search terms. Results: The emergence of the COVID-19 outbreak has added to the challenges of tackling AMR on the continent, which has jeopardized AMR interventions' hard-won gains. Identified challenges have been Health systems disruption, Irrational Antimicrobial Use, Weak Antimicrobials Regulatory Ecosystem, Inefficient Population Infection Prevention, and Control Practices, Inadequate access to Health Services and data challenge on AMR surveillance. Conclusion: The COVID-19 pandemic fueled AMR in Africa. There is a need for AMR control post-COVID, such as measures for ongoing antimicrobial stewardship and good infection control practices. Further, curbing AMR requires rigorous regulatory enforcement and efficient AMR Surveillance. There should be a body to raise AMR awareness among the population. Research, Innovation and Technology could play an essential role supported by capacity building and global partnership.

12.
JAMA Netw Open ; 4(11): e2132923, 2021 11 01.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1516695

ABSTRACT

Importance: Seroprevalence studies inform the extent of infection and assist evaluation of mitigation strategies for the COVID-19 pandemic. Objective: To estimate the prevalence of unidentified SARS-CoV-2 infection in the general population of Hong Kong. Design, Setting, and Participants: A prospective cross-sectional study was conducted in Hong Kong after each major wave of the COVID-19 pandemic (April 21 to July 7, 2020; September 29 to November 23, 2020; and January 15 to April 18, 2021). Adults (age ≥18 years) who had not been diagnosed with COVID-19 were recruited during each period, and their sociodemographic information, symptoms, travel, contact, quarantine, and COVID-19 testing history were collected. Main Outcomes and Measures: The main outcome was prevalence of SARS-CoV-2 infection. SARS-CoV-2 IgG antibodies were detected by an enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay based on spike (S1/S2) protein, followed by confirmation with a commercial electrochemiluminescence immunoassay based on the receptor binding domain of spike protein. Results: The study enrolled 4198 participants (2539 [60%] female; median age, 50 years [IQR, 25 years]), including 903 (22%), 1046 (25%), and 2249 (53%) during April 21 to July 7, 2020; during September 29 to November 23, 2020; and during January 15 to April 18, 2021, respectively. The numbers of participants aged 18 to 39 years, 40 to 59 years, and 60 years or older were 1328 (32%), 1645 (39%), and 1225 (29%), respectively. Among the participants, 2444 (58%) stayed in Hong Kong since November 2019 and 2094 (50%) had negative SARS-CoV-2 RNA test results. Only 170 (4%) reported ever having contact with individuals with confirmed cases, and 5% had been isolated or quarantined. Most (2803 [67%]) did not recall any illnesses, whereas 737 (18%), 212 (5%), and 385 (9%) had experienced respiratory symptoms, gastrointestinal symptoms, or both, respectively, before testing. Six participants were confirmed to be positive for anti-SARS-CoV-2 IgG; the adjusted prevalence of unidentified infection was 0.15% (95% CI, 0.06%-0.32%). Extrapolating these findings to the whole population, there were fewer than 1.9 unidentified infections for every recorded confirmed case. The overall prevalence of SARS-CoV-2 infection in Hong Kong before the roll out of vaccination was less than 0.45%. Conclusions and Relevance: In this cross-sectional study of participants from the general public in Hong Kong, the prevalence of unidentified SARS-CoV-2 infection was low after 3 major waves of the pandemic, suggesting the success of the pandemic mitigation by stringent isolation and quarantine policies even without complete city lockdown. More than 99.5% of the general population of Hong Kong remain naive to SARS-CoV-2, highlighting the urgent need to achieve high vaccine coverage.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 Testing , COVID-19/epidemiology , Pandemics , Population Health , SARS-CoV-2 , Adolescent , Adult , Aged , Aged, 80 and over , Antibodies, Viral/blood , COVID-19/diagnosis , COVID-19/virology , Communicable Disease Control , Cross-Sectional Studies , Female , Hong Kong , Humans , Immunoglobulin G/blood , Male , Middle Aged , Population Surveillance , Prevalence , Prospective Studies , RNA, Viral , SARS-CoV-2/genetics , SARS-CoV-2/immunology , Seroepidemiologic Studies , Young Adult
13.
Vaccines (Basel) ; 9(11)2021 Oct 28.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1488803

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: Vaccine hesitancy represents one of the major global health issues around the world. We examined the perception, attitude, perceived barriers and facilitation measures of receiving the COVID-19 vaccine in a Chinese population with free vaccine choices (Sinovac [Coronavac] vs. BioNTech/Fosun [Comirnaty]) and adequate doses. METHOD: We conducted a random telephone survey of the general population in 1195 subjects aged 18 years or above from 23 April 2021 to 8 May 2021 after two months of vaccine rollout. A descriptive analysis of the levels of enabling factors, obstacles and perception of COVID-19 vaccination was conducted using ANOVA and Chi-square tests for trend. RESULTS: Only 10.1% and 13.5% had received one and two COVID-19 vaccine doses, respectively. Among those who had not received any COVID-19 vaccine (75.4%), only 25.1% expressed their intention to receive in the coming 6 months. The barriers with the highest scores included "having heard of cases with serious adverse events or death after vaccination" (score: 8.17 out 10, 95% C.I. 7.99, 8.35), "lack of confidence on governmental recommendations" (7.69, 95% C.I. 7.47, 7.91), and "waiting for a better vaccine" (7.29, 95% C.I. 7.07, 7.52). The highest score for the impact of various incentives for vaccination was for "vaccine passports for overseas travel" (4.44, 95% C.I. 4.18, 4.71). CONCLUSIONS: Vaccine hesitancy is commonly observed in this Chinese population despite adequate provision of vaccine doses and choices. No single incentive is strong enough to promote vaccination, and multiple facilitation measures for different groups of population are needed to encourage vaccine uptake. Active clarification and promotion by medical professionals together with a variety of incentives are needed to drive vaccine uptake.

14.
Cancer Lett ; 508: 30-46, 2021 06 28.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1155427

ABSTRACT

There are minimal data regarding the prevalence of cancer in patients with coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19), as well as the incidence of severe illness and rate of mortality in COVID-19 patients with cancer. PubMed, Embase, Cochrane Library, and Web of Science were systematically searched, from database inception to July 15, 2020, for studies of patients with COVID-19 that included information regarding comorbid cancer. In total, 109 eligible global studies were included in this systematic review. Ninety studies with 94,845 COVID-19 patients, among which 4106 exhibited comorbid cancer, were included in the meta-analysis regarding prevalence of comorbid cancer. Twenty-three studies with 71,969 COVID-19 patients, among which 4351 with comorbid cancer had severe illness or death, were included in the meta-analysis. The overall prevalence of cancer among COVID-19 patients was 0.07 (95% CI 0.05-0.09). The cancer prevalence in COVID-19 patients was higher in Europe (0.22, 95% CI 0.17-0.28) than in the Asia-Pacific region (0.04, 95% CI 0.03-0.06) or North America (0.05, 95% CI 0.04-0.06). The cancer prevalence in COVID-19 patients aged >60 years was 0.10 (95% CI 0.07-0.14), while the prevalence among patients aged ≤60 years was 0.05 (95% CI 0.03-0.06). The pooled prevalence of severe illness among COVID-19 patients with cancer was 0.34 (95% CI 0.26-0.42) and the pooled mortality rate of COVID-19 patients with cancer was 0.20 (95% CI 0.16-0.25). Pooled incidences of severe illness among COVID-19 patients with cancer from Asia Pacific, Europe, and North America were 0.38 (95% CI 0.24-0.52), 0.39 (95% CI 0.25-0.53), and 0.26 (95% CI 0.20-0.31), respectively; pooled mortality rates from the Asia-Pacific region, Europe, and North America were 0.17 (95% CI 0.10-0.24), 0.26 (95% CI 0.18-0.35), and 0.19 (95% CI 0.13-0.25), respectively.


Subject(s)
COVID-19/epidemiology , Neoplasms/epidemiology , SARS-CoV-2/isolation & purification , Asia/epidemiology , COVID-19/mortality , COVID-19/virology , Comorbidity , Europe/epidemiology , Humans , Neoplasms/diagnosis , Neoplasms/mortality , North America/epidemiology , Prevalence , SARS-CoV-2/physiology , Survival Rate
15.
Clin Microbiol Infect ; 2021 Jan 30.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1095918

ABSTRACT

OBJECTIVES: To examine severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) variant replacement in association with containment capacity and changes in case fatality at country level. METHODS: Altogether, 69 571 full SARS-CoV-2 genomes collected globally within the first 6 months of the pandemic were examined. The correlation between variant replacement and containment capacity was examined by logistic regression models using the WHO International Health Regulation (IHR) score, the Oxford COVID-19 Government Response Tracker (OxCGRT) and the vulnerability index INFORM as proxies, while correlation with changes in monthly crude case fatality ratios was examined by a mixed effect model. RESULTS: At the global level, variant lineage G∗, characterized by the S-D614G mutation, replaced the older lineages L and S in March 2020. European countries-including Finland, France and Italy-were the first to reach a 50% increment of G∗, whereas only Singapore and South Korea had non-G∗ persisting throughout the first 6 months. Countries with higher IHR scores (ß-coefficient -0.001, 95%CI -0.016, -0.001; p 0.034) and higher stringency indexes (OxCGRT) (ß-coefficient -0.011, 95%CI -0.020, -0.001; p 0.035) were associated with lower levels of G∗ replacement, whereas higher vulnerability indexes (INFORM) (ß-coefficient 0.049, 95%CI 0.001, 0.097; p 0.044) were associated with higher replacement levels. Crude case fatality ratio showed a positive correlation with G∗ replacement (ß-coefficient: 0.034, 95%CI 0.011, 0.058; p 0.004), even after adjusting for testing capacity and other country-specific characteristics. CONCLUSIONS: SARS-CoV-2 variant lineage G∗ (S-D614G) replaced older lineages more efficiently in countries with lower containment capacity, and its possible association with increased disease severity deserves further investigation.

17.
J R Soc Med ; 114(3): 121-131, 2021 03.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1072872

ABSTRACT

OBJECTIVES: We examined if the WHO International Health Regulations (IHR) capacities were associated with better COVID-19 pandemic control. DESIGN: Observational study. SETTING: Population-based study of 114 countries. PARTICIPANTS: General population. MAIN OUTCOME MEASURES: For each country, we extracted: (1) the maximum rate of COVID-19 incidence increase per 100,000 population over any 5-day moving average period since the first 100 confirmed cases; (2) the maximum 14-day cumulative incidence rate since the first case; (3) the incidence and mortality within 30 days since the first case and first COVID-19-related death, respectively. We retrieved the 13 country-specific International Health Regulations capacities and constructed linear regression models to examine whether these capacities were associated with COVID-19 incidence and mortality, controlling for the Human Development Index, Gross Domestic Product, the population density, the Global Health Security index, prior exposure to SARS/MERS and Stringency Index. RESULTS: Countries with higher International Health Regulations score were significantly more likely to have lower incidence (ß coefficient -24, 95% CI -35 to -13) and mortality (ß coefficient -1.7, 95% CI -2.5 to -1.0) per 100,000 population within 30 days since the first COVID-19 diagnosis. A similar association was found for the other incidence outcomes. Analysis using different regression models controlling for various confounders showed a similarly significant association. CONCLUSIONS: The International Health Regulations score was significantly associated with reduction in rate of incidence and mortality of COVID-19. These findings inform design of pandemic control strategies, and validated the International Health Regulations capacities as important metrics for countries that warrant evaluation and improvement of their health security capabilities.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Communicable Disease Control , Disease Transmission, Infectious/prevention & control , International Health Regulations , World Health Organization , COVID-19/epidemiology , COVID-19/prevention & control , Communicable Disease Control/legislation & jurisprudence , Communicable Disease Control/organization & administration , Cross-Sectional Studies , Global Health/statistics & numerical data , Humans , Incidence , International Health Regulations/organization & administration , International Health Regulations/standards , Mortality , SARS-CoV-2 , Surge Capacity/statistics & numerical data
18.
Vaccine ; 39(7): 1148-1156, 2021 02 12.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1009913

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: Vaccines for COVID-19 are anticipated to be available by 2021. Vaccine uptake rate is a crucial determinant for herd immunity. We examined factors associated with acceptance of vaccine based on (1). constructs of the Health Belief Model (HBM), (2). trust in the healthcare system, new vaccine platforms and manufacturers, and (3). self-reported health outcomes. METHODS: A population-based, random telephone survey was performed during the peak of the third wave of COVID-19 outbreak (27/07/2020 to 27/08/2020) in Hong Kong. All adults aged ≥ 18 years were eligible. The survey included sociodemographic details; self-report health conditions; trust scales; and self-reported health outcomes. Multivariable regression analyses were applied to examine independent associations. The primary outcome is the acceptance of the COVID-19 vaccine. RESULTS: We conducted 1200 successful telephone interviews (response rate 55%). The overall vaccine acceptance rate after adjustment for population distribution was 37.2% (95% C.I. 34.5-39.9%). The projected acceptance rates exhibited a "J-shaped" pattern with age, with higher rates among young adults (18-24 years), then increased linearly with age. Multivariable regression analyses revealed that perceived severity, perceived benefits of the vaccine, cues to action, self-reported health outcomes, and trust in healthcare system or vaccine manufacturers were positive correlates of acceptance; whilst perceived access barriers and harm were negative correlates. Remarkably, perceived susceptibility to infection carried no significant association, whereas recommendation from Government (aOR = 10.2, 95% C.I. 6.54 to 15.9, p < 0.001) was as the strongest driving factor for acceptance. Other key obstacles of acceptance included lack of confidence on newer vaccine platforms (43.4%) and manufacturers without track record (52.2%), which are of particular relevance to the current context. CONCLUSIONS: Governmental recommendation is an important driver, whereas perceived susceptibility is not associated with acceptance of COVID-19 vaccine. These HBM constructs and independent predictors inform evidence-based formulation and implementation of vaccination strategies.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 Vaccines/administration & dosage , COVID-19/prevention & control , Health Knowledge, Attitudes, Practice , Patient Acceptance of Health Care/statistics & numerical data , Vaccination/psychology , Adolescent , Adult , Aged , Cross-Sectional Studies , Female , Hong Kong , Humans , Male , Middle Aged , Young Adult
19.
BMJ Glob Health ; 5(10)2020 10.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-841444

ABSTRACT

INTRODUCTION: An international city, Hong Kong, in proximity to the first epicentre of COVID- 19, experienced two epidemic waves with different importation pressure. We compared the epidemiological features of patients with COVID-19 in the context of containment policies between the first and second waves. METHODS: We retrieved information on the first 1038 cases detected in Hong Kong (23 January to 25 April 2020) to analyse the epidemiological characteristics including age/gender-specific incidence, clustering, reproduction number (Rt ) and containment delay; in relation to the containment measures implemented. Factors associated with containment delay were evaluated by multiple linear regression analysis with age, gender, epidemic wave and infection source as covariates. A time series of 5-day moving average was plotted to examine the changes across the two epidemic waves. RESULTS: The incidence and mortality (135.5 and 0.5 per 1 000 000 population) was among the lowest in the world. Aggressive escalation of border control correlated with reductions in Rt from 1.35 to 0.57 and 0.92 to 0.18, and aversions of 450 and 1650 local infections during the first and second waves, respectively. Implementing COVID-19 tests for overseas returners correlated with an upsurge of asymptomatic case detection, and shortened containment delay in the second wave. Medium-sized cluster events in the first wave were family gatherings, whereas those in the second wave were leisure activities among youngsters. Containment delay was associated with older age (adjusted OR (AOR)=1.01, 95% CI 1.00 to 1.02, p=0.040), male gender (AOR=1.41, 95% CI 1.02 to 1.96, p=0.039) and local cases (AOR=11.18, 95% CI 7.43 to 16.83, p<0.001), and with significant improvement in the second wave compared with the first wave (average: 6.8 vs 3.7 days). A higher incidence rate was observed for males, raising possibility of gender predilection in susceptibility of developing symptoms. CONCLUSION: Prompt and stringent all-round containment strategies represent successful measures in pandemic control. These findings could inform formulation and implementation of pandemic mitigation strategies.


Subject(s)
Communicable Disease Control , Coronavirus Infections , Pandemics , Pneumonia, Viral , Adolescent , Adult , Aged , Aged, 80 and over , Betacoronavirus , COVID-19 , Child , Child, Preschool , Communicable Disease Control/methods , Communicable Disease Control/standards , Coronavirus Infections/epidemiology , Coronavirus Infections/mortality , Coronavirus Infections/prevention & control , Female , Hong Kong , Humans , Incidence , Infant , Infant, Newborn , Male , Middle Aged , Pandemics/prevention & control , Pneumonia, Viral/epidemiology , Pneumonia, Viral/mortality , Pneumonia, Viral/prevention & control , SARS-CoV-2 , Young Adult
20.
Eur J Epidemiol ; 35(11): 1099-1103, 2020 Nov.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-705599

ABSTRACT

The Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) is believed to share similar characteristics with SARS in 2003 and Mediterranean East Respiratory Syndrome (MERS) in 2012. We hypothesized that countries with previous exposure to SARS and MERS were significantly more likely to have fewer cases and deaths from coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19). We retrieved the incidence of COVID-19 per 100,000 population within 30 days since the first confirmed case was reported from the 2019 Novel COVID-19 data repository by the Johns Hopkins Centre for Systems Science and Engineering for 94 countries. The association between previous exposure to SARS and/or MERS and the 30-day COVID-19 incidence rate was examined by multivariable linear regression analysis, whilst controlling for potential confounders including the INFORM COVID-19 Risk Index, Testing Policies, Democracy Index, Scientific Citation Index, Gross Domestic Product (GDP), Human Development Index (HDI) and the population density of each country. We found that countries with previous exposure to SARS and/or MERS epidemics were significantly more likely to have lower incidence of COVID-19 (ß coefficient - 225.6, 95% C.I. - 415.8,- 35.4, p = 0.021). However, countries being classified as having "full democracy" using Democracy Index had higher incidence of COVID-19 (reference: authoritarian regime; ß coefficient 425.0, 95% C.I. 98.0, 752.0, p = 0.011). This implies that previous exposure to global epidemics and Democracy Index for a country are associated its performance in response to COVID-19. We recommend future studies should evaluate the impact of various pandemic control strategies at individual, community, and policy levels on mitigation of the disease.


Subject(s)
COVID-19/epidemiology , COVID-19/prevention & control , Communicable Disease Control , Middle East Respiratory Syndrome Coronavirus , Severe acute respiratory syndrome-related coronavirus , Humans , Incidence , Internationality , SARS-CoV-2 , Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome
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