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Nat Hum Behav ; 6(3): 310, 2022 03.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-2274503

COVID-19 , Humans , SARS-CoV-2
Can J Public Health ; 113(6): 898-903, 2022 Dec.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-2030411


SETTING: Rapid antigen screening can be effective in identifying infectious individuals in occupational settings to reduce transmission and outbreaks. We report results from a pilot project at the Greater Toronto Airports Authority (GTAA) and describe the operationalization. Toronto Pearson is a large international airport encompassing over 400 employers and, pre-pandemic, with approximately 50,000 employees. INTERVENTION: An employee screening program was piloted between March 8 and May 28, 2021, to implement rapid antigen testing for asymptomatic employees. Recruitment targeted enrolment of 400 employees and yielded participation of 717 from 58 companies. Employees were recommended to book three times per week for nasal swabs on site, and were tested on the Abbot PanbioTM rapid antigen test. No action was taken from a negative result, and if positive, the employee was told to isolate at home and obtain a confirmatory polymerase chain reaction test. OUTCOMES: A total of 5117 tests were performed on 717 individuals over 12 weeks; 5091 tests were negative (99.5%), and 22 individuals tested positive (3.1% positivity rate). One hundred twenty-four (17%) completed the post-participation survey. All respondents reported that testing did not change their behaviour at work with respect to public health recommendations, and only 1 (1%) reported behaviour change outside of work (socializing with family) as a result of the program. IMPLICATIONS: This pilot program identified 22 (3.1%) potentially infectious employees. Onsite testing was feasible and highly accepted by this group of employees who completed the survey. Education resulted in reasonable uptake and no substantial change in behaviour, although the survey response rate may limit generalizability. Home-based testing may facilitate larger recruitment.

RéSUMé: LIEU: Le dépistage antigénique rapide peut être efficace pour repérer les personnes infectieuses en milieu de travail afin de réduire la transmission et les éclosions. Nous rendons compte des résultats d'un projet pilote mené par l'Autorité aéroportuaire du Grand Toronto (GTAA) et nous en décrivons l'opérationnalisation. L'aéroport Toronto Pearson est un vaste aéroport international qui compte plus de 400 employeurs et, avant la pandémie, environ 50 000 employés. INTERVENTION: Un programme de dépistage au travail a fait l'objet d'un projet pilote entre le 8 mars et le 28 mai 2021 pour mettre en œuvre le dépistage antigénique rapide chez les employés asymptomatiques. Le recrutement visait l'inscription de 400 employés et a donné lieu à une participation de 717 personnes dans 58 entreprises. Il était recommandé aux employés de s'inscrire à un prélèvement nasal sur place trois fois par semaine; le test antigénique rapide d'Abbot PanbioTM était utilisé pour les prélèvements. Un résultat négatif ne donnait lieu à aucune mesure, mais si le résultat était positif, l'employé recevait l'instruction de s'isoler à la maison et d'obtenir un test de réaction de polymérisation en chaîne pour confirmer. RéSULTATS: En tout, 5 117 tests ont été effectués sur 717 personnes sur une période de 12 semaines; 5 091 tests (99,5 %) ont été négatifs, et 22 ont été positifs (taux de positivité de 3,1 %). Cent vingt-quatre personnes (17 %) ont répondu au sondage après la participation. Tous les répondants ont déclaré que le dépistage n'avait pas changé leur comportement au travail en ce qui a trait aux recommandations sanitaires, et une seule personne (1 %) a déclaré avoir changé ses comportements en dehors du travail (sa socialisation en famille) en raison du programme. CONSéQUENCES: Ce programme pilote a repéré 22 employés potentiellement infectieux (3,1 %). Le dépistage sur place était faisable et a été bien accepté par le groupe d'employés ayant répondu au sondage. La sensibilisation a donné lieu à une participation raisonnable sans modification sensible des comportements, mais le faible taux de réponse au sondage pourrait limiter la généralisabilité des résultats. Le dépistage à domicile pourrait favoriser un meilleur recrutement.

COVID-19 , SARS-CoV-2 , Humans , Pilot Projects , COVID-19/diagnosis , Pandemics , COVID-19 Testing
Nat Commun ; 13(1): 3716, 2022 07 01.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1984382


The COVID-19 pandemic triggered the development of numerous diagnostic tools to monitor infection and to determine immune response. Although assays to measure binding antibodies against SARS-CoV-2 are widely available, more specific tests measuring neutralization activities of antibodies are immediately needed to quantify the extent and duration of protection that results from infection or vaccination. We previously developed a 'Serological Assay based on a Tri-part split-NanoLuc® (SATiN)' to detect antibodies that bind to the spike (S) protein of SARS-CoV-2. Here, we expand on our previous work and describe a reconfigured version of the SATiN assay, called Neutralization SATiN (Neu-SATiN), which measures neutralization activity of antibodies directly from convalescent or vaccinated sera. The results obtained with our assay and other neutralization assays are comparable but with significantly shorter preparation and run time for Neu-SATiN. As the assay is modular, we further demonstrate that Neu-SATiN enables rapid assessment of the effectiveness of vaccines and level of protection against existing SARS-CoV-2 variants of concern and can therefore be readily adapted for emerging variants.

COVID-19 , SARS-CoV-2 , Antibodies, Viral , Humans , Luciferases , Membrane Glycoproteins/metabolism , Neutralization Tests , Pandemics , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus , Viral Envelope Proteins
Lancet ; 399(10339): 1937-1938, 2022 05 21.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1895517

COVID-19 , Humans
Lancet Glob Health ; 10(1): e114-e123, 2022 01.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1630866


BACKGROUND: Sierra Leone's child and maternal mortality rates are among the highest in the world. However, little is known about the causes of premature mortality in the country. To rectify this, the Ministry of Health and Sanitation of Sierra Leone launched the Sierra Leone Sample Registration System (SL-SRS) of births and deaths. Here, we report cause-specific mortality from the first SL-SRS round, representing deaths from 2018 to 2020. METHODS: The Countrywide Mortality Surveillance for Action platform established the SL-SRS, which involved conducting electronic verbal autopsies in 678 randomly selected villages and urban blocks throughout the country. 61 surveyors, in teams of four or five, enrolled people and ascertained deaths of individuals younger than 70 years in 2019-20, capturing verbal autopsies on deaths from 2018 to 2020. Centrally, two trained physicians independently assigned causes of death according to the International Classification of Diseases (tenth edition). SL-SRS death proportions were applied to 5-year mortality averages from the UN World Population Prospects (2019) to derive cause-specific death totals and risks of death nationally and in four Sierra Leone regions, with comparisons made with the Western region where Freetown, the capital, is located. We compared SL-SRS results with the cause-specific mortality estimates for Sierra Leone in the 2019 WHO Global Health Estimates. FINDINGS: Between Sept 1, 2019, and Dec 15, 2020, we enrolled 343 000 people and ascertained 8374 deaths of individuals younger than 70 years. Malaria was the leading cause of death in children and adults, nationally and in each region, representing 22% of deaths under age 70 years in 2020. Other infectious diseases accounted for an additional 16% of deaths. Overall maternal mortality ratio was 510 deaths per 100 000 livebirths (95% CI 483-538), and neonatal mortality rate was 31·1 deaths per 1000 livebirths (95% CI 30·4-31·8), both among the highest rates in the world. Haemorrhage was the major cause of maternal mortality and birth asphyxia or trauma was the major cause of neonatal mortality. Excess deaths were not detected in the months of 2020 corresponding to the peak of the COVID-19 pandemic. Half of the deaths occurred in rural areas and at home. If the Northern, Eastern, and Southern regions of Sierra Leone had the lower death rates observed in the Western region, about 20 000 deaths (just over a quarter of national total deaths in people younger than 70 years) would have been avoided. WHO model-based data vastly underestimated malaria deaths and some specific causes of injury deaths, and substantially overestimated maternal mortality. INTERPRETATION: Over 60% of individuals in Sierra Leone die prematurely, before age 70 years, most from preventable or treatable causes. Nationally representative mortality surveys such as the SL-SRS are of high value in providing reliable cause-of-death information to set public health priorities and target interventions in low-income countries. FUNDING: Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, Canadian Institutes of Health Research, Queen Elizabeth Scholarship Program.

Cause of Death , Mortality, Premature , Adolescent , Adult , Aged , COVID-19 , Child , Child Mortality , Child, Preschool , Female , Humans , Infant , Infant Mortality , Infant, Newborn , Malaria/mortality , Male , Maternal Mortality , Middle Aged , Sierra Leone/epidemiology
Science ; 375(6581): 667-671, 2022 Feb 11.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1605594


India's national COVID death totals remain undetermined. Using an independent nationally representative survey of 0.14 million (M) adults, we compared COVID mortality during the 2020 and 2021 viral waves to expected all-cause mortality. COVID constituted 29% (95%CI 28-31%) of deaths from June 2020-July 2021, corresponding to 3.2M (3.1-3.4) deaths, of which 2.7M (2.6-2.9) occurred in April-July 2021 (when COVID doubled all-cause mortality). A sub-survey of 57,000 adults showed similar temporal increases in mortality with COVID and non-COVID deaths peaking similarly. Two government data sources found that, when compared to pre-pandemic periods, all-cause mortality was 27% (23-32%) higher in 0.2M health facilities and 26% (21-31%) higher in civil registration deaths in ten states; both increases occurred mostly in 2021. The analyses find that India's cumulative COVID deaths by September 2021 were 6-7 times higher than reported officially.

COVID-19/mortality , Health Facilities/statistics & numerical data , Adult , COVID-19/transmission , Cause of Death , Family Characteristics , Female , Hospital Mortality , Humans , India/epidemiology , Male , Mortality
Lancet Reg Health Am ; 2: 100055, 2021 Oct.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1373179


BACKGROUND: Understanding vaccination intention during early vaccination rollout in Canada can help the government's efforts in vaccination education and outreach. METHOD: Panel members age 18 and over from the nationally representative Angus Reid Forum were invited to complete an online survey about their experience with COVID-19, including their intention to get vaccinated. Respondents were asked "When a vaccine against the coronavirus becomes available to you, will you get vaccinated or not?" Having no intention to vaccinate was defined as choosing "No - I will not get a coronavirus vaccination" as a response. Odds ratios and predicted probabilities are reported for no vaccine intentionality in demographic groups. FINDINGS: 14,621 panel members completed the survey. Having no intention to vaccinate against COVID-19 is relatively low overall (9%) with substantial variation among demographic groups. Being a resident of Alberta (predicted probability = 15%; OR 0.58 [95%CI 0.14-2.24]), aged 40-59 (predicted probability = 12%; OR 0.87 [0.78-0.97]), identifying as a visible minority (predicted probability = 15%; OR 0.56 [0.37-0.84]), having some college level education or lower (predicted probability = 14%) and living in households of at least five members (predicted probability = 13%; OR 0.82 [0.76-0.88]) are related to lower vaccination intention. INTERPRETATION: The study identifies population groups with greater and lesser intention to vaccinate in Canada. As the Canadian COVID-19 vaccination effort continues, policymakers may use this information to focus outreach, education, and other efforts on the latter groups, which also have had higher risks for contracting and dying from COVID-19. FUNDING: Pfizer Global Medical, Unity Health Foundation, Canadian COVID-19 Immunity Task Force.

PLoS One ; 15(10): e0240778, 2020.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-883686


Random population-based surveys to estimate prevalence of SARS-CoV2 infection causing coronavirus disease (COVID-19) are useful to understand distributions and predictors of the infection. In April 2020, the first-ever nationally representative survey in Canada polled 4,240 adults age 18 years and older about self-reported COVID experience in March, early in the epidemic. We examined the levels and predictors of COVID symptoms, defined as fever plus difficulty breathing/shortness of breath, dry cough so severe that it disrupts sleep, and/or loss of sense of smell; and testing for SARS-CoV-2 by respondents and/or household members. About 8% of Canadians reported that they and/or one or more household members experienced COVID symptoms. Symptoms were more common in younger than in older adults, and among visible minorities. Overall, only 3% of respondents and/or household members reported testing for SARS-CoV-2. Being tested was associated with having COVID symptoms, Indigenous identity, and living in Quebec. Periodic nationally representative surveys of symptoms, as well as SARS-CoV-2 antibodies, are required in many countries to understand the pandemic and prepare for the future.

Betacoronavirus/genetics , Clinical Laboratory Techniques , Coronavirus Infections/diagnosis , Coronavirus Infections/epidemiology , Health Surveys/methods , Pneumonia, Viral/diagnosis , Pneumonia, Viral/epidemiology , Self Report , Adolescent , Adult , Aged , COVID-19 , COVID-19 Testing , Coronavirus Infections/virology , Family Characteristics , Female , Humans , Male , Middle Aged , Pandemics , Pneumonia, Viral/virology , Polymerase Chain Reaction , Prevalence , Quebec/epidemiology , SARS-CoV-2 , Young Adult