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Clin Infect Dis ; 75(1): e224-e233, 2022 08 24.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-2017763


BACKGROUND: The public health impact of the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic has motivated a rapid search for potential therapeutics, with some key successes. However, the potential impact of different treatments, and consequently research and procurement priorities, have not been clear. METHODS: Using a mathematical model of severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) transmission, COVID-19 disease and clinical care, we explore the public-health impact of different potential therapeutics, under a range of scenarios varying healthcare capacity, epidemic trajectories; and drug efficacy in the absence of supportive care. RESULTS: The impact of drugs like dexamethasone (delivered to the most critically-ill in hospital and whose therapeutic benefit is expected to depend on the availability of supportive care such as oxygen and mechanical ventilation) is likely to be limited in settings where healthcare capacity is lowest or where uncontrolled epidemics result in hospitals being overwhelmed. As such, it may avert 22% of deaths in high-income countries but only 8% in low-income countries (assuming R = 1.35). Therapeutics for different patient populations (those not in hospital, early in the course of infection) and types of benefit (reducing disease severity or infectiousness, preventing hospitalization) could have much greater benefits, particularly in resource-poor settings facing large epidemics. CONCLUSIONS: Advances in the treatment of COVID-19 to date have been focused on hospitalized-patients and predicated on an assumption of adequate access to supportive care. Therapeutics delivered earlier in the course of infection that reduce the need for healthcare or reduce infectiousness could have significant impact, and research into their efficacy and means of delivery should be a priority.

COVID-19 Drug Treatment , SARS-CoV-2 , Cost of Illness , Humans , Pandemics/prevention & control , Pharmaceutical Preparations
Vaccines (Basel) ; 9(7)2021 Jul 01.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1295944


Testing and isolation have been crucial for controlling the COVID-19 pandemic. Venezuela has one of the weakest testing infrastructures in Latin America and the low number of reported cases in the country has been attributed to substantial underreporting. However, the Venezuelan epidemic seems to have lagged behind other countries in the region, with most cases occurring within the capital region and four border states. Here, we describe the spatial epidemiology of COVID-19 in Venezuela and its relation to the population mobility, migration patterns, non-pharmaceutical interventions and fuel availability that impact population movement. Using a metapopulation model of SARS-CoV-2 transmission dynamics, we explore how movement patterns could have driven the observed distribution of cases. Low within-country connectivity most likely delayed the onset of the epidemic in most states, except for those bordering Colombia and Brazil, where high immigration seeded outbreaks. NPIs slowed early epidemic growth and subsequent fuel shortages appeared to be responsible for limiting the spread of COVID-19 across the country.