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2.
EuropePMC; 2022.
Preprint in English | EuropePMC | ID: ppcovidwho-332375

ABSTRACT

First Few X cases (FFX) investigations and Household transmission investigations (HHTI) are essential epidemiological tools for early characterisation of novel infectious pathogens and their variants. We aimed to estimate the household secondary infection attack rate (hSAR) of SARS-CoV-2 in investigations aligned with the WHO Unity Studies HHTI protocol. We conducted a systematic review and meta-analysis according to PRISMA 2020 guidelines (PROSPERO registration:CRD42021260065). We searched Medline, Embase, Web of Science, Scopus and medRxiv/bioRxiv for ‘Unity-aligned’ FFX and HHTI published between 1 December 2019 and 26 July 2021. Standardised early results were shared by WHO Unity Studies Collaborators (to 1 October 2021). We used a bespoke tool to assess investigation methodological quality. Values for hSAR and 95% confidence intervals (CIs) were extracted or calculated from crude data. Heterogeneity was assessed by visually inspecting overlap of CIs on forest plots and quantified in meta-analyses. Of 9988 records retrieved, 80 articles (64 from databases;16 provided by WHO Unity Studies collaborators) were retained in the systematic review and 62 were included in the primary meta-analysis. hSAR point estimates ranged from 2%–90% (95% prediction interval: 3%–71%;I 2 =99.7%);I 2 values remained >99% in subgroup analyses, indicating high, unexplained heterogeneity and leading to a decision not to report pooled hSAR estimates. The large, unexplained variance in hSAR estimates emphasises the need for improved standardisation in planning, conduct and analysis, and for clear and comprehensive reporting of FFX and HHTIs, to guide evidence-based pandemic preparedness and response efforts for SARS-CoV-2, influenza and future novel respiratory viruses.

3.
Lancet Reg Health West Pac ; 17: 100317, 2021 Dec.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1654896

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: With the global spread of severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) in early 2020, Mongolia implemented rapid emergency measures and did not report local transmission until November 2020. We conducted a national seroprevalence survey to monitor the burden of SARS-CoV-2 in Mongolia in the months surrounding the first local transmission. METHODS: During October-December 2020, participants were randomly selected using age stratification and invited for interviews and blood samples at local primary health centres. We screened for total SARS-CoV-2 antibodies, followed by two-step quantitative SARS-CoV-2 IgG serology tests for positive samples. Weighted and test-adjusted seroprevalences were estimated. We used chi-square, Fisher's exact and other tests to identify variables associated with seropositivity. FINDINGS: A total of 5000 subjects were enrolled. We detected SARS-CoV-2 IgG antibodies in 72 samples. Crude seroprevalence of SARS-CoV-2 antibodies was 1·44% (95%CI,1·21-1·67). Population weighted and test-adjusted seroprevalences were 1·36% (95%CI,1·11-1·63) and 1·45% (95%CI,1·11-1·63), respectively. Age, sex, geographical, and occupational factors were not associated with seropositivity (p>0·05). Symptoms and signs within past 3 months and seropositivity were not associated at the time of the survey (p>0·05). INTERPRETATION: SARS-CoV-2 seroprevalence in Mongolia was low in the first year of the pandemic potentially due to strong public health measures, including border restrictions, educational facilities closure, earlier adoption of mask-wearing and others. Our findings suggest large-scale community transmission could not have occurred up to November 2020 in Mongolia. Additional serosurveys are needed to monitor the local pandemic dynamic and estimate how far from herd immunity Mongolia will be following-up with vaccination programme in 2021 and 2022. FUNDING: World Health Organisation, WHO UNITY Studies initiative, with funding by the COVID-19 Solidarity Response Fund and the German Federal Ministry of Health (BMG) COVID-19 Research and development. TRANSLATION: Cyrillic and Traditional Mongolian translation of abstract is available on appendix section.

4.
EuropePMC; 2021.
Preprint in English | EuropePMC | ID: ppcovidwho-296545

ABSTRACT

Background: COVID-19 case data underestimates infection and immunity, especially in low- and middle-income countries (LMICs). We meta-analyzed standardized SARS-CoV-2 seroprevalence studies to estimate global seroprevalence. Objectives/Methods We conducted a systematic review and meta-analysis, searching MEDLINE, Embase, Web of Science, preprints, and grey literature for SARS-CoV-2 seroprevalence studies aligned with the WHO UNITY protocol published between 2020-01-01 and 2021-10-29. Eligible studies were extracted and critically appraised in duplicate. We meta-analyzed seroprevalence by country and month, pooling to estimate regional and global seroprevalence over time;compared seroprevalence from infection to confirmed cases to estimate under-ascertainment;meta-analyzed differences in seroprevalence between demographic subgroups;and identified national factors associated with seroprevalence using meta-regression. PROSPERO: CRD42020183634. Results We identified 396 full texts reporting 736 distinct seroprevalence studies (41% LMIC), including 355 low/moderate risk of bias studies with national/sub-national scope in further analysis. By April 2021, global SARS-CoV-2 seroprevalence was 26.1%, 95% CI [24.6-27.6%]. Seroprevalence rose steeply in the first half of 2021 due to infection in some regions (e.g., 18.2% to 45.9% in Africa) and vaccination and infection in others (e.g., 11.3% to 57.4% in the Americas high-income countries), but remained low in others (e.g., 0.3% to 1.6% in the Western Pacific). In 2021 Q1, median seroprevalence to case ratios were 1.9:1 in HICs and 61.9:1 in LMICs. Children 0-9 years and adults 60+ were at lower risk of seropositivity than adults 20-29. In a multivariate model using data pre-vaccination, more stringent public health and social measures were associated with lower seroprevalence. Conclusions Global seroprevalence has risen considerably over time and with regional variation, however much of the global population remains susceptible to SARS-CoV-2 infection. True infections far exceed reported COVID-19 cases. Standardized seroprevalence studies are essential to inform COVID-19 control measures, particularly in resource-limited regions.

5.
Glob Health Med ; 3(5): 253-261, 2021 Oct 31.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1518948

ABSTRACT

Chronic hepatitis C (HCV) infection is a major global public health threat and in 2019 there were an estimated 58 million infected globally and 290,000 deaths. Elimination of viral hepatitis B/C as a public health threat by 2030 is defined as a 90% incidence reduction and a 65% mortality reduction. The Western Pacific region is one of the most affected regions with 10 million people living with HCV, one-fifth of the global burden. We review progress towards HCV elimination in the Western Pacific region since 2015. Key developments in the region, which comprises of 37 high-and-middle-income countries, include the following: 20 countries have national hepatitis action plans, 19 have conducted recent disease burden and investment cases, 10 have scaled-up hepatitis services at primary health care level, and in 11 countries, domestic financing including social health insurance support DAA costs. We highlight six countries' experience in navigating the path towards HCV elimination: Cambodia, China, Malaysia, Mongolia, Philippines, and Viet Nam. Future initiatives to accelerate elimination are expanding access to community-based testing using HCV point-of-care tests among at-risk and general populations; adopting decentralized and integrated HCV one-stop services at harm reduction sites, detention settings and primary care; expanding treatment to include children and adolescents; address stigma and discrimination; and ensuring sustainable financing through domestic resources to scale-up testing, treatment and prevention. The COVID-19 pandemic has a significant impact on hepatitis response across the region on community and facility-based testing, treatment initiation, monitoring and cancer screening, which is projected to delay elimination goals.

6.
Epidemics ; 37: 100517, 2021 12.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1482585

ABSTRACT

INTRODUCTION: As of 3rd June 2021, Malaysia is experiencing a resurgence of COVID-19 cases. In response, the federal government has implemented various non-pharmaceutical interventions (NPIs) under a series of Movement Control Orders and, more recently, a vaccination campaign to regain epidemic control. In this study, we assessed the potential for the vaccination campaign to control the epidemic in Malaysia and four high-burden regions of interest, under various public health response scenarios. METHODS: A modified susceptible-exposed-infectious-recovered compartmental model was developed that included two sequential incubation and infectious periods, with stratification by clinical state. The model was further stratified by age and incorporated population mobility to capture NPIs and micro-distancing (behaviour changes not captured through population mobility). Emerging variants of concern (VoC) were included as an additional strain competing with the existing wild-type strain. Several scenarios that included different vaccination strategies (i.e. vaccines that reduce disease severity and/or prevent infection, vaccination coverage) and mobility restrictions were implemented. RESULTS: The national model and the regional models all fit well to notification data but underestimated ICU occupancy and deaths in recent weeks, which may be attributable to increased severity of VoC or saturation of case detection. However, the true case detection proportion showed wide credible intervals, highlighting incomplete understanding of the true epidemic size. The scenario projections suggested that under current vaccination rates complete relaxation of all NPIs would trigger a major epidemic. The results emphasise the importance of micro-distancing, maintaining mobility restrictions during vaccination roll-out and accelerating the pace of vaccination for future control. Malaysia is particularly susceptible to a major COVID-19 resurgence resulting from its limited population immunity due to the country's historical success in maintaining control throughout much of 2020.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Humans , Malaysia/epidemiology , SARS-CoV-2 , Vaccination
7.
Influenza Other Respir Viruses ; 16(1): 7-13, 2022 01.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1455561

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: The declaration of Coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) as a Public Health Emergency of International Concern (PHEIC) on 30 January 2020 required rapid implementation of early investigations to inform appropriate national and global public health actions. METHODS: The suite of existing pandemic preparedness generic epidemiological early investigation protocols was rapidly adapted for COVID-19, branded the 'UNITY studies' and promoted globally for the implementation of standardized and quality studies. Ten protocols were developed investigating household (HH) transmission, the first few cases (FFX), population seroprevalence (SEROPREV), health facilities transmission (n = 2), vaccine effectiveness (n = 2), pregnancy outcomes and transmission, school transmission, and surface contamination. Implementation was supported by WHO and its partners globally, with emphasis to support building surveillance and research capacities in low- and middle-income countries (LMIC). RESULTS: WHO generic protocols were rapidly developed and published on the WHO website, 5/10 protocols within the first 3 months of the response. As of 30 June 2021, 172 investigations were implemented by 97 countries, of which 62 (64%) were LMIC. The majority of countries implemented population seroprevalence (71 countries) and first few cases/household transmission (37 countries) studies. CONCLUSION: The widespread adoption of UNITY protocols across all WHO regions indicates that they addressed subnational and national needs to support local public health decision-making to prevent and control the pandemic.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Pandemics , Humans , Pandemics/prevention & control , SARS-CoV-2 , Seroepidemiologic Studies , World Health Organization
8.
Lancet Reg Health West Pac ; 14: 100211, 2021 Sep.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1309328

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: COVID-19 initially caused less severe outbreaks in many low- and middle-income countries (LMIC) compared with many high-income countries, possibly because of differing demographics, socioeconomics, surveillance, and policy responses. Here, we investigate the role of multiple factors on COVID-19 dynamics in the Philippines, a LMIC that has had a relatively severe COVID-19 outbreak. METHODS: We applied an age-structured compartmental model that incorporated time-varying mobility, testing, and personal protective behaviors (through a "Minimum Health Standards" policy, MHS) to represent the first wave of the Philippines COVID-19 epidemic nationally and for three highly affected regions (Calabarzon, Central Visayas, and the National Capital Region). We estimated effects of control measures, key epidemiological parameters, and interventions. FINDINGS: Population age structure, contact rates, mobility, testing, and MHS were sufficient to explain the Philippines epidemic based on the good fit between modelled and reported cases, hospitalisations, and deaths. The model indicated that MHS reduced the probability of transmission per contact by 13-27%. The February 2021 case detection rate was estimated at ~8%, population recovered at ~9%, and scenario projections indicated high sensitivity to MHS adherence. INTERPRETATION: COVID-19 dynamics in the Philippines are driven by age, contact structure, mobility, and MHS adherence. Continued compliance with low-cost MHS should help the Philippines control the epidemic until vaccines are widely distributed, but disease resurgence may be occurring due to a combination of low population immunity and detection rates and new variants of concern.

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