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1.
Nat Commun ; 13(1): 4503, 2022 Aug 03.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1972603

ABSTRACT

The COVID-19 pandemic is exacting an increasing toll worldwide, with new SARS-CoV-2 variants emerging that exhibit higher infectivity rates and that may partially evade vaccine and antibody immunity. Rapid deployment of non-invasive therapeutic avenues capable of preventing infection by all SARS-CoV-2 variants could complement current vaccination efforts and help turn the tide on the COVID-19 pandemic. Here, we describe a novel therapeutic strategy targeting the SARS-CoV-2 RNA using locked nucleic acid antisense oligonucleotides (LNA ASOs). We identify an LNA ASO binding to the 5' leader sequence of SARS-CoV-2 that disrupts a highly conserved stem-loop structure with nanomolar efficacy in preventing viral replication in human cells. Daily intranasal administration of this LNA ASO in the COVID-19 mouse model potently suppresses viral replication (>80-fold) in the lungs of infected mice. We find that the LNA ASO is efficacious in countering all SARS-CoV-2 "variants of concern" tested both in vitro and in vivo. Hence, inhaled LNA ASOs targeting SARS-CoV-2 represents a promising therapeutic approach to reduce or prevent transmission and decrease severity of COVID-19 in infected individuals. LNA ASOs are chemically stable and can be flexibly modified to target different viral RNA sequences and could be stockpiled for future coronavirus pandemics.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , SARS-CoV-2 , Administration, Intranasal , Animals , Humans , Mice , Oligonucleotides, Antisense/pharmacology , Oligonucleotides, Antisense/therapeutic use , Pandemics/prevention & control , RNA, Viral/genetics
2.
Influenza and Other Respiratory Viruses ; n/a(n/a), 2022.
Article in English | Wiley | ID: covidwho-1968142

ABSTRACT

Background We estimated SARS-CoV-2 Delta- and Omicron-specific effectiveness of two and three mRNA COVID-19 vaccine doses in adults against symptomatic illness in US outpatient settings. Methods Between October 1, 2021, and February 12, 2022, research staff consented and enrolled eligible participants who had fever, cough, or loss of taste or smell and sought outpatient medical care or clinical SARS-CoV-2 testing within 10 days of illness onset. Using the test-negative design, we compared the odds of receiving two or three mRNA COVID-19 vaccine doses among SARS-CoV-2 cases versus controls using logistic regression. Regression models were adjusted for study site, age, onset week, and prior SARS-CoV-2 infection. Vaccine effectiveness (VE) was calculated as (1???adjusted odds ratio)???100%. Results Among 3847 participants included for analysis, 574 (32%) of 1775 tested positive for SARS-CoV-2 during the Delta predominant period and 1006 (56%) of 1794 participants tested positive during the Omicron predominant period. When Delta predominated, VE against symptomatic illness in outpatient settings was 63% (95% CI: 51% to 72%) among mRNA two-dose recipients and 96% (95% CI: 93% to 98%) for three-dose recipients. When Omicron predominated, VE was 21% (95% CI: ?6% to 41%) among two-dose recipients and 62% (95% CI: 48% to 72%) among three-dose recipients. Conclusions In this adult population, three mRNA COVID-19 vaccine doses provided substantial protection against symptomatic illness in outpatient settings when the Omicron variant became the predominant cause of COVID-19 in the United States. These findings support the recommendation for a third mRNA COVID-19 vaccine dose.

3.
Nat Commun ; 13(1): 4350, 2022 07 27.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1960369

ABSTRACT

The evolution of severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) has resulted in the emergence of new variant lineages that have exacerbated the COVID-19 pandemic. Some of those variants were designated as variants of concern/interest (VOC/VOI) by national or international authorities based on many factors including their potential impact on vaccine-mediated protection from disease. To ascertain and rank the risk of VOCs and VOIs, we analyze the ability of 14 variants (614G, Alpha, Beta, Gamma, Delta, Epsilon, Zeta, Eta, Theta, Iota, Kappa, Lambda, Mu, and Omicron) to escape from mRNA vaccine-induced antibodies. The variants show differential reductions in neutralization and replication by post-vaccination sera. Although the Omicron variant (BA.1, BA.1.1, and BA.2) shows the most escape from neutralization, sera collected after a third dose of vaccine (booster sera) retain moderate neutralizing activity against that variant. Therefore, vaccination remains an effective strategy during the COVID-19 pandemic.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , SARS-CoV-2 , Antibodies, Neutralizing , Antibodies, Viral , COVID-19/prevention & control , COVID-19 Vaccines , Humans , Neutralization Tests , Pandemics , SARS-CoV-2/genetics , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus , Vaccines, Synthetic , mRNA Vaccines
4.
Emerg Infect Dis ; 28(7): 1442-1445, 2022 07.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1917186

ABSTRACT

To detect new and changing SARS-CoV-2 variants, we investigated candidate Delta-Omicron recombinant genomes from Centers for Disease Control and Prevention national genomic surveillance. Laboratory and bioinformatic investigations identified and validated 9 genetically related SARS-CoV-2 viruses with a hybrid Delta-Omicron spike protein.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , SARS-CoV-2 , COVID-19/epidemiology , Computational Biology , Humans , SARS-CoV-2/genetics , United States/epidemiology
5.
Radiology ; : 220492, 2022 Jun 28.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1909851

ABSTRACT

Background In patients with post-acute COVID-19-syndrome (PACS), abnormal gas-transfer and pulmonary vascular density have been reported, but such findings have not been related to each other, or to symptoms and exercise limitation. The pathophysiological drivers of PACS in ever- and never-hospitalized patients are not well-understood. Purpose To determine the relationship of persistent symptoms and exercise limitation with 129Xe MRI and CT pulmonary vascular measurements in individuals with PACS. Materials and Methods In this prospective study, patients with PACS aged 18-80 years with a positive PCR COVID test were recruited from a quaternary-care COVID-19 clinic between April and October 2021. Participants with PACS underwent spirometry, diffusing-capacity-of-the-lung- for-carbon-monoxide (DLco), 129Xe MRI, and chest CT. Healthy controls had no prior history of COVID-19 underwent spirometry, DLco, and 129Xe MRI. The 129Xe MRI red-blood-cell (RBC) to alveolar-barrier signal ratio, RBC area-under-the-curve (AUC), CT volume-of-pulmonary-vessels with cross-sectional-area <5mm2 (BV5), and total-blood-volume (TBV) were quantified. St. George's Respiratory Questionnaire (SGRQ), International Physical Activity Questionnaire (IPAQ) and modified Borg Dyspnea Scale (mBDS) measured quality-of-life, exercise limitation and dyspnea. Differences between groups were compared using Welch's T-tests or Welch's ANOVA. Relationships were evaluated using Pearson (r) and Spearman (ρ) correlations. Results Forty participants were evaluated including six controls (mean age, 35±15 years[standard deviation], 3 women) and 34 participants with PACS (mean age, 53±13 years[SD], 18 women), of which 22 were never-hospitalized. The 129Xe MRI RBC:barrier ratio was lower in ever- hospitalized participants (P=.04) compared to controls. BV5 correlated with RBC AUC (ρ=.44,P=.03). The 129Xe MRI RBC:barrier ratio was related to DLco (r=.57,P=.002) and FEV1 (ρ=.35,P=.03); RBC AUC was related to dyspnea (ρ=-.35,P=.04) and IPAQ score (ρ=.45,P=.02). Conclusion 129Xe MRI measurements were lower in ever- hospitalized participants with post- acute COVID-19-syndrome, 34±25 weeks post-infection compared to controls. 129Xe MRI measures were associated with CT pulmonary vascular density, DLco, exercise capacity, and dyspnea. ClinicalTrials.gov: NCT04584671 See also the editorial by Wild and Collier.

6.
Nat Biomed Eng ; 2022 May 30.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1873504

ABSTRACT

The widespread transmission and evolution of severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) call for rapid nucleic acid diagnostics that are easy to use outside of centralized clinical laboratories. Here we report the development and performance benchmarking of Cas13-based nucleic acid assays leveraging lyophilised reagents and fast sample inactivation at ambient temperature. The assays, which we named SHINEv.2 (for 'streamlined highlighting of infections to navigate epidemics, version 2'), simplify the previously reported RNA-extraction-free SHINEv.1 technology by eliminating heating steps and the need for cold storage of the reagents. SHINEv.2 detected SARS-CoV-2 in nasopharyngeal samples with 90.5% sensitivity and 100% specificity (benchmarked against the reverse transcription quantitative polymerase chain reaction) in less than 90 min, using lateral-flow technology and incubation in a heat block at 37 °C. SHINEv.2 also allows for the visual discrimination of the Alpha, Beta, Gamma, Delta and Omicron SARS-CoV-2 variants, and can be run without performance losses by using body heat. Accurate, easy-to-use and equipment-free nucleic acid assays could facilitate wider testing for SARS-CoV-2 and other pathogens in point-of-care and at-home settings.

7.
EuropePMC; 2022.
Preprint in English | EuropePMC | ID: ppcovidwho-334989

ABSTRACT

Objective To determine whether modified K–12 student quarantine policies that allow some students to continue in-person education during their quarantine period increase schoolwide SARS-CoV-2 transmission risk following the increase in cases in winter 2020-2021. Methods We conducted a prospective cohort study of COVID-19 cases and exposures among students and staff (n=65,621) in 103 Missouri public schools. Participants were offered free, saliva-based RT-PCR testing. An adjusted Cox regression model compared hazard rates of school-based SARS-CoV-2 infections between schools with a modified versus standard quarantine policy. Results From January–March 2021, a projected 23 (1%) school-based transmission events occurred among 1,636 school close contacts. There was no difference in the adjusted hazard rates of school-based SARS-CoV-2 infections between schools with a modified versus standard quarantine policy (hazard ratio=1.00;95% confidence interval: 0.97–1.03). Discussion School-based SARS-CoV-2 transmission was rare in 103 K–12 schools implementing multiple COVID-19 prevention strategies. Modified student quarantine policies were not associated with increased school incidence of COVID-19. Modifications to student quarantine policies may be a useful strategy for K–12 schools to safely reduce disruptions to in-person education during times of increased COVID-19 community incidence.

8.
EuropePMC; 2022.
Preprint in English | EuropePMC | ID: ppcovidwho-332930

ABSTRACT

Background We estimated SARS-CoV-2 Delta and Omicron-specific effectiveness of 2 and 3 mRNA COVID-19 vaccine doses in adults against symptomatic illness in US outpatient settings. Methods Between October 1, 2021, and February 12, 2022, research staff consented and enrolled eligible participants who had fever, cough, or loss of taste or smell and sought outpatient medical care or clinical SARS-CoV-2 testing within 10 days of illness onset. Using the test-negative design, we compared the odds of receiving 2 or 3 mRNA COVID-19 vaccine doses among SARS-CoV-2 cases versus controls using logistic regression. Regression models were adjusted for study site, age, onset week, and prior SARS-CoV-2 infection. Vaccine effectiveness (VE) was calculated as (1 – adjusted odds ratio) x 100%. Results Among 3847 participants included for analysis, 574 (32%) of 1775 tested positive for SARS-CoV-2 during the Delta predominant period and 1006 (56%) of 1794 participants tested positive during the Omicron predominant period. When Delta predominated, VE against symptomatic illness in outpatient settings was 63% (95% CI: 51% to 72%) among mRNA 2-dose recipients and 96% (95% CI: 93% to 98%) for 3-dose recipients. When Omicron predominated, VE was 21% (95% CI: -6% to 41%) among 2-dose recipients and 62% (95% CI: 48% to 72%) among 3-dose recipients. Conclusions In this adult population, 3 mRNA COVID-19 vaccine doses provided substantial protection against symptomatic illness in outpatient settings when the Omicron variant became the predominant cause of COVID-19 in the U.S. These findings support the recommendation for a 3 rd mRNA COVID-19 vaccine dose.

9.
EuropePMC; 2022.
Preprint in English | EuropePMC | ID: ppcovidwho-330917

ABSTRACT

Recombination between SARS-CoV-2 virus variants can result in different viral properties (e.g., infectiousness or pathogenicity). In this report, we describe viruses with recombinant genomes containing signature mutations from Delta and Omicron variants. These genomes are the first evidence for a Delta-Omicron hybrid Spike protein in the United States.

10.
Public Health Rep ; 137(3): 557-563, 2022.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1673689

ABSTRACT

OBJECTIVE: Saliva specimens collected in school populations may offer a more feasible, noninvasive alternative to nasal swabs for large-scale COVID-19 testing efforts in kindergarten through 12th grade (K-12) schools. We investigated acceptance of saliva-based COVID-19 testing among quarantined K-12 students and their parents, teachers, and staff members who recently experienced a SARS-CoV-2 exposure in school. METHODS: We surveyed 719 participants, in person or by telephone, who agreed to or declined a free saliva-based COVID-19 reverse-transcription polymerase chain reaction test as part of a surveillance investigation about whether they would have consented to testing if offered a nasal swab instead. We conducted this investigation in 6 school districts in Greene County (n = 3) and St. Louis County (n = 3), Missouri, from January 25 through March 23, 2021. RESULTS: More than one-third (160 of 446) of K-12 students (or their parents or guardians), teachers, and staff members who agreed to a saliva-based COVID-19 test indicated they would have declined testing if specimen collection were by nasal swab. When stratified by school level, 51% (67 of 132) of elementary school students or their parents or guardians would not have agreed to testing if a nasal swab was offered. CONCLUSIONS: Some students, especially those in elementary school, preferred saliva-based COVID-19 testing to nasal swab testing. Use of saliva-based testing might increase voluntary participation in screening efforts in K-12 schools to help prevent the spread of SARS-CoV-2.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , SARS-CoV-2 , COVID-19/diagnosis , COVID-19/epidemiology , COVID-19 Testing , Humans , Saliva , Specimen Handling , Students
11.
PLoS One ; 16(12): e0260487, 2021.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1581781

ABSTRACT

At the start of the COVID-19 pandemic, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) designed, manufactured, and distributed the CDC 2019-Novel Coronavirus (2019-nCoV) Real-Time RT-PCR Diagnostic Panel for SARS-CoV-2 detection. The diagnostic panel targeted three viral nucleocapsid gene loci (N1, N2, and N3 primers and probes) to maximize sensitivity and to provide redundancy for virus detection if mutations occurred. After the first distribution of the diagnostic panel, state public health laboratories reported fluorescent signal in the absence of viral template (false-positive reactivity) for the N3 component and to a lesser extent for N1. This report describes the findings of an internal investigation conducted by the CDC to identify the cause(s) of the N1 and N3 false-positive reactivity. For N1, results demonstrate that contamination with a synthetic template, that occurred while the "bulk" manufactured materials were located in a research lab for quality assessment, was the cause of false reactivity in the first lot. Base pairing between the 3' end of the N3 probe and the 3' end of the N3 reverse primer led to amplification of duplex and larger molecules resulting in false reactivity in the N3 assay component. We conclude that flaws in both assay design and handling of the "bulk" material, caused the problems with the first lot of the 2019-nCoV Real-Time RT-PCR Diagnostic Panel. In addition, within this study, we found that the age of the examined diagnostic panel reagents increases the frequency of false positive results for N3. We discuss these findings in the context of improvements to quality control, quality assurance, and assay validation practices that have since been improved at the CDC.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , DNA Primers , False Positive Reactions , Humans , Reverse Transcriptase Polymerase Chain Reaction , SARS-CoV-2
12.
EuropePMC; 2021.
Preprint in English | EuropePMC | ID: ppcovidwho-293462

ABSTRACT

The divergence of SARS-CoV-2 into variants of concern/interest (VOC/VOI) necessitated analysis of their impact on vaccines. Escape from vaccine-induced antibodies by SARS-CoV-2 VOC/VOIs was analyzed to ascertain and rank their risk. The variants showed differential reductions in neutralization and replication titers by the post-vaccination sera with Beta variant showing the most neutralization escape that was mechanistically driven by mutations in both the N-terminal domain and receptor-binding domain of the spike.

13.
Journal of the American College of Surgeons ; 233(5):e145-e145, 2021.
Article in English | Academic Search Complete | ID: covidwho-1461295
14.
MMWR Morb Mortal Wkly Rep ; 70(23): 846-850, 2021 Jun 11.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1389869

ABSTRACT

SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes COVID-19, is constantly mutating, leading to new variants (1). Variants have the potential to affect transmission, disease severity, diagnostics, therapeutics, and natural and vaccine-induced immunity. In November 2020, CDC established national surveillance for SARS-CoV-2 variants using genomic sequencing. As of May 6, 2021, sequences from 177,044 SARS-CoV-2-positive specimens collected during December 20, 2020-May 6, 2021, from 55 U.S. jurisdictions had been generated by or reported to CDC. These included 3,275 sequences for the 2-week period ending January 2, 2021, compared with 25,000 sequences for the 2-week period ending April 24, 2021 (0.1% and 3.1% of reported positive SARS-CoV-2 tests, respectively). Because sequences might be generated by multiple laboratories and sequence availability varies both geographically and over time, CDC developed statistical weighting and variance estimation methods to generate population-based estimates of the proportions of identified variants among SARS-CoV-2 infections circulating nationwide and in each of the 10 U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) geographic regions.* During the 2-week period ending April 24, 2021, the B.1.1.7 and P.1 variants represented an estimated 66.0% and 5.0% of U.S. SARS-CoV-2 infections, respectively, demonstrating the rise to predominance of the B.1.1.7 variant of concern† (VOC) and emergence of the P.1 VOC in the United States. Using SARS-CoV-2 genomic surveillance methods to analyze surveillance data produces timely population-based estimates of the proportions of variants circulating nationally and regionally. Surveillance findings demonstrate the potential for new variants to emerge and become predominant, and the importance of robust genomic surveillance. Along with efforts to characterize the clinical and public health impact of SARS-CoV-2 variants, surveillance can help guide interventions to control the COVID-19 pandemic in the United States.


Subject(s)
COVID-19/virology , SARS-CoV-2/genetics , COVID-19/epidemiology , Epidemiological Monitoring , Humans , SARS-CoV-2/isolation & purification , United States/epidemiology
15.
Science ; 372(6546): 1108-1112, 2021 06 04.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1388437

ABSTRACT

The molecular composition and binding epitopes of the immunoglobulin G (IgG) antibodies that circulate in blood plasma after severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) infection are unknown. Proteomic deconvolution of the IgG repertoire to the spike glycoprotein in convalescent subjects revealed that the response is directed predominantly (>80%) against epitopes residing outside the receptor binding domain (RBD). In one subject, just four IgG lineages accounted for 93.5% of the response, including an amino (N)-terminal domain (NTD)-directed antibody that was protective against lethal viral challenge. Genetic, structural, and functional characterization of a multidonor class of "public" antibodies revealed an NTD epitope that is recurrently mutated among emerging SARS-CoV-2 variants of concern. These data show that "public" NTD-directed and other non-RBD plasma antibodies are prevalent and have implications for SARS-CoV-2 protection and antibody escape.


Subject(s)
Antibodies, Neutralizing/immunology , Antibodies, Viral/immunology , COVID-19/immunology , Immunoglobulin G/immunology , SARS-CoV-2/immunology , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/immunology , Animals , Antibodies, Monoclonal/blood , Antibodies, Monoclonal/chemistry , Antibodies, Monoclonal/immunology , Antibodies, Neutralizing/blood , Antibodies, Neutralizing/chemistry , Antibodies, Viral/blood , Antibodies, Viral/chemistry , Antibody Affinity , COVID-19/prevention & control , Epitopes/immunology , Humans , Immune Evasion , Immunoglobulin G/blood , Immunoglobulin G/chemistry , Immunoglobulin Heavy Chains/immunology , Immunoglobulin Variable Region/immunology , Mice , Mice, Inbred BALB C , Mutation , Protein Domains , Proteomics , SARS-CoV-2/genetics , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/chemistry , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/genetics
16.
Science ; 372(6546): 1108-1112, 2021 06 04.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1216772

ABSTRACT

The molecular composition and binding epitopes of the immunoglobulin G (IgG) antibodies that circulate in blood plasma after severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) infection are unknown. Proteomic deconvolution of the IgG repertoire to the spike glycoprotein in convalescent subjects revealed that the response is directed predominantly (>80%) against epitopes residing outside the receptor binding domain (RBD). In one subject, just four IgG lineages accounted for 93.5% of the response, including an amino (N)-terminal domain (NTD)-directed antibody that was protective against lethal viral challenge. Genetic, structural, and functional characterization of a multidonor class of "public" antibodies revealed an NTD epitope that is recurrently mutated among emerging SARS-CoV-2 variants of concern. These data show that "public" NTD-directed and other non-RBD plasma antibodies are prevalent and have implications for SARS-CoV-2 protection and antibody escape.


Subject(s)
Antibodies, Neutralizing/immunology , Antibodies, Viral/immunology , COVID-19/immunology , Immunoglobulin G/immunology , SARS-CoV-2/immunology , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/immunology , Animals , Antibodies, Monoclonal/blood , Antibodies, Monoclonal/chemistry , Antibodies, Monoclonal/immunology , Antibodies, Neutralizing/blood , Antibodies, Neutralizing/chemistry , Antibodies, Viral/blood , Antibodies, Viral/chemistry , Antibody Affinity , COVID-19/prevention & control , Epitopes/immunology , Humans , Immune Evasion , Immunoglobulin G/blood , Immunoglobulin G/chemistry , Immunoglobulin Heavy Chains/immunology , Immunoglobulin Variable Region/immunology , Mice , Mice, Inbred BALB C , Mutation , Protein Domains , Proteomics , SARS-CoV-2/genetics , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/chemistry , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/genetics
17.
Pediatr Dermatol ; 38(3): 613-616, 2021 May.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1192574

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND/OBJECTIVES: Other medical specialties have studied how their practices influence the environment, but environmental impact studies in the field of dermatology remain limited. With respect to dermatology, vehicle emissions by patients traveling to and from appointments are an important factor influencing climate change. This study was undertaken to determine the greenhouse gas emissions avoided by managing isotretinoin virtually at West Virginia University Hospital. METHODS: A retrospective cross-sectional study was conducted during the COVID-19 outbreak from March 25 to December 1, 2020, where travel data were acquired and converted to emission data. RESULTS: 5,137 kg of GHG emissions in CO2 equivalents were prevented by managing isotretinoin virtually during the study period. 49 400 kg of GHG emissions in CO2 equivalents would be prevented annually. This is the emission load released when 24 690 kg of coal are burned. CONCLUSIONS: Environmental impact studies in the field of dermatology remain limited. GHG emissions were significantly reduced by virtually managing isotretinoin at a single institution. The practice of dermatology could reduce its carbon footprint by managing isotretinoin virtually, even in non-pandemic periods. Given that isotretinoin management represents a small percentage of the overall carbon footprint associated with dermatology, dermatologists should identify other conditions amenable to virtual medicine to produce greater environmental impact.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Greenhouse Effect , Carbon Footprint , Cross-Sectional Studies , Humans , Isotretinoin , Retrospective Studies , SARS-CoV-2
18.
MMWR Morb Mortal Wkly Rep ; 70(12): 449-455, 2021 Mar 26.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1151035

ABSTRACT

Many kindergarten through grade 12 (K-12) schools offering in-person learning have adopted strategies to limit the spread of SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes COVID-19 (1). These measures include mandating use of face masks, physical distancing in classrooms, increasing ventilation with outdoor air, identification of close contacts,* and following CDC isolation and quarantine guidance† (2). A 2-week pilot investigation was conducted to investigate occurrences of SARS-CoV-2 secondary transmission in K-12 schools in the city of Springfield, Missouri, and in St. Louis County, Missouri, during December 7-18, 2020. Schools in both locations implemented COVID-19 mitigation strategies; however, Springfield implemented a modified quarantine policy permitting student close contacts aged ≤18 years who had school-associated contact with a person with COVID-19 and met masking requirements during their exposure to continue in-person learning.§ Participating students, teachers, and staff members with COVID-19 (37) from 22 schools and their school-based close contacts (contacts) (156) were interviewed, and contacts were offered SARS-CoV-2 testing. Among 102 school-based contacts who received testing, two (2%) had positive test results indicating probable school-based SARS-CoV-2 secondary transmission. Both contacts were in Springfield and did not meet criteria to participate in the modified quarantine. In Springfield, 42 student contacts were permitted to continue in-person learning under the modified quarantine; among the 30 who were interviewed, 21 were tested, and none received a positive test result. Despite high community transmission, SARS-CoV-2 transmission in schools implementing COVID-19 mitigation strategies was lower than that in the community. Until additional data are available, K-12 schools should continue implementing CDC-recommended mitigation measures (2) and follow CDC isolation and quarantine guidance to minimize secondary transmission in schools offering in-person learning.


Subject(s)
COVID-19/prevention & control , COVID-19/transmission , Schools/organization & administration , Schools/statistics & numerical data , Adolescent , Adult , COVID-19/epidemiology , COVID-19 Nucleic Acid Testing , Child , Child, Preschool , Contact Tracing , Female , Humans , Male , Masks/statistics & numerical data , Middle Aged , Missouri/epidemiology , Physical Distancing , Pilot Projects , Quarantine , SARS-CoV-2/isolation & purification , Ventilation/statistics & numerical data
19.
Am J Med Case Rep ; 9(4): 249-252, 2021.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1119637

ABSTRACT

Various electrocardiographic (EKG) manifestations have been reported in patients with coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19). There is growing evidence showing that new onset QT-prolongation is a common EKG finding in COVID-19 patients. In this report, we present a case of a 71-year-old man who was found to have a new onset, irreversible, prolonged QT-interval requiring permanent biventricular pacemaker despite testing negative twice for RT-PCR COVID-19 and correction of all known reversible causes. To date, there are a limited number of reports of irreversible QT-prolongation associated with COVID-19. This case report emphasizes the importance of a physician's clinical judgment in the setting of negative RT-PCR COVID-19 testing. A robust systemic inflammatory state seen in active COVID-19 infection is possibly the key mechanism precipitating the new EKG findings.

20.
J Innov Card Rhythm Manag ; 11(8): 4191-4198, 2020 Aug.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-740625

ABSTRACT

Severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2), the coronavirus responsible for the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic, has significant cardiovascular manifestations. Several studies to date have suggested worse outcomes occur in patients with elevated troponin levels. Among hospitalized patients in Wuhan, China, arrhythmias including malignant ventricular arrhythmia have been reported. Conduction abnormalities in COVID-19 patients have also been described. Additionally, there have been concerns raised regarding COVID-19-related myocarditis, of which reported biopsy-proven cases to date appear to be rare. In this review, we address COVID-19 concerns for the cardiologist and electrophysiologist, including arrhythmia and conduction abnormalities, myocarditis, and arrhythmia in critically ill patients; angiotensin-converting enzyme 2 in cardiac patients; hypercoagulability; and the drug properties of hydroxychloroquine as one of the potential therapies under review.

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