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1.
Geburtshilfe Frauenheilkd ; 82(2): 226-234, 2022 Feb.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-2016893

ABSTRACT

Purpose Detection of SARS-CoV-2-infected pregnant women admitted to maternity units during a pandemic is crucial. In addition to the fact that pregnancy is a risk factor for severe COVID-19 and that medical surveillance has to be adjusted in infected women and their offspring, knowledge about infection status can provide the opportunity to protect other patients and healthcare workers against virus transmission. The aim of this prospective observational study was to determine the prevalence of SARS-CoV-2 infection among pregnant women in the hospital setting. Material and Methods All eligible pregnant women admitted to the nine participating hospitals in Franconia, Germany, from 2 June 2020 to 24 January 2021 were included. COVID-19-related symptoms, secondary diseases and pregnancy abnormalities were documented. SARS-CoV-2 RNA was detected by RT-PCR from nasopharyngeal swabs. The prevalence of acute SARS-CoV-2 infection was estimated by correcting the positive rate using the Rogan-Gladen method. The risk of infection for healthcare workers during delivery was estimated using a risk calculator. Results Of 2414 recruited pregnant women, six were newly diagnosed RT-PCR positive for SARS-CoV-2, which yielded a prevalence of SARS-CoV-2 infection of 0.26% (95% CI, 0.10 - 0.57%). Combining active room ventilation and wearing FFP2 masks showed an estimated reduction of risk of infection for healthcare workers in the delivery room to < 1%. Conclusions The prevalence of newly diagnosed SARS-CoV-2 infection during pregnancy in this study is low. Nevertheless, a systematic screening in maternity units during pandemic situations is important to adjust hygienic and medical management. An adequate hygienic setting can minimise the calculated infection risk for medical healthcare workers during patients' labour.

2.
Atmospheric Chemistry and Physics ; 22(14):9483-9497, 2022.
Article in English | ProQuest Central | ID: covidwho-1954573

ABSTRACT

In this work we present airborne in situ trace gas observations of hydrogen peroxide (H2O2) and the sum of organic hydroperoxides over Europe during the Chemistry of the Atmosphere – Field Experiments in Europe (CAFE-EU, also known as BLUESKY) aircraft campaign using a wet chemical monitoring system, the HYdrogen Peroxide and Higher Organic Peroxide (HYPHOP) monitor. The campaign took place in May–June 2020 over central and southern Europe with two additional flights dedicated to the North Atlantic flight corridor. Airborne measurements were performed on the High Altitude and LOng-range (HALO) research operating out of Oberpfaffenhofen (southern Germany). We report average mixing ratios for H2O2 of 0.32 ± 0.25, 0.39 ± 0.23 and 0.38 ± 0.21 ppbv in the upper and middle troposphere and the boundary layer over Europe, respectively. Vertical profiles of measured H2O2 reveal a significant decrease, in particular above the boundary layer, contrary to previous observations, most likely due to cloud scavenging and subsequent rainout of soluble species. In general, the expected inverted C-shaped vertical trend with maximum hydrogen peroxide mixing ratios at 3–7 km was not found during BLUESKY. This deviates from observations during previous airborne studies over Europe, i.e., 1.64 ± 0.83 ppbv during the HOOVER campaign and 1.67 ± 0.97 ppbv during UTOPIHAN-ACT II/III. Simulations with the global chemistry–transport model EMAC partly reproduce the strong effect of rainout loss on the vertical profile of H2O2. A sensitivity study without H2O2 scavenging performed using EMAC confirms the strong influence of clouds and precipitation scavenging on hydrogen peroxide concentrations. Differences between model simulations and observations are most likely due to difficulties in the simulation of wet scavenging processes due to the limited model resolution.

3.
Atmospheric Chemistry and Physics ; 22(13):8683-8699, 2022.
Article in English | ProQuest Central | ID: covidwho-1924523

ABSTRACT

The abrupt reduction in human activities during the first lockdown of the COVID-19 pandemic created unprecedented atmospheric conditions. To quantify the changes in lower tropospheric air pollution, we conducted the BLUESKY aircraft campaign and measured vertical profiles of black carbon (BC) aerosol particles over western and southern Europe in May and June 2020. We compared the results to similar measurements of the EMeRGe EU campaign performed in July 2017 and found that the BC mass concentrations (MBC) were reduced by about 48%. For BC particle number concentrations, we found comparable reductions. Based on ECHAM/MESSy Atmospheric Chemistry (EMAC) chemistry-transport model simulations, we found differences in meteorological conditions and flight patterns responsible for about 7% of the MBC reductions. Accordingly 41% of MBC reductions can be attributed to reduced anthropogenic emissions. Our results reflect the strong and immediate positive effect of changes in human activities on air quality and the atmospheric role of BC aerosols as a major air pollutant in the Anthropocene.

4.
Atmospheric Chemistry and Physics ; 22(9):6151-6165, 2022.
Article in English | ProQuest Central | ID: covidwho-1841631

ABSTRACT

The COVID-19 (coronavirus disease 2019) European lockdowns have led to a significant reduction in the emissions of primary pollutants such as NO (nitric oxide) and NO2 (nitrogen dioxide). As most photochemical processes are related to nitrogen oxide (NOx≡ NO + NO2) chemistry, this event has presented an exceptional opportunity to investigate its effects on air quality and secondary pollutants, such as tropospheric ozone (O3). In this study, we present the effects of the COVID-19 lockdown on atmospheric trace gas concentrations, net ozone production rates (NOPRs) and the dominant chemical regime throughout the troposphere based on three different research aircraft campaigns across Europe. These are the UTOPIHAN (Upper Tropospheric Ozone: Processes Involving HOx and NOx) campaigns in 2003 and 2004, the HOOVN1 -https://media.proquest.com/media/hms/PFT/1/Q2apM?_a=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&_s=4R%2BrSLBAOWkAv60BD6umfsLkEuQ%3D

5.
Geburtshilfe und Frauenheilkunde ; 82(2):226-234, 2022.
Article in English | EuropePMC | ID: covidwho-1678867

ABSTRACT

Purpose Detection of SARS-CoV-2-infected pregnant women admitted to maternity units during a pandemic is crucial. In addition to the fact that pregnancy is a risk factor for severe COVID-19 and that medical surveillance has to be adjusted in infected women and their offspring, knowledge about infection status can provide the opportunity to protect other patients and healthcare workers against virus transmission. The aim of this prospective observational study was to determine the prevalence of SARS-CoV-2 infection among pregnant women in the hospital setting. Material and Methods All eligible pregnant women admitted to the nine participating hospitals in Franconia, Germany, from 2 June 2020 to 24 January 2021 were included. COVID-19-related symptoms, secondary diseases and pregnancy abnormalities were documented. SARS-CoV-2 RNA was detected by RT-PCR from nasopharyngeal swabs. The prevalence of acute SARS-CoV-2 infection was estimated by correcting the positive rate using the Rogan–Gladen method. The risk of infection for healthcare workers during delivery was estimated using a risk calculator. Results Of 2414 recruited pregnant women, six were newly diagnosed RT-PCR positive for SARS-CoV-2, which yielded a prevalence of SARS-CoV-2 infection of 0.26% (95% CI, 0.10 – 0.57%). Combining active room ventilation and wearing FFP2 masks showed an estimated reduction of risk of infection for healthcare workers in the delivery room to < 1%. Conclusions The prevalence of newly diagnosed SARS-CoV-2 infection during pregnancy in this study is low. Nevertheless, a systematic screening in maternity units during pandemic situations is important to adjust hygienic and medical management. An adequate hygienic setting can minimise the calculated infection risk for medical healthcare workers during patientsʼ labour.

6.
Environ Health Perspect ; 128(11): 115001, 2020 11.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1054874

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: Modeling suggests that climate change mitigation actions can have substantial human health benefits that accrue quickly and locally. Documenting the benefits can help drive more ambitious and health-protective climate change mitigation actions; however, documenting the adverse health effects can help to avoid them. Estimating the health effects of mitigation (HEM) actions can help policy makers prioritize investments based not only on mitigation potential but also on expected health benefits. To date, however, the wide range of incompatible approaches taken to developing and reporting HEM estimates has limited their comparability and usefulness to policymakers. OBJECTIVE: The objective of this effort was to generate guidance for modeling studies on scoping, estimating, and reporting population health effects from climate change mitigation actions. METHODS: An expert panel of HEM researchers was recruited to participate in developing guidance for conducting HEM studies. The primary literature and a synthesis of HEM studies were provided to the panel. Panel members then participated in a modified Delphi exercise to identify areas of consensus regarding HEM estimation. Finally, the panel met to review and discuss consensus findings, resolve remaining differences, and generate guidance regarding conducting HEM studies. RESULTS: The panel generated a checklist of recommendations regarding stakeholder engagement: HEM modeling, including model structure, scope and scale, demographics, time horizons, counterfactuals, health response functions, and metrics; parameterization and reporting; approaches to uncertainty and sensitivity analysis; accounting for policy uptake; and discounting. DISCUSSION: This checklist provides guidance for conducting and reporting HEM estimates to make them more comparable and useful for policymakers. Harmonization of HEM estimates has the potential to lead to advances in and improved synthesis of policy-relevant research that can inform evidence-based decision making and practice. https://doi.org/10.1289/EHP6745.


Subject(s)
Air Pollution , COVID-19 , Coronavirus , Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome , Climate Change , Disease Outbreaks , Epidemiologic Studies , Humans , SARS-CoV-2
7.
Herz ; 46(2): 120-128, 2021 Mar.
Article in German | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1043352

ABSTRACT

Air pollution in the environment and in households is responsible worldwide for almost 9 million preventable premature deaths per year and almost 800,000 such deaths within Europe. Air pollution therefore shortens life expectancy worldwide by almost 3 years. Smoking, a proven cardiovascular risk factor, shortens the mean life expectancy by 2.2 years. Epidemiological studies have shown that air pollution from fine and coarse particulate matter is associated with increased cardiovascular morbidity and mortality. Responsible for this are mainly cardiovascular diseases, such as coronary heart disease, heart attack, heart failure, stroke, hypertension and also diabetes, which are mainly caused or aggravated by fine particulate matter. After inhalation fine particulate matter can reach the brain directly and also reach the bloodstream via a transition process. There, the particles are absorbed by the blood vessels where they stimulate the formation of reactive oxygen species (ROS) in the vascular wall. They therefore promote the formation of atherosclerotic changes and in this way increase the cardiovascular risks, especially an increase in chronic ischemic heart disease and stroke. Recent studies also reported that in coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) patients a high degree of air pollution is correlated with severe disease courses with cardiovascular complications and pulmonary diseases. This necessitates preventive measures, such as lowering of the upper limits for air pollutants. Individual measures to mitigate the health consequences of fine particulate matter are also discussed.


Subject(s)
Air Pollution , COVID-19 , Cardiovascular Diseases , Air Pollution/adverse effects , Cardiovascular Diseases/epidemiology , Europe , Humans , SARS-CoV-2
8.
Int J Environ Res Public Health ; 17(21)2020 Nov 03.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-921199

ABSTRACT

The role of aerosolized SARS-CoV-2 viruses in airborne transmission of COVID-19 has been debated. The aerosols are transmitted through breathing and vocalization by infectious subjects. Some authors state that this represents the dominant route of spreading, while others dismiss the option. Here we present an adjustable algorithm to estimate the infection risk for different indoor environments, constrained by published data of human aerosol emissions, SARS-CoV-2 viral loads, infective dose and other parameters. We evaluate typical indoor settings such as an office, a classroom, choir practice, and a reception/party. Our results suggest that aerosols from highly infective subjects can effectively transmit COVID-19 in indoor environments. This "highly infective" category represents approximately 20% of the patients who tested positive for SARS-CoV-2. We find that "super infective" subjects, representing the top 5-10% of subjects with a positive test, plus an unknown fraction of less-but still highly infective, high aerosol-emitting subjects-may cause COVID-19 clusters (>10 infections). In general, active room ventilation and the ubiquitous wearing of face masks (i.e., by all subjects) may reduce the individual infection risk by a factor of five to ten, similar to high-volume, high-efficiency particulate air (HEPA) filtering. A particularly effective mitigation measure is the use of high-quality masks, which can drastically reduce the indoor infection risk through aerosols.


Subject(s)
Aerosols , Coronavirus Infections/transmission , Models, Theoretical , Pneumonia, Viral/transmission , Air Microbiology , Algorithms , Betacoronavirus , COVID-19 , Coronavirus Infections/prevention & control , Filtration , Humans , Masks , Pandemics/prevention & control , Pneumonia, Viral/prevention & control , SARS-CoV-2 , Ventilation
9.
International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health ; 17(21):8114, 2020.
Article in English | MDPI | ID: covidwho-896411

ABSTRACT

The role of aerosolized SARS-CoV-2 viruses in airborne transmission of COVID-19 has been debated. The aerosols are transmitted through breathing and vocalization by infectious subjects. Some authors state that this represents the dominant route of spreading, while others dismiss the option. Here we present an adjustable algorithm to estimate the infection risk for different indoor environments, constrained by published data of human aerosol emissions, SARS-CoV-2 viral loads, infective dose and other parameters. We evaluate typical indoor settings such as an office, a classroom, choir practice, and a reception/party. Our results suggest that aerosols from highly infective subjects can effectively transmit COVID-19 in indoor environments. This “highly infective”category represents approximately 20% of the patients who tested positive for SARS-CoV-2. We find that “super infective”subjects, representing the top 5–10% of subjects with a positive test, plus an unknown fraction of less—but still highly infective, high aerosol-emitting subjects—may cause COVID-19 clusters (>10 infections). In general, active room ventilation and the ubiquitous wearing of face masks (i.e., by all subjects) may reduce the individual infection risk by a factor of five to ten, similar to high-volume, high-efficiency particulate air (HEPA) filtering. A particularly effective mitigation measure is the use of high-quality masks, which can drastically reduce the indoor infection risk through aerosols.

10.
Environ Res ; 192: 110403, 2021 01.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-898817

ABSTRACT

The lockdown response to COVID-19 has resulted in an unprecedented reduction in global economic activity and associated air pollutant levels, especially from a decline in land transportation. We utilized a network of >10,000 air quality stations distributed over 34 countries during lockdown dates up until 15 May 2020 to obtain lockdown related anomalies for nitrogen dioxide, ozone and particulate matter smaller than 2.5 µm in diameter (PM2.5). Pollutant anomalies were related to short-term health outcomes using empirical exposure-response functions. We estimate that there were a net total of 49,900 (11,000 to 90,000; 95% confidence interval) excess deaths and 89,000 (64,700 to 107,000) pediatric asthma emergency room visits avoided during lockdowns. In China and India alone, the PM2.5-related avoided excess mortality was 19,600 (15,300 to 24,000) and 30,500 (5700 to 68,000), respectively. While the state of COVID-19 imposed lockdown is not sustainable, these findings illustrate the potential health benefits gained by reducing "business as usual" air pollutant emissions from economic activities primarily through finding alternative transportation solutions.


Subject(s)
Air Pollutants , Air Pollution , COVID-19 , Air Pollutants/analysis , Air Pollution/analysis , Air Pollution/prevention & control , Child , China/epidemiology , Global Health , Humans , India , Pandemics , Particulate Matter/analysis , SARS-CoV-2
11.
Cardiovasc Res ; 116(14): 2247-2253, 2020 12 01.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-894578

ABSTRACT

AIMS: The risk of mortality from the coronavirus disease that emerged in 2019 (COVID-19) is increased by comorbidity from cardiovascular and pulmonary diseases. Air pollution also causes excess mortality from these conditions. Analysis of the first severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus (SARS-CoV-1) outcomes in 2003, and preliminary investigations of those for SARS-CoV-2 since 2019, provide evidence that the incidence and severity are related to ambient air pollution. We estimated the fraction of COVID-19 mortality that is attributable to the long-term exposure to ambient fine particulate air pollution. METHODS AND RESULTS: We characterized global exposure to fine particulates based on satellite data, and calculated the anthropogenic fraction with an atmospheric chemistry model. The degree to which air pollution influences COVID-19 mortality was derived from epidemiological data in the USA and China. We estimate that particulate air pollution contributed ∼15% (95% confidence interval 7-33%) to COVID-19 mortality worldwide, 27% (13 - 46%) in East Asia, 19% (8-41%) in Europe, and 17% (6-39%) in North America. Globally, ∼50-60% of the attributable, anthropogenic fraction is related to fossil fuel use, up to 70-80% in Europe, West Asia, and North America. CONCLUSION: Our results suggest that air pollution is an important cofactor increasing the risk of mortality from COVID-19. This provides extra motivation for combining ambitious policies to reduce air pollution with measures to control the transmission of COVID-19.


Subject(s)
Air Pollutants/adverse effects , Air Pollution/adverse effects , COVID-19/mortality , Global Health , Particulate Matter/adverse effects , Asia , Environmental Exposure , Europe , Humans , Models, Theoretical , North America , Risk Assessment , Risk Factors , Time Factors
12.
Int J Mol Sci ; 21(12)2020 Jun 17.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-738129

ABSTRACT

Exposure to ambient air pollution is a well-established determinant of health and disease. The Lancet Commission on pollution and health concludes that air pollution is the leading environmental cause of global disease and premature death. Indeed, there is a growing body of evidence that links air pollution not only to adverse cardiorespiratory effects but also to increased risk of cerebrovascular and neuropsychiatric disorders. Despite being a relatively new area of investigation, overall, there is mounting recent evidence showing that exposure to multiple air pollutants, in particular to fine particles, may affect the central nervous system (CNS) and brain health, thereby contributing to increased risk of stroke, dementia, Parkinson's disease, cognitive dysfunction, neurodevelopmental disorders, depression and other related conditions. The underlying molecular mechanisms of susceptibility and disease remain largely elusive. However, emerging evidence suggests inflammation and oxidative stress to be crucial factors in the pathogenesis of air pollution-induced disorders, driven by the enhanced production of proinflammatory mediators and reactive oxygen species in response to exposure to various air pollutants. From a public health perspective, mitigation measures are urgent to reduce the burden of disease and premature mortality from ambient air pollution.


Subject(s)
Air Pollutants/adverse effects , Air Pollutants/analysis , Air Pollution/adverse effects , Cerebrovascular Disorders/etiology , Cerebrovascular Disorders/metabolism , Mental Disorders/etiology , Mental Disorders/metabolism , Oxidative Stress , Animals , COVID-19/complications , COVID-19/epidemiology , Cerebrovascular Disorders/epidemiology , Disease Models, Animal , Disease Susceptibility , Global Health , Humans , Inflammation , Mental Disorders/epidemiology , Particulate Matter/adverse effects
13.
Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A ; 117(32): 18984-18990, 2020 08 11.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-691222

ABSTRACT

The lockdown response to coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) has caused an unprecedented reduction in global economic and transport activity. We test the hypothesis that this has reduced tropospheric and ground-level air pollution concentrations, using satellite data and a network of >10,000 air quality stations. After accounting for the effects of meteorological variability, we find declines in the population-weighted concentration of ground-level nitrogen dioxide (NO2: 60% with 95% CI 48 to 72%), and fine particulate matter (PM2.5: 31%; 95% CI: 17 to 45%), with marginal increases in ozone (O3: 4%; 95% CI: -2 to 10%) in 34 countries during lockdown dates up until 15 May. Except for ozone, satellite measurements of the troposphere indicate much smaller reductions, highlighting the spatial variability of pollutant anomalies attributable to complex NOx chemistry and long-distance transport of fine particulate matter with a diameter less than 2.5 µm (PM2.5). By leveraging Google and Apple mobility data, we find empirical evidence for a link between global vehicle transportation declines and the reduction of ambient NO2 exposure. While the state of global lockdown is not sustainable, these findings allude to the potential for mitigating public health risk by reducing "business as usual" air pollutant emissions from economic activities. Explore trends here: https://nina.earthengine.app/view/lockdown-pollution.


Subject(s)
Air Pollution/statistics & numerical data , Coronavirus Infections/epidemiology , Pneumonia, Viral/epidemiology , Quarantine/statistics & numerical data , Air Pollutants/analysis , Atmosphere/chemistry , COVID-19 , Coronavirus Infections/prevention & control , Humans , Nitrogen Dioxide/analysis , Ozone/analysis , Pandemics/prevention & control , Particulate Matter/analysis , Pneumonia, Viral/prevention & control , Quarantine/economics , Vehicle Emissions/analysis
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