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Western Pac Surveill Response J ; 12(3): 71-76, 2021.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1497709


PROBLEM: The novel coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic adversely affected the preparation of Malaysia's National Health and Morbidity Survey for 2020 because conducting it would expose data collectors and participants to an increased risk of infection. CONTEXT: The survey is nationally representative and community based and is conducted by the Institute for Public Health, part of the National Institutes of Health, to generate health-related evidence and to support the Malaysian Ministry of Health in policy-making. Its planned scope for 2020 was the seroprevalence of communicable diseases such as hepatitis B and C. ACTION: Additional components were added to the survey to increase its usefulness, including COVID-19 seroprevalence and facial anthropometric studies to ensure respirator fit. The survey's scale was reduced, and data collection was changed from including only face-to-face interviews to mainly self-administered and telephone interviews. The transmission risk to participants was reduced by screening data collectors before the survey and fortnightly thereafter, using standard droplet and contact precautions, ensuring proper training and monitoring of data collectors, and implementing other administrative infection prevention measures. OUTCOME: Data were collected from 7 August to 11 October 2020, with 5957 participants recruited. Only 4 out of 12 components of the survey were conducted via face-to-face interview. No COVID-19 cases were reported among data collectors and participants. All participants were given their hepatitis and COVID-19 laboratory test results; 73 participants with hepatitis B and 14 with hepatitis C who had been previously undiagnosed were referred for further case management. DISCUSSION: Preparing and conducting the National Health and Morbidity Survey during the COVID-19 pandemic required careful consideration of the risks and benefits, multiple infection prevention measures, strong leadership and strong stakeholder support to ensure there were no adverse events.

COVID-19 , Pandemics , Humans , Malaysia/epidemiology , Morbidity , Pandemics/prevention & control , Risk Assessment , SARS-CoV-2 , Seroepidemiologic Studies , United States
Western Pac Surveill Response J ; 12(1): 46-52, 2021.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1259710


BACKGROUND: Pre-existing comorbidities can predict severe disease requiring intensive care unit (ICU) admission among COVID-19 cases. We compared comorbidities, clinical features and other predictive factors between COVID-19 patients requiring ICU admission for intubation/mechanical ventilation and all other COVID-19 cases in Selangor, Malaysia. METHOD: Field data collected during the COVID-19 outbreak in Selangor, Malaysia, up to 13 April 2020 were used, comprising socio-demographic characteristics, comorbidities and presenting symptoms of COVID-19 cases. ICU admission was determined from medical records. Multiple logistic regression analysis was performed to identify factors associated with ICU admission requiring intubation/mechanical ventilation among COVID-19 cases. RESULTS: A total of 1287 COVID-19-positive cases were included for analysis. The most common comorbidities were hypertension (15.5%) and diabetes (11.0%). More than one third of cases presented with fever (43.8%) or cough (37.1%). Of the 25 cases that required intubation/mechanical ventilation, 68.0% had hypertension, 88.0% had fever, 40.0% had dyspnoea and 44.0% were lethargic. Multivariate regression showed that cases that required intubation/mechanical ventilation had significantly higher odds of being older (aged 360 years) [adjusted odds ratio (aOR) = 3.9] and having hypertension (aOR = 5.7), fever (aOR = 9.8), dyspnoea (aOR = 9.6) or lethargy (aOR = 7.9) than cases that did not require intubation/mechanical ventilation. CONCLUSION: The COVID-19 cases in Selangor, Malaysia requiring intubation/mechanical ventilation were significantly older, with a higher proportion of hypertension and symptoms of fever, dyspnoea and lethargy. These risk factors have been reported previously for severe COVID-19 cases, and highlight the role that ageing and underlying comorbidities play in severe outcomes to respiratory disease.

COVID-19/physiopathology , Comorbidity , Diabetes Complications , Hospitalization/statistics & numerical data , Hypertension/complications , Intensive Care Units/statistics & numerical data , Respiration, Artificial/statistics & numerical data , Severity of Illness Index , Adult , Age Factors , Aged , Aged, 80 and over , COVID-19/epidemiology , Female , Humans , Malaysia/epidemiology , Male , Middle Aged , Retrospective Studies , SARS-CoV-2