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1.
EuropePMC; 2020.
Preprint in English | EuropePMC | ID: ppcovidwho-319204

ABSTRACT

Since May 2020, several COVID-19 outbreaks have occurred in the German meat industry despite various protective measures, and temperature and ventilation conditions were considered as possible high-risk factors. This cross-sectional study examined meat and poultry plants to examine possible risk factors. Companies completed a self-administered questionnaire on the work environment and protective measures taken to prevent SARS-CoV-2 infection. Multivariable logistic regression analysis adjusted for the possibility to distance at least 1.5 meters, break rules, and employment status was performed to identify risk factors associated with COVID-19 cases. Twenty-two meat and poultry plants with 19,072 employees participated. The prevalence of COVID-19 in the seven plants with more than 10 cases was 12.1% and was highest in the deboning and meat cutting area with 16.1%. A subsample analysis where information on maximal ventilation rate per employee was available revealed an effect for ventilation rate (adjusted odds ratio (AOR) 0.996, 95% CI 0.993-0.999). When including temperature as an interaction term in the working area, the effect of the ventilation rate did not change. Increasing room temperatures resulted in a lower chance of obtaining a positive COVID-19 test result (AOR 0.90 95% CI 0.82-0.99), and a 0.1% greater chance of a positive COVID-19 test for the interaction term (AOR 1.001, 95% CI 1.000-1.003). Our results further indicate that climate conditions and low outdoor air flow are factors that can promote the spread of SARS-CoV-2 aerosols. A possible requirement for pandemic mitigation strategies in industrial workplace settings is to increase the ventilation rate.

2.
EuropePMC; 2020.
Preprint in English | EuropePMC | ID: ppcovidwho-314541

ABSTRACT

Background: Risk communication during pandemics is an element of paramount importance. Understanding the level of public concern implicates expensive and time-consuming surveys. We hypothesize that the relative search volume from Google Trends could be used as an indicator of public concern towards prevention measures as well as of the adequacy of the official messages spread. Methods: : The search terms ‘ RKI ’, ‘ corona ’ and ‘ protective mask’ in German language were shortlisted. Cross-correlations between these terms and the reported cases from February 15 th to April 27 th were conducted for each German federal state. The findings were contrasted against a timeline of official communications concerning COVID-19. Results: : The highest correlations of the term ‘ RKI’ (Robert Koch Institute, national public health authority in Germany) with reported COVID-19 cases were found between lags of -2 and -12 days, meaning web searches were already performed two to twelve days before case numbers increased. A similar pattern was seen for the term ‘ corona ’. Cross-correlations indicated that most searches on ‘ protective mask ’ were performed six to twelve days after the increase of cases. Conclusions: : The results for the term ‘ protective mask ’ indicate some degree of confusion in the population, which is supported by the contradictory recommendations on the wearing of face masks over time. In addition, the relative search volumes could be a useful tool to provide timely information on location-based risk communication strategies.

3.
BMJ Open ; 11(12): e056853, 2021 12 17.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1583091

ABSTRACT

INTRODUCTION: The current COVID-19 pandemic has impacted the entire world with increasing morbidity and mortality and has resulted in serious economic and social consequences. Assessing the burden of COVID-19 is essential for developing efficient pandemic preparedness and response strategies and for determining the impact of implemented control measures. Population-based seroprevalence surveys are critical to estimate infection rates, monitor the progression of the epidemic and to allow for the identification of persons exposed to the infection who may either have been asymptomatic or were never tested. This is especially important for countries where effective testing and tracking systems could not be established and where non-severe cases or under-reported deaths might have blurred the true burden of COVID-19. Most seroprevalence surveys performed in sub-Saharan Africa have targeted specific high risk or more easily accessible populations such as healthcare workers or blood donors, and household-based estimates are rarely available. Here, we present the study protocol for a SARS-CoV-2 seroprevalence estimation in the general population of Burkina Faso, Ghana and Madagascar in 2021. METHODS AND ANALYSIS: The SeroCoV study is a household-based cross-sectional prevalence investigation in persons aged 10 years and older living in urban areas in six cities using a two-stage geographical cluster sampling method stratified by age and sex. The presence of anti-SARS-CoV-2 IgG antibodies will be determined using a sensitive and specific SARS-CoV-2 IgG ELISA. In addition, questionnaires will cover sociodemographic information, episodes of diseases and history of testing and treatment for COVID-like symptoms, travel history and safety measures. We will estimate the seroprevalence of SARS-CoV-2, taking into account test performance and adjusting for the age and sex of the respective populations. ETHICS AND DISSEMINATION: Ethical approval was received for all participating countries. Results will be disseminated through reports and presentations at the country level as well as peer-reviewed publications and international scientific conferences presentations.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , SARS-CoV-2 , Antibodies, Viral , Burkina Faso , Cross-Sectional Studies , Humans , Pandemics , Prevalence , Seroepidemiologic Studies
4.
PLoS One ; 16(6): e0242456, 2021.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1264207

ABSTRACT

Since May 2020, several COVID-19 outbreaks have occurred in the German meat industry despite various protective measures, and temperature and ventilation conditions were considered as possible high-risk factors. This cross-sectional study examined meat and poultry plants to assess possible risk factors. Companies completed a self-administered questionnaire on the work environment and protective measures taken to prevent SARS-CoV-2 infection. Multivariable logistic regression analysis adjusted for the possibility to distance at least 1.5 meters, break rules, and employment status was performed to identify risk factors associated with COVID-19 cases. Twenty-two meat and poultry plants with 19,072 employees participated. The prevalence of COVID-19 in the seven plants with more than 10 cases was 12.1% and was highest in the deboning and meat cutting area with 16.1%. A subsample analysis where information on maximal ventilation rate per employee was available revealed an association with the ventilation rate (adjusted odds ratio (AOR) 0.996, 95% CI 0.993-0.999). When including temperature as an interaction term in the working area, the association with the ventilation rate did not change. When room temperatures increased, the chance of testing positive for COVID-19 (AOR 0.90 95% CI 0.82-0.99) decreased, and the chance for testing positive for COVID-19for the interaction term (AOR 1.001, 95% CI 1.000-1.003) increased. Employees who work where a minimum distance of less than 1.5 m between workers was the norm had a higher chance of testing positive (AOR 3.61; 95% CI 2.83-4.6). Our results further indicate that climate conditions and low outdoor air flow are factors that can promote the spread of SARS-CoV-2 aerosols. A possible requirement for pandemic mitigation strategies in industrial workplace settings is to increase the ventilation rate.


Subject(s)
COVID-19/transmission , Food Industry , Workplace , COVID-19/epidemiology , Cross-Sectional Studies , Disease Outbreaks , Employment , Food Industry/organization & administration , Germany/epidemiology , Humans , Meat Products/supply & distribution , Risk Factors , SARS-CoV-2/isolation & purification , Temperature , Ventilation , Workplace/organization & administration
5.
Sci Rep ; 11(1): 6419, 2021 03 19.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1142468

ABSTRACT

Risk communication during pandemics is an element of utmost importance. Understanding the level of public attention-a prerequisite for effective communication-implicates expensive and time-consuming surveys. We hypothesise that the relative search volume from Google Trends could be used as an indicator of public attention of a disease and its prevention measures. The search terms 'RKI' (Robert Koch Institute, national public health authority in Germany), 'corona' and 'protective mask' in German language were shortlisted. Cross-correlations between these terms and the reported cases from 15 February to 27 April were conducted for each German federal state. The findings were contrasted against a timeline of official communications concerning COVID-19. The highest correlations of the term 'RKI' with reported COVID-19 cases were found between lags of - 2 and - 12 days, meaning web searches were already performed from 2 to 12 days before case numbers increased. A similar pattern was seen for the term 'corona'. Cross-correlations indicated that most searches on 'protective mask' were performed from 6 to 12 days after the peak of cases. The results for the term 'protective mask' indicate a degree of confusion in the population. This is supported by conflicting recommendations to wear face masks during the first wave. The relative search volumes could be a useful tool to provide timely and location-specific information on public attention for risk communication.


Subject(s)
COVID-19/epidemiology , Search Engine , COVID-19/prevention & control , Communication , Germany/epidemiology , Humans , Masks , Public Health , SARS-CoV-2/isolation & purification
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