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1.
Lancet Reg Health Eur ; 19: 100446, 2022 Aug.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1914781

ABSTRACT

Background: Starting from the final months of 2021, the SARS-CoV-2 Omicron variant expanded globally, swiftly replacing Delta, the variant that was dominant at the time. Many uncertainties remain about the epidemiology of Omicron; here, we aim to estimate its generation time. Methods: We used a Bayesian approach to analyze 23,122 SARS-CoV-2 infected individuals clustered in 8903 households as determined from contact tracing operations in Reggio Emilia, Italy, throughout January 2022. We estimated the distribution of the intrinsic generation time (the time between the infection dates of an infector and its secondary cases in a fully susceptible population), realized household generation time, realized serial interval (time between symptom onset of an infector and its secondary cases), and contribution of pre-symptomatic transmission. Findings: We estimated a mean intrinsic generation time of 6.84 days (95% credible intervals, CrI, 5.72-8.60), and a mean realized household generation time of 3.59 days (95%CrI: 3.55-3.60). The household serial interval was 2.38 days (95%CrI 2.30-2.47) with about 51% (95%CrI 45-56%) of infections caused by symptomatic individuals being generated before symptom onset. Interpretation: These results indicate that the intrinsic generation time of the SARS-CoV-2 Omicron variant might not have shortened as compared to previous estimates on ancestral lineages, Alpha and Delta, in the same geographic setting. Like for previous lineages, pre-symptomatic transmission appears to play a key role for Omicron transmission. Estimates in this study may be useful to design quarantine, isolation and contact tracing protocols and to support surveillance (e.g., for the accurate computation of reproduction numbers). Funding: The study was partially funded by EU grant 874850 MOOD.

2.
Epidemics ; 40: 100601, 2022 Jun 17.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1895034

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: After a rapid upsurge of COVID-19 cases in Italy during the fall of 2020, the government introduced a three-tiered restriction system aimed at increasing physical distancing. The Ministry of Health, after periodic epidemiological risk assessments, assigned a tier to each of the 21 Italian regions and autonomous provinces. It is still unclear to what extent these different sets of measures altered the number of daily interactions and the social mixing patterns. METHODS AND FINDINGS: We conducted a survey between July 2020 and March 2021 to monitor changes in social contact patterns among individuals in the metropolitan city of Milan, Italy, which was hardly hit by the second wave of the COVID-19 pandemic. The number of daily contacts during periods characterized by different levels of restrictions was analyzed through negative binomial regression models and age-specific contact matrices were estimated under the different tiers of restrictions. By relying on the empirically estimated mixing patterns, we quantified relative changes in SARS-CoV-2 transmission potential associated with the different tiers. As tighter restrictions were implemented during the fall of 2020, a progressive reduction in the mean number of daily contacts recorded by study participants was observed: from 15.9 % under mild restrictions (yellow tier), to 41.8 % under strong restrictions (red tier). Higher restrictions levels were also found to increase the relative contribution of contacts occurring within the household. The SARS-CoV-2 reproduction number was estimated to decrease by 17.1 % (95 %CI: 1.5-30.1), 25.1 % (95 %CI: 13.0-36.0) and 44.7 % (95 %CI: 33.9-53.0) under the yellow, orange, and red tiers, respectively. CONCLUSIONS: Our results give an important quantification of the expected contribution of different restriction levels in shaping social contacts and decreasing the transmission potential of SARS-CoV-2. These estimates can find an operational use in anticipating the effect that the implementation of these tiered restriction can have on SARS-CoV-2 reproduction number under an evolving epidemiological situation.

3.
Clin Infect Dis ; 74(5): 893-896, 2022 03 09.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1703879

ABSTRACT

We analyzed 221 coronavirus disease 2019 cases identified between June 2020 and January 2021 in 6074 individuals screened for immunoglobulin G antibodies in May 2020, representing 77% of residents of 5 Italian municipalities. The relative risk of developing symptomatic infection in seropositive participants was 0.055 (95% confidence interval, .014-.220).


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , SARS-CoV-2 , Antibodies, Viral , Humans , Immunoglobulin G , Reinfection
4.
Euro Surveill ; 27(5)2022 02.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1700766

ABSTRACT

BackgroundSeveral SARS-CoV-2 variants of concern (VOC) have emerged through 2020 and 2021. There is need for tools to estimate the relative transmissibility of emerging variants of SARS-CoV-2 with respect to circulating strains.AimWe aimed to assess the prevalence of co-circulating VOC in Italy and estimate their relative transmissibility.MethodsWe conducted two genomic surveillance surveys on 18 February and 18 March 2021 across the whole Italian territory covering 3,243 clinical samples and developed a mathematical model that describes the dynamics of co-circulating strains.ResultsThe Alpha variant was already dominant on 18 February in a majority of regions/autonomous provinces (national prevalence: 54%) and almost completely replaced historical lineages by 18 March (dominant across Italy, national prevalence: 86%). We found a substantial proportion of the Gamma variant on 18 February, almost exclusively in central Italy (prevalence: 19%), which remained similar on 18 March. Nationally, the mean relative transmissibility of Alpha ranged at 1.55-1.57 times the level of historical lineages (95% CrI: 1.45-1.66). The relative transmissibility of Gamma varied according to the assumed degree of cross-protection from infection with other lineages and ranged from 1.12 (95% CrI: 1.03-1.23) with complete immune evasion to 1.39 (95% CrI: 1.26-1.56) for complete cross-protection.ConclusionWe assessed the relative advantage of competing viral strains, using a mathematical model assuming different degrees of cross-protection. We found substantial co-circulation of Alpha and Gamma in Italy. Gamma was not able to outcompete Alpha, probably because of its lower transmissibility.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , SARS-CoV-2 , Humans , Italy/epidemiology , Models, Theoretical
5.
EuropePMC; 2021.
Preprint in English | EuropePMC | ID: ppcovidwho-308578

ABSTRACT

In 2020, countries affected by the COVID-19 pandemic implemented various non-pharmaceutical interventions to contrast the spread of the virus and its impact on their healthcare systems and economies. Using Italian data at different geographic scales, we investigate the relationship between human mobility, which subsumes many facets of the population's response to the changing situation, and the spread of COVID-19. Leveraging mobile phone data from February through September 2020, we find a striking relationship between the decrease in mobility flows and the net reproduction number. We find that the time needed to switch off mobility and bring the net reproduction number below the critical threshold of 1 is about one week. Moreover, we observe a strong relationship between the number of days spent above such threshold before the lockdown-induced drop in mobility flows and the total number of infections per 100k inhabitants. Estimating the statistical effect of mobility flows on the net reproduction number over time, we document a 2-week lag positive association, strong in March and April, and weaker but still significant in June. Our study demonstrates the value of big mobility data to monitor the epidemic and inform control interventions during its unfolding.

6.
EuropePMC; 2020.
Preprint in English | EuropePMC | ID: ppcovidwho-319211

ABSTRACT

We quantified the probability of developing symptoms (respiratory or fever \geq 37.5 °C) and critical disease (requiring intensive care or resulting in death) of SARS-CoV-2 positive subjects. 5,484 contacts of SARS-CoV-2 index cases detected in Lombardy, Italy were analyzed, and positive subjects were ascertained via nasal swabs and serological assays. 73.9% of all infected individuals aged less than 60 years did not develop symptoms (95% confidence interval: 71.8-75.9%). The risk of symptoms increased with age. 6.6% of infected subjects older than 60 years had critical disease, with males at significantly higher risk.

7.
EuropePMC; 2020.
Preprint in English | EuropePMC | ID: ppcovidwho-319210

ABSTRACT

We analyzed 5,484 close contacts of COVID-19 cases from Italy, all of them tested for SARS-CoV-2 infection. We found an infection fatality ratio of 2.2% (95%CI 1.69-2.81%) and identified male sex, age >70 years, cardiovascular comorbidities, and infection early in the epidemics as risk factors for death.

8.
EuropePMC; 2020.
Preprint in English | EuropePMC | ID: ppcovidwho-311797

ABSTRACT

On March 10, 2020, Italy imposed a national lockdown to curtail the spread of COVID-19. Here we estimate that, fourteen days after the implementation of the strategy, the net reproduction number has dropped below the epidemic threshold - estimated range 0.4-0.7. Our findings provide a timeline of the effectiveness of the implemented lockdown, which is relevant for a large number of countries that followed Italy in enforcing similar measures.

9.
EuropePMC;
Preprint in English | EuropePMC | ID: ppcovidwho-327217

ABSTRACT

The SARS-CoV-2 variant of concern Omicron was first detected in Italy in November 2021. Data from three genomic surveys conducted in Italy between December 2021 and January 2022 suggest that Omicron became dominant in less than one month (prevalence on January 3: 78.6%-83.8%) with a doubling time of 2.7-3.1 days. The mean net reproduction number rose from about 1.15 in absence of Omicron to a peak of 1.83 for symptomatic cases and 1.33 for hospitalized cases, while it remained stable for critical cases.

10.
EuropePMC; 2021.
Preprint in English | EuropePMC | ID: ppcovidwho-324917

ABSTRACT

Solid estimates describing the clinical course of SARS-CoV-2 infections are still lacking due to under-ascertainment of asymptomatic and mild-disease cases. In this work, we quantify age-specific probabilities of transitions between stages defining the natural history of SARS-CoV-2 infection from 1,965 SARS-CoV-2 positive individuals identified in Italy between March and April 2020 among contacts of confirmed cases. Infected contacts of cases were confirmed via RT-PCR tests as part of contact tracing activities or retrospectively via IgG serological tests and followed-up for symptoms and clinical outcomes. In addition, we provide estimates of time intervals between key events defining the clinical progression of cases as obtained from a larger sample, consisting of 95,371 infections ascertained between February and July 2020. We found that being older than 60 years of age was associated with a 39.9% (95%CI: 36.2-43.6%) likelihood of developing respiratory symptoms or fever >= 37.5 °C after SARS-CoV-2 infection;the 22.3% (95%CI: 19.3-25.6%) of the infections in this age group required hospital care and the 1% (95%CI: 0.4-2.1%) were admitted to an intensive care unit (ICU). The corresponding proportions in individuals younger than 60 years were estimated at 27.9% (95%CI: 25.4-30.4%), 8.8% (95%CI: 7.3-10.5%) and 0.4% (95%CI: 0.1-0.9%), respectively. The infection fatality ratio (IFR) ranged from 0.2% (95%CI: 0.0-0.6%) in individuals younger than 60 years to 12.3% (95%CI: 6.9-19.7%) for those aged 80 years or more;the case fatality ratio (CFR) in these two age classes was 0.6% (95%CI: 0.1-2%) and 19.2% (95% CI: 10.9-30.1%), respectively. The median length of stay in hospital was 10 (IQR 3-21) days;the length of stay in ICU was 11 (IQR 6-19) days. The obtained estimates could be instrumental to refine mathematical modeling work supporting public health decisions.

11.
Nat Commun ; 13(1): 322, 2022 01 14.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1625443

ABSTRACT

There are contrasting results concerning the effect of reactive school closure on SARS-CoV-2 transmission. To shed light on this controversy, we developed a data-driven computational model of SARS-CoV-2 transmission. We found that by reactively closing classes based on syndromic surveillance, SARS-CoV-2 infections are reduced by no more than 17.3% (95%CI: 8.0-26.8%), due to the low probability of timely identification of infections in the young population. We thus investigated an alternative triggering mechanism based on repeated screening of students using antigen tests. Depending on the contribution of schools to transmission, this strategy can greatly reduce COVID-19 burden even when school contribution to transmission and immunity in the population is low. Moving forward, the adoption of antigen-based screenings in schools could be instrumental to limit COVID-19 burden while vaccines continue to be rolled out.


Subject(s)
COVID-19/epidemiology , COVID-19/prevention & control , Models, Statistical , Quarantine/organization & administration , SARS-CoV-2/pathogenicity , Schools/organization & administration , COVID-19/diagnosis , COVID-19/transmission , COVID-19 Serological Testing , Computer Simulation , Humans , Italy/epidemiology , Mass Screening/trends , Physical Distancing , SARS-CoV-2/growth & development , SARS-CoV-2/immunology , Schools/legislation & jurisprudence , Students/legislation & jurisprudence
12.
Am J Epidemiol ; 191(1): 137-146, 2022 01 01.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1621545

ABSTRACT

During the spring of 2020, the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) epidemic caused an unprecedented demand for intensive-care resources in the Lombardy region of Italy. Using data on 43,538 hospitalized patients admitted between February 21 and July 12, 2020, we evaluated variations in intensive care unit (ICU) admissions and mortality over the course of 3 periods: the early phase of the pandemic (February 21-March 13), the period of highest pressure on the health-care system (March 14-April 25, when numbers of COVID-19 patients exceeded prepandemic ICU bed capacity), and the declining phase (April 26-July 12). Compared with the early phase, patients aged 70 years or more were less often admitted to an ICU during the period of highest pressure on the health-care system (odds ratio (OR) = 0.47, 95% confidence interval (CI): 0.41, 0.54), with longer ICU delays (incidence rate ratio = 1.82, 95% CI: 1.52, 2.18) and lower chances of dying in the ICU (OR = 0.47, 95% CI: 0.34, 0.64). Patients under 56 years of age had more limited changes in the probability of (OR = 0.65, 95% CI: 0.56, 0.76) and delay to (incidence rate ratio = 1.16, 95% CI: 0.95, 1.42) ICU admission and increased mortality (OR = 1.43, 95% CI: 1.00, 2.07). In the declining phase, all quantities decreased for all age groups. These patterns may suggest that limited health-care resources during the peak phase of the epidemic in Lombardy forced a shift in ICU admission criteria to prioritize patients with higher chances of survival.


Subject(s)
COVID-19/epidemiology , COVID-19/therapy , Delivery of Health Care/statistics & numerical data , Intensive Care Units/statistics & numerical data , Adult , Age Factors , Aged , Aged, 80 and over , COVID-19/mortality , Comorbidity , Humans , Italy/epidemiology , Middle Aged , Pandemics , Retrospective Studies , Risk Factors , SARS-CoV-2 , Sex Factors , Time Factors
13.
Nat Commun ; 12(1): 7272, 2021 12 14.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1574987

ABSTRACT

COVID-19 vaccination is allowing a progressive release of restrictions worldwide. Using a mathematical model, we assess the impact of vaccination in Italy since December 27, 2020 and evaluate prospects for societal reopening after emergence of the Delta variant. We estimate that by June 30, 2021, COVID-19 vaccination allowed the resumption of about half of pre-pandemic social contacts. In absence of vaccination, the same number of cases is obtained by resuming only about one third of pre-pandemic contacts, with about 12,100 (95% CI: 6,600-21,000) extra deaths (+27%; 95% CI: 15-47%). Vaccination offset the effect of the Delta variant in summer 2021. The future epidemic trend is surrounded by substantial uncertainty. Should a pediatric vaccine (for ages 5 and older) be licensed and a coverage >90% be achieved in all age classes, a return to pre-pandemic society could be envisioned. Increasing vaccination coverage will allow further reopening even in absence of a pediatric vaccine.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 Vaccines , COVID-19/prevention & control , Vaccination , Adolescent , Child , Child, Preschool , Humans , Italy , Models, Theoretical , Pandemics , SARS-CoV-2 , Vaccination Coverage
14.
2021.
Preprint in English | Other preprints | ID: ppcovidwho-295429

ABSTRACT

Vaccination campaigns against COVID-19 are allowing the progressive release of physical distancing restrictions in many countries. However, the global spread of the highly transmissible Delta variant has likely suppressed the residual chances of SARS-CoV-2 elimination through herd immunity alone. Here we assess the impact of the vaccination program in Italy since its start on December 27, 2020 and evaluate possible prospects for reopening the society while at the same time keeping COVID-19 under control. To this aim, we propose a mathematical modeling framework where levels of social activity are adjusted to match the time-series of the net reproduction number as estimated from surveillance data. We compared the estimated level of social contacts, number of deaths, and transmission potential with those of a counterfactual scenario where the same epidemic trajectory is obtained in absence of vaccination. We then evaluate the prospective impact of different scenarios of vaccination coverage and different social activity levels on SARS-CoV-2 reproduction number. We estimate that by June 30, 2021, the COVID-19 vaccination program allowed the resumption of about half the social contacts that were recorded in pre-pandemic times;in absence of vaccination, only about one third could have been resumed to obtain the same number of cases, with the added cost of about 12,100 (95%CI: 6,600-21,000) extra deaths (+27%;95%CI: 15-47%) between December 27, 2020 and June 30, 2021. We show that the negative effect of the Delta variant diffusion in July was entirely offset by vaccination in the month of July and August 2021. Finally, we estimate that a complete return to the pre-pandemic life could be safely attained only if >90%, including children from 5 years on, will be vaccinated using mRNA vaccines developed in 2020. In any case, increasing the vaccination coverage will allow further margins for societal reopening even in absence of a pediatric vaccine. These results may support the definition of vaccination targets for countries that have already achieved a broad population coverage.

15.
Epidemics ; 37: 100528, 2021 12.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1520903

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: In the night of February 20, 2020, the first epidemic of the novel coronavirus disease (COVID-19) outside Asia was uncovered by the identification of its first patient in Lombardy region, Italy. In the following weeks, Lombardy experienced a sudden increase in the number of ascertained infections and strict measures were imposed to contain the epidemic spread. METHODS: We analyzed official records of cases occurred in Lombardy to characterize the epidemiology of SARS-CoV-2 during the early phase of the outbreak. A line list of laboratory-confirmed cases was set up and later retrospectively consolidated, using standardized interviews to ascertained cases and their close contacts. We provide estimates of the serial interval, of the basic reproduction number, and of the temporal variation of the net reproduction number of SARS-CoV-2. RESULTS: Epidemiological investigations detected over 500 cases (median age: 69, IQR: 57-78) before the first COVID-19 diagnosed patient (February 20, 2020), and suggested that SARS-CoV-2 was already circulating in at least 222 out of 1506 (14.7%) municipalities with sustained transmission across all the Lombardy provinces. We estimated the mean serial interval to be 6.6 days (95% CrI, 0.7-19). Our estimates of the basic reproduction number range from 2.6 in Pavia (95% CI, 2.1-3.2) to 3.3 in Milan (95% CI, 2.9-3.8). A decreasing trend in the net reproduction number was observed following the detection of the first case. CONCLUSIONS: At the time of first case notification, COVID-19 was already widespread in the entire Lombardy region. This may explain the large number of critical cases experienced by this region in a very short timeframe. The slight decrease of the reproduction number observed in the early days after February 20, 2020 might be due to increased population awareness and early interventions implemented before the regional lockdown imposed on March 8, 2020.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Aged , Communicable Disease Control , Humans , Italy/epidemiology , Retrospective Studies , SARS-CoV-2
16.
Epidemics ; 37: 100530, 2021 12.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1517154

ABSTRACT

Solid estimates describing the clinical course of SARS-CoV-2 infections are still lacking due to under-ascertainment of asymptomatic and mild-disease cases. In this work, we quantify age-specific probabilities of transitions between stages defining the natural history of SARS-CoV-2 infection from 1965 SARS-CoV-2 positive individuals identified in Italy between March and April 2020 among contacts of confirmed cases. Infected contacts of cases were confirmed via RT-PCR tests as part of contact tracing activities or retrospectively via IgG serological tests and followed-up for symptoms and clinical outcomes. In addition, we provide estimates of time intervals between key events defining the clinical progression of cases as obtained from a larger sample, consisting of 95,371 infections ascertained between February and July 2020. We found that being older than 60 years of age was associated with a 39.9% (95%CI: 36.2-43.6%) likelihood of developing respiratory symptoms or fever ≥ 37.5 °C after SARS-CoV-2 infection; the 22.3% (95%CI: 19.3-25.6%) of the infections in this age group required hospital care and the 1% (95%CI: 0.4-2.1%) were admitted to an intensive care unit (ICU). The corresponding proportions in individuals younger than 60 years were estimated at 27.9% (95%CI: 25.4-30.4%), 8.8% (95%CI: 7.3-10.5%) and 0.4% (95%CI: 0.1-0.9%), respectively. The infection fatality ratio (IFR) ranged from 0.2% (95%CI: 0.0-0.6%) in individuals younger than 60 years to 12.3% (95%CI: 6.9-19.7%) for those aged 80 years or more; the case fatality ratio (CFR) in these two age classes was 0.6% (95%CI: 0.1-2%) and 19.2% (95%CI: 10.9-30.1%), respectively. The median length of stay in hospital was 10 (IQR: 3-21) days; the length of stay in ICU was 11 (IQR: 6-19) days. The obtained estimates provide insights into the epidemiology of COVID-19 and could be instrumental to refine mathematical modeling work supporting public health decisions.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Contact Tracing , Humans , Public Health , Retrospective Studies , SARS-CoV-2
17.
Am J Epidemiol ; 191(1): 137-146, 2022 01 01.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1470117

ABSTRACT

During the spring of 2020, the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) epidemic caused an unprecedented demand for intensive-care resources in the Lombardy region of Italy. Using data on 43,538 hospitalized patients admitted between February 21 and July 12, 2020, we evaluated variations in intensive care unit (ICU) admissions and mortality over the course of 3 periods: the early phase of the pandemic (February 21-March 13), the period of highest pressure on the health-care system (March 14-April 25, when numbers of COVID-19 patients exceeded prepandemic ICU bed capacity), and the declining phase (April 26-July 12). Compared with the early phase, patients aged 70 years or more were less often admitted to an ICU during the period of highest pressure on the health-care system (odds ratio (OR) = 0.47, 95% confidence interval (CI): 0.41, 0.54), with longer ICU delays (incidence rate ratio = 1.82, 95% CI: 1.52, 2.18) and lower chances of dying in the ICU (OR = 0.47, 95% CI: 0.34, 0.64). Patients under 56 years of age had more limited changes in the probability of (OR = 0.65, 95% CI: 0.56, 0.76) and delay to (incidence rate ratio = 1.16, 95% CI: 0.95, 1.42) ICU admission and increased mortality (OR = 1.43, 95% CI: 1.00, 2.07). In the declining phase, all quantities decreased for all age groups. These patterns may suggest that limited health-care resources during the peak phase of the epidemic in Lombardy forced a shift in ICU admission criteria to prioritize patients with higher chances of survival.


Subject(s)
COVID-19/epidemiology , COVID-19/therapy , Delivery of Health Care/statistics & numerical data , Intensive Care Units/statistics & numerical data , Adult , Age Factors , Aged , Aged, 80 and over , COVID-19/mortality , Comorbidity , Humans , Italy/epidemiology , Middle Aged , Pandemics , Retrospective Studies , Risk Factors , SARS-CoV-2 , Sex Factors , Time Factors
18.
Nat Commun ; 12(1): 4570, 2021 07 27.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1328847

ABSTRACT

To counter the second COVID-19 wave in autumn 2020, the Italian government introduced a system of physical distancing measures organized in progressively restrictive tiers (coded as yellow, orange, and red) imposed on a regional basis according to real-time epidemiological risk assessments. We leverage the data from the Italian COVID-19 integrated surveillance system and publicly available mobility data to evaluate the impact of the three-tiered regional restriction system on human activities, SARS-CoV-2 transmissibility and hospitalization burden in Italy. The individuals' attendance to locations outside the residential settings was progressively reduced with tiers, but less than during the national lockdown against the first COVID-19 wave in the spring. The reproduction number R(t) decreased below the epidemic threshold in 85 out of 107 provinces after the introduction of the tier system, reaching average values of about 0.95-1.02 in the yellow tier, 0.80-0.93 in the orange tier and 0.74-0.83 in the red tier. We estimate that the reduced transmissibility resulted in averting about 36% of the hospitalizations between November 6 and November 25, 2020. These results are instrumental to inform public health efforts aimed at preventing future resurgence of cases.


Subject(s)
COVID-19/epidemiology , Communicable Disease Control , Humans , Italy/epidemiology , SARS-CoV-2/pathogenicity
19.
JAMA Netw Open ; 4(7): e2115699, 2021 07 01.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1296685

ABSTRACT

Importance: Identifying health care settings and professionals at increased risk of SARS-CoV-2 infection is crucial to defining appropriate strategies, resource allocation, and protocols to protect health care workers (HCWs) and patients. Moreover, such information is crucial to decrease the risk that HCWs and health care facilities become amplifiers for SARS-CoV-2 transmission in the community. Objective: To assess the association of different health care professional categories and operational units, including in-hospital wards, outpatient facilities, and territorial care departments, with seroprevalence and odds of SARS-CoV-2 infection. Design, Setting, and Participants: This cross-sectional study was conducted using IgG serological tests collected from April 1 through May 26, 2020, in the Lombardy region in Italy. Voluntary serological screening was offered to all clinical and nonclinical staff providing any health care services or support to health care services in the region. Data were analyzed from June 2020 through April 2021. Exposures: Employment in the health care sector. Main Outcomes and Measures: Seroprevalence of positive IgG antibody tests for SARS-CoV-2 was collected, and odds ratios of experiencing infection were calculated. Results: A total of 140 782 professionals employed in the health sector were invited to participate in IgG serological screening, among whom 82 961 individuals (59.0% response rate) were tested for SARS-CoV-2 antibodies, with median (interquartile range [IQR]; range) age, 50 (40-56; 19-83) years and 59 839 (72.1%) women. Among these individuals, 10 115 HCWs (12.2%; 95% CI, 12.0%-12.4%) had positive results (median [IQR; range] age, 50 [39-55; 20-80] years; 7298 [72.2%] women). Statistically significantly higher odds of infection were found among health assistants (adjusted odds ratio [aOR], 1.48; 95% CI, 1.33-1.65) and nurses (aOR, 1.28; 95% CI, 1.17-1.41) compared with administrative staff and among workers employed in internal medicine (aOR, 2.24; 95% CI, 1.87-2.68), palliative care (aOR, 1.84; 95% CI, 1.38-2.44), rehabilitation (aOR, 1.59; 95% CI, 1.33-1.91), and emergency departments (aOR, 1.56; 95% CI, 1.29-1.89) compared with those working as telephone operators. Statistically significantly lower odds of infection were found among individuals working in forensic medicine (aOR, 0.40; 95% CI, 0.19-0.88), histology and anatomical pathology (aOR, 0.71; 95% CI, 0.52-0.97), and medical device sterilization (aOR, 0.54; 95% CI, 0.35-0.84) compared with those working as telephone operators. The odds of infection for physicians and laboratory personnel were not statistically significantly different from those found among administrative staff. The odds of infection for workers employed in intensive care units and infectious disease wards were not statistically significantly different from those of telephone operators. Conclusions and Relevance: These findings suggest that professionals partially accustomed to managing infectious diseases had higher odds of SARS-CoV-2 infection. The findings further suggest that adequate organization of clinical wards and personnel, appropriate personal protective equipment supply, and training of all workers directly and repeatedly exposed to patients with clinical or subclinical COVID-19 should be prioritized to decrease the risk of infection in health care settings.


Subject(s)
COVID-19/epidemiology , Health Personnel , Occupational Exposure/adverse effects , Pandemics , Adult , COVID-19/blood , COVID-19/virology , Cross-Sectional Studies , Female , Humans , Immunoglobulin G/blood , Infection Control , Italy , Male , Middle Aged , Personal Protective Equipment , Risk Factors , SARS-CoV-2 , Seroepidemiologic Studies
20.
Nat Hum Behav ; 5(8): 1009-1020, 2021 08.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1279881

ABSTRACT

COVID-19 vaccination is being conducted in over 200 countries and regions to control SARS-CoV-2 transmission and return to a pre-pandemic lifestyle. However, understanding when non-pharmaceutical interventions (NPIs) can be lifted as immunity builds up remains a key question for policy makers. To address this, we built a data-driven model of SARS-CoV-2 transmission for China. We estimated that, to prevent the escalation of local outbreaks to widespread epidemics, stringent NPIs need to remain in place at least one year after the start of vaccination. Should NPIs alone be capable of keeping the reproduction number (Rt) around 1.3, the synergetic effect of NPIs and vaccination could reduce the COVID-19 burden by up to 99% and bring Rt below the epidemic threshold in about 9 months. Maintaining strict NPIs throughout 2021 is of paramount importance to reduce COVID-19 burden while vaccines are distributed to the population, especially in large populations with little natural immunity.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 Vaccines/administration & dosage , COVID-19/prevention & control , COVID-19/transmission , Vaccination , China , Disease Outbreaks/prevention & control , Humans
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