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1.
Policy Making and Southern Distinctiveness ; : 84-98, 2022.
Article in English | Web of Science | ID: covidwho-2030789
2.
Air Qual Atmos Health ; 15(11): 1993-2007, 2022.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1956005

ABSTRACT

During spring 2020, unprecedented changes in local and regional emissions have occurred around the globe due to governmental restrictions associated with COVID-19. Many European countries including Austria issued partial curfews or stay-at-home order policies, which have impacted ambient air quality through reductions in non-essential transportation and energy consumption of industrial sites and work places. Here, we analyse the effect of these measures on ambient concentrations of nitrogen oxides (NOx), ozone (O3) and particulate matter (PM10) during the first nationwide lockdown in Austria (16.03.2020 to 14.04.2020). To ensure a robust analysis, the Austrian domain is divided into four individual subsectors contingent on regional climate. For air quality analysis a novel method is applied for filtering days with comparable weather conditions during the 2020 lockdown and spring 2017 to 2019. In general, our analysis shows decreasing pollutant concentrations, although in magnitude dependent on pollutant and regional subdomain. Largest reductions are found for NOx reaching up to -68% at traffic sites reflecting the substantial decrease in non-essential transport. Changes in the O3 concentrations at background sites show a rather weak response to NOx declines varying between roughly -18 to +8% for both the median and the upper tail of the distribution. Occasional site level increases in O3 concentrations can be attributed to comparably weak titration during night-time. PM10 concentrations show the smallest response among air pollutants, attributable to manifold precursor sources not affected by the lockdown measures. However, our analysis indicates also a shift of PM10 distributions at traffic sites closer to distributions observed at background sites. Supplementary Information: The online version contains supplementary material available at 10.1007/s11869-022-01232-w.

3.
Journal of Hypertension ; 40:e178, 2022.
Article in English | EMBASE | ID: covidwho-1937735

ABSTRACT

Objective: To assess clinical and pathomorphological features of kidney damage in patients with arterial hypertension (AH) who died of the new coronavirus infection COVID-19. Design and method: A complex analysis of 268 kidney autopsies was carried out, including the study of macro- and microscopic changes reflected in the protocols of pathological and anatomical autopsies and identified during the histological examination. In 224 patients (83.6%) with AH, the diagnosis was confirmed by isolating the SARS-CoV-2 RNA using the polymerase chain reaction;in 44 (16.4%) - through computed tomography of the lungs. The causes of deaths were the following: in 31 patients (11.6%) acute myocardial infarction;in 40 (14.9%) cerebrovascular accident;in 11 (4.1%) pulmonary embolism;222 patients (83%) had acute respiratory distress syndrome. The analysis included 130 men aged 36 to 92 (72.6 years old on average) and 138 women aged 40 to 106 (77.1 years old on average). Results: In the kidneys we detected ischemic changes caused by disturbances in the microvasculature. These are stases, sludges, erythrocyte and fibrin thrombi predominantly in the medulla. In the glomeruli diapedesis hemorrhages, mesangial cells proliferation, basement membrane thickening and fibrinoid necrosis of the capillary wall were observed. In the epithelium of the convoluted tubules, a granular, hyaline-drop dystrophy and a necrosis as the extreme degree of the damage were noted. In the kidneys, a pronounced lymphoid and leukocyte infiltration was detected. These changes were accompanied by inflammation and renal failure symptoms. In particular, the level of C-reactive protein was 140.6 ± 7.42 mg/l;blood ferritin 1258.0 ± 110.1 mcg/l;blood leukocytes 15.0 ± 0.67 10

4.
Journal of Hypertension ; 40:e178, 2022.
Article in English | EMBASE | ID: covidwho-1937734

ABSTRACT

Objective: To determine risk factors for post-COVID-19 syndrome development in patients with arterial hypertension (AH). Design and method: A total of 81 patients with AH were examined 3-6 months after COVID-19. 48 people (group 1: 27 women, 21 men) suffered from SARSCoV- 2 pneumonia with lungs lesion from 15% to 74%. The patients' age was 18-87 years old (65 years old on average). In 38 patients chronic ischemic heart disease (IHD) was diagnosed;in 18 - myocardial infarction (MI);in 10 - permanent atrial fibrillation (AF);in 12 - AF paroxysms. 33 people (group 2: 18 women, 15 men) suffered from COVID-19 in the form of an acute respiratory illness without pneumonia. These patients were aged from 41 to 74 (56.9 years old on average). 25 patients had coronary artery disease;2 - MI;2 - permanent AF;4 - AF paroxysms. Results: Comparing to group 2, in group 1 the patients had higher blood pressure;higher left atrial volume index (LAVI) (35.1 ± 3.3 ml/m2 vs. 29.6 ± 3.2 ml/m2;p < 0.05);higher left ventricular (LV) end-diastolic volume index (EDVI) (76.1 ± 8.8 ml/m2 vs. 62.6 ± 10.3 ml/m2;p < 0.05);lower LV ejection fraction (EF) (56.1 ± 8.1% vs. 63.2 ± 3.9%;p < 0.05). In 7 group 1 patients, an increase in the frequency of AF attacks was detected. In group 1 symptoms of inflammation persisted for a long time: higher levels of C-reactive protein (15 ± 4.9 mg/l vs. 5.5 ± 3.8 mg/l), of blood ferritin (275 ± 106.3 mcg/l vs. 155.6 ± 85.8 mcg/l;p < 0.05), of D-dimer (919.3 ± 77.1 ng/ml vs. 609 ± 87.4 ng/ml;p < 0.05) as well as of total cholesterol (5.8 ± 1.2 mmol/l vs. 4.9 ± 1.1 mmol/l;p < 0.05) and of LDL (4.1 ± 1.1 mmol/l vs. 3.2 ± 1.3 mmol/l;p < 0.05). Conclusions: The revealed risk factors were high blood pressure, an increase in LAVI and LV EDVI, a decrease in LVEF, an increase in LDL, previous MI, and an increase in the frequency of AF paroxysms.

5.
Topics in Antiviral Medicine ; 30(1 SUPPL):152-153, 2022.
Article in English | EMBASE | ID: covidwho-1880804

ABSTRACT

Background: Neurological manifestations are a major complication of sudden acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) infection and likely contribute to symptoms of "long COVID". Elucidating the mechanisms that underlie neuropathogenesis in infection is critical for identifying or developing viable therapeutic strategies. While neurological injury in infection is varied, cerebrovascular disease is seen at a high frequency among patients over 50 years of age. Additionally, microhemorrhages and hypoxic-ischemic injury are often described in brain autopsy series of human subjects who died from COVID-19. Here, we report neuropathology in aged SARS-CoV-2 infected non-human primates (NHPs) is consistent with that observed in aged human subjects and provide insight into the underlying cause. Methods: Four adult Rhesus macaques and four African green monkeys were inoculated with the 2019-nCoV/USA-WA1/2020strain of SARS-CoV-2 via a multi-route mucosal or aerosol challenge. Two of each species were included as age-matched controls. Frontal, parietal, occipital, and temporal lobes, basal ganglia, cerebellum, and brainstem were interrogated through histopathological and immunohistochemical techniques to identify and characterize the observed pathology. Results: Like humans, pathology was variable but included wide-spread inflammation with nodular lesions, neuronal injury, and microhemorrhages. Neuronal degeneration and apoptosis were confirmed with FluoroJade C and cleaved caspase 3 IHC, which showed foci of positivity, particularly among cerebellar Purkinje cells. This was seen even among infected animals that did not develop severe respiratory disease but was not seen in age-matched controls. Significant upregulation of the alpha subunit of hypoxia inducible factor 1 (HIF1-α), indicative of tissue hypoxia, was observed in brain of all infected animals, regardless of disease severity. Sparse virus was detected in brain endothelial cells but did not associate with the severity of CNS injury. Conclusion: SARS-CoV-2 infected NHPs are a viable animal model for advancing our current understanding of infection-associated neuropathogenesis. Upregulation of HIF1-α in brain of infected animals suggests cerebral hypoxia may underlie or contribute to neuroinflammation and neuronal injury/death and may provide some insight into neurological manifestations observed among asymptomatic patients or those only suffering mild disease.

6.
American Journal of Respiratory and Critical Care Medicine ; 205:2, 2022.
Article in English | English Web of Science | ID: covidwho-1880564
8.
PubMed; 2020.
Preprint in English | PubMed | ID: ppcovidwho-333594

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: Health conditions and immune dysfunction associated with trisomy 21 (Down syndrome, DS) may impact the clinical course of COVID-19 once infected by SARS-CoV-2. METHODS: The T21RS COVID-19 Initiative launched an international survey for clinicians or caregivers/family members on patients with COVID-19 and DS (N=1046). De-identified survey data collected between April and October 2020 were analysed and compared with the UK ISARIC4C survey of hospitalized COVID-19 patients with and without DS. COVID-19 patients with DS from the ISARIC4C survey (ISARIC4C DS cases=100) were matched to a random set of patients without DS (ISARIC4C controls=400) and hospitalized DS cases in the T21RS survey (T21RS DS cases=100) based on age, gender, and ethnicity. FINDING: The mean age in the T21RS survey was 29 years (SD=18), 73% lived with their family. Similar to the general population, the most frequent signs and symptoms of COVID-19 were fever, cough, and shortness of breath. Pain and nausea were reported less frequently (p<0.01), whereas altered consciousness/confusion were reported more frequently (p<0.01). Risk factors for hospitalization and mortality were similar to the general population (age, male gender, diabetes, obesity, dementia) with the addition of congenital heart defects as a risk factor for hospitalization. Mortality rates showed a rapid increase from age 40 and were higher than for controls (T21RS DS versus controls: risk ratio (RR)=3.5 (95%-CI=2.6;4.4), ISARIC4C DS versus controls: RR=2.9 (95%-CI=2.1;3.8)) even after adjusting for known risk factors for COVID-19 mortality. INTERPRETATION: Leading signs/symptoms of COVID-19 and risk factors for severe disease course are similar to the general population. However, individuals with DS present significantly higher rates of mortality, especially from age 40. FUNDING: Down Syndrome Affiliates in Action, Down Syndrome Medical Interest Group-USA, GiGi's Playhouse, Jerome Lejeune Foundation, LuMind IDSC Foundation, Matthews Foundation, National Down Syndrome Society, National Task Group on Intellectual Disabilities and Dementia Practices.

10.
PUBMED; 2021.
Preprint in English | PUBMED | ID: ppcovidwho-293483

ABSTRACT

The Delta variant of severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) has outcompeted previously prevalent variants and become a dominant strain worldwide. We report here structure, function and antigenicity of its full-length spike (S) trimer in comparison with those of other variants, including Gamma, Kappa, and previously characterized Alpha and Beta. Delta S can fuse membranes more efficiently at low levels of cellular receptor ACE2 and its pseudotyped viruses infect target cells substantially faster than all other variants tested, possibly accounting for its heightened transmissibility. Mutations of each variant rearrange the antigenic surface of the N-terminal domain of the S protein in a unique way, but only cause local changes in the receptor-binding domain, consistent with greater resistance particular to neutralizing antibodies. These results advance our molecular understanding of distinct properties of these viruses and may guide intervention strategies.

11.
PUBMED; 2021.
Preprint in English | PUBMED | ID: ppcovidwho-293189

ABSTRACT

The Delta variant of severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) has outcompeted previously prevalent variants and become a dominant strain worldwide. We report here structure, function and antigenicity of its full-length spike (S) trimer in comparison with those of other variants, including Gamma, Kappa, and previously characterized Alpha and Beta. Delta S can fuse membranes more efficiently at low levels of cellular receptor ACE2 and its pseudotyped viruses infect target cells substantially faster than all other variants tested, possibly accounting for its heightened transmissibility. Mutations of each variant rearrange the antigenic surface of the N-terminal domain of the S protein in a unique way, but only cause local changes in the receptor-binding domain, consistent with greater resistance particular to neutralizing antibodies. These results advance our molecular understanding of distinct properties of these viruses and may guide intervention strategies.

13.
2021 IEEE Global Engineering Education Conference, EDUCON 2021 ; 2021-April:282-288, 2021.
Article in English | Scopus | ID: covidwho-1367188

ABSTRACT

The worldwide pandemic changes our ways of teaching enormously. Before the virus Sars-Cov-2 came along, the vast majority of teaching in Germany was face-to-face with on-site attendance. From one day to another, a lockdown happened globally, and the teaching method shifted to an entire online semester. We looked at two more remarkable higher education institutions: ALPHA, a top-ranked university, and BETA, a leading private university, both situated in Germany. We applied the didactic framework of Go4C [43] in the first stage of preparation. In this stage, we qualitatively coded answers to an explorative questionnaire. Caused by the method shift, we expected to recognize first insights of the learners' positive and negative effects. Surprisingly, the study found a polarization effect in learners' perceptions of the shift to online instruction. It adds four specific aspect groups to the knowledge base that illustrate this effect. Researchers can apply these findings to explore methods to confirm these explorative results and thesis and reduce the polarization effect. Teachers can react to the top aspects such as knowledge transfer to provide more adapted learning. © 2021 IEEE.

14.
Annals of Tourism Research ; 91, 2021.
Article in English | Scopus | ID: covidwho-1340539

ABSTRACT

Winter sport destinations received increased attention from worldwide media due to their Covid-19 superspreader status. Using a critical media discourse analysis (N = 1036) for the case of Ischgl, Austria this paper 1) identifies crisis-specific media discourse patterns, 2) analyzes the embedding of discourses in prevailing public debates and 3) discusses the responsibility of media coverage. Our findings reveal scapegoating patterns reinforced by destination image but later replaced by fundamental discussions about the sustainability of Alpine winter sports. As the crisis lasted longer, Ischgl became a meta-symbol for failures in dealing with Covid-19, with media coverage increasingly detached from the local situation, initiating a geopolitical blame game and highlighting media's responsibility for post-crisis tourism. © 2021 The Authors

16.
Vjesnik Bibliotekara Hrvatske ; 64(1):227-250, 2021.
Article in Croatian | Scopus | ID: covidwho-1278896

ABSTRACT

Purpose. This paper brings the overview of the current online services of the Centre for Scientific Information (CSI) of the Ruđer Bošković Institute. These services were available before the COVID-19 pandemic outbreak but also during the full closure of the libraries and the period of working from home. Approach. Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the Centre for Scientific Information (CSI), along with other libraries in Croatia, locked down its doors to the public on March 20, 2020. The library staff started to work from home. Thanks to the numerous online services (CROSBI, FULIR, SEND, etc.) which enable remote access to CSI’s services, the Center was more than prepared for the new mode of work. The working processes were well organized and the majority of the services were available to the end users. Findings. The Centre for Scientific Information was among the first Croatian libraries that adopted and introduced information technology into everyday work back in the 90s. The Centre has worked continuously on the development and implementation of the applications and services. Therefore, it was possible not only to provide all standard services to its users, but also to work on its further development. The unpredictable crisis situations during 2020 confirmed that this direction of development of libraries is nowadays necessary and unavoidable, and that the additional effort should be made for its further improvement. Originality/Value. The Centre for Scientific Information have responded success-fully to the COVID-19 crisis, and the services and practical solutions presented in this paper could be used as an example to other libraries facing similar challenges. © 2021, Hrvatsko Knjiznicarsko Drustvo. All rights reserved.

17.
Topics in Antiviral Medicine ; 29(1):54, 2021.
Article in English | EMBASE | ID: covidwho-1250226

ABSTRACT

Background: In 2019, UNAIDS estimated there were 150,000 new HIV infections among children (<15 years old) and 170,000 among adolescents (10-19 years old), highlighting the ongoing need for HIV testing and diagnosis among these populations. We aim to describe the impact of COVID-19 on HIV testing and diagnosis in children and adolescents. Methods: We analyzed U. S. President's Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR) Monitoring, Evaluation and Reporting (MER) data from 14 countries in sub-Saharan Africa to compare the number of children (1-14) and older adolescents (15-19) who received an HIV test and were diagnosed as HIVpositive before (January - March, 2020) and during (April - June, 2020) the COVID-19 pandemic across all HIV testing modalities and for index testing (i.e. exposure-based). We calculated the percent change for the two indicators in the two time periods. Results: Overall, pediatric HIV testing and diagnoses declined by 40% and 29%, respectively, across the 14 countries. The testing decline ranged from -13% (DRC) to -81% (Zimbabwe) with the greatest volume of decline in South Africa (-150,469). Lesotho (-61%), Zimbabwe (-57%) and South Africa (-53%) had the largest declines in HIV diagnoses. Pediatric HIV testing and diagnoses increased in Cameroon, 32% and 6%. Pediatric index testing declined by 33% overall with the largest declines in Malawi (-80%) and Lesotho (-66%) and increases in Cameroon (+74%). For older adolescents, HIV testing and diagnoses declined 28% and 29%, respectively, across modalities. Lesotho (-60%), Zimbabwe (-54%) and Ethiopia (-48%) had the largest declines in testing for this group with the greatest volume of decline in South Africa (-147,891). Seven countries had >25% declines in HIV diagnoses for older adolescents, with Lesotho (-50%) and Zimbabwe (-49%) having the largest declines. While index testing for older adolescents decreased in most countries (-31%), it increased in Cameroon (+25%), Nigeria (+20%) and Côte d'Ivoire (+15%). Conclusion: Pediatric and adolescent HIV testing and diagnoses dramatically declined in many sub-Saharan African countries during the COVID-19 pandemic. Countries - like Cameroon, Côte d'Ivoire and Nigeria - that maintained or increased index testing during COVID-19 had the lowest declines in case finding. To mitigate the effects of COVID-19, programs may consider strategies to maximize index testing for children and adolescents (<19) of people living with HIV.

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