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BioMed research international ; 2022, 2022.
Article in English | EuropePMC | ID: covidwho-1610209

ABSTRACT

Early in the COVID-19 pandemic, asymptomatic transmission represented an important challenge for controlling the spread of SARS-CoV-2 through the traditional public health strategies. Further understanding of the contribution of asymptomatic infections to SARS-CoV-2 transmission has been of crucial importance for pandemic control. We conducted a retrospective epidemiological study to characterize asymptomatic COVID-19 cases occurred in the Apulia region, Italy, during the first epidemic wave of COVID-19 outbreak (February 29-July 7, 2020). We analyzed data collected in a regional platform developed to manage surveillance activities, namely, investigation and follow-up of cases and contacts, contact tracing, and laboratory and clinical data collection. We included all asymptomatic cases that were laboratory-confirmed during the appropriate follow-up, defined as persons infected with SARS-CoV-2 who did not develop symptoms/clinical signs of the disease. Between February 29 and July 7, 2020, a total of 4,536 cases were diagnosed with COVID-19 among 193,757 tests performed. The group of persons with asymptomatic SARS-CoV-2 infection consisted of 903 cases;the asymptomatic proportion was 19.9% (95% CI: 18.8-21.1%);this decreased with increasing age (OR: 0.89, 95% CI: 0.83-0.96;p = 0.001), in individuals with underlying comorbidities (OR: 0.55, 95% CI: 0.41-0.73;p < 0.001), and in males (OR: 0.69, 95% CI: 0.54-0.87;p = 0.002). The median asymptomatic SARS-CoV-2 RNA positive period was 19 days (IQR: 14-31) and the cumulative proportion of persons with resolution of infection 14 days after the first positive PCR test was 74%. As the public health community is debating the question of whether asymptomatic and late spreaders could sustain virus transmission in the communities, such cases present unique opportunities to gain insight into SARS-CoV-2 adaptation to human host. This has important implications for future COVID-19 surveillance and prevention.

2.
Vaccines (Basel) ; 9(11)2021 Oct 20.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1538556

ABSTRACT

(1) Background: Children with chronic medical conditions may be at increased risk for severe complications related to vaccine-preventable infections. Therefore, additional booster doses or supplementary vaccines are recommended, over and above the routine immunization schedule for healthy children. The aim of this study was to investigate attitude, knowledge, and practices toward additional vaccinations for children affected by chronic conditions among pediatricians and parents. (2) Methods: This study is based on two surveys: (i) a national cross-sectional survey, targeting pediatrician working in hospitals or in the primary health sector; (ii) a local cross-sectional survey, targeting parents of children with a previous diagnosis of chronic disease. (3) Results: Despite the fact that most of the health professionals and parents interviewed had an overall positive vaccine attitude, most pediatricians did not show an adequate knowledge of additional vaccinations for children affected by chronic diseases. Moreover, the coverage of additional recommended vaccinations in chronic pediatric patients was low. (4) Conclusions: This research highlighted important existing challenges hampering optimal vaccination coverage among pediatric chronic patients, including knowledge gaps on tailored vaccination schedules among pediatricians and organizational issues. The ongoing review of the Italian national immunization plan is a not-to-be-missed-opportunity to include evidence-based, detailed, and comprehensive recommendations on vaccinations for children affected by chronic conditions.

3.
Vaccines (Basel) ; 9(7)2021 Jul 09.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1308460

ABSTRACT

(1) Background: vaccination of healthcare workers (HCWs) against seasonal influenza is considered the most effective way to protect HCWs, ensure patient's safety and to maintain essential health care services during influenza epidemics. With the present study we aimed to evaluate the efficacy of incremental bundles of measures implemented during the last three flu campaigns and to assess the attitudes towards influenza vaccination and a potential vaccine against COVID-19 among HCWs, in a large university hospital in Pisa, Italy. (2) Methods: We described measures implemented during 2018/2019, 2019/2020 and 2020/2021 and assessed their impact on flu vaccine coverage (VC) among employees and residents in Pisa university hospital. We considered sex, profession and ward to investigate differences in uptake. In addition, in 2020 a survey was developed and distributed to all employees to evaluate flu and COVID-19 vaccines attitudes. (3) Results: during the 2018/19 and 2019/20 flu campaigns the overall VC rate among HCWs was, respectively, 10.2% and 11.9%. In 2020/21 the overall VC rate jumped to 39.3% (+ 230.6%). Results from the survey indicated a more positive attitude towards flu vaccine as compared to COVID-19 vaccines among the 10.6% of the staff members who responded to the survey. In addition, 70.97% of HCWs totally agreed that being vaccinated against influenza would be more important than the previous years because of COVID-19 emergency. (4) Conclusions: a significant increase in VC was observed in 2020/21, especially among those sub-groups with consistently lower uptake in previous years. The COVID-19 pandemic positively influenced flu vaccination uptake during the 2020/21 season.

4.
Int J Prison Health ; ahead-of-print(ahead-of-print)2021 06 17.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1269636

ABSTRACT

PURPOSE: Early on in the COVID-19 pandemic, the scientific community highlighted a potential risk of epidemics occurring inside prisons. Consequently, specific operational guidelines were promptly released, and containment measures were quickly implemented in prisons. This paper aims to describe the spread of COVID-19 in detention facilities within the Lombardy region of Italy during March to July 2020, and the impact of the prevention and control measures implemented. DESIGN/METHODOLOGY/APPROACH: A descriptive retrospective analysis of case distribution was performed for all COVID-19 cases identified among people in detention (PiD) and prison officers (POs). A comparison of the epidemic burden affecting different populations and a correlation analysis between the number of cases that occurred and prevention measures implemented were also carried out. FINDINGS: From this study, it emerged that POs were at a high risk of contracting COVID-19. This study observed a delay in the occurrence of cases among PiD and substantial heterogeneity in the size of outbreaks across different prisons. Correlation between reported cases among PiD and registered sick leave taken by POs suggested the latter contributed to introducing the infection into prison settings. Finally, number of cases among PiD inversely correlated with the capacity of each prison to identify and set up dedicated areas for medical isolation. ORIGINALITY/VALUE: Prevention and control measures when adopted in a timely manner were effective in protecting PiD. According to the findings, POs are a population at high risk for acquiring and transmitting COVID-19 and should be prioritized for testing, active case finding and vaccination. This study highlights the critical importance of including prison settings within emergency preparedness plans.


Subject(s)
COVID-19/epidemiology , Communicable Disease Control/organization & administration , Correctional Facilities/organization & administration , Epidemics/statistics & numerical data , Data Collection , Humans , Italy/epidemiology , Registries , Retrospective Studies , SARS-CoV-2
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