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1.
JAMA Pediatr ; 176(3): e216436, 2022 03 01.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1635814

ABSTRACT

Importance: Little is known about COVID-19 outcomes among children and adolescents in sub-Saharan Africa, where preexisting comorbidities are prevalent. Objective: To assess the clinical outcomes and factors associated with outcomes among children and adolescents hospitalized with COVID-19 in 6 countries in sub-Saharan Africa. Design, Setting, and Participants: This cohort study was a retrospective record review of data from 25 hospitals in the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Ghana, Kenya, Nigeria, South Africa, and Uganda from March 1 to December 31, 2020, and included 469 hospitalized patients aged 0 to 19 years with SARS-CoV-2 infection. Exposures: Age, sex, preexisting comorbidities, and region of residence. Main Outcomes and Measures: An ordinal primary outcome scale was used comprising 5 categories: (1) hospitalization without oxygen supplementation, (2) hospitalization with oxygen supplementation, (3) ICU admission, (4) invasive mechanical ventilation, and (5) death. The secondary outcome was length of hospital stay. Results: Among 469 hospitalized children and adolescents, the median age was 5.9 years (IQR, 1.6-11.1 years); 245 patients (52.4%) were male, and 115 (24.5%) had comorbidities. A total of 39 patients (8.3%) were from central Africa, 172 (36.7%) from eastern Africa, 208 (44.3%) from southern Africa, and 50 (10.7%) from western Africa. Eighteen patients had suspected (n = 6) or confirmed (n = 12) multisystem inflammatory syndrome in children. Thirty-nine patients (8.3%) died, including 22 of 69 patients (31.9%) who required intensive care unit admission and 4 of 18 patients (22.2%) with suspected or confirmed multisystem inflammatory syndrome in children. Among 468 patients, 418 (89.3%) were discharged, and 16 (3.4%) remained hospitalized. The likelihood of outcomes with higher vs lower severity among children younger than 1 year expressed as adjusted odds ratio (aOR) was 4.89 (95% CI, 1.44-16.61) times higher than that of adolescents aged 15 to 19 years. The presence of hypertension (aOR, 5.91; 95% CI, 1.89-18.50), chronic lung disease (aOR, 2.97; 95% CI, 1.65-5.37), or a hematological disorder (aOR, 3.10; 95% CI, 1.04-9.24) was associated with severe outcomes. Age younger than 1 year (adjusted subdistribution hazard ratio [asHR], 0.48; 95% CI, 0.27-0.87), the presence of 1 comorbidity (asHR, 0.54; 95% CI, 0.40-0.72), and the presence of 2 or more comorbidities (asHR, 0.26; 95% CI, 0.18-0.38) were associated with reduced rates of hospital discharge. Conclusions and Relevance: In this cohort study of children and adolescents hospitalized with COVID-19 in sub-Saharan Africa, high rates of morbidity and mortality were observed among infants and patients with noncommunicable disease comorbidities, suggesting that COVID-19 vaccination and therapeutic interventions are needed for young populations in this region.


Subject(s)
COVID-19/therapy , Child, Hospitalized , Outcome Assessment, Health Care , Pneumonia, Viral/therapy , Adolescent , Africa South of the Sahara/epidemiology , COVID-19/epidemiology , COVID-19/mortality , Child , Child, Preschool , Female , Humans , Infant , Length of Stay/statistics & numerical data , Male , Oxygen Inhalation Therapy , Pandemics , Pneumonia, Viral/epidemiology , Pneumonia, Viral/mortality , Pneumonia, Viral/virology , Respiration, Artificial , SARS-CoV-2
3.
Clin Infect Dis ; 73(10): 1913-1919, 2021 11 16.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1522140

ABSTRACT

Globally, there are prevailing knowledge gaps in the epidemiology, clinical manifestations, and outcomes of severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) infection among children and adolescents; and these gaps are especially wide in African countries. The availability of robust age-disaggregated data is a critical first step in improving knowledge on disease burden and manifestations of coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) among children. Furthermore, it is essential to improve understanding of SARS-CoV-2 interactions with comorbidities and coinfections such as human immunodeficiency virus (HIV), tuberculosis, malaria, sickle cell disease, and malnutrition, which are highly prevalent among children in sub-Saharan Africa. The African Forum for Research and Education in Health (AFREhealth) COVID-19 Research Collaboration on Children and Adolescents is conducting studies across Western, Central, Eastern, and Southern Africa to address existing knowledge gaps. This consortium is expected to generate key evidence to inform clinical practice and public health policy-making for COVID-19 while concurrently addressing other major diseases affecting children in African countries.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Coinfection , Tuberculosis , Adolescent , Africa South of the Sahara/epidemiology , Child , Humans , SARS-CoV-2
4.
BMC Infect Dis ; 21(1): 539, 2021 Jun 07.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1261266

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: In sub-Saharan Africa, acute respiratory infections (ARI), acute gastrointestinal infections (GI) and acute febrile disease of unknown cause (AFDUC) have a large disease burden, especially among children, while respective aetiologies often remain unresolved. The need for robust infectious disease surveillance to detect emerging pathogens along with common human pathogens has been highlighted by the ongoing novel coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic. The African Network for Improved Diagnostics, Epidemiology and Management of Common Infectious Agents (ANDEMIA) is a sentinel surveillance study on the aetiology and clinical characteristics of ARI, GI and AFDUC in sub-Saharan Africa. METHODS: ANDEMIA includes 12 urban and rural health care facilities in four African countries (Côte d'Ivoire, Burkina Faso, Democratic Republic of the Congo and Republic of South Africa). It was piloted in 2018 in Côte d'Ivoire and the initial phase will run from 2019 to 2021. Case definitions for ARI, GI and AFDUC were established, as well as syndrome-specific sampling algorithms including the collection of blood, naso- and oropharyngeal swabs and stool. Samples are tested using comprehensive diagnostic protocols, ranging from classic bacteriology and antimicrobial resistance screening to multiplex real-time polymerase chain reaction (PCR) systems and High Throughput Sequencing. In March 2020, PCR testing for severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) and analysis of full genomic information was included in the study. Standardised questionnaires collect relevant clinical, demographic, socio-economic and behavioural data for epidemiologic analyses. Controls are enrolled over a 12-month period for a nested case-control study. Data will be assessed descriptively and aetiologies will be evaluated using a latent class analysis among cases. Among cases and controls, an integrated analytic approach using logistic regression and Bayesian estimation will be employed to improve the assessment of aetiology and associated risk factors. DISCUSSION: ANDEMIA aims to expand our understanding of ARI, GI and AFDUC aetiologies in sub-Saharan Africa using a comprehensive laboratory diagnostics strategy. It will foster early detection of emerging threats and continued monitoring of important common pathogens. The network collaboration will be strengthened and site diagnostic capacities will be reinforced to improve quality management and patient care.


Subject(s)
Communicable Diseases/diagnosis , Communicable Diseases/epidemiology , Mass Screening , Sentinel Surveillance , Bayes Theorem , Burkina Faso , Case-Control Studies , Cote d'Ivoire , Democratic Republic of the Congo , Fever/epidemiology , Fever/microbiology , Gastrointestinal Diseases/epidemiology , Gastrointestinal Diseases/microbiology , Humans , Real-Time Polymerase Chain Reaction , Respiratory Tract Infections/epidemiology , South Africa
5.
Clin Infect Dis ; 73(10): 1913-1919, 2021 11 16.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1083754

ABSTRACT

Globally, there are prevailing knowledge gaps in the epidemiology, clinical manifestations, and outcomes of severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) infection among children and adolescents; and these gaps are especially wide in African countries. The availability of robust age-disaggregated data is a critical first step in improving knowledge on disease burden and manifestations of coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) among children. Furthermore, it is essential to improve understanding of SARS-CoV-2 interactions with comorbidities and coinfections such as human immunodeficiency virus (HIV), tuberculosis, malaria, sickle cell disease, and malnutrition, which are highly prevalent among children in sub-Saharan Africa. The African Forum for Research and Education in Health (AFREhealth) COVID-19 Research Collaboration on Children and Adolescents is conducting studies across Western, Central, Eastern, and Southern Africa to address existing knowledge gaps. This consortium is expected to generate key evidence to inform clinical practice and public health policy-making for COVID-19 while concurrently addressing other major diseases affecting children in African countries.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Coinfection , Tuberculosis , Adolescent , Africa South of the Sahara/epidemiology , Child , Humans , SARS-CoV-2
6.
Am J Trop Med Hyg ; 104(2): 461-465, 2020 Dec 28.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1000469

ABSTRACT

In the African context, there is a paucity of data on SARS-CoV-2 infection and associated COVID-19 in pregnancy. Given the endemicity of infections such as malaria, HIV, and tuberculosis (TB) in sub-Saharan Africa (SSA), it is important to evaluate coinfections with SARS-CoV-2 and their impact on maternal/infant outcomes. Robust research is critically needed to evaluate the effects of the added burden of COVID-19 in pregnancy, to help develop evidence-based policies toward improving maternal and infant outcomes. In this perspective, we briefly review current knowledge on the clinical features of COVID-19 in pregnancy; the risks of preterm birth and cesarean delivery secondary to comorbid severity; the effects of maternal SARS-CoV-2 infection on the fetus/neonate; and in utero mother-to-child SARS-CoV-2 transmission. We further highlight the need to conduct multicountry surveillance as well as retrospective and prospective cohort studies across SSA. This will enable assessments of SARS-CoV-2 burden among pregnant African women and improve the understanding of the spectrum of COVID-19 manifestations in this population, which may be living with or without HIV, TB, and/or other coinfections/comorbidities. In addition, multicountry studies will allow a better understanding of risk factors and outcomes to be compared across countries and subregions. Such an approach will encourage and strengthen much-needed intra-African, south-to-south multidisciplinary and interprofessional research collaborations. The African Forum for Research and Education in Health's COVID-19 Research Working Group has embarked upon such a collaboration across Western, Central, Eastern and Southern Africa.


Subject(s)
COVID-19/complications , COVID-19/epidemiology , Pregnancy Complications, Infectious/epidemiology , Pregnancy Complications, Infectious/virology , Research , Africa South of the Sahara/epidemiology , COVID-19/mortality , Coinfection/complications , Coinfection/epidemiology , Female , Humans , Infant, Newborn , Infectious Disease Transmission, Vertical , Intersectoral Collaboration , Pregnancy , Pregnant Women , Premature Birth , Prospective Studies , Retrospective Studies , Risk Factors , SARS-CoV-2/pathogenicity , Socioeconomic Factors
7.
Am J Trop Med Hyg ; 103(6): 2419-2428, 2020 12.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-809794

ABSTRACT

Little is known about the clinical features and outcomes of SARS-CoV-2 infection in Africa. We conducted a retrospective cohort study of patients hospitalized for COVID-19 between March 10, 2020 and July 31, 2020 at seven hospitals in Kinshasa, Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC). Outcomes included clinical improvement within 30 days (primary) and in-hospital mortality (secondary). Of 766 confirmed COVID-19 cases, 500 (65.6%) were male, with a median (interquartile range [IQR]) age of 46 (34-58) years. One hundred ninety-one (25%) patients had severe/critical disease requiring admission in the intensive care unit (ICU). Six hundred twenty patients (80.9%) improved and were discharged within 30 days of admission. Overall in-hospital mortality was 13.2% (95% CI: 10.9-15.8), and almost 50% among those in the ICU. Independent risk factors for death were age < 20 years (adjusted hazard ratio [aHR] = 6.62, 95% CI: 1.85-23.64), 40-59 years (aHR = 4.45, 95% CI: 1.83-10.79), and ≥ 60 years (aHR = 13.63, 95% CI: 5.70-32.60) compared with those aged 20-39 years, with obesity (aHR = 2.30, 95% CI: 1.24-4.27), and with chronic kidney disease (aHR = 5.33, 95% CI: 1.85-15.35). In marginal structural model analysis, there was no statistically significant difference in odds of clinical improvement (adjusted odds ratio [aOR] = 1.53, 95% CI: 0.88-2.67, P = 0.132) nor risk of death (aOR = 0.65, 95% CI: 0.35-1.20) when comparing the use of chloroquine/azithromycin versus other treatments. In this DRC study, the high mortality among patients aged < 20 years and with severe/critical disease is of great concern, and requires further research for confirmation and targeted interventions.


Subject(s)
COVID-19/epidemiology , COVID-19/mortality , Hospital Mortality/trends , Pandemics , SARS-CoV-2/pathogenicity , Adolescent , Adult , Asymptomatic Diseases , Azithromycin/therapeutic use , COVID-19/diagnosis , COVID-19/drug therapy , Chloroquine/therapeutic use , Democratic Republic of the Congo/epidemiology , Drug Combinations , Enoxaparin/therapeutic use , Female , Hospitalization/statistics & numerical data , Hospitals , Humans , Intensive Care Units , Lopinavir/therapeutic use , Male , Middle Aged , Obesity/diagnosis , Obesity/physiopathology , Obesity/virology , Patient Discharge/statistics & numerical data , Renal Insufficiency, Chronic/diagnosis , Renal Insufficiency, Chronic/physiopathology , Renal Insufficiency, Chronic/virology , Retrospective Studies , Risk Factors , Ritonavir/therapeutic use , Severity of Illness Index , Treatment Outcome
8.
BMJ Glob Health ; 5(7)2020 07.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-689115

ABSTRACT

It is very exceptional that a new disease becomes a true pandemic. Since its emergence in Wuhan, China, in late 2019, severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2), the virus that causes COVID-19, has spread to nearly all countries of the world in only a few months. However, in different countries, the COVID-19 epidemic takes variable shapes and forms in how it affects communities. Until now, the insights gained on COVID-19 have been largely dominated by the COVID-19 epidemics and the lockdowns in China, Europe and the USA. But this variety of global trajectories is little described, analysed or understood. In only a few months, an enormous amount of scientific evidence on SARS-CoV-2 and COVID-19 has been uncovered (knowns). But important knowledge gaps remain (unknowns). Learning from the variety of ways the COVID-19 epidemic is unfolding across the globe can potentially contribute to solving the COVID-19 puzzle. This paper tries to make sense of this variability-by exploring the important role that context plays in these different COVID-19 epidemics; by comparing COVID-19 epidemics with other respiratory diseases, including other coronaviruses that circulate continuously; and by highlighting the critical unknowns and uncertainties that remain. These unknowns and uncertainties require a deeper understanding of the variable trajectories of COVID-19. Unravelling them will be important for discerning potential future scenarios, such as the first wave in virgin territories still untouched by COVID-19 and for future waves elsewhere.


Subject(s)
Coronavirus Infections , Global Health , Pandemics , Pneumonia, Viral , Betacoronavirus , COVID-19 , China/epidemiology , Coronavirus Infections/epidemiology , Coronavirus Infections/prevention & control , Coronavirus Infections/transmission , Coronavirus Infections/virology , Europe/epidemiology , Humans , Infection Control , Influenza A Virus, H1N1 Subtype , Influenza Pandemic, 1918-1919 , Influenza, Human , Pandemics/prevention & control , Pneumonia, Viral/epidemiology , Pneumonia, Viral/prevention & control , Pneumonia, Viral/transmission , Pneumonia, Viral/virology , SARS-CoV-2 , United States/epidemiology
9.
Am J Trop Med Hyg ; 103(3): 960-964, 2020 09.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-676291

ABSTRACT

The world is currently facing a novel COVID-19 pandemic caused by SARS-CoV-2 that, as of July 12, 2020, has caused a reported 12,322,395 cases and 556,335 deaths. To date, only two treatments, remdesivir and dexamethasone, have demonstrated clinical efficacy through randomized controlled trials (RCTs) in seriously ill patients. The search for new or repurposed drugs for treatment of COVID-19 continues. We have witnessed anecdotal use of herbal medicines, including Artemisia spp. extracts, in low-income countries, and exaggerated claims of their efficacies that are not evidence based, with subsequent political controversy. These events highlight the urgent need for further research on herbal compounds to evaluate efficacy through RCTs, and, when efficacious compounds are identified, to establish the active ingredients, develop formulations and dosing, and define pharmacokinetics, toxicology, and safety to enable drug development. Derivatives from the herb Artemisia annua have been used as traditional medicine over centuries for the treatment of fevers, malaria, and respiratory tract infections. We review the bioactive compounds, pharmacological and immunological effects, and traditional uses for Artemisia spp. derivatives, and discuss the challenges and controversies surrounding current efforts and the scientific road map to advance them to prevent or treat COVID-19.


Subject(s)
Artemisia , Betacoronavirus , Coronavirus Infections/drug therapy , Plant Extracts/therapeutic use , Pneumonia, Viral/drug therapy , Randomized Controlled Trials as Topic , Artemisia/chemistry , COVID-19 , Humans , Pandemics , Plant Extracts/pharmacology , SARS-CoV-2
10.
Am J Trop Med Hyg ; 102(6): 1184-1188, 2020 06.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-596705

ABSTRACT

The novel severe acute respiratory syndrome-coronavirus-2 pandemic has spread to Africa, where nearly all countries have reported laboratory-confirmed cases of novel coronavirus disease (COVID-19). Although there are ongoing clinical trials of repurposed and investigational antiviral and immune-based therapies, there are as yet no scientifically proven, clinically effective pharmacological treatments for COVID-19. Among the repurposed drugs, the commonly used antimalarials chloroquine (CQ) and hydroxychloroquine (HCQ) have become the focus of global scientific, media, and political attention despite a lack of randomized clinical trials supporting their efficacy. Chloroquine has been used worldwide for about 75 years and is listed by the WHO as an essential medicine to treat malaria. Hydroxychloroquine is mainly used as a therapy for autoimmune diseases. However, the efficacy and safety of CQ/HCQ for the treatment of COVID-19 remains to be defined. Indiscriminate promotion and widespread use of CQ/HCQ have led to extensive shortages, self-treatment, and fatal overdoses. Shortages and increased market prices leave all countries vulnerable to substandard and falsified medical products, and safety issues are especially concerning for Africa because of its healthcare system limitations. Much needed in Africa is a cross-continental collaborative network for coordinated production, distribution, and post-marketing surveillance aligned to low-cost distribution of any approved COVID-19 drug; this would ideally be piggybacked on existing global aid efforts. Meanwhile, African countries should strongly consider implementing prescription monitoring schemes to ensure that any off-label CQ/HCQ use is appropriate and beneficial during this pandemic.


Subject(s)
Antiviral Agents/therapeutic use , Betacoronavirus/drug effects , Coronavirus Infections/drug therapy , Off-Label Use/ethics , Pandemics , Pneumonia, Viral/drug therapy , Randomized Controlled Trials as Topic/standards , Antimalarials/therapeutic use , Antirheumatic Agents/therapeutic use , Azithromycin/therapeutic use , Betacoronavirus/pathogenicity , COVID-19 , COVID-19 Testing , Chloroquine/therapeutic use , Clinical Laboratory Techniques/standards , Coronavirus Infections/diagnosis , Coronavirus Infections/epidemiology , Drug Repositioning , Humans , Hydroxychloroquine/therapeutic use , Pneumonia, Viral/diagnosis , Pneumonia, Viral/epidemiology , Practice Guidelines as Topic , SARS-CoV-2 , Sample Size , Treatment Outcome , United States/epidemiology
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