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1.
Health Syst Reform ; 8(1): e2019571, 2022 Jan 01.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1642261

ABSTRACT

Coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) knows no borders and no single approach may produce a successful impact in controlling the pandemic in any country. In Southern Africa, where migration between countries is high mainly from countries within the Southern African Development Community (SADC) countries to South Africa, there is limited understanding of how the COVID-19 crisis is affecting the social and economic life of migrants and migrant communities. In this article, we share reflections on the impact of COVID-19 on people on the move within Southern Africa land border communities, examine policy, practice, and challenges affecting both the cross-border migrants and host communities. This calls for the need to assess whether the current response has been inclusive enough and does not perpetuate discriminatory responses. The lockdown and travel restrictions imposed during the various waves of the COVID-19 pandemic in SADC countries, more so in South Africa where the migrant population is high, denote that most migrants living with other comorbidities especially HIV/TB and who were enrolled in chronic care in their countries of origin were exposed to challenges of access to continued care. Further, migrants as vulnerable groups have low access to COVID-19 vaccines. This made them more vulnerable to deterioration of preexisting comorbidities and increased the risk of migrants becoming infected with COVID-19. It is unfortunate that certain disease outbreaks have been racialized, creating potential xenophobic environments and fear among migrant populations as well as gender inequalities in access to health care and livelihood. Therefore, a successful COVID-19 response and any future pandemics require a "whole system" approach as well as a regional coordinated humanitarian response approach if the devastating impacts on people on the move are to be lessened and effective control of the pandemic ensured.

2.
J Infect Dis ; 2022 Jan 14.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1626954

ABSTRACT

Non-pharmaceutical interventions (NPIs) were widely introduced to combat the COVID-19 pandemic. These interventions also likely led to substantially reduced activity of respiratory syncytial virus (RSV). From late 2020, some countries observed out-of-season RSV epidemics. Here, we analyzed the role of NPIs, population mobility, climate, and SARS-CoV-2 circulation in RSV rebound through a time-to-event analysis across 18 countries. Full (re)-opening of schools was associated with an increased risk for RSV rebound (HR = 23.29 [95% CI: 1.09-495.84]); every 5°C increase in temperature was associated with a decreased risk (HR = 0.63 [0.40-0.99]). There was an increasing trend in the risk for RSV rebound over time, highlighting the role of increased population susceptibility. No other factors were found statistically significant. Further analysis suggests increasing population susceptibility and full (re)-opening of schools could both override the counter-effect of high temperatures, which explains the out-of-season RSV epidemics during the COVID-19 pandemic.

3.
BMJ Glob Health ; 6(7)2021 07.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1504985

ABSTRACT

INTRODUCTION: The burden of acute lower respiratory infections (ALRI), and common viral ALRI aetiologies among 5-19 years are less well understood. We conducted a systematic review to estimate global burden of all-cause and virus-specific ALRI in 5-19 years. METHODS: We searched eight databases and Google for studies published between 1995 and 2019 and reporting data on burden of all-cause ALRI or ALRI associated with influenza virus, respiratory syncytial virus, human metapneumovirus and human parainfluenza virus. We assessed risk of bias using a modified Newcastle-Ottawa Scale. We developed an analytical framework to report burden by age, country and region when there were sufficient data (all-cause and influenza-associated ALRI hospital admissions). We estimated all-cause ALRI in-hospital deaths and hospital admissions for ALRI associated with respiratory syncytial virus, human metapneumovirus and human parainfluenza virus by region. RESULTS: Globally, an estimated 5.5 million (UR 4.0-7.8) all-cause ALRI hospital admissions occurred annually between 1995 and 2019 in 5-19 year olds, causing 87 900 (UR 40 300-180 600) in-hospital deaths annually. Influenza virus and respiratory syncytial virus were associated with 1 078 600 (UR 4 56 500-2 650 200) and 231 800 (UR 142 700-3 73 200) ALRI hospital admissions in 5-19 years. Human metapneumovirus and human parainfluenza virus were associated with 105 500 (UR 57 200-181 700) and 124 800 (UR 67 300-228 500) ALRI hospital admissions in 5-14 years. About 55% of all-cause ALRI hospital admissions and 63% of influenza-associated ALRI hospital admissions occurred in those 5-9 years globally. All-cause and influenza-associated ALRI hospital admission rates were highest in upper-middle income countries, Asia-Pacific region and the Latin America and Caribbean region. CONCLUSION: Incidence and mortality data for all-cause and virus-specific ALRI in 5-19 year olds are scarce. The lack of data in low-income countries and Eastern Europe and Central Asia, South Asia, and West and Central Africa warrants efforts to improve the development and access to healthcare services, diagnostic capacity, and data reporting.


Subject(s)
Global Health , Respiratory Tract Infections , Adolescent , Child , Hospital Mortality , Hospitalization , Hospitals , Humans , Respiratory Tract Infections/epidemiology
4.
Lancet Digit Health ; 3(10): e676-e683, 2021 10.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1442654

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: Community mobility data have been used to assess adherence to non-pharmaceutical interventions and its impact on SARS-CoV-2 transmission. We assessed the association between location-specific community mobility and the reproduction number (R) of SARS-CoV-2 across UK local authorities. METHODS: In this modelling study, we linked data on community mobility from Google with data on R from 330 UK local authorities, for the period June 1, 2020, to Feb 13, 2021. Six mobility metrics are available in the Google community mobility dataset: visits to retail and recreation places, visits to grocery and pharmacy stores, visits to transit stations, visits to parks, visits to workplaces, and length of stay in residential places. For each local authority, we modelled the weekly change in R (the R ratio) per a rescaled weekly percentage change in each location-specific mobility metric relative to a pre-pandemic baseline period (Jan 3-Feb 6, 2020), with results synthesised across local authorities using a random-effects meta-analysis. FINDINGS: On a weekly basis, increased visits to retail and recreation places were associated with a substantial increase in R (R ratio 1·053 [99·2% CI 1·041-1·065] per 15% weekly increase compared with baseline visits) as were increased visits to workplaces (R ratio 1·060 [1·046-1·074] per 10% increase compared with baseline visits). By comparison, increased visits to grocery and pharmacy stores were associated with a small but still statistically significant increase in R (R ratio 1·011 [1·005-1·017] per 5% weekly increase compared with baseline visits). Increased visits to parks were associated with a decreased R (R ratio 0·972 [0·965-0·980]), as were longer stays at residential areas (R ratio 0·952 [0·928-0·976]). Increased visits to transit stations were not associated with R nationally, but were associated with a substantial increase in R in cities. An increasing trend was observed for the first 6 weeks of 2021 in the effect of visits to retail and recreation places and workplaces on R. INTERPRETATION: Increased visits to retail and recreation places, workplaces, and transit stations in cities are important drivers of increased SARS-CoV-2 transmission; the increasing trend in the effects of these drivers in the first 6 weeks of 2021 was possibly associated with the emerging alpha (B.1.1.7) variant. These findings provide important evidence for the management of current and future mobility restrictions. FUNDING: Wellcome Trust and Data-Driven Innovation initiative.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Commerce , Pandemics , Parks, Recreational , Transportation , Travel , Workplace , Behavior , COVID-19/epidemiology , COVID-19/transmission , Humans , Incidence , Models, Biological , Recreation , SARS-CoV-2 , United Kingdom/epidemiology
5.
Lancet Infect Dis ; 21(12): 1615-1617, 2021 12.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1356506
6.
Influenza Other Respir Viruses ; 15(6): 804-812, 2021 11.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1295030

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: Several local studies showed that the 2009 influenza pandemic delayed the RSV season. However, no global-level analyses are available on the possible impact of the 2009 influenza pandemic on the RSV season. OBJECTIVES: We aim to understand the impact of the 2009 influenza pandemic on the RSV season. METHODS: We compiled data from published literature (through a systematic review), online reports/datasets and previously published data on global RSV seasonality and conducted a global-level systematic analysis on the impact of the 2009 influenza pandemic on RSV seasonality. RESULTS: We included 354 seasons of 45 unique sites, from 26 countries. Globally, the influenza pandemic delayed the onset of the first RSV season by 0.58 months on average (95% CI: 0.42, 0.73; maximum delay: 2.5 months) and the onset of the second RSV season by a lesser extent (0.25 months; 95% CI: 0.12, 0.39; maximum delay: 3.4 months); no delayed onset was observed for the third RSV season. The delayed onset was most pronounced in the northern temperate, followed by the southern temperate, and was least pronounced in the tropics. CONCLUSIONS: The 2009 influenza pandemic delayed the RSV onset on average by 0.58 months and up to 2.5 months. This suggests evidence of viral interference as well as the impact of public health measures and has important implications for preparedness for RSV season during the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic and future pandemics.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Influenza, Human , Respiratory Syncytial Virus Infections , Respiratory Syncytial Virus, Human , Humans , Infant , Influenza, Human/epidemiology , Pandemics , Respiratory Syncytial Virus Infections/epidemiology , SARS-CoV-2 , Seasons
7.
Lancet Glob Health ; 9(6): e740-e741, 2021 06.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1233654
8.
J Glob Health ; 11: 10001, 2021 Mar 01.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1154786

ABSTRACT

Background: Understanding the risk factors for poor outcomes among COVID-19 patients could help identify vulnerable populations who would need prioritisation in prevention and treatment for COVID-19. We aimed to critically appraise and synthesise published evidence on the risk factors for poor outcomes in hospitalised COVID-19 patients. Methods: We searched PubMed, medRxiv and the WHO COVID-19 literature database for studies that reported characteristics of COVID-19 patients who required hospitalisation. We included studies published between January and May 2020 that reported adjusted effect size of any demographic and/or clinical factors for any of the three poor outcomes: mortality, intensive care unit (ICU) admission, and invasive mechanical ventilation. We appraised the quality of the included studies using Joanna Briggs Institute appraisal tools and quantitatively synthesised the evidence through a series of random-effect meta-analyses. To aid data interpretation, we further developed an interpretation framework that indicated strength of the evidence, informed by both quantity and quality of the evidence. Results: We included a total of 40 studies in our review. Most of the included studies (29/40, 73%) were assessed as "good quality", with assessment scores of 80 or more. We found that male sex (pooled odds ratio (OR) = 1.32 (95% confidence interval (CI) = 1.18-1.48; 20 studies), older age (OR = 1.05, 95% CI = 1.04-1.07, per one year of age increase; 10 studies), obesity (OR = 1.59, 95% CI = 1.02-2.48; 4 studies), diabetes (OR = 1.25, 95% CI = 1.11-1.40; 11 studies) and chronic kidney diseases (6 studies; OR = 1.57, 95% CI = 1.27-1.93) were associated with increased risks for mortality with the greatest strength of evidence based on our interpretation framework. We did not find increased risk of mortality for several factors including chronic obstructive pulmonary diseases (5 studies), cancer (4 studies), or current smoker (5 studies); however, this does not indicate absence of risk due to limited data on each of these factors. Conclusion: Male sex, older age, obesity, diabetes and chronic kidney diseases are important risk factors of COVID-19 poor outcomes. Our review provides not only an appraisal and synthesis of evidence on the risk factors of COVID-19 poor outcomes, but also a data interpretation framework that could be adopted by relevant future research.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Hospitalization , Intensive Care Units , Respiration, Artificial , Severity of Illness Index , Aged , COVID-19/epidemiology , COVID-19/mortality , COVID-19/therapy , Comorbidity , Female , Humans , Male , Risk Factors , SARS-CoV-2
9.
Lancet Infect Dis ; 21(2): 193-202, 2021 02.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1137673

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: Non-pharmaceutical interventions (NPIs) were implemented by many countries to reduce the transmission of severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2), the causal agent of COVID-19. A resurgence in COVID-19 cases has been reported in some countries that lifted some of these NPIs. We aimed to understand the association of introducing and lifting NPIs with the level of transmission of SARS-CoV-2, as measured by the time-varying reproduction number (R), from a broad perspective across 131 countries. METHODS: In this modelling study, we linked data on daily country-level estimates of R from the London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine (London, UK) with data on country-specific policies on NPIs from the Oxford COVID-19 Government Response Tracker, available between Jan 1 and July 20, 2020. We defined a phase as a time period when all NPIs remained the same, and we divided the timeline of each country into individual phases based on the status of NPIs. We calculated the R ratio as the ratio between the daily R of each phase and the R from the last day of the previous phase (ie, before the NPI status changed) as a measure of the association between NPI status and transmission of SARS-CoV-2. We then modelled the R ratio using a log-linear regression with introduction and relaxation of each NPI as independent variables for each day of the first 28 days after the change in the corresponding NPI. In an ad-hoc analysis, we estimated the effect of reintroducing multiple NPIs with the greatest effects, and in the observed sequence, to tackle the possible resurgence of SARS-CoV-2. FINDINGS: 790 phases from 131 countries were included in the analysis. A decreasing trend over time in the R ratio was found following the introduction of school closure, workplace closure, public events ban, requirements to stay at home, and internal movement limits; the reduction in R ranged from 3% to 24% on day 28 following the introduction compared with the last day before introduction, although the reduction was significant only for public events ban (R ratio 0·76, 95% CI 0·58-1·00); for all other NPIs, the upper bound of the 95% CI was above 1. An increasing trend over time in the R ratio was found following the relaxation of school closure, bans on public events, bans on public gatherings of more than ten people, requirements to stay at home, and internal movement limits; the increase in R ranged from 11% to 25% on day 28 following the relaxation compared with the last day before relaxation, although the increase was significant only for school reopening (R ratio 1·24, 95% CI 1·00-1·52) and lifting bans on public gatherings of more than ten people (1·25, 1·03-1·51); for all other NPIs, the lower bound of the 95% CI was below 1. It took a median of 8 days (IQR 6-9) following the introduction of an NPI to observe 60% of the maximum reduction in R and even longer (17 days [14-20]) following relaxation to observe 60% of the maximum increase in R. In response to a possible resurgence of COVID-19, a control strategy of banning public events and public gatherings of more than ten people was estimated to reduce R, with an R ratio of 0·71 (95% CI 0·55-0·93) on day 28, decreasing to 0·62 (0·47-0·82) on day 28 if measures to close workplaces were added, 0·58 (0·41-0·81) if measures to close workplaces and internal movement restrictions were added, and 0·48 (0·32-0·71) if measures to close workplaces, internal movement restrictions, and requirements to stay at home were added. INTERPRETATION: Individual NPIs, including school closure, workplace closure, public events ban, ban on gatherings of more than ten people, requirements to stay at home, and internal movement limits, are associated with reduced transmission of SARS-CoV-2, but the effect of introducing and lifting these NPIs is delayed by 1-3 weeks, with this delay being longer when lifting NPIs. These findings provide additional evidence that can inform policy-maker decisions on the timing of introducing and lifting different NPIs, although R should be interpreted in the context of its known limitations. FUNDING: Wellcome Trust Institutional Strategic Support Fund and Data-Driven Innovation initiative.


Subject(s)
Basic Reproduction Number , COVID-19 , Models, Theoretical , Quarantine , SARS-CoV-2 , COVID-19/prevention & control , COVID-19/transmission , Communicable Diseases, Emerging/prevention & control , Global Health , Humans , Time Factors
10.
J Glob Health ; 10(2): 021102, 2020 Dec.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1106364

ABSTRACT

Background: Influenza vaccination prevents people from influenza-related diseases and thereby mitigates the burden on national health systems when COVID-19 circulates and public health measures controlling respiratory viral infections are relaxed. However, it is challenging to maintain influenza vaccine services as the COVID-19 pandemic has the potential to disrupt vaccination programmes in many countries during the 2020/21 winter. We summarise available recommendations and strategies on influenza vaccination, specifically the changes in the context of the COVID-19 pandemic. Methods: We searched websites and databases of national and international public health agencies (focusing on Europe, North and South America, Australia, New Zealand, and South Africa). We also contacted key influenza immunization focal points and experts in respective countries and organizations including WHO and ECDC. Results: Available global and regional guidance emphasises the control of COVID-19 infection in immunisation settings by implementing multiple measures, such as physical distancing, hand hygiene practice, appropriate use of personal protective equipment by health care workers and establishing separate vaccination sessions for medically vulnerable people. The guidance also emphasises using alternative models or settings (eg, outdoor areas and pharmacies) for vaccine delivery, communication strategies and developing registry and catch-up programmes to achieve high coverage. Several novel national strategies have been adopted, such as combining influenza vaccination with other medical visits and setting up outdoor and drive through vaccination clinics. Several Southern Hemisphere countries have increased influenza vaccine coverage substantially for the 2020 influenza season. Most of the countries included in our review have planned a universal or near universal influenza vaccination for health care workers, or have made influenza vaccination for health care workers mandatory. Australia has requested that all workers and visitors in long term care facilities receive influenza vaccine. The UK has planned to expand the influenza programme to provide free influenza vaccine for the first time to all adults 50-64 years of age, people on the shielded patient list and their household members and children in the first year of secondary school. South Africa has additionally prioritised people with hypertension for influenza vaccination. Conclusions: This review of influenza vaccination guidance and strategies should support strategy development on influenza vaccination in the context of COVID-19.


Subject(s)
COVID-19/epidemiology , Communicable Disease Control/organization & administration , Immunization Programs/organization & administration , Influenza Vaccines/administration & dosage , Influenza, Human/prevention & control , COVID-19/prevention & control , Child , Global Health , Humans , Pandemics , SARS-CoV-2
11.
J Infect Dis ; 222(Supplement_7): S563-S569, 2020 Oct 07.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-851798

ABSTRACT

Acute respiratory tract infections (ARI) constitute a substantial disease burden in adults and elderly individuals. We aimed to identify all case-control studies investigating the potential role of respiratory viruses in the etiology of ARI in older adults aged ≥65 years. We conducted a systematic literature review (across 7 databases) of case-control studies published from 1996 to 2017 that investigated the viral profile of older adults with and those without ARI. We then computed a pooled odds ratio (OR) with a 95% confidence interval and virus-specific attributable fraction among the exposed (AFE) for 8 common viruses: respiratory syncytial virus (RSV), influenza virus (Flu), parainfluenza virus (PIV), human metapneumovirus (HMPV), adenovirus (AdV), rhinovirus (RV), bocavirus (BoV), and coronavirus (CoV). From the 16 studies included, there was strong evidence of possible causal attribution for RSV (OR, 8.5 [95% CI, 3.9-18.5]; AFE, 88%), Flu (OR, 8.3 [95% CI, 4.4-15.9]; AFE, 88%), PIV (OR, not available; AFE, approximately 100%), HMPV (OR, 9.8 [95% CI, 2.3-41.0]; AFE, 90%), AdV (OR, not available; AFE, approximately 100%), RV (OR, 7.1 [95% CI, 3.7-13.6]; AFE, 86%) and CoV (OR, 2.8 [95% CI, 2.0-4.1]; AFE, 65%) in older adults presenting with ARI, compared with those without respiratory symptoms (ie, asymptomatic individuals) or healthy older adults. However, there was no significant difference in the detection of BoV in cases and controls. This review supports RSV, Flu, PIV, HMPV, AdV, RV, and CoV as important causes of ARI in older adults and provides quantitative estimates of the absolute proportion of virus-associated ARI cases to which a viral cause can be attributed. Disease burden estimates should take into account the appropriate AFE estimates (for older adults) that we report.


Subject(s)
Respiratory Tract Infections/virology , Acute Disease , Age Factors , Aged , Humans , Pneumonia, Viral/epidemiology , Pneumonia, Viral/virology , Respiratory Tract Infections/epidemiology
12.
J Infect Dis ; 222(7): 1090-1097, 2020 09 01.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-741868

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: The ongoing pandemic of coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) caused by the severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) could recur as seasonal outbreaks, a circulating pattern observed among other preexisting human seasonal coronaviruses (sCoVs). However, little is known about seasonality of sCoVs on a global scale. METHODS: We conducted a systematic review of data on seasonality of sCoVs. We compared seasonality of sCoVs with influenza virus and respiratory syncytial virus. We modeled monthly activity of sCoVs using site-specific weather data. RESULTS: We included sCoV seasonality data in 40 sites from 21 countries. sCoVs were prevalent in winter months in most temperate sites except for China, whereas sCoVs tended to be less seasonal in China and in tropical sites. In temperate sites excluding China, 53.1% of annual sCoV cases (interquartile range [IQR], 34.6%-61.9%) occurred during influenza season and 49.6% (IQR, 30.2%-60.2%) of sCoV cases occurred during respiratory syncytial virus season. Low temperature combined with high relative humidity was associated with higher sCoV activity. CONCLUSIONS: This is the first study that provides an overview of the global seasonality of sCoVs. Our findings offer clues to the possible postpandemic circulating season of SARS-CoV-2 and add to the knowledge pool necessary for postpandemic preparedness for SARS-CoV-2.


Subject(s)
Coronavirus Infections/epidemiology , Pandemics , Pneumonia, Viral , Betacoronavirus , COVID-19 , China , Humans , SARS-CoV-2 , Seasons
14.
J Glob Health ; 10(1): 011001, 2020 Jun.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-44413

ABSTRACT

Background: On 31 December, 2019, the World Health Organization China Country Office was informed of cases of pneumonia of unknown aetiology. Since then, there have been over 75 000 cases globally of the 2019 novel coronavirus (COVID-19), 2000 deaths, and over 14 000 cases recovered. Outbreaks of novel agents represent opportunities for clinical research to inform real-time public health action. In 2018, we conducted a systematic review to identify priority research questions for Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome-related coronavirus (SARS-CoV) and Middle East Respiratory Syndrome-related coronavirus (MERS-CoV). Here, we review information available on COVID-19 and provide an evidenced-based framework for priority clinical research in the current outbreak. Methods: Three bibliographic databases were searched to identify clinical studies published on SARS-CoV and MERS-CoV in the outbreak setting. Studies were grouped thematically according to clinical research questions addressed. In February 2020, available information on COVID19 was reviewed and compared to the results of the SARS-CoV and MERS-CoV systematic review. Results: From the research objectives for SARS-CoV and MERS-CoV, ten themes in the literature were identified: Clinical characterisation, prognosis, diagnosis, clinical management, viral pathogenesis, epidemiological characterisation, infection prevention and control/transmission, susceptibility, psychosocial, and aetiology. For COVID19, some information on clinical presentation, diagnostic testing, and aetiology is available but many clinical research gaps have yet to be filled. Conclusions: Based on a systematic review of other severe coronaviruses, we summarise the state of clinical research for COVID-19, highlight the research gaps, and provide recommendations for the implementation of standardised protocols. Data based on internationally standardised protocols will inform clinical practice real-time.


Subject(s)
Coronavirus Infections , Coronavirus , Evidence-Based Emergency Medicine , Pandemics , Pneumonia, Viral , Betacoronavirus , COVID-19 , Coronavirus Infections/epidemiology , Coronavirus Infections/virology , Disease Outbreaks , Humans , Pneumonia, Viral/epidemiology , Pneumonia, Viral/virology , SARS-CoV-2 , Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome/virology
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