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1.
EuropePMC; 2022.
Preprint in English | EuropePMC | ID: ppcovidwho-338369

ABSTRACT

Wastewater-based epidemiology (WBE) is an emerging approach for community-wide COVID- 19 surveillance. WBE was characterized mostly at large sewersheds such as wastewater treatment plants serving a large population. Although informed public health measures can be implemented in a small population, WBE for neighborhood-scale sewersheds is less studied and not fully understood. This study applied WBE to seven neighborhood-scale sewersheds (average population 1,471) from January to November 2021. Community testing data showed an average of 0.004% incidence rate in these sewersheds (97% of monitoring periods reported two or fewer daily infections). In 92% of sewage samples, SARS-CoV-2 N gene fragments were below the limit of quantification. COVID-19 cases poorly correlated with SARS-CoV-2 N gene concentrations except for one location where frequent COVID-19 testing was required. Thus, we developed a COVID-19 warning system for high COVID-19 risk when the SARS-CoV-2 N gene concentration normalized to pepper mild mottle virus (PMMOV) in wastewater is higher than 10 -2 . This COVID- 19 warning system now identified neighborhood-scale outbreaks (COVID-19 incidence rate higher than 0.5%) with 73% sensitivity and 71% specificity. Importantly, it can discern neighborhood- level outbreaks that would not otherwise be identified by county-scale WBE. We also demonstrated that SARS-CoV-2 variant-specific RT-qPCR assays could be combined with the COVID-19 warning system to identify the introduction of SARS-CoV-2 variants into sewersheds with a low COVID-19 incidence. This new COVID-19 warning system will contribute to effective community-wide disease surveillance when COVID-19 incidence may be maintained at a low level. Graphical abstract

2.
Respir Res ; 23(1): 115, 2022 May 04.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1822194

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: Published studies suggest physical recovery from the COVID-19 is complex, with many individuals experiencing persistent symptoms. There is a paucity of data investigating the longer-term trajectory of physical recovery from COVID-19. METHODS: A prospective longitudinal design was utilised to investigate the impact COVID-19 has on physical functioning at 10-weeks (T1), 6-months (T2) and 1-year (T3) post-hospital discharge. Objective measures of recovery included 6-Minute Walk Test Distance (6MWTD), frailty (Clinical Frailty Scale), quantification of falls following hospital-discharge, return to work status and exercise levels. Subjective markers included symptoms (COVID-19-Specific Patient Concerns Assessment), fatigue (Chalder Fatigue Score) and health-related quality of life (HrQOL) [Short-Form-36 Health Survey Questionnaire (SF-36-II)]. Univariate analysis was performed using t-test, Wilcoxon rank-sum, and Chi-squared test, paired analysis using one-way analysis of variance and Krustal Wallis testing and correlation analysis with Spearman correlation tests. RESULTS: Sixty-one subjects participated. Assessments were conducted at a median of 55 days(T1), 242 days(T2), and 430 days(T3) following hospital-discharge. 6MWTD improved significantly overtime (F = 10.3, p < 0.001) from 365(209)m at T1 to 447(85)m at T3, however remained below population norms and with no associated improvement in perceived exertion. Approximately half (n = 27(51%)) had returned to pre-diagnosis exercise levels at T3. At least one concern/symptom was reported by 74%, 59% and 64% participants at T1, T2 and T3 respectively. Fatigue was the most frequently reported symptom at T1(40%) and T2(49%), while issues with memory/concentration was the most frequently reported at T3(49%). SF-36 scores did not change in any domain over the study period, and scores remained lower than population norms in the domains of physical functioning, energy/vitality, role limitations due to physical problems and general health. Return-to-work rates are low, with 55% of participants returning to work in some capacity, and 31% of participants don't feel back to full-health at 1-year following infection. CONCLUSION: Hospitalised COVID-19 survivors report persistent symptoms, particularly fatigue and breathlessness, low HrQOL scores, sub-optimal exercise levels and continued work absenteeism 1-year following infection, despite some objective recovery of physical functioning. Further research is warranted to explore rehabilitation goals and strategies to optimise patient outcomes during recovery from COVID-19. CLINICAL MESSAGE: Hospitalised COVID-19 survivors report significant ongoing rehabilitation concerns 1-year following infection, despite objective recovery of physical functioning. Our findings suggest those who returned to exercise within 1-year may have less fatigue and breathlessness. The impact of exercise, and other rehabilitative strategies on physical functioning outcomes following COVID-19 should be investigated in future research.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Frailty , Cohort Studies , Dyspnea , Fatigue/diagnosis , Fatigue/epidemiology , Humans , Longitudinal Studies , Prospective Studies , Quality of Life
3.
Bull World Health Organ ; 99(12): 848-848A, 2021 12 01.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1556097
5.
Nutrients ; 13(7)2021 Jul 15.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1314708

ABSTRACT

The emergence of persistent symptoms following SARS-CoV-2 infection, known as long COVID, is providing a new challenge to healthcare systems. The cardinal features are fatigue and reduced exercise tolerance. Vitamin D is known to have pleotropic effects far beyond bone health and is associated with immune modulation and autoimmunity. We hypothesize that vitamin D levels are associated with persistent symptoms following COVID-19. Herein, we investigate the relationship between vitamin D and fatigue and reduced exercise tolerance, assessed by the Chalder Fatigue Score, six-minute walk test and modified Borg scale. Multivariable linear and logistic regression models were used to evaluate the relationships. A total of 149 patients were recruited at a median of 79 days after COVID-19 illness. The median vitamin D level was 62 nmol/L, with n = 36 (24%) having levels 30-49 nmol/L and n = 14 (9%) with levels <30 nmol/L. Fatigue was common, with n = 86 (58%) meeting the case definition. The median Borg score was 3, while the median distance covered for the walk test was 450 m. No relationship between vitamin D and the measures of ongoing ill-health assessed in the study was found following multivariable regression analysis. These results suggest that persistent fatigue and reduced exercise tolerance following COVID-19 are independent of vitamin D.


Subject(s)
COVID-19/complications , Vitamin D/blood , Age Factors , COVID-19/blood , COVID-19/etiology , COVID-19/pathology , Fatigue/blood , Fatigue/etiology , Female , Humans , Linear Models , Logistic Models , Male , Middle Aged , Regression Analysis , Risk Factors , Sex Factors , Time Factors
6.
J Clin Tuberc Other Mycobact Dis ; 24: 100248, 2021 Aug.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1284190

ABSTRACT

Facility-based directly observed therapy (DOT) has been the standard for treating people with TB since the early 1990s. As the commitment to promote a people-centred model of care for TB grows, the use of facility-based DOT has been questioned as issues of freedom, privacy, and human rights have been raised. The disruptions caused by the COVID-19 pandemic and ensuing lockdown measures have fast-tracked the need to find alternative methods to provide treatment to people with TB. In this study, we present quantitative and qualitative findings from a global community-based survey on the challenges of administering facility-based DOT during a pandemic as well as potential alternatives. Our results found that decreased access to transportation, the fear of COVID-19, stigmatization due to overlapping symptoms, and punitive measures against quarantine violations have made it difficult for persons with TB to receive treatment at facilities, particularly in low-resource settings. Potential replacements included greater focus on community-based DOT, home delivery of treatment, multi-month dispensing, and video DOT strategies. Our study highlights the need for TB programs to re-evaluate their approach to providing treatment to people with TB, and that these changes must be made in consultation with people affected by TB and TB survivors to provide a true people-centred model of care.

7.
Ann Am Thorac Soc ; 18(6): 997-1003, 2021 06.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1256079

ABSTRACT

Rationale: Much is known about the acute infective process of severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2), the causative virus of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) pandemic. The marked inflammatory response and coagulopathic state in acute SARS-CoV-2 infection may promote pulmonary fibrosis. However, little is known about the incidence and seriousness of post-COVID-19 pulmonary pathology. Objectives: To describe the respiratory recovery and self-reported health after infection at the time of outpatient attendance. Methods: Infection severity was graded into three groups: 1) not requiring admission, 2) requiring hospital admission, and 3) requiring intensive care unit care. Participants underwent chest radiography and a 6-minute walk test (6MWT). Fatigue and subjective return to health were assessed, and concentrations of CRP (C-reactive protein), IL-6 (interleukin-6), sCD25 (soluble CD25), and D-dimer were measured. The associations between initial illness and abnormal chest X-ray findings, 6MWT distance, and perception of maximal exertion were investigated. Results: A total of 487 patients were offered an outpatient appointment, of whom 153 (31%) attended for assessment at a median of 75 days after diagnosis. A total of 74 (48%) had required hospital admission during acute infection. Persistently abnormal chest X-ray findings were seen in 4%. The median 6MWT distance covered was 460 m. A reduced distance covered was associated with frailty and length of inpatient stay. A total of 95 (62%) patients believed that they had not returned to full health, whereas 47% met the case definition for fatigue. Ongoing ill health and fatigue were associated with an increased perception of exertion. None of the measures of persistent respiratory disease were associated with initial disease severity. Conclusions: This study highlights the rates of objective respiratory disease and subjective respiratory symptoms after COVID-19 and the complex multifactorial nature of post-COVID-19 ill health.


Subject(s)
COVID-19/complications , Fatigue/physiopathology , Frailty/physiopathology , Lung/physiopathology , Recovery of Function , Adult , Aged , Ambulatory Care , COVID-19/diagnostic imaging , COVID-19/physiopathology , Dyspnea/physiopathology , Female , Health Status , Hospitalization , Humans , Intensive Care Units , Length of Stay/statistics & numerical data , Lung/diagnostic imaging , Male , Middle Aged , Physical Exertion , Radiography, Thoracic , SARS-CoV-2 , Severity of Illness Index , Walk Test
8.
Front Immunol ; 12: 676932, 2021.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1241170

ABSTRACT

Objectives: The immunological and inflammatory changes following acute COVID-19 are hugely variable. Persistent clinical symptoms following resolution of initial infection, termed long COVID, are also hugely variable, but association with immunological changes has not been described. We investigate changing immunological parameters in convalescent COVID-19 and interrogate their potential relationships with persistent symptoms. Methods: We performed paired immunophenotyping at initial SARS-CoV-2 infection and convalescence (n=40, median 68 days) and validated findings in 71 further patients at median 101 days convalescence. Results were compared to 40 pre-pandemic controls. Fatigue and exercise tolerance were assessed as cardinal features of long COVID using the Chalder Fatigue Scale and 6-minute-walk test. The relationships between these clinical outcomes and convalescent immunological results were investigated. Results: We identify persistent expansion of intermediate monocytes, effector CD8+, activated CD4+ and CD8+ T cells, and reduced naïve CD4+ and CD8+ T cells at 68 days, with activated CD8+ T cells remaining increased at 101 days. Patients >60 years also demonstrate reduced naïve CD4+ and CD8+ T cells and expanded activated CD4+ T cells at 101 days. Ill-health, fatigue, and reduced exercise tolerance were common in this cohort. These symptoms were not associated with immune cell populations or circulating inflammatory cytokines. Conclusion: We demonstrate myeloid recovery but persistent T cell abnormalities in convalescent COVID-19 patients more than three months after initial infection. These changes are more marked with age and are independent of ongoing subjective ill-health, fatigue and reduced exercise tolerance.


Subject(s)
Aging/physiology , CD4-Positive T-Lymphocytes/immunology , CD8-Positive T-Lymphocytes/immunology , COVID-19/immunology , SARS-CoV-2/physiology , Adult , Age Factors , Aged , Cohort Studies , Convalescence , Female , Humans , Immunophenotyping , Longitudinal Studies , Lymphocyte Activation , Male , Middle Aged , Pandemics
11.
Ann Am Thorac Soc ; 18(6): 997-1003, 2021 06.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1015968

ABSTRACT

Rationale: Much is known about the acute infective process of severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2), the causative virus of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) pandemic. The marked inflammatory response and coagulopathic state in acute SARS-CoV-2 infection may promote pulmonary fibrosis. However, little is known about the incidence and seriousness of post-COVID-19 pulmonary pathology. Objectives: To describe the respiratory recovery and self-reported health after infection at the time of outpatient attendance. Methods: Infection severity was graded into three groups: 1) not requiring admission, 2) requiring hospital admission, and 3) requiring intensive care unit care. Participants underwent chest radiography and a 6-minute walk test (6MWT). Fatigue and subjective return to health were assessed, and concentrations of CRP (C-reactive protein), IL-6 (interleukin-6), sCD25 (soluble CD25), and D-dimer were measured. The associations between initial illness and abnormal chest X-ray findings, 6MWT distance, and perception of maximal exertion were investigated. Results: A total of 487 patients were offered an outpatient appointment, of whom 153 (31%) attended for assessment at a median of 75 days after diagnosis. A total of 74 (48%) had required hospital admission during acute infection. Persistently abnormal chest X-ray findings were seen in 4%. The median 6MWT distance covered was 460 m. A reduced distance covered was associated with frailty and length of inpatient stay. A total of 95 (62%) patients believed that they had not returned to full health, whereas 47% met the case definition for fatigue. Ongoing ill health and fatigue were associated with an increased perception of exertion. None of the measures of persistent respiratory disease were associated with initial disease severity. Conclusions: This study highlights the rates of objective respiratory disease and subjective respiratory symptoms after COVID-19 and the complex multifactorial nature of post-COVID-19 ill health.


Subject(s)
COVID-19/complications , Fatigue/physiopathology , Frailty/physiopathology , Lung/physiopathology , Recovery of Function , Adult , Aged , Ambulatory Care , COVID-19/diagnostic imaging , COVID-19/physiopathology , Dyspnea/physiopathology , Female , Health Status , Hospitalization , Humans , Intensive Care Units , Length of Stay/statistics & numerical data , Lung/diagnostic imaging , Male , Middle Aged , Physical Exertion , Radiography, Thoracic , SARS-CoV-2 , Severity of Illness Index , Walk Test
12.
PLoS One ; 15(11): e0240784, 2020.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-917987

ABSTRACT

Fatigue is a common symptom in those presenting with symptomatic COVID-19 infection. However, it is unknown if COVID-19 results in persistent fatigue in those recovered from acute infection. We examined the prevalence of fatigue in individuals recovered from the acute phase of COVID-19 illness using the Chalder Fatigue Score (CFQ-11). We further examined potential predictors of fatigue following COVID-19 infection, evaluating indicators of COVID-19 severity, markers of peripheral immune activation and circulating pro-inflammatory cytokines. Of 128 participants (49.5 ± 15 years; 54% female), more than half reported persistent fatigue (67/128; 52.3%) at median of 10 weeks after initial COVID-19 symptoms. There was no association between COVID-19 severity (need for inpatient admission, supplemental oxygen or critical care) and fatigue following COVID-19. Additionally, there was no association between routine laboratory markers of inflammation and cell turnover (leukocyte, neutrophil or lymphocyte counts, neutrophil-to-lymphocyte ratio, lactate dehydrogenase, C-reactive protein) or pro-inflammatory molecules (IL-6 or sCD25) and fatigue post COVID-19. Female gender and those with a pre-existing diagnosis of depression/anxiety were over-represented in those with fatigue. Our findings demonstrate a significant burden of post-viral fatigue in individuals with previous SARS-CoV-2 infection after the acute phase of COVID-19 illness. This study highlights the importance of assessing those recovering from COVID-19 for symptoms of severe fatigue, irrespective of severity of initial illness, and may identify a group worthy of further study and early intervention.


Subject(s)
Coronavirus Infections/pathology , Fatigue/etiology , Pneumonia, Viral/pathology , Adult , Aged , Betacoronavirus/isolation & purification , COVID-19 , Coronavirus Infections/complications , Coronavirus Infections/virology , Fatigue/epidemiology , Female , Humans , Interleukin-2 Receptor alpha Subunit/blood , Interleukin-6/blood , Male , Middle Aged , Pandemics , Pneumonia, Viral/complications , Pneumonia, Viral/virology , Prevalence , SARS-CoV-2 , Severity of Illness Index
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