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1.
Front Pediatr ; 11: 1060311, 2023.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-2317879

ABSTRACT

Background: The SARS-CoV-2 pandemic remains a critical global health concern, with older adults being the most vulnerable group. Nonetheless, it is crucial to recognize that COVID-19 has caused numerous deaths in children worldwide. Emerging evidence indicates that infants and breastfeeding children, particularly those aged below one year, face a greater risk of hospitalization and mortality than older children with COVID-19. Objective: This study aimed to describe the epidemiology of COVID-19 among children during the early phase of the pandemic in Ecuador. Methods: We conducted a country-wide population-based analysis of the epidemiology of COVID-19, using incidence and mortality data reported from Ecuador between February 15, 2020 and May 14 2021. Measurements of frequency, central tendency, dispersion, and absolute differences were calculated for all categorical and continuous variables. Results: At least 34,001 cases (23,587 confirmed cases, 5,315 probable and 5,099 suspected) and 258 COVID-19 related deaths have been reported among children in Ecuador during the first 16 months of the pandemic. The overall incidence rate was 612 cases per 100,000 children, the mortality rate was 3 per 100,000, while the case fatality rate was 0.76%. The highest risk group for infection was children and adolescents between 15 and 19 years of age; however, the highest mortality rate occurred in children under one year of age. The largest provinces, such as Pichincha, Guavas and Manabí, were the ones that reported the highest number of cases, 27%, 12.1% and 10.8%, respectively. Conclusions: This study is the first to report on COVID-19 epidemics among children in Ecuador. Our findings reveal that younger children have a lower risk of SARS-CoV-2 infection, but a higher risk of mortality compared to older children and adolescents. Additionally, we observed significant disparities in infection rates and outcomes among children living in rural areas, those with comorbidities, and those from indigenous ethnic groups.

2.
Rev Salud Publica (Bogota) ; 22(3): 304-308, 2020 05 01.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-2304881

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: The global COVID-19 pandemic initiated in Ecuador with the patient zero in February 2020 and since more than 40,000 persons have been tested positive to the virus, leaving some 3,500 deceased, while approximately about 10,500 persons above annual average numbers died within March to May. A strict lockdown was applied by mid-March, which resulted to a severe economic crisis in the country. Although during the lockdown. OBJECTIVE: Our study postulates, that persons who are most likely to be infected during such secondary wave will be people who have already health issues to which we count besides the known ones, especially those who are already suffer by the distribution of volcanic ashes, as such pyroclastic material is known to affect lunges and thyroids. occurred a notable decrease in the number of new cases, the spread of the infection was already massive, untechnical, political and economic decisions will certainly lead to continuous wave of infections for months. METHODS: A descriptive ecological study of information related to COVID-19 infection at a national level using official data from the Minister of Public Health and volcanic ash fall by geographical area in Ecuador. RESULTS: The mortality rate per canton indicated that those with lower attack rates are the ones with highest mortality rate. For instance, Portovelo (21.3/100,000), Playas (18.4/100,000), Santa Rosa (15.8/100,000), Suscal (15.3/100,000) and Penipe (14.3/100,000) reported the highest mortality rate per 100,000 people. The main distribution of such volcanic material is within the central to northern area of the Highlands and Inter-Andean Valley of Ecuador, due to the analysis of some 7394 satellite images of the last 21 years. CONCLUSIONS: We conclude that areas with high vulnerabilities are also most susceptible to develop COVID-19. Such areas with their respective populations will be affected above average and shall be protected in particular within the presently starting during possible second wave of infection.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Humans , COVID-19/epidemiology , Ecuador/epidemiology , Pandemics , Communicable Disease Control , Public Health
3.
Disaster Med Public Health Prep ; : 1-13, 2021 May 19.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-2284391

ABSTRACT

The global coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic has altered entire nations and their health systems. The greatest impact of the pandemic has been seen among vulnerable populations, such as those with comorbidities like heart diseases, kidney failure, obesity, or those with worse health determinants such as unemployment and poverty. In the current study, we are proposing previous exposure to fine-grained volcanic ashes as a risk factor for developing COVID-19. Based on several previous studies it has been known since the mid 1980s of the past century that volcanic ash is most likely an accelerating factor to suffer from different types of cancer, including lung or thyroid cancer. Our study postulates, that people who are most likely to be infected during a severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) widespread wave will be those with comorbidities that are related to previous exposure to volcanic ashes. We have explored 8703 satellite images from the past 21 y of available data from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) database and correlated them with the data from the national institute of health statistics in Ecuador. Additionally, we provide more realistic numbers of fatalities due to the virus based on excess mortality data of 2020-2021, when compared with previous years. This study would be a very first of its kind combining social and spatial distribution of COVID-19 infections and volcanic ash distribution. The results and implications of our study will also help countries to identify such aforementioned vulnerable parts of the society, if the given geodynamic and volcanic settings are similar.

4.
Int J Public Health ; 67: 1604366, 2022.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-2275982

ABSTRACT

Objectives: to explore the emotional impact of the COVID-19 pandemic in the Galapagos Islands. Methods: an online survey of 369 participants, conducted on October of 2020, was used to assess levels of depression, anxiety, and stress, as well as specific behavioral and emotional reactions to the pandemic. Results: the prevalence of anxiety was 4% and depression 3.65%. Perceived stress level was higher, with 52% of the sample reporting moderate amounts. Women had higher levels of depression and perceived stress. Financial distress, interpersonal conflicts, feelings of isolation and fear of contagion of COVID-19 were all associated with higher levels of anxiety, depression, and stress. Conclusion: prevalence of anxiety and depression is lower in the Galápagos Islands during the pandemic compared to other regions, while stress levels are more significant and may warrant intervention. Despite being low, anxiety and depression were associated with potentially problematic behaviors and emotional reactions.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Psychological Distress , COVID-19/epidemiology , Cross-Sectional Studies , Depression/epidemiology , Depression/psychology , Ecuador/epidemiology , Female , Humans , Pandemics , Stress, Psychological/epidemiology , Stress, Psychological/psychology
5.
Int J Environ Res Public Health ; 19(19)2022 Sep 24.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-2248010

ABSTRACT

Since the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic, communication technology has demonstrated its usefulness in sharing and receiving health data and communicating with the public. This study evaluated the accessibility of 199 websites containing official COVID-19 information related to medical schools, governments, ministries, and medical associations, obtained from the Geneva Foundation for Medical Education and Research website. We used the Web Content Accessibility Guidelines 2.1 to evaluate web accessibility, using a six-phase process with an automatic review tool. The study results reveal that the highest number of barriers encountered are concentrated in the perceivable principle with 6388 errors (77.8%), followed by operability with 1457 (17.7%), then robustness with 291 (3.5%), and finally understandability with 78 errors (0.9%). This study concludes that most COVID-19-related websites that provide information on the context of the pandemic do not have an adequate level of accessibility. This study can contribute as a guide for designing inclusive websites; web accessibility should be reviewed periodically due to technological advances and the need to adapt to these changes.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , COVID-19/epidemiology , Government , Humans , Internet , Pandemics
6.
Front Med (Lausanne) ; 10: 1001679, 2023.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-2272836

ABSTRACT

Background: Neglected indigenous groups and underserved rural populations in Latin America are highly vulnerable to COVID-19 due to poor health infrastructure and limited access to SARS-CoV-2 diagnosis. The Andean region in Ecuador includes a large number of isolated rural mestizo and indigenous communities living under poverty conditions. Objective: We herein present a retrospective analysis of the surveillance SARS-CoV-2 testing in community-dwelling populations from four provinces in the Ecuadorian Andes, carried out during the first weeks after the national lockdown was lifted in June 2020. Results: A total number of 1,021 people were tested for SARS-CoV-2 by RT-qPCR, resulting in an overall high infection rate of 26.2% (268/1,021, 95% CI: 23.6-29%), which was over 50% in several communities. Interestingly, community-dwelling super spreaders with viral loads over 108 copies/mL represented 7.46% (20/268, 95% CI: 4.8-11.1%) of the SARS-CoV-2 infected population. Conclusion: These results support that COVID-19 community transmission in rural communities from the Andean region was happening at the early stages of the COVID-19 pandemic in Ecuador and point out the weakness of the COVID-19 control program. Community-dwelling individuals in neglected rural and indigenous communities should be considered for a successful control and surveillance program in future pandemics in low- and middle-income countries.

7.
Vaccines (Basel) ; 11(2)2023 Feb 15.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-2241433

ABSTRACT

COVID-19 vaccines have positively changed the course of the pandemic. They entered the market after only one year of the initial trials, which that yielded positive results in terms of safety and efficacy. However, after inoculating billions of people in the most extensive vaccination campaign worldwide, mild but common and some rare but potentially fatal adverse events have been reported. Among several self-reported adverse events, hair loss and alopecia have been linked to COVID-19 mRNA or viral vector vaccines. We tracked and followed a series of five cases with post-vaccine telogen effluvium and alopecia development in Ecuador. Here, we reported the clinical presentation of two women and three men with the diagnosis of post-vaccine hair loss. All patients received a heterologous vaccination scheme (mRNA and attenuated virus vaccine) with an additional viral vector booster associated with the apparition of telogen effluvium and alopecia universalis between 3 and 17 days after the vaccine was administered.

8.
J Infect Public Health ; 16(3): 430-440, 2023 Mar.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-2180685

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: The negative effects of COVID-19 infections during pregnancy have been amply described, however, the persistent sequels of this infection have not been explored so far. OBJECTIVE: The aim of this study was to describe persisting symptoms after COVID-19 infection in pregnant and non-pregnant women in Ecuador. METHODS: A cross-sectional analysis based on an online, self-reporting questionnaire was conducted in Ecuador from April to July 2022. Participants were invited by social media, radio, and TV to voluntarily participate in our study. A total of 457 surveys were included in this study. We compared risk factor variables and long-term persisting symptoms of pregnant and non-pregnant women in Ecuador. RESULTS: Overall, 247 (54.1 %) responders claimed to have long-term symptoms after SARS-CoV-2 infection. Most of these symptoms were reported by non-pregnant women (94.0 %). The most common Long-COVID symptoms in pregnant women were fatigue (10.6 %), hair loss (9.6 %), and difficulty concentrating (6.2 %). We found that pregnant women who smoked had a higher risk of suffering fatigue. CONCLUSIONS: The most frequent Long-COVID symptoms in pregnant women were fatigue, hair loss, and difficulty concentrating. Apparently, the patterns of presentation of long-term sequelae of SARS-CoV-2 infection in pregnant women do not differ significantly from reports available from studies in the general population.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Pregnancy Complications, Infectious , Pregnancy , Female , Humans , COVID-19/epidemiology , SARS-CoV-2 , Pregnancy Complications, Infectious/epidemiology , Pregnancy Complications, Infectious/diagnosis , Self Report , Post-Acute COVID-19 Syndrome , Cross-Sectional Studies
9.
Frontiers in public health ; 10, 2022.
Article in English | EuropePMC | ID: covidwho-2125669

ABSTRACT

Aim The COVID-19 outbreak has already caused more than 6.5 million deaths, overwhelming health systems worldwide. The unusual demand for funeral home services could make these workers a potential risk group for occupational exposure to SARS-CoV-2 associated with corpses management for COVID-19 patients. Methodology This is a cross-sectional study aimed to describe the infection rate of SARS-CoV-2 in funeral home staff by testing them with RT-qPCR in Quito, Ecuador. A total of 232 funeral home workers, representing more than 40% of funeral home personnel in Quito, were included in the study, in June 2020, immediately after the population lockdown was lifted in Ecuador. Results A total of 48 individuals tested positive for SARS-CoV-2, yielding an infection rate of 20.7%. The SARS-CoV-2 infection rate was 18.1 and 20.0% among personnel managing corpses or not managing corpses, respectively. Among the SARS-CoV-2 positive patients, 81.3% reported no symptoms related to COVID-19, and 3 individuals had high viral loads over 108 copies/ml. Conclusion The high SARS-CoV-2 infection rate in funeral home staff suggested a potential occupational risk for COVID-19 but not related to corpses management. Public health guidelines for safe corpses management for COVID-19 victims and safe funeral services should be reinforced.

10.
Healthcare (Basel) ; 10(12)2022 Nov 24.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-2123582

ABSTRACT

COVID-19 made its debut as a pandemic in 2020; since then, more than 607 million cases and at least 6.5 million deaths have been reported worldwide. While the burden of disease has been described, the long-term effects or chronic sequelae are still being clarified. The aim of this study was to present an overview of the information available on the sequelae of COVID-19 in people who have suffered from the infection. A systematic review was carried out in which cohort studies, case series, and clinical case reports were included, and the PubMed, Scielo, SCOPUS, and Web of Science databases were extracted. Information was published from 2020 to 1 June 2022, and we included 26 manuscripts: 9 for pulmonary, 6 for cardiac, 2 for renal, 8 for neurological and psychiatric, and 6 for cutaneous sequelae. Studies showed that the most common sequelae were those linked to the lungs, followed by skin, cutaneous, and psychiatric alterations. Women reported a higher incidence of the sequelae, as well as those with comorbidities and more severe COVID-19 history. The COVID-19 pandemic has not only caused death and disease since its appearance, but it has also sickened millions of people around the globe who potentially suffer from serious illnesses that will continue to add to the list of health problems, and further burden healthcare systems around the world.

11.
Medicina (Kaunas) ; 58(11)2022 Nov 19.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-2115951

ABSTRACT

Background and Objectives: Drug consumption is a widely developed practice around the world. However, sometimes medicines are acquired with or without prescription, a practice termed self-medication, which can have negative impacts on the health of the population. It has been observed that with the arrival of the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic, self-medicated drug consumption figures increased in several countries. To describe the patterns of medication, use and the prevalence of self-medication during the COVID-19 pandemic in inhabitants of the capital province of Pichincha, Ecuador. Materials and Methods: A descriptive, cross-sectional study was conducted based on a self-administered online questionnaire from April to June 2022, among residents of the province of Pichincha, Ecuador. Participants were invited through social networks (WhatsApp and Facebook). A total of 401 surveys were included in this study. Consumption patterns (prescription of and treatment with) of medicines during the pandemic were evaluated, as well as the prevalence of self-medication and variables that characterize the way of acquiring medicines. The Chi-square test was used to look for relationships between consumption patterns, self-medication, and the characteristics of the participants. Results: Most participants were female (53.4%), and 59.4% reported having had COVID-19. A total of 244 (60.9%) consumed medications during the pandemic, mostly for the purpose of treating the infection. About half (48.4%) self-medicated. The most used medications were paracetamol (87.3%) and ibuprofen (47.5%). Drugs consumption as a treatment and informal sources of information (TV, social networks, advice) were associated with the practice of self-medication (p < 0.05). Conclusions: A significant percentage of over-the-counter (OTC) and legal drug use was found to persist after the COVID-19 pandemic. Our findings highlight the effects that alternative forms of information sources other than medical personnel can have on drug consumption and self-medication practices.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Female , Humans , Male , Cross-Sectional Studies , COVID-19/epidemiology , Pandemics , Ecuador/epidemiology , Self Medication , Nonprescription Drugs/therapeutic use
12.
Int J Environ Res Public Health ; 19(22)2022 Nov 08.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-2110072

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: Several reports from around the world have reported that some patients who have recovered from COVID-19 have experienced a range of persistent or new clinical symptoms after a SARS-CoV-2 infection. These symptoms can last from weeks to months, impacting everyday functioning to a significant number of patients. METHODS: A cross-sectional analysis based on an online, self-reporting questionnaire was conducted in Ecuador from April to July 2022. Participants were invited by social media, radio, and TV to voluntarily participate in our study. A total of 2103 surveys were included in this study. We compared socio-demographic variables and long-term persisting symptoms at low (<2500 m) and high altitude (>2500 m). RESULTS: Overall, 1100 (52.3%) responders claimed to have Long-COVID symptoms after SARS-CoV-2 infection. Most of these were reported by women (64.0%); the most affected group was young adults between 21 to 40 years (68.5%), and most long-haulers were mestizos (91.6%). We found that high altitude residents were more likely to report persisting symptoms (71.7%) versus those living at lower altitudes (29.3%). The most common symptoms were fatigue or tiredness (8.4%), hair loss (5.1%) and difficulty concentrating (5.0%). The highest proportion of symptoms was observed in the group that received less than 2 doses. CONCLUSIONS: This is the first study describing post-COVID symptoms' persistence in low and high-altitude residents. Our findings demonstrate that women, especially those aging between 21-40, are more likely to describe Long-COVID. We also found that living at a high altitude was associated with higher reports of mood changes, tachycardia, decreased libido, insomnia, and palpitations compared to lowlanders. Finally, we found a greater risk to report Long-COVID symptoms among women, those with previous comorbidities and those who had a severer acute SARS-CoV-2 infection.


Subject(s)
Altitude , COVID-19 , Young Adult , Humans , Female , COVID-19/epidemiology , Cross-Sectional Studies , SARS-CoV-2 , Post-Acute COVID-19 Syndrome
14.
Sci Rep ; 12(1): 17179, 2022 Oct 13.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-2062252

ABSTRACT

SARS-CoV-2 has spread throughout the world, including areas located at high or very high altitudes. There is a debate about the role of high altitude hypoxia on viral transmission, incidence, and COVID-19 related mortality. This is the first comparison of SARS-CoV-2 viral load across elevations ranging from 0 to 4300 m. To describe the SARS-CoV-2 viral load across samples coming from 62 cities located at low, moderate, high, and very high altitudes in Ecuador. An observational analysis of viral loads among nasopharyngeal swap samples coming from a cohort of 4929 patients with a RT-qPCR test positive for SARS-CoV-2. The relationship between high and low altitude only considering our sample of 4929 persons is equal in both cases and not significative (p-value 0.19). In the case of low altitude, adding the sex variable to the analysis, it was possible to find a significative difference between men and women (p-value < 0.05). Considering initially sex and then altitude, it was possible to find a significative difference between high and low altitude for men (p-value 0.05). There is not enough evidence to state that viral load is affected directly by altitude range but adding a new variable as sex in the analysis shows that the presence of new variables influences the relationship of altitude range and viral load. There is no evidence that viral loads (Ct and copies/ml) differ at low or high altitude. Using sex as a co-factor, we found that men have higher viral loads than women at low and moderate altitude locations, while living at high altitude, no differences were found. When Ct values were aggregated by low, moderate, and high viral load, we found no significant differences when sex was excluded from the analysis. We conclude that viral load is not directly affected by altitude, but COVID-19 incidence and mortality are rather affected by socio-demographic and idiosyncratic dynamics.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , SARS-CoV-2 , Altitude , Female , Humans , Male , Nasopharynx , Viral Load
15.
Front Med (Lausanne) ; 9: 933260, 2022.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-2022769

ABSTRACT

Background: Neglected ethnic minorities from underserved rural populations in Latin America are highly vulnerable to coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) due to poor health infrastructure and limited access to severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) diagnosis. Esmeraldas is a mainly rural province of the Coastal Region of Ecuador characterized by a high presence of Afro-Ecuadorian population living under poverty conditions. Objective: We herein present a retrospective analysis of the surveillance SARS-CoV-2 testing in community-dwelling population from Esmeraldas carried out by our university laboratory in collaboration with regional health authorities during the first week of October 2020, in a region where no public SARS-CoV-2 detection laboratory was available at that time. Results: A total number of 1,259 people were tested for SARS-CoV-2 by Reverse Transcription quantitative Polimerasa Chain Reaction (RT-qPCR), resulting in an overall infection rate of 7.7% (97/1259, 95% CI: [6.32-9.35%]) for SARS-CoV-2, up to 12.1% in some communities. Interestingly, community-dwelling super spreaders with viral loads over 108 copies/ml represented 6.2% of the SARS-CoV-2-infected population. Furthermore, anti-SARS-CoV-2 IgG serological tests were applied to the same study group, yielding an overall seroprevalence of 11.68% (95% CI: [9.98-13.62%]) but as high as 24.47% at some communities. Conclusion: These results support active COVID-19 community transmission in Esmeraldas province during the first semester of the COVID-19 pandemic as it has been shown for other rural communities in the Ecuadorian Coastal Region.

16.
Clin Infect Dis ; 75(1): e224-e233, 2022 08 24.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-2017763

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: The public health impact of the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic has motivated a rapid search for potential therapeutics, with some key successes. However, the potential impact of different treatments, and consequently research and procurement priorities, have not been clear. METHODS: Using a mathematical model of severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) transmission, COVID-19 disease and clinical care, we explore the public-health impact of different potential therapeutics, under a range of scenarios varying healthcare capacity, epidemic trajectories; and drug efficacy in the absence of supportive care. RESULTS: The impact of drugs like dexamethasone (delivered to the most critically-ill in hospital and whose therapeutic benefit is expected to depend on the availability of supportive care such as oxygen and mechanical ventilation) is likely to be limited in settings where healthcare capacity is lowest or where uncontrolled epidemics result in hospitals being overwhelmed. As such, it may avert 22% of deaths in high-income countries but only 8% in low-income countries (assuming R = 1.35). Therapeutics for different patient populations (those not in hospital, early in the course of infection) and types of benefit (reducing disease severity or infectiousness, preventing hospitalization) could have much greater benefits, particularly in resource-poor settings facing large epidemics. CONCLUSIONS: Advances in the treatment of COVID-19 to date have been focused on hospitalized-patients and predicated on an assumption of adequate access to supportive care. Therapeutics delivered earlier in the course of infection that reduce the need for healthcare or reduce infectiousness could have significant impact, and research into their efficacy and means of delivery should be a priority.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 Drug Treatment , SARS-CoV-2 , Cost of Illness , Humans , Pandemics/prevention & control , Pharmaceutical Preparations
17.
Front Med (Lausanne) ; 8: 735821, 2021.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1938623

ABSTRACT

Background: At the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic, health workers and first-responders, such as police officers, were in charge of trying to contain a disease that was unknown at that time. The lack of information and the tremendous need to contain new outbreaks put police officers at higher risk. Methodology: A cross-sectional study was conducted to describe SARS-CoV-2 infection rates among Police Special Forces Officers in Quito, Ecuador. In this study, 163 community-dwelling police officers from elite divisions voluntarily participated in our SARS-CoV-2 detection program using reverse transcription quantitative real-time PCR (RT-qPCR). Results: A total of 20 out of 163 police officers tested positive for SARS-CoV-2, yielding an infection rate of 12.3%. Within this cohort, 10% (2/20) of SARS-CoV-2 positive individuals were potentially super spreaders with viral loads over 108 copies/ul. About 85% of the SARS-CoV-2 positive individuals were asymptomatic and 15% reported mild symptoms related to COVID-19. Conclusions: We found a high SARS-CoV-2 infection rate within the special forces police officers that, beyond a high health risk for themselves, their families, and coworkers. Our results point out the need for permanent SARS-CoV-2 testing among asymptomatic essential workers and first-responders to avoid local outbreaks and to prevent work-place absenteeism among police special units.

18.
Vaccines (Basel) ; 10(7)2022 Jun 30.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1917861

ABSTRACT

The COVID-19 pandemic has put a lot of pressure on health systems worldwide. Mass vaccination against SARS-CoV-2 has reduced morbidity and mortality worldwide. Despite their safety profiles, vaccines, as with any other medical product, can cause adverse events. Yet, in countries with poor epidemiological surveillance and monitoring systems, reporting vaccine-related adverse events is a challenge. The objective of this study was to describe self-reported vaccine adverse events after receiving one of the available COVID-19 vaccine schemes in Ecuador. A cross-sectional analysis based on an online, self-reported, 32-item questionnaire was conducted in Ecuador from 1 April to 15 July 2021. Participants were invited by social media, radio, and TV to voluntarily participate in our study. A total of 6654 participants were included in this study. Furthermore, 38.2% of the participants reported having at least one comorbidity. Patients received AstraZeneca, Pfizer, and Sinovac vaccines, and these were distributed 38.4%, 31.1%, and 30.5%, respectively. Overall, pain or swelling at the injection site 17.2% (n = 4500) and headache 13.3% (n = 3502) were the most reported adverse events. Women addressed events supposedly attributable to vaccination or immunization [ESAVIs] (66.7%), more often than men (33.2%). After receiving the first dose of any available COVID-19 vaccine, a total of 19,501 self-reported ESAVIs were informed (87.0% were mild, 11.5% moderate, and 1.5% severe). In terms of the vaccine type and brand, the most reactogenic vaccine was AstraZeneca with 57.8%, followed by Pfizer (24.9%) and Sinovac (17.3%). After the second dose, 6776 self-reported ESAVIs were reported (87.1% mild, 10.9% moderate, and 2.1% severe). AstraZeneca vaccine users reported a higher proportion of ESAVIs (72.2%) in comparison to Pfizer/BioNTech (15.9%) and Sinovac Vaccine (11.9%). Swelling at the injection site, headache, muscle pain, and fatigue were the most common ESAVIs for the first as well as second doses. In conclusion, most ESAVIs were mild. AstraZeneca users were more likely to report adverse events. Participants without a history of COVID-19 infection, as well as those who received the first dose, were more prone to report ESAVIs.

19.
Int J Environ Res Public Health ; 19(13)2022 06 28.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1911387

ABSTRACT

SARS-CoV-2 has spread throughout the world, including remote areas such as those located at high altitudes. There is a debate about the role of hypobaric hypoxia on viral transmission and COVID-19 incidence. A descriptive cross-sectional analysis of SARS-CoV-2 infection and viral load among patients living at low (230 m) and high altitude (3800 m) in Ecuador was completed. Within these two communities, the total number of infected people at the time of the study was 108 cases (40.3%). The COVID-19 incidence proportion at low altitude was 64% while at high altitude was 30.3%. The mean viral load from those patients who tested positive was 3,499,184 copies/mL (SD = 23,931,479 copies/mL). At low altitude (Limoncocha), the average viral load was 140,223.8 copies/mL (SD = 990,840.9 copies/mL), while for the high altitude group (Oyacachi), the mean viral load was 6,394,789 copies/mL (SD = 32,493,469 copies/mL). We found no statistically significant differences when both results were compared (p = 0.056). We found no significant differences across people living at low or high altitude; however, men and younger populations had higher viral load than women older populations, respectively.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , SARS-CoV-2 , Altitude , COVID-19/epidemiology , Cross-Sectional Studies , Ecuador/epidemiology , Female , Humans , Male , Viral Load
20.
PLoS One ; 17(3): e0262423, 2022.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1910489

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: Multiple studies have attempted to elucidate the relationship between chronic hypoxia and SARS-CoV-2 infection. It seems that high-altitude is associated with lower COVID-19 related mortality and incidence rates; nevertheless, all the data came from observational studies, being this the first one looking into prospectively collected clinical data from severely ill patients residing at two significantly different altitudes. METHODS: A prospective cohort, a two-center study among COVID-19 confirmed adult patients admitted to a low (sea level) and high-altitude (2,850 m) ICU unit in Ecuador was conducted. Two hundred and thirty confirmed patients were enrolled from March 15th to July 15th, 2020. RESULTS: From 230 patients, 149 were men (64.8%) and 81 women (35.2%). The median age of all the patients was 60 years, and at least 105 (45.7%) of patients had at least one underlying comorbidity, including hypertension (33.5%), diabetes (16.5%), and chronic kidney failure (5.7%). The APACHE II scale (Score that estimates ICU mortality) at 72 hours was especially higher in the low altitude group with a median of 18 points (IQR: 9.5-24.0), compared to 9 points (IQR: 5.0-22.0) obtained in the high-altitude group. There is evidence of a difference in survival in favor of the high-altitude group (p = 0.006), the median survival being 39 days, compared to 21 days in the low altitude group. CONCLUSION: There has been a substantial improvement in survival amongst people admitted to the high-altitude ICU. Residing at high-altitudes was associated with improved survival, especially among patients with no comorbidities. COVID-19 patients admitted to the high-altitude ICU unit have improved severity-of-disease classification system scores at 72 hours.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Adult , Altitude , Critical Illness , Female , Humans , Intensive Care Units , Male , Middle Aged , Prospective Studies , SARS-CoV-2
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