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PubMed; 2021.
Preprint in English | PubMed | ID: ppcovidwho-334715


The severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) Delta variant quickly rose to dominance in mid-2021, displacing other variants, including Alpha. Studies using data from the United Kingdom and India estimated that Delta was 40-80% more transmissible than Alpha, allowing Delta to become the globally dominant variant. However, it was unclear if the ostensible difference in relative transmissibility was due mostly to innate properties of Delta's infectiousness or differences in the study populations. To investigate, we formed a partnership with SARS-CoV-2 genomic surveillance programs from all six New England US states. By comparing logistic growth rates, we found that Delta emerged 37-163% faster than Alpha in early 2021 (37% Massachusetts, 75% New Hampshire, 95% Maine, 98% Rhode Island, 151% Connecticut, and 163% Vermont). We next computed variant-specific effective reproductive numbers and estimated that Delta was 58-120% more transmissible than Alpha across New England (58% New Hampshire, 68% Massachusetts, 76% Connecticut, 85% Rhode Island, 98% Maine, and 120% Vermont). Finally, using RT-PCR data, we estimated that Delta infections generate on average ~6 times more viral RNA copies per mL than Alpha infections. Overall, our evidence indicates that Delta's enhanced transmissibility could be attributed to its innate ability to increase infectiousness, but its epidemiological dynamics may vary depending on the underlying immunity and behavior of distinct populations.

PubMed; 2021.
Preprint in English | PubMed | ID: ppcovidwho-330195


Objective: Real-world data have been critical for rapid-knowledge generation throughout the COVID-19 pandemic. To ensure high-quality results are delivered to guide clinical decision making and the public health response, as well as characterize the response to interventions, it is essential to establish the accuracy of COVID-19 case definitions derived from administrative data to identify infections and hospitalizations. Methods: Electronic Health Record (EHR) data were obtained from the clinical data warehouse of the Yale New Haven Health System (Yale, primary site) and 3 hospital systems of the Mayo Clinic (validation site). Detailed characteristics on demographics, diagnoses, and laboratory results were obtained for all patients with either a positive SARS-CoV-2 PCR or antigen test or ICD-10 diagnosis of COVID-19 (U07.1) between April 1, 2020 and March 1, 2021. Various computable phenotype definitions were evaluated for their accuracy to identify SARS-CoV-2 infection and COVID-19 hospitalizations. Results: Of the 69,423 individuals with either a diagnosis code or a laboratory diagnosis of a SARS-CoV-2 infection at Yale, 61,023 had a principal or a secondary diagnosis code for COVID-19 and 50,355 had a positive SARS-CoV-2 test. Among those with a positive laboratory test, 38,506 (76.5%) and 3449 (6.8%) had a principal and secondary diagnosis code of COVID-19, respectively, while 8400 (16.7%) had no COVID-19 diagnosis. Moreover, of the 61,023 patients with a COVID-19 diagnosis code, 19,068 (31.2%) did not have a positive laboratory test for SARS-CoV-2 in the EHR. Of the 20 cases randomly sampled from this latter group for manual review, all had a COVID-19 diagnosis code related to asymptomatic testing with negative subsequent test results. The positive predictive value (precision) and sensitivity (recall) of a COVID-19 diagnosis in the medical record for a documented positive SARS-CoV-2 test were 68.8% and 83.3%, respectively. Among 5,109 patients who were hospitalized with a principal diagnosis of COVID-19, 4843 (94.8%) had a positive SARS-CoV-2 test within the 2 weeks preceding hospital admission or during hospitalization. In addition, 789 hospitalizations had a secondary diagnosis of COVID-19, of which 446 (56.5%) had a principal diagnosis consistent with severe clinical manifestation of COVID-19 (e.g., sepsis or respiratory failure). Compared with the cohort that had a principal diagnosis of COVID-19, those with a secondary diagnosis had a more than 2-fold higher in-hospital mortality rate (13.2% vs 28.0%, P<0.001). In the validation sample at Mayo Clinic, diagnosis codes more consistently identified SARS-CoV-2 infection (precision of 95%) but had lower recall (63.5%) with substantial variation across the 3 Mayo Clinic sites. Similar to Yale, diagnosis codes consistently identified COVID-19 hospitalizations at Mayo, with hospitalizations defined by secondary diagnosis code with 2-fold higher in-hospital mortality compared to those with a primary diagnosis of COVID-19. Conclusions: COVID-19 diagnosis codes misclassified the SARS-CoV-2 infection status of many people, with implications for clinical research and epidemiological surveillance. Moreover, the codes had different performance across two academic health systems and identified groups with different risks of mortality. Real-world data from the EHR can be used to in conjunction with diagnosis codes to improve the identification of people infected with SARS-CoV-2.