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Can J Public Health ; 112(4): 620-628, 2021 08.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1248466


OBJECTIVES: Seasonal influenza is an acute respiratory infection that presents a significant annual burden to Canadians and the Canadian healthcare system. Social distancing measures that were implemented to control the 2019-2020 novel coronavirus outbreak were investigated for their ability to lessen the incident cases of seasonal influenza. METHODS: We conducted an ecological study using data from Canada's national influenza surveillance system to investigate whether social distancing measures to control COVID-19 reduced the incident cases of seasonal influenza. Data taken from three separate time frames facilitated analysis of the 2019-2020 influenza season prior to, during, and following the implementation of COVID-19-related measures and enabled comparisons with the same time periods during three preceding flu seasons. The incidence, which referred to the number of laboratory-confirmed cases of specific influenza strains, was of primary focus. Further analysis determined the number of new laboratory-confirmed influenza or influenza-like illness outbreaks. RESULTS: Our results indicate a premature end to the 2019-2020 influenza season, with significantly fewer cases and outbreaks being recorded following the enactment of many COVID-19 social distancing policies. The incidence of influenza strains A (H3N2), A (unsubtyped), and B were all significantly lower at the tail end of the 2019-2020 influenza season as compared with preceding seasons (p = 0.0003, p = 0.0007, p = 0.0019). CONCLUSION: Specific social distancing measures and behaviours may serve as effective tools to limit the spread of influenza transmission moving forward, as they become more familiar.

RéSUMé: OBJECTIFS: La grippe saisonnière est une infection aiguë des voies respiratoires qui représente un important fardeau annuel pour la population et pour le système de soins de santé du Canada. Nous avons cherché à déterminer si les mesures de distanciation sociale appliquées pour contrôler l'éclosion du nouveau coronavirus en 2019­2020 ont pu atténuer les cas incidents de grippe saisonnière. MéTHODES: Nous avons mené une étude écologique à l'aide des données du système national de surveillance de l'activité grippale au Canada pour déterminer si les mesures de distanciation sociale appliquées pour contrôler la COVID-19 ont réduit les cas incidents de grippe saisonnière. Des données provenant de trois périodes distinctes ont facilité l'analyse de la saison grippale 2019­2020 avant, pendant et après l'application des mesures liées à la COVID-19 et permis des comparaisons avec les mêmes intervalles durant trois saisons grippales antérieures. L'incidence, c'est-à-dire le nombre de cas confirmés en laboratoire de souches grippales particulières, était notre principal objectif. Des analyses plus poussées ont permis de déterminer le nombre de nouvelles éclosions de syndrome grippal ou de grippe confirmée en laboratoire. RéSULTATS: Selon nos résultats, la saison grippale 2019­2020 a connu une fin prématurée; un nombre sensiblement moins élevé de cas et d'éclosions ont été enregistrés après la mise en place des nombreuses politiques de distanciation sociale liées à la COVID-19. L'incidence des souches grippales A (H3N2), A (non sous-typée) et B a été sensiblement moins élevée vers la fin de la saison grippale 2019­2020 comparativement aux saisons précédentes (p = 0,0003, p = 0,0007, p = 0,0019). CONCLUSION: Des mesures et des comportements de distanciation sociale particuliers peuvent être des outils efficaces pour limiter la propagation de la grippe maintenant qu'ils sont plus familiers.

COVID-19/prevention & control , Influenza, Human/epidemiology , Physical Distancing , Public Health Surveillance , COVID-19/epidemiology , Canada/epidemiology , Humans , Incidence , Influenza, Human/virology , Seasons
Anal Chem ; 93(5): 2767-2775, 2021 02 09.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1039622


Clinical tissue specimens are often unscreened, and preparation of tissue sections for analysis by mass spectrometry imaging (MSI) can cause aerosolization of particles potentially carrying an infectious load. We here present a decontamination approach based on ultraviolet-C (UV-C) light to inactivate clinically relevant pathogens such as herpesviridae, papovaviridae human immunodeficiency virus, or SARS-CoV-2, which may be present in human tissue samples while preserving the biodistributions of analytes within the tissue. High doses of UV-C required for high-level disinfection were found to cause oxidation and photodegradation of endogenous species. Lower UV-C doses maintaining inactivation of clinically relevant pathogens to a level of increased operator safety were found to be less destructive to the tissue metabolome and xenobiotics. These doses caused less alterations of the tissue metabolome and allowed elucidation of the biodistribution of the endogenous metabolites. Additionally, we were able to determine the spatially integrated abundances of the ATR inhibitor ceralasertib from decontaminated human biopsies using desorption electrospray ionization-MSI (DESI-MSI).

Decontamination/methods , Ultraviolet Rays , Animals , Azetidines/analysis , Azetidines/therapeutic use , COVID-19/pathology , COVID-19/virology , Head and Neck Neoplasms/chemistry , Head and Neck Neoplasms/drug therapy , Head and Neck Neoplasms/pathology , Humans , Male , Metabolome , Naphthalenes/analysis , Naphthalenes/therapeutic use , Photolysis/radiation effects , Rats , Rats, Wistar , SARS-CoV-2/isolation & purification , SARS-CoV-2/radiation effects , Spectrometry, Mass, Electrospray Ionization/methods , Terfenadine/chemistry , Virus Inactivation/radiation effects
J Am Coll Surg ; 231(2): 275-280, 2020 Aug.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-125470


Personal protective equipment (PPE) has been an invaluable yet limited resource when it comes to protecting healthcare workers against infection during the 2019 coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic. In the US, N95 respirator supply chains are severely strained and conservation strategies are needed. A multidisciplinary team at the Washington University School of Medicine, Barnes Jewish Hospital, and BJC Healthcare was formed to implement a program to disinfect N95 respirators. The process described extends the life of N95 respirators using vaporized hydrogen peroxide (VHP) disinfection and allows healthcare workers to retain their own N95 respirator across a large metropolitan healthcare system.

Coronavirus Infections/prevention & control , Disinfection/methods , Equipment Contamination/prevention & control , Hydrogen Peroxide/chemistry , Infectious Disease Transmission, Patient-to-Professional/prevention & control , Masks/virology , Pandemics/prevention & control , Pneumonia, Viral/prevention & control , Academic Medical Centers , Betacoronavirus , COVID-19 , Coronavirus Infections/epidemiology , Humans , Masks/supply & distribution , Missouri/epidemiology , Pneumonia, Viral/epidemiology , SARS-CoV-2