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Allergy: European Journal of Allergy and Clinical Immunology ; 76(SUPPL 110):207, 2021.
Article in English | EMBASE | ID: covidwho-1570352


Background: According to current evidence, the lungs are the most affected organ in SARS-CoV-2 infection. Recent data shows impairment of carbon monoxide diffusing capacity, decreased total lung capacity, and restrictive ventilatory defect in COVID-19 adult patients. Data in children are lacking. Our goal was to characterize clinically and demographically the pediatric population with asthma that tested positive for SARS-CoV-2 in our hospital during 2020 and evaluate the pulmonary function after the infection. Method: Cross-sectional study performed in Hospital Dona Estefânia, from March 2nd to December 31st, 2020. All pediatric asthmatic patients (<18 years) who tested positive for SARS-CoV-2 (RT-PCR test) were included. Asthma diagnosis was based on a previous physician's diagnosis or parent-reported history. A convenience sample of the asthmatic patients performed spirometry and carbon monoxide diffusing capacity (DLCO). Results: We were able to identify 20 asthmatic patients [50% male;median age: 10.5 years old (P25- 75: 9- 14.5)]. Atopic comorbidities were present in 75% ( n = 15) (rhinitis the most frequent). According to GINA, 11 (55%) had mild and 9 (45%) moderate asthma. Five patients (25%) needed hospital admission because of COVID-19 infection, 3 had asthma exacerbation, and 3 had COVID-19 pneumonia. Nine of the 20 patients performed spirometry and DLCO after COVID-19 infection. Respiratory function was performed few months after the infection [median=3 months (P25- 75: 2- 6.5)]. In our sample, we found 2 patients with obstructive ventilation impairment and small airway dysfunction. We didn't find any statistically significant difference between de FVC, FEV1, FEV1/FVC ratio, FEF25- 75, and peak expiratory flow (PEF) before and after COVID-19 infection. There were 2 asthmatics with impaired DLCO (65.1% and 64.7%). Conclusion: Two patients showed obstructive ventilation, but it could be due to the variable airflow limitation of asthma, and 2 had DLCO impairment. We didn't find any statistically significant difference between respiratory function before and after COVID-19 infection. However, this is a small sample, and further evaluations with larger populations are needed.

J R Soc Interface ; 18(177): 20210039, 2021 04.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1205903


In this paper, we demonstrate that aromatic oil capsules, produced by dripping droplets, can offer a simple, yet effective, testing tool to aid in the diagnosis of various diseases, in which the loss of smell is a key symptom. These include chronic neurological conditions such as Parkinson's and Alzheimer's diseases, and acute respiratory infections such as that caused by COVID-19. The capsules were fabricated by concentrically dripping oil/alginate droplets, from a coaxial nozzle, into an oppositely charged ionic liquid. This fabrication technique enables full control over the capsule size, the shell thickness and the volume of the encapsulated oil. After formation, liquid capsules were left to dry and form a solid crust surrounding the oil. The prototype test consists of placing a standardized number of capsules between adhesive strips that users crush and pull apart to release the smell. In addition to the fabrication method, a simple mathematical model was developed to predict the volume of encapsulated oil within the capsule in terms of the flow rate ratio and the nozzle size. Tensile tests show that capsule strength is inversely proportional to its size owing to an increase in the shell thickness. By increasing the alginate concentration, the load required to rupture the capsule increases, to the point where capsules are too stiff to be broken by a fingertip grip. Results from a preliminary screening test, within a group of patients with Parkinson's disease, found that smells were detectable using a 'forced choice' paradigm.

COVID-19 , Smell , Alginates , Capsules , Humans , SARS-CoV-2