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1.
BMC Public Health ; 22(1): 103, 2022 Jan 15.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1619904

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: Home-based swabbing has not been widely used. The objective of this analysis was to compare respiratory swabs collected by mothers of 7-12-year-olds living in low-income, multilingual communities in the United States with technician collected swabs. METHODS: Retrospective data analysis of respiratory samples collected at home by mothers compared to technicians. Anterior nasal and throat specimens collected using flocked swabs were combined in dry tubes. Test was done using TaqMan array cards for viral and bacterial pathogens. Cycle threshold (Ct) values of ribonuclease P (RNP) gene were used to assess specimen quality. Ct < 40 was interpreted as a positive result. Concordance of pathogen yield from mother versus technician collected swabs were analyzed using Cohen's Kappa coefficients. Correlation analysis, paired t-test, and Wilcoxon signed-rank test for paired samples were used for RNP Ct values. RESULTS: We enrolled 36 households in Cincinnati (African American) and 44 (predominately Chinese or Latino) in Boston. In Cincinnati, eight of 32 (25%) mothers did not finish high school, and 11 (34%) had finished high school only. In Boston, 13 of 44 (30%) mothers had less than a high school diploma, 23 (52%) had finished high school only. Mother versus technician paired swabs (n = 62) had similar pathogen yield (paired t-test and Wilcoxon signed rank test p-values = 0.62 and 0.63, respectively; 95% confidence interval of the difference between the two measurements = - 0.45-0.75). Median Ct value for RNP was 22.6 (interquartile range, IQR = 2.04) for mother-collected and 22.4 (IQR = 2.39) for technician-collected swabs (p = 0.62). Agreement on pathogen yield between samples collected by mothers vs. technicians was higher for viruses than for bacterial pathogens, with high concordance for rhinovirus/enterovirus, human metapneumovirus, and adenovirus (Cohen's kappa coefficients ≥80%, p < 0.0001). For bacterial pathogens, concordance was lower to moderate, except for Chlamydia pneumoniae, for which kappa coefficient indicated perfect agreement. CONCLUSION: Mothers with a range of education levels from low-income communities were able to swab their children equally well as technicians. Home-swabbing using dry tubes, and less invasive collection procedures, could enhance respiratory disease surveillance.

2.
MMWR Morb Mortal Wkly Rep ; 70(49): 1700-1705, 2021 Dec 10.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1614365

ABSTRACT

The mRNA COVID-19 vaccines (Moderna and Pfizer-BioNTech) provide strong protection against severe COVID-19, including hospitalization, for at least several months after receipt of the second dose (1,2). However, studies examining immune responses and differences in protection against COVID-19-associated hospitalization in real-world settings, including by vaccine product, are limited. To understand how vaccine effectiveness (VE) might change with time, CDC and collaborators assessed the comparative effectiveness of Moderna and Pfizer-BioNTech vaccines in preventing COVID-19-associated hospitalization at two periods (14-119 days and ≥120 days) after receipt of the second vaccine dose among 1,896 U.S. veterans at five Veterans Affairs medical centers (VAMCs) during February 1-September 30, 2021. Among 234 U.S. veterans fully vaccinated with an mRNA COVID-19 vaccine and without evidence of current or prior SARS-CoV-2 infection, serum antibody levels (anti-spike immunoglobulin G [IgG] and anti-receptor binding domain [RBD] IgG) to SARS-CoV-2 were also compared. Adjusted VE 14-119 days following second Moderna vaccine dose was 89.6% (95% CI = 80.1%-94.5%) and after the second Pfizer-BioNTech dose was 86.0% (95% CI = 77.6%-91.3%); at ≥120 days VE was 86.1% (95% CI = 77.7%-91.3%) for Moderna and 75.1% (95% CI = 64.6%-82.4%) for Pfizer-BioNTech. Antibody levels were significantly higher among Moderna recipients than Pfizer-BioNTech recipients across all age groups and periods since vaccination; however, antibody levels among recipients of both products declined between 14-119 days and ≥120 days. These findings from a cohort of older, hospitalized veterans with high prevalences of underlying conditions suggest the importance of booster doses to help maintain long-term protection against severe COVID-19.†.

3.
Front Public Health ; 9: 739076, 2021.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1518570

ABSTRACT

Introduction: Early in the COVID-19 pandemic, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) rapidly initiated COVID-19 surveillance by leveraging existing hospital networks to assess disease burden among hospitalized inpatients and inform prevention efforts. Materials and Methods: The Surveillance Platform for Enteric and Respiratory Infectious Organisms at Veterans Affairs Medical Centers (SUPERNOVA) is a network of five United States Veterans Affairs Medical Centers which serves nearly 400,000 Veterans annually and conducts laboratory-based passive and active monitoring for pathogens associated with acute gastroenteritis and acute respiratory illness among hospitalized Veterans. This paper presents surveillance methods for adapting the SUPERNOVA surveillance platform to prospectively evaluate COVID-19 epidemiology during a public health emergency, including detecting, characterizing, and monitoring patients with and without COVID-19 beginning in March 2020. To allow for case-control analyses, patients with COVID-19 and patients with non-COVID-19 acute respiratory illness were included. Results: SUPERNOVA included 1,235 participants with COVID-19 and 707 participants with other acute respiratory illnesses hospitalized during February through December 2020. Most participants were male (93.1%), with a median age of 70 years, and 45.8% non-Hispanic Black and 32.6% non-Hispanic White. Among those with COVID-19, 28.2% were transferred to an intensive care unit, 9.4% received invasive mechanical ventilation, and 13.9% died. Compared with controls, after adjusting for age, sex, and race/ethnicity, COVID-19 case-patients had significantly higher risk of mortality, respiratory failure, and invasive mechanical ventilation, and longer hospital stays. Discussion: Strengths of the SUPERNOVA platform for COVID-19 surveillance include the ability to collect and integrate multiple types of data, including clinical and illness outcome information, and SARS-CoV-2 laboratory test results from respiratory and serum specimens. Analysis of data from this platform also enables formal comparisons of participants with and without COVID-19. Surveillance data collected during a public health emergency from this key U.S. population of Veterans will be useful for epidemiologic investigations of COVID-19 spectrum of disease, underlying medical conditions, virus variants, and vaccine effectiveness, according to public health priorities and needs.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Veterans , Adult , Aged , Hospitals , Humans , Male , Pandemics , SARS-CoV-2 , United States/epidemiology
5.
MMWR Morb Mortal Wkly Rep ; 70(37): 1294-1299, 2021 Sep 17.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1417367

ABSTRACT

COVID-19 mRNA vaccines (Pfizer-BioNTech and Moderna) have been shown to be highly protective against COVID-19-associated hospitalizations (1-3). Data are limited on the level of protection against hospitalization among disproportionately affected populations in the United States, particularly during periods in which the B.1.617.2 (Delta) variant of SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes COVID-19, predominates (2). U.S. veterans are older, more racially diverse, and have higher prevalences of underlying medical conditions than persons in the general U.S. population (2,4). CDC assessed the effectiveness of mRNA vaccines against COVID-19-associated hospitalization among 1,175 U.S. veterans aged ≥18 years hospitalized at five Veterans Affairs Medical Centers (VAMCs) during February 1-August 6, 2021. Among these hospitalized persons, 1,093 (93.0%) were men, the median age was 68 years, 574 (48.9%) were non-Hispanic Black (Black), 475 were non-Hispanic White (White), and 522 (44.4%) had a Charlson comorbidity index score of ≥3 (5). Overall adjusted vaccine effectiveness against COVID-19-associated hospitalization was 86.8% (95% confidence interval [CI] = 80.4%-91.1%) and was similar before (February 1-June 30) and during (July 1-August 6) SARS-CoV-2 Delta variant predominance (84.1% versus 89.3%, respectively). Vaccine effectiveness was 79.8% (95% CI = 67.7%-87.4%) among adults aged ≥65 years and 95.1% (95% CI = 89.1%-97.8%) among those aged 18-64 years. COVID-19 mRNA vaccines are highly effective in preventing COVID-19-associated hospitalization in this older, racially diverse population of predominately male U.S. veterans. Additional evaluations of vaccine effectiveness among various age groups are warranted. To prevent COVID-19-related hospitalizations, all eligible persons should receive COVID-19 vaccination.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 Vaccines/administration & dosage , COVID-19/prevention & control , Hospitalization/statistics & numerical data , Veterans/statistics & numerical data , Adolescent , Adult , Aged , COVID-19/epidemiology , COVID-19/therapy , Female , Hospitals, Veterans , Humans , Male , Middle Aged , United States/epidemiology , United States Department of Veterans Affairs , Vaccines, Synthetic , Young Adult
6.
MMWR Morb Mortal Wkly Rep ; 70(29): 1013-1019, 2021 Jul 23.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1320641

ABSTRACT

The COVID-19 pandemic and subsequent implementation of nonpharmaceutical interventions (e.g., cessation of global travel, mask use, physical distancing, and staying home) reduced transmission of some viral respiratory pathogens (1). In the United States, influenza activity decreased in March 2020, was historically low through the summer of 2020 (2), and remained low during October 2020-May 2021 (<0.4% of respiratory specimens with positive test results for each week of the season). Circulation of other respiratory pathogens, including respiratory syncytial virus (RSV), common human coronaviruses (HCoVs) types OC43, NL63, 229E, and HKU1, and parainfluenza viruses (PIVs) types 1-4 also decreased in early 2020 and did not increase until spring 2021. Human metapneumovirus (HMPV) circulation decreased in March 2020 and remained low through May 2021. Respiratory adenovirus (RAdV) circulated at lower levels throughout 2020 and as of early May 2021. Rhinovirus and enterovirus (RV/EV) circulation decreased in March 2020, remained low until May 2020, and then increased to near prepandemic seasonal levels. Circulation of respiratory viruses could resume at prepandemic levels after COVID-19 mitigation practices become less stringent. Clinicians should be aware of increases in some respiratory virus activity and remain vigilant for off-season increases. In addition to the use of everyday preventive actions, fall influenza vaccination campaigns are an important component of prevention as COVID-19 mitigation measures are relaxed and schools and workplaces resume in-person activities.


Subject(s)
COVID-19/epidemiology , Influenza, Human/epidemiology , Pandemics , Respiratory Tract Infections/epidemiology , Respiratory Tract Infections/virology , Humans , United States/epidemiology
7.
JMIR Public Health Surveill ; 7(1): e24502, 2021 01 22.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1041395

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: COVID-19 has disproportionately affected older adults and certain racial and ethnic groups in the United States. Data quantifying the disease burden, as well as describing clinical outcomes during hospitalization among these groups, are needed. OBJECTIVE: We aimed to describe interim COVID-19 hospitalization rates and severe clinical outcomes by age group and race and ethnicity among US veterans by using a multisite surveillance network. METHODS: We implemented a multisite COVID-19 surveillance platform in 5 Veterans Affairs Medical Centers located in Atlanta, Bronx, Houston, Palo Alto, and Los Angeles, collectively serving more than 396,000 patients annually. From February 27 to July 17, 2020, we actively identified inpatient cases with COVID-19 by screening admitted patients and reviewing their laboratory test results. We then manually abstracted the patients' medical charts for demographics, underlying medical conditions, and clinical outcomes. Furthermore, we calculated hospitalization incidence and incidence rate ratios, as well as relative risk for invasive mechanical ventilation, intensive care unit admission, and case fatality rate after adjusting for age, race and ethnicity, and underlying medical conditions. RESULTS: We identified 621 laboratory-confirmed, hospitalized COVID-19 cases. The median age of the patients was 70 years, with 65.7% (408/621) aged ≥65 years and 94% (584/621) male. Most COVID-19 diagnoses were among non-Hispanic Black (325/621, 52.3%) veterans, followed by non-Hispanic White (153/621, 24.6%) and Hispanic or Latino (112/621, 18%) veterans. Hospitalization rates were the highest among veterans who were ≥85 years old, Hispanic or Latino, and non-Hispanic Black (430, 317, and 298 per 100,000, respectively). Veterans aged ≥85 years had a 14-fold increased rate of hospitalization compared with those aged 18-29 years (95% CI: 5.7-34.6), whereas Hispanic or Latino and Black veterans had a 4.6- and 4.2-fold increased rate of hospitalization, respectively, compared with non-Hispanic White veterans (95% CI: 3.6-5.9). Overall, 11.6% (72/621) of the patients required invasive mechanical ventilation, 26.6% (165/621) were admitted to the intensive care unit, and 16.9% (105/621) died in the hospital. The adjusted relative risk for invasive mechanical ventilation and admission to the intensive care unit did not differ by age group or race and ethnicity, but veterans aged ≥65 years had a 4.5-fold increased risk of death while hospitalized with COVID-19 compared with those aged <65 years (95% CI: 2.4-8.6). CONCLUSIONS: COVID-19 surveillance at the 5 Veterans Affairs Medical Centers across the United States demonstrated higher hospitalization rates and severe outcomes among older veterans, as well as higher hospitalization rates among Hispanic or Latino and non-Hispanic Black veterans than among non-Hispanic White veterans. These findings highlight the need for targeted prevention and timely treatment for veterans, with special attention to older aged, Hispanic or Latino, and non-Hispanic Black veterans.


Subject(s)
COVID-19/therapy , Hospitalization/statistics & numerical data , Hospitals, Veterans , Population Surveillance/methods , Veterans/statistics & numerical data , African Americans/statistics & numerical data , Age Distribution , Aged , Aged, 80 and over , COVID-19/ethnology , COVID-19/mortality , Female , Health Status Disparities , Humans , Male , Treatment Outcome , United States/epidemiology , /statistics & numerical data
8.
MMWR Morb Mortal Wkly Rep ; 69(15): 458-464, 2020 04 17.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-142687

ABSTRACT

Since SARS-CoV-2, the novel coronavirus that causes coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19), was first detected in December 2019 (1), approximately 1.3 million cases have been reported worldwide (2), including approximately 330,000 in the United States (3). To conduct population-based surveillance for laboratory-confirmed COVID-19-associated hospitalizations in the United States, the COVID-19-Associated Hospitalization Surveillance Network (COVID-NET) was created using the existing infrastructure of the Influenza Hospitalization Surveillance Network (FluSurv-NET) (4) and the Respiratory Syncytial Virus Hospitalization Surveillance Network (RSV-NET). This report presents age-stratified COVID-19-associated hospitalization rates for patients admitted during March 1-28, 2020, and clinical data on patients admitted during March 1-30, 2020, the first month of U.S. surveillance. Among 1,482 patients hospitalized with COVID-19, 74.5% were aged ≥50 years, and 54.4% were male. The hospitalization rate among patients identified through COVID-NET during this 4-week period was 4.6 per 100,000 population. Rates were highest (13.8) among adults aged ≥65 years. Among 178 (12%) adult patients with data on underlying conditions as of March 30, 2020, 89.3% had one or more underlying conditions; the most common were hypertension (49.7%), obesity (48.3%), chronic lung disease (34.6%), diabetes mellitus (28.3%), and cardiovascular disease (27.8%). These findings suggest that older adults have elevated rates of COVID-19-associated hospitalization and the majority of persons hospitalized with COVID-19 have underlying medical conditions. These findings underscore the importance of preventive measures (e.g., social distancing, respiratory hygiene, and wearing face coverings in public settings where social distancing measures are difficult to maintain)† to protect older adults and persons with underlying medical conditions, as well as the general public. In addition, older adults and persons with serious underlying medical conditions should avoid contact with persons who are ill and immediately contact their health care provider(s) if they have symptoms consistent with COVID-19 (https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/symptoms-testing/symptoms.html) (5). Ongoing monitoring of hospitalization rates, clinical characteristics, and outcomes of hospitalized patients will be important to better understand the evolving epidemiology of COVID-19 in the United States and the clinical spectrum of disease, and to help guide planning and prioritization of health care system resources.

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