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J Glob Health ; 12: 05039, 2022 Nov 08.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-2110746


Background: Severe acute respiratory infections (SARIs) remain a leading cause of death globally, particularly in low- and middle-income countries (LMICs). Early intervention is critical, considering the potential for rapid decompensation in patients with SARIs. We aimed to evaluate the impact of acute and emergency care interventions on improving clinical outcomes in patients >10 years old with SARIs in LMICs. Methods: A systematic literature search was performed in PubMed, Global Health, and Global Index Medicus databases to identify peer-reviewed studies containing SARI, LMICs, and emergency care interventions. Studies published prior to November 2020 focusing on patients >10 years old were included. A narrative synthesis was performed due to the heterogeneity of identified articles. Risk of bias was assessed using the Risk of Bias 2 and Risk of Bias In Non-Randomized Studies of Interventions tools. Results: 20 223 studies were screened and 58 met the inclusion criteria. Thirty-four studies focused on coronavirus-2019 (COVID-19), 15 on pneumonia, seven on influenza, one study on severe acute respiratory syndrome, and one on undifferentiated SARI. Few COVID-19 studies found a benefit of the tested intervention on clinical status, mortality, or hospital length-of-stay. Little to no benefit was found for azithromycin, convalescent plasma, or zinc, and potential harm was found for hydroxychloroquine/chloroquine. There was mixed evidence for immunomodulators, traditional Chinese medicine, and corticosteroids among COVID-19 studies, with notable confounding due to a lack of consistency of control group treatments. Neuraminidase inhibitor antivirals for influenza had the highest quality of evidence for shortening symptom duration and decreasing disease severity. Conclusions: We found few interventions for SARIs in LMICs with have high-quality evidence for improving clinical outcomes. None of the included studies evaluated non-pharmacologic interventions or were conducted in low-income countries. Further studies evaluating the impact of antivirals, immunomodulators, corticosteroids, and non-pharmacologic interventions for SARIs in LMICs are urgently needed. Registration: PROSPERO registration number: CRD42020216117.

COVID-19 , Emergency Medical Services , Influenza, Human , Humans , Adolescent , Child , Developing Countries , Antiviral Agents , COVID-19 Serotherapy
Lancet Infect Dis ; 22(4): e102-e107, 2022 04.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1839435


People with COVID-19 might have sustained postinfection sequelae. Known by a variety of names, including long COVID or long-haul COVID, and listed in the ICD-10 classification as post-COVID-19 condition since September, 2020, this occurrence is variable in its expression and its impact. The absence of a globally standardised and agreed-upon definition hampers progress in characterisation of its epidemiology and the development of candidate treatments. In a WHO-led Delphi process, we engaged with an international panel of 265 patients, clinicians, researchers, and WHO staff to develop a consensus definition for this condition. 14 domains and 45 items were evaluated in two rounds of the Delphi process to create a final consensus definition for adults: post-COVID-19 condition occurs in individuals with a history of probable or confirmed SARS-CoV-2 infection, usually 3 months from the onset, with symptoms that last for at least 2 months and cannot be explained by an alternative diagnosis. Common symptoms include, but are not limited to, fatigue, shortness of breath, and cognitive dysfunction, and generally have an impact on everyday functioning. Symptoms might be new onset following initial recovery from an acute COVID-19 episode or persist from the initial illness. Symptoms might also fluctuate or relapse over time. A separate definition might be applicable for children. Although the consensus definition is likely to change as knowledge increases, this common framework provides a foundation for ongoing and future studies of epidemiology, risk factors, clinical characteristics, and therapy.

COVID-19 , Adult , COVID-19/complications , Child , Consensus , Delphi Technique , Humans , SARS-CoV-2 , Post-Acute COVID-19 Syndrome
East Mediterr Health J ; 26(6): 626-629, 2020 Jun 24.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-634614


The COVID-19 pandemic began as a cluster of reported cases of acute respiratory illness in China on 31 December 2019 and went on to spread with exponential growth across the globe. By the time it was characterized as a global pandemic on 11 March 2020, 17 of 22 countries in the Eastern Mediterranean Region (EMR) had reports of infected persons. EMR countries are particularly susceptible to such outbreaks due to the presence of globally interconnected markets; complex emergencies in more than half of the countries; religious mass gatherings that draw tens of millions of pilgrims annually; and variation in emergency care systems capacity and health systems performance within and between countries.

Coronavirus Infections/therapy , Emergency Medical Services/organization & administration , Emergency Service, Hospital/organization & administration , Epidemiology/education , International Cooperation , Pneumonia, Viral/therapy , Public Health/education , Betacoronavirus , COVID-19 , Coronavirus Infections/epidemiology , Health Policy , Health Services Accessibility , Humans , Mediterranean Region/epidemiology , Pandemics , Pneumonia, Viral/epidemiology , Public Health Practice , SARS-CoV-2 , World Health Organization