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Qatar Med J ; 2021(3): 59, 2021.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1506895


Public health control measures for communicable diseases are often based on the identification of symptomatic cases. However, emerging epidemiological evidence demonstrates the role of pre-symptomatic and asymptomatic transmissions of coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19). Understanding high-risk settings where transmissions can occur from infected individuals without symptoms has become critical for improving the response to the pandemic. In this review, we discussed the evidence on the transmission of severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus-2, its effect on control strategies, and lessons that can be applied in Qatar. Although Qatar has a small population, it has a distinct setting for COVID-19 control. It has a largely young population and is mostly composed of expatriates particularly from the Middle East and Asia that reside in Qatar for work. Further key considerations for Qatar and travel include population movement during extended religious holiday periods, screening and tracing of visitors and residents at entry points into the country, and expatriates living and working in high-density settings. We also consider how its international airport serves as a major transit destination for the region, as Qatar is expected to experience a rapid expansion of visitors while preparing to host the FIFA World Cup in 2022.

Epidemiol Infect ; 149: e193, 2021 07 02.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1366777


There is a paucity of evidence about the prevalence and risk factors for symptomatic infection among children. This study aimed to describe the prevalence of symptomatic coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) and its risk factors in children and adolescents aged 0-18 years in Qatar. We conducted a cross-sectional study of all children aged 0-18 years diagnosed with COVID-19 using polymerase chain reaction in Qatar during the period 1st March to 31st July 2020. A generalised linear model with a binomial family and identity link was used to assess the association between selected factors and the prevalence of symptomatic infection. A total of 11 445 children with a median age of 8 years (interquartile range (IQR) 3-13 years) were included in this study. The prevalence of symptomatic COVID-19 was 36.6% (95% confidence interval (CI) 35.7-37.5), and it was similar between children aged <5 years (37.8%), 5-9 years (34.3%) and 10 + years (37.3%). The most frequently reported symptoms among the symptomatic group were fever (73.5%), cough (34.8%), headache (23.2%) and sore throat (23.2%). Fever (82.8%) was more common in symptomatic children aged <5 years, while cough (38.7%) was more prevalent in those aged 10 years or older, compared to other age groups. Variables associated with an increased risk of symptomatic infection were; contact with confirmed cases (RD 0.21; 95% CI 0.20-0.23; P = 0.001), having visited a health care facility (RD 0.54; 95% CI 0.45-0.62; P = 0.001), and children aged under 5 years (RD 0.05; 95% CI 0.02-0.07; P = 0.001) or aged 10 years or older (RD 0.04; 95% CI 0.02-0.06; P = 0.001). A third of the children with COVID-19 were symptomatic with a higher proportion of fever in very young children and a higher proportion of cough in those between 10 and 18 years of age.

COVID-19/epidemiology , Cough/epidemiology , Fever/epidemiology , Headache/epidemiology , Pharyngitis/epidemiology , Adolescent , COVID-19/virology , Child , Child, Preschool , Cross-Sectional Studies , Female , Humans , Infant , Infant, Newborn , Male , Qatar/epidemiology , Risk Factors