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1.
J Affect Disord ; 334: 43-49, 2023 08 01.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-2311986

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: We aimed to characterize the prevalence of social disconnection and thoughts of suicide among older adults in the United States, and examine the association between them in a large naturalistic study. METHODS: We analyzed data from 6 waves of a fifty-state non-probability survey among US adults conducted between February and December 2021. The internet-based survey collected the PHQ-9, as well as multiple measures of social connectedness. We applied multiple logistic regression to analyze the association between presence of thoughts of suicide and social disconnection. Exploratory analysis, using generalized random forests, examined heterogeneity of effects across sociodemographic groups. RESULTS: Of 16,164 survey respondents age 65 and older, mean age was 70.9 (SD 5.0); the cohort was 61.4 % female and 29.6 % male; 2.0 % Asian, 6.7 % Black, 2.2 % Hispanic, and 86.8 % White. A total of 1144 (7.1 %) reported thoughts of suicide at least several days in the prior 2 week period. In models adjusted for sociodemographic features, households with 3 or more additional members (adjusted OR 1.73, 95 % CI 1.28-2.33) and lack of social supports, particularly emotional supports (adjusted OR 2.60, 95 % CI 2.09-3.23), were independently associated with greater likelihood of reporting such thoughts, as was greater reported loneliness (adjusted OR 1.75, 95 % CI 1.64-1.87). The effects of emotional support varied significantly across sociodemographic groups. CONCLUSIONS: Thoughts of suicide are common among older adults in the US, and associated with lack of social support, but not with living alone. TRIAL REGISTRATION: NA.


Subject(s)
Social Isolation , Suicidal Ideation , Suicide , Aged , Female , Humans , Male , Loneliness/psychology , Social Isolation/psychology , Suicide/psychology , United States/epidemiology
2.
British Journal of Political Science ; 53(2):698-706, 2023.
Article in English | ProQuest Central | ID: covidwho-2295800

ABSTRACT

Politics and science have become increasingly intertwined. Salient scientific issues, such as climate change, evolution, and stem-cell research, become politicized, pitting partisans against one another. This creates a challenge of how to effectively communicate on such issues. Recent work emphasizes the need for tailored messages to specific groups. Here, we focus on whether generalized messages also can matter. We do so in the context of a highly polarized issue: extreme COVID-19 vaccine resistance. The results show that science-based, moral frame, and social norm messages move behavioral intentions, and do so by the same amount across the population (that is, homogeneous effects). Counter to common portrayals, the politicization of science does not preclude using broad messages that resonate with the entire population.

3.
PLOS global public health ; 2(12), 2022.
Article in English | EuropePMC | ID: covidwho-2265124

ABSTRACT

The COVID-19 pandemic has had intense, heterogeneous impacts on different communities and geographies in the United States. We explore county-level associations between COVID-19 attributed deaths and social, demographic, vulnerability, and political variables to develop a better understanding of the evolving roles these variables have played in relation to mortality. We focus on the role of political variables, as captured by support for either the Republican or Democratic presidential candidates in the 2020 elections and the stringency of state-wide governor mandates, during three non-overlapping time periods between February 2020 and February 2021. We find that during the first three months of the pandemic, Democratic-leaning and internationally-connected urban counties were affected. During subsequent months (between May and September 2020), Republican counties with high percentages of Hispanic and Black populations were most hardly hit. In the third time period –between October 2020 and February 2021– we find that Republican-leaning counties with loose mask mandates experienced up to 3 times higher death rates than Democratic-leaning counties, even after controlling for multiple social vulnerability factors. Some of these deaths could perhaps have been avoided given that the effectiveness of non-pharmaceutical interventions in preventing uncontrolled disease transmission, such as social distancing and wearing masks indoors, had been well-established at this point in time.

4.
JAMA Netw Open ; 6(2): e2256152, 2023 02 01.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-2244173

ABSTRACT

Importance: Little is known about the functional correlates of post-COVID-19 condition (PCC), also known as long COVID, particularly the relevance of neurocognitive symptoms. Objective: To characterize prevalence of unemployment among individuals who did, or did not, develop PCC after acute infection. Design, Setting, and Participants: This survey study used data from 8 waves of a 50-state US nonprobability internet population-based survey of respondents aged 18 to 69 years conducted between February 2021 and July 2022. Main Outcomes and Measures: The primary outcomes were self-reported current employment status and the presence of PCC, defined as report of continued symptoms at least 2 months beyond initial month of symptoms confirmed by a positive COVID-19 test. Results: The cohort included 15 308 survey respondents with test-confirmed COVID-19 at least 2 months prior, of whom 2236 (14.6%) reported PCC symptoms, including 1027 of 2236 (45.9%) reporting either brain fog or impaired memory. The mean (SD) age was 38.8 (13.5) years; 9679 respondents (63.2%) identified as women and 10 720 (70.0%) were White. Overall, 1418 of 15 308 respondents (9.3%) reported being unemployed, including 276 of 2236 (12.3%) of those with PCC and 1142 of 13 071 (8.7%) of those without PCC; 8229 respondents (53.8%) worked full-time, including 1017 (45.5%) of those with PCC and 7212 (55.2%) without PCC. In survey-weighted regression models excluding retired respondents, the presence of PCC was associated with a lower likelihood of working full-time (odds ratio [OR], 0.71 [95% CI, 0.63-0.80]; adjusted OR, 0.84 [95% CI, 0.74-0.96]) and with a higher likelihood of being unemployed (OR, 1.45 [95% CI, 1.22-1.73]; adjusted OR, 1.23 [95% CI, 1.02-1.48]). The presence of any cognitive symptom was associated with lower likelihood of working full time (OR, 0.70 [95% CI, 0.56-0.88]; adjusted OR, 0.75 [95% CI, 0.59-0.84]). Conclusions and Relevance: PCC was associated with a greater likelihood of unemployment and lesser likelihood of working full time in adjusted models. The presence of cognitive symptoms was associated with diminished likelihood of working full time. These results underscore the importance of developing strategies to treat and manage PCC symptoms.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Humans , Female , COVID-19/epidemiology , Post-Acute COVID-19 Syndrome , Employment , Surveys and Questionnaires , Unemployment
5.
Clin Infect Dis ; 2022 Oct 05.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-2232002

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: The COVID-19 pandemic has had a devastating impact on global health, the magnitude of which appears to differ intercontinentally: for example, reports suggest 271,900 per million people have been infected in Europe versus 8,800 per million people in Africa. While Africa is the second largest continent by population, its reported COVID-19 cases comprise <3% of global cases. Although social, environmental, and environmental explanations have been proposed to clarify this discrepancy, systematic infection underascertainment may be equally responsible. METHODS: We seek to quantify magnitudes of underascertainment in COVID-19's cumulative incidence in Africa. Using serosurveillance and postmortem surveillance, we constructed multiplicative factors estimating ratios of true infections to reported cases in Africa since March 2020. RESULTS: Multiplicative factors derived from serology data (subset of 12 nations) suggested a range of COVID-19 reporting rates, from 1 in 2 infections reported in Cape Verde (July 2020) to 1 in 3,795 infections reported in Malawi (June 2020). A similar set of multiplicative factors for all nations derived from postmortem data points toward the same conclusion: reported COVID-19 cases are unrepresentative of true infections, suggesting a key reason for low case burden in many African nations is significant underdetection and underreporting. CONCLUSIONS: While estimating COVID-19's exact burden is challenging, the multiplicative factors we present furnish incidence estimates reflecting likely-to-worst-case ranges of infection. Our results stress the need for expansive surveillance to allocate resources in areas experiencing discrepancies between reported cases, projected infections, and deaths.

6.
PLOS Glob Public Health ; 2(12): e0000557, 2022.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-2196818

ABSTRACT

The COVID-19 pandemic has had intense, heterogeneous impacts on different communities and geographies in the United States. We explore county-level associations between COVID-19 attributed deaths and social, demographic, vulnerability, and political variables to develop a better understanding of the evolving roles these variables have played in relation to mortality. We focus on the role of political variables, as captured by support for either the Republican or Democratic presidential candidates in the 2020 elections and the stringency of state-wide governor mandates, during three non-overlapping time periods between February 2020 and February 2021. We find that during the first three months of the pandemic, Democratic-leaning and internationally-connected urban counties were affected. During subsequent months (between May and September 2020), Republican counties with high percentages of Hispanic and Black populations were most hardly hit. In the third time period -between October 2020 and February 2021- we find that Republican-leaning counties with loose mask mandates experienced up to 3 times higher death rates than Democratic-leaning counties, even after controlling for multiple social vulnerability factors. Some of these deaths could perhaps have been avoided given that the effectiveness of non-pharmaceutical interventions in preventing uncontrolled disease transmission, such as social distancing and wearing masks indoors, had been well-established at this point in time.

7.
Sci Adv ; 9(3): eabq0199, 2023 Jan 18.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-2193374

ABSTRACT

Coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) continues to affect the world, and the design of strategies to curb disease outbreaks requires close monitoring of their trajectories. We present machine learning methods that leverage internet-based digital traces to anticipate sharp increases in COVID-19 activity in U.S. counties. In a complementary direction to the efforts led by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), our models are designed to detect the time when an uptrend in COVID-19 activity will occur. Motivated by the need for finer spatial resolution epidemiological insights, we build upon previous efforts conceived at the state level. Our methods-tested in an out-of-sample manner, as events were unfolding, in 97 counties representative of multiple population sizes across the United States-frequently anticipated increases in COVID-19 activity 1 to 6 weeks before local outbreaks, defined when the effective reproduction number Rt becomes larger than 1 for a period of 2 weeks.

8.
JAMA Netw Open ; 5(10): e2238804, 2022 10 03.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-2084946

ABSTRACT

Importance: Persistence of COVID-19 symptoms beyond 2 months, or long COVID, is increasingly recognized as a common sequela of acute infection. Objectives: To estimate the prevalence of and sociodemographic factors associated with long COVID and to identify whether the predominant variant at the time of infection and prior vaccination status are associated with differential risk. Design, Setting, and Participants: This cross-sectional study comprised 8 waves of a nonprobability internet survey conducted between February 5, 2021, and July 6, 2022, among individuals aged 18 years or older, inclusive of all 50 states and the District of Columbia. Main Outcomes and Measures: Long COVID, defined as reporting continued COVID-19 symptoms beyond 2 months after the initial month of symptoms, among individuals with self-reported positive results of a polymerase chain reaction test or antigen test. Results: The 16 091 survey respondents reporting test-confirmed COVID-19 illness at least 2 months prior had a mean age of 40.5 (15.2) years; 10 075 (62.6%) were women, and 6016 (37.4%) were men; 817 (5.1%) were Asian, 1826 (11.3%) were Black, 1546 (9.6%) were Hispanic, and 11 425 (71.0%) were White. From this cohort, 2359 individuals (14.7%) reported continued COVID-19 symptoms more than 2 months after acute illness. Reweighted to reflect national sociodemographic distributions, these individuals represented 13.9% of those who had tested positive for COVID-19, or 1.7% of US adults. In logistic regression models, older age per decade above 40 years (adjusted odds ratio [OR], 1.15; 95% CI, 1.12-1.19) and female gender (adjusted OR, 1.91; 95% CI, 1.73-2.13) were associated with greater risk of persistence of long COVID; individuals with a graduate education vs high school or less (adjusted OR, 0.67; 95% CI, 0.56-0.79) and urban vs rural residence (adjusted OR, 0.74; 95% CI, 0.64-0.86) were less likely to report persistence of long COVID. Compared with ancestral COVID-19, infection during periods when the Epsilon variant (OR, 0.81; 95% CI, 0.69-0.95) or the Omicron variant (OR, 0.77; 95% CI, 0.64-0.92) predominated in the US was associated with diminished likelihood of long COVID. Completion of the primary vaccine series prior to acute illness was associated with diminished risk for long COVID (OR, 0.72; 95% CI, 0.60-0.86). Conclusions and Relevance: This study suggests that long COVID is prevalent and associated with female gender and older age, while risk may be diminished by completion of primary vaccination series prior to infection.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Coronavirus Infections , Pneumonia, Viral , Adult , Female , Humans , Male , Acute Disease , Betacoronavirus , Coronavirus Infections/epidemiology , COVID-19/epidemiology , Cross-Sectional Studies , Pandemics/prevention & control , Pneumonia, Viral/epidemiology , Prevalence , SARS-CoV-2 , Middle Aged , Post-Acute COVID-19 Syndrome
9.
British Journal of Political Science ; : 1-9, 2022.
Article in English | Web of Science | ID: covidwho-2087082

ABSTRACT

Politics and science have become increasingly intertwined. Salient scientific issues, such as climate change, evolution, and stem-cell research, become politicized, pitting partisans against one another. This creates a challenge of how to effectively communicate on such issues. Recent work emphasizes the need for tailored messages to specific groups. Here, we focus on whether generalized messages also can matter. We do so in the context of a highly polarized issue: extreme COVID-19 vaccine resistance. The results show that science-based, moral frame, and social norm messages move behavioral intentions, and do so by the same amount across the population (that is, homogeneous effects). Counter to common portrayals, the politicization of science does not preclude using broad messages that resonate with the entire population.

10.
Lancet Microbe ; 3(10): e753-e761, 2022 Oct.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-2004702

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: Assessment of disease severity associated with a novel pathogen or variant provides crucial information needed by public health agencies and governments to develop appropriate responses. The SARS-CoV-2 omicron variant of concern (VOC) spread rapidly through populations worldwide before robust epidemiological and laboratory data were available to investigate its relative severity. Here we develop a set of methods that make use of non-linked, aggregate data to promptly estimate the severity of a novel variant, compare its characteristics with those of previous VOCs, and inform data-driven public health responses. METHODS: Using daily population-level surveillance data from the National Institute for Communicable Diseases in South Africa (March 2, 2020, to Jan 28, 2022), we determined lag intervals most consistent with time from case ascertainment to hospital admission and within-hospital death through optimisation of the distance correlation coefficient in a time series analysis. We then used these intervals to estimate and compare age-stratified case-hospitalisation and case-fatality ratios across the four epidemic waves that South Africa has faced, each dominated by a different variant. FINDINGS: A total of 3 569 621 cases, 494 186 hospitalisations, and 99 954 deaths attributable to COVID-19 were included in the analyses. We found that lag intervals and disease severity were dependent on age and variant. At an aggregate level, fluctuations in cases were generally followed by a similar trend in hospitalisations within 7 days and deaths within 15 days. We noted a marked reduction in disease severity throughout the omicron period relative to previous waves (age-standardised case-fatality ratios were consistently reduced by >50%), most substantial for age strata with individuals 50 years or older. INTERPRETATION: This population-level time series analysis method, which calculates an optimal lag interval that is then used to inform the numerator of severity metrics including the case-hospitalisation and case-fatality ratio, provides useful and timely estimates of the relative effects of novel SARS-CoV-2 VOCs, especially for application in settings where resources are limited. FUNDING: National Institute for Communicable Diseases of South Africa, South African National Government.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Communicable Diseases , COVID-19/epidemiology , Communicable Diseases/epidemiology , Humans , Middle Aged , SARS-CoV-2/genetics , South Africa/epidemiology , Time Factors
11.
Commun Med (Lond) ; 1: 16, 2021.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1860408

ABSTRACT

Background: Residents of Long-Term Care Facilities (LTCFs) represent a major share of COVID-19 deaths worldwide. Measuring the vaccine effectiveness among the most vulnerable in these settings is essential to monitor and improve mitigation strategies. Methods: We evaluate the early effect of the administration of BNT162b2-mRNA vaccine to individuals older than 64 years residing in LTCFs in Catalonia, Spain. We monitor all the SARS-CoV-2 documented infections and deaths among LTCFs residents once more than 70% of them were fully vaccinated (February-March 2021). We develop a modeling framework based on the relationship between community and LTCFs transmission during the pre-vaccination period (July-December 2020). We compute the total reduction in SARS-CoV-2 documented infections and deaths among residents of LTCFs over time, as well as the reduction in the detected transmission for all the LTCFs. We compare the true observations with the counterfactual predictions. Results: We estimate that once more than 70% of the LTCFs population are fully vaccinated, 74% (58-81%, 90% CI) of COVID-19 deaths and 75% (36-86%, 90% CI) of all expected documented infections among LTCFs residents are prevented. Further, detectable transmission among LTCFs residents is reduced up to 90% (76-93%, 90% CI) relative to that expected given transmission in the community. Conclusions: Our findings provide evidence that high-coverage vaccination is the most effective intervention to prevent SARS-CoV-2 transmission and death among LTCFs residents. Widespread vaccination could be a feasible avenue to control the COVID-19 pandemic conditional on key factors such as vaccine escape, roll out and coverage.

12.
PLoS Comput Biol ; 18(3): e1009964, 2022 03.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1770638

ABSTRACT

When responding to infectious disease outbreaks, rapid and accurate estimation of the epidemic trajectory is critical. However, two common data collection problems affect the reliability of the epidemiological data in real time: missing information on the time of first symptoms, and retrospective revision of historical information, including right censoring. Here, we propose an approach to construct epidemic curves in near real time that addresses these two challenges by 1) imputation of dates of symptom onset for reported cases using a dynamically-estimated "backward" reporting delay conditional distribution, and 2) adjustment for right censoring using the NobBS software package to nowcast cases by date of symptom onset. This process allows us to obtain an approximation of the time-varying reproduction number (Rt) in real time. We apply this approach to characterize the early SARS-CoV-2 outbreak in two Spanish regions between March and April 2020. We evaluate how these real-time estimates compare with more complete epidemiological data that became available later. We explore the impact of the different assumptions on the estimates, and compare our estimates with those obtained from commonly used surveillance approaches. Our framework can help improve accuracy, quantify uncertainty, and evaluate frequently unstated assumptions when recovering the epidemic curves from limited data obtained from public health systems in other locations.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Epidemics , COVID-19/epidemiology , Humans , Reproducibility of Results , Retrospective Studies , SARS-CoV-2
13.
JAMA Netw Open ; 5(3): e223245, 2022 03 01.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1750276

ABSTRACT

Importance: Both major depression and firearm ownership are associated with an increased risk for death by suicide in the United States, but the extent of overlap among these major risk factors is not well characterized. Objective: To assess the prevalence of current and planned firearm ownership among individuals with depression. Design, Setting, and Participants: Cross-sectional survey study using data pooled from 2 waves of a 50-state nonprobability internet survey conducted between May and July 7, 2021. Internet survey respondents were 18 years of age or older and were sampled from all 50 US states and the District of Columbia. Main Outcomes and Measures: Self-reported firearm ownership; depressive symptoms as measured by the 9-item Patient Health Questionnaire. Results: Of 24 770 survey respondents (64.6% women and 35.4% men; 5.0% Asian, 10.8% Black, 7.5% Hispanic, and 74.0% White; mean [SD] age 45.8 [17.5]), 6929 (28.0%) reported moderate or greater depressive symptoms; this group had mean (SD) age of 38.18 (15.19) years, 4587 were female (66.2%), and 406 were Asian (5.9%), 725 were Black (10.5%), 652 were Hispanic (6.8%), and 4902 were White (70.7%). Of those with depression, 31.3% reported firearm ownership (n = 2167), of whom 35.9% (n = 777) reported purchasing a firearm within the past year. In regression models, the presence of moderate or greater depressive symptoms was not significantly associated with firearm ownership (adjusted odds ratio [OR], 1.07; 95% CI, 0.98-1.17) but was associated with greater likelihood of a first-time firearm purchase during the COVID-19 pandemic (adjusted OR, 1.77; 95% CI, 1.56-2.02) and greater likelihood of considering a future firearm purchase (adjusted OR, 1.53; 95% CI, 1.23-1.90). Conclusions and Relevance: In this study, current and planned firearm ownership was common among individuals with major depressive symptoms, suggesting a public health opportunity to address this conjunction of suicide risk factors.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Depressive Disorder, Major , Adolescent , Adult , Cross-Sectional Studies , Depression/epidemiology , Depressive Disorder, Major/epidemiology , Female , Humans , Male , Middle Aged , Ownership , Pandemics , Prevalence , United States/epidemiology
14.
JAMA Netw Open ; 5(1): e2145697, 2022 01 04.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1640618

ABSTRACT

Importance: Misinformation about COVID-19 vaccination may contribute substantially to vaccine hesitancy and resistance. Objective: To determine if depressive symptoms are associated with greater likelihood of believing vaccine-related misinformation. Design, Setting, and Participants: This survey study analyzed responses from 2 waves of a 50-state nonprobability internet survey conducted between May and July 2021, in which depressive symptoms were measured using the Patient Health Questionnaire 9-item (PHQ-9). Survey respondents were aged 18 and older. Population-reweighted multiple logistic regression was used to examine the association between moderate or greater depressive symptoms and endorsement of at least 1 item of vaccine misinformation, adjusted for sociodemographic features. The association between depressive symptoms in May and June, and new support for misinformation in the following wave was also examined. Exposures: Depressive symptoms. Main Outcomes and Measures: The main outcome was endorsing any of 4 common vaccine-related statements of misinformation. Results: Among 15 464 survey respondents (9834 [63.6%] women and 5630 [36.4%] men; 722 Asian respondents [4.7%], 1494 Black respondents [9.7%], 1015 Hispanic respondents [6.6%], and 11 863 White respondents [76.7%]; mean [SD] age, 47.9 [17.5] years), 4164 respondents (26.9%) identified moderate or greater depressive symptoms on the PHQ-9, and 2964 respondents (19.2%) endorsed at least 1 vaccine-related statement of misinformation. Presence of depression was associated with increased likelihood of endorsing misinformation (crude odds ratio [OR], 2.33; 95% CI, 2.09-2.61; adjusted OR, 2.15; 95% CI, 1.91-2.43). Respondents endorsing at least 1 misinformation item were significantly less likely to be vaccinated (crude OR, 0.40; 95% CI, 0.36-0.45; adjusted OR, 0.45; 95% CI, 0.40-0.51) and more likely to report vaccine resistance (crude OR, 2.54; 95% CI, 2.21-2.91; adjusted OR, 2.68; 95% CI, 2.89-3.13). Among 2809 respondents who answered a subsequent survey in July, presence of depression in the first survey was associated with greater likelihood of endorsing more misinformation compared with the prior survey (crude OR, 1.98; 95% CI, 1.42-2.75; adjusted OR, 1.63; 95% CI, 1.14-2.33). Conclusions and Relevance: This survey study found that individuals with moderate or greater depressive symptoms were more likely to endorse vaccine-related misinformation, cross-sectionally and at a subsequent survey wave. While this study design cannot address causation, the association between depression and spread and impact of misinformation merits further investigation.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 Vaccines , COVID-19 , Communication , Depressive Disorder, Major , Health Knowledge, Attitudes, Practice , Vaccination Hesitancy , Vaccination , Adult , Aged , Aged, 80 and over , Depression , Female , Humans , Logistic Models , Male , Middle Aged , Odds Ratio , Pandemics , SARS-CoV-2 , Surveys and Questionnaires , United States , Young Adult
15.
PLoS Comput Biol ; 17(11): e1009570, 2021 11.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1595956

ABSTRACT

Time lags in reporting to national surveillance systems represent a major barrier for the control of infectious diseases, preventing timely decision making and resource allocation. This issue is particularly acute for infectious diseases like malaria, which often impact rural and remote communities the hardest. In Guyana, a country located in South America, poor connectivity among remote malaria-endemic regions hampers surveillance efforts, making reporting delays a key challenge for elimination. Here, we analyze 13 years of malaria surveillance data, identifying key correlates of time lags between clinical cases occurring and being added to the central data system. We develop nowcasting methods that use historical patterns of reporting delays to estimate occurred-but-not-reported monthly malaria cases. To assess their performance, we implemented them retrospectively, using only information that would have been available at the time of estimation, and found that they substantially enhanced the estimates of malaria cases. Specifically, we found that the best performing models achieved up to two-fold improvements in accuracy (or error reduction) over known cases in selected regions. Our approach provides a simple, generalizable tool to improve malaria surveillance in endemic countries and is currently being implemented to help guide existing resource allocation and elimination efforts.


Subject(s)
Malaria/epidemiology , Population Surveillance , Guyana/epidemiology , Humans , Models, Statistical , Retrospective Studies
16.
JAMA Netw Open ; 4(11): e2136113, 2021 11 01.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1540038

ABSTRACT

Importance: Some studies suggest that social media use is associated with risk for depression, particularly among children and young adults. Objective: To characterize the association between self-reported use of individual social media platforms and worsening of depressive symptoms among adults. Design, Setting, and Participants: This survey study included data from 13 waves of a nonprobability internet survey conducted approximately monthly between May 2020 and May 2021 among individuals aged 18 years and older in the US. Data were analyzed in July and August 2021. Main Outcomes and Measures: Logistic regression was applied without reweighting, with a 5 point or greater increase in 9-item Patient Health Questionnaire (PHQ-9) score as outcome and participant sociodemographic features, baseline PHQ-9, and use of each social media platform as independent variables. Results: In total, 5395 of 8045 individuals (67.1%) with a PHQ-9 score below 5 on initial survey completed a second PHQ-9. These respondents had a mean (SD) age of 55.8 (15.2) years; 3546 respondents (65.7%) identified as female; 329 respondents (6.1%) were Asian, 570 (10.6%) Black, 256 (4.7%) Hispanic, 4118 (76.3%) White, and 122 (2.3%) American Indian or Alaska Native, Pacific Islander or Native Hawaiian, or other. Among eligible respondents, 482 (8.9%) reported 5 points or greater worsening of PHQ-9 score at second survey. In fully adjusted models for increase in symptoms, the largest adjusted odds ratio (aOR) associated with social media use was observed for Snapchat (aOR, 1.53; 95% CI, 1.19-1.96), Facebook (aOR, 1.42; 95% CI, 1.10-1.81), and TikTok (aOR, 1.39; 95% CI, 1.03-1.87). Conclusions and Relevance: Among survey respondents who did not report depressive symptoms initially, social media use was associated with greater likelihood of subsequent increase in depressive symptoms after adjustment for sociodemographic features and news sources. These data cannot elucidate the nature of this association, but suggest the need for further study to understand how social media use may factor into depression among adults.


Subject(s)
Depression/epidemiology , Self Report/statistics & numerical data , Social Media/statistics & numerical data , Adolescent , Adult , Age Factors , Aged , Aged, 80 and over , Female , Humans , Male , Middle Aged , Sex Factors , Surveys and Questionnaires , United States/epidemiology , Young Adult
17.
[Unspecified Source]; 2020.
Non-conventional in English | [Unspecified Source] | ID: grc-750345

ABSTRACT

Non-pharmaceutical interventions (NPIs) have been crucial in curbing COVID-19 in the United States (US). Consequently, relaxing NPIs through a phased re-opening of the US amid still-high levels of COVID-19 susceptibility could lead to new epidemic waves. This calls for a COVID-19 early warning system. Here we evaluate multiple digital data streams as early warning indicators of increasing or decreasing state-level US COVID-19 activity between January and June 2020. We estimate the timing of sharp changes in each data stream using a simple Bayesian model that calculates in near real-time the probability of exponential growth or decay. Analysis of COVID-19-related activity on social network microblogs, Internet searches, point-of-care medical software, and a metapopulation mechanistic model, as well as fever anomalies captured by smart thermometer networks, shows exponential growth roughly 2-3 weeks prior to comparable growth in confirmed COVID-19 cases and 3-4 weeks prior to comparable growth in COVID-19 deaths across the US over the last 6 months. We further observe exponential decay in confirmed cases and deaths 5-6 weeks after implementation of NPIs, as measured by anonymized and aggregated human mobility data from mobile phones. Finally, we propose a combined indicator for exponential growth in multiple data streams that may aid in developing an early warning system for future COVID-19 outbreaks. These efforts represent an initial exploratory framework, and both continued study of the predictive power of digital indicators as well as further development of the statistical approach are needed.

18.
MEDLINE; 2020.
Non-conventional in English | MEDLINE | ID: grc-750603

ABSTRACT

A novel coronavirus (SARS-CoV-2) was identified in Wuhan, Hubei Province, China, in December 2019 and has caused over 240,000 cases of COVID-19 worldwide as of March 19, 2020. Previous studies have supported an epidemiological hypothesis that cold and dry environments facilitate the survival and spread of droplet-mediated viral diseases, and warm and humid environments see attenuated viral transmission (e.g., influenza). However, the role of temperature and humidity in transmission of COVID-19 has not yet been established. Here, we examine the spatial variability of the basic reproductive numbers of COVID-19 across provinces and cities in China and show that environmental variables alone cannot explain this variability. Our findings suggest that changes in weather alone (i.e., increase of temperature and humidity as spring and summer months arrive in the Northern Hemisphere) will not necessarily lead to declines in case count without the implementation of extensive public health interventions.

19.
Sci Total Environ ; 805: 150121, 2022 Jan 20.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1386609

ABSTRACT

Current estimates of COVID-19 prevalence are largely based on symptomatic, clinically diagnosed cases. The existence of a large number of undiagnosed infections hampers population-wide investigation of viral circulation. Here, we quantify the SARS-CoV-2 concentration and track its dynamics in wastewater at a major urban wastewater treatment facility in Massachusetts, between early January and May 2020. SARS-CoV-2 was first detected in wastewater on March 3. SARS-CoV-2 RNA concentrations in wastewater correlated with clinically diagnosed new COVID-19 cases, with the trends appearing 4-10 days earlier in wastewater than in clinical data. We inferred viral shedding dynamics by modeling wastewater viral load as a convolution of back-dated new clinical cases with the average population-level viral shedding function. The inferred viral shedding function showed an early peak, likely before symptom onset and clinical diagnosis, consistent with emerging clinical and experimental evidence. This finding suggests that SARS-CoV-2 concentrations in wastewater may be primarily driven by viral shedding early in infection. This work shows that longitudinal wastewater analysis can be used to identify trends in disease transmission in advance of clinical case reporting, and infer early viral shedding dynamics for newly infected individuals, which are difficult to capture in clinical investigations.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , SARS-CoV-2 , Humans , RNA, Viral , Virus Shedding , Wastewater
20.
Depress Anxiety ; 38(10): 1026-1033, 2021 10.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1347400

ABSTRACT

INTRODUCTION: The major stressors associated with the COVID-19 pandemic provide an opportunity to understand the extent to which protective factors against depression may exhibit gender-specificity. METHOD: This study examined responses from multiple waves of a 50 states non-probability internet survey conducted between May 2020 and January 2021. Participants completed the PHQ-9 as a measure of depression, as well as items characterizing social supports. We used logistic regression models with population reweighting to examine association between absence of even mild depressive symptoms and sociodemographic features and social supports, with interaction terms and stratification used to investigate sex-specificity. RESULTS: Among 73,917 survey respondents, 31,199 (42.2%) reported absence of mild or greater depression-11,011/23,682 males (46.5%) and 20,188/50,235 (40.2%) females. In a regression model, features associated with greater likelihood of depression-resistance included at least weekly attendance of religious services (odds ratio [OR]: 1.10, 95% confidence interval [CI]: 1.04-1.16) and greater trust in others (OR: 1.04 for a 2-unit increase, 95% CI: 1.02-1.06), along with level of social support measured as number of social ties available who could provide care (OR: 1.05, 95% CI: 1.02-1.07), talk to them (OR: 1.10, 95% CI: 1.07-1.12), and help with employment (OR: 1.06, 95% CI: 1.04-1.08). The first two features showed significant interaction with gender (p < .0001), with markedly greater protective effects among women. CONCLUSION: Aspects of social support are associated with diminished risk of major depressive symptoms, with greater effects of religious service attendance and trust in others observed among women than men.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Depressive Disorder, Major , Cross-Sectional Studies , Depression , Depressive Disorder, Major/epidemiology , Female , Humans , Male , Pandemics , SARS-CoV-2
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