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Viruses ; 14(11)2022 Nov 12.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-2143711


SARS-CoV-2 is constantly evolving, leading to new variants. We analysed data from 4400 SARS-CoV-2-positive samples in order to pursue epidemiological variant surveillance and to evaluate their impact on public health in Italy in the period of April-December 2021. The main circulating strain (76.2%) was the Delta variant, followed by the Alpha (13.3%), the Omicron (5.3%), and the Gamma variants (2.9%). The B.1.1 lineages, Eta, Beta, Iota, Mu, and Kappa variants, represented around 1% of cases. There were 48.2% of subjects who had not been vaccinated, and they had a lower median age compared to the vaccinated subjects (47 vs. 61 years). An increasing number of infections in the vaccinated subjects were observed over time, with the highest proportion in November (85.2%). The variants correlated with clinical status; the largest proportion of symptomatic patients (59.6%) was observed with the Delta variant, while subjects harbouring the Gamma variant showed the highest proportion of asymptomatic infection (21.6%), albeit also deaths (5.4%). The Omicron variant was only found in the vaccinated subjects, of which 47% had been hospitalised. The diffusivity and pathogenicity associated with the different SARS-CoV-2 variants are likely to have relevant public health implications, both at the national and international levels. Our study provides data on the rapid changes in the epidemiological landscape of the SARS-CoV-2 variants in Italy.

COVID-19 , SARS-CoV-2 , Humans , SARS-CoV-2/genetics , COVID-19/epidemiology , Italy/epidemiology
Minerva Med ; 113(4): 667-674, 2022 Aug.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1513375


BACKGROUND: Cardiac involvement significantly contributes to coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) mortality.12-lead electrocardiogram (ECG) represents a fast, cheap, and easy to perform exam with the adjunctive advantage of the remote reporting possibility. In this study, we sought to investigate if electrocardiographic parameters can identify patients, deemed at low-risk at admission, who will face in-hospital unfavorable course. METHODS: From March 1, 2020, through March 30, 2021, 384 consecutive patients with confirmed low-risk COVID-19 were hospitalized at the University Hospital of Bari (Italy). Criteria for low risk were: admission to the division of Pneumology or Infectious Diseases, no need for immediate (within 24 hours from admission) transfer to Intensive Care Unit or for respiratory support with invasive mechanical ventilation (IMV) or for circulation support (either mechanical or pharmacological). Admission ECGs were reviewed and interpreted by two expert cardiologists. The primary outcomes were in-hospital death and the composite outcome of in-hospital death and IMV. RESULTS: In low-risk COVID-19 patients, atrial fibrillation (AF), poor R wave progression (PRWP), tachycardia, and right bundle branch block (RBBB) resulted as statistically significant and independent predictors of in-hospital all-cause mortality; AF, PRWP, Tachycardia, RBBB, and corrected QT interval showed to be statistically significant and independent risk factors for the occurrence of the composite endpoint of death and IMV. CONCLUSIONS: Our study demonstrated for the first time that RBBB and PRWP, assessed upon admission with ECG, are associated with unfavorable clinical course in a baseline low-risk population hospitalized for COVID-19.

COVID-19 , Bundle-Branch Block/epidemiology , COVID-19/diagnosis , Electrocardiography , Hospital Mortality , Humans , Prognosis , Tachycardia