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1.
Geburtshilfe Frauenheilkd ; 82(2): 226-234, 2022 Feb.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-2016893

ABSTRACT

Purpose Detection of SARS-CoV-2-infected pregnant women admitted to maternity units during a pandemic is crucial. In addition to the fact that pregnancy is a risk factor for severe COVID-19 and that medical surveillance has to be adjusted in infected women and their offspring, knowledge about infection status can provide the opportunity to protect other patients and healthcare workers against virus transmission. The aim of this prospective observational study was to determine the prevalence of SARS-CoV-2 infection among pregnant women in the hospital setting. Material and Methods All eligible pregnant women admitted to the nine participating hospitals in Franconia, Germany, from 2 June 2020 to 24 January 2021 were included. COVID-19-related symptoms, secondary diseases and pregnancy abnormalities were documented. SARS-CoV-2 RNA was detected by RT-PCR from nasopharyngeal swabs. The prevalence of acute SARS-CoV-2 infection was estimated by correcting the positive rate using the Rogan-Gladen method. The risk of infection for healthcare workers during delivery was estimated using a risk calculator. Results Of 2414 recruited pregnant women, six were newly diagnosed RT-PCR positive for SARS-CoV-2, which yielded a prevalence of SARS-CoV-2 infection of 0.26% (95% CI, 0.10 - 0.57%). Combining active room ventilation and wearing FFP2 masks showed an estimated reduction of risk of infection for healthcare workers in the delivery room to < 1%. Conclusions The prevalence of newly diagnosed SARS-CoV-2 infection during pregnancy in this study is low. Nevertheless, a systematic screening in maternity units during pandemic situations is important to adjust hygienic and medical management. An adequate hygienic setting can minimise the calculated infection risk for medical healthcare workers during patients' labour.

2.
Geburtshilfe und Frauenheilkunde ; 82(8):842-851, 2022.
Article in English | EuropePMC | ID: covidwho-1990086

ABSTRACT

Introduction International studies on preterm birth rates during COVID-19 lockdowns report different results. This study examines preterm birth rates during lockdown periods and the impact of the mobility changes of the population in Bavaria, Germany. Material and Methods This is a secondary analysis of centrally collected data on preterm births in Bavaria from 2010 to 2020. Preterm births (< 37 weeks) in singleton and twin pregnancies during two lockdowns were compared with corresponding periods in 2010 – 2019. Fisherʼs exact test was used to compare raw prevalence between groups. Potential effects of two fixed lockdown periods and of variable changes in population mobility on preterm birth rates in 2020 were examined using additive logistic regression models, adjusting for long-term and seasonal trends. Results Unadjusted preterm birth rates in 2020 were significantly lower for singleton pregnancies during the two lockdown periods (Lockdown 1: 5.71% vs. 6.41%;OR 0.88;p < 0.001;Lockdown 2: 5.71% vs. 6.60%;OR = 0.86;p < 0.001). However, these effects could not be confirmed after adjusting for long-term trends (Lockdown 1: adj. OR = 0.99;p = 0.73;Lockdown 2: adj. OR = 0.96;p = 0.24). For twin pregnancies, differences during lockdown were less marked (Lockdown 1: 52.99% vs. 56.26%;OR = 0.88;p = 0.15;Lockdown 2: 58.06% vs. 58.91%;OR = 0.97;p = 0.70). Reduced population mobility had no significant impact on preterm birth rates in singleton pregnancies (p = 0.14) but did have an impact on twin pregnancies (p = 0.02). Conclusions Reduced preterm birth rates during both lockdown periods in 2020 were observed for singleton and twin pregnancies. However, these effects are reduced when adjusting for long-term and seasonal trends. Reduced population mobility was associated with lower preterm birth rates in twin pregnancies.

3.
Futures ; : 103017, 2022 Aug 10.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1977279

ABSTRACT

"Dread risks" are threats that can have catastrophic consequences. To analyse this issue we use excess mortality and corresponding life years lost as simple measures of the severity of pandemic events. As such, they are more robust than figures from models and testing procedures that usually inform public responses. We analyse data from OECD countries that are already fully available for the whole of 2020. To assess the severity of the pandemic, we compare with historical demographic events since 1880. Results show that reports of high excess mortality during peak periods and local outbreaks should not be taken as representative. Six countries saw a somewhat more increased percentage of life years lost (over 7 percent), nine countries show mild figures (0 to 7 percent), while seven countries had life year gains of up to 7 percent. So, by historical standards, Covid-19 is worse than regular flu, but a far cry from the Spanish Flu, which has become the predominant frame of reference for the current pandemic. Even though the demographic impact is modest, psychological aspects of the pandemic can still lead to transformative futures, as the reactions of East Asian societies to SARS I in 2003 showed.

4.
Geburtshilfe Frauenheilkd ; 82(8): 842-851, 2022 Aug.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1956437

ABSTRACT

Introduction International studies on preterm birth rates during COVID-19 lockdowns report different results. This study examines preterm birth rates during lockdown periods and the impact of the mobility changes of the population in Bavaria, Germany. Material and Methods This is a secondary analysis of centrally collected data on preterm births in Bavaria from 2010 to 2020. Preterm births (< 37 weeks) in singleton and twin pregnancies during two lockdowns were compared with corresponding periods in 2010 - 2019. Fisher's exact test was used to compare raw prevalence between groups. Potential effects of two fixed lockdown periods and of variable changes in population mobility on preterm birth rates in 2020 were examined using additive logistic regression models, adjusting for long-term and seasonal trends. Results Unadjusted preterm birth rates in 2020 were significantly lower for singleton pregnancies during the two lockdown periods (Lockdown 1: 5.71% vs. 6.41%; OR 0.88; p < 0.001; Lockdown 2: 5.71% vs. 6.60%; OR = 0.86; p < 0.001). However, these effects could not be confirmed after adjusting for long-term trends (Lockdown 1: adj. OR = 0.99; p = 0.73; Lockdown 2: adj. OR = 0.96; p = 0.24). For twin pregnancies, differences during lockdown were less marked (Lockdown 1: 52.99% vs. 56.26%; OR = 0.88; p = 0.15; Lockdown 2: 58.06% vs. 58.91%; OR = 0.97; p = 0.70). Reduced population mobility had no significant impact on preterm birth rates in singleton pregnancies (p = 0.14) but did have an impact on twin pregnancies (p = 0.02). Conclusions Reduced preterm birth rates during both lockdown periods in 2020 were observed for singleton and twin pregnancies. However, these effects are reduced when adjusting for long-term and seasonal trends. Reduced population mobility was associated with lower preterm birth rates in twin pregnancies.

5.
Biomark Insights ; 17: 11772719221108909, 2022.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1910134

ABSTRACT

The following article aims to review COVID-19 biomarkers used in hospital practice. It is apparent that COVID-19 is not simply a pulmonary disease but has systemic manifestations. For this reason, biomarkers must be used in the management of diagnosed patients to provide holistic care. Patients with COVID-19 have been shown to have pulmonary, hepatobiliary, cardiovascular, neurologic, and renal injury, along with coagulopathy and a distinct cytokine storm. Biomarkers can effectively inform clinicians of systemic organ injury due to COVID-19. Furthermore, biomarkers can be used in predictive models for severe COVID-19 in admitted patients. The utility of doing so is to allow for risk stratification and utilization of proper treatment protocols. In addition, COVID-19 biomarkers in the pediatric population are discussed, specifically in predicting Multisystem Inflammatory Syndrome. Ultimately, biomarkers can be used as predictive tools to allow clinicians to identify and adequately manage patients at increased risk for worse outcomes from COVID-19. Both literature review and anecdotal evidence has shown that severe COVID-19 is a systemic disease, and understanding associated biomarkers are crucial for hospitalized patients' proper clinical decision-making. For example, the cytokine storm releases inflammatory markers in different organ systems such as the pulmonary, hepatobiliary, hematological, cardiac, neurological, and renal systems. This review summarizes the latest research of COVID-19 that can help inform healthcare professionals how to better mitigate morbidity and mortality associated with this disease and provides information about certain systemic biomarkers that can be incorporated into hospital practice to provide more comprehensive care for hospitalized COIVD-19 patients.

6.
EuropePMC; 2021.
Preprint in English | EuropePMC | ID: ppcovidwho-317400

ABSTRACT

Possible mother-to-child transmission of severe acute respiratory syndrome-coronavirus type 2 (SARS-CoV-2) during pregnancy is still a matter of debate. We studied the impact of SARS-CoV-2 infection on 56 complete households, including 27 newborns whose mothers were pregnant when exposed to the virus. Three perinatal SARS-CoV-2 transmissions with mild symptoms in affected neonates were recorded (two cases confirmed by PCR, the third one based on clinical findings). In addition, we observed a severe eye malformation (unilateral microphthalmia, optic nerve hypoplasia, and congenital retinopathy) associated with maternal SARS-CoV-2 infection in weeks 5 and 6 of embryonic development. This embryopathy could not be explained by other infectious agents, genetic factors, or drug use during pregnancy. Eight other women with a history of SARS-CoV-2 infection prior to gestational week 12, however, delivered healthy infants. Conclusion: The repeated occurrence of mother-to-child transmission in our cohort with risks that remain incompletely understood, such as long-term effects and the possibility of an embryopathy, should sensitize researchers and stimulate further studies as well as strongly support COVID19 vaccination recommendations for pregnant women. Trial registration number: NCT04741412 Date of registration: November 18, 2020

7.
Geburtshilfe und Frauenheilkunde ; 82(2):226-234, 2022.
Article in English | EuropePMC | ID: covidwho-1678867

ABSTRACT

Purpose Detection of SARS-CoV-2-infected pregnant women admitted to maternity units during a pandemic is crucial. In addition to the fact that pregnancy is a risk factor for severe COVID-19 and that medical surveillance has to be adjusted in infected women and their offspring, knowledge about infection status can provide the opportunity to protect other patients and healthcare workers against virus transmission. The aim of this prospective observational study was to determine the prevalence of SARS-CoV-2 infection among pregnant women in the hospital setting. Material and Methods All eligible pregnant women admitted to the nine participating hospitals in Franconia, Germany, from 2 June 2020 to 24 January 2021 were included. COVID-19-related symptoms, secondary diseases and pregnancy abnormalities were documented. SARS-CoV-2 RNA was detected by RT-PCR from nasopharyngeal swabs. The prevalence of acute SARS-CoV-2 infection was estimated by correcting the positive rate using the Rogan–Gladen method. The risk of infection for healthcare workers during delivery was estimated using a risk calculator. Results Of 2414 recruited pregnant women, six were newly diagnosed RT-PCR positive for SARS-CoV-2, which yielded a prevalence of SARS-CoV-2 infection of 0.26% (95% CI, 0.10 – 0.57%). Combining active room ventilation and wearing FFP2 masks showed an estimated reduction of risk of infection for healthcare workers in the delivery room to < 1%. Conclusions The prevalence of newly diagnosed SARS-CoV-2 infection during pregnancy in this study is low. Nevertheless, a systematic screening in maternity units during pandemic situations is important to adjust hygienic and medical management. An adequate hygienic setting can minimise the calculated infection risk for medical healthcare workers during patientsʼ labour.

8.
Eur J Pediatr ; 181(1): 413-418, 2022 Jan.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1345122

ABSTRACT

The risk and potential consequences of mother-to-child transmission of severe acute respiratory syndrome-coronavirus type 2 (SARS-CoV-2) during pregnancy are still a matter of debate. We studied the impact of SARS-CoV-2 infection on 56 complete households, including 27 newborns whose mothers were pregnant when exposed to the virus. Two PCR-confirmed perinatal SARS-CoV-2 transmissions with mild symptoms in affected neonates were recorded. In addition, we observed a severe eye malformation (unilateral microphthalmia, optic nerve hypoplasia, and congenital retinopathy) associated with maternal SARS-CoV-2 infection in weeks 5 and 6 of embryonic development. This embryopathy could not be explained by other infectious agents, genetic factors, drug use, or maternal disease during pregnancy. Eight other women with a history of SARS-CoV-2 infection prior to gestational week 12, however, delivered healthy infants.Conclusion: The repeated occurrence of mother-to-child transmission in our cohort with risks that remain incompletely understood, such as long-term effects and the possibility of an embryopathy, should sensitize researchers and stimulate further studies as well as support COVID-19 vaccination recommendations for pregnant women. Trial registration number: NCT04741412. Date of registration: November 18, 2020 What is Known: •Materno-fetal transmission of severe acute respiratory syndrome-coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) during pregnancy has rarely been reported so far, but was demonstrated in isolated cases. What is New: •In a study of complete households with documented SARS-CoV-2 infection, including a cohort of pregnant women, we observed perinatal coronavirus transmission at a higher frequency than expected. •We also describe a newborn boy with an eye malformation reminiscent of rubella embryopathy but associated with early gestation SARS-CoV-2 infection of his mother. •A coronavirus-related embryopathy, reported here for the first time, is a finding that requires further investigation.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Pregnancy Complications, Infectious , COVID-19 Vaccines , Female , Humans , Infant, Newborn , Infectious Disease Transmission, Vertical , Male , Pregnancy , Pregnancy Outcome , SARS-CoV-2
9.
Curr Med Res Opin ; 37(6): 939-947, 2021 06.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1174783

ABSTRACT

OBJECTIVE: To safeguard key workers involved in development and production of medicines and ensure business continuity, we developed an occupational healthcare program, performed by our company's occupational healthcare services, to assess the infection and immune status for severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2). This pilot program, conducted at our company facilities, evaluated the suitability of diagnostic tools in our setting for program upscaling. METHODS: We used different marketed in vitro diagnostics (including tests for antibodies against spike protein subunits S1 and S2 and nucleocapsid [N] protein) combined with medical history, symptoms and likelihood of infection. We evaluated the testing strategy over four visits in 141 employees (known positive COVID-19 history, n = 20; unknown status, n = 121) between April and June 2020 at four company locations in Germany. Digital self-monitoring over the pilot program duration was also included. RESULTS: No incident infections were detected. Based on immune status, medical history and likelihood of infection, 10 participants (8.3%) with previously unknown history of COVID-19 were identified to have been infected before entering the program. These participants, who recalled no or mild symptoms in the preceding months, were primarily identified using an assay that detected both S1 and S2 immunoglobulin (Ig) G. The frequency of positive lateral flow assay (LFA) results (IgM or IgG directed against the N-protein) in this cohort was lower compared with participants with a known history of COVID-19 (0‒10.8% vs. 33.8‒75.7%, respectively). CONCLUSIONS: Data from this pilot program suggest that LFA for antibodies may not always reliably detect current, recent or past infections; consequently, these have not been included in our upscaled occupational healthcare program. Regular testing strategies for viral RNA and antibodies directed against different SARS-CoV-2 proteins, combined with hygiene rules and a comprehensive baseline assessment, are recommended to ensure avoidance of infections at workplace as reliably as possible.


Subject(s)
COVID-19/diagnosis , Drug Industry/organization & administration , Health Personnel/statistics & numerical data , Health Status , Occupational Health , Antibodies, Viral/blood , COVID-19/epidemiology , COVID-19/immunology , COVID-19 Serological Testing , Humans , Pilot Projects , SARS-CoV-2/immunology
10.
JMIR Public Health Surveill ; 7(2): e25484, 2021 02 17.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1088875

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: The COVID-19 pandemic has greatly limited patients' access to care for spine-related symptoms and disorders. However, physical distancing between clinicians and patients with spine-related symptoms is not solely limited to restrictions imposed by pandemic-related lockdowns. In most low- and middle-income countries, as well as many underserved marginalized communities in high-income countries, there is little to no access to clinicians trained in evidence-based care for people experiencing spinal pain. OBJECTIVE: The aim of this study is to describe the development and present the components of evidence-based patient and clinician guides for the management of spinal disorders where in-person care is not available. METHODS: Ultimately, two sets of guides were developed (one for patients and one for clinicians) by extracting information from the published Global Spine Care Initiative (GSCI) papers. An international, interprofessional team of 29 participants from 10 countries on 4 continents participated. The team included practitioners in family medicine, neurology, physiatry, rheumatology, psychology, chiropractic, physical therapy, and yoga, as well as epidemiologists, research methodologists, and laypeople. The participants were invited to review, edit, and comment on the guides in an open iterative consensus process. RESULTS: The Patient Guide is a simple 2-step process. The first step describes the nature of the symptoms or concerns. The second step provides information that a patient can use when considering self-care, determining whether to contact a clinician, or considering seeking emergency care. The Clinician Guide is a 5-step process: (1) Obtain and document patient demographics, location of primary clinical symptoms, and psychosocial information. (2) Review the symptoms noted in the patient guide. (3) Determine the GSCI classification of the patient's spine-related complaints. (4) Ask additional questions to determine the GSCI subclassification of the symptom pattern. (5) Consider appropriate treatment interventions. CONCLUSIONS: The Patient and Clinician Guides are designed to be sufficiently clear to be useful to all patients and clinicians, irrespective of their location, education, professional qualifications, and experience. However, they are comprehensive enough to provide guidance on the management of all spine-related symptoms or disorders, including triage for serious and specific diseases. They are consistent with widely accepted evidence-based clinical practice guidelines. They also allow for adequate documentation and medical record keeping. These guides should be of value during periods of government-mandated physical or social distancing due to infectious diseases, such as during the COVID-19 pandemic. They should also be of value in underserved communities in high-, middle-, and low-income countries where there is a dearth of accessible trained spine care clinicians. These guides have the potential to reduce the overutilization of unnecessary and expensive interventions while empowering patients to self-manage uncomplicated spinal pain with the assistance of their clinician, either through direct in-person consultation or via telehealth communication.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Spinal Diseases/therapy , Telemedicine , Evidence-Based Medicine/organization & administration , Global Health , Humans , Practice Guidelines as Topic
11.
Chiropr Man Therap ; 28(1): 21, 2020 05 04.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-760596

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: In the midst of the coronavirus pandemic, the International Chiropractors Association (ICA) posted reports claiming that chiropractic care can impact the immune system. These claims clash with recommendations from the World Health Organization and World Federation of Chiropractic. We discuss the scientific validity of the claims made in these ICA reports. MAIN BODY: We reviewed the two reports posted by the ICA on their website on March 20 and March 28, 2020. We explored the method used to develop the claim that chiropractic adjustments impact the immune system and discuss the scientific merit of that claim. We provide a response to the ICA reports and explain why this claim lacks scientific credibility and is dangerous to the public. More than 150 researchers from 11 countries reviewed and endorsed our response. CONCLUSION: In their reports, the ICA provided no valid clinical scientific evidence that chiropractic care can impact the immune system. We call on regulatory authorities and professional leaders to take robust political and regulatory action against those claiming that chiropractic adjustments have a clinical impact on the immune system.


Subject(s)
Coronavirus Infections/prevention & control , Immunization , Manipulation, Chiropractic , Pandemics/prevention & control , Pneumonia, Viral/prevention & control , COVID-19 , Chiropractic , Coronavirus Infections/immunology , Humans , Immunization/methods , Pneumonia, Viral/immunology , Societies, Medical
12.
Geburtshilfe Frauenheilkd ; 80(4): 380-390, 2020 Apr.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-118977

ABSTRACT

In December 2019, cases of pneumonia of unknown cause first started to appear in Wuhan in China; subsequently, a new coronavirus was soon identified as the cause of the illness, now known as Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19). Since then, infections have been confirmed worldwide in numerous countries, with the number of cases steadily rising. The aim of the present review is to provide an overview of the new severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS) coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) and, in particular, to deduce from it potential risks and complications for pregnant patients. For this purpose, the available literature on cases of infection in pregnancy during the SARS epidemic of 2002/2003, the MERS (Middle East respiratory syndrome) epidemic ongoing since 2012, as well as recent publications on cases infected with SARS-CoV-2 in pregnancy are reviewed and reported. Based on the literature available at the moment, it can be assumed that the clinical course of COVID-19 disease may be complicated by pregnancy which could be associated with a higher mortality rate. It may also be assumed at the moment that transmission from mother to child in utero is unlikely. Breastfeeding is possible once infection has been excluded or the disease declared cured.

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