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1.
Nat Commun ; 13(1): 2110, 2022 04 21.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1805607

ABSTRACT

The app-based COVID Symptom Study was launched in Sweden in April 2020 to contribute to real-time COVID-19 surveillance. We enrolled 143,531 study participants (≥18 years) who contributed 10.6 million daily symptom reports between April 29, 2020 and February 10, 2021. Here, we include data from 19,161 self-reported PCR tests to create a symptom-based model to estimate the individual probability of symptomatic COVID-19, with an AUC of 0.78 (95% CI 0.74-0.83) in an external dataset. These individual probabilities are employed to estimate daily regional COVID-19 prevalence, which are in turn used together with current hospital data to predict next week COVID-19 hospital admissions. We show that this hospital prediction model demonstrates a lower median absolute percentage error (MdAPE: 25.9%) across the five most populated regions in Sweden during the first pandemic wave than a model based on case notifications (MdAPE: 30.3%). During the second wave, the error rates are similar. When we apply the same model to an English dataset, not including local COVID-19 test data, we observe MdAPEs of 22.3% and 19.0% during the first and second pandemic waves, respectively, highlighting the transferability of the prediction model.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Mobile Applications , COVID-19/epidemiology , Hospitals , Humans , Sentinel Surveillance , Sweden/epidemiology
3.
EuropePMC; 2021.
Preprint in English | EuropePMC | ID: ppcovidwho-316701

ABSTRACT

Evidence regarding the impact of COVID-19 on health behaviours is limited. In this prospective study including 1.1 million UK and US participants we collected diet and lifestyle data ‘pre-’ and ‘peri-’ pandemic, and computed a bi-directional health behaviour disruption index. We show that disruption was higher in the younger, female and socioeconomically deprived (p<0.001). A loss in body weight (-0.57kg) was greater in highly disrupted individuals compared to those with low disruption (0.01kg). There were large inter-individual changes observed in all 46 health and diet behaviors measured peri-pandemic versus pre-pandemic, but no mean change in the total population. Individuals most adherent to unhealthy pre-pandemic health behaviours improved their diet quality (0.93units) and weight (-0.79kg) compared with those reporting healthy pre-pandemic behaviours (0.08units and 0.04kg respectively), irrespective of relative deprivation. For a proportion of the population, the pandemic may have provided an impetus to improve health behaviours.

4.
Nat Commun ; 13(1): 636, 2022 02 01.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1671552

ABSTRACT

Worldwide, racial and ethnic minorities have been disproportionately impacted by COVID-19 with increased risk of infection, its related complications, and death. In the initial phase of population-based vaccination in the United States (U.S.) and United Kingdom (U.K.), vaccine hesitancy may result in differences in uptake. We performed a cohort study among U.S. and U.K. participants who volunteered to take part in the smartphone-based COVID Symptom Study (March 2020-February 2021) and used logistic regression to estimate odds ratios of vaccine hesitancy and uptake. In the U.S. (n = 87,388), compared to white participants, vaccine hesitancy was greater for Black and Hispanic participants and those reporting more than one or other race. In the U.K. (n = 1,254,294), racial and ethnic minority participants showed similar levels of vaccine hesitancy to the U.S. However, associations between participant race and ethnicity and levels of vaccine uptake were observed to be different in the U.S. and the U.K. studies. Among U.S. participants, vaccine uptake was significantly lower among Black participants, which persisted among participants that self-reported being vaccine-willing. In contrast, statistically significant racial and ethnic disparities in vaccine uptake were not observed in the U.K sample. In this study of self-reported vaccine hesitancy and uptake, lower levels of vaccine uptake in Black participants in the U.S. during the initial vaccine rollout may be attributable to both hesitancy and disparities in access.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 Vaccines/administration & dosage , COVID-19/ethnology , COVID-19/prevention & control , SARS-CoV-2/immunology , Vaccination/psychology , Adult , Aged , Aged, 80 and over , /statistics & numerical data , /statistics & numerical data , COVID-19/psychology , Cohort Studies , Female , /statistics & numerical data , Humans , Male , Middle Aged , Minority Groups/psychology , Minority Groups/statistics & numerical data , SARS-CoV-2/genetics , Self Report , United Kingdom/ethnology , United States/epidemiology , /statistics & numerical data , Young Adult
5.
2021.
Preprint in English | Other preprints | ID: ppcovidwho-295607

ABSTRACT

Background Racial and ethnic minorities have been disproportionately impacted by COVID-19. In the initial phase of population-based vaccination in the United States (U.S.) and United Kingdom (U.K.), vaccine hesitancy and limited access may result in disparities in uptake. Methods We performed a cohort study among U.S. and U.K. participants in the smartphone-based COVID Symptom Study (March 24, 2020-February 16, 2021). We used logistic regression to estimate odds ratios (ORs) of COVID-19 vaccine hesitancy (unsure/not willing) and receipt. Results In the U.S. ( n =87,388), compared to White non-Hispanic participants, the multivariable ORs of vaccine hesitancy were 3.15 (95% CI: 2.86 to 3.47) for Black participants, 1.42 (1.28 to 1.58) for Hispanic participants, 1.34 (1.18 to 1.52) for Asian participants, and 2.02 (1.70 to 2.39) for participants reporting more than one race/other. In the U.K. ( n =1,254,294), racial and ethnic minorities had similarly elevated hesitancy: compared to White participants, their corresponding ORs were 2.84 (95% CI: 2.69 to 2.99) for Black participants, 1.66 (1.57 to 1.76) for South Asian participants, 1.84 (1.70 to 1.98) for Middle East/East Asian participants, and 1.48 (1.39 to 1.57) for participants reporting more than one race/other. Among U.S. participants, the OR of vaccine receipt was 0.71 (0.64 to 0.79) for Black participants, a disparity that persisted among individuals who specifically endorsed a willingness to obtain a vaccine. In contrast, disparities in uptake were not observed in the U.K. Conclusions COVID-19 vaccine hesitancy was greater among racial and ethnic minorities, and Black participants living in the U.S. were less likely to receive a vaccine than White participants. Lower uptake among Black participants in the U.S. during the initial vaccine rollout is attributable to both hesitancy and disparities in access.

6.
EClinicalMedicine ; 42: 101212, 2021 Dec.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1540603

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: Identifying and testing individuals likely to have SARS-CoV-2 is critical for infection control, including post-vaccination. Vaccination is a major public health strategy to reduce SARS-CoV-2 infection globally. Some individuals experience systemic symptoms post-vaccination, which overlap with COVID-19 symptoms. This study compared early post-vaccination symptoms in individuals who subsequently tested positive or negative for SARS-CoV-2, using data from the COVID Symptom Study (CSS) app. METHODS: We conducted a prospective observational study in 1,072,313 UK CSS participants who were asymptomatic when vaccinated with Pfizer-BioNTech mRNA vaccine (BNT162b2) or Oxford-AstraZeneca adenovirus-vectored vaccine (ChAdOx1 nCoV-19) between 8 December 2020 and 17 May 2021, who subsequently reported symptoms within seven days (N=362,770) (other than local symptoms at injection site) and were tested for SARS-CoV-2 (N=14,842), aiming to differentiate vaccination side-effects per se from superimposed SARS-CoV-2 infection. The post-vaccination symptoms and SARS-CoV-2 test results were contemporaneously logged by participants. Demographic and clinical information (including comorbidities) were recorded. Symptom profiles in individuals testing positive were compared with a 1:1 matched population testing negative, including using machine learning and multiple models considering UK testing criteria. FINDINGS: Differentiating post-vaccination side-effects alone from early COVID-19 was challenging, with a sensitivity in identification of individuals testing positive of 0.6 at best. Most of these individuals did not have fever, persistent cough, or anosmia/dysosmia, requisite symptoms for accessing UK testing; and many only had systemic symptoms commonly seen post-vaccination in individuals negative for SARS-CoV-2 (headache, myalgia, and fatigue). INTERPRETATION: Post-vaccination symptoms per se cannot be differentiated from COVID-19 with clinical robustness, either using symptom profiles or machine-derived models. Individuals presenting with systemic symptoms post-vaccination should be tested for SARS-CoV-2 or quarantining, to prevent community spread. FUNDING: UK Government Department of Health and Social Care, Wellcome Trust, UK Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council, UK National Institute for Health Research, UK Medical Research Council and British Heart Foundation, Chronic Disease Research Foundation, Zoe Limited.

7.
Lancet Child Adolesc Health ; 5(10): 708-718, 2021 10.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1510511

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: In children, SARS-CoV-2 infection is usually asymptomatic or causes a mild illness of short duration. Persistent illness has been reported; however, its prevalence and characteristics are unclear. We aimed to determine illness duration and characteristics in symptomatic UK school-aged children tested for SARS-CoV-2 using data from the COVID Symptom Study, one of the largest UK citizen participatory epidemiological studies to date. METHODS: In this prospective cohort study, data from UK school-aged children (age 5-17 years) were reported by an adult proxy. Participants were voluntary, and used a mobile application (app) launched jointly by Zoe Limited and King's College London. Illness duration and symptom prevalence, duration, and burden were analysed for children testing positive for SARS-CoV-2 for whom illness duration could be determined, and were assessed overall and for younger (age 5-11 years) and older (age 12-17 years) groups. Children with longer than 1 week between symptomatic reports on the app were excluded from analysis. Data from symptomatic children testing negative for SARS-CoV-2, matched 1:1 for age, gender, and week of testing, were also assessed. FINDINGS: 258 790 children aged 5-17 years were reported by an adult proxy between March 24, 2020, and Feb 22, 2021, of whom 75 529 had valid test results for SARS-CoV-2. 1734 children (588 younger and 1146 older children) had a positive SARS-CoV-2 test result and calculable illness duration within the study timeframe (illness onset between Sept 1, 2020, and Jan 24, 2021). The most common symptoms were headache (1079 [62·2%] of 1734 children), and fatigue (954 [55·0%] of 1734 children). Median illness duration was 6 days (IQR 3-11) versus 3 days (2-7) in children testing negative, and was positively associated with age (Spearman's rank-order rs 0·19, p<0·0001). Median illness duration was longer for older children (7 days, IQR 3-12) than younger children (5 days, 2-9). 77 (4·4%) of 1734 children had illness duration of at least 28 days, more commonly in older than younger children (59 [5·1%] of 1146 older children vs 18 [3·1%] of 588 younger children; p=0·046). The commonest symptoms experienced by these children during the first 4 weeks of illness were fatigue (65 [84·4%] of 77), headache (60 [77·9%] of 77), and anosmia (60 [77·9%] of 77); however, after day 28 the symptom burden was low (median 2 symptoms, IQR 1-4) compared with the first week of illness (median 6 symptoms, 4-8). Only 25 (1·8%) of 1379 children experienced symptoms for at least 56 days. Few children (15 children, 0·9%) in the negatively tested cohort had symptoms for at least 28 days; however, these children experienced greater symptom burden throughout their illness (9 symptoms, IQR 7·7-11·0 vs 8, 6-9) and after day 28 (5 symptoms, IQR 1·5-6·5 vs 2, 1-4) than did children who tested positive for SARS-CoV-2. INTERPRETATION: Although COVID-19 in children is usually of short duration with low symptom burden, some children with COVID-19 experience prolonged illness duration. Reassuringly, symptom burden in these children did not increase with time, and most recovered by day 56. Some children who tested negative for SARS-CoV-2 also had persistent and burdensome illness. A holistic approach for all children with persistent illness during the pandemic is appropriate. FUNDING: Zoe Limited, UK Government Department of Health and Social Care, Wellcome Trust, UK Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council, UK Research and Innovation London Medical Imaging and Artificial Intelligence Centre for Value Based Healthcare, UK National Institute for Health Research, UK Medical Research Council, British Heart Foundation, and Alzheimer's Society.


Subject(s)
COVID-19/epidemiology , COVID-19/pathology , SARS-CoV-2/isolation & purification , Adolescent , COVID-19/diagnosis , COVID-19/virology , COVID-19 Testing , Child , Child, Preschool , Citizen Science , Cohort Studies , Cost of Illness , Female , Humans , Male , Prospective Studies , SARS-CoV-2/pathogenicity , United Kingdom
8.
Lancet Infect Dis ; 22(1): 43-55, 2022 01.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1500361

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: COVID-19 vaccines show excellent efficacy in clinical trials and effectiveness in real-world data, but some people still become infected with SARS-CoV-2 after vaccination. This study aimed to identify risk factors for post-vaccination SARS-CoV-2 infection and describe the characteristics of post-vaccination illness. METHODS: This prospective, community-based, nested, case-control study used self-reported data (eg, on demographics, geographical location, health risk factors, and COVID-19 test results, symptoms, and vaccinations) from UK-based, adult (≥18 years) users of the COVID Symptom Study mobile phone app. For the risk factor analysis, cases had received a first or second dose of a COVID-19 vaccine between Dec 8, 2020, and July 4, 2021; had either a positive COVID-19 test at least 14 days after their first vaccination (but before their second; cases 1) or a positive test at least 7 days after their second vaccination (cases 2); and had no positive test before vaccination. Two control groups were selected (who also had not tested positive for SARS-CoV-2 before vaccination): users reporting a negative test at least 14 days after their first vaccination but before their second (controls 1) and users reporting a negative test at least 7 days after their second vaccination (controls 2). Controls 1 and controls 2 were matched (1:1) with cases 1 and cases 2, respectively, by the date of the post-vaccination test, health-care worker status, and sex. In the disease profile analysis, we sub-selected participants from cases 1 and cases 2 who had used the app for at least 14 consecutive days after testing positive for SARS-CoV-2 (cases 3 and cases 4, respectively). Controls 3 and controls 4 were unvaccinated participants reporting a positive SARS-CoV-2 test who had used the app for at least 14 consecutive days after the test, and were matched (1:1) with cases 3 and 4, respectively, by the date of the positive test, health-care worker status, sex, body-mass index (BMI), and age. We used univariate logistic regression models (adjusted for age, BMI, and sex) to analyse the associations between risk factors and post-vaccination infection, and the associations of individual symptoms, overall disease duration, and disease severity with vaccination status. FINDINGS: Between Dec 8, 2020, and July 4, 2021, 1 240 009 COVID Symptom Study app users reported a first vaccine dose, of whom 6030 (0·5%) subsequently tested positive for SARS-CoV-2 (cases 1), and 971 504 reported a second dose, of whom 2370 (0·2%) subsequently tested positive for SARS-CoV-2 (cases 2). In the risk factor analysis, frailty was associated with post-vaccination infection in older adults (≥60 years) after their first vaccine dose (odds ratio [OR] 1·93, 95% CI 1·50-2·48; p<0·0001), and individuals living in highly deprived areas had increased odds of post-vaccination infection following their first vaccine dose (OR 1·11, 95% CI 1·01-1·23; p=0·039). Individuals without obesity (BMI <30 kg/m2) had lower odds of infection following their first vaccine dose (OR 0·84, 95% CI 0·75-0·94; p=0·0030). For the disease profile analysis, 3825 users from cases 1 were included in cases 3 and 906 users from cases 2 were included in cases 4. Vaccination (compared with no vaccination) was associated with reduced odds of hospitalisation or having more than five symptoms in the first week of illness following the first or second dose, and long-duration (≥28 days) symptoms following the second dose. Almost all symptoms were reported less frequently in infected vaccinated individuals than in infected unvaccinated individuals, and vaccinated participants were more likely to be completely asymptomatic, especially if they were 60 years or older. INTERPRETATION: To minimise SARS-CoV-2 infection, at-risk populations must be targeted in efforts to boost vaccine effectiveness and infection control measures. Our findings might support caution around relaxing physical distancing and other personal protective measures in the post-vaccination era, particularly around frail older adults and individuals living in more deprived areas, even if these individuals are vaccinated, and might have implications for strategies such as booster vaccinations. FUNDING: ZOE, the UK Government Department of Health and Social Care, the Wellcome Trust, the UK Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council, UK Research and Innovation London Medical Imaging and Artificial Intelligence Centre for Value Based Healthcare, the UK National Institute for Health Research, the UK Medical Research Council, the British Heart Foundation, and the Alzheimer's Society.


Subject(s)
COVID-19/epidemiology , Mobile Applications/statistics & numerical data , Vaccination/statistics & numerical data , Adult , Aged , COVID-19/prevention & control , COVID-19 Testing/statistics & numerical data , Case-Control Studies , Female , Humans , Male , Middle Aged , Prospective Studies , Risk Factors , Self Report , United Kingdom/epidemiology , Young Adult
9.
J Neurol Neurosurg Psychiatry ; 92(12): 1254-1258, 2021 12.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1443621

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: Mental health issues have been reported after SARS-CoV-2 infection. However, comparison to prevalence in uninfected individuals and contribution from common risk factors (eg, obesity and comorbidities) have not been examined. We identified how COVID-19 relates to mental health in the large community-based COVID Symptom Study. METHODS: We assessed anxiety and depression symptoms using two validated questionnaires in 413148 individuals between February and April 2021; 26998 had tested positive for SARS-CoV-2. We adjusted for physical and mental prepandemic comorbidities, body mass index (BMI), age and sex. FINDINGS: Overall, 26.4% of participants met screening criteria for general anxiety and depression. Anxiety and depression were slightly more prevalent in previously SARS-CoV-2-positive (30.4%) vs SARS-CoV-2-negative (26.1%) individuals. This association was small compared with the effect of an unhealthy BMI and the presence of other comorbidities, and not evident in younger participants (≤40 years). Findings were robust to multiple sensitivity analyses. Association between SARS-CoV-2 infection and anxiety and depression was stronger in individuals with recent (<30 days) versus more distant (>120 days) infection, suggesting a short-term effect. INTERPRETATION: A small association was identified between SARS-CoV-2 infection and anxiety and depression symptoms. The proportion meeting criteria for self-reported anxiety and depression disorders is only slightly higher than prepandemic.


Subject(s)
Anxiety/epidemiology , COVID-19/psychology , Depression/epidemiology , Mobile Applications , Adolescent , Adult , Aged , Aged, 80 and over , Female , Humans , Male , Mental Health , Middle Aged , Prevalence , SARS-CoV-2 , Self Report , Young Adult
10.
Lancet Infect Dis ; 21(7): 939-949, 2021 07.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1433943

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: The Pfizer-BioNTech (BNT162b2) and the Oxford-AstraZeneca (ChAdOx1 nCoV-19) COVID-19 vaccines have shown excellent safety and efficacy in phase 3 trials. We aimed to investigate the safety and effectiveness of these vaccines in a UK community setting. METHODS: In this prospective observational study, we examined the proportion and probability of self-reported systemic and local side-effects within 8 days of vaccination in individuals using the COVID Symptom Study app who received one or two doses of the BNT162b2 vaccine or one dose of the ChAdOx1 nCoV-19 vaccine. We also compared infection rates in a subset of vaccinated individuals subsequently tested for SARS-CoV-2 with PCR or lateral flow tests with infection rates in unvaccinated controls. All analyses were adjusted by age (≤55 years vs >55 years), sex, health-care worker status (binary variable), obesity (BMI <30 kg/m2vs ≥30 kg/m2), and comorbidities (binary variable, with or without comorbidities). FINDINGS: Between Dec 8, and March 10, 2021, 627 383 individuals reported being vaccinated with 655 590 doses: 282 103 received one dose of BNT162b2, of whom 28 207 received a second dose, and 345 280 received one dose of ChAdOx1 nCoV-19. Systemic side-effects were reported by 13·5% (38 155 of 282 103) of individuals after the first dose of BNT162b2, by 22·0% (6216 of 28 207) after the second dose of BNT162b2, and by 33·7% (116 473 of 345 280) after the first dose of ChAdOx1 nCoV-19. Local side-effects were reported by 71·9% (150 023 of 208 767) of individuals after the first dose of BNT162b2, by 68·5% (9025 of 13 179) after the second dose of BNT162b2, and by 58·7% (104 282 of 177 655) after the first dose of ChAdOx1 nCoV-19. Systemic side-effects were more common (1·6 times after the first dose of ChAdOx1 nCoV-19 and 2·9 times after the first dose of BNT162b2) among individuals with previous SARS-CoV-2 infection than among those without known past infection. Local effects were similarly higher in individuals previously infected than in those without known past infection (1·4 times after the first dose of ChAdOx1 nCoV-19 and 1·2 times after the first dose of BNT162b2). 3106 of 103 622 vaccinated individuals and 50 340 of 464 356 unvaccinated controls tested positive for SARS-CoV-2 infection. Significant reductions in infection risk were seen starting at 12 days after the first dose, reaching 60% (95% CI 49-68) for ChAdOx1 nCoV-19 and 69% (66-72) for BNT162b2 at 21-44 days and 72% (63-79) for BNT162b2 after 45-59 days. INTERPRETATION: Systemic and local side-effects after BNT162b2 and ChAdOx1 nCoV-19 vaccination occur at frequencies lower than reported in phase 3 trials. Both vaccines decrease the risk of SARS-CoV-2 infection after 12 days. FUNDING: ZOE Global, National Institute for Health Research, Chronic Disease Research Foundation, National Institutes of Health, UK Medical Research Council, Wellcome Trust, UK Research and Innovation, American Gastroenterological Association.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 Vaccines/adverse effects , COVID-19 Vaccines/immunology , COVID-19/immunology , Drug-Related Side Effects and Adverse Reactions/immunology , SARS-CoV-2/immunology , Vaccination/adverse effects , Female , Humans , Male , Middle Aged , Prospective Studies , Safety/statistics & numerical data , Self Report/statistics & numerical data , United Kingdom
11.
Gut ; 70(11): 2096-2104, 2021 11.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1398714

ABSTRACT

OBJECTIVE: Poor metabolic health and unhealthy lifestyle factors have been associated with risk and severity of COVID-19, but data for diet are lacking. We aimed to investigate the association of diet quality with risk and severity of COVID-19 and its interaction with socioeconomic deprivation. DESIGN: We used data from 592 571 participants of the smartphone-based COVID-19 Symptom Study. Diet information was collected for the prepandemic period using a short food frequency questionnaire, and diet quality was assessed using a healthful Plant-Based Diet Score, which emphasises healthy plant foods such as fruits or vegetables. Multivariable Cox models were fitted to calculate HRs and 95% CIs for COVID-19 risk and severity defined using a validated symptom-based algorithm or hospitalisation with oxygen support, respectively. RESULTS: Over 3 886 274 person-months of follow-up, 31 815 COVID-19 cases were documented. Compared with individuals in the lowest quartile of the diet score, high diet quality was associated with lower risk of COVID-19 (HR 0.91; 95% CI 0.88 to 0.94) and severe COVID-19 (HR 0.59; 95% CI 0.47 to 0.74). The joint association of low diet quality and increased deprivation on COVID-19 risk was higher than the sum of the risk associated with each factor alone (Pinteraction=0.005). The corresponding absolute excess rate per 10 000 person/months for lowest vs highest quartile of diet score was 22.5 (95% CI 18.8 to 26.3) among persons living in areas with low deprivation and 40.8 (95% CI 31.7 to 49.8) among persons living in areas with high deprivation. CONCLUSIONS: A diet characterised by healthy plant-based foods was associated with lower risk and severity of COVID-19. This association may be particularly evident among individuals living in areas with higher socioeconomic deprivation.


Subject(s)
COVID-19/etiology , Diet/adverse effects , Adolescent , Adult , Aged , COVID-19/epidemiology , COVID-19/prevention & control , Diet Surveys , Diet, Healthy , Female , Humans , Male , Middle Aged , Prospective Studies , Risk Factors , Severity of Illness Index , Socioeconomic Factors , Surveys and Questionnaires , Young Adult
12.
Lancet Public Health ; 6(5): e335-e345, 2021 05.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1180163

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: The SARS-CoV-2 variant B.1.1.7 was first identified in December, 2020, in England. We aimed to investigate whether increases in the proportion of infections with this variant are associated with differences in symptoms or disease course, reinfection rates, or transmissibility. METHODS: We did an ecological study to examine the association between the regional proportion of infections with the SARS-CoV-2 B.1.1.7 variant and reported symptoms, disease course, rates of reinfection, and transmissibility. Data on types and duration of symptoms were obtained from longitudinal reports from users of the COVID Symptom Study app who reported a positive test for COVID-19 between Sept 28 and Dec 27, 2020 (during which the prevalence of B.1.1.7 increased most notably in parts of the UK). From this dataset, we also estimated the frequency of possible reinfection, defined as the presence of two reported positive tests separated by more than 90 days with a period of reporting no symptoms for more than 7 days before the second positive test. The proportion of SARS-CoV-2 infections with the B.1.1.7 variant across the UK was estimated with use of genomic data from the COVID-19 Genomics UK Consortium and data from Public Health England on spike-gene target failure (a non-specific indicator of the B.1.1.7 variant) in community cases in England. We used linear regression to examine the association between reported symptoms and proportion of B.1.1.7. We assessed the Spearman correlation between the proportion of B.1.1.7 cases and number of reinfections over time, and between the number of positive tests and reinfections. We estimated incidence for B.1.1.7 and previous variants, and compared the effective reproduction number, Rt, for the two incidence estimates. FINDINGS: From Sept 28 to Dec 27, 2020, positive COVID-19 tests were reported by 36 920 COVID Symptom Study app users whose region was known and who reported as healthy on app sign-up. We found no changes in reported symptoms or disease duration associated with B.1.1.7. For the same period, possible reinfections were identified in 249 (0·7% [95% CI 0·6-0·8]) of 36 509 app users who reported a positive swab test before Oct 1, 2020, but there was no evidence that the frequency of reinfections was higher for the B.1.1.7 variant than for pre-existing variants. Reinfection occurrences were more positively correlated with the overall regional rise in cases (Spearman correlation 0·56-0·69 for South East, London, and East of England) than with the regional increase in the proportion of infections with the B.1.1.7 variant (Spearman correlation 0·38-0·56 in the same regions), suggesting B.1.1.7 does not substantially alter the risk of reinfection. We found a multiplicative increase in the Rt of B.1.1.7 by a factor of 1·35 (95% CI 1·02-1·69) relative to pre-existing variants. However, Rt fell below 1 during regional and national lockdowns, even in regions with high proportions of infections with the B.1.1.7 variant. INTERPRETATION: The lack of change in symptoms identified in this study indicates that existing testing and surveillance infrastructure do not need to change specifically for the B.1.1.7 variant. In addition, given that there was no apparent increase in the reinfection rate, vaccines are likely to remain effective against the B.1.1.7 variant. FUNDING: Zoe Global, Department of Health (UK), Wellcome Trust, Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (UK), National Institute for Health Research (UK), Medical Research Council (UK), Alzheimer's Society.


Subject(s)
COVID-19/virology , Reinfection/virology , SARS-CoV-2/isolation & purification , Adolescent , Adult , Aged , COVID-19/complications , COVID-19/epidemiology , COVID-19/transmission , Female , Humans , Male , Middle Aged , Reinfection/epidemiology , United Kingdom/epidemiology , Young Adult
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