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1.
JAMA Netw Open ; 6(1): e2253590, 2023 01 03.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-2219605

ABSTRACT

Importance: COVID-19 was the underlying cause of death for more than 940 000 individuals in the US, including at least 1289 children and young people (CYP) aged 0 to 19 years, with at least 821 CYP deaths occurring in the 1-year period from August 1, 2021, to July 31, 2022. Because deaths among US CYP are rare, the mortality burden of COVID-19 in CYP is best understood in the context of all other causes of CYP death. Objective: To determine whether COVID-19 is a leading (top 10) cause of death in CYP in the US. Design, Setting, and Participants: This national population-level cross-sectional epidemiological analysis for the years 2019 to 2022 used data from the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Wide-Ranging Online Data for Epidemiologic Research (WONDER) database on underlying cause of death in the US to identify the ranking of COVID-19 relative to other causes of death among individuals aged 0 to 19 years. COVID-19 deaths were considered in 12-month periods between April 1, 2020, and August 31, 2022, compared with deaths from leading non-COVID-19 causes in 2019, 2020, and 2021. Main Outcomes and Measures: Cause of death rankings by total number of deaths, crude rates per 100 000 population, and percentage of all causes of death, using the National Center for Health Statistics 113 Selected Causes of Death, for ages 0 to 19 and by age groupings (<1 year, 1-4 years, 5-9 years, 10-14 years, 15-19 years). Results: There were 821 COVID-19 deaths among individuals aged 0 to 19 years during the study period, resulting in a crude death rate of 1.0 per 100 000 population overall; 4.3 per 100 000 for those younger than 1 year; 0.6 per 100 000 for those aged 1 to 4 years; 0.4 per 100 000 for those aged 5 to 9 years; 0.5 per 100 000 for those aged 10 to 14 years; and 1.8 per 100 000 for those aged 15 to 19 years. COVID-19 mortality in the time period of August 1, 2021, to July 31, 2022, was among the 10 leading causes of death in CYP aged 0 to 19 years in the US, ranking eighth among all causes of deaths, fifth in disease-related causes of deaths (excluding unintentional injuries, assault, and suicide), and first in deaths caused by infectious or respiratory diseases when compared with 2019. COVID-19 deaths constituted 2% of all causes of death in this age group. Conclusions and Relevance: The findings of this study suggest that COVID-19 was a leading cause of death in CYP. It caused substantially more deaths in CYP annually than any vaccine-preventable disease historically in the recent period before vaccines became available. Various factors, including underreporting and not accounting for COVID-19's role as a contributing cause of death from other diseases, mean that these estimates may understate the true mortality burden of COVID-19. The findings of this study underscore the public health relevance of COVID-19 to CYP. In the likely future context of sustained SARS-CoV-2 circulation, appropriate pharmaceutical and nonpharmaceutical interventions (eg, vaccines, ventilation, air cleaning) will continue to play an important role in limiting transmission of the virus and mitigating severe disease in CYP.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Communicable Diseases , Child , Humans , Adolescent , Cause of Death , Cross-Sectional Studies , SARS-CoV-2
2.
Nat Commun ; 13(1): 7003, 2022 Nov 16.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-2116500

ABSTRACT

Genomic sequencing is essential to track the evolution and spread of SARS-CoV-2, optimize molecular tests, treatments, vaccines, and guide public health responses. To investigate the global SARS-CoV-2 genomic surveillance, we used sequences shared via GISAID to estimate the impact of sequencing intensity and turnaround times on variant detection in 189 countries. In the first two years of the pandemic, 78% of high-income countries sequenced >0.5% of their COVID-19 cases, while 42% of low- and middle-income countries reached that mark. Around 25% of the genomes from high income countries were submitted within 21 days, a pattern observed in 5% of the genomes from low- and middle-income countries. We found that sequencing around 0.5% of the cases, with a turnaround time <21 days, could provide a benchmark for SARS-CoV-2 genomic surveillance. Socioeconomic inequalities undermine the global pandemic preparedness, and efforts must be made to support low- and middle-income countries improve their local sequencing capacity.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , SARS-CoV-2 , Humans , SARS-CoV-2/genetics , Genome, Viral/genetics , COVID-19/epidemiology , Pandemics , Genomics
4.
Nat Med ; 28(7): 1476-1485, 2022 07.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1830084

ABSTRACT

The severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) Gamma variant of concern has spread rapidly across Brazil since late 2020, causing substantial infection and death waves. Here we used individual-level patient records after hospitalization with suspected or confirmed coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) between 20 January 2020 and 26 July 2021 to document temporary, sweeping shocks in hospital fatality rates that followed the spread of Gamma across 14 state capitals, during which typically more than half of hospitalized patients aged 70 years and older died. We show that such extensive shocks in COVID-19 in-hospital fatality rates also existed before the detection of Gamma. Using a Bayesian fatality rate model, we found that the geographic and temporal fluctuations in Brazil's COVID-19 in-hospital fatality rates were primarily associated with geographic inequities and shortages in healthcare capacity. We estimate that approximately half of the COVID-19 deaths in hospitals in the 14 cities could have been avoided without pre-pandemic geographic inequities and without pandemic healthcare pressure. Our results suggest that investments in healthcare resources, healthcare optimization and pandemic preparedness are critical to minimize population-wide mortality and morbidity caused by highly transmissible and deadly pathogens such as SARS-CoV-2, especially in low- and middle-income countries.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Aged , Aged, 80 and over , Bayes Theorem , Brazil/epidemiology , COVID-19/epidemiology , Hospitals , Humans , SARS-CoV-2
6.
Stat Med ; 40(27): 6209-6234, 2021 11 30.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1396957

ABSTRACT

This tutorial shows how to build, fit, and criticize disease transmission models in Stan, and should be useful to researchers interested in modeling the severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) pandemic and other infectious diseases in a Bayesian framework. Bayesian modeling provides a principled way to quantify uncertainty and incorporate both data and prior knowledge into the model estimates. Stan is an expressive probabilistic programming language that abstracts the inference and allows users to focus on the modeling. As a result, Stan code is readable and easily extensible, which makes the modeler's work more transparent. Furthermore, Stan's main inference engine, Hamiltonian Monte Carlo sampling, is amiable to diagnostics, which means the user can verify whether the obtained inference is reliable. In this tutorial, we demonstrate how to formulate, fit, and diagnose a compartmental transmission model in Stan, first with a simple susceptible-infected-recovered model, then with a more elaborate transmission model used during the SARS-CoV-2 pandemic. We also cover advanced topics which can further help practitioners fit sophisticated models; notably, how to use simulations to probe the model and priors, and computational techniques to scale-up models based on ordinary differential equations.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , SARS-CoV-2 , Bayes Theorem , Humans , Monte Carlo Method , Workflow
7.
EClinicalMedicine ; 39: 101064, 2021 Sep.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1330784

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: Since its emergence in Autumn 2020, the SARS-CoV-2 Variant of Concern (VOC) B.1.1.7 (WHO label Alpha) rapidly became the dominant lineage across much of Europe. Simultaneously, several other VOCs were identified globally. Unlike B.1.1.7, some of these VOCs possess mutations thought to confer partial immune escape. Understanding when and how these additional VOCs pose a threat in settings where B.1.1.7 is currently dominant is vital. METHODS: We examine trends in the prevalence of non-B.1.1.7 lineages in London and other English regions using passive-case detection PCR data, cross-sectional community infection surveys, genomic surveillance, and wastewater monitoring. The study period spans from 31st January 2021 to 15th May 2021. FINDINGS: Across data sources, the percentage of non-B.1.1.7 variants has been increasing since late March 2021. This increase was initially driven by a variety of lineages with immune escape. From mid-April, B.1.617.2 (WHO label Delta) spread rapidly, becoming the dominant variant in England by late May. INTERPRETATION: The outcome of competition between variants depends on a wide range of factors such as intrinsic transmissibility, evasion of prior immunity, demographic specificities and interactions with non-pharmaceutical interventions. The presence and rise of non-B.1.1.7 variants in March likely was driven by importations and some community transmission. There was competition between non-B.1.17 variants which resulted in B.1.617.2 becoming dominant in April and May with considerable community transmission. Our results underscore that early detection of new variants requires a diverse array of data sources in community surveillance. Continued real-time information on the highly dynamic composition and trajectory of different SARS-CoV-2 lineages is essential to future control efforts. FUNDING: National Institute for Health Research, Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency, DeepMind, EPSRC, EA Funds programme, Open Philanthropy, Academy of Medical Sciences Bill,Melinda Gates Foundation, Imperial College Healthcare NHS Trust, The Novo Nordisk Foundation, MRC Centre for Global Infectious Disease Analysis, Community Jameel, Cancer Research UK, Imperial College COVID-19 Research Fund, Medical Research Council, Wellcome Sanger Institute.

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