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1.
Cogent Medicine ; 8, 2021.
Article in English | EMBASE | ID: covidwho-1617060

ABSTRACT

Background: Respiratory syncytial virus (RSV) is the main cause of acute bronchiolitis. The peak of the infection is historically described in the autumn/winter season. The 2020 COVID-19 pandemic seems to have modified the seasonality of some respiratory viruses. The first case of SARS-CoV-2 infection diagnosed in Portugal was in March 2020. School closure and the use of masks are some of the pointed reasons for a decreased number of RSV infections observed in the autumn/winter season post the beginning of the pandemic. Interestingly, there are now a few studies from around the globe showing the resurgence of RSV infections in the spring/summer season that followed. Aim: To characterize the population of RSV infected infants admitted to a tertiary hospital before and after the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic. Methods: A retrospective, descriptive, study was performed. All the RSV infected infants who were admitted to a Portuguese tertiary hospital from January 2017 to August 2021 were evaluated. The diagnosis of RSV infection was made through polymerase chain reaction of nasal secretions. Data such as age, gender, reason for admission, comorbidities, viral coinfection, bacterial superinfection, oxygen therapy, admission at Intensive Care Unit, ventilatory support and length of hospital stay were analyzed. Results: The data of a total of 354 patients was analyzed. The median age was 4 months (min 9 days, max 4 years), 50% were male. Before the COVID-19 pandemics (between 2017 and 2019), the peak of RSV infections used to occur in the months of December and January (medium of 25 and 28 cases per month, respectively). However, in December 2020 and January 2021 there was no detection of RSV. Nonetheless, a peak of RSV infection was verified in July and August 2021 (18 and 15 cases per month, respectively). The number of patients admitted for non-respiratory motifs, but in whom RSV was detected during the course of hospital stay, increased in 2021 (39%), comparing to 2017 (0%), 2018 (3%), 2019 (8%) or 2020 (3%), p<0,05. The number of viral coinfections was higher in 2021 (50%) comparing to 2017 (29%), 2019 (19%) or 2020 (18%), p<0,05. The patients admitted in 2021 were older (12 months average) than patients admitted in 2017 (5 months average) or 2018 (6 months average), p<0,05. Conclusions: RSV seasonality was modified by the COVID-19 pandemic, with an increase of the hospital admissions being registered in the summer of 2021. Our tertiary hospital's numbers reproduce what is being described in other places of the world. Subsequent studies are needed to verify the behavior of RSV infections in the next seasons, to understand if RSV infections are becoming more or less severe and to analyze the impact of SARS-CoV-2 virus on the virulence of RSV.

2.
European Journal of Public Health ; 31:438-438, 2021.
Article in English | Web of Science | ID: covidwho-1609939
3.
European Journal of Public Health ; 31, 2021.
Article in English | ProQuest Central | ID: covidwho-1515025

ABSTRACT

An effective control of the COVID-19 pandemic requires a thorough epidemiological interview of reported cases. The interviewer's skills and preparation directly affect the outcome of the investigation. This study applied a self-assessment survey of the COVID-19 patient interviewing skills on a local public health department workforce. The findings may be used to improve the quality of the interview process and the overall response to the pandemic at a community level. A 50-item questionnaire using a four-point Likert scale was adapted from the COVID-19 Patient Interview Skills Assessment Form created by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and applied to 50 healthcare workers involved in epidemiological investigation of COVID-19 cases in Almada and Seixal, two municipalities of the Lisbon Metropolitan Area, from January to April of 2021. The most frequently executed steps concern checking patient data in advance (92%), questioning symptoms (97.2%), contact tracing (100%) and determining isolation periods for high risk contacts (100%). Least performed tasks include confirming the testing technique used (50%), asking about hospitalization (44.4%), assessing conditions for home isolation (44%), explaining how to self-monitor symptoms (61%) and checking if the patient understood the instructions (47%). In addition, 8% admitted to not always keeping patient information confidential. While caution is necessary as the data was limited to a single public health local department, our findings show that a majority of healthcare workers fulfill the essential steps of an epidemiological investigation. Areas in need of improvement include inquiring about infection severity, assessing social conditions for quarantine and confirming instructions for self-monitoring and follow-up. In line with CDC recommendations, we believe regular evaluation and feedback of case investigators' skills are crucial to quality assurance of a public health department. Key messages A detailed interview provides critical data for monitoring infected individuals and quickly trace, test and isolate those who might have been exposed, thus breaking chains of transmission. The results of this assessment can be used to introduce training measures such as shadowing and role-playing to ensure continued improvement in epidemiological investigations.

4.
Ars Veterinaria ; 37(3):128-133, 2021.
Article in Portuguese | CAB Abstracts | ID: covidwho-1478721

ABSTRACT

The pandemic caused by SARS-CoV-2 brought to society a health crisis that drastically affected the global economy and brought more restrictive measures to food supply establishments, which are classified as essential activities. However, they had to adapt to the new hygienic-sanitary operating protocol, established through regulations published by the Federal and State Governments in order to reduce the chances of viral spread. The objective of the study was to evaluate the hygienic and sanitary conditions of fish sold in fish markets in the city of Nova Iguacu/RJ, through questionnaires on the application of good marketing and handling practices, during the lockdown related to the coronavirus pandemic. An observational "checklist" type questionnaire was used to assess the hygienic and sanitary conditions of fish in 13 fish markets located in 7 districts of Nova Iguacu/RJ. It was observed that in 92% of the establishments visited had materials and equipment in disuse in the outdoor area, had failures in conservation, sanitation and adequate maintenance, without vector and pest control, without a suitable container for waste collection, lack of personal cleanliness and did not present the amount of flaky ice adequate to coat the fish. Thus, it was possible to check that the establishments did not follow the basic rules of hygiene and safety of the fish to reduce the dissemination of the coronavirus, confirming that the commercialization of fish in the fish markets visited in the municipality of Nova Iguacu/RJ does not meet the recommended standards of hygiene and packaging of the products sold. Therefore, the relevance of this study is to provide fishmongers in the municipality of Nova Iguacu, practical and viable guidelines for adapting to the legislation, with the main objective of updating and favoring the reinforcement of Good Handling Practices through an illustrative folder distributed later on visits to establishments.

5.
European Observatory on Health Systems and Policies. European Observatory Policy Briefs ; 2021.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1196319

ABSTRACT

COVID-19 can cause persistent ill-health. Around a quarter of people who have had the virus experience symptoms that continue for at least a month but one in 10 are still unwell after 12 weeks. This has been described by patient groups as "Long COVID". Our understanding of how to diagnose and manage Long COVID is still evolving but the condition can be very debilitating. It is associated with a range of overlapping symptoms including generalized chest and muscle pain, fatigue, shortness of breath, and cognitive dysfunction, and the mechanisms involved affect multiple system and include persisting inflammation, thrombosis, and autoimmunity. It can affect anyone, but women and health care workers seem to be at greater risk. Long COVID has a serious impact on people's ability to go back to work or have a social life. It affects their mental health and may have significant economic consequences for them, their families and for society. Policy responses need to take account of the complexity of Long COVID and how what is known about it is evolving rapidly. Areas to address include: The need for multidisciplinary, multispecialty approaches to assessment and management;Development, in association with patients and their families, of new care pathways and contextually appropriate guidelines for health professionals, especially in primary care to enable case management to be tailored to the manifestations of disease and involvement of different organ systems;The creation of appropriate services, including rehabilitation and online support tools;Action to tackle the wider consequences of Long COVID, including attention to employment rights, sick pay policies, and access to benefit and disability benefit packages;Involving patients both to foster self-care and self-help and in shaping awareness of Long COVID and the service (and research) needs it generates;and Implementing well-functioning patient registers and other surveillance systems;creating cohorts of patients;and following up those affected as a means to support the research which is so critical to understanding and treating Long COVID.

6.
Angiologia e Cirurgia Vascular ; 16(3):125-129, 2020.
Article in English | EMBASE | ID: covidwho-1106970

ABSTRACT

Introduction: Ever since the first positive case was identified on March 2nd in Lousada, a region close to the border of our catchment area, we reacted immediately by systematically repurposing our surgical wards. Objective: Describe the changed made by our Vascular Surgery Department from March 13 to May 14. Methods: We collected clinical, operative, and consultation volume data from March 13 to May 14 and we compared it with the historical averages. We also reviewed the documents related to the planification activity. Results: At the peak of the outbreak, weadopted a split-team policy and encouraged completeteam segregation to reduce the risk of intradepartmental cross-contamination. Non-ambulatory surgical volume decreased by 54.8% (from 31 cases to 14 cases), and the ambulatory surgical activity was cancelled. Our in-person consultation volume decreased 86.4%;73 consultations were completed by phone, in which the patient was never evaluated in-person. In the emergency room the main difference between the pre-pandemic to the pandemic was in the number of patients observed without vascular pathology (82 versus 28). Conclusions: The adaptation to C0VID-19 pandemic reduced significantly the surgical production of our Vascular Surgery Department.

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