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1.
Indian journal of otolaryngology and head and neck surgery : official publication of the Association of Otolaryngologists of India ; : 1-1, 2023.
Article in English | EuropePMC | ID: covidwho-20238261
2.
Indian J Otolaryngol Head Neck Surg ; : 1, 2023 May 24.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-20238262

ABSTRACT

[This corrects the article DOI: 10.1007/s12070-022-03310-y.].

3.
Indian J Otolaryngol Head Neck Surg ; : 1, 2023 May 24.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-20238260

ABSTRACT

[This corrects the article DOI: 10.1007/s12070-022-03310-y.].

4.
Indian J Otolaryngol Head Neck Surg ; 74(Suppl 2): 3180-3185, 2022 Oct.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-2312619

ABSTRACT

The ongoing COVID-19 pandemic has given rise to unique challenges related to healthcare management. The problems have arisen due to the direct effect of COVID 19 infection and treatment or as repercussions of administrative efforts being undertaken to check the rapid spread of the epidemic. The management of some of the diseases has been hampered with the implementation of the policies like lockdown and transportation difficulties. This paper presents a series of four patients (6 eyes with vision loss) of an otherwise benign entity, Allergic Fungal Rhinosinusitis (AFRS), causing visual deterioration, managed amid the pandemic. AFRS has been known to cause vision loss by pressure over the optic nerve or its blood supply; however, a timely surgical intervention in the form of functional endoscopic sinus surgery to remove the disease and decompress the optic nerve, results in favourable outcomes in most patients. A delay in diagnosis and treatment may result in irreparable damage with the resulting inability to salvage the vision. In our series, we observed that vision recovery could be achieved in 66.7% of the affected eyes (four out of six eyes), while a poor visual outcome was observed in two (33%). The poor visual outcome was observed for the eyes with a prolonged visual impairment (4-6 months) at the time of presentation. We would appeal to the physicians to be cognizant of the adverse outcomes associated with the delayed surgical intervention of AFRS in the current pandemic scenario.

5.
J Craniofac Surg ; 2022 Aug 26.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-2245789

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: The coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic has posed another serious threat, mucormycosis infection, affecting the maxilla and orbitocerebral region. This condition has not spared world population from its merciless claws. This article addresses the challenges faced by the maxillofacial surgeons in setting the protocols from preoperative diagnosis, surgical management to postoperative care, including short-term and long-term rehabilitation. To manage this relentlessly progressing condition, a multispecialty team approach is to be activated in diagnosing, managing, and rehabilitating the patients. PURPOSE: The purpose of this clinical study is to document and analyze the clinical and demographic data, presentation of the lesion, the diagnostic methods followed for early clinical detection, and management of post COVID-19 midface mucormycosis. The article also discusses postoperative medical management and prosthetic rehabilitation. RESULTS: Most of the mucormycosis cases reporting to our center were treated and recovered patients of Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome Coronavirus 2 infection. Thirty-four (n=34) case were operated for post COVID-19 midface mucormycosis between October 2020 and December 2021. Male to Female ratio is 1:42. The average age of the patients was 57.5 years. Maximum patients were in fifth and sixth decade of life. Maxilla was the involved bone. Treatment was primarily surgical debridement to extended or radical maxillectomy. All patients were treated with Liposomal Amphotericin B and tab posaconazole for 3 to 4 weeks depending upon the age, weight, and physiological state of the patients to attain an optimal cumulative load. Three patients succumbed to illness postoperatively (n=3, 1.02%). Average duration of hospital stay was 47 days. The average review period was 5.1 months.

6.
Natl Med J India ; 35(3): 132-137, 2022.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-2156075

ABSTRACT

Background There was a dramatic rise in the incidence of rhino-orbito-cerebral mucormycosis associated with the 2021 Covid-19 wave in India. We aim to document the demographic characteristics and risk factors of a consecutive cohort of inpatients with Covid-19-associated rhino-orbito-cerebral mucormycosis (CAROM) during the surge of April-June 2021. Methods We included all patients of CAROM treated at our tertiary referral facility from 1 April to 14 June 2021. We prospectively gathered details with regard to Covid-19 illness and treatment, CAROM presentation, comorbid conditions and risk factors. Results Our prospective cohort consisted of 200 consecutive patients, of which 146 (73%) patients tested positive on the Covid-19 RT-PCR test at presentation. CAROM occurred concurrent with the Covid-19 infection in 86%, and delayed CAROM after seeming recovery from Covid-19 was seen in 14%. Covid-19 was classified as mild, moderate and severe in 54%, 33% and 13%. The surge of CAROM followed the population peak of Covid-19 infections by about 3 weeks. Advanced disease at presentation was frequent with ocular involvement in 56.6% (111/196) and central nervous system involvement in 20% (40/199). One or more comorbid conditions were identified in 191/200 (95.5%) patients. The dominant associations were with diabetes (189/200; 94.5%) and uncontrolled hyper-glycaemia (122/133; 91.7%), recent steroid use (114/ 200; 57%), which was often considered as inappropriate in dosage or duration, lymphopenia (142/176; 80.7%), and increased ferritin levels (140/160; 87.5%). No evidence supported the role of previous oxygen therapy or previous nasal swab testing as risk factors for CAROM. Conclusion The inpatient volumes of CAROM were noted to parallel the Covid-19 incidence curve by about 3 weeks. Covid-19 infection may directly predispose to CAROM by way of lymphopenia and increased ferritin levels. Uncontrolled hyperglycaemia is identified as a near-invariable association. Recent steroid use is noted as very frequent and was often received in excess of treatment advisories.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Lymphopenia , Mucormycosis , Humans , Mucormycosis/epidemiology , Inpatients , Prospective Studies , COVID-19/epidemiology , Risk Factors , Demography , Ferritins , Steroids
7.
Cureus ; 14(11): e31086, 2022 Nov.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-2155776

ABSTRACT

Introduction Treatment with dexamethasone reduces mortality in patients with coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pneumonia requiring supplemental oxygen, but the optimal dose has not been determined. Objective To determine whether weight-based dexamethasone of 0.2 mg/kg is superior to 6 mg daily in reducing 28-day mortality in patients with COVID-19 and hypoxemia. Materials and methods A multicenter, open-label, randomized clinical trial was conducted between March 2021 and December 2021 at seven hospitals within Northwell Health. A total of 142 patients with confirmed COVID-19 and hypoxemia were included. Participants were randomized in a 1:1 ratio to dexamethasone 0.2 mg/kg intravenously daily (n = 70) or 6 mg daily (n = 72) for up to 10 days. Results There was no statistically significant difference in the primary outcome of 28-day all-cause mortality with deaths in 12 of 70 patients (17.14%) in the intervention group and 15 of 72 patients (20.83%) in the control group (p = 0.58). There were no statistically significant differences among the secondary outcomes. Conclusion In patients with COVID-19 and hypoxemia, the use of weight-based dexamethasone dosing was not superior to dexamethasone 6 mg in reducing all-cause mortality at 28 days. Clinical trial registration This study was registered under ClinicalTrials.gov (identifier: NCT04834375).

8.
Microbiol Spectr ; : e0165622, 2022 Nov 15.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-2117157

ABSTRACT

Selection of reference genes during real-time quantitative PCR (qRT-PCR) is critical to determine accurate and reliable mRNA expression. Nonetheless, not a single study has investigated the expression stability of candidate reference genes to determine their suitability as internal controls in SARS-CoV-2 infection or COVID-19-associated mucormycosis (CAM). Using qRT-PCR, we determined expression stability of the nine most commonly used housekeeping genes, namely, TATA-box binding protein (TBP), cyclophilin (CypA), ß-2-microglobulin (B2M), 18S rRNA (18S), peroxisome proliferator-activated receptor gamma (PPARG) coactivator 1 alpha (PGC-1α), glucuronidase beta (GUSB), hypoxanthine phosphoribosyltransferase 1 (HPRT-1), ß-ACTIN, and glyceraldehyde-3-phosphate dehydrogenase (GAPDH) in patients with COVID-19 of various severities (asymptomatic, mild, moderate, and severe) and those with CAM. We used statistical algorithms (delta-CT [threshold cycle], NormFinder, BestKeeper, GeNorm, and RefFinder) to select the most appropriate reference gene and observed that clinical severity profoundly influences expression stability of reference genes. CypA demonstrated the most consistent expression irrespective of disease severity and emerged as the most suitable reference gene in COVID-19 and CAM. Incidentally, GAPDH, the most commonly used reference gene, showed the maximum variations in expression and emerged as the least suitable. Next, we determined expression of nuclear factor erythroid 2-related factor 2 (NRF2), interleukin-6 (IL-6), and IL-15 using CypA and GAPDH as internal controls and show that CypA-normalized expression matches well with the RNA sequencing-based expression of these genes. Further, IL-6 expression correlated well with the plasma levels of IL-6 and C-reactive protein, a marker of inflammation. In conclusion, GAPDH emerged as the least suitable and CypA as the most suitable reference gene in COVID-19 and CAM. The results highlight the expression variability of housekeeping genes due to disease severity and provide a strong rationale for identification of appropriate reference genes in other chronic conditions as well. IMPORTANCE Gene expression studies are critical to develop new diagnostics, therapeutics, and prognostic modalities. However, accurate determination of expression requires data normalization with a reference gene, whose expression does not vary across different disease stages. Misidentification of a reference gene can produce inaccurate results. Unfortunately, despite the global impact of COVID-19 and an urgent unmet need for better treatment, not a single study has investigated the expression stability of housekeeping genes across the disease spectrum to determine their suitability as internal controls. Our study identifies CypA and then TBP as the two most suitable reference genes for COVID-19 and CAM. Further, GAPDH, the most commonly used reference gene in COVID-19 studies, turned out to be the least suitable. This work fills an important gap in the field and promises to facilitate determination of an accurate expression of genes to catalyze development of novel molecular diagnostics and therapeutics for improved patient care.

9.
Am J Trop Med Hyg ; 107(4): 850-855, 2022 10 12.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1988245

ABSTRACT

The current analysis is a part of an ongoing observational study that began in February 2021 in the Sir Sunder Lal Hospital (Varanasi, Uttar Pradesh) in northern India and is expected to continue until June 2022. This analysis aimed to delineate the clinical presentation and risk factors of occurrence and severity of COVID-19 in vaccinated individuals. The study enrolled health-care workers and the elderly receiving the COVID-19 vaccine at one of three centers linked to the study hospital. The participants received the ChAdOx1 nCoV-19 (Oxford-AstraZeneca) vaccine based on the chimpanzee adenovirus platform (manufactured in India by the Serum Institute of India). The adenovirus codes for the spike (S) protein of SARS-CoV-2. Participants were contacted by phone at pre-decided intervals and questioned about the occurrence of COVID-19, clinical presentation, severity, and persistence of symptoms. A logistic regression analysis was performed to predict the risk factors of occurrence and severity of COVID-19. Of the 1,500 participants included in the analysis, 418 developed COVID-19 (27.9%). Fever was the most common symptom (72%), followed by cough (34%) and rhinitis (26%). Cardiovascular involvement was seen in more than 2% of individuals, and 11% had post-COVID-19 complaints. Regression analysis showed 1.6 times greater odds of contracting the disease in females and in those younger than 40 years, 1.4 times greater odds in individuals who were overweight, and 2.9 times greater odds in those receiving only one dose, compared with respective comparators. Individuals receiving two doses at a gap of ≤ 30 days had 6.7 times greater odds of infection than those receiving at a > 60-day interval. There was no association between COVID-19 occurrence in the vaccinees and pre-vaccination history of SARS-CoV-2 infection. Males were at a 3.6 times greater risk, and persons with preexisting lung disease-mainly asthma-had a 5.9 times greater risk of experiencing moderate to severe COVID-19 than comparators. While an extended interval between the two vaccine doses seems to be a better strategy, gender differences and an association of asthma phenotypes with COVID-19 need to be explored.


Subject(s)
Asthma , COVID-19 , COVID-19/epidemiology , COVID-19 Vaccines , ChAdOx1 nCoV-19 , Female , Humans , Male , SARS-CoV-2 , Vaccination
10.
Vaccines (Basel) ; 10(7)2022 Jul 20.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1939067

ABSTRACT

Background There is paucity of real-world data on COVID-19 vaccine effectiveness from cohort designs. Variable vaccine performance has been observed in test-negative case-control designs. There is also scarce real-world data of health issues in individuals receiving vaccines after prior COVID-19, and of adverse events of significant concern (AESCs) in the vaccinated. Methods: A cohort study was conducted from July 2021 to December 2021 in a tertiary hospital of North India. The primary outcome was vaccine effectiveness against COVID-19 during the second wave in India. Secondary outcomes were AESCs, and persistent health issues in those receiving COVID-19 vaccines. Regression analyses were performed to determine risk factors of COVID-19 outcomes and persistent health issues. Results: Of the 2760 health care workers included, 2544 had received COVID-19 vaccines, with COVISHIELD (rChAdOx1-nCoV-19 vaccine) received by 2476 (97.3%) and COVAXIN (inactivated SARS-CoV-2 vaccine) by 64 (2.5%). A total of 2691 HCWs were included in the vaccine effectiveness analysis, and 973 COVID-19 events were reported during the period of analysis. Maximum effectiveness of two doses of vaccine in preventing COVID-19 occurrence was 17% across three different strategies of analysis adopted for robustness of data. One-dose recipients were at 1.27-times increased risk of COVID-19. Prior SARS-CoV-2 infection was a strong independent protective factor against COVID-19 (aOR 0.66). Full vaccination reduced moderate-severe COVID-19 by 57%. Those with lung disease were at 2.54-times increased risk of moderate-severe COVID-19, independent of vaccination status. AESCs were observed in 33/2544 (1.3%) vaccinees, including one case each of myocarditis and severe hypersensitivity. Individuals with hypothyroidism were at 5-times higher risk and those receiving a vaccine after recovery from COVID-19 were at 3-times higher risk of persistent health issues. Conclusions: COVID-19 vaccination reduced COVID-19 severity but offered marginal protection against occurrence. The possible relationship of asthma and hypothyroidism with COVID-19 outcomes necessitates focused research. With independent protection of SARS-CoV-2 infection, and high-risk of persistent health issues in individuals receiving vaccine after recovery from SARS-CoV-2 infection, the recommendation of vaccinating those with prior SARS-CoV-2 infection needs reconsideration.

11.
Microorganisms ; 10(6)2022 Jun 13.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1911472

ABSTRACT

(1) Background: During the second wave of COVID-19, India faced a rapid and sudden surge of not only COVID19-delta variant cases but also mucormycosis, making the infection even more fatal. We conducted a study to determine factors associated with the occurrence of mucormycosis in patients with COVID-19. (2) Methods: This case-control study comprised 121 patients; 61 cases (mucormycosis with COVID-19) and 60 controls. Patients were included from April 10, 2021 onwards. Follow-up was conducted after about 90 days and health status was recorded based on the modified Rankin Scale (mRS). (3) Results: Mucormycosis with COVID-19 cases had a median (IQR) age of 49 (43-59) years with 65.6% males and were older (95% CI 1.015-1.075; p = 0.002) than in the control group with median (IQR) 38 (29-55.5) years and 66.6% males. Baseline raised serum creatinine (OR = 4.963; 95% CI 1.456-16.911; p = 0.010) and D-dimer (OR = 1.000; 95% CI 1.000-1.001; p = 0.028) were independently associated with the occurrence of mucormycosis in COVID-19 patients. Additionally, diabetes mellitus (OR = 26.919; 95% CI 1.666-434.892; p = 0.020) was associated with poor outcomes and increased mortality in patients with mucormycosis with COVID-19 as per the multivariable analysis. A total of 30/61 mucormycosis patients had intracranial involvement. (4) Conclusions: The study observed elevated levels of baseline raised creatinine and D-dimer in mucormycosis pa-tients with COVID-19 as compared to the control group. However, future studies may be conducted to establish this cause-effect relationship.

14.
Med J Armed Forces India ; 78(3): 360-364, 2022 Jul.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1763899

ABSTRACT

COVID-19 (Coronavirus Disease 2019), illness with associated comorbidities and corticosteroid therapy makes the host immunocompromised and prone to opportunistic microbial infections. As the world continues to struggle with the pandemic of COVID-19, an increase in cases of opportunistic fungal infections have been reported from all over the world during the second wave of COVID-19 like aspergillosis, mucormycosis, and candidiasis. Scedosporium apiospermum is an emerging pathogen that is usually associated with mycetoma, pulmonary infection, and central nervous infections. It has been rarely associated with fungal rhinosinusitis (FRS). In this study, a rare case of FRS caused by S.apiospermum in an immunocompromised post-Covid-19 diabetic woman is reported.

15.
Chest ; 160(2): 652-670, 2021 08.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1491830

ABSTRACT

The COVID-19 pandemic has had devastating medical and economic consequences globally. The severity of COVID-19 is related, in a large measure, to the extent of pulmonary involvement. The role of chest CT imaging in the management of patients with COVID-19 has evolved since the onset of the pandemic. Specifically, the description of CT scan findings, use of chest CT imaging in various acute and subacute settings, and its usefulness in predicting chronic disease have been defined better. We performed a review of published data on CT scans in patients with COVID-19. A summary of the range of imaging findings, from typical to less common abnormalities, is provided. Familiarity with these findings may facilitate the diagnosis and management of this disease. A comparison of sensitivity and specificity of chest CT imaging with reverse-transcriptase polymerase chain reaction testing highlights the potential role of CT imaging in difficult-to-diagnose cases of COVID-19. The usefulness of CT imaging to assess prognosis, to guide management, and to identify acute pulmonary complications associated with SARS-CoV-2 infection is highlighted. Beyond the acute stage, it is important for clinicians to recognize pulmonary parenchymal abnormalities, progressive fibrotic lung disease, and vascular changes that may be responsible for persistent respiratory symptoms. A large collection of multi-institutional images were included to elucidate the CT scan findings described.


Subject(s)
COVID-19/diagnostic imaging , Thorax/diagnostic imaging , Tomography, X-Ray Computed , COVID-19/complications , COVID-19/therapy , Humans , Prognosis , Sensitivity and Specificity
16.
Respir Care ; 66(12): 1805-1814, 2021 12.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1436179

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: SARS-CoV-2 (severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2) continues to be a global challenge due to the lack of definitive treatment strategies. We sought to determine the efficacy of early administration of anti-interleukin 6 therapy in reducing hospital mortality and progression to mechanical ventilation. METHODS: This was a retrospective chart review of 11,512 patients infected with SARS-CoV-2 who were admitted to a New York health system from March to May 2020. Tocilizumab was administered to subjects at the nasal cannula level of oxygen support to maintain an oxygen saturation of >88%. The Charlson comorbidity index was used as an objective assessment of the burden of comorbidities to predict 10-year mortality. The primary outcome of interest was hospital mortality. Secondary outcomes were progression to mechanical ventilation; the prevalence of venous thromboembolism and renal failure; and the change in C-reactive protein, D-dimer, and ferritin levels after tocilizumab administration. Propensity score matching by using a 1:2 protocol was used to match the tocilizumab and non-tocilizumab groups to minimize selection bias. The groups were matched on baseline demographic characteristics, including age, sex, and body mass index; Charlson comorbidity index score; laboratory markers, including ferritin, D-dimer, lactate dehydrogenase, and C-reactive protein values; and the maximum oxygen requirement at the time of tocilizumab administration. Mortality outcomes were evaluated based on the level of oxygen requirement and the day of hospitalization at the time of tocilizumab administration. RESULTS: The overall hospital mortality was significantly reduced in the tocilizumab group when tocilizumab was administered at the nasal cannula level (10.4% vs 22.0%; P = .002). In subjects who received tocilizumab at the nasal cannula level, the progression to mechanical ventilation was reduced versus subjects who were initially on higher levels of oxygen support (6.3% vs 18.7%; P < .001). There was no improvement in mortality when tocilizumab was given at the time of requiring non-rebreather, high-flow nasal cannula, noninvasive ventilator, or invasive ventilator. CONCLUSIONS: Early use of anti-interleukin 6 therapy may be associated with improved hospital mortality and reduction in progression to more severe coronavirus disease 2019.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 Drug Treatment , SARS-CoV-2 , Antibodies, Monoclonal, Humanized , Humans , Respiration, Artificial , Retrospective Studies , Treatment Outcome
17.
JAMA Otolaryngol Head Neck Surg ; 147(7): 680-681, 2021 07 01.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1340221
18.
EClinicalMedicine ; 38: 101038, 2021 Aug.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1322078

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: We provide the first post-approval safety analysis of COVISHIELD in health care workers (HCWs) in northern India. METHODS: This continuing prospective observational study (February 2021 to May 2022) enrolled participants ≥18 years receiving COVISHIELD vaccination. Primary outcome was safety and reactogenicity. Categories (FDA toxicity grading) and outcomes of adverse events following immunization (AEFIs) were recorded, causality assessment performed, and risk factors analysed. FINDINGS: We present the results of an interim analysis of 804 participants. AEFIs following first dose were reported in 321 (40%; systemic involvement in 248). Among 730 participants who completed a 7-day follow-up post second dose, AEFIs occurred in 115 (15.7%; systemic in 99). Majority of AEFIs were mild-moderate and resolved spontaneously. Serious AEFIs, leading to hospitalization was noticed in 1 (0.1%) participant with suspicion of immunization stress related response (ISRR). AEFIs of grade 3 severity (FDA) were recorded in 4 participants (0.5%). No deaths were recorded. Regression analysis showed increased risk of AEFIs in younger individuals, a two times higher odds in females, those with hypertension or with history of allergy; and three times higher odds in individuals with hypothyroidism. INTERPRETATION: COVISHIELD carries an overall favourable safety profile with AEFI rates much less than reported for other adenoviral vaccines. Females, those with hypertension, individuals with history of allergy and hypothyroidism may need watchful vaccine administration. This being an interim analysis and based on healthcare workers who may not reflect the general population demographics, larger inclusive studies are warranted for confirming the findings. FUNDING: No funding support.

19.
BMJ Case Rep ; 14(5)2021 May 26.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1247335

ABSTRACT

Sinogenic intracranial and orbital complications are infrequent complications of chronic rhinosinusitis with nasal polyposis (CRSwNP), leading to potentially fatal intracranial and orbital sequelae. The mortality and morbidity associated with these complications remain high despite the widespread use of antibiotics. We report a patient with CRSwNP presenting with acute onset extradural empyema and sixth nerve palsy in whom the diagnosis was delayed, necessitating early surgical intervention. Our case shows that delay in management and underdiagnosis of sinusitis with nasal polyposis can lead to devastating complications. A high index of suspicion, early recognition of the clinical findings and radiological evaluation with contrast-enhanced CT of paranasal sinuses, orbit and brain are essential to rule out fatal complications associated with CRSwNP. Timely endoscopic intervention and the use of antibiotics can lead to good outcomes, even in complicated cases.


Subject(s)
Abducens Nerve Diseases , Epidural Abscess , Nasal Polyps , Rhinitis , Sinusitis , Chronic Disease , Epidural Abscess/diagnosis , Epidural Abscess/diagnostic imaging , Humans , Nasal Polyps/diagnosis , Nasal Polyps/diagnostic imaging , Rhinitis/complications , Rhinitis/diagnosis , Sinusitis/complications , Sinusitis/diagnostic imaging
20.
Aging Dis ; 11(6): 1339-1344, 2020 Dec.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-955203

ABSTRACT

India has witnessed a high number of COVID-19 cases, but mortality has been quite low, and most cases have been asymptomatic or mild. In early April, we had hypothesized a low COVID-19 mortality in India, based on the concept of cross-immunity. The presence of cross-immunity is presumed to lead to a milder course of disease and allow the time necessary for the development of adaptive immunity by the body to eliminate the virus. Evidence supporting our hypothesis has started showing up. Multiple studies have shown the generation of different T cell subsets and B cells responding to epitopes of viral proteins, especially of the spike protein, as a part of adaptive immunity against SARS-CoV-2. Cross-reactive T-cells have been demonstrated in patients who have been previously exposed to endemic coronaviruses. The interplay of cross-immunity and herd immunity is apparent in the COVID-19 scenario in India from the presence of a large number of asymptomatic or mild cases, a low infection-fatality ratio and a generally flat curve of percentage positivity of cases with respect to total testing, both in periods of strict lock-down and step-wise unlocking. It seems that cross-immunity resulted in faster generation of herd immunity. Although the initial restrictive measures such as lockdown prevented the rapid spread of the outbreak, further extension of such measures and overly expensive ones such as enhanced testing in India will result in a huge burden on the health economics as well as the society. Hence, we propose a restructuring of the health services and approach to COVID-19. The restructured health services should move away from indiscriminate testing, isolation and quarantine, and instead, the emphasis should be on improving facilities for testing and management of only critical COVID cases and the replacement of complete lockdowns by the selective isolation and quarantine of susceptible persons such as the aged and those with co-morbidities. In the process of describing India-specific plans, we emphasize why the development of country-specific plans for tackling epidemics is important, instead of adopting a "one policy fits all" approach.

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