Your browser doesn't support javascript.
Show: 20 | 50 | 100
Results 1 - 18 de 18
Filter
1.
Sci Rep ; 12(1): 370, 2022 01 10.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1617000

ABSTRACT

COVID-19 outbreaks have had high mortality in low- and middle-income countries such as Ecuador. Human mobility is an important factor influencing the spread of diseases possibly leading to a high burden of disease at the country level. Drastic control measures, such as complete lockdown, are effective epidemic controls, yet in practice one hopes that a partial shutdown would suffice. It is an open problem to determine how much mobility can be allowed while controlling an outbreak. In this paper, we use statistical models to relate human mobility to the excess death in Ecuador while controlling for demographic factors. The mobility index provided by GRANDATA, based on mobile phone users, represents the change of number of out-of-home events with respect to a benchmark date (March 2nd, 2020). The study confirms the global trend that more men are dying than expected compared to women, and that people under 30 show less deaths than expected, particularly individuals younger than 20 with a death rate reduction between 22 and 27%. The weekly median mobility time series shows a sharp decrease in human mobility immediately after a national lockdown was declared on March 17, 2020 and a progressive increase towards the pre-lockdown level within two months. Relating median mobility to excess deaths shows a lag in its effect: first, a decrease in mobility in the previous two to three weeks decreases excess death and, more novel, we found an increase of mobility variability four weeks prior increases the number of excess deaths.

2.
Preprint in English | EuropePMC | ID: ppcovidwho-295641

ABSTRACT

Background: There is continuing uncertainty about the effectiveness of testing, tracing, isolation, and quarantine (TTIQ) policies during the pandemic.<br><br>Methods: We developed proxy indicators of the implementation of TTIQ policies at subnational and national (Republic of Korea), and international level (111 countries) from the beginning of 2020 to September 2021. These were: proportion of quarantined population (“Q-proportion”) among newly diagnosed COVID-19 cases/week, ratio of quarantined people to cases, and ratio of negative tests to new cases, with higher values suggesting more complete TTIQ. We used linear regression to analyze the association between TTIQ indicators and 1-week lagged cases and cumulative deaths, separating periods before and after vaccines becoming available.<br><br>Findings: We found consistently inverse associations between TTIQ indicators and COVID-19 outcomes, with gradual attenuation as vaccination coverage rose. Q-proportion overall (β= -0·091;p -value < 0·001) and log-transformed quarantined population per case (β ranges from -0·626;p < 0.001 to -0·288;p = 0·023) in each of 9 provinces were negatively associated with log-transformed 1-week lagged incidence in Korea overall. The strength of association decreased with greater vaccination coverage. The ratio of negative test results/new case was also inversely associated with incidence (β= -1·19;p -value < 0·001) in Korea. Globally, increasing negative test ratio was significantly associated with lower cumulative cases and deaths per capita, more so earlier in the pandemic. Jurisdictions with lower vaccination coverage showed the strongest association.<br><br>Interpretation: A real-world evaluation demonstrates an association between performance of testing, contact tracing, isolation, and quarantine and better disease outcomes.<br><br>Funding Information: Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Republic of Korea. <br><br>Declaration of Interests: None to declare.

4.
BMJ Glob Health ; 6(9)2021 Sep.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1443585

ABSTRACT

Latin America has struggled to control the transmission of COVID-19. Comparison of excess death (ED) rates during the pandemic reveals that Ecuador is among the highest impacted countries. In this analysis, we update our previous findings with the most complete all-cause mortality records available for 2020, disaggregated by sex, age, ethnicity and geography. Our study shows that in 2020, Ecuador had a 64% ED rate (95% CI 63% to 65%) or 64% more deaths than expected. Men had a higher ED rate, 75% (95% CI 73% to 76%), than women's 51% (95% CI 49% to 52%), and this pattern of higher EDs for men than women held for most age groups. The only exception was the 20-29 age group, where women had 19% more deaths, compared to 10% more deaths for men, but that difference is not statistically significant. The analysis provides striking evidence of the lack of COVID-19 diagnostic testing in Ecuador: the confirmed COVID-19 deaths in 2020 accounted for only 21% of total EDs. Our significant finding is that indigenous populations, who typically account for about 5% of the deaths, show almost four times the ED rate of the majority mestizo group. Indigenous women in each age group have higher ED rates than the general population and, in ages between 20 and 49 years, they have higher ED rates than indigenous men. Indigenous women in the age group 20-29 years had an ED rate of 141%, which is commensurate to the ED rate of indigenous women older than 40 years.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Adult , COVID-19 Testing , Ecuador/epidemiology , Female , Humans , Male , Middle Aged , Pandemics , SARS-CoV-2 , Young Adult
5.
Int J Epidemiol ; 2021 Aug 13.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1356686

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: In early 2020, Ecuador reported one of the highest surges of per capita deaths across the globe. METHODS: We collected a comprehensive dataset containing individual death records between 2015 and 2020, from the Ecuadorian National Institute of Statistics and Census and the Ecuadorian Ministry of Government. We computed the number of excess deaths across time, geographical locations and demographic groups using Poisson regression methods. RESULTS: Between 1 January and 23 September 2020, the number of excess deaths in Ecuador was 36 402 [95% confidence interval (CI): 35 762-36 827) or 208 per 100 000 people, which is 171% of the expected deaths in that period in a typical year. Only 20% of the excess deaths are attributable to confirmed COVID-19 deaths. Strikingly, in provinces that were most affected by COVID-19 such as Guayas and Santa Elena, the all-cause deaths are more than double the expected number of deaths that would have occurred in a normal year. The extent of excess deaths in men is higher than in women, and the number of excess deaths increases with age. Indigenous populations had the highest level of excess deaths among all ethnic groups. CONCLUSIONS: Overall, the exceptionally high level of excess deaths in Ecuador highlights the enormous burden and heterogeneous impact of COVID-19 on mortality, especially in older age groups and Indigenous populations in Ecuador, which was not fully revealed by COVID-19 death counts. Together with the limited testing in Ecuador, our results suggest that the majority of the excess deaths were likely to be undocumented COVID-19 deaths.

6.
7.
Neurol Neuroimmunol Neuroinflamm ; 8(5)2021 07.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1282284

ABSTRACT

OBJECTIVE: To understand COVID-19 characteristics in people with multiple sclerosis (MS) and identify high-risk individuals due to their immunocompromised state resulting from the use of disease-modifying treatments. METHODS: Retrospective and multicenter registry in patients with MS with suspected or confirmed COVID-19 diagnosis and available disease course (mild = ambulatory; severe = hospitalization; and critical = intensive care unit/death). Cases were analyzed for associations between MS characteristics and COVID-19 course and for identifying risk factors for a fatal outcome. RESULTS: Of the 326 patients analyzed, 120 were cases confirmed by real-time PCR, 34 by a serologic test, and 205 were suspected. Sixty-nine patients (21.3%) developed severe infection, 10 (3%) critical, and 7 (2.1%) died. Ambulatory patients were higher in relapsing MS forms, treated with injectables and oral first-line agents, whereas more severe cases were observed in patients on pulsed immunosuppressors and critical cases among patients with no therapy. Severe and critical infections were more likely to affect older males with comorbidities, with progressive MS forms, a longer disease course, and higher disability. Fifteen of 33 patients treated with rituximab were hospitalized. Four deceased patients have progressive MS, 5 were not receiving MS therapy, and 2 were treated (natalizumab and rituximab). Multivariate analysis showed age (OR 1.09, 95% CI, 1.04-1.17) as the only independent risk factor for a fatal outcome. CONCLUSIONS: This study has not demonstrated the presumed critical role of MS therapy in the course of COVID-19 but evidenced that people with MS with advanced age and disease, in progressive course, and those who are more disabled have a higher probability of severe and even fatal disease.


Subject(s)
COVID-19/physiopathology , Immunocompromised Host , Immunosuppressive Agents/administration & dosage , Multiple Sclerosis, Chronic Progressive/drug therapy , Multiple Sclerosis, Relapsing-Remitting/drug therapy , Registries , Severity of Illness Index , Adult , Age Factors , COVID-19/epidemiology , Comorbidity , Female , Humans , Immunosuppressive Agents/adverse effects , Male , Middle Aged , Multiple Sclerosis, Chronic Progressive/epidemiology , Multiple Sclerosis, Relapsing-Remitting/epidemiology , Neurology , Retrospective Studies , Risk Factors , Sex Factors , Societies, Medical , Spain
8.
Eur J Neurol ; 28(11): 3712-3721, 2021 11.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1276630

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND AND PURPOSE: Limited information is available on incidence and outcomes of COVID-19 in patients with multiple sclerosis (MS). This study investigated the risks of SARS-CoV-2 infection and COVID-19-related outcomes in patients with MS, and compared these with the general population. METHODS: A regional registry was created to collect data on incidence, hospitalization rates, intensive care unit admission, and death in patients with MS and COVID-19. National government outcomes and seroprevalence data were used for comparison. The study was conducted at 14 specialist MS treatment centers in Madrid, Spain, between February and May 2020. RESULTS: Two-hundred nineteen patients were included in the registry, 51 of whom were hospitalized with COVID-19. The mean age ± standard deviation was 45.3 ± 12.4 years, and the mean duration of MS was 11.9 ± 8.9 years. The infection incidence rate was lower in patients with MS than the general population (adjusted incidence rate ratio = 0.78, 95% confidence interval [CI] = 0.70-0.80), but hospitalization rates were higher (relative risk = 5.03, 95% CI = 3.76-6.62). Disease severity was generally low, with only one admission to an intensive care unit and five deaths. Males with MS had higher incidence rates and risk of hospitalization than females. No association was found between the use of any disease-modifying treatment and hospitalization risk. CONCLUSIONS: Patients with MS do not appear to have greater risks of SARS-CoV-2 infection or severe COVID-19 outcomes compared with the general population. The decision to start or continue disease-modifying treatment should be based on a careful risk-benefit assessment.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Multiple Sclerosis , Female , Hospitalization , Humans , Male , Multiple Sclerosis/epidemiology , SARS-CoV-2 , Seroepidemiologic Studies
10.
Am J Trop Med Hyg ; 2021 May 20.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1236889

ABSTRACT

Shortages of essential supplies used to prevent, diagnose, and treat COVID-19 have been a global concern, and price speculation and hikes may have negatively influenced access. This study identifies variability in prices of products acquired through government-driven contracts in Ecuador during the early pandemic response, when the highest mortality rates were registered in a single day. Data were obtained from the National Public Procurement Service (SERCOP) database between March 1 and July 31, 2020. A statistical descriptive analysis was conducted to extract relevant measures for commonly purchased products, medical devices, pharmaceutical drugs, and other goods. Among the most frequently purchased products, the greatest amounts were spent on face masks (US$4.5 million), acetaminophen (US$2.2 million), and reverse transcriptase quantitative polymerase chain reaction assay kits (US$1.8 million). Prices varied greatly, depending on each individual contract and on the number of units purchased; some were exceptionally higher than their market value. Compared with 2019, the mean price of medical examination gloves increased up to 1,307%, acetaminophen 500 mg pills, up to 796%, and oxygen flasks, 30.8%. In a context of budgetary constraints that actually required an effective use of available funds, speculative price hikes may have limited patient access to health care and the protection of the general population and health care workers. COVID-19 vaccine allocations to privileged individuals have also been widely reported. Price caps and other forms of regulation, as well as greater scrutiny and transparency of government-driven purchases, and investment in local production, are warranted in Ecuador for improved infectious disease prevention.

11.
BMC Public Health ; 21(1): 637, 2021 Apr 01.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1166902

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: Testing is crucial for COVID-19 response and management, however, WHO's preparedness index omits estimations of actual testing capabilities, which influence the ability to contain, mitigate and clinically manage infectious diseases. With one of the highest excess death rates globally, Ecuador had a comparatively low number of confirmed COVID-19 cases, which may have been influenced by limited availability of data for decision-making due to low laboratory capacity. METHODS: We examine de-identified data on 55,063 individuals with suspected COVID-19 between February 27 and April 30, 2020 included in the RT-PCR testing database collected by the Ministry of Health. Processing times and rates per province, and the number of pending tests, were tallied cumulatively. We assessed the relationship between sample shipping, laboratory capacity and case completion using a negative binomial generalized linear model. RESULTS: The national average time for case completion was 3 days; 12.1% of samples took ≥10 days to complete; the national average daily backlog was 29.1 tests per 100,000 people. Only 8 out of 24 provinces had authorized COVID-19 processing laboratories but not all processed samples. There was an association between samples coming from outside the processing laboratory province, the number of other samples present at the laboratory during processing, and the amount of time needed to process a sample. Samples from another province took 1.29 times as long to process, on average. The percentage of pending results on April 30 was 67.1%. CONCLUSION: A centralized RT-PCR testing system contributes to critical delays in processing, which may mask a case burden higher than reported, impeding timely awareness, and adequate clinical care and vaccination strategies and subsequent monitoring. Although Ecuador adapted or authorized existing facilities to address limitations in laboratory capacity for COVID-19, this study highlights the need to estimate and augment laboratory capabilities for improved decision making and policies on diagnostic guidelines and availability. Support is needed to procure the necessary human and physical resources at all phases of diagnostic testing, including transportation of samples and supplies, and information management. Strengthening emergency preparedness enables a clear understanding of COVID-19 disparities within and across the country.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 Nucleic Acid Testing , COVID-19/diagnosis , RNA, Viral/isolation & purification , SARS-CoV-2/isolation & purification , COVID-19/genetics , Ecuador/epidemiology , Health Policy , Humans , RNA, Viral/genetics , SARS-CoV-2/genetics
12.
Colorectal Dis ; 23(6): 1562-1568, 2021 Jun.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1096721

ABSTRACT

AIM: The COVID-19 pandemic has forced surgeons to adapt their standard procedures. The modifications introduced are designed to favour minimally invasive surgery. The positive results obtained with intracorporeal resection and anastomosis in the right colon and rectum prompt us to adapt these procedures to the left colon. We describe a 'don't touch the bowel' technique and outline the benefits to patients of the use of less surgically aggressive techniques and also to surgeons in terms of the lower emission of aerosols that might transmit the COVID-19 infection. METHODS: This was an observational study of intracorporeal resection and anastomosis in left colectomy. We describe the technical details of intracorporeal resection, end-to-end stapled anastomosis and extraction of the specimen through mini-laparotomy in the ideal location. RESULTS: We present preliminary results of 17 patients with left-sided colonic pathologies, 15 neoplasia and two diverticular disease, who underwent four left hemicolectomies, six sigmoidectomies and seven high anterior resections. Median operating time was 186 min (range 120-280). No patient required conversion to extracorporeal laparoscopy or open surgery. Median hospital stay was 4.7 days (range 3-12 days). There was one case of anastomotic leak managed with conservative treatment. CONCLUSION: Intracorporeal resection and end-to-end anastomosis with the possibility of extraction of the specimen by a mini-laparotomy in the ideal location may present benefits and also adapts well to the conditions imposed by the COVID-19 pandemic. Future comparative studies are needed to demonstrate these benefits with respect to extracorporeal anastomosis.


Subject(s)
COVID-19/prevention & control , Colectomy/methods , Colonic Diseases/surgery , Infectious Disease Transmission, Patient-to-Professional/prevention & control , Laparoscopy/methods , Aged , Aged, 80 and over , Anastomosis, Surgical/methods , COVID-19/epidemiology , COVID-19/transmission , Female , Humans , Length of Stay , Male , Middle Aged , Operative Time
13.
Health Promot Int ; 36(5): 1324-1333, 2021 Oct 13.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1038288

ABSTRACT

Global shifts toward a disease-oriented, vertical approach to health has involved limiting the right for communities to participate in decision-making. Ecuador's authoritarian legacy has forced civil society and social organizations to adopt 'coping strategies', while large protests recently derived into violent struggles. The country has been severely hit by the COVID-19 pandemic amid corruption scandals involving hospital and food purchases by government during the response. This study critically examines how Ecuador's government took into consideration 'community participation' as a value and tenet of health promotion. Our systematic textual analysis focuses on 53 consecutive resolutions by the National Emergency Operations Committee (EOC) leading the decision-making processes, which, explicitly requires community participation. Results show that the 'lifecycle' of the central government's evolving policy framing centered on law enforcement and the private sector, followed by the social sector. Further, there is no evidence of stakeholders from civil society or organizations taking part in decision-making. Having legitimized the exclusion of community participation in Ecuador's response to the COVID-19 pandemic, it is possible that the government will fail to consider the wider social implications of its impact. In particular, the limits to local governments becoming informed and making decisions without mediation by the National EOC will further impede community participation in health decision-making in the future. This implies that local knowledge and experiences will also not inform health policy.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Community Participation , Ecuador , Health Policy , Humans , Pandemics , SARS-CoV-2
SELECTION OF CITATIONS
SEARCH DETAIL
...