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1.
Commun Med (Lond) ; 2: 54, 2022.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1947549

ABSTRACT

Background: The infection fatality ratio (IFR) is a key statistic for estimating the burden of coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) and has been continuously debated throughout the COVID-19 pandemic. The age-specific IFR can be quantified using antibody surveys to estimate total infections, but requires consideration of delay-distributions from time from infection to seroconversion, time to death, and time to seroreversion (i.e. antibody waning) alongside serologic test sensitivity and specificity. Previous IFR estimates have not fully propagated uncertainty or accounted for these potential biases, particularly seroreversion. Methods: We built a Bayesian statistical model that incorporates these factors and applied this model to simulated data and 10 serologic studies from different countries. Results: We demonstrate that seroreversion becomes a crucial factor as time accrues but is less important during first-wave, short-term dynamics. We additionally show that disaggregating surveys by regions with higher versus lower disease burden can inform serologic test specificity estimates. The overall IFR in each setting was estimated at 0.49-2.53%. Conclusion: We developed a robust statistical framework to account for full uncertainties in the parameters determining IFR. We provide code for others to apply these methods to further datasets and future epidemics.

2.
EuropePMC; 2021.
Preprint in English | EuropePMC | ID: ppcovidwho-323962

ABSTRACT

Background: The unprecedented public health impact of the COVID-19 pandemic has motivated a rapid search for potential therapeutics, with some key successes. However, the potential impact of current and proposed treatments, and consequently research and procurement priorities, have not been clear. Methods: First, we used a model of SARS-CoV-2 transmission, COVID-19 disease and clinical care pathways to explore the potential impact of dexamethasone - the main treatment currently for hospitalised COVID-19 patients - under scenarios varying: i) healthcare capacity, ii) epidemic trajectories;and iii) the efficacy of dexamethasone in the absence of supportive care. We then fit the model to the observed epidemic trajectory to-date in 165 countries and analysed the potential future impact of dexamethasone in different countries, regions, and country-income strata. Finally, we constructed hypothetical profiles of novel therapeutics based on current trials, and compared the potential impact of each under different circumstances. In each case, the outcome of interest was the number of COVID-19 deaths averted in scenarios with the therapeutic compared to scenarios without. Findings: We find the potential benefit dexamethasone is severely limited in settings where healthcare capacity is lowest or where uncontrolled epidemics result in hospitals being overwhelmed. As such, it may avert 22% of deaths in high-income countries but only 8% in low-income countries (assuming R=1.35). However, therapeutics for different patient populations (in particular, those not in hospital and early in the course of infection) and types of benefit (in particular, reducing disease severity or infectiousness) could have much greater benefits. Such therapeutics would have particular value in resource-poor settings facing large epidemics, even if the efficacy or achievable coverage of such therapeutics is lower in comparison to other types. Interpretation: People in low-income countries will benefit the least from advances in the treatment of COVID-19 to date, which have focussed on hospitalised-patients with adequate access to supportive care. Therapeutics that can feasibly be delivered to those earlier in the course of infection that reduce the need for healthcare or reduce infectiousness could have much greater impact. Such therapeutics may be feasible and research into their efficacy and means of delivery should be a priority. Funding: None to declare. Declaration of Interest: None to declare.

3.
Epidemics ; 37: 100520, 2021 12.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1568688

ABSTRACT

While mathematical models of disease transmission are widely used to inform public health decision-makers globally, the uncertainty inherent in results are often poorly communicated. We outline some potential sources of uncertainty in epidemic models, present traditional methods used to illustrate uncertainty and discuss alternative presentation formats used by modelling groups throughout the COVID-19 pandemic. Then, by drawing on the experience of our own recent modelling, we seek to contribute to the ongoing discussion of how to improve upon traditional methods used to visualise uncertainty by providing a suggestion of how this can be presented in a clear and simple manner.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Humans , Pandemics , SARS-CoV-2 , Uncertainty
5.
BMC Med ; 19(1): 146, 2021 06 18.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1277941

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: As in many countries, quantifying COVID-19 spread in Indonesia remains challenging due to testing limitations. In Java, non-pharmaceutical interventions (NPIs) were implemented throughout 2020. However, as a vaccination campaign launches, cases and deaths are rising across the island. METHODS: We used modelling to explore the extent to which data on burials in Jakarta using strict COVID-19 protocols (C19P) provide additional insight into the transmissibility of the disease, epidemic trajectory, and the impact of NPIs. We assess how implementation of NPIs in early 2021 will shape the epidemic during the period of likely vaccine rollout. RESULTS: C19P burial data in Jakarta suggest a death toll approximately 3.3 times higher than reported. Transmission estimates using these data suggest earlier, larger, and more sustained impact of NPIs. Measures to reduce sub-national spread, particularly during Ramadan, substantially mitigated spread to more vulnerable rural areas. Given current trajectory, daily cases and deaths are likely to increase in most regions as the vaccine is rolled out. Transmission may peak in early 2021 in Jakarta if current levels of control are maintained. However, relaxation of control measures is likely to lead to a subsequent resurgence in the absence of an effective vaccination campaign. CONCLUSIONS: Syndromic measures of mortality provide a more complete picture of COVID-19 severity upon which to base decision-making. The high potential impact of the vaccine in Java is attributable to reductions in transmission to date and dependent on these being maintained. Increases in control in the relatively short-term will likely yield large, synergistic increases in vaccine impact.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 Vaccines/administration & dosage , COVID-19/mortality , COVID-19/epidemiology , COVID-19/therapy , Humans , Immunization Programs/methods , Indonesia , SARS-CoV-2/immunology , SARS-CoV-2/isolation & purification , Syndrome , Vaccination/methods , Vaccination/statistics & numerical data
6.
Science ; 372(6544): 815-821, 2021 05 21.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1186201

ABSTRACT

Cases of severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) infection in Manaus, Brazil, resurged in late 2020 despite previously high levels of infection. Genome sequencing of viruses sampled in Manaus between November 2020 and January 2021 revealed the emergence and circulation of a novel SARS-CoV-2 variant of concern. Lineage P.1 acquired 17 mutations, including a trio in the spike protein (K417T, E484K, and N501Y) associated with increased binding to the human ACE2 (angiotensin-converting enzyme 2) receptor. Molecular clock analysis shows that P.1 emergence occurred around mid-November 2020 and was preceded by a period of faster molecular evolution. Using a two-category dynamical model that integrates genomic and mortality data, we estimate that P.1 may be 1.7- to 2.4-fold more transmissible and that previous (non-P.1) infection provides 54 to 79% of the protection against infection with P.1 that it provides against non-P.1 lineages. Enhanced global genomic surveillance of variants of concern, which may exhibit increased transmissibility and/or immune evasion, is critical to accelerate pandemic responsiveness.


Subject(s)
COVID-19/epidemiology , COVID-19/virology , Communicable Diseases, Emerging/epidemiology , Communicable Diseases, Emerging/virology , SARS-CoV-2/classification , SARS-CoV-2/genetics , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/genetics , Angiotensin-Converting Enzyme 2/metabolism , Brazil/epidemiology , Epidemiological Monitoring , Genome, Viral , Genomics , Humans , Models, Theoretical , Molecular Epidemiology , Mutation , Protein Binding , SARS-CoV-2/isolation & purification , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/metabolism , Viral Load
7.
Vaccine ; 39(22): 2995-3006, 2021 05 21.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1174521

ABSTRACT

The worldwide endeavour to develop safe and effective COVID-19 vaccines has been extraordinary, and vaccination is now underway in many countries. However, the doses available in 2021 are likely to be limited. We extend a mathematical model of SARS-CoV-2 transmission across different country settings to evaluate the public health impact of potential vaccines using WHO-developed target product profiles. We identify optimal vaccine allocation strategies within- and between-countries to maximise averted deaths under constraints on dose supply. We find that the health impact of SARS-CoV-2 vaccination depends on the cumulative population-level infection incidence when vaccination begins, the duration of natural immunity, the trajectory of the epidemic prior to vaccination, and the level of healthcare available to effectively treat those with disease. Within a country we find that for a limited supply (doses for < 20% of the population) the optimal strategy is to target the elderly. However, with a larger supply, if vaccination can occur while other interventions are maintained, the optimal strategy switches to targeting key transmitters to indirectly protect the vulnerable. As supply increases, vaccines that reduce or block infection have a greater impact than those that prevent disease alone due to the indirect protection provided to high-risk groups. Given a 2 billion global dose supply in 2021, we find that a strategy in which doses are allocated to countries proportional to population size is close to optimal in averting deaths and aligns with the ethical principles agreed in pandemic preparedness planning.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Vaccines , Aged , COVID-19 Vaccines , Humans , Models, Theoretical , Public Health , SARS-CoV-2 , Vaccination
8.
Nat Commun ; 12(1): 1090, 2021 02 17.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1087445

ABSTRACT

In response to the COVID-19 pandemic, countries have sought to control SARS-CoV-2 transmission by restricting population movement through social distancing interventions, thus reducing the number of contacts. Mobility data represent an important proxy measure of social distancing, and here, we characterise the relationship between transmission and mobility for 52 countries around the world. Transmission significantly decreased with the initial reduction in mobility in 73% of the countries analysed, but we found evidence of decoupling of transmission and mobility following the relaxation of strict control measures for 80% of countries. For the majority of countries, mobility explained a substantial proportion of the variation in transmissibility (median adjusted R-squared: 48%, interquartile range - IQR - across countries [27-77%]). Where a change in the relationship occurred, predictive ability decreased after the relaxation; from a median adjusted R-squared of 74% (IQR across countries [49-91%]) pre-relaxation, to a median adjusted R-squared of 30% (IQR across countries [12-48%]) post-relaxation. In countries with a clear relationship between mobility and transmission both before and after strict control measures were relaxed, mobility was associated with lower transmission rates after control measures were relaxed indicating that the beneficial effects of ongoing social distancing behaviours were substantial.


Subject(s)
COVID-19/transmission , Communicable Disease Control/methods , Pandemics/prevention & control , SARS-CoV-2/isolation & purification , Algorithms , COVID-19/epidemiology , COVID-19/virology , Communicable Disease Control/statistics & numerical data , Global Health , Humans , Models, Theoretical , Physical Distancing , Quarantine/methods , SARS-CoV-2/physiology
9.
J Travel Med ; 27(8)2020 12 23.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1059308
10.
Non-conventional in English | Homeland Security Digital Library, Grey literature | ID: grc-740941

ABSTRACT

From the Introduction: In this report, we draw on data from nationally representative population surveys to explore a subset of inequities, how they relate to wealth and the way in which they may drive variation in COVID-19 [coronavirus disease 2019] risk. Using a dynamical model of COVID-19 transmission, we illustrate the potential for these factors (using the examples of availability of handwashing facilities, healthcare accessibility and capacity to work from home), individually or in combination, to lead to substantial inequalities in health outcomes and significant excess COVID-19 mortality in the poorest and most disadvantaged populations. We then discuss the potential for COVID-19 and associated interventions to have considerable indirect effects that may further concentrate the impact of COVID-19 into the poorest and most marginalised groups.COVID-19 (Disease);Poor;World health;Health risk assessment

11.
ProQuest Central; 2020.
Preprint in English | ProQuest Central | ID: ppcovidwho-2088

ABSTRACT

Background: The COVID-19 epidemic was declared a Global Pandemic by WHO on 11 March 2020. By 24 March 2020, over 440,000 cases and almost 20,000 deaths had been reported worldwide. In response to the fast-growing epidemic, which began in the Chinese city of Wuhan, Hubei, China imposed strict social distancing in Wuhan on 23 January 2020 followed closely by similar measures in other provinces. These interventions have impacted economic productivity in China, and the ability of the Chinese economy to resume without restarting the epidemic was not clear. Methods: Using daily reported cases from mainland China and Hong Kong SAR, we estimated transmissibility over time and compared it to daily within-city movement, as a proxy for economic activity. Results: Initially, within-city movement and transmission were very strongly correlated in the five mainland provinces most affected by the epidemic and Beijing. However, that correlation decreased rapidly after the initial sharfall in transmissibility. In general, towards the end of the study period, the correlation was no longer apparent, despite substantial increases in within-city movement. A similar analysis for Hong Kong shows that intermediate levels of local activity were maintained while avoiding a large outbreak. At the very end of the study period, when China began to experience the re-introduction of a small number of cases from Europe and the United States, there is an apparent up-tick in transmission. Conclusions: Although these results do not preclude future substantial increases in incidence, they suggest that after very intense social distancing (which resulted in containment), China successfully exited its lockdown to some degree. Elsewhere, movement data are being used as proxies for economic activity to assess the impact of interventions. The results presented here illustrate how the eventual decorrelation between transmission and movement is likely a key feature of successful COVID-19 exit strategies.

12.
Nat Med ; 26(9): 1411-1416, 2020 09.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-707103

ABSTRACT

The burden of malaria is heavily concentrated in sub-Saharan Africa (SSA) where cases and deaths associated with COVID-19 are rising1. In response, countries are implementing societal measures aimed at curtailing transmission of SARS-CoV-22,3. Despite these measures, the COVID-19 epidemic could still result in millions of deaths as local health facilities become overwhelmed4. Advances in malaria control this century have been largely due to distribution of long-lasting insecticidal nets (LLINs)5, with many SSA countries having planned campaigns for 2020. In the present study, we use COVID-19 and malaria transmission models to estimate the impact of disruption of malaria prevention activities and other core health services under four different COVID-19 epidemic scenarios. If activities are halted, the malaria burden in 2020 could be more than double that of 2019. In Nigeria alone, reducing case management for 6 months and delaying LLIN campaigns could result in 81,000 (44,000-119,000) additional deaths. Mitigating these negative impacts is achievable, and LLIN distributions in particular should be prioritized alongside access to antimalarial treatments to prevent substantial malaria epidemics.


Subject(s)
Antimalarials/therapeutic use , Coronavirus Infections/epidemiology , Malaria/epidemiology , Pandemics , Pneumonia, Viral/epidemiology , Betacoronavirus/pathogenicity , COVID-19 , Coronavirus Infections/complications , Coronavirus Infections/parasitology , Coronavirus Infections/virology , Humans , Insecticides/therapeutic use , Malaria/complications , Malaria/parasitology , Malaria/virology , Mosquito Control , Pneumonia, Viral/complications , Pneumonia, Viral/parasitology , Pneumonia, Viral/virology , Public Health , SARS-CoV-2
13.
Lancet Infect Dis ; 20(6): 669-677, 2020 06.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-688245

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: In the face of rapidly changing data, a range of case fatality ratio estimates for coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) have been produced that differ substantially in magnitude. We aimed to provide robust estimates, accounting for censoring and ascertainment biases. METHODS: We collected individual-case data for patients who died from COVID-19 in Hubei, mainland China (reported by national and provincial health commissions to Feb 8, 2020), and for cases outside of mainland China (from government or ministry of health websites and media reports for 37 countries, as well as Hong Kong and Macau, until Feb 25, 2020). These individual-case data were used to estimate the time between onset of symptoms and outcome (death or discharge from hospital). We next obtained age-stratified estimates of the case fatality ratio by relating the aggregate distribution of cases to the observed cumulative deaths in China, assuming a constant attack rate by age and adjusting for demography and age-based and location-based under-ascertainment. We also estimated the case fatality ratio from individual line-list data on 1334 cases identified outside of mainland China. Using data on the prevalence of PCR-confirmed cases in international residents repatriated from China, we obtained age-stratified estimates of the infection fatality ratio. Furthermore, data on age-stratified severity in a subset of 3665 cases from China were used to estimate the proportion of infected individuals who are likely to require hospitalisation. FINDINGS: Using data on 24 deaths that occurred in mainland China and 165 recoveries outside of China, we estimated the mean duration from onset of symptoms to death to be 17·8 days (95% credible interval [CrI] 16·9-19·2) and to hospital discharge to be 24·7 days (22·9-28·1). In all laboratory confirmed and clinically diagnosed cases from mainland China (n=70 117), we estimated a crude case fatality ratio (adjusted for censoring) of 3·67% (95% CrI 3·56-3·80). However, after further adjusting for demography and under-ascertainment, we obtained a best estimate of the case fatality ratio in China of 1·38% (1·23-1·53), with substantially higher ratios in older age groups (0·32% [0·27-0·38] in those aged <60 years vs 6·4% [5·7-7·2] in those aged ≥60 years), up to 13·4% (11·2-15·9) in those aged 80 years or older. Estimates of case fatality ratio from international cases stratified by age were consistent with those from China (parametric estimate 1·4% [0·4-3·5] in those aged <60 years [n=360] and 4·5% [1·8-11·1] in those aged ≥60 years [n=151]). Our estimated overall infection fatality ratio for China was 0·66% (0·39-1·33), with an increasing profile with age. Similarly, estimates of the proportion of infected individuals likely to be hospitalised increased with age up to a maximum of 18·4% (11·0-37·6) in those aged 80 years or older. INTERPRETATION: These early estimates give an indication of the fatality ratio across the spectrum of COVID-19 disease and show a strong age gradient in risk of death. FUNDING: UK Medical Research Council.


Subject(s)
Coronavirus Infections/mortality , Pandemics/statistics & numerical data , Pneumonia, Viral/mortality , Adolescent , Adult , Aged , Aged, 80 and over , Betacoronavirus , COVID-19 , Child , Child, Preschool , China/epidemiology , Hospitalization/statistics & numerical data , Humans , Incidence , Infant , Infant, Newborn , Middle Aged , Models, Statistical , SARS-CoV-2 , Young Adult
14.
Science ; 369(6502): 413-422, 2020 07 24.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-595548

ABSTRACT

The ongoing coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic poses a severe threat to public health worldwide. We combine data on demography, contact patterns, disease severity, and health care capacity and quality to understand its impact and inform strategies for its control. Younger populations in lower-income countries may reduce overall risk, but limited health system capacity coupled with closer intergenerational contact largely negates this benefit. Mitigation strategies that slow but do not interrupt transmission will still lead to COVID-19 epidemics rapidly overwhelming health systems, with substantial excess deaths in lower-income countries resulting from the poorer health care available. Of countries that have undertaken suppression to date, lower-income countries have acted earlier. However, this will need to be maintained or triggered more frequently in these settings to keep below available health capacity, with associated detrimental consequences for the wider health, well-being, and economies of these countries.


Subject(s)
Coronavirus Infections/epidemiology , Coronavirus Infections/prevention & control , Developing Countries , Global Health , Pandemics/prevention & control , Pneumonia, Viral/epidemiology , Pneumonia, Viral/prevention & control , Poverty , COVID-19 , Coronavirus Infections/transmission , Humans , Patient Acceptance of Health Care , Pneumonia, Viral/transmission , Public Health
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