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1.
Animals (Basel) ; 12(5)2022 Feb 23.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1702141

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: During the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, many veterinary practices around the world have shifted to a low or no-contact consultation model to ensure the safety of their team members and clients, and comply with public health orders, while continuing to provide veterinary care. METHODS: We performed reflexive thematic analysis on a subset of data collected using a mixed-methods survey of veterinary team members globally. RESULTS: There were 540 valid responses available for analysis. Low and no-contact euthanasia we raised as a common and/or stressful ethical challenge for 22.8% of respondents. We identified five key themes: no-contact euthanasia as a unique ethical challenge; balancing veterinary team safety with the emotional needs of clients; low and no-contact protocols may cause or exacerbate fear, anxiety and distress in veterinary patients; physical distancing was more challenging during euthanasia consultations; and biosecurity measures complicated communication around euthanasia and end-of-life decision making. RECOMMENDATIONS: In light of concerns highlighted by respondents, we recommend the development of a toolkit of protocols that will assist veterinary team members in performing low-contact euthanasia in a range of circumstances, in alignment with their values and professional ethical codes. Professional bodies may be involved in developing, updating and disseminating this information, and ensuring a continuous supply chain of PPE.

2.
Infect Dis Poverty ; 10(1): 139, 2021 Dec 23.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1638985

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: Since the appearance of severe acute respiratory coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) and the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic, a growing body of evidence has suggested that weather factors, particularly temperature and humidity, influence transmission. This relationship might differ for the recently emerged B.1.617.2 (delta) variant of SARS-CoV-2. Here we use data from an outbreak in Sydney, Australia that commenced in winter and time-series analysis to investigate the association between reported cases and temperature and relative humidity. METHODS: Between 16 June and 10 September 2021, the peak of the outbreak, there were 31,662 locally-acquired cases reported in five local health districts of Sydney, Australia. The associations between daily 9:00 am and 3:00 pm temperature (°C), relative humidity (%) and their difference, and a time series of reported daily cases were assessed using univariable and multivariable generalized additive models and a 14-day exponential moving average. Akaike information criterion (AIC) and the likelihood ratio statistic were used to compare different models and determine the best fitting model. A sensitivity analysis was performed by modifying the exponential moving average. RESULTS: During the 87-day time-series, relative humidity ranged widely (< 30-98%) and temperatures were mild (approximately 11-17 °C). The best-fitting (AIC: 1,119.64) generalized additive model included 14-day exponential moving averages of 9:00 am temperature (P < 0.001) and 9:00 am relative humidity (P < 0.001), and the interaction between these two weather variables (P < 0.001). Humidity was negatively associated with cases no matter whether temperature was high or low. The effect of lower relative humidity on increased cases was more pronounced below relative humidity of about 70%; below this threshold, not only were the effects of humidity pronounced but also the relationship between temperature and cases of the delta variant becomes apparent. CONCLUSIONS: We suggest that the control of COVID-19 outbreaks, specifically those due to the delta variant, is particularly challenging during periods of the year with lower relative humidity and warmer temperatures. In addition to vaccination, stronger implementation of other interventions such as mask-wearing and social distancing might need to be considered during these higher risk periods.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Australia/epidemiology , Humans , Humidity , Pandemics , SARS-CoV-2 , Temperature
3.
Lancet Reg Health West Pac ; 20: 100362, 2022 Mar.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1587057

ABSTRACT

Background: In early 2020, non-pharmaceutical interventions (NPIs) were implemented in China to reduce and contain the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) transmission. These NPIs might have also reduced the incidence of hand, foot, and mouth disease (HFMD). Methods: The weekly numbers of HFMD cases and meteorological factors in 31 provincial capital cities and municipalities in mainland China were obtained from Chinese Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CCDC) and National Meteorological Information Center of China from 2016 to 2020. The NPI data were collected from local CDCs. The incidence rate ratios (IRRs) were calculated for the entire year of 2020, and for January-July 2020 and August-December 2020. The expected case numbers were estimated using seasonal autoregressive integrated moving average models. The relationships between kindergarten closures and incidence of HFMD were quantified using a generalized additive model. The estimated associations from all cities were pooled using a multivariate meta-regression model. Findings: Stringent NPIs were widely implemented for COVID-19 control from January to July 2020, and the IRRs for HFMD were less than 1 in all 31 cities, and less than 0·1 for 23 cities. Overall, the proportion of HFMD cases reduced by 52·9% (95% CI: 49·3-55·5%) after the implementation of kindergarten closures in 2020, and this effect was generally consistent across subgroups. Interpretation: The decrease in HFMD incidence was strongly associated with the NPIs for COVID-19. HFMD epidemic peaks were either absent or delayed, and the final epidemic size was reduced. Kindergarten closure is an intervention to prevent HFMD outbreaks. Funding: This research was supported by the National Natural Science Foundation of China (81973102 & 81773487), Public Health Talents Training Program of Shanghai Municipality (GWV-10.2-XD21), the Shanghai New Three-year Action Plan for Public Health (GWV-10.1-XK16), the Major Project of Scientific and Technical Winter Olympics from National Key Research and Development Program of China (2021YFF0306000), 13th Five-Year National Science and Technology Major Project for Infectious Diseases (2018ZX10725-509) and Key projects of the PLA logistics Scientific research Program (BHJ17J013).

4.
Front Vet Sci ; 8: 752388, 2021.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1512065

ABSTRACT

Ethically challenging situations (ECS) are commonly encountered in veterinary settings. The number of ECS encountered by some veterinary team members may increase during a crisis, such as the COVID-19 pandemic. This study aimed to determine the risk factors for experiencing an increase in the frequency of ECS in the months following the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic, utilizing data from a global survey of veterinarians, veterinary nurses and animal health technicians collected from May to July 2020. In this study, descriptive analyses were performed to characterize veterinary team members who responded to the survey (n = 540). Binomial logistic regression analyses were performed to determine factors associated with an increase in ECS encountered since the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic. Being a veterinary nurse or animal health technician, working with companion animals, working in the USA or Canada, and being not confident or underconfident in dealing with ECS in the workplace were factors associated with an increase in ECS encountered since the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic. Results suggest a need to explore the ECS encountered by veterinary team members, particularly veterinary nurses and animal health technicians working in companion animal practice, in depth. Identification of risk factors may facilitate better preparation of veterinary team members for managing ECS, and minimizing the negative impact of ECS on the well-being of those who care for animals.

5.
Nat Commun ; 12(1): 5026, 2021 08 18.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1363491

ABSTRACT

Nationwide prospective surveillance of all-age patients with acute respiratory infections was conducted in China between 2009‒2019. Here we report the etiological and epidemiological features of the 231,107 eligible patients enrolled in this analysis. Children <5 years old and school-age children have the highest viral positivity rate (46.9%) and bacterial positivity rate (30.9%). Influenza virus, respiratory syncytial virus and human rhinovirus are the three leading viral pathogens with proportions of 28.5%, 16.8% and 16.7%, and Streptococcus pneumoniae, Mycoplasma pneumoniae and Klebsiella pneumoniae are the three leading bacterial pathogens (29.9%, 18.6% and 15.8%). Negative interactions between viruses and positive interactions between viral and bacterial pathogens are common. A Join-Point analysis reveals the age-specific positivity rate and how this varied for individual pathogens. These data indicate that differential priorities for diagnosis, prevention and control should be highlighted in terms of acute respiratory tract infection patients' demography, geographic locations and season of illness in China.


Subject(s)
Bacteria/isolation & purification , Bacterial Infections/microbiology , Respiratory Tract Infections/microbiology , Respiratory Tract Infections/virology , Virus Diseases/virology , Viruses/isolation & purification , Adolescent , Adult , Bacteria/classification , Bacteria/genetics , Bacterial Infections/epidemiology , Child , Child, Preschool , China/epidemiology , Female , Humans , Infant , Male , Prospective Studies , Respiratory Tract Infections/epidemiology , Seasons , Virus Diseases/epidemiology , Viruses/classification , Viruses/genetics , Young Adult
6.
Transbound Emerg Dis ; 68(5): 2722-2732, 2021 Sep.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1411004

ABSTRACT

African Swine Fever Virus (ASFV) is a highly contagious pathogen that causes disease in pigs, commonly characterized by acute haemorrhagic fever. Prior to August 2018, African Swine Fever (ASF) had not been reported in Asia, but has since spread throughout China, Mongolia, Korea, Vietnam, Laos, Cambodia, Myanmar, the Philippines, Hong Kong, Indonesia, Timor-Leste and Papua New Guinea. Using data collated from reports of confirmed cases, we applied spatio-temporal analysis to describe ASFV spread throughout Asia during its early phase-from 1 August 2018 (reported start date) to 31 December 2019-to provide an overview and comparative analysis. Analysis revealed a propagating epidemic of ASFV throughout Asia, with peaks corresponding to increased reports from China, Vietnam and Laos. Two clusters of reported outbreaks were found. During the epidemic, ASFV primarily spread from the North-East to the South-East: A larger, secondary cluster in the North-East represented earlier reports, while the smaller, primary cluster in the South-East was characterized by later reports. Significant differences in country-specific epidemics, morbidity, mortality and unit types were discovered. The initial number of outbreaks and enterprise size are likely predictors of the speed of spread and the effectiveness of ASFV stamping out procedures. Biosecurity methods, wild boar populations and the transportation of pigs and movement of infected fomites are discussed as likely risk factors for facilitating ASFV spread across Asia.


Subject(s)
African Swine Fever Virus , African Swine Fever , Swine Diseases , African Swine Fever/epidemiology , Animals , Disease Outbreaks/veterinary , Hong Kong , Sus scrofa , Swine , Swine Diseases/epidemiology
7.
Transbound Emerg Dis ; 67(4): 1411-1413, 2020 07.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1388404
8.
Transbound Emerg Dis ; 68(4): 1709-1710, 2021 07.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1331780
9.
One Health ; 13: 100283, 2021 Dec.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1284430

ABSTRACT

Management of coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) in India is a top government priority. However, there is a lack of COVID-19 adjusted case fatality risk (aCFR) estimates and information on states with high aCFR. Data on COVID-19 cases and deaths in the first pandemic wave and 17 state-specific geodemographic, socio-economic, health and comorbidity-related factors were collected. State-specific aCFRs were estimated, using a 13-day lag for fatality. To estimate country-level aCFR in the first wave, state estimates were meta-analysed based on inverse-variance weighting and aCFR as either a fixed- or random-effect. Multiple correspondence analyses, followed by univariable logistic regression, were conducted to understand the association between aCFR and geodemographic, health and social indicators. Based on health indicators, states likely to report a higher aCFR were identified. Using random- and fixed-effects models, cumulative aCFRs in the first pandemic wave on 27 July 2020 in India were 1.42% (95% CI 1.19%-1.70%) and 2.97% (95% CI 2.94%-3.00%), respectively. At the end of the first wave, as of 15 February 2021, a cumulative aCFR of 1.18% (95% CI 0.99%-1.41%) using random and 1.64% (95% CI 1.64%-1.65%) using fixed-effects models was estimated. Based on high heterogeneity among states, we inferred that the random-effects model likely provided more accurate estimates of the aCFR for India. The aCFR was grouped with the incidence of diabetes, hypertension, cardiovascular diseases and acute respiratory infections in the first and second dimensions of multiple correspondence analyses. Univariable logistic regression confirmed associations between the aCFR and the proportion of urban population, and between aCFR and the number of persons diagnosed with diabetes, hypertension, cardiovascular diseases and stroke per 10,000 population that had visited NCD (Non-communicable disease) clinics. Incidence of pneumonia was also associated with COVID-19 aCFR. Based on predictor variables, we categorised 10, 17 and one Indian state(s) expected to have a high, medium and low aCFR risk, respectively. The current study demonstrated the value of using meta-analysis to estimate aCFR. To decrease COVID-19 associated fatalities, states estimated to have a high aCFR must take steps to reduce co-morbidities.

10.
Sci Rep ; 11(1): 12957, 2021 06 21.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1279898

ABSTRACT

Shortly after the enactment of restrictions aimed at limiting the spread of COVID-19, various local government and public health authorities around the world reported an increased sighting of rats. Such reports have yet to be empirically validated. Here we combined data from multi-catch rodent stations (providing data on rodent captures), rodent bait stations (providing data on rodent activity) and residents' complaints to explore the effects of a six week lockdown period on rodent populations within the City of Sydney, Australia. The sampling interval encompassed October 2019 to July 2020 with lockdown defined as the interval from April 1st to May 15th, 2020. Rodent captures and activity (visits to bait stations) were stable prior to lockdown. Captures showed a rapid increase and then decline during the lockdown, while rodent visits to bait stations declined throughout this period. There were no changes in the frequency of complaints during lockdown relative to before and after lockdown. There was a non-directional change in the geographical distribution of indices of rodent abundance suggesting that rodents redistributed in response to resource scarcity. We hypothesize that lockdown measures initially resulted in increased rodent captures due to sudden shortage of human-derived food resources. Rodent visits to bait stations might not show this pattern due to the nature of the binary data collected, namely the presence or absence of a visit. Relocation of bait stations driven by pest management goals may also have affected the detection of any directional spatial effect. We conclude that the onset of COVID-19 may have disrupted commensal rodent populations, with possible implications for the future management of these ubiquitous urban indicator species.


Subject(s)
COVID-19/epidemiology , COVID-19/prevention & control , Pandemics/prevention & control , Pest Control/methods , Quarantine/methods , SARS-CoV-2 , Animals , Australia/epidemiology , COVID-19/virology , Cities/epidemiology , Food , Humans , Rats , Urban Population
11.
BMC Infect Dis ; 21(1): 481, 2021 May 26.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1244909

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: The coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) epidemic has been largely controlled in China, to the point where case fatality rate (CFR) data can be comprehensively evaluated. METHODS: Data on confirmed patients, with a final outcome reported as of 29 March 2020, were obtained from official websites and other internet sources. The hospitalized CFR (HCFR) was estimated, epidemiological features described, and risk factors for a fatal outcome identified. RESULTS: The overall HCFR in China was estimated to be 4.6% (95% CI 4.5-4.8%, P < 0.001). It increased with age and was higher in males than females. Although the highest HCFR observed was in male patients ≥70 years old, the relative risks for death outcome by sex varied across age groups, and the greatest HCFR risk ratio for males vs. females was shown in the age group of 50-60 years, higher than age groups of 60-70 and ≥ 70 years. Differential age/sex HCFR patterns across geographical regions were found: the age effect on HCFR was greater in other provinces outside Hubei than in Wuhan. An effect of longer interval from symptom onset to admission was only observed outside Hubei, not in Wuhan. By performing multivariate analysis and survival analysis, the higher HCFR was associated with older age (both P < 0.001), and male sex (both P < 0.001). Only in regions outside Hubei, longer interval from symptom onset to admission, were associated with higher HCFR. CONCLUSIONS: This up-to-date and comprehensive picture of COVID-19 HCFR and its drivers will help healthcare givers target limited medical resources to patients with high risk of fatality.


Subject(s)
COVID-19/epidemiology , COVID-19/mortality , Hospital Mortality , Hospitalization , SARS-CoV-2 , Adult , Age Factors , Aged , China/epidemiology , Female , Humans , Male , Middle Aged , Risk Factors , Sex Factors , Time-to-Treatment
12.
Front Vet Sci ; 8: 647108, 2021.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1207801

ABSTRACT

Ethically challenging situations (ECS) are common in veterinary settings and can lead to moral stress. However, there is no published information about how a global pandemic affects the frequency and types of ECS encountered by veterinary team members. An online mixed methods survey was developed to determine the frequency, stressfulness and types of ECS experienced by veterinarians, animal health technicians and veterinary nurses since the advent of the global COVID-19 pandemic in March 2020. Responses from 540 veterinary team members from 22 countries were analyzed. With the advent of the COVID-19 pandemic, the median frequency of ECS encountered by respondents increased from several times per month to several times per week (Spearman Rank Correlation 0.619, P < 0.0001). The most common ECS (encountered at least several times per week) were: challenging decisions about how to proceed when clients have limited finances (64.4%), conflict between personal well-being and professional role (64.3%), conflict between the interests of clients and the interests of their animals (59.6%). These were followed by challenging decisions about what counts as an essential veterinary service (48.1%); conflict between well-being of family/household members and professional role (46.3%); and challenging decisions about whether to perform non-contact veterinary visits (46.3%). The most stressful ECS (reported to be very or maximally stressful) were: conflicts between the interests of clients and the interests of their animals (50.2%), other (42.9%), conflicts between the interests of my employer and my own interests (42.5%), challenging decisions about how to proceed when clients have limited finances (39.4%), conflict between personal well-being and professional role (38.0%), and conflict between well-being of family/household members and professional role (33.6%). Thematic analysis of free-text responses revealed biosecurity, client financial limitations, animal welfare, working conditions, and client relations as prominent themes. This is, to the best of our knowledge, the first study to describe the impacts of the pandemic on ECS experienced by veterinary teams globally. It identifies an increase in the frequency of ECS associated with the COVID-19 pandemic, and a number of stressors unique to the pandemic. We identified a number of resources and strategies that may help veterinary team members navigate ethical challenges that may emerge in their daily work, as well as in the context of global crises.

13.
Environ Res ; 198: 111182, 2021 07.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1188560

ABSTRACT

Whether meteorological factors influence COVID-19 transmission is an issue of major public health concern, but available evidence remains unclear and limited for several reasons, including the use of report date which can lag date of symptom onset by a considerable period. We aimed to generate reliable and robust evidence of this relationship based on date of onset of symptoms. We evaluated important meteorological factors associated with daily COVID-19 counts and effective reproduction number (Rt) in China using a two-stage approach with overdispersed generalized additive models and random-effects meta-analysis. Spatial heterogeneity and stratified analyses by sex and age groups were quantified and potential effect modification was analyzed. Nationwide, there was no evidence that temperature and relative humidity affected COVID-19 incidence and Rt. However, there were heterogeneous impacts on COVID-19 risk across different regions. Importantly, there was a negative association between relative humidity and COVID-19 incidence in Central China: a 1% increase in relative humidity was associated with a 3.92% (95% CI, 1.98%-5.82%) decrease in daily counts. Older population appeared to be more sensitive to meteorological conditions, but there was no obvious difference between sexes. Linear relationships were found between meteorological variables and COVID-19 incidence. Sensitivity analysis confirmed the robustness of the association and the results based on report date were biased. Meteorological factors play heterogenous roles on COVID-19 transmission, increasing the possibility of seasonality and suggesting the epidemic is far from over. Considering potential climatic associations, we should maintain, not ease, current control measures and surveillance.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , China/epidemiology , Humans , Humidity , Incidence , Meteorological Concepts , SARS-CoV-2 , Temperature
15.
Transbound Emerg Dis ; 67(6): 3069-3074, 2020 Nov.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-693263

ABSTRACT

There is growing evidence that climatic factors could influence the evolution of the current COVID-19 pandemic. Here, we build on this evidence base, focusing on the southern hemisphere summer and autumn period. The relationship between climatic factors and COVID-19 cases in New South Wales, Australia was investigated during both the exponential and declining phases of the epidemic in 2020, and in different regions. Increased relative humidity was associated with decreased cases in both epidemic phases, and a consistent negative relationship was found between relative humidity and cases. Overall, a decrease in relative humidity of 1% was associated with an increase in cases of 7-8%. Overall, we found no relationship with between cases and temperature, rainfall or wind speed. Information generated in this study confirms humidity as a driver of SARS-CoV-2 transmission.


Subject(s)
COVID-19/transmission , Humidity , SARS-CoV-2/physiology , Humans , New South Wales , Seasons
16.
Sci Total Environ ; 728: 138778, 2020 Aug 01.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-620566

ABSTRACT

COVID-19 has become a pandemic. The influence of meteorological factors on the transmission and spread of COVID-19 is of interest. This study sought to examine the associations of daily average temperature (AT) and relative humidity (ARH) with the daily counts of COVID-19 cases in 30 Chinese provinces (in Hubei from December 1, 2019 to February 11, 2020 and in other provinces from January 20, 2020 to Februarys 11, 2020). A Generalized Additive Model (GAM) was fitted to quantify the province-specific associations between meteorological variables and the daily cases of COVID-19 during the study periods. In the model, the 14-day exponential moving averages (EMAs) of AT and ARH, and their interaction were included with time trend and health-seeking behavior adjusted. Their spatial distributions were visualized. AT and ARH showed significantly negative associations with COVID-19 with a significant interaction between them (0.04, 95% confidence interval: 0.004-0.07) in Hubei. Every 1 °C increase in the AT led to a decrease in the daily confirmed cases by 36% to 57% when ARH was in the range from 67% to 85.5%. Every 1% increase in ARH led to a decrease in the daily confirmed cases by 11% to 22% when AT was in the range from 5.04 °C to 8.2 °C. However, these associations were not consistent throughout Mainland China.


Subject(s)
Coronavirus Infections/transmission , Humidity , Pneumonia, Viral/transmission , Temperature , Betacoronavirus , COVID-19 , China/epidemiology , Humans , Models, Theoretical , Pandemics , SARS-CoV-2
17.
Transbound Emerg Dis ; 67(6): 2313-2317, 2020 Nov.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-326891

ABSTRACT

Previous research has identified a relationship between climate and occurrence of SARS-CoV and MERS-CoV cases, information that can be used to reduce the risk of infection. Using COVID-19 notification and postcode data from New South Wales, Australia during the exponential phase of the epidemic in 2020, we used time series analysis to investigate the relationship between 749 cases of locally acquired COVID-19 and daily rainfall, 9 a.m. and 3 p.m. temperature, and 9 a.m. and 3 p.m. relative humidity. Lower 9 a.m. relative humidity (but not rainfall or temperature) was associated with increased case occurrence; a reduction in relative humidity of 1% was predicted to be associated with an increase of COVID-19 cases by 6.11%. During periods of low relative humidity, the public health system should anticipate an increased number of COVID-19 cases.


Subject(s)
COVID-19/epidemiology , Disease Notification/statistics & numerical data , Epidemics/statistics & numerical data , Humidity , Temperature , COVID-19/virology , Climate , Humans , New South Wales/epidemiology , Weather
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