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1.
Nat Commun ; 13(1): 3207, 2022 06 09.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1947335

ABSTRACT

In Fall 2020, universities saw extensive transmission of SARS-CoV-2 among their populations, threatening health of the university and surrounding communities, and viability of in-person instruction. Here we report a case study at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, where a multimodal "SHIELD: Target, Test, and Tell" program, with other non-pharmaceutical interventions, was employed to keep classrooms and laboratories open. The program included epidemiological modeling and surveillance, fast/frequent testing using a novel low-cost and scalable saliva-based RT-qPCR assay for SARS-CoV-2 that bypasses RNA extraction, called covidSHIELD, and digital tools for communication and compliance. In Fall 2020, we performed >1,000,000 covidSHIELD tests, positivity rates remained low, we had zero COVID-19-related hospitalizations or deaths amongst our university community, and mortality in the surrounding Champaign County was reduced more than 4-fold relative to expected. This case study shows that fast/frequent testing and other interventions mitigated transmission of SARS-CoV-2 at a large public university.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , SARS-CoV-2 , COVID-19/epidemiology , COVID-19/prevention & control , COVID-19 Testing , Humans , SARS-CoV-2/genetics , Sensitivity and Specificity , Universities
2.
N Engl J Med ; 386(9): 861-868, 2022 03 03.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1721753

ABSTRACT

Melioidosis, caused by the bacterium Burkholderia pseudomallei, is an uncommon infection that is typically associated with exposure to soil and water in tropical and subtropical environments. It is rarely diagnosed in the continental United States. Patients with melioidosis in the United States commonly report travel to regions where melioidosis is endemic. We report a cluster of four non-travel-associated cases of melioidosis in Georgia, Kansas, Minnesota, and Texas. These cases were caused by the same strain of B. pseudomallei that was linked to an aromatherapy spray product imported from a melioidosis-endemic area.


Subject(s)
Aromatherapy/adverse effects , Burkholderia pseudomallei/isolation & purification , Disease Outbreaks , Melioidosis/epidemiology , Aerosols , Brain/microbiology , Brain/pathology , Burkholderia pseudomallei/genetics , COVID-19/complications , Child, Preschool , Fatal Outcome , Female , Genome, Bacterial , Humans , Lung/microbiology , Lung/pathology , Male , Melioidosis/complications , Middle Aged , Phylogeny , Shock, Septic/microbiology , United States/epidemiology
3.
EuropePMC; 2021.
Preprint in English | EuropePMC | ID: ppcovidwho-322787

ABSTRACT

Epidemics generally spread through a succession of waves that reflect factors on multiple timescales. On short timescales, super-spreading events lead to burstiness and overdispersion, while long-term persistent heterogeneity in susceptibility is expected to lead to a reduction in the infection peak and the herd immunity threshold (HIT). Here, we develop a general approach to encompass both timescales, including time variations in individual social activity, and demonstrate how to incorporate them phenomenologically into a wide class of epidemiological models through parameterization. We derive a non-linear dependence of the effective reproduction number Re on the susceptible population fraction S. We show that a state of transient collective immunity (TCI) emerges well below the HIT during early, high-paced stages of the epidemic. However, this is a fragile state that wanes over time due to changing levels of social activity, and so the infection peak is not an indication of herd immunity: subsequent waves can and will emerge due to behavioral changes in the population, driven (e.g.) by seasonal factors. Transient and long-term levels of heterogeneity are estimated by using empirical data from the COVID-19 epidemic as well as from real-life face-to-face contact networks. These results suggest that the hardest-hit areas, such as NYC, have achieved TCI following the first wave of the epidemic, but likely remain below the long-term HIT. Thus, in contrast to some previous claims, these regions can still experience subsequent waves.

4.
Am J Public Health ; 111(5): 907-916, 2021 05.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1177867

ABSTRACT

Objectives. To assess SARS-CoV-2 transmission within a correctional facility and recommend mitigation strategies.Methods. From April 29 to May 15, 2020, we established the point prevalence of COVID-19 among incarcerated persons and staff within a correctional facility in Arkansas. Participants provided respiratory specimens for SARS-CoV-2 testing and completed questionnaires on symptoms and factors associated with transmission.Results. Of 1647 incarcerated persons and 128 staff tested, 30.5% of incarcerated persons (range by housing unit = 0.0%-58.2%) and 2.3% of staff tested positive for SARS-CoV-2. Among those who tested positive and responded to symptom questions (431 incarcerated persons, 3 staff), 81.2% and 33.3% were asymptomatic, respectively. Most incarcerated persons (58.0%) reported wearing cloth face coverings 8 hours or less per day, and 63.3% reported close contact with someone other than their bunkmate.Conclusions. If testing remained limited to symptomatic individuals, fewer cases would have been detected or detection would have been delayed, allowing transmission to continue. Rapid implementation of mass testing and strict enforcement of infection prevention and control measures may be needed to mitigate spread of SARS-CoV-2 in this setting.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 Testing , COVID-19 , Correctional Facilities/statistics & numerical data , Adult , Aged , Aged, 80 and over , Arkansas/epidemiology , COVID-19/epidemiology , COVID-19/transmission , Housing/statistics & numerical data , Humans , Male , Middle Aged , Prevalence , Prisoners/statistics & numerical data , Surveys and Questionnaires
5.
Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A ; 118(17)2021 04 27.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1174748

ABSTRACT

Epidemics generally spread through a succession of waves that reflect factors on multiple timescales. On short timescales, superspreading events lead to burstiness and overdispersion, whereas long-term persistent heterogeneity in susceptibility is expected to lead to a reduction in both the infection peak and the herd immunity threshold (HIT). Here, we develop a general approach to encompass both timescales, including time variations in individual social activity, and demonstrate how to incorporate them phenomenologically into a wide class of epidemiological models through reparameterization. We derive a nonlinear dependence of the effective reproduction number [Formula: see text] on the susceptible population fraction S. We show that a state of transient collective immunity (TCI) emerges well below the HIT during early, high-paced stages of the epidemic. However, this is a fragile state that wanes over time due to changing levels of social activity, and so the infection peak is not an indication of long-lasting herd immunity: Subsequent waves may emerge due to behavioral changes in the population, driven by, for example, seasonal factors. Transient and long-term levels of heterogeneity are estimated using empirical data from the COVID-19 epidemic and from real-life face-to-face contact networks. These results suggest that the hardest hit areas, such as New York City, have achieved TCI following the first wave of the epidemic, but likely remain below the long-term HIT. Thus, in contrast to some previous claims, these regions can still experience subsequent waves.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Epidemics , Immunity, Herd , Models, Immunological , SARS-CoV-2/immunology , COVID-19/epidemiology , COVID-19/immunology , COVID-19/transmission , Humans , United States/epidemiology
6.
MMWR Morb Mortal Wkly Rep ; 69(23): 714-721, 2020 Jun 12.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-589204

ABSTRACT

Compared with the volume of data on coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) outbreaks among older adults, relatively few data are available concerning COVID-19 in younger, healthy persons in the United States (1,2). In late March 2020, the aircraft carrier USS Theodore Roosevelt arrived at port in Guam after numerous U.S. service members onboard developed COVID-19. In April, the U.S. Navy and CDC investigated this outbreak, and the demographic, epidemiologic, and laboratory findings among a convenience sample of 382 service members serving aboard the aircraft carrier are reported in this study. The outbreak was characterized by widespread transmission with relatively mild symptoms and asymptomatic infection among this sample of mostly young, healthy adults with close, congregate exposures. Service members who reported taking preventive measures had a lower infection rate than did those who did not report taking these measures (e.g., wearing a face covering, 55.8% versus 80.8%; avoiding common areas, 53.8% versus 67.5%; and observing social distancing, 54.7% versus 70.0%, respectively). The presence of neutralizing antibodies, which represent antibodies that inhibit SARS-CoV-2, among the majority (59.2%) of those with antibody responses is a promising indicator of at least short-term immunity. This report improves the understanding of COVID-19 in the U.S. military and among young adults in congregate settings and reinforces the importance of preventive measures to lower risk for infection in similar environments.


Subject(s)
Aircraft , Coronavirus Infections/epidemiology , Coronavirus Infections/immunology , Disease Outbreaks , Military Personnel/statistics & numerical data , Pneumonia, Viral/epidemiology , Pneumonia, Viral/immunology , Antibodies, Neutralizing/blood , Antibodies, Viral/blood , Betacoronavirus/immunology , COVID-19 , COVID-19 Testing , Clinical Laboratory Techniques , Coronavirus Infections/diagnosis , Female , Humans , Male , Pandemics , SARS-CoV-2 , United States/epidemiology , Young Adult
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