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1.
JAMA Netw Open ; 5(9): e2233454, 2022 09 01.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-2047372

ABSTRACT

Importance: During the COVID-19 pandemic, a reduction in quality of life and physical and mental health among children and adolescents has been reported that may be associated with SARS-CoV-2 infection and/or containment measures. Objective: To assess the association of SARS-CoV-2 seropositivity with symptoms that may be related to myalgic encephalomyelitis and/or chronic fatigue syndrome (ME/CFS) among children and adolescents. Design, Setting, and Participants: This substudy of the cross-sectional SARS-CoV-2 seroprevalence surveys in Germany (SARS-CoV-2 KIDS) was performed in 9 pediatric hospitals from May 1 to October 31, 2021. Pediatric patients were recruited during an inpatient or outpatient visit regardless of the purpose of the visit. Parental questionnaires and serum samples were collected during clinically indicated blood draws. The parental questionnaire on demographic and clinical information was extended by items according to the DePaul Symptom Questionnaire, a pediatric screening tool for ME/CFS in epidemiological studies in patients aged 5 to 17 years. Exposures: Seropositivity was determined by SARS-CoV-2 IgG antibodies in serum samples using enzyme-linked immunosorbent assays. Main Outcomes and Measures: Key symptoms of ME/CFS were evaluated separately or as clustered ME/CFS symptoms according to the DePaul Symptom Questionnaire, including fatigue. Results: Among 634 participants (294 male [46.4%] and 340 female [53.6%]; median age, 11.5 [IQR, 8-14] years), 198 (31.2%) reported clustered ME/CFS symptoms, including 40 of 100 SARS-CoV-2-seropositive (40.0%) and 158 of 534 SARS-CoV-2-seronegative (29.6%) children and adolescents. After adjustment for sex, age group, and preexisting disease, the risk ratio for reporting clustered ME/CFS symptoms decreased from 1.35 (95% CI, 1.03-1.78) to 1.18 (95% CI, 0.90-1.53) and for substantial fatigue from 2.45 (95% CI, 1.24-4.84) to 2.08 (95% CI, 1.05-4.13). Confinement to children and adolescents with unknown previous SARS-CoV-2 infection status (n = 610) yielded lower adjusted risks for all symptoms except joint pain ME/CFS-related symptoms. The adjusted risk ratio was 1.08 (95% CI, 0.80-1.46) for reporting clustered ME/CFS symptoms and 1.43 (95% CI, 0.63-3.23) for fatigue. Conclusions and Relevance: These findings suggest that the risk of ME/CFS in children and adolescents owing to SARS-CoV-2 infection may be very small. Recall bias may contribute to risk estimates of long COVID-19 symptoms in children. Extensive lockdowns must be considered as an alternative explanation for complex unspecific symptoms during the COVID-19 pandemic.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Fatigue Syndrome, Chronic , Adolescent , COVID-19/complications , COVID-19/epidemiology , Child , Communicable Disease Control , Cross-Sectional Studies , Fatigue Syndrome, Chronic/epidemiology , Fatigue Syndrome, Chronic/psychology , Female , Germany/epidemiology , Humans , Immunoglobulin G , Male , Pandemics , Quality of Life , SARS-CoV-2 , Seroepidemiologic Studies
2.
Orphanet J Rare Dis ; 17(1): 289, 2022 07 23.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1962861

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: No results of controlled trials are available for any of the few treatments offered to children with interstitial lung diseases (chILD). We evaluated hydroxychloroquine (HCQ) in a phase 2, prospective, multicentre, 1:1-randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled, parallel-group/crossover trial. HCQ (START arm) or placebo were given for 4 weeks. Then all subjects received HCQ for another 4 weeks. In the STOP arm subjects already taking HCQ were randomized to 12 weeks of HCQ or placebo (= withdrawal of HCQ). Then all subjects stopped treatment and were observed for another 12 weeks. RESULTS: 26 subjects were included in the START arm, 9 in the STOP arm, of these four subjects participated in both arms. The primary endpoint, presence or absence of a response to treatment, assessed as oxygenation (calculated from a change in transcutaneous O2-saturation of ≥ 5%, respiratory rate ≥ 20% or level of respiratory support), did not differ between placebo and HCQ groups. Secondary endpoints including change of O2-saturation ≥ 3%, health related quality of life, pulmonary function and 6-min-walk-test distance, were not different between groups. Finally combining all placebo and all HCQ treatment periods did not identify significant treatment effects. Overall effect sizes were small. HCQ was well tolerated, adverse events were not different between placebo and HCQ. CONCLUSIONS: Acknowledging important shortcomings of the study, including a small study population, the treatment duration, lack of outcomes like lung function testing below age of 6 years, the small effect size of HCQ treatment observed requires careful reassessments of prescriptions in everyday practice (EudraCT-Nr.: 2013-003714-40, www.clinicaltrialsregister.eu , registered 02.07.2013). Registration The study was registered on 2 July 2013 (Eudra-CT Number: 2013-003714-40), whereas the approval by BfArM was received 24.11.2014, followed by the approval by the lead EC of the University Hospital Munich on 20.01.2015. At clinicaltrials.gov the trial was additionally registered on November 8, 2015 (NCT02615938).


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Lung Diseases, Interstitial , Child , Double-Blind Method , Humans , Hydroxychloroquine/adverse effects , Hydroxychloroquine/therapeutic use , Lung Diseases, Interstitial/drug therapy , Prospective Studies , Quality of Life , SARS-CoV-2 , Treatment Outcome
3.
Nat Commun ; 13(1): 3128, 2022 06 06.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1878524

ABSTRACT

The rate of SARS-CoV-2 infections in children remains unclear due to many asymptomatic cases. We present a study of cross-sectional seroprevalence surveys of anti-SARS-CoV-2 IgG in 10,358 children recruited in paediatric hospitals across Germany from June 2020 to May 2021. Seropositivity increased from 2.0% (95% CI 1.6, 2.5) to 10.8% (95% CI 8.7, 12.9) in March 2021 with little change up to May 2021. Rates increased by migrant background (2.8%, 4.4% and 7.8% for no, one and two parents born outside Germany). Children under three were initially 3.6 (95% CI 2.3, 5.7) times more likely to be seropositive with levels equalising later. The ratio of seropositive cases per recalled infection decreased from 8.6 to 2.8. Since seropositivity exceeds the rate of recalled infections considerably, serologic testing may provide a more valid estimate of infections, which is required to assess both the spread and the risk for severe outcomes of SARS-CoV-2 infections.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , SARS-CoV-2 , Antibodies, Viral , COVID-19/epidemiology , Child , Cross-Sectional Studies , Germany/epidemiology , Humans , Seroepidemiologic Studies
4.
NPJ Prim Care Respir Med ; 31(1): 50, 2021 12 21.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1621243

ABSTRACT

The presence of acute infectious respiratory diseases (ARD) is one of the main reasons why recently arrived refugees seek medical help. This paper investigates the incidence rates of acute respiratory diseases in an adult refugee population as well as associated sociodemographic factors and drug treatments. We conducted a retrospective observational study of deidentified medical records. The data were collected between 2015 and 2019 in the health care centers of two large German initial reception centers for refugees. Multivariable analyses controlling for sociodemographics were carried out using generalized estimating equations. Out of 10,431 eligible residents, 6965 medical encounters of 2840 adult patients were recorded over 30 months. Of all the adult patients, 34.4% sought medical help for a respiratory symptom or diagnosis at least once. Older patients and patients from Sub-Saharan Africa sought help less often. The occurrence of ARD showed a typical distribution over the course of the year. Facility occupancy was not associated with ARD occurrence. Acute respiratory symptoms are a leading cause for adult refugee patients to seek medical care. The doctor contact rates due to ARD were consistently two to three times higher among refugees than among German residents.


Subject(s)
Refugees , Respiratory Tract Infections , Adult , Humans , Respiratory Tract Infections/epidemiology , Retrospective Studies
6.
SSRN; 2021.
Preprint in English | SSRN | ID: ppcovidwho-292706

ABSTRACT

Abstract Background: Investigating the role of children in the COVID-19 pandemic is pivotal to prevent the virus spreading. In most cases, children infected with Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome Coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) develop non-specific symptoms or are asymptomatic. Therefore, the infection rate among this age group remains unclear. Seroprevalence studies, including clinical questionnaires, may contribute to our understanding of the time course and clinical manifestations of SARS-CoV-2 infections. Methods: SARS-CoV-2-KIDS is a longitudinal, hospital-based, multicentre study in Germany on the seroprevalence of anti-SARS-CoV-2 immunoglobulin G, as determined by an Enzyme-Linked Immunosorbent Assay in children (aged ≤17 years). A study-specific questionnaire provided additional information on clinical aspects. Findings: This analysis included 10,358 participants recruited from June 2020 to May 2021. The estimated anti-SARS-CoV-2 seroprevalence increased from 2·0% (95% confidence interval (95% CI) 1·6, 2·5) to 10·8% (95% CI 8·7, 12·9) in March 2021, without major change afterwards and was higher in children with migrant background (on average 6·6% vs. 2·8%). In the pandemic early stages, children under three years were 3·5 (95% CI 2·2, 5·6) times more likely to be seropositive than older children, with the levels equalising in later observations. History of self-reported respiratory tract infections or pneumonia was associated with seropositivity (OR 1·8 (95% CI 1·4, 2·3);2·7 (95% CI 1·7, 4·1)). Interpretation: The majority of children in Germany do not have detectable SARS-CoV-2 IgG. To some extent, this may reflect the effect of differing containment measures implemented in the federal states. Detection levels might have been greater in certain age groups or migrant background. Lifting containment measurements is likely to cause a general increase in respiratory tract infections, which already pose a challenge to paediatric medical care during regular winter seasons. This challenge might become critical with additional infections caused by SARS-CoV-2.

7.
Int J Environ Res Public Health ; 17(18)2020 09 18.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-789450

ABSTRACT

Background: Infections are a leading cause of refugee morbidity. Recent data on the rate of airway infections and factors influencing their spread in refugee reception centers is scarce. Methods: A retrospective, cross-sectional study of de-identified medical records with a focus on respiratory infections in underage refugees was conducted at two large German refugee reception centers. Results: In total, medical data from n = 10,431 refugees over an observational period of n = 819 days was analyzed. Among pediatric patients (n = 4289), 55.3% presented at least once to the on-site medical ward with an acute respiratory infection or signs thereof. In 38.4% of pediatric consultations, acute airway infections or signs thereof were present. Airway infections spiked during colder months and were significantly more prevalent amongst preschool and resettled children. Their frequency displayed a positive correlation with the number of refugees housed at the reception centers. Conclusions: We show that respiratory infections are a leading cause for morbidity in young refugees and that their rate is influenced age, season, status, and residential density. This illustrates the need to protect refugee children from contracting airway infections which may also reduce the spread of coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) during the current pandemic.


Subject(s)
Coronavirus Infections/prevention & control , Pandemics/prevention & control , Pneumonia, Viral/prevention & control , Refugees/statistics & numerical data , Respiratory Tract Infections/epidemiology , Transients and Migrants/statistics & numerical data , Betacoronavirus , COVID-19 , Child , Child, Preschool , Coronavirus Infections/epidemiology , Cross-Sectional Studies , Humans , Pneumonia, Viral/epidemiology , Public Housing , Residence Characteristics , Retrospective Studies , SARS-CoV-2
8.
BMC Pediatr ; 20(1): 427, 2020 09 07.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-745685

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: The COVID-19 pandemic has disrupted healthcare systems worldwide. In addition to the direct impact of the virus on patient morbidity and mortality, the effect of lockdown strategies on health and healthcare utilization have become apparent. Little is known on the effect of the pandemic on pediatric and adolescent medicine. We examined the impact of the pandemic on pediatric emergency healthcare utilization. METHODS: We conducted a monocentric, retrospective analysis of n = 5,424 pediatric emergency department visits between January 1st and April 19th of 2019 and 2020, and compared healthcare utilization during the pandemic in 2020 to the same period in 2019. RESULTS: In the four weeks after lockdown in Germany began, we observed a massive drop of 63.8% in pediatric emergency healthcare utilization (mean daily visits 26.8 ± SEM 1.5 in 2019 vs. 9.7 ± SEM 1 in 2020, p < 0.005). This drop in cases occurred for both communicable and non-communicable diseases. A larger proportion of patients under one year old (daily mean of 16.6% ±SEM 1.4 in 2019 vs. 23.1% ±SEM 1.7 in 2020, p < 0.01) and of cases requiring hospitalisation (mean of 13.9% ±SEM 1.6 in 2019 vs. 26.6% ±SEM 3.3 in 2020, p < 0.001) occurred during the pandemic. During the analysed time periods, few intensive care admissions and no fatalities occurred. CONCLUSIONS: Our data illustrate a significant decrease in pediatric emergency department visits during the COVID-19 pandemic. Public outreach is needed to encourage parents and guardians to seek medical attention for pediatric emergencies in spite of the pandemic.


Subject(s)
Betacoronavirus , Coronavirus Infections , Emergency Service, Hospital/trends , Facilities and Services Utilization/trends , Health Services Accessibility/trends , Pandemics , Patient Acceptance of Health Care/statistics & numerical data , Pneumonia, Viral , Adolescent , COVID-19 , Child , Child, Preschool , Coronavirus Infections/prevention & control , Coronavirus Infections/psychology , Female , Germany , Humans , Infant , Infant, Newborn , Male , Pandemics/prevention & control , Patient Acceptance of Health Care/psychology , Pneumonia, Viral/prevention & control , Pneumonia, Viral/psychology , Retrospective Studies , SARS-CoV-2
9.
Infect Dis Ther ; 9(4): 837-849, 2020 Dec.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-743789

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: Serology testing is explored for epidemiological research and to inform individuals after suspected infection. During the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic, frontline healthcare professionals (HCP) may be at particular risk for infection. No longitudinal data on functional seroconversion in HCP in regions with low COVID-19 prevalence and low pre-test probability exist. METHODS: In a large German university hospital, we performed weekly questionnaire assessments and anti-severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) immunoglobulin G (IgG) measurements with various commercial tests, a novel surrogate virus neutralisation test, and a neutralisation assay using live SARS-CoV-2. RESULTS: From baseline to week 6, 1080 screening measurements for anti-SARS CoV-2 (S1) IgG from 217 frontline HCP (65% female) were performed. Overall, 75.6% of HCP reported at least one symptom of respiratory infection. Self-perceived infection probability declined over time (from mean 20.1% at baseline to 12.4% in week 6, p < 0.001). In sera of convalescent patients with PCR-confirmed COVID-19, we measured high anti-SARS-CoV-2 IgG levels, obtained highly concordant results from enzyme-linked immunosorbent assays (ELISA) using e.g. the spike 1 (S1) protein domain and the nucleocapsid protein (NCP) as targets, and confirmed antiviral neutralisation. However, in HCP the cumulative incidence for anti-SARS-CoV-2 (S1) IgG was 1.86% for positive and 0.93% for equivocal positive results over the study period of 6 weeks. Except for one HCP, none of the eight initial positive results were confirmed by alternative serology tests or showed in vitro neutralisation against live SARS-CoV-2. The only true seroconversion occurred without symptoms and mounted strong functional humoral immunity. Thus, the confirmed cumulative incidence for neutralizing anti-SARS-CoV-2 IgG was 0.47%. CONCLUSION: When assessing anti-SARS-CoV-2 immune status in individuals with low pre-test probability, we suggest confirming positive results from single measurements by alternative serology tests or functional assays. Our data highlight the need for a methodical serology screening approach in regions with low SARS-CoV-2 infection rates. TRIAL REGISTRATION: The study is registered at DRKS00021152.

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