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1.
Sci Rep ; 11(1): 24441, 2021 12 24.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1585773

ABSTRACT

Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome Coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) belongs to the coronavirus family and is characterized by its high transmission competence. Elderly COVID-19 patients are at significantly higher risk of severe course of disease and death. Therefore, outbreaks in nursing homes are particularly challenging for facility managers and health authorities. Here, we report three outbreaks of COVID-19 related to nursing homes (NH01.a, NH02 and NH03) with almost 1000 affected individuals during the first COVID-19 wave in Berlin, Germany. The occurrence of cases and the measures taken were analyzed retrospectively. In all three outbreaks, the index persons were nursing home employees or volunteers. Measures taken were quarantine of contacts, close-meshed tests, separation of the affected housing unit, suspension of admission, ban on visiting, and equipping staff with personal protective equipment, of which there was a shortage in Germany at the beginning of the pandemic. A court-ordered quarantine became necessary for three residents of NH01.a due to cognitive disabilities. In total, 61 persons were tested positive for SARS-CoV-2 in NH01.a, ten persons in NH02, and sixteen persons in NH03. Seventeen patients (27.9%) of NH01.a and three patients (18.8%) of NH03 were referred to hospital. Of all confirmed cases, thirteen (21.3%) related to NH01.a and four (25.0%) related to NH03 died as a result of the infection. Besides one 82 year old volunteer, all deceased persons were residents aged between 66 and 98. Our results emphasize the importance of a previously developed containment and cluster strategy for nursing homes. Due to the particular vulnerability of the residents, immediate action, close cooperation and communication between the facility management, residents, visitors and the health authorities are essential in the case of confirmed COVID-19 cases in healthcare facilities.


Subject(s)
COVID-19/epidemiology , Aged , Aged, 80 and over , Berlin/epidemiology , COVID-19/mortality , COVID-19/pathology , COVID-19/virology , Disease Outbreaks , Female , Humans , Male , Middle Aged , Nursing Homes , Retrospective Studies , SARS-CoV-2/isolation & purification , Survival Rate
3.
PLoS One ; 16(4): e0249676, 2021.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1197376

ABSTRACT

The Covid-19 disease has caused a world-wide pandemic with more than 60 million positive cases and more than 1.4 million deaths by the end of November 2020. As long as effective medical treatment and vaccination are not available, non-pharmaceutical interventions such as social distancing, self-isolation and quarantine as well as far-reaching shutdowns of economic activity and public life are the only available strategies to prevent the virus from spreading. These interventions must meet conflicting requirements where some objectives, like the minimization of disease-related deaths or the impact on health systems, demand for stronger counter-measures, while others, such as social and economic costs, call for weaker counter-measures. Therefore, finding the optimal compromise of counter-measures requires the solution of a multi-objective optimization problem that is based on accurate prediction of future infection spreading for all combinations of counter-measures under consideration. We present a strategy for construction and solution of such a multi-objective optimization problem with real-world applicability. The strategy is based on a micro-model allowing for accurate prediction via a realistic combination of person-centric data-driven human mobility and behavior, stochastic infection models and disease progression models including micro-level inclusion of governmental intervention strategies. For this micro-model, a surrogate macro-model is constructed and validated that is much less computationally expensive and can therefore be used in the core of a numerical solver for the multi-objective optimization problem. The resulting set of optimal compromises between counter-measures (Pareto front) is discussed and its meaning for policy decisions is outlined.


Subject(s)
COVID-19/prevention & control , COVID-19/transmission , Berlin/epidemiology , COVID-19/epidemiology , Communicable Disease Control , Computer Simulation , Humans , Models, Statistical , SARS-CoV-2/isolation & purification , Stochastic Processes
4.
Sci Rep ; 11(1): 4263, 2021 02 19.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1091460

ABSTRACT

Infection by the new corona virus strain SARS-CoV-2 and its related syndrome COVID-19 has been associated with more than two million deaths worldwide. Patients of higher age and with preexisting chronic health conditions are at an increased risk of fatal disease outcome. However, detailed information on causes of death and the contribution of pre-existing health conditions to death yet is missing, which can be reliably established by autopsy only. We performed full body autopsies on 26 patients that had died after SARS-CoV-2 infection and COVID-19 at the Charité University Hospital Berlin, Germany, or at associated teaching hospitals. We systematically evaluated causes of death and pre-existing health conditions. Additionally, clinical records and death certificates were evaluated. We report findings on causes of death and comorbidities of 26 decedents that had clinically presented with severe COVID-19. We found that septic shock and multi organ failure was the most common immediate cause of death, often due to suppurative pulmonary infection. Respiratory failure due to diffuse alveolar damage presented as immediate cause of death in fewer cases. Several comorbidities, such as hypertension, ischemic heart disease, and obesity were present in the vast majority of patients. Our findings reveal that causes of death were directly related to COVID-19 in the majority of decedents, while they appear not to be an immediate result of preexisting health conditions and comorbidities. We therefore suggest that the majority of patients had died of COVID-19 with only contributory implications of preexisting health conditions to the mechanism of death.


Subject(s)
COVID-19/mortality , Cause of Death , Hospital Mortality , Adult , Aged , Aged, 80 and over , Autopsy , Berlin/epidemiology , COVID-19/complications , COVID-19/therapy , COVID-19/virology , Comorbidity , Female , Hospitals, Teaching/statistics & numerical data , Humans , Hypertension/epidemiology , Male , Middle Aged , Multiple Organ Failure/mortality , Multiple Organ Failure/virology , Myocardial Ischemia/epidemiology , Obesity/epidemiology , Prospective Studies , SARS-CoV-2/isolation & purification , Shock, Septic/mortality , Shock, Septic/virology
5.
Pflege ; 34(1): 3-12, 2021 Feb.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1087407

ABSTRACT

COVID-19 pandemic in Berlin and Brandenburg - A hospital survey from nursing management perspective Abstract. Background: During the COVID-19 pandemic, it is unclear how hospitals in the federal states of Berlin and Brandenburg are structured with regard to structural adaptions, personnel situations, protective equipment and trainings. Therefore, the aim of the present study is to evaluate and compare the current status of all hospitals in both states. Methods: In April 2020, an online survey of all hospitals in Berlin and Brandenburg (n = 99) was carried out. Structural capacities, the personnel situation, protective equipment and training were investigated. Results: The hospitals (response rate: 31.3 %) have made all structural changes except for n = 1 facility. The majority of the failure rate is critically stated as 5 - 10 % before (58.6 %) and during the pandemic (51.5 %). The proportion with > 10 % default rate increases from 20.7 % to 31.0 %. 45.2 % of hospitals report that they rarely have shortage in protective clothing. Nurses at peripheral wards are often trained in handling with respiratory patients. The duration is in median 2 - 8 hours. No significant differences between Berlin and Brandenburg were found. Conclusions: At the time of the survey, the hospitals in Berlin and Brandenburg were well prepared for the challenges posed by the COVID-19 pandemic. In April 2020, the results indicate that hospitals are well prepared to ensure the health care provision.


Subject(s)
COVID-19/epidemiology , Delivery of Health Care/organization & administration , Pandemics , Berlin/epidemiology , Germany/epidemiology , Hospitals , Humans , Personal Protective Equipment/supply & distribution , Surveys and Questionnaires
6.
ESC Heart Fail ; 8(1): 333-343, 2021 02.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1064348

ABSTRACT

AIMS: This study aimed to evaluate the impact of coronavirus disease 2019 (Covid-19) outbreak on admissions for acute myocardial infarction (AMI) and related mortality, severity of presentation, major cardiac complications and outcome in a tertiary-care university hospital in Berlin, Germany. METHODS AND RESULTS: In a single-centre cross-sectional observational study, we included 355 patients with AMI containing ST-elevation or non-ST-elevation myocardial infarction (STEMI or NSTEMI), admitted for emergency cardiac catheterization between January and April 2020 and the equivalent time in 2019. During the early phase of the Covid-19 pandemic (e-COV) in Berlin (March and April 2020), admissions for AMI halved compared with those in the pre-Covid-19 time (January and February 2020; pre-COV) and with those in the corresponding months in 2019. However, mortality for AMI increased substantially from 5.2% pre-COV to 17.7% (P < 0.05) during e-COV. Severity of presentation for AMI was more pronounced during e-COV [increased levels of cardiac enzymes, reduced left ventricular ejection fraction (LVEF), an increase in the need of inotropic support by 25% (P < 0.01)], while patients' demographic and angiographic characteristics did not differ between pre-COV and e-COV. Time from symptom onset to first medical contact was prolonged in all AMI during e-COV (presentation > 72 h +21% in STEMI, p = 0.04 and presentation > 72 h in NSTEMI +22%, p = 0.02). Door to balloon time was similar in STEMI patients, while time from first medical contact to revascularization was significantly delayed in NSTEMI patients (p = 0.02). Major cardiac complications after AMI occurred significantly more often, and cardiac recovery was worse in e-COV than in pre-COV, demonstrated by a significantly lower LVEF (39 ± 16 vs. 46 ± 16, p < 0.05) at hospital discharge and substantially higher NTproBNP levels. CONCLUSIONS: The Covid-19 outbreak affects hospital admissions for acute coronary syndromes. During the first phase of the pandemia, significantly less patients with AMI were admitted, but those admitted presented with a more severe phenotype and had a higher mortality, more complications, and a worse short-term outcome. Therefore, our data indicate that Covid-19 had relevant impact on non-infectious disease states, such as acute coronary syndromes.


Subject(s)
COVID-19/epidemiology , Myocardial Infarction/mortality , Acute Disease , Aged , Berlin/epidemiology , COVID-19/complications , Cross-Sectional Studies , Humans , Male , Middle Aged , Myocardial Infarction/epidemiology , Myocardial Infarction/etiology , Treatment Outcome
7.
Clin Microbiol Infect ; 26(12): 1685.e7-1685.e12, 2020 Dec.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-722869

ABSTRACT

OBJECTIVE: In Berlin, the first public severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) testing site started 1 day after the first case in the city occurred. We describe epidemiological and clinical characteristics and aim at identifying risk factors for SARS-CoV-2 detection during the first 6 weeks of operation. METHODS: Testing followed national recommendations, but was also based on the physician's discretion. We related patient characteristics to SARS-CoV-2 test positivity for exploratory analyses using a cross-sectional, observational study design. RESULTS: Between 3 March and 13 April 2020, 5179 individuals attended the site (median age 34 years; interquartile range 26-47 years). The median time since disease onset was 4 days (interquartile range 2-7 days). Among 4333 persons tested, 333 (7.7%) were positive. Test positivity increased up to 10.3% (96/929) during the first 3 weeks and then declined, paralleling Germany's lock-down and the course of the epidemic in Berlin. Strict adherence to testing guidelines resulted in 10.4% (262/2530) test positivity, compared with 3.9% (71/1803) among individuals tested for other indications. A nightclub was a transmission hotspot; 27.7% (26/94) of one night's visitors were found positive. Smell and/or taste dysfunction indicated coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) with 85.6% specificity (95% CI 82.1%-88.1%). Four per cent (14/333) of those infected were asymptomatic. Risk factors for detection of SARS-CoV-2 infection were recent contact with a positive case (second week after contact, OR 3.42; 95% CI 2.48-4.71), travel to regions of high pandemic activity (e.g. Austria, OR 4.16; 95% CI 2.48-6.99), recent onset of symptoms (second week, OR 3.61; 95% CI 1.87-6.98) and an impaired sense of smell/taste (4.08; 95% CI 2.36-7.03). CONCLUSIONS: In this young population, early-onset presentation of COVID-19 resembled flu-like symptoms, except for smell and/or taste dysfunction. Risk factors for SARS-CoV-2 detection were return from regions with high incidence and contact with confirmed SARS-CoV-2 cases, particularly when tests were administered within the first 2 weeks after contact and/or onset of symptoms.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 Testing/statistics & numerical data , COVID-19/epidemiology , Carrier State/epidemiology , Adult , Berlin/epidemiology , COVID-19/diagnosis , COVID-19/physiopathology , COVID-19 Testing/methods , Carrier State/diagnosis , Carrier State/virology , Cross-Sectional Studies , Female , Humans , Incidence , Male , Mass Screening/statistics & numerical data , Middle Aged , Olfaction Disorders/epidemiology , Olfaction Disorders/virology , Pandemics/statistics & numerical data , Risk Factors , Sensitivity and Specificity , Taste Disorders/epidemiology , Taste Disorders/virology
8.
Infection ; 48(4): 619-626, 2020 Aug.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-597401

ABSTRACT

PURPOSE: Severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) has spread worldwide causing a global health emergency. Pa-COVID-19 aims to provide comprehensive data on clinical course, pathophysiology, immunology and outcome of COVID-19, to identify prognostic biomarkers, clinical scores, and therapeutic targets for improved clinical management and preventive interventions. METHODS: Pa-COVID-19 is a prospective observational cohort study of patients with confirmed SARS-CoV-2 infection treated at Charité - Universitätsmedizin Berlin. We collect data on epidemiology, demography, medical history, symptoms, clinical course, and pathogen testing and treatment. Systematic, serial blood sampling will allow deep molecular and immunological phenotyping, transcriptomic profiling, and comprehensive biobanking. Longitudinal data and sample collection during hospitalization will be supplemented by long-term follow-up. RESULTS: Outcome measures include the WHO clinical ordinal scale on day 15 and clinical, functional, and health-related quality-of-life assessments at discharge and during follow-up. We developed a scalable dataset to (i) suit national standards of care, (ii) facilitate comprehensive data collection in medical care facilities with varying resources, and (iii) allow for rapid implementation of interventional trials based on the standardized study design and data collection. We propose this scalable protocol as blueprint for harmonized data collection and deep phenotyping in COVID-19 in Germany. CONCLUSION: We established a basic platform for harmonized, scalable data collection, pathophysiological analysis, and deep phenotyping of COVID-19, which enables rapid generation of evidence for improved medical care and identification of candidate therapeutic and preventive strategies. The electronic database accredited for interventional trials allows fast trial implementation for candidate therapeutic agents. TRIAL REGISTRATION: Registered at the German registry for clinical studies (DRKS00021688).


Subject(s)
Coronavirus Infections/physiopathology , Pneumonia, Viral/physiopathology , Registries , Berlin/epidemiology , Betacoronavirus , Biological Specimen Banks , COVID-19 , Coronavirus Infections/epidemiology , Disease Management , Humans , Observational Studies as Topic , Pandemics , Phenotype , Pneumonia, Viral/epidemiology , Prospective Studies , Risk Assessment , Risk Factors , SARS-CoV-2 , Time Factors , Treatment Outcome , World Health Organization
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