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1.
Brain Behav Immun ; 93: 426-427, 2021 03.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1179248
4.
PLoS Comput Biol ; 16(9): e1007836, 2020 09.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-962642

ABSTRACT

Early warning signals (EWS) identify systems approaching a critical transition, where the system undergoes a sudden change in state. For example, monitoring changes in variance or autocorrelation offers a computationally inexpensive method which can be used in real-time to assess when an infectious disease transitions to elimination. EWS have a promising potential to not only be used to monitor infectious diseases, but also to inform control policies to aid disease elimination. Previously, potential EWS have been identified for prevalence data, however the prevalence of a disease is often not known directly. In this work we identify EWS for incidence data, the standard data type collected by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) or World Health Organization (WHO). We show, through several examples, that EWS calculated on simulated incidence time series data exhibit vastly different behaviours to those previously studied on prevalence data. In particular, the variance displays a decreasing trend on the approach to disease elimination, contrary to that expected from critical slowing down theory; this could lead to unreliable indicators of elimination when calculated on real-world data. We derive analytical predictions which can be generalised for many epidemiological systems, and we support our theory with simulated studies of disease incidence. Additionally, we explore EWS calculated on the rate of incidence over time, a property which can be extracted directly from incidence data. We find that although incidence might not exhibit typical critical slowing down properties before a critical transition, the rate of incidence does, presenting a promising new data type for the application of statistical indicators.


Subject(s)
Communicable Diseases/epidemiology , Computational Biology/methods , Models, Statistical , Public Health Surveillance/methods , Communicable Disease Control , Humans , Incidence , Prevalence
7.
BMJ Open ; 11(4): e045872, 2021 04 07.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1172760

ABSTRACT

OBJECTIVES: This study aims to explore the strategies that governments and civil society organisations implemented to prevent and respond to the anticipated rise in violence against women and/or children (VAWC) during the 2019 novel coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic. DESIGN: A scoping review and content analysis of online media reports. SETTING: WHO European region. METHODS: A scoping review of media reports and publications and a search of other grey literature (published from 1 January to 17 September 2020). Primary and secondary outcome measures included measures implemented by governments, public services and non-governmental and civil organisations to prevent or respond to VAWC during the early months of the COVID-19 pandemic. RESULTS: Our study found that in 52 of the 53 member states there was at least one measure undertaken to prevent or respond to VAWC during the pandemic. Government-led or government-sponsored measures were the most common, reported in 50 member states. Non-governmental and other civil society-led prevention and response measures were reported in 40 member states. The most common measure was the use of media and social media to raise awareness of VAWC and to provide VAWC services through online platforms, followed by measures taken to expand and/or maintain helpline services for those exposed to violence. CONCLUSION: The potential increase in VAWC during COVID-19-imposed restrictions and lockdowns resulted in adaptations and/or increases in prevention and response strategies in nearly all member states. The strength of existing public health systems influenced the requirement and choice of strategies and highlights the need for sustaining and improving violence prevention and response services. Innovative strategies employed in several member states may offer opportunities for countries to strengthen prevention and responses in the near future and during similar emergencies.


Subject(s)
Domestic Violence/prevention & control , Mass Media , Pandemics , Child , Communicable Disease Control , Europe , Female , Humans , Internet , World Health Organization
8.
Urologe A ; 60(4): 484-490, 2021 Apr.
Article in German | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1172382

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND AND INTRODUCTION: The COVID-19 pandemic presents the challenge for medical education to teach practical skills without practical training. To provide an alternative to hands-on training during the COVID-19 lockdown, we created a virtual curriculum to teach practical skills using videos combined with online exams on a virtual e­learning platform. The goal was to convey different theoretical and practical aspects of urology. MATERIALS AND METHODS: The videos were produced by department employees using a predefined concept. The students had access to the virtual curriculum via the university's Moodle e­learning platform. To assess the success of training, participating students had to pass an online exam about the curriculum's contents, followed by an evaluation of the course. RESULTS: A total of 164 participants took part in the virtual curriculum. The overall evaluation and feedback was very positive. The acceptance of the virtual alternative to hands-on teaching was high. DISCUSSION: The virtual curriculum offered a fast and contactless alternative to the regular hands-on teaching.


Subject(s)
Urology , Communicable Disease Control , Curriculum , Humans , Pandemics , Teaching
10.
Prog Orthod ; 22(1): 11, 2021 Apr 07.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1171330

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: The present study aimed to investigate the patients' perception of the dental practice during the COVID-19 outbreak, and whether the pandemic will affect the attendance of orthodontic patients at the dental practice. An online questionnaire, including the Patient Health Questionnaire-4 (PHQ-4), was submitted to Italian dental patients with items about their perceived risks when going to the dentist, concerns about continuing orthodontic treatment, and the onset of temporomandibular disorders (TMD). Data were analyzed with a chi-square test and logistic regression analysis. The level of significance was set at P < 0.05. RESULTS: A total of 1566 subjects completed the survey, including 486 who were under orthodontic treatment or who had a child in orthodontic treatment. A total of 866 participants (55.3%) thought the risk of contracting the COVID-19 infection was higher in a dental practice; this perception was associated with gender (women more than man), age (over 60 years old) and high levels of distress (P<0.001). However, 894 patients (57.1%) felt comfortable going back to the dentist. Most of the orthodontic patients (84%) would continue their treatment. After the lockdown, there was a slight increase in the frequency of TMD pain (356 versus 334). CONCLUSIONS: Most of the participants believed that the dental practice is a place at greater risk of contracting COVID-19, even if they continue to go to the dentist. Gender, age, and the level of distress were associated with the increase in the fear of going to the dentist due to COVID-19. Because of the pandemic, 16% of patients undergoing orthodontic treatment would not return to the dental practice to continue their orthodontic treatment after the lockdown. The prevalence of TMD pain in the population increased due to the pandemic.


Subject(s)
Child , Communicable Disease Control , Female , Humans , Italy/epidemiology , Male , Middle Aged , Perception
11.
Int J Environ Res Public Health ; 18(5)2021 03 07.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1170242

ABSTRACT

Despite the global impact of COVID-19, studies comparing the effects of COVID-19 on population mental health across countries are sparse. This study aimed to compare anxiety and depression symptoms during the COVID-19 lockdown among adults from 11 countries and to examine their associations with country-level COVID-19 factors and personal COVID-19 exposure. A cross-sectional survey was conducted among adults (≥18 years) in 11 countries (Brazil, Bulgaria, China, India, Ireland, North Macedonia, Malaysia, Singapore, Spain, Turkey, United States). Mental health (anxiety, depression, resilient coping, hope) and other study data were collected between June-August 2020. Of the 13,263 participants, 62.8% were female and 51.7% were 18-34 years old. Participants living in Brazil had the highest anxiety and depression symptoms while participants living in Singapore had the lowest. Greater personal COVID-19 exposure was associated with increased anxiety and depression symptoms, but country-level COVID-19 factors were not. Higher levels of hope were associated with reduced anxiety and depression; higher levels of resilient coping were associated with reduced anxiety but not depression. Substantial variations exist in anxiety and depression symptoms across countries during the COVID-19 lockdown, with personal COVID-19 exposure being a significant risk factor. Strategies that mitigate COVID-19 exposure and enhance hope and resilience may reduce anxiety and depression during global emergencies.


Subject(s)
Pandemics , Adolescent , Adult , Anxiety/epidemiology , Brazil/epidemiology , Bulgaria , China , Communicable Disease Control , Cross-Sectional Studies , Depression/epidemiology , Female , Humans , India , Ireland , Malaysia , Male , Mental Health , Republic of North Macedonia , Singapore , Spain , Turkey , Young Adult
12.
BMC Psychol ; 9(1): 53, 2021 Apr 06.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1169986

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: In the case of people who carry an increased number of anxiety traits and maladaptive coping strategies, psychosocial stressors may further increase the level of perceived stress they experience. In our research study, we aimed to examine the levels of perceived stress and health anxiety as well as coping styles among university students amid the COVID-19 pandemic. METHODS: A cross-sectional study was conducted using an online-based survey at the University of Debrecen during the official lockdown in Hungary when dormitories were closed, and teaching was conducted remotely. Our questionnaire solicited data using three assessment tools, namely, the Perceived Stress Scale (PSS), the Ways of Coping Questionnaire (WCQ), and the Short Health Anxiety Inventory (SHAI). RESULTS: A total of 1320 students have participated in our study and 31 non-eligible responses were excluded. Among the remaining 1289 participants, 948 (73.5%) and 341 (26.5%) were Hungarian and international students, respectively. Female students predominated the overall sample with 920 participants (71.4%). In general, there was a statistically significant positive relationship between perceived stress and health anxiety. Health anxiety and perceived stress levels were significantly higher among international students compared to domestic ones. Regarding coping, wishful thinking was associated with higher levels of stress and anxiety among international students, while being a goal-oriented person acted the opposite way. Among the domestic students, cognitive restructuring as a coping strategy was associated with lower levels of stress and anxiety. Concerning health anxiety, female students (domestic and international) had significantly higher levels of health anxiety compared to males. Moreover, female students had significantly higher levels of perceived stress compared to males in the international group, however, there was no significant difference in perceived stress between males and females in the domestic group. CONCLUSION: The elevated perceived stress levels during major life events can be further deepened by disengagement from home (being away/abroad from country or family) and by using inadequate coping strategies. By following and adhering to the international recommendations, adopting proper coping methods, and equipping oneself with the required coping and stress management skills, the associated high levels of perceived stress and anxiety could be mitigated.


Subject(s)
Adaptation, Psychological , Anxiety , Communicable Disease Control , Cross-Sectional Studies , Female , Humans , Male , Pandemics , Stress, Psychological
13.
Saudi Med J ; 42(4): 384-390, 2021 Apr.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1168260

ABSTRACT

OBJECTIVES: To measure the Saudi population's sleep quality during the lockdown of COVID-19. METHODS: An internet-based questionnaire that was performed during the lockdown of the COVID-19 pandemic among the Saudi population over 2 weeks from April 1 to April 15, 2020. We used the instant messaging application WhatsApp and Twitter to reach the targeted population. Saudi citizens and non-Saudi residents who can read and understand the questionnaire were recruited. Data were analyzed using Stata and SPSS. RESULTS: A total of 790 responses were included. The majority of participants were the Saudi population 735 (92.9%). The prevalence of insomnia and poor sleep quality were 54.4% and 55.5%, respectively. Saudi citizenship was associated with longer sleep duration (p=0.031). Female gender and being married were associated with worse global PSQI, sleep quality, sleep distribution, sleep latency, and daytime dysfunction. CONCLUSION: Our findings showed that during the COVID-19 pandemic, the Saudi population had a high prevalence of insomnia and poor sleep quality. Routine monitoring of the psychological impact of life-threatening outbreaks and the adoption of effective early mental health actions should be considered.


Subject(s)
Disorders of Excessive Somnolence/epidemiology , Sleep Initiation and Maintenance Disorders/epidemiology , Sleep , Adult , Communicable Disease Control , Cross-Sectional Studies , Educational Status , Female , Humans , Male , Marital Status/statistics & numerical data , Middle Aged , Prevalence , Public Policy , Risk Factors , Saudi Arabia/epidemiology , Sex Factors , Sleep Latency , Surveys and Questionnaires , Unemployment/statistics & numerical data
14.
Int J Environ Res Public Health ; 18(6)2021 03 12.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1167514

ABSTRACT

As a consequence of the Spring 2020 lockdown that occurred in Spain due to the COVID-19 pandemic, many people lost their jobs or had to be furloughed. The objective of this study is to analyse the influence of the latter changes in labour market status on psychological well-being. For this purpose, an ad-hoc questionnaire featuring socio-demographic and mental health criteria was created. Granted that the pandemic can be viewed as an exogenous shock, the bias caused by the bidirectional problems between the work situation and mental well-being can be tackled. Results indicate that the lockdown exerted a greater negative effect on the self-perceived well-being of unemployed and furloughed persons than on those in employment. Moreover, among those in continuous employment, teleworkers experienced a lesser degree of self-perceived well-being post lockdown as compared to those people remaining in the same work location throughout the COVID-19 crisis. Finally, the lockdown provoked worse effects on the self-perceived well-being of women as compared to men, a result that appears to be related to gender differences in household production. In conclusion, these results could be especially relevant given that the evolution of the pandemic is having ongoing effects on employment and, therefore, on the mental health of workers.


Subject(s)
Mental Health , Communicable Disease Control , Female , Humans , Male , Pandemics , Spain
15.
Scand J Trauma Resusc Emerg Med ; 29(1): 55, 2021 Mar 31.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1166925

ABSTRACT

OBJECTIVES: During periods such as the COVID-19 crisis, there is a need for responsive public health surveillance indicators in order to monitor both the epidemic growth and potential public health consequences of preventative measures such as lockdown. We assessed whether the automatic classification of the content of calls to emergency medical communication centers could provide relevant and responsive indicators. METHODS: We retrieved all 796,209 free-text call reports from the emergency medical communication center of the Gironde department, France, between 2018 and 2020. We trained a natural language processing neural network model with a mixed unsupervised/supervised method to classify all reasons for calls in 2020. Validation and parameter adjustment were performed using a sample of 39,907 manually-coded free-text reports. RESULTS: The number of daily calls for flu-like symptoms began to increase from February 21, 2020 and reached an unprecedented level by February 28, 2020 and peaked on March 14, 2020, 3 days before lockdown. It was strongly correlated with daily emergency room admissions, with a delay of 14 days. Calls for chest pain and stress and anxiety, peaked 12 days later. Calls for malaises with loss of consciousness, non-voluntary injuries and alcohol intoxications sharply decreased, starting one month before lockdown. No noticeable trends in relation to lockdown was found for other groups of reasons including gastroenteritis and abdominal pain, stroke, suicide and self-harm, pregnancy and delivery problems. DISCUSSION: The first wave of the COVID-19 crisis came along with increased levels of stress and anxiety but no increase in alcohol intoxication and violence. As expected, call related to road traffic crashes sharply decreased. The sharp decrease in the number of calls for malaise was more surprising. CONCLUSION: The content of calls to emergency medical communication centers is an efficient epidemiological surveillance data source that provides insights into the societal upheavals induced by a health crisis. The use of an automatic classification system using artificial intelligence makes it possible to free itself from the context that could influence a human coder, especially in a crisis situation. The COVID-19 crisis and/or lockdown induced deep modifications in the population health profile.


Subject(s)
Emergency Service, Hospital , Hotlines/trends , Natural Language Processing , Neural Networks, Computer , Adult , Communicable Disease Control , Female , France/epidemiology , Humans , Male , Public Health Surveillance , Self-Injurious Behavior/epidemiology , Social Isolation/psychology , Stress, Psychological/epidemiology
16.
BMJ Open ; 11(4): e041516, 2021 04 01.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1166470

ABSTRACT

OBJECTIVES: Better understanding of the dynamics of the COVID-19 (2019 novel coronavirus disease) pandemic to curb its spread is now a global imperative. While travel restrictions and control measures have been shown to limit the spread of the disease, the effectiveness of the enforcement of those measures should depend on the strength of the government. Whether, and how, the government plays a role in fighting the disease, however, has not been investigated. Here, we show that government management capacities are critical to the containment of the disease. SETTING: We conducted a statistical analysis based on cross-city comparisons within China. China has undergone almost the entire cycle of the anticoronavirus campaign, which allows us to trace the full dynamics of the outbreak, with homogeneity in standards for statistics recording. PRIMARY AND SECONDARY OUTCOME MEASURES: Outcome measures include city-specific COVID-19 case incidence and recoveries in China. RESULTS: The containment of COVID-19 depends on the effectiveness of the enforcement of control measures, which in turn depends on the local government's management capacities. Specifically, government efficiency, capacity for law enforcement, and the transparency of laws and policies significantly reduce COVID-19 prevalence and increase the likelihood of recoveries. The organisation size of the government, which is not closely related to its capacity for management, has a limited role.


Subject(s)
/prevention & control , Communicable Disease Control/legislation & jurisprudence , Government , China/epidemiology , Cities , Cross-Sectional Studies , Humans
19.
Public Health ; 192: 56-60, 2021 Mar.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1164362

ABSTRACT

OBJECTIVES: To understand children's perspectives of COVID-19 and lockdown through art. STUDY DESIGN: Observational; Qualitative study. METHODS: The drawings and descriptive notes along with the drawings were presented in an art exhibition and were thematically analyzed. RESULTS: Forty-three documents were created, out of which 134 quotations, 24 codes, 21 themes, and six groups were synthesized. The themes were mainly related to positive experiences, negative experiences, unity, safety, hope, uncertainty, gratitude, faith, and future expectations. CONCLUSION: This study contributes to a better understanding of children's perspectives of the pandemic situation.


Subject(s)
Art Therapy/methods , Art , /psychology , Social Isolation/psychology , /epidemiology , Child , Communicable Disease Control , Female , Humans , India , Male , Pandemics , Qualitative Research , Quarantine
20.
Eur J Health Law ; 27(3): 232-241, 2020 06 04.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1160677

ABSTRACT

The current pandemic outbreak of corona virus SARS-CoV-2 shows the need for comprehensive European cooperation in drug development and the importance of genetic material and sequence data in research concerning this unknown disease. As corona virus SARS-CoV-2 is spreading across Europe and worldwide, national authorities and the European Union (EU) institutions do their utmost to address the pandemic and accelerate innovation to protect global health. In order to be prepared and to be able to respond immediately to serious epidemic and pandemic diseases, the EU has already adopted the Decision No (EU) 1082/2013 on serious cross-border threats to health. The World Health Organization (WHO) has established a global system to collect genetic material and information to protect a global influenza pandemic outbreak. The article describes the current legal landscape under EU and international law.


Subject(s)
/prevention & control , Communicable Disease Control/legislation & jurisprudence , Databases, Genetic/legislation & jurisprudence , International Health Regulations , International Law , Pandemics/prevention & control , /genetics , European Union , Humans , International Cooperation , World Health Organization
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