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4.
Postgrad Med J ; 96(1137): 399-402, 2020 Jul.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-20234171

ABSTRACT

A novel coronavirus (severe acute respiratory syndrome-CoV-2) that initially originated from Wuhan, China, in December 2019 has already caused a pandemic. While this novel coronavirus disease (COVID-19) frequently induces mild diseases, it has also generated severe diseases among certain populations, including older-aged individuals with underlying diseases, such as cardiovascular disease and diabetes. As of 31 March 2020, a total of 9786 confirmed cases with COVID-19 have been reported in South Korea. South Korea has the highest diagnostic rate for COVID-19, which has been the major contributor in overcoming this outbreak. We are trying to reduce the reproduction number of COVID-19 to less than one and eventually succeed in controlling this outbreak using methods such as contact tracing, quarantine, testing, isolation, social distancing and school closure. This report aimed to describe the current situation of COVID-19 in South Korea and our response to this outbreak.


Subject(s)
Betacoronavirus/pathogenicity , COVID-19/epidemiology , COVID-19/transmission , Communicable Disease Control/organization & administration , Coronavirus Infections/epidemiology , Coronavirus Infections/transmission , Pandemics/prevention & control , Pneumonia, Viral/epidemiology , Pneumonia, Viral/transmission , Quarantine/organization & administration , Basic Reproduction Number , COVID-19/prevention & control , Coronavirus Infections/prevention & control , Epidemiological Monitoring , Evidence-Based Medicine , Human Activities , Humans , Physical Distancing , Pneumonia, Viral/prevention & control , Republic of Korea/epidemiology , SARS-CoV-2 , Travel
9.
Sci Total Environ ; 893: 164846, 2023 Oct 01.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-20234062

ABSTRACT

The impact of the COVID-19 pandemic and related restrictions on alcohol consumption in Australia remains unclear. High-resolution daily samples from a wastewater treatment plant (WWTP) which served one of the largest cities in Australia, Melbourne, were analysed for temporal trends in alcohol consumption under extended periods of COVID-19 restrictions in 2020. Melbourne experienced two major lockdowns in 2020, which divided the year of 2020 into five periods (pre-lockdown, first lockdown, between lockdown, second lockdown and post second-lockdown). In this study, daily sampling identified shifts in alcohol consumption during different periods of restrictions. Alcohol consumption in the first lockdown period, when bars closed and social and sports events ceased, was lower than pre-lockdown period. However, alcohol consumption was higher in the second lockdown period than the previous lockdown period. There were spikes in alcohol consumption at the start and end of each lockdown (except for post lockdown). For most of 2020, the usual weekday-weekend variations in alcohol consumption were less evident but there was a significant difference in alcohol consumption between weekdays and weekends after the second lockdown. This suggests that drinking patterns eventually returned to normal after the end of the second lockdown. This study demonstrates the usefulness of high-resolution wastewater sampling in evaluating the effects on alcohol consumption of social interventions in specific temporal locations.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Wastewater , Humans , Pandemics , COVID-19/epidemiology , Communicable Disease Control , Alcohol Drinking/epidemiology , Australia/epidemiology
10.
J Prev Med Public Health ; 56(3): 212-220, 2023 May.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-20233931

ABSTRACT

OBJECTIVES: This study compared the epidemiological and clinical manifestations of patients hospitalized with respiratory syncytial virus (RSV) infection before and during the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic at a tertiary care hospital in Chiang Mai Province, Thailand. METHODS: This retrospective observational study utilized data from all cases of laboratory-confirmed RSV infection at Maharaj Nakorn Chiang Mai Hospital from January 2016 to December 2021. Differences in the clinical presentation of RSV infection before (2016 to 2019) and during (2020 to 2021) the COVID-19 pandemic were analyzed and compared. RESULTS: In total, 358 patients hospitalized with RSV infections were reported from January 2016 to December 2021. During the COVID-19 pandemic, only 74 cases of hospitalized RSV infection were reported. Compared to pre-pandemic levels, the clinical presentations of RSV infection showed statistically significant decreases in fever on admission (p=0.004), productive cough (p=0.004), sputum (p=0.003), nausea (p=0.03), cyanosis (p=0.004), pallor (p<0.001), diarrhea (p<0.001), and chest pain (p<0.001). Furthermore, vigilant measures to prevent the spread of COVID-19, including lockdowns, also interrupted the RSV season in Thailand from 2020 to 2021. CONCLUSIONS: The incidence of RSV infection was affected by the COVID-19 pandemic in Chiang Mai Province, Thailand, which also changed the clinical presentation and seasonal pattern of RSV infection in children.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Respiratory Syncytial Virus Infections , Respiratory Syncytial Virus, Human , Child , Humans , Infant , Respiratory Syncytial Virus Infections/epidemiology , Child, Hospitalized , Pandemics , Thailand/epidemiology , COVID-19/epidemiology , Communicable Disease Control
11.
BMC Public Health ; 23(1): 946, 2023 05 25.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-20233856

ABSTRACT

Sport participation and volunteering can make important contributions to good health. Sporting organisations need volunteers to deliver their participation opportunities and for many years the sector has faced challenges to volunteer recruitment and retention, especially due to the increased bureaucratic and compliance demands in operating community sports clubs. As sporting organisations pivot to adapt to COVID-safe sport we can learn about their experiences to inform volunteer recruitment and retention policies and practices. This research examined volunteer intentions and motivations in coaching and officiating in basketball and explored factors influencing their decision to return to COVID-safe basketball. Data was collected via an online survey that drew on theoretical frameworks of volunteer motivations (i.e. modified Volunteer Functions Inventory VFI) in sport as well as sport policies related to COVID-safe guidelines for return to sport. Data was collected in Victoria Australia during July 2020 before basketball had the chance to return from the first Australian-wide COVID-19 lockdown. Volunteers had positive intentions to return to basketball following COVID-19 restrictions because it was fun, to help others, or because friends/family were involved. Volunteers were most concerned that others will not comply with COVID-safe policies particularly around isolating when feeling unwell (95%), but also reported concerns about the inconveniences of some COVID-safe policies introduced to return to organised sport (e.g. social distancing, density limits, and enforcing rule changes). Understanding these volunteer intentions, motivations and factors influencing the decision to return to COVID-safe basketball can help inform recruitment and retention strategies to support volunteers in sport. Practical implications for sport policy and practice are discussed.


Subject(s)
Basketball , COVID-19 , Mentoring , Humans , Motivation , COVID-19/epidemiology , COVID-19/prevention & control , Communicable Disease Control , Victoria , Volunteers , Policy
12.
Psych J ; 12(3): 430-442, 2023 Jun.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-20233503

ABSTRACT

Increased time spent together and the lockdown resulting from the COVID-19 pandemic may have created new scenarios for marital conflict. We analyzed how home confinement affects avoidantly attached individuals': (a) resolution strategies to cope with couple conflict, (b) perception of partner's resolution strategies, and (c) overall relationship satisfaction. The sample comprised 549 individuals, divided into two subsamples: (a) the confined group, individuals confined with their partners (n = 275); and (b) the comparison group, coupled individuals from a dataset collected before the pandemic (n = 274). Results indicate that the proposed model works in different contexts (non-confinement and confinement situations), but there are some significant differences in the magnitude of some of the relationships between the variables, being stronger in the confinement group than in the comparison group. In the confined group, in individuals with avoidant attachment, withdrawal was associated with lower relationship satisfaction and a higher demand partner perceived to a higher extent than in the comparison group. This might explain the lower satisfaction with the relationship of the confined group. The different conflict resolution strategies of the couple mediated between avoidant attachment and relationship satisfaction in both groups (confined and comparison). It is concluded that individuals' attachment orientation is a key factor in how individuals experienced their close relationships during the confinement.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Negotiating , Humans , Interpersonal Relations , Sexual Partners , Pandemics , Object Attachment , Communicable Disease Control , Personal Satisfaction
13.
PLoS One ; 18(5): e0285375, 2023.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-20233496

ABSTRACT

UK 'Lockdown' measures introduced in March 2020 aimed to mitigate the spread of COVID-19. Although seeking healthcare was still permitted within restrictions, paediatric emergency department attendances reduced dramatically and led to concern over risks caused by delayed presentation. Our aim was to gain insight into healthcare decisions faced by parents during the first wave of the COVID-19 pandemic and to understand if use of urgent healthcare, self-care, and information needs differed during lockdown as well as how parents perceived risks of COVID-19. We undertook qualitative telephone interviews with a purposive sample of parents living in the North East of England recruited through online advertising. We used a semi-structured interview schedule to explore past and current healthcare use, perceptions of risk and the impact of the pandemic on healthcare decisions. Interviews were transcribed and analysed using Thematic Analysis. Three major themes were identified which concerned (i) how parents made sense of risks posed to, and by their children, (ii) understanding information regarding health services and (iii) attempting to make the right decision. These themes contribute to the understanding of the initial impact of COVID-19 and associated restrictions on parental decisions about urgent healthcare for children. These findings are important to consider when planning for potential future public health emergencies but also in the wider context of encouraging appropriate use of urgent healthcare.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Emergency Medical Services , Child , Humans , COVID-19/epidemiology , Pandemics , Communicable Disease Control , United Kingdom/epidemiology , Parents
14.
Nutrients ; 15(11)2023 May 23.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-20233371

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: Social isolation during the SARS-CoV-2 pandemic affected people's body weight, therefore, this study was designed to evaluate the association between lifestyle elements and the change in BMI during lockdown. METHODS: This retrospective observational study involved 290 questionnaires completed by adult participants divided into three groups according to BMI change during isolation. The structured questionnaire included a general description of the study objective and collected data regarding sociodemographics, anthropometrics, physical activity, sedentary behaviour, sleep duration, and food intake pre- and during COVID-19 lockdown. RESULTS: A decrease or increase in BMI was found in 23.6% and 47.8% of women and 18.5% and 42.6% of men, respectively. Among those who lost weight, 46.5% of women and 40% of men followed a diet of their own choice, 30.2% of women and 25% of men changed their product mix and reduced their intake, 40% of men stopped eating outside the home. An increase in BMI was associated with increased food intake (32.2% of women and 28.3% of men), increased sleep duration on weekdays (49.2% of women and 43.5% of men) and, in more than 50% of subjects, decreased physical activity. In women, increased BMI was associated with the highest frequency of snacking (p = 0.0003), the highest intake of sweets (p = 0.0021), and in men with the highest intake of alcohol (p = 0.0017). CONCLUSIONS: The observed changes in BMI during social isolation were the result of lifestyle modifications including dietary behaviour and differed by gender.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , SARS-CoV-2 , Adult , Male , Humans , Female , COVID-19/epidemiology , Body Mass Index , Pandemics , Poland/epidemiology , Feeding Behavior , Communicable Disease Control , Life Style
15.
PLoS One ; 18(6): e0285999, 2023.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-20233143

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: Kerala, a south Indian state, has a long and strong history of mobilisation of people's participation with institutionalised mechanisms as part of decentralisation reforms introduced three decades ago. This history formed the backdrop of the state's COVID-19 response from 2020 onwards. As part of a larger health equity study, we carried out an analysis to understand the contributions of people's participation to the state's COVID-19 response, and what implications this may have for health reform as well as governance more broadly. METHODS: We employed in-depth interviews with participants from four districts of Kerala between July and October, 2021. Following written informed consent procedures, we carried out interviews of health staff from eight primary health care centres, elected Local Self Government (LSG, or Panchayat) representatives, and community leaders. Questions explored primary health care reforms, COVID responses, and populations left behind. Transliterated English transcripts were analysed by four research team members using a thematic analysis approach and ATLAS.ti 9 software. For this paper, we specifically analysed codes and themes related to experiences of community actors and processes for COVID mitigation activities. RESULTS: A key feature of the COVID-19 response was the formation of Rapid Response Teams (RRTs), groups of lay community volunteers, who were identified and convened by LSG leaders. In some cases, pre-pandemic 'Arogya sena' (health army) community volunteer groups were merged with RRTs. RRT members were trained and supported by the health departments at the local level to distribute medicine and essential items, provided support for transportation to health facilities, and assisted with funerary rites during lockdown and containment period. RRTs often comprised youth cadres of ruling and opposition political parties. Existing community networks like Kudumbashree (Self Help Groups) and field workers from other departments have supported and been supported by RRTs. As pandemic restrictions eased, however, there was concern about the sustainability of this arrangement as well. CONCLUSION: Participatory local governance in Kerala allowed for the creation of invited spaces for community participation in a variety of roles as part of the COVID 19 response, with manifest impact. However, the terms of engagement were not decided by communities, nor were they involved more deeply in planning and organising health policy or services. The sustainability and governance features of such involvement warrant further study.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Health Care Reform , Humans , Adolescent , COVID-19/epidemiology , Communicable Disease Control , Health Facilities , Government
16.
Nutrients ; 15(10)2023 May 17.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-20233121

ABSTRACT

COVID-19-pandemic-related home confinement aids in limiting the spread of the virus but restricts exposure to sunlight, thereby possibly affecting 25(OH)D concentrations. This study aimed to investigate the effect of lockdown measures on 25(OH)D levels in outpatients visiting the healthcare centre over a period of two years. In this retrospective chart review, outpatients who visited a university healthcare centre for a health check-up over a period of two years were included. The patients' 25(OH)D serum levels and status were compared before, during, and after the lockdown periods. A total of 7234 patients were included in this study, with a mean age of 34.66 ± 16.78. The overall prevalence of 25(OH)D insufficiency, deficiency and sufficiency was 33.8%, 30.7% and 35.4%, respectively. The proportion of individuals with 25-(OH) D deficiency prior to lockdown was 29% and this proportion increased in the lockdown and post-lockdown periods to 31.1% and 32%, respectively. Although gender was less likely to have an impact on the 25 (OH) D level during the lockdown period (p = 0.630), we found an association between gender and 25 (OH) D status in the pre-lockdown and post-lockdown periods (p < 0.001 and p < 0.001, respectively). Another association between nationality and 25 (OH)D levels was found before, during and after the lockdown periods (p < 0.001). In addition, the youngest population, aged between 1 and 14, was strongly affected by the home confinement. Age had a positive and significant (p < 0.05) effect on 25 (OH) D status regardless of the different periods. Moreover, in the pre-lockdown period, male outpatients had 1.56 chance of having a sufficient level of 25 (OH)D. However, during the lockdown period, this chance decreased to 0.85 and then increased to 0.99 after the lockdown period. We found no statistically significant difference in the mean serum concentrations or in the prevalence of vitamin D insufficiency when we compared values from before, during and immediately after the COVID-19 lockdown period. However, there was a generally increased prevalence of vitamin D insufficiency in our study population. Another association between gender, nationality and age groups with 25(OH) D was found. Regular exposure to UVR is recommended for maintaining adequate vitamin D levels and to prevent vitamin D deficiency. Further research is needed to determine the best indications for vitamin D supplementation if confinement periods are extended and to consider the potential health consequences of prolonged confinement periods not only on vitamin D status but also on overall public health. The findings of this study may be considered by stakeholders for a targeted supplementation approach for risk groups.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Vitamin D Deficiency , Humans , Male , Infant , Child, Preschool , Child , Adolescent , Young Adult , Adult , Middle Aged , Pandemics , Retrospective Studies , Universities , COVID-19/epidemiology , Communicable Disease Control , Vitamin D , Calcifediol , Vitamin D Deficiency/epidemiology , Vitamins , Risk Factors , Delivery of Health Care
17.
J Theor Biol ; 571: 111555, 2023 Aug 21.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-20232846

ABSTRACT

Lockdowns are found to be effective against rapidly spreading epidemics like COVID-19. Two downsides to strategies rooted in social distancing and lockdowns are that they adversely affect the economy and prolong the duration of the epidemic. The extended duration observed in these strategies is often due to the under-utilization of medical facilities. Even though an under-utilized health care system is preferred over an overwhelmed one, an alternate strategy could be to maintain medical facilities close to their capacity, with a factor of safety. We explore the practicality of this alternate mitigation strategy and show that it can be achieved by varying the testing rate. We present an algorithm to calculate the number of tests per day to maintain medical facilities close to their capacity. We illustrate the efficacy of our strategy by showing that it reduced the epidemic duration by 40% in comparison to lockdown-based strategies.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Epidemics , Humans , COVID-19/epidemiology , COVID-19/prevention & control , Communicable Disease Control , SARS-CoV-2 , Epidemics/prevention & control , Delivery of Health Care
18.
S Afr Med J ; 113(6): 50-56, 2023 06 05.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-20232764

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: Alcohol is a significant contributor to injury-related morbidity and mortality in South Africa (SA).  During the COVID-19 global pandemic, restrictions to movement and to the legal access of alcohol* were introduced in SA.  This study aimed to investigate the effect of alcohol bans during the COVID-19 lockdown periods on injury-related mortality and the blood alcohol concentrations (BAC) in these deaths. METHODS: A retrospective, cross-sectional analysis of injury-related deaths in Western Cape (WC) province, SA, between 1 January 2019 to 31 December 2020 was conducted. Cases where BAC testing was performed were further examined according to the periods of lockdown (AL5-1) and alcohol restrictions. RESULTS: A total of 16,027 injury-related cases were admitted to Forensic Pathology Service mortuaries in the WC over the two-year period.  An average decrease of 15.7% injury-related deaths in 2020 compared to 2019 was noted, as well as a 47.7% decrease in injury-related deaths during hard lockdown (April -May 2020) compared to the same period in 2019. In the injury-related deaths, 12,077 (75.4%) had blood specimens collected for BAC testing. In 5,078 (42.0%) of submitted cases, a positive BAC (≥0.01g/100 mL) was reported. No significant difference was observed in the mean positive BAC between 2019 and 2020, however in April and May 2020, the mean BACs observed (0.13 g/100 mL) was less than that in 2019 (0.18 g/100 mL). A high number of positive BACs in the 12-17-year age group (±23.4%) was observed. CONCLUSION: There was a clear decrease in injury-related deaths in the WC during the COVID-19-related lockdown periods that coincided with the alcohol ban and restriction of movement and an increase following relaxation of restrictions on alcohol sales and movement. The data illustrated that mean BACs were similar between all periods of alcohol restriction compared to 2019, apart from hard lockdown in April-May, 2020.  This coincided with a smaller mortuary intake during the level 5 and 4 lockdown periods.   Keywords: Alcohol; blood alcohol concentration; COVID-19; injury; lockdown; South Africa; violent death; Western Cape   * Alcohol refers to ethanol.


Subject(s)
Blood Alcohol Content , COVID-19 , Humans , Retrospective Studies , Cross-Sectional Studies , South Africa/epidemiology , Communicable Disease Control , Ethanol
19.
PLoS Negl Trop Dis ; 17(5): e0011397, 2023 05.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-20232722

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: The study assessed the risk of transmission of Aedes-borne arboviruses in a community at Cape Coast during the Covid-19 restriction period in 2020 based on entomological indices. The spatial distribution of insecticide resistance was also assessed in Ae. aegypti population from Cape Coast. METHODS: Three larval indices were calculated from a household larval survey in 100 randomly selected houses. WHO susceptibility bioassay was performed on female adult Ae. aegypti that were reared from the larvae collected from household containers and other receptacles located outside houses against four insecticides. The mosquitoes were also screened for F1534C, V1016I, and V410L kdr mutations. RESULTS: The estimated larval indices in the study community were House index- 34%, Container index- 22.35%, and Breteau index- 2.02. The mosquito population was resistant to Deltamethrin (0.05%), DDT (4%), Fenitrothion (1%), and Bendiocarb (0.1%). A triple kdr mutation, F1534C, V410L and V1016I were detected in the mosquito population. CONCLUSION: The study found the risk of an outbreak of Aedes-borne diseases lower in the covid-19 lockdown period than before the pandemic period. The low risk was related to frequent clean-up exercises in the community during the Covid-19 restriction period. Multiple insecticide resistance couple with three kdr mutations detected in the study population could affect the effectiveness of control measures, especially in emergency situations. The study supports sanitation improvement as a tool to control Ae. aegypti and could complement insecticide-based tools in controlling this vector.


Subject(s)
Aedes , Arboviruses , COVID-19 , Insecticides , Pyrethrins , Animals , Humans , Female , Insecticide Resistance/genetics , Aedes/genetics , Ghana , Communicable Disease Control , Insecticides/pharmacology , Mutation , Disease Outbreaks , Mosquito Vectors/genetics
20.
J Fr Ophtalmol ; 46(6): 596-604, 2023 Jun.
Article in French | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-20232688

ABSTRACT

PURPOSE: To assess the impact of the measures taken during the lockdown period from March 17 to May 11, 2020 on the management of patients with exudative age related macular degeneration treated by intravitreal anti-VEGF injections at the University Hospital of Tours. METHODS: In this retrospective study, patients were included after analysis of the computerized medical records of patients with age related macular degeneration. Those who were treated for exudative age related macular degeneration who received at least 1 intravitreal injection in the 12 months prior and at least one consultation in the 6 months prior to the lockdown period, were included. The initial and final mean visual acuity were compared with a 5 letter non-inferiority margin. A subgroup analysis was performed according to outcomes. The visual acuities immediately after this period were also recorded. RESULTS: In all, 595 eyes of 493 patients were included. The mean initial visual acuity was 59.6 letters, vs. 58.5 for the final visual acuity, i.e. a difference of -1.13 letters with a lower limit of the confidence interval of less than 5. The visual acuity on release from lockdown was comparable to the other 2 measurements. Initial visual acuity and the number of missed treatments were the main factors associated with functional loss. CONCLUSION: Patients' visual acuity during the lockdown period was able to be maintained despite the restrictive measures and limitation of care access in France. The most common cause of substantial visual decline was missed intravitreal injections.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Macular Degeneration , Wet Macular Degeneration , Humans , Infant , Angiogenesis Inhibitors/therapeutic use , Ranibizumab , Follow-Up Studies , Retrospective Studies , COVID-19/epidemiology , COVID-19/prevention & control , Communicable Disease Control , Macular Degeneration/drug therapy , Macular Degeneration/epidemiology , Intravitreal Injections , Treatment Outcome , Wet Macular Degeneration/drug therapy , Wet Macular Degeneration/epidemiology
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