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1.
HERD ; 16(3): 61-82, 2023 Jul.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-2320902

ABSTRACT

OBJECTIVES: We explored the importance of environmental and mobility strategies during early COVID-19 by age and ethnicity and investigated predictors of park visitations considering the COVID-19 impacts. BACKGROUND: Parks are safe and accessible venues to stay active and reduce social isolation, which is especially important considering COVID-19 and the associated lockdowns. METHODS: We analyzed online survey data from 683 residents (collected July 2020) of El Paso, TX, and objective measures of neighborhood park characteristics. Chi-square tests and mixed-effects logistic regression analyses were performed to examine the environmental/mobility strategies, personal and environmental factors, and park visitations, considering the COVID-19 impacts. RESULTS: The percentage of those who visited (1+ times/week) parks or trails/paths in the neighborhood dropped from 41.7% to 19.5% since the start of COVID-19 (OR = 0.015, p < .001). Before COVID-19, middle-aged and older adults were less likely to visit parks than younger adults, while this difference became insignificant during early COVID-19. Hispanic adults were more likely to visit parks than non-Hispanics both before and during early COVID-19. Positive environmental predictors of park visitations included park availability in the neighborhood, proximity to the closest park, seeing people being physically active in the neighborhood, and neighborhood aesthetics. CONCLUSIONS: Proximately located parks, trails, and paths well integrated into residential communities, and high aesthetic quality of the neighborhood are the potential features of pandemic-resilient communities and should be considered an important national priority to maintain and promote the health and well-being of the population, especially during pandemics like COVID-19.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Communicable Disease Control , Environment Design , Parks, Recreational , Recreation , Aged , Humans , Middle Aged , Communicable Disease Control/methods , Communicable Disease Control/statistics & numerical data , COVID-19/epidemiology , COVID-19/prevention & control , Environment Design/statistics & numerical data , Hispanic or Latino/statistics & numerical data , Residence Characteristics/statistics & numerical data , Social Isolation , Quarantine/statistics & numerical data , Parks, Recreational/statistics & numerical data
2.
Infect Dis Poverty ; 12(1): 31, 2023 Apr 10.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-2296386

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: While 5% of 247 million global malaria cases are reported in Uganda, it is also a top refugee hosting country in Africa, with over 1.36 million refugees. Despite malaria being an emerging challenge for humanitarian response in refugee settlements, little is known about its risk factors. This study aimed to investigate the risk factors for malaria infections among children under 5 years of age in refugee settlements in Uganda. METHODS: We utilized data from Uganda's Malaria Indicator Survey which was conducted between December 2018 and February 2019 at the peak of malaria season. In this national survey, household level information was obtained using standardized questionnaires and a total of 7787 children under 5 years of age were tested for malaria using mainly the rapid diagnostic test. We focused on 675 malaria tested children under five in refugee settlements located in Yumbe, Arua, Adjumani, Moyo, Lamwo, Kiryadongo, Kyegegwa, Kamwenge and Isingiro districts. The extracted variables included prevalence of malaria, demographic, social-economic and environmental information. Multivariable logistic regression was used to identify and define the malaria associated risk factors. RESULTS: Overall, malaria prevalence in all refugee settlements across the nine hosting districts was 36.6%. Malaria infections were higher in refugee settlements located in Isingiro (98.7%), Kyegegwa (58.6%) and Arua (57.4%) districts. Several risk factors were significantly associated with acquisition of malaria including fetching water from open water sources [adjusted odds ratio (aOR) = 1.22, 95% CI: 0.08-0.59, P = 0.002], boreholes (aOR = 2.11, 95% CI: 0.91-4.89, P = 0.018) and water tanks (aOR = 4.47, 95% CI: 1.67-11.9, P = 0.002). Other factors included pit-latrines (aOR = 1.48, 95% CI: 1.03-2.13, P = 0.033), open defecation (aOR = 3.29, 95% CI: 1.54-7.05, P = 0.002), lack of insecticide treated bed nets (aOR = 1.15, 95% CI: 0.43-3.13, P = 0.003) and knowledge on the causes of malaria (aOR = 1.09, 95% CI: 0.79-1.51, P = 0.005). CONCLUSIONS: The persistence of the malaria infections were mainly due to open water sources, poor hygiene, and lack of preventive measures that enhanced mosquito survival and infection. Malaria elimination in refugee settlements requires an integrated control approach that combines environmental management with other complementary measures like insecticide treated bed nets, indoor residual spraying and awareness.


Subject(s)
Communicable Disease Control , Malaria , Refugees , Animals , Child, Preschool , Humans , Insecticide-Treated Bednets/supply & distribution , Malaria/diagnosis , Malaria/epidemiology , Malaria/prevention & control , Refugees/statistics & numerical data , Risk Factors , Uganda/epidemiology , Water , Infant, Newborn , Infant , Health Surveys , Prevalence , Water Supply/statistics & numerical data , Environmental Exposure/statistics & numerical data , Health Knowledge, Attitudes, Practice , Toilet Facilities/statistics & numerical data , Defecation , Hygiene/standards , Communicable Disease Control/methods , Communicable Disease Control/standards , Communicable Disease Control/statistics & numerical data
3.
Int J Environ Res Public Health ; 20(7)2023 04 05.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-2300390

ABSTRACT

This study aims to compare the awareness-raising activities between municipalities with and without focused anti-infection measures during the 2019 coronavirus disease (COVID-19) pandemic. Descriptive analysis was conducted using a nationwide self-administered questionnaire survey on municipalities' activities for residents and for healthcare providers and care workers (HCPs) in October 2022 in Japan. This study included 433 municipalities that had conducted awareness-raising activities before 2019 Fiscal Year. Workshops for residents were conducted in 85.2% of the municipalities, and they were more likely to be conducted in areas with focused anti-infection measures than those without measures (86.8% vs. 75.4%). Additionally, 85.9% of the municipalities were impacted by the pandemic; 50.1% canceled workshops, while 26.0% switched to a web-based style. Activities for HCPs were conducted in 55.2-63.7% of the municipalities, and they were more likely to be conducted in areas with focused anti-infection measures. A total of 50.6-62.1% of the municipalities changed their workshops for HCPs to a web-based style. Comparisons between areas with and without focused anti-infection measures indicated that the percentages of those impacted for all activities were not significantly different. In conclusion, awareness-raising activities in municipalities were conducted with new methods during the COVID-19 pandemic. Using information technology is essential to further promote such activities for residents.


Subject(s)
Advance Care Planning , COVID-19 , Communicable Disease Control , Health Promotion , Humans , Advance Care Planning/statistics & numerical data , COVID-19/epidemiology , COVID-19/prevention & control , Local Government , Pandemics , Surveys and Questionnaires , Japan/epidemiology , Health Education/statistics & numerical data , Health Promotion/statistics & numerical data , Cities/statistics & numerical data , Communicable Disease Control/statistics & numerical data
4.
Swiss Med Wkly ; 150: w20295, 2020 05 18.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-2268435

ABSTRACT

Following the rapid dissemination of COVID-19 cases in Switzerland, large-scale non-pharmaceutical interventions (NPIs) were implemented by the cantons and the federal government between 28 February and 20 March 2020. Estimates of the impact of these interventions on SARS-CoV-2 transmission are critical for decision making in this and future outbreaks. We here aim to assess the impact of these NPIs on disease transmission by estimating changes in the basic reproduction number (R0) at national and cantonal levels in relation to the timing of these NPIs. We estimated the time-varying R0 nationally and in eleven cantons by fitting a stochastic transmission model explicitly simulating within-hospital dynamics. We used individual-level data from more than 1000 hospitalised patients in Switzerland and public daily reports of hospitalisations and deaths. We estimated the national R0 to be 2.8 (95% confidence interval 2.1–3.8) at the beginning of the epidemic. Starting from around 7 March, we found a strong reduction in time-varying R0 with a 86% median decrease (95% quantile range [QR] 79–90%) to a value of 0.40 (95% QR 0.3–0.58) in the period of 29 March to 5 April. At the cantonal level, R0 decreased over the course of the epidemic between 53% and 92%. Reductions in time-varying R0 were synchronous with changes in mobility patterns as estimated through smartphone activity, which started before the official implementation of NPIs. We inferred that most of the reduction of transmission is attributable to behavioural changes as opposed to natural immunity, the latter accounting for only about 4% of the total reduction in effective transmission. As Switzerland considers relaxing some of the restrictions of social mixing, current estimates of time-varying R0 well below one are promising. However, as of 24 April 2020, at least 96% (95% QR 95.7–96.4%) of the Swiss population remains susceptible to SARS-CoV-2. These results warrant a cautious relaxation of social distance practices and close monitoring of changes in both the basic and effective reproduction numbers.


Subject(s)
Betacoronavirus/isolation & purification , Communicable Disease Control , Coronavirus Infections , Disease Transmission, Infectious , Pandemics/statistics & numerical data , Pneumonia, Viral , COVID-19 , Communicable Disease Control/methods , Communicable Disease Control/organization & administration , Communicable Disease Control/statistics & numerical data , Communicable Diseases, Emerging/prevention & control , Coronavirus Infections/epidemiology , Coronavirus Infections/prevention & control , Coronavirus Infections/transmission , Disease Transmission, Infectious/prevention & control , Disease Transmission, Infectious/statistics & numerical data , Hospitalization/statistics & numerical data , Humans , Models, Statistical , Mortality , Pandemics/prevention & control , Pneumonia, Viral/epidemiology , Pneumonia, Viral/prevention & control , Pneumonia, Viral/transmission , SARS-CoV-2 , Space-Time Clustering , Stochastic Processes
5.
Heart Fail Clin ; 19(2): 221-229, 2023 Apr.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-2261444

ABSTRACT

The global health crisis caused by the COVID-19 pandemic has evolved rapidly to overburden health care organizations around the world and has resulted in significant morbidity and mortality. Many countries have reported a substantial and rapid reduction in hospital admissions for acute coronary syndromes and percutaneous coronary intervention. The reasons for such abrupt changes in health care delivery are multifactorial and include lockdowns, reduction in outpatient services, reluctance to seek medical attention for fear of contracting the virus, and restrictive visitation policies adopted during the pandemic. This review discusses the impact of COVID-19 on important aspects of acute MI care.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Delivery of Health Care , Myocardial Infarction , Humans , Ambulatory Care/statistics & numerical data , Communicable Disease Control/statistics & numerical data , COVID-19/epidemiology , Myocardial Infarction/epidemiology , Myocardial Infarction/therapy , Pandemics , Delivery of Health Care/statistics & numerical data , Health Services Accessibility/statistics & numerical data
6.
JMIR Public Health Surveill ; 7(6): e24251, 2021 06 17.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-2197876

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: COVID-19 transmission rates in South Asia initially were under control when governments implemented health policies aimed at controlling the pandemic such as quarantines, travel bans, and border, business, and school closures. Governments have since relaxed public health restrictions, which resulted in significant outbreaks, shifting the global epicenter of COVID-19 to India. Ongoing systematic public health surveillance of the COVID-19 pandemic is needed to inform disease prevention policy to re-establish control over the pandemic within South Asia. OBJECTIVE: This study aimed to inform public health leaders about the state of the COVID-19 pandemic, how South Asia displays differences within and among countries and other global regions, and where immediate action is needed to control the outbreaks. METHODS: We extracted COVID-19 data spanning 62 days from public health registries and calculated traditional and enhanced surveillance metrics. We use an empirical difference equation to measure the daily number of cases in South Asia as a function of the prior number of cases, the level of testing, and weekly shifts in variables with a dynamic panel model that was estimated using the generalized method of moments approach by implementing the Arellano-Bond estimator in R. RESULTS: Traditional surveillance metrics indicate that South Asian countries have an alarming outbreak, with India leading the region with 310,310 new daily cases in accordance with the 7-day moving average. Enhanced surveillance indicates that while Pakistan and Bangladesh still have a high daily number of new COVID-19 cases (n=4819 and n=3878, respectively), their speed of new infections declined from April 12-25, 2021, from 2.28 to 2.18 and 3.15 to 2.35 daily new infections per 100,000 population, respectively, which suggests that their outbreaks are decreasing and that these countries are headed in the right direction. In contrast, India's speed of new infections per 100,000 population increased by 52% during the same period from 14.79 to 22.49 new cases per day per 100,000 population, which constitutes an increased outbreak. CONCLUSIONS: Relaxation of public health restrictions and the spread of novel variants fueled the second wave of the COVID-19 pandemic in South Asia. Public health surveillance indicates that shifts in policy and the spread of new variants correlate with a drastic expansion in the pandemic, requiring immediate action to mitigate the spread of COVID-19. Surveillance is needed to inform leaders whether policies help control the pandemic.


Subject(s)
COVID-19/epidemiology , Communicable Disease Control/statistics & numerical data , Disease Outbreaks/statistics & numerical data , Health Policy , Public Health/statistics & numerical data , Adult , Aged , Aged, 80 and over , Asia/epidemiology , COVID-19/prevention & control , Communicable Disease Control/legislation & jurisprudence , Female , Humans , Longitudinal Studies , Male , Middle Aged , Public Health Surveillance , SARS-CoV-2
7.
Elife ; 92020 08 13.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-2155738

ABSTRACT

As of 1 May 2020, there had been 6808 confirmed cases of COVID-19 in Australia. Of these, 98 had died from the disease. The epidemic had been in decline since mid-March, with 308 cases confirmed nationally since 14 April. This suggests that the collective actions of the Australian public and government authorities in response to COVID-19 were sufficiently early and assiduous to avert a public health crisis - for now. Analysing factors that contribute to individual country experiences of COVID-19, such as the intensity and timing of public health interventions, will assist in the next stage of response planning globally. We describe how the epidemic and public health response unfolded in Australia up to 13 April. We estimate that the effective reproduction number was likely below one in each Australian state since mid-March and forecast that clinical demand would remain below capacity thresholds over the forecast period (from mid-to-late April).


Subject(s)
Betacoronavirus , Coronavirus Infections/epidemiology , Pandemics , Pneumonia, Viral/epidemiology , Adolescent , Adult , Age Distribution , Aged , Aged, 80 and over , Australia/epidemiology , COVID-19 , Child , Child, Preschool , Communicable Disease Control/methods , Communicable Disease Control/organization & administration , Communicable Disease Control/statistics & numerical data , Coronavirus Infections/prevention & control , Female , Forecasting , Geography, Medical , Hospitalization/statistics & numerical data , Humans , Infant , Infant, Newborn , Male , Middle Aged , Pandemics/prevention & control , Pneumonia, Viral/prevention & control , Public Health , Quarantine , SARS-CoV-2 , Travel , Young Adult
8.
Nature ; 612(7940): 477-482, 2022 12.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-2160238

ABSTRACT

Atmospheric methane growth reached an exceptionally high rate of 15.1 ± 0.4 parts per billion per year in 2020 despite a probable decrease in anthropogenic methane emissions during COVID-19 lockdowns1. Here we quantify changes in methane sources and in its atmospheric sink in 2020 compared with 2019. We find that, globally, total anthropogenic emissions decreased by 1.2 ± 0.1 teragrams of methane per year (Tg CH4 yr-1), fire emissions decreased by 6.5 ± 0.1 Tg CH4 yr-1 and wetland emissions increased by 6.0 ± 2.3 Tg CH4 yr-1. Tropospheric OH concentration decreased by 1.6 ± 0.2 per cent relative to 2019, mainly as a result of lower anthropogenic nitrogen oxide (NOx) emissions and associated lower free tropospheric ozone during pandemic lockdowns2. From atmospheric inversions, we also infer that global net emissions increased by 6.9 ± 2.1 Tg CH4 yr-1 in 2020 relative to 2019, and global methane removal from reaction with OH decreased by 7.5 ± 0.8 Tg CH4 yr-1. Therefore, we attribute the methane growth rate anomaly in 2020 relative to 2019 to lower OH sink (53 ± 10 per cent) and higher natural emissions (47 ± 16 per cent), mostly from wetlands. In line with previous findings3,4, our results imply that wetland methane emissions are sensitive to a warmer and wetter climate and could act as a positive feedback mechanism in the future. Our study also suggests that nitrogen oxide emission trends need to be taken into account when implementing the global anthropogenic methane emissions reduction pledge5.


Subject(s)
Atmosphere , Methane , Wetlands , Humans , Communicable Disease Control/statistics & numerical data , COVID-19/epidemiology , Methane/analysis , Ozone/analysis , Atmosphere/chemistry , Human Activities/statistics & numerical data , Time Factors , History, 21st Century , Temperature , Humidity , Nitrogen Oxides/analysis
9.
N Engl J Med ; 387(21): 1935-1946, 2022 11 24.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-2106628

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: In February 2022, Massachusetts rescinded a statewide universal masking policy in public schools, and many Massachusetts school districts lifted masking requirements during the subsequent weeks. In the greater Boston area, only two school districts - the Boston and neighboring Chelsea districts - sustained masking requirements through June 2022. The staggered lifting of masking requirements provided an opportunity to examine the effect of universal masking policies on the incidence of coronavirus disease 2019 (Covid-19) in schools. METHODS: We used a difference-in-differences analysis for staggered policy implementation to compare the incidence of Covid-19 among students and staff in school districts in the greater Boston area that lifted masking requirements with the incidence in districts that sustained masking requirements during the 2021-2022 school year. Characteristics of the school districts were also compared. RESULTS: Before the statewide masking policy was rescinded, trends in the incidence of Covid-19 were similar across school districts. During the 15 weeks after the statewide masking policy was rescinded, the lifting of masking requirements was associated with an additional 44.9 cases per 1000 students and staff (95% confidence interval, 32.6 to 57.1), which corresponded to an estimated 11,901 cases and to 29.4% of the cases in all districts during that time. Districts that chose to sustain masking requirements longer tended to have school buildings that were older and in worse condition and to have more students per classroom than districts that chose to lift masking requirements earlier. In addition, these districts had higher percentages of low-income students, students with disabilities, and students who were English-language learners, as well as higher percentages of Black and Latinx students and staff. Our results support universal masking as an important strategy for reducing Covid-19 incidence in schools and loss of in-person school days. As such, we believe that universal masking may be especially useful for mitigating effects of structural racism in schools, including potential deepening of educational inequities. CONCLUSIONS: Among school districts in the greater Boston area, the lifting of masking requirements was associated with an additional 44.9 Covid-19 cases per 1000 students and staff during the 15 weeks after the statewide masking policy was rescinded.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Health Policy , Masks , School Health Services , Universal Precautions , Humans , COVID-19/epidemiology , COVID-19/prevention & control , Incidence , Poverty/statistics & numerical data , Schools/legislation & jurisprudence , Schools/statistics & numerical data , Students/legislation & jurisprudence , Students/statistics & numerical data , Health Policy/legislation & jurisprudence , Masks/statistics & numerical data , School Health Services/legislation & jurisprudence , School Health Services/statistics & numerical data , Occupational Groups/legislation & jurisprudence , Occupational Groups/statistics & numerical data , Universal Precautions/legislation & jurisprudence , Universal Precautions/statistics & numerical data , Massachusetts/epidemiology , Communicable Disease Control/legislation & jurisprudence , Communicable Disease Control/statistics & numerical data
10.
Sci Rep ; 12(1): 4207, 2022 03 10.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-2004790

ABSTRACT

The COVID-19 pandemic has had a substantial and lasting impact on care provision, particularly in the field of cancer care. National steering has helped monitor the health situation and adapt the provision and organisation of care. Based on data from the French administrative healthcare database (SNDS) on the entire French population (67 million people), screening, diagnostic and therapeutic activity was monitored and compared 2019 on a monthly basis. A noteworthy decline in all activities (with the exception of chemotherapy) was observed during the first lockdown in France. Over the months that followed, this activity returned to normal but did not make up for the shortfall from the first lockdown. Finally, during the lockdown in late 2020, cancer care activity was conserved. In brief, in 2020, the number of mammograms decreased by 10% (- 492,500 procedures), digestive endoscopies by 19% (- 648,500), and cancer-related excision by 6% (- 23,000 surgical procedures). Hospital radiotherapy activity was down 3.8% (- 4400 patients) and that in private practice was down 1.4% (- 1600 patients). Chemotherapy activity increased by 2.2% (7200 patients), however. To summarize, COVID-19 had a very substantial impact during the first lockdown. Safeguarding cancer care activity helped limit this impact over the months that followed, but the situation remains uncertain. Further studies on the medium- and long-term impact on individuals (survival, recurrence, after-effects) will be conducted.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Delivery of Health Care/statistics & numerical data , Neoplasms/diagnosis , Neoplasms/therapy , Oncology Service, Hospital/statistics & numerical data , Quarantine/statistics & numerical data , COVID-19/prevention & control , Communicable Disease Control/methods , Communicable Disease Control/statistics & numerical data , Delivery of Health Care/methods , France/epidemiology , Humans
11.
Psychiatr Serv ; 73(11): 1202-1209, 2022 11 01.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1861753

ABSTRACT

Objective: This study aimed to examine changes in child emergency department (ED) discharges and hospitalizations for primary general medical (GM) and primary psychiatric disorders; prevalence of psychiatric disorders among acute care encounters; and change in acute mental health (MH) care encounters by disorder type and, within these categories, by child sociodemographic characteristics before and after statewide COVID-19­related school closure orders. Methods: This retrospective, cross-sectional cohort study used the Pediatric Health Information System database to assess percent changes in ED discharges and hospitalizations (N=2,658,474 total encounters) among children ages 3­17 years in 44 U.S. children's hospitals in 2020 compared with 2019, by using matched data for 36- and 12-calendar-week intervals. Results: Decline in MH ED discharges accounted for about half of the decline in ED discharges and hospitalizations for primary GM disorders (−24.8% vs. −49.1%), and MH hospitalizations declined 3.4 times less (−8.0% vs. −26.8%) in 2020. Suicide attempt or self-injury and depressive disorders accounted for >50% of acute MH care encounters before and after the statewide school closures. The increase in both ED discharges and hospitalizations for suicide attempt or self-injury was 5.1 percentage points (p<0.001). By fall 2020, MH hospitalizations for suicide attempt or self-injury rose by 41.7%, with a 43.8% and 49.2% rise among adolescents and girls, respectively. Conclusions: Suicide or self-injury and depressive disorders drove acute MH care encounters in 44 U.S. children's hospitals after COVID-19­related school closures. Research is needed to identify continuing risk indicators (e.g., sociodemographic characteristics, psychiatric disorder types, and social determinants of health) of acute child MH care.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Communicable Disease Control , Facilities and Services Utilization , Hospitals, Pediatric , Mental Health Services , Schools , Child , Humans , COVID-19/epidemiology , COVID-19/prevention & control , Hospitalization/statistics & numerical data , Hospitals, Pediatric/statistics & numerical data , Mental Health/statistics & numerical data , Schools/statistics & numerical data , Patient Care/statistics & numerical data , Mental Health Services/statistics & numerical data , United States/epidemiology , Communicable Disease Control/methods , Communicable Disease Control/statistics & numerical data , Facilities and Services Utilization/statistics & numerical data
12.
Crit Care Med ; 50(3): 353-362, 2022 03 01.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1708946

ABSTRACT

OBJECTIVES: The coronavirus disease 2019 pandemic has disrupted critical care services across the world. In anticipation of surges in the need for critical care services, governments implemented "lockdown" measures to preserve and create added critical care capacity. Herein, we describe the impact of lockdown measures on the utilization of critical care services and patient outcomes compared with nonlockdown epochs in a large integrated health region. DESIGN: This was a population-based retrospective cohort study. SETTING: Seventeen adult ICUs across 14 acute care hospitals in Alberta, Canada. PATIENTS: All adult (age ≥ 15 yr) patients admitted to any study ICU. INTERVENTIONS: None. MEASUREMENTS AND MAIN RESULTS: The main exposure was ICU admission during "lockdown" occurring between March 16, 2020, and June 30, 2020. This period was compared with two nonpandemic control periods: "year prior" (March 16, 2019, to June 30, 2019) and "pre lockdown" immediately prior (November 30, 2019, to March 15, 2020). The primary outcome was the number of ICU admissions. Secondary outcomes included the following: daily measures of ICU utilization, ICU duration of stay, avoidable delay in ICU discharge, and occupancy; and patient outcomes. Mixed multilevel negative binomial regression and interrupted time series regression were used to compare rates of ICU admissions between periods. Multivariable regressions were used to compare patient outcomes between periods. During the lockdown, there were 3,649 ICU admissions (34.1 [8.0] ICU admissions/d), compared with 4,125 (38.6 [9.3]) during the prelockdown period and 3,919 (36.6 [8.7]) during the year prior. Mean bed occupancy declined significantly during the lockdown compared with the nonpandemic periods (78.7%, 95.9%, and 96.4%; p < 0.001). Avoidable ICU discharge delay also decreased significantly (42.0%, 53.2%, and 58.3%; p < 0.001). During the lockdown, patients were younger, had fewer comorbid diseases, had higher acuity, and were more likely to be medical admissions compared with the nonpandemic periods. Adjusted ICU and hospital mortality and ICU and hospital lengths of stay were significantly lower during the lockdown compared with nonpandemic periods. CONCLUSIONS: The coronavirus disease 2019 lockdown resulted in substantial changes to ICU utilization, including a reduction in admissions, occupancy, patient lengths of stay, and mortality.


Subject(s)
COVID-19/epidemiology , Communicable Disease Control/statistics & numerical data , Intensive Care Units/statistics & numerical data , APACHE , Adult , Age Factors , Aged , Alberta/epidemiology , Bed Occupancy , Comorbidity , Critical Care , Female , Hospital Mortality , Hospitalization/statistics & numerical data , Humans , Male , Middle Aged , Pandemics , Patient Discharge , Public Health , Retrospective Studies , SARS-CoV-2 , Sex Factors
13.
PLoS One ; 16(11): e0259376, 2021.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1706673

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: People at high risk of severe illness from COVID-19 have experienced greater restrictions during the pandemic, yet there is a paucity of research exploring their lived experience. OBJECTIVES: This study explored the impact of COVID-19 on people identified as at high risk of severe illness by UK Government, and in particular, the impact of the first lockdown on access to healthcare, medications and use of technological platforms. METHODS: 1038 UK adults who identified as at high risk of severe illness from COVID-19 in line with UK Government guidance or self-identified with acute or other chronic health conditions, completed the Awareness, Attitudes and Actions survey which explored the impact of COVID-19 on access to healthcare, management of long-term health condition, mental health, and health behaviours. RESULTS: Most participants reported feelings of vulnerability, anxiety and isolation, noticed that other people changed their behaviour towards them including a feeling of being stigmatised by people not categorised as high risk. Participants described the largely negative impact that the COVID-19 lockdown had on to health-related behaviours and access to healthcare, which had resulted in large declines in mental health and wellbeing. Participants also indicated disappointment at the UK Governments response and handling of the COVID-19 lockdown. IMPLICATIONS: This study provides novel evidence of the lived experience of the first COVID-19 lockdown for people identified as at high risk of severe illness. In the context of behavioural health interventions, the ubiquity of digital technologies and their adoption into day-to-day life translates into greater potential reach than traditional interventions, and consequently, greater potential for positive public health impact. Findings should be considered by policymakers and healthcare professionals to support people now and as we transition through the recovery phase with a particular emphasis on supporting mental health and changes to the management of long-term health conditions.


Subject(s)
COVID-19/epidemiology , Mental Health , Pandemics , SARS-CoV-2/pathogenicity , Anxiety/psychology , Anxiety/virology , Attitude , COVID-19/psychology , COVID-19/virology , Communicable Disease Control/statistics & numerical data , Delivery of Health Care/statistics & numerical data , Female , Health Personnel , Humans , Male , Middle Aged , Risk Factors , Surveys and Questionnaires , United Kingdom/epidemiology
14.
J Clin Psychiatry ; 83(2)2022 02 08.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1687146

ABSTRACT

Objective: The COVID-19 pandemic and the related containment measures can represent a traumatic experience, particularly for populations living in high incidence areas and individuals with mental disorders. The aim of this study was to prospectively examine posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD), anxiety, and depressive symptoms since the end of the first COVID-19 pandemic wave and Italy's national lockdown in subjects with mood or anxiety disorders living in 2 regions with increasing pandemic incidence.Methods: 102 subjects with a DSM-5 anxiety or mood disorder were enrolled from June to July 2020 and assessed at baseline (T0) and after 3 months (T1) with the Impact of Event Scale-Revised, Patient Health Questionnaire-9, Generalized Anxiety Disorder 7-Item, and Work and Social Adjustment Scale. At T1, subjects were also assessed by means of the Trauma and Loss Spectrum Self-Report for PTSD.Results: At T0, subjects from the high COVID-19 incidence area showed higher levels of traumatic symptoms than those from the low COVID-19 incidence area (P < .001), with a decrease at T1 with respect to T0 (P = .001). Full or partial DSM-5 PTSD related to the COVID-19 pandemic emerged in 23 subjects (53.5%) from the high COVID-19 incidence area and in 9 (18.0%) from the low COVID-19 incidence area (P < .001).Conclusions: Subjects with mood or anxiety disorders presented relevant rates of PTSD, depressive, and anxiety symptoms in the aftermath of the lockdown, and in most cases these persisted after 3 months. The level of exposure to the pandemic emerged as a major risk factor for PTSD development. Further long-term studies are needed to follow up the course of traumatic burden.


Subject(s)
Anxiety , COVID-19 , Communicable Disease Control , Depression , Mood Disorders , Stress Disorders, Post-Traumatic , Anxiety/diagnosis , Anxiety/etiology , COVID-19/epidemiology , COVID-19/prevention & control , COVID-19/psychology , Communicable Disease Control/methods , Communicable Disease Control/statistics & numerical data , Cost of Illness , Depression/diagnosis , Depression/etiology , Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders , Female , Follow-Up Studies , Humans , Incidence , Italy/epidemiology , Male , Mental Health Recovery/trends , Middle Aged , Mood Disorders/diagnosis , Mood Disorders/epidemiology , Mood Disorders/therapy , Outcome Assessment, Health Care , SARS-CoV-2 , Stress Disorders, Post-Traumatic/diagnosis , Stress Disorders, Post-Traumatic/epidemiology , Stress Disorders, Post-Traumatic/etiology
15.
Nature ; 601(7893): 380-387, 2022 01.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1631307

ABSTRACT

Nitrogen dioxide (NO2) is an important contributor to air pollution and can adversely affect human health1-9. A decrease in NO2 concentrations has been reported as a result of lockdown measures to reduce the spread of COVID-1910-20. Questions remain, however, regarding the relationship of satellite-derived atmospheric column NO2 data with health-relevant ambient ground-level concentrations, and the representativeness of limited ground-based monitoring data for global assessment. Here we derive spatially resolved, global ground-level NO2 concentrations from NO2 column densities observed by the TROPOMI satellite instrument at sufficiently fine resolution (approximately one kilometre) to allow assessment of individual cities during COVID-19 lockdowns in 2020 compared to 2019. We apply these estimates to quantify NO2 changes in more than 200 cities, including 65 cities without available ground monitoring, largely in lower-income regions. Mean country-level population-weighted NO2 concentrations are 29% ± 3% lower in countries with strict lockdown conditions than in those without. Relative to long-term trends, NO2 decreases during COVID-19 lockdowns exceed recent Ozone Monitoring Instrument (OMI)-derived year-to-year decreases from emission controls, comparable to 15 ± 4 years of reductions globally. Our case studies indicate that the sensitivity of NO2 to lockdowns varies by country and emissions sector, demonstrating the critical need for spatially resolved observational information provided by these satellite-derived surface concentration estimates.


Subject(s)
Atmosphere/chemistry , COVID-19/epidemiology , COVID-19/prevention & control , Communicable Disease Control/statistics & numerical data , Environmental Indicators , Nitrogen Dioxide/analysis , Altitude , Humans , Ozone/analysis , Quarantine/statistics & numerical data , Satellite Imagery , Time Factors
16.
Sci Rep ; 12(1): 370, 2022 01 10.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1617000

ABSTRACT

COVID-19 outbreaks have had high mortality in low- and middle-income countries such as Ecuador. Human mobility is an important factor influencing the spread of diseases possibly leading to a high burden of disease at the country level. Drastic control measures, such as complete lockdown, are effective epidemic controls, yet in practice one hopes that a partial shutdown would suffice. It is an open problem to determine how much mobility can be allowed while controlling an outbreak. In this paper, we use statistical models to relate human mobility to the excess death in Ecuador while controlling for demographic factors. The mobility index provided by GRANDATA, based on mobile phone users, represents the change of number of out-of-home events with respect to a benchmark date (March 2nd, 2020). The study confirms the global trend that more men are dying than expected compared to women, and that people under 30 show less deaths than expected, particularly individuals younger than 20 with a death rate reduction between 22 and 27%. The weekly median mobility time series shows a sharp decrease in human mobility immediately after a national lockdown was declared on March 17, 2020 and a progressive increase towards the pre-lockdown level within two months. Relating median mobility to excess deaths shows a lag in its effect: first, a decrease in mobility in the previous two to three weeks decreases excess death and, more novel, we found an increase of mobility variability four weeks prior increases the number of excess deaths.


Subject(s)
COVID-19/mortality , Cause of Death , Communicable Disease Control/statistics & numerical data , Transportation/statistics & numerical data , Travel/statistics & numerical data , Adult , Algorithms , COVID-19/epidemiology , COVID-19/virology , Communicable Disease Control/methods , Ecuador/epidemiology , Female , Geography , Humans , Male , Pandemics/prevention & control , Population Dynamics , Risk Factors , SARS-CoV-2/physiology , Survival Rate , Time Factors , Young Adult
17.
Acta Obstet Gynecol Scand ; 101(2): 232-240, 2022 02.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1570453

ABSTRACT

INTRODUCTION: A pandemic may negatively influence psychological well-being in the individual. We aimed to assess the potential influence of the first national lockdown in Denmark (March to June 2020) due to the COVID-19 pandemic on psychological well-being and the content and degree of worries among pregnant women in early pregnancy. MATERIAL AND METHODS: In this hospital-based cross-sectional study based on self-reported data we compared psychological well-being and worries among women who were pregnant during the first phase of the pandemic (COVID-19 group) (n = 685), with women who were pregnant the year before (Historical group) (n = 787). Psychological well-being was measured by the five-item World Health Organization Well-being Index (WHO-5), using a score ≤50 as indicator of reduced psychological well-being. Differences in WHO-5 mean scores and in the prevalence of women with score ≤50 were assessed using general linear and log-binomial regression analyses. The Cambridge Worry Scale was used to measure the content and degree of major worries. To detect differences between groups, Pearson's Chi-square test was used. RESULTS: We found no differences in mean WHO-5 score between groups (mean difference) 0.1 (95% CI -1.5 to 1.6) or in the prevalence of women with WHO-5 score ≤50 (prevalence ratio 1.04, 95% CI 0.83-1.29) in adjusted analyses. A larger proportion of women in the COVID-19 group reported major worries about Relationship with husband/partner compared with the Historical group (3% [n = 19] vs 1% [n = 6], p = 0.04), and 9.2% in the COVID-19 group worried about the possible negative influence of the COVID-19 restrictions. CONCLUSIONS: Our findings indicate that national restrictions due to the COVID-19 pandemic did not influence the psychological well-being or the content and degree of major worries among pregnant women. However, a larger proportion of women in the COVID-19 group reported major worries concerning Relationship with husband/partner compared with the Historical group and 9.2% in the COVID-19 group worried about the possible negative influence of the COVID-19 restrictions.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Communicable Disease Control , Interpersonal Relations , Mental Health , Pregnancy Complications, Infectious , Pregnant Women/psychology , COVID-19/epidemiology , COVID-19/prevention & control , COVID-19/psychology , Communicable Disease Control/methods , Communicable Disease Control/statistics & numerical data , Cross-Sectional Studies , Denmark/epidemiology , Female , Humans , Male , Mental Health/statistics & numerical data , Mental Health/trends , Pregnancy , Pregnancy Complications, Infectious/epidemiology , Pregnancy Complications, Infectious/prevention & control , Pregnancy Complications, Infectious/psychology , Pregnancy Trimester, First/psychology , Psychology/methods , Psychology/trends , SARS-CoV-2
20.
Crit Care Med ; 49(12): 2033-2041, 2021 12 01.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1522364

ABSTRACT

OBJECTIVES: To characterize the impact of public health interventions on the volume and characteristics of admissions to the PICU. DESIGN: Multicenter retrospective cohort study. SETTING: Six U.S. referral PICUs during February 15, 2020-May 14, 2020, compared with the same months during 2017-2019 (baseline). PATIENTS: PICU admissions excluding admissions for illnesses due to severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 and readmissions during the same hospitalization. INTERVENTIONS: None. MEASUREMENTS AND MAIN RESULTS: Primary outcome was admission volumes during the period of stay-at-home orders (March 15, 2020-May 14, 2020) compared with baseline. Secondary outcomes were hospitalization characteristics including advanced support (e.g., invasive mechanical ventilation), PICU and hospital lengths of stay, and mortality. We used generalized linear mixed modeling to compare patient and admission characteristics during the stay-at-home orders period to baseline. We evaluated 7,960 admissions including 1,327 during March 15, 2020-May 14, 2020. Daily admissions and patients days were lower during the period of stay-at-home orders compared with baseline: median admissions 21 (interquartile range, 17-25) versus 36 (interquartile range, 30-42) (p < 0.001) and median patient days 93.0 (interquartile range, 55.9-136.7) versus 143.6 (interquartile range, 108.5-189.2) (p < 0.001). Admissions during the period of stay-at-home orders were less common in young children and for respiratory and infectious illnesses and more common for poisonings, endocrinopathies and for children with race/ethnicity categorized as other/unspecified. There were no differences in hospitalization characteristics except fewer patients received noninvasive ventilation during the period of stay-at-home orders. CONCLUSIONS: Reductions in PICU admissions suggest that much of pediatric critical illness in younger children and for respiratory and infectious illnesses may be preventable through targeted public health strategies.


Subject(s)
COVID-19/epidemiology , Communicable Disease Control/statistics & numerical data , Intensive Care Units, Pediatric/statistics & numerical data , Patient Admission/statistics & numerical data , Adolescent , Age Factors , Child , Child, Preschool , Female , Humans , Infant , Length of Stay , Male , Pandemics , Racial Groups , Respiration, Artificial/statistics & numerical data , Retrospective Studies , SARS-CoV-2 , Severity of Illness Index , Socioeconomic Factors , Young Adult
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