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1.
Lancet ; 399(10326): 757-768, 2022 02 19.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1747476

ABSTRACT

Diagnostics have proven to be crucial to the COVID-19 pandemic response. There are three major methods for the detection of SARS-CoV-2 infection and their role has evolved during the course of the pandemic. Molecular tests such as PCR are highly sensitive and specific at detecting viral RNA, and are recommended by WHO for confirming diagnosis in individuals who are symptomatic and for activating public health measures. Antigen rapid detection tests detect viral proteins and, although they are less sensitive than molecular tests, have the advantages of being easier to do, giving a faster time to result, of being lower cost, and able to detect infection in those who are most likely to be at risk of transmitting the virus to others. Antigen rapid detection tests can be used as a public health tool for screening individuals at enhanced risk of infection, to protect people who are clinically vulnerable, to ensure safe travel and the resumption of schooling and social activities, and to enable economic recovery. With vaccine roll-out, antibody tests (which detect the host's response to infection or vaccination) can be useful surveillance tools to inform public policy, but should not be used to provide proof of immunity, as the correlates of protection remain unclear. All three types of COVID-19 test continue to have a crucial role in the transition from pandemic response to pandemic control.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 Testing/trends , COVID-19/diagnosis , Communicable Disease Control/organization & administration , Mass Screening/organization & administration , Pandemics/prevention & control , Antibodies, Viral/blood , Antigens, Viral/isolation & purification , COVID-19/epidemiology , COVID-19/transmission , COVID-19/virology , COVID-19 Testing/methods , COVID-19 Vaccines/administration & dosage , Communicable Disease Control/methods , Communicable Disease Control/trends , Humans , Mass Screening/trends , RNA, Viral/isolation & purification , SARS-CoV-2/genetics , SARS-CoV-2/immunology , SARS-CoV-2/isolation & purification
7.
PLoS One ; 16(12): e0261844, 2021.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1623663

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: The rapid development of COVID-19 vaccines has brought an unprecedented focus on public attitudes to vaccines, with intention to accept a COVID-19 vaccine fluctuating during the pandemic. However, it is unclear how the pandemic may influence attitudes and behaviour in relation to vaccines in general. The aim of the current study is to examine older adults' changes in vaccination attitudes and behaviour over the first year of the pandemic. METHODS: In February-March 2020 (before the first COVID-19 national lockdown in the UK), 372 older adults (aged 65+) provided sociodemographic information, self-reported influenza vaccine uptake, and completed two measures of vaccination attitudes: the 5C scale and the Vaccination Attitudes Examination Scale. One-year later, following rollout of COVID-19 vaccines to older adults, participants provided information on their COVID-19 and influenza vaccine uptake in the previous 12 months, and completed the 5C and VAX scales again. Paired samples t-tests were used to examine changes in vaccination attitudes over time. RESULTS: Almost all participants (98.7%) had received at least one dose of a COVID-19 vaccine, and a significant increase in influenza uptake was identified (83.6% in 2020 to 91.6% in 2021). Complacency, mistrust of vaccine benefit, concerns about commercial profiteering, and constraints to vaccination had significantly decreased between Time 1 and Time 2, and collective responsibility had significant increased. However, calculation and worries about unforeseen future effects had increased, indicating that participants now perceived higher risks related to vaccination and were taking a more deliberative information-seeking approach. CONCLUSION: The results show significant changes in vaccination attitudes across the pandemic. These changes suggest that while older adults became less complacent about the importance of vaccines, concerns about potential risks associated with vaccination increased. It will be important for public health communication to address these concerns for all vaccines offered to this group.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 Vaccines/administration & dosage , /trends , Aged , Aged, 80 and over , Attitude , COVID-19/epidemiology , COVID-19/psychology , COVID-19/transmission , COVID-19 Vaccines/pharmacology , Communicable Disease Control/methods , Communicable Disease Control/trends , Female , Humans , Influenza Vaccines/administration & dosage , Influenza, Human/prevention & control , Intention , Longitudinal Studies , Male , Pandemics , SARS-CoV-2/immunology , SARS-CoV-2/pathogenicity , United Kingdom/epidemiology , Vaccination , /statistics & numerical data
8.
PLoS One ; 16(12): e0261439, 2021.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1623657

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: During the first-wave of the COVID-19 pandemic, dentists were considered at high-risk of infection. In France, to stop the spread of SARS-CoV-2, a nationwide lockdown was enforced, during which dentists suspended their routine clinical activities, working solely on dental emergencies. This measure has had an indisputable mitigating effect on the pandemic. To continue protecting dentists after suspension of nationwide lockdown, implementation of preventive measures was recommended, including adequate personal protective equipment (PPE) and room aeration between patients. No study has explored whether implementation of such preventive measures since the end of the first-wave has had an impact on the contamination of dentists. METHODS: An online survey was conducted within a French dentist population between July and September 2020. To explore risk factors associated with COVID-19, univariate and multivariate logistic regression analyses were performed. RESULTS: The results showed that COVID-19 prevalence among the 3497 respondents was 3.6%. Wearing surgical masks during non-aerosol generating procedures was a risk factor of COVID-19, whereas reducing the number of patients was a protective factor. CONCLUSIONS: Considering the similar COVID-19 prevalence between dentists and the general population, such data suggest that dentists are not overexposed in their work environment when adequate preventive measures are applied. IMPACT: Dentists should wear specific PPE (FFP2, FFP3 or (K)N95 masks) including during non-aerosol generating procedures and reduce the number of patients to allow proper implementation of disinfection and aeration procedures. Considering the similarities between COVID-19 and other viral respiratory infections, such preventive measures may also be of interest to limit emerging variants spread as well as seasonal viral outbreaks.


Subject(s)
COVID-19/prevention & control , Guideline Adherence/trends , Personal Protective Equipment/trends , Adult , COVID-19/epidemiology , Communicable Disease Control/methods , Communicable Disease Control/trends , Dentists/psychology , Female , Follow-Up Studies , France/epidemiology , Humans , Male , Middle Aged , Pandemics/prevention & control , Risk Factors , SARS-CoV-2/pathogenicity , Surveys and Questionnaires
12.
PLoS One ; 16(12): e0260396, 2021.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1546954

ABSTRACT

School closures due to the COVID-19 global pandemic are likely to have a range of negative consequences spanning the domains of child development, education and health, in addition to the widening of inequalities and inequities. Research is required to improve understanding of the impact of school closures on the education, health and wellbeing of pupils and school staff, the challenges posed during face-to-face reopening and importantly to identify how the impacts of these challenges can be addressed going forward to inform emerging policy and practice. This qualitative study aimed to reflect on the perspectives and experiences of primary school staff (pupils aged 3-11) in Wales regarding school closures and the initial face-to-face reopening of schools and to identify recommendations for the future. A total of 208 school staff completed a national online survey through the HAPPEN primary school network, consisting of questions about school closures (March to June 2020), the phased face-to-face reopening of schools (June to July 2020) and a return to face-to-face education. Thematic analysis of survey responses highlighted that primary school staff perceive that gaps in learning, health and wellbeing have increased and inequalities have widened during school closures. Findings from this study identified five recommendations; (i) prioritise the health and wellbeing of pupils and staff; (ii) focus on enabling parental engagement and support; (iii) improve digital competence amongst pupils, teachers and parents; (iv) consider opportunities for smaller class sizes and additional staffing; and (v) improve the mechanism of communication between schools and families, and between government and schools.


Subject(s)
COVID-19/prevention & control , Communicable Disease Control/methods , School Teachers/psychology , Schools , Child , Child, Preschool , Communicable Disease Control/trends , Communication , Education, Distance , Forecasting , Humans , Qualitative Research , School Teachers/statistics & numerical data , Surveys and Questionnaires , Wales
13.
Sci Rep ; 11(1): 22871, 2021 11 25.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1537332

ABSTRACT

The COVID-19 pandemic has posed novel risks related to the indoor mixing of individuals from different households and challenged policymakers to adequately regulate this behaviour. While in many cases household visits are necessary for the purpose of social care, they have been linked to broadening community transmission of the virus. In this study we propose a novel, privacy-preserving framework for the measurement of household visitation at national and regional scales, making use of passively collected mobility data. We implement this approach in England from January 2020 to May 2021. The measures expose significant spatial and temporal variation in household visitation patterns, impacted by both national and regional lockdown policies, and the rollout of the vaccination programme. The findings point to complex social processes unfolding differently over space and time, likely informed by variations in policy adherence, vaccine relaxation, and regional interventions.


Subject(s)
COVID-19/psychology , Communicable Disease Control/methods , Social Support/psychology , COVID-19/prevention & control , Communicable Disease Control/trends , England , Family Characteristics , Health Policy/trends , Humans , Immunization Programs/methods , Models, Statistical , Models, Theoretical , Pandemics , Physical Distancing , Public Policy/trends , SARS-CoV-2/pathogenicity , Social Interaction/classification , Social Support/methods , Vaccines
15.
PLoS One ; 16(11): e0259229, 2021.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1528718

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: The COVID-19 pandemic has affected Ethiopia since March 13, 2020, when the first case was detected in Addis Ababa. Since then, the incidence of cases has continued to increase day by day. As a result, the health sector has recommended universal preventive measures to be practiced by the public. However, studies on adherence to these preventive measures are limited. OBJECTIVE: To monitor the status of preventive practices of the population related to hand washing, physical distancing, and respiratory hygiene practices at selected sites within the city of Addis Ababa. METHODS: Weekly cross-sectional non-participatory observations were done during the period of April-June, 2020. Data was collected using the Open Data Kit (ODK) tool in ten public sites involving eight public facilities targeted for individual observations. Ten individuals were randomly observed at each facility over two days a week at peak hours of public services. WHO operational definitions of the preventive behaviors were adopted for this study. Observations were conducted anonymously at gates or entrances of public facilities and places. RESULTS: A total of 12,056 individual observations with 53% males and 82% in an estimated age range of 18-50 years age group were involved in this study. There was an increase in the practice of respiratory hygiene from 14% in week one to 77% in week 10, while those of hand hygiene and physical distancing changed little over the weeks from their baseline of 24% and 34%, respectively. Overall, respiratory hygiene demonstrated an increased rate of 6% per week, while hand hygiene and physical distancing had less than a 1% change per week, Females and the estimated age group of 18-50 years had practice changes in respiratory hygiene with no difference in hand hygiene and physical distancing practices. Respiratory hygiene took about six weeks to reach a level of 77% from its baseline of 24%, making an increment of about 9% per week. CONCLUSION: The public practice of respiratory hygiene improved threefold whereas hand hygiene and physical distancing revealed no change. Regularly sustained public mobilization and mass education are required to sustain the achievements gained in respiratory hygiene and further hand hygiene and physical distancing.


Subject(s)
COVID-19/prevention & control , Communicable Disease Control/trends , Hand Disinfection/trends , Hand Hygiene/trends , Health Knowledge, Attitudes, Practice , Physical Distancing , SARS-CoV-2/physiology , Adolescent , Adult , COVID-19/epidemiology , COVID-19/virology , Community Health Services/standards , Cross-Sectional Studies , Ethiopia/epidemiology , Female , Humans , Male , Middle Aged , Public Facilities/standards , Surveys and Questionnaires , Young Adult
16.
Respir Res ; 22(1): 298, 2021 Nov 20.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1526637

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: This study assessed the impact of the COVID-19 epidemic on overall hospitalizations for pulmonary embolism (PE) in France in comparison with previous years, and by COVID-19 and non-COVID-19 status. METHODS: Hospitalization data (2017-2020) were extracted from the French National Discharge database (all public and private hospitals). We included all patients older than 18 years hospitalized during the 3 years and extracted PE status and COVID-19 status (from March 2020). Age, sex and risk factors for PE (such as obesity, cancer) were identified. We also extracted transfer to an intensive care unit (ICU) and hospital death. The number of PE and the frequency of death in patients in 2019 and 2020 were described by month and by COVID-19 status. Logistic regressions were performed to identify the role of COVID-19 among other risk factors for PE in hospitalized patients. RESULTS: The overall number of patients hospitalized with PE increased by about 16% in 2020 compared with 2019, and mortality also increased to 10.3% (+ 1.2%). These increases were mostly linked to COVID-19 waves, which were associated with PE hospitalization in COVID-19 patients (PE frequency was 3.7%; 2.8% in non-ICU and 8.8% in ICU). The final PE odds ratio for COVID-19 hospitalized patients was 4 compared with other hospitalized patients in 2020. The analyses of PE in non-COVID-19 patients showed a 2.7% increase in 2020 compared with the previous three years. CONCLUSION: In 2020, the overall number of patients hospitalized with PE in France increased compared to the previous three years despite a considerable decrease in scheduled hospitalizations. Nevertheless, proactive public policy focused on the prevention of PE in all patients should be encouraged.


Subject(s)
COVID-19/epidemiology , COVID-19/prevention & control , Communicable Disease Control/trends , Hospitalization/trends , Pulmonary Embolism/epidemiology , Pulmonary Embolism/therapy , Aged , Aged, 80 and over , Cohort Studies , Communicable Disease Control/methods , Female , France/epidemiology , Humans , Male , Middle Aged , Pulmonary Embolism/diagnosis , Retrospective Studies
19.
Nat Rev Drug Discov ; 20(11): 817-838, 2021 11.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1371218

ABSTRACT

Over the past several decades, messenger RNA (mRNA) vaccines have progressed from a scepticism-inducing idea to clinical reality. In 2020, the COVID-19 pandemic catalysed the most rapid vaccine development in history, with mRNA vaccines at the forefront of those efforts. Although it is now clear that mRNA vaccines can rapidly and safely protect patients from infectious disease, additional research is required to optimize mRNA design, intracellular delivery and applications beyond SARS-CoV-2 prophylaxis. In this Review, we describe the technologies that underlie mRNA vaccines, with an emphasis on lipid nanoparticles and other non-viral delivery vehicles. We also overview the pipeline of mRNA vaccines against various infectious disease pathogens and discuss key questions for the future application of this breakthrough vaccine platform.


Subject(s)
COVID-19/prevention & control , Communicable Disease Control , Vaccines, Synthetic , COVID-19/epidemiology , Clinical Trials as Topic , Communicable Disease Control/methods , Communicable Disease Control/trends , Drug Design , Drug Development/methods , Humans , RNA, Messenger/genetics , SARS-CoV-2 , Vaccines, Synthetic/classification , Vaccines, Synthetic/pharmacology
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