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1.
Libyan J Med ; 16(1): 1910195, 2021 Dec.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1526148

ABSTRACT

The outbreak of corona virus disease (COVID-19) caused by the new severe acute respiratory syndrome corona virus 2 began in Wuhan, China, resulting in respiratory disorders. In January of 2020, the World Health Organization declared the outbreak a pandemic owing to its global spread. Because no studies have investigated COVID-19 in Saudi Arabia, this study investigated similarities and differences between demographic data during the COVID-19 and Middle East respiratory syndrome (MERS) outbreaks in Saudi Arabia. A retrospective trend analysis was performed to assess demographic data of all laboratory-confirmed MERS and COVID-19 cases. Patients' charts were reviewed for data on demographics, mortality, citizenship, sex ratio, and age groups with descriptive and comparative statistics; the data were analyzed using a non-parametric binomial test and chi-square test. Of all COVID-19 patients in Saudi Arabia,78%were male patients and 22% were female patients. This proportion of male COVID-19 patients was similar to that of male MERS patients, which also affected male patients more frequently than female patients. The number of COVID-19-positive Saudi cases was lower than that of non-Saudi cases, which were in contrast to that of MERS; COVID-19 appeared to be remarkably similar to MERS with respect to recovered cases. However, the numbers of critical and dead COVID-19 patients have been much lower than those of MERS patients. The largest proportion of COVID-19 and MERS cases (44.05% and 40.8%, respectively) were recorded in the Western region. MERS and COVID-19 exhibited similar threats to the lives of adults and the elderly, despite lower mortality rates during the COVID-19 epidemic. Targeted prevention of and interventions against MERS should be allocated populations according to the areas where they inhabit. However, much more information regarding the dynamics and epidemiology of COVID-19 in Saudi Arabia is needed.Abbrevation : MERS: Middle East Respiratory syndrome; COVID-19: Corona Virus Disease 2019.


Subject(s)
COVID-19/epidemiology , Coronavirus Infections/epidemiology , Disease Outbreaks , SARS-CoV-2 , Adolescent , Adult , Age Factors , Aged , Aged, 80 and over , COVID-19/etiology , Child , Child, Preschool , Coronavirus Infections/etiology , Demography , Female , Humans , Infant , Infant, Newborn , Male , Middle Aged , Retrospective Studies , Saudi Arabia/epidemiology , Sex Factors , Young Adult
4.
Adv Genet ; 106: 75-100, 2020.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1363831

ABSTRACT

The origins and global spread of two recent, yet quite different, pandemic diseases is discussed and reviewed in depth: Candida auris, a eukaryotic fungal disease, and COVID-19 (SARS-CoV-2), a positive strand RNA viral respiratory disease. Both these diseases display highly distinctive patterns of sudden emergence and global spread, which are not easy to understand by conventional epidemiological analysis based on simple infection-driven human- to-human spread of an infectious disease (assumed to jump suddenly and thus genetically, from an animal reservoir). Both these enigmatic diseases make sense however under a Panspermia in-fall model and the evidence consistent with such a model is critically reviewed.


Subject(s)
Biological Evolution , Candidiasis/etiology , Communicable Diseases, Emerging/etiology , Coronavirus Infections/etiology , Origin of Life , Pneumonia, Viral/etiology , Animals , Betacoronavirus/isolation & purification , Betacoronavirus/physiology , COVID-19 , Candida/isolation & purification , Candida/physiology , Candidiasis/epidemiology , Communicable Diseases, Emerging/epidemiology , Coronavirus/isolation & purification , Coronavirus/physiology , Coronavirus Infections/epidemiology , Earth, Planet , Exobiology , Extraterrestrial Environment , Host-Pathogen Interactions/physiology , Humans , Pandemics , Pneumonia, Viral/epidemiology , SARS-CoV-2
5.
Microb Biotechnol ; 13(5): 1289-1299, 2020 09.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1352399

ABSTRACT

The number of people infected with SARS-CoV-2, and sadly dying from COVID-19, has exploded, and so the amount of literature on the novel coronavirus and the disease it causes has increased proportionately. The case numbers in some countries are beyond the epidemic peak, but the uncertainty about a second wave keeps politicians and societies under pressure. Appropriate decision-making and winning support from the population depends on precise scientific information rather than leaving the field to scaremongers of all proveniences. This mini-review is an update of earlier reports (Brüssow, Microb Biotechnol 2020a;13:607; Brüssow, Microb Biotechnol 2020b; https://doi.org/10.1111/1751-7915.13592).


Subject(s)
Betacoronavirus , Coronavirus Infections/drug therapy , Coronavirus Infections/etiology , Pneumonia, Viral/drug therapy , Pneumonia, Viral/etiology , Angiotensin-Converting Enzyme 2 , Animals , COVID-19 , Clinical Trials as Topic , Disease Models, Animal , Humans , Pandemics , Peptidyl-Dipeptidase A/physiology , RNA, Viral/analysis , SARS-CoV-2 , Viral Tropism
6.
Pharmacol Res ; 159: 104946, 2020 09.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1279674

ABSTRACT

Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) has sparked a global pandemic, affecting more than 4 million people worldwide. The severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) can cause acute lung injury (ALI) and even acute respiratory distress syndrome (ARDS); with a fatality of 7.0 %. Accumulating evidence suggested that the progression of COVID-19 is associated with lymphopenia and excessive inflammation, and a subset of severe cases might exhibit cytokine storm triggered by secondary hemophagocytic lymphohistiocytosis (sHLH). Furthermore, secondary bacterial infection may contribute to the exacerbation of COVID-19. We recommend using both IL-10 and IL-6 as the indicators of cytokine storm, and monitoring the elevation of procalcitonin (PCT) as an alert for initiating antibacterial agents. Understanding the dynamic progression of SARS-CoV-2 infection is crucial to determine an effective treatment strategy to reduce the rising mortality of this global pandemic.


Subject(s)
Betacoronavirus , Coronavirus Infections/blood , Pandemics , Pneumonia, Viral/blood , Biomarkers/blood , COVID-19 , Coronavirus Infections/etiology , Coronavirus Infections/immunology , Cytokines/blood , Disease Progression , Humans , Interleukin-10/blood , Interleukin-6/blood , Lymphopenia/etiology , Lymphopenia/immunology , Pneumonia, Viral/etiology , Pneumonia, Viral/immunology , Procalcitonin/blood , SARS-CoV-2
7.
Sci Adv ; 7(25)2021 06.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1276873

ABSTRACT

Infection by highly pathogenic coronaviruses results in substantial apoptosis. However, the physiological relevance of apoptosis in the pathogenesis of coronavirus infections is unknown. Here, with a combination of in vitro, ex vivo, and in vivo models, we demonstrated that protein kinase R-like endoplasmic reticulum kinase (PERK) signaling mediated the proapoptotic signals in Middle East respiratory syndrome coronavirus (MERS-CoV) infection, which converged in the intrinsic apoptosis pathway. Inhibiting PERK signaling or intrinsic apoptosis both alleviated MERS pathogenesis in vivo. Severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) and SARS-CoV induced apoptosis through distinct mechanisms but inhibition of intrinsic apoptosis similarly limited SARS-CoV-2- and SARS-CoV-induced apoptosis in vitro and markedly ameliorated the lung damage of SARS-CoV-2-inoculated human angiotensin-converting enzyme 2 (hACE2) mice. Collectively, our study provides the first evidence that virus-induced apoptosis is an important disease determinant of highly pathogenic coronaviruses and demonstrates that this process can be targeted to attenuate disease severity.


Subject(s)
Antiviral Agents/pharmacology , Apoptosis/drug effects , COVID-19/drug therapy , Coronavirus Infections/drug therapy , eIF-2 Kinase/metabolism , Adenine/analogs & derivatives , Adenine/pharmacology , Angiotensin-Converting Enzyme 2/genetics , Animals , Apoptosis/physiology , COVID-19/etiology , COVID-19/pathology , Cell Line , Coronavirus Infections/etiology , Coronavirus Infections/pathology , Dipeptidyl Peptidase 4/genetics , Epithelial Cells/virology , Female , Humans , Indoles/pharmacology , Lung/virology , Male , Mice, Transgenic , eIF-2 Kinase/antagonists & inhibitors , eIF-2 Kinase/genetics
8.
Blood Adv ; 5(7): 1903-1914, 2021 04 13.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1263006

ABSTRACT

Data are limited regarding risk factors for lower respiratory tract infection (LRTI) caused by seasonal human coronaviruses (HCoVs) and the significance of virologic documentation by bronchoalveolar lavage (BAL) on outcomes in hematopoietic cell transplant (HCT) recipients. We retrospectively analyzed patients undergoing allogeneic HCT (4/2008-9/2018) with HCoV (OC43/NL63/HKU1/229E) detected by polymerase chain reaction during conditioning or post-HCT. Risk factors for all manifestations of LRTI and progression to LRTI among those presenting with HCoV upper respiratory tract infection (URTI) were analyzed by logistic regression and Cox proportional hazard models, respectively. Mortality rates following HCoV LRTI were compared according to virologic documentation by BAL. A total of 297 patients (61 children and 236 adults) developed HCoV infection as follows: 254 had URTI alone, 18 presented with LRTI, and 25 progressed from URTI to LRTI (median, 16 days; range, 2-62 days). Multivariable logistic regression analyses showed that male sex, higher immunodeficiency scoring index, albumin <3 g/dL, glucose >150 mg/dL, and presence of respiratory copathogens were associated with occurrence of LRTI. Hyperglycemia with steroid use was associated with progression to LRTI (P < .01) in Cox models. LRTI with HCoV detected in BAL was associated with higher mortality than LRTI without documented detection in BAL (P < .01). In conclusion, we identified factors associated with HCoV LRTI, some of which are less commonly appreciated to be risk factors for LRTI with other respiratory viruses in HCT recipients. The association of hyperglycemia with LRTI might provide an intervention opportunity to reduce the risk of LRTI.


Subject(s)
Coronavirus Infections/epidemiology , Hematopoietic Stem Cell Transplantation/adverse effects , Respiratory Tract Infections/epidemiology , Adolescent , Adult , Child , Child, Preschool , Coronavirus Infections/etiology , Female , Humans , Infant , Infant, Newborn , Male , Middle Aged , Respiratory Tract Infections/virology , Retrospective Studies , Risk Factors , Seasons , United States , Young Adult
9.
Infect Genet Evol ; 93: 104944, 2021 09.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1246087

ABSTRACT

Since the emergence of their primitive strains, the complexity surrounding their pathogenesis, constant genetic mutation and translation are contributing factors to the scarcity of a successful vaccine for coronaviruses till moment. Although, the recent announcement of vaccine breakthrough for COVID-19 renews the hope, however, there remains a major challenge of accessibility to urgently match the rapid global therapeutic demand for curtailing the pandemic, thereby creating an impetus for further search. The reassessment of results from a stream of experiments is of enormous importance in identifying bona fide lead-like candidates to fulfil this quest. This review comprehensively highlights the common pathomechanisms and pharmacological targets of HCoV-OC43, SARS-CoV-1, MERS-CoV and SARS-CoV-2, and potent therapeutic potentials from basic and clinical experimental investigations. The implicated targets for the prevention and treatment include the viral proteases (Mpro, PLpro, 3CLpro), viral structural proteins (S- and N-proteins), non-structural proteins (nsp 3, 8, 10, 14, 16), accessory protein (ns12.9), viroporins (3a, E, 8a), enzymes (RdRp, TMPRSS2, ADP-ribosyltransferase, MTase, 2'-O-MTase, TATase, furin, cathepsin, deamidated human triosephosphate isomerase), kinases (MAPK, ERK, PI3K, mTOR, AKT, Abl2), interleukin-6 receptor (IL-6R) and the human host receptor, ACE2. Notably among the 109 overviewed inhibitors include quercetin, eriodictyol, baicalin, luteolin, melatonin, resveratrol and berberine from natural products, GC373, NP164 and HR2P-M2 from peptides, 5F9, m336 and MERS-GD27 from specific human antibodies, imatinib, remdesivir, ivermectin, chloroquine, hydroxychloroquine, nafamostat, interferon-ß and HCQ from repurposing libraries, some iron chelators and traditional medicines. This review represents a model for further translational studies for effective anti-CoV therapeutic designs.


Subject(s)
Antiviral Agents/pharmacology , Coronavirus Infections/etiology , Coronavirus/pathogenicity , Host-Pathogen Interactions , Antiviral Agents/therapeutic use , Coronavirus/drug effects , Coronavirus/metabolism , Coronavirus Infections/drug therapy , Coronavirus Infections/virology , Coronavirus OC43, Human/drug effects , Coronavirus OC43, Human/pathogenicity , Humans , Middle East Respiratory Syndrome Coronavirus/drug effects , Middle East Respiratory Syndrome Coronavirus/pathogenicity , Randomized Controlled Trials as Topic , SARS-CoV-2/drug effects , SARS-CoV-2/pathogenicity , Viral Proteins/chemistry , Viral Proteins/genetics , Viral Proteins/metabolism
10.
Clin Infect Dis ; 71(16): 2285-2288, 2020 11 19.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1153173

ABSTRACT

Influenza vaccine effectiveness against influenza and noninfluenza respiratory viruses (NIRVs) was assessed by test-negative design using historic datasets of the community-based Canadian Sentinel Practitioner Surveillance Network, spanning 2010-2011 to 2016-2017. Vaccine significantly reduced the risk of influenza illness by >40% with no effect on coronaviruses or other NIRV risk.


Subject(s)
Coronavirus Infections/epidemiology , Influenza Vaccines/immunology , Influenza, Human/prevention & control , Respiratory Tract Infections/virology , Adolescent , Adult , Aged , Canada/epidemiology , Case-Control Studies , Child , Child, Preschool , Coronavirus Infections/etiology , Female , Humans , Immunogenicity, Vaccine , Infant , Influenza Vaccines/administration & dosage , Influenza, Human/epidemiology , Male , Middle Aged , Respiratory Tract Infections/prevention & control , Retrospective Studies , Risk Factors , Seasons , Sentinel Surveillance , Young Adult
11.
Aging Clin Exp Res ; 32(7): 1195-1198, 2020 Jul.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1152155

ABSTRACT

WHO declared SARS-CoV-2 a global pandemic. The present aim was to propose an hypothesis that there is a potential association between mean levels of vitamin D in various countries with cases and mortality caused by COVID-19. The mean levels of vitamin D for 20 European countries and morbidity and mortality caused by COVID-19 were acquired. Negative correlations between mean levels of vitamin D (average 56 mmol/L, STDEV 10.61) in each country and the number of COVID-19 cases/1 M (mean 295.95, STDEV 298.7, and mortality/1 M (mean 5.96, STDEV 15.13) were observed. Vitamin D levels are severely low in the aging population especially in Spain, Italy and Switzerland. This is also the most vulnerable group of the population in relation to COVID-19. It should be advisable to perform dedicated studies about vitamin D levels in COVID-19 patients with different degrees of disease severity.


Subject(s)
Coronavirus Infections/mortality , Pneumonia, Viral/mortality , Vitamin D Deficiency/epidemiology , Betacoronavirus , COVID-19 , Coronavirus Infections/etiology , Coronavirus Infections/prevention & control , Humans , Italy/epidemiology , Pandemics/prevention & control , Pneumonia, Viral/etiology , Pneumonia, Viral/prevention & control , SARS-CoV-2 , Spain/epidemiology , Vitamin D/blood , Vitamin D Deficiency/complications
12.
Nutr Hosp ; 37(5): 1039-1042, 2020 Oct 21.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1128242

ABSTRACT

Introduction: Background: coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) can induce an exaggerated inflammatory response. Vitamin D is a key modulator of the immune system. We hypothesized that vitamin D deficiency (VDD) could increase the risk of developing severe COVID-19 infection. Methods: patients with confirmed COVID-19 seen at the emergency department of our hospital with recent measurements of 25(OH)D were recruited. We explored the association of vitamin D deficiency (VDD), defined as 25-hydroxyvitamin D < 20 ng/mL, with a composite of adverse clinical outcomes. Results: we included 80 patients, of which 31 (39 %) presented the endpoint. VDD tended to predict an increased risk of developing severe COVID-19 after adjusting for age, gender, obesity, cardiac disease, and kidney disease [OR 3.2 (95 % CI: 0.9-11.4), p = 0.07]. Age had a negative interaction with the effect of VDD on the composite outcome (p = 0.03), indicating that the effect was more noticeable at younger ages. Furthermore, male gender was associated with VDD and with severe COVID-19 at younger ages. Conclusions: in this retrospective study, vitamin D deficiency showed a signal of association with severe COVID-19 infection. A significant interaction with age was noted, suggesting VDD may have a greater impact in younger patients. These findings should be confirmed in larger, prospective, adequately powered studies.


Antecedentes: la enfermedad por coronavirus 2019 (COVID-19) puede inducir una respuesta inflamatoria exagerada. La vitamina D es un modulador clave del sistema inmune. Planteamos que la deficiencia de vitamina D (VDD) podría aumentar el riesgo de desarrollar infección grave por COVID-19. Métodos: se reclutaron pacientes consecutivos que acudieron al servicio de urgencias de nuestro centro con diagnóstico de COVID-19 confirmado (PCR-COVID-19 positiva) y mediciones recientes de 25(OH)D. Exploramos la asociación de la deficiencia de vitamina D (VDD), definida como una 25-hidroxivitamina D < 20 ng/ml, con un compuesto de resultados clínicos adversos. Resultados: se incluyeron 80 pacientes, de los cuales 31 (39 %) presentaron el criterio de valoración primario. El VDD tendió a predecir un mayor riesgo de desarrollar COVID-19 grave después de ajustar edad, sexo, obesidad, enfermedad cardíaca y enfermedad renal [OR: 3,2 (IC 95 %: 0,9-11,4), p = 0,07]. La edad tuvo una interacción negativa con el efecto de la VDD en el resultado compuesto (p = 0,03), lo que indica que el efecto fue más notable a edades más tempranas. Además, el género masculino se asoció con la VDD y con la COVID-19 grave en las edades más jóvenes. Conclusiones: en este estudio retrospectivo, la deficiencia de vitamina D mostró una tendencia de asociación con la infección grave por COVID-19. Se observó una interacción significativa con la edad, lo que sugiere que la VDD puede tener un mayor impacto en los pacientes más jóvenes. Estos hallazgos deben confirmarse en estudios más grandes, prospectivos y con potencia adecuada.


Subject(s)
Age Factors , Betacoronavirus , Coronavirus Infections/etiology , Pneumonia, Viral/etiology , Vitamin D Deficiency/complications , Vitamin D/analogs & derivatives , Adult , Aged , COVID-19 , Coronavirus Infections/blood , Coronavirus Infections/epidemiology , Female , Heart Diseases/complications , Humans , Kidney Diseases/complications , Male , Middle Aged , Obesity/complications , Pandemics , Pneumonia, Viral/blood , Pneumonia, Viral/epidemiology , Retrospective Studies , SARS-CoV-2 , Sex Factors , Spain/epidemiology , Vitamin D/blood
13.
Eur J Cardiothorac Surg ; 58(5): 991-996, 2020 Nov 01.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1066298

ABSTRACT

OBJECTIVES: We reviewed the incidence of coronavirus disease 2019 cases and the postoperative outcomes of patients who had thoracic surgery during the beginning and at the highest point of transmission in our community. METHODS: We retrospectively reviewed patients who had undergone elective thoracic surgery from 12 February 2020 to 30 April 2020 and were symptomatic or tested positive for severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 infection within 14 days after surgery, with a focus on their complications and potential deaths. RESULTS: Out of 101 surgical procedures, including 57 primary oncological resections, 6 lung transplants and 18 emergency procedures, only 5 cases of coronavirus disease 2019 were identified, 3 in the immediate postoperative period and 2 as outpatients. All 5 patients had cancer; the median age was 64 years. The main virus-related symptom was fever (80%), and the median onset of coronavirus disease 2019 was 3 days. Although 80% of the patients who had positive test results for severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 required in-hospital care, none of them were considered severe or critical and none died. CONCLUSIONS: These results indicate that, in properly selected cases, with short preoperative in-hospital stays, strict isolation and infection control protocols, managed by a dedicated multidisciplinary team, a surgical procedure could be performed with a relatively low risk for the patient.


Subject(s)
Betacoronavirus , Carcinoma, Squamous Cell/surgery , Coronavirus Infections/etiology , Elective Surgical Procedures , Lung Neoplasms/surgery , Pneumonia, Viral/etiology , Postoperative Complications , Thoracic Surgical Procedures , Adult , Aged , Betacoronavirus/isolation & purification , COVID-19 , COVID-19 Testing , Clinical Laboratory Techniques , Coronavirus Infections/diagnosis , Coronavirus Infections/epidemiology , Coronavirus Infections/therapy , Female , Follow-Up Studies , Humans , Incidence , Male , Outcome Assessment, Health Care , Pandemics , Pneumonia, Viral/diagnosis , Pneumonia, Viral/epidemiology , Pneumonia, Viral/therapy , Postoperative Complications/diagnosis , Postoperative Complications/epidemiology , Postoperative Complications/therapy , Retrospective Studies , SARS-CoV-2 , Spain , Treatment Outcome
14.
Eur J Cardiothorac Surg ; 58(5): 899-906, 2020 11 01.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1066297

ABSTRACT

OBJECTIVES: Few anecdotal cases have been reported in the literature regarding heart transplant recipients and infection with severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2). We report our experience with 6 patients hospitalized in Northern Italy during the outbreak. METHODS: Of the 396 living heart transplant recipients from 1985 to 2020 included in the study, 6 patients developed the novel 2019 coronavirus disease. Risk factors, last follow-up characteristics, onset presentation, in-hospital course of disease and blood examinations data were collected for these patients. RESULTS: All patients were symptomatic and had positive results from a nasopharyngeal swab test for SARS-CoV-2. Of the 6 patients, 5 were hospitalized and 1 remained self-quarantined at home. Two patients died and 3 were discharged home. Two patients were admittted to the intensive care unit . Immunosuppressive therapy was modified with a median reduction comprising doses that were 50% cyclosporine and 50% mycophenolate. All patients received a medium-dose of corticosteroids as a bolus medication in addition to their therapy. All hospitalized patients received hydroxychloroquine; 2 patients received ritonavir/lopinavir. Broad-spectrum antibiotics for prophylaxis were administered to all. One patient had an ischaemic stroke and died of sepsis. CONCLUSIONS: In the absence of any strong evidence regarding the treatment of heart transplant recipients infected with SARS-CoV-2, we faced a new challenge in managing viral infection in an immunosuppressed population. Because immunomodulation interaction with the infection seems to be crucial for developing severe forms of the disease, we managed to reduce immunosuppressive therapy by adding medium doses of corticosteroids. Despite the limited number of affected patients, this report suggests that special considerations should be given to treating coronavirus disease in the heart transplant recipient population.


Subject(s)
Betacoronavirus , Coronavirus Infections/etiology , Heart Transplantation , Pneumonia, Viral/etiology , Postoperative Complications/etiology , Aged , Aged, 80 and over , Betacoronavirus/isolation & purification , COVID-19 , COVID-19 Testing , Clinical Laboratory Techniques , Coronavirus Infections/diagnosis , Coronavirus Infections/epidemiology , Coronavirus Infections/therapy , Female , Follow-Up Studies , Humans , Italy , Male , Middle Aged , Pandemics , Pneumonia, Viral/diagnosis , Pneumonia, Viral/epidemiology , Pneumonia, Viral/therapy , Postoperative Complications/diagnosis , Postoperative Complications/epidemiology , Postoperative Complications/therapy , Risk Factors , SARS-CoV-2
17.
PLoS One ; 16(1): e0244476, 2021.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1013212

ABSTRACT

In confronting the global spread of the coronavirus disease COVID-19 pandemic we must have coordinated medical, operational, and political responses. In all efforts, data is crucial. Fundamentally, and in the possible absence of a vaccine for 12 to 18 months, we need universal, well-documented testing for both the presence of the disease as well as confirmed recovery through serological tests for antibodies, and we need to track major socioeconomic indices. But we also need auxiliary data of all kinds, including data related to how populations are talking about the unfolding pandemic through news and stories. To in part help on the social media side, we curate a set of 2000 day-scale time series of 1- and 2-grams across 24 languages on Twitter that are most 'important' for April 2020 with respect to April 2019. We determine importance through our allotaxonometric instrument, rank-turbulence divergence. We make some basic observations about some of the time series, including a comparison to numbers of confirmed deaths due to COVID-19 over time. We broadly observe across all languages a peak for the language-specific word for 'virus' in January 2020 followed by a decline through February and then a surge through March and April. The world's collective attention dropped away while the virus spread out from China. We host the time series on Gitlab, updating them on a daily basis while relevant. Our main intent is for other researchers to use these time series to enhance whatever analyses that may be of use during the pandemic as well as for retrospective investigations.


Subject(s)
COVID-19/psychology , Pandemics/statistics & numerical data , Social Media/trends , Attention , COVID-19/etiology , Coronavirus Infections/etiology , Coronavirus Infections/psychology , Humans , Language , Retrospective Studies , SARS-CoV-2/pathogenicity
19.
Onderstepoort J Vet Res ; 87(1): e1-e9, 2020 Dec 21.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1000404

ABSTRACT

The first known severe disease caused by a coronavirus (CoV) in humans emerged with the severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS) epidemic in China, which killed 774 people during its 2002/2003 outbreak. The Middle East respiratory syndrome (MERS) was the second human fatal disease, which started in 2012 in Saudi Arabia and resulted in 858 fatalities. In December 2019, a new virus, SARS-CoV-2 (COVID-19), originating from China, began generating headlines worldwide because of the unprecedented speed of its transmission; 5.2 million people were infected and 338 480 had been reported dead from December 2019 to May 2020. These human coronaviruses are believed to have an animal origin and had reached humans through species jump. Coronaviruses are well known for their high frequency of recombination and high mutation rates, allowing them to adapt to new hosts and ecological niches. This review summarises existing information on what is currently known on the role of wild and domesticated animals and discussions on whether they are the natural reservoir/amplifiers hosts or incidental hosts of CoVs. Results of experimental infection and transmission using different wild, domesticated and pet animals are also reviewed. The need for a One Health approach in implementing measures and practices is highlighted to improve human health and reduce the emergence of pandemics from these zoonotic viruses.


Subject(s)
COVID-19/epidemiology , Coronavirus Infections/epidemiology , Middle East Respiratory Syndrome Coronavirus , SARS-CoV-2 , Zoonoses , Animals , COVID-19/etiology , COVID-19/transmission , Camelus/virology , Chiroptera/virology , Coronavirus Infections/etiology , Coronavirus Infections/transmission , Disease Vectors , Global Health , Humans , One Health , Pandemics
20.
J Med Internet Res ; 22(10): e21743, 2020 10 30.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-982837

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: The COVID-19 outbreak was designated a global pandemic on March 11, 2020. The relationship between vaping and contracting COVID-19 is unclear, and information on the internet is conflicting. There is some scientific evidence that vaping cannabidiol (CBD), an active ingredient in cannabis that is obtained from the hemp plant, or other substances is associated with more severe manifestations of COVID-19. However, there is also inaccurate information that vaping can aid COVID-19 treatment, as well as expert opinion that CBD, possibly administered through vaping, can mitigate COVID-19 symptoms. Thus, it is necessary to study the spread of inaccurate information to better understand how to promote scientific knowledge and curb inaccurate information, which is critical to the health of vapers. Inaccurate information about vaping and COVID-19 may affect COVID-19 treatment outcomes. OBJECTIVE: Using structural topic modeling, we aimed to map temporal trends in the web-based vaping narrative (a large data set comprising web-based vaping chatter from several sources) to indicate how the narrative changed from before to during the COVID-19 pandemic. METHODS: We obtained data using a textual query that scanned a data pool of approximately 200,000 different domains (4,027,172 documents and 361,100,284 words) such as public internet forums, blogs, and social media, from August 1, 2019, to April 21, 2020. We then used structural topic modeling to understand changes in word prevalence and semantic structures within topics around vaping before and after December 31, 2019, when COVID-19 was reported to the World Health Organization. RESULTS: Broadly, the web-based vaping narrative can be organized into the following groups or archetypes: harms from vaping; Vaping Regulation; Vaping as Harm Reduction or Treatment; and Vaping Lifestyle. Three archetypes were observed prior to the emergence of COVID-19; however, four archetypes were identified post-COVID-19 (Vaping as Harm Reduction or Treatment was the additional archetype). A topic related to CBD product preference emerged after COVID-19 was first reported, which may be related to the use of CBD by vapers as a COVID-19 treatment. CONCLUSIONS: Our main finding is the emergence of a vape-administered CBD treatment narrative around COVID-19 when comparing the web-based vaping narratives before and during the COVID-19 pandemic. These results are key to understanding how vapers respond to inaccurate information about COVID-19, optimizing treatment of vapers who contract COVID-19, and possibly minimizing instances of inaccurate information. The findings have implications for the management of COVID-19 among vapers and the monitoring of web-based content pertinent to tobacco to develop targeted interventions to manage COVID-19 among vapers.


Subject(s)
Cannabidiol/administration & dosage , Coronavirus Infections/epidemiology , Coronavirus Infections/etiology , Internet/statistics & numerical data , Pneumonia, Viral/epidemiology , Pneumonia, Viral/etiology , Vaping/adverse effects , Vaping/epidemiology , COVID-19 , Cannabidiol/adverse effects , Cannabidiol/pharmacology , Cannabidiol/therapeutic use , Coronavirus Infections/drug therapy , Coronavirus Infections/therapy , Humans , Pandemics , Pneumonia, Viral/therapy , Smokers/psychology , Smokers/statistics & numerical data , Social Media , Tobacco Products
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