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1.
PLoS One ; 17(2): e0263435, 2022.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1793529

ABSTRACT

INTRODUCTIONS: The rate of acute hand trauma visits to emergency departments (ED) and surgeries decreased during the COVID-19 lockdown. Our aim was to analyze the influence of national lockdown during the first wave and the regional restrictions during the second wave on the rate of visits to the ED and urgent hand surgeries in Finland. METHODS: Material for this retrospective study was gathered from three Finnish hospitals All ED visits and urgent or emergency surgeries from January 2017 to December 2020 were included. Incidences per 100 000 persons with 95% confidence intervals (CI) were calculated and compared by incidence rate ratios (IRR). RESULTS: The incidence of hand injury was lower after the beginning of the lockdown in March 2020 (IRR 0.70 CI 0.63-0.78). After lockdown ended in May, the monthly incidences of ED visits returned to the reference level. During the lockdown, the incidence of fractures and dislocations was 42% lower in March (IRR 0.58 CI 0.50-0.68) and 33% lower in April 2020 (IRR 0.67 CI 0.57-0.80). The incidence of fracture repair surgeries was 43% lower in March 2020 (IRR 0.57 CI 0.35-0.93) and 41% lower in July 2020 (IRR 0.59 CI 0.36-0.98). Incidence of replantation was 49% higher in March 2020 (IRR 1.49 CI 0.53-4.20) and 200% higher in July 2020 (IRR 3.00 CI 0.68-13.2) but these increases had high uncertainty. CONCLUSIONS: The rate of ED visits due to hand injuries decreased while the rate of emergency hand operations remained unchanged during the national COVID-19 lockdown in spring. After the lockdown, the incidences returned to reference level and were unaffected by regional restrictions during the second wave of pandemic.


Subject(s)
Emergency Medical Services/trends , Hand Injuries/epidemiology , Adult , COVID-19 , Emergency Medical Services/statistics & numerical data , Emergency Service, Hospital , Female , Finland/epidemiology , Hand/surgery , Hand Injuries/surgery , Hospitalization , Hospitals , Humans , Incidence , Male , Middle Aged , Pandemics , Retrospective Studies , SARS-CoV-2
2.
Acta Orthop ; 93: 360-366, 2022 03 07.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1731698

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND AND PURPOSE: COVID-19 lockdowns have affected personal mobility and behavior worldwide. This study compared the number of emergency department (ED) visits due to injuries and typical low-energy fractures in Finland during the COVID-19 lockdown period in spring 2020 to the reference period in 2019. PATIENTS AND METHODS: The data was collected retrospectively from the electronic patient records of 4 hospitals covering 1/5 of the Finnish population. We included the patients who were admitted to a hospital ED due to any injury during the lockdown period (March 18-May 31, 2020) and the reference period (March 18-May 31, 2019). We compared the differences between the average daily ED admissions in the 2 years using the zero-inflated Poisson regression model. RESULTS: The overall number of ED visits due to injuries decreased by 16% (mean 134/day vs. 113/day, 95% CI -18 to -13). The number of ED visits due to wrist fractures decreased among women aged over 50 years by 40% (CI -59 to -9). Among women, the number of ED visits due to ankle fractures decreased by 32% (CI -52 to -5). The number of ED visits due to fractures of the upper end of the humerus decreased by 52% (CI -71 to -22) among women. The number of ED visits due to hip fractures increased by 2% (CI -16 to 24). INTERPRETATION: Restrictions in personal mobility decreased the number of ED visits due to injuries during the pandemic. The effect can mainly be seen as a decreased number of the most typical low-energy fractures among women. In contrast, lockdown restrictions had no effect on the number of hip fractures.


Subject(s)
COVID-19/epidemiology , Communicable Disease Control/methods , Emergency Service, Hospital/statistics & numerical data , Hip Fractures/epidemiology , Hospitalization/trends , Quarantine , SARS-CoV-2 , Adolescent , Adult , COVID-19/transmission , Comorbidity , Female , Finland/epidemiology , Follow-Up Studies , Humans , Incidence , Male , Middle Aged , Pandemics , Retrospective Studies , Young Adult
3.
Nat Commun ; 13(1): 1162, 2022 03 04.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1730287

ABSTRACT

Mass vaccination is effective in reducing SARS-CoV-2 infections among vaccinated individuals. However, it remains unclear how effectively COVID-19 vaccines prevent people from spreading the virus to their close contacts. Using nationwide administrative datasets on SARS-CoV-2 infections, vaccination records, demographics, and unique household IDs, we conducted an observational cohort study to estimate the direct and indirect effectiveness of mRNA-based COVID-19 vaccines in reducing infections among vaccinated healthcare workers and their unvaccinated household members. Our estimates for adults imply indirect effectiveness of 39.1% (95% CI: -7.1% to 65.3%) two weeks and 39.0% (95% CI: 18.9% to 54.0%) eight weeks after the second dose. We find that the indirect effect of mRNA-based COVID-19 vaccines within households is smaller for unvaccinated children than for adults and statistically insignificant. Here, we show that mRNA-based COVID-19 vaccines are associated with a reduction in SARS-CoV-2 infections not only among vaccinated individuals but also among unvaccinated adult household members in a real-world setting.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 Vaccines/immunology , COVID-19/immunology , Health Personnel/statistics & numerical data , SARS-CoV-2/immunology , Vaccination/statistics & numerical data , /immunology , Adolescent , Adult , Aged , COVID-19/epidemiology , COVID-19/virology , COVID-19 Vaccines/administration & dosage , Child , Cohort Studies , Female , Finland/epidemiology , Humans , Male , Middle Aged , Outcome Assessment, Health Care/methods , Outcome Assessment, Health Care/statistics & numerical data , Pandemics/prevention & control , Registries/statistics & numerical data , SARS-CoV-2/genetics , SARS-CoV-2/physiology , Vaccination/methods , Young Adult , /administration & dosage
4.
Water Res ; 215: 118220, 2022 May 15.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1700357

ABSTRACT

Wastewater-based surveillance is a cost-effective concept for monitoring COVID-19 pandemics at a population level. Here, SARS-CoV-2 RNA was monitored from a total of 693 wastewater (WW) influent samples from 28 wastewater treatment plants (WWTP, N = 21-42 samples per WWTP) in Finland from August 2020 to May 2021, covering WW of ca. 3.3 million inhabitants (∼ 60% of the Finnish population). Quantity of SARS-CoV-2 RNA fragments in 24 h-composite samples was determined by using the ultrafiltration method followed by nucleic acid extraction and CDC N2 RT-qPCR assay. SARS-CoV-2 RNA signals at each WWTP were compared over time to the numbers of confirmed COVID-19 cases (14-day case incidence rate) in the sewer network area. Over the 10-month surveillance period with an extensive total number of samples, the detection rate of SARS-CoV-2 RNA in WW was 79% (including 6% uncertain results, i.e., amplified only in one out of four, two original and two ten-fold diluted replicates), while only 24% of all samples exhibited gene copy numbers above the quantification limit. The range of the SARS-CoV-2 detection rate in WW varied from 33% (including 10% uncertain results) in Pietarsaari to 100% in Espoo. Only six out of 693 WW samples were positive with SARS-COV-2 RNA when the reported COVID-19 case number from the preceding 14 days was zero. Overall, the 14-day COVID-19 incidence was 7.0, 18, and 36 cases per 100 000 persons within the sewer network area when the probability to detect SARS-CoV-2 RNA in wastewater samples was 50%, 75% and 95%, respectively. The quantification of SARS-CoV-2 RNA required significantly more COVID-19 cases: the quantification rate was 50%, 75%, and 95% when the 14-day incidence was 110, 152, and 223 COVID-19 cases, respectively, per 100 000 persons. Multiple linear regression confirmed the relationship between the COVID-19 incidence and the SARS-CoV-2 RNA quantified in WW at 15 out of 28 WWTPs (overall R2 = 0.36, p < 0.001). At four of the 13 WWTPs where a significant relationship was not found, the SARS-CoV-2 RNA remained below the quantification limit during the whole study period. In the five other WWTPs, the sewer coverage was less than 80% of the total population in the area and thus the COVID-19 cases may have been inhabitants from the areas not covered. Based on the results obtained, WW-based surveillance of SARS-CoV-2 could be used as an indicator for local and national COVID-19 incidence trends. Importantly, the determination of SARS-CoV-2 RNA fragments from WW is a powerful and non-invasive public health surveillance measure, independent of possible changes in the clinical testing strategies or in the willingness of individuals to be tested for COVID-19.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Waste Water , COVID-19/epidemiology , Finland/epidemiology , Humans , Incidence , RNA, Viral , SARS-CoV-2
5.
BMJ Open ; 12(1): e046490, 2022 01 31.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1662313

ABSTRACT

OBJECTIVE: To evaluate the trajectories of acute upper respiratory tract infections (URTIs), COVID-19, and the use of antibiotics in Finland during the COVID-19 epidemic. DESIGN: Population-based cohort study. SETTING: Electronic medical records from a nationwide healthcare chain in Finland. PARTICIPANTS: 833 444 patients from a cohort of 1 970 013 Finns who had used medical services between 2017 and 2020. MAIN OUTCOME MEASURES: Number of weekly patients of acute URTIs, COVID-19, and the prescribed number of antibiotics in Finland between 6 January 2020 and 21 June 2020. We estimated the respective expected numbers from 1 March 2020 onward using autoregressive integrated moving average model from 1 January 2017 to 1 March 2020. We assessed the public interest in COVID-19 by collecting Google search trend frequencies. RESULTS: There was a rapid increase in COVID-related internet searches between weeks 10 and 12. At the same time, there was a 106% increase in diagnoses of acute URTIs, from 410 per 100 000 inhabitants to 845 per 100 000. The first COVID-19 cases were diagnosed on week 11. Prescriptions for URTI-related antibiotics declined by 71% (403 per 100 000 to 117 per 100 000) between weeks 11 and 15 while no relevant change took place in prescriptions of antibiotics for urinary tract infections. CONCLUSIONS: At the beginning of the epidemic, many people contacted healthcare professionals with relatively mild symptoms, as indicated by the reduced rate of URTI-antibiotics prescriptions. Our findings indicate that health service providers should be prepared for rapid variations in service demand. Securing access of true COVID-19 patients to proper diagnostics, care and isolation measures may help in preventing the spread of the disease.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Respiratory Tract Infections , Anti-Bacterial Agents/therapeutic use , Cohort Studies , Finland/epidemiology , Humans , Incidence , Respiratory Tract Infections/drug therapy , Respiratory Tract Infections/epidemiology , SARS-CoV-2 , Time Factors
6.
Infect Dis (Lond) ; 54(6): 448-454, 2022 Jun.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1638185

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: Health care workers are at risk of acquiring SARS-CoV-2 infection. Our aim was to study the prevalence of SARS-CoV-2 nucleoprotein and spike protein specific antibodies in health care workers with occupational exposure to COVID-19 in Turku, Finland, from May to December 2020. METHODS: Health care workers of Turku University Hospital units caring for COVID-19 patients or handling clinical SARS-CoV-2 samples were invited to participate in the study. The presence of SARS-CoV-2 nucleoprotein and spike protein specific IgG antibodies were analysed with in-house enzyme immunoassay. RESULTS: At study enrolment, only one of the 222 (0.5%) study participants was seropositive for SARS-CoV-2 protein specific antibodies. Two additional study participants (2/222, 0.9%) seroconverted during the follow-up. All these participants were diagnosed with a RT-PCR-positive COVID-19 infection before turning seropositive. CONCLUSION: In our study population, the prevalence of SARS-CoV-2 seropositivity remained low. The absence of seropositive cases without previous RT-PCR confirmed infections demonstrate good access to diagnostics. In addition to high vaccine coverage, high standards of infection prevention practices and use of standard personal protective equipment seem sufficient in preventing occupational SARS-CoV-2 infection in a setting with low number of circulating virus. However, it remains unclear whether similar protective practices would also be effective against more transmissible SARS-CoV-2 variants.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , SARS-CoV-2 , Antibodies, Viral , COVID-19/epidemiology , COVID-19/prevention & control , Finland/epidemiology , Health Personnel , Humans , Nucleoproteins , Prospective Studies , Seroepidemiologic Studies , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus , Vaccination
7.
Acta Neuropathol Commun ; 9(1): 199, 2021 12 23.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1634344

ABSTRACT

Apolipoprotein E ε4 allele (APOE4) has been shown to associate with increased susceptibility to SARS-CoV-2 infection and COVID-19 mortality in some previous genetic studies, but information on the role of APOE4 on the underlying pathology and parallel clinical manifestations is scarce. Here we studied the genetic association between APOE and COVID-19 in Finnish biobank, autopsy and prospective clinical cohort datasets. In line with previous work, our data on 2611 cases showed that APOE4 carriership associates with severe COVID-19 in intensive care patients compared with non-infected population controls after matching for age, sex and cardiovascular disease status. Histopathological examination of brain autopsy material of 21 COVID-19 cases provided evidence that perivascular microhaemorrhages are more prevalent in APOE4 carriers. Finally, our analysis of post-COVID fatigue in a prospective clinical cohort of 156 subjects revealed that APOE4 carriership independently associates with higher mental fatigue compared to non-carriers at six months after initial illness. In conclusion, the present data on Finns suggests that APOE4 is a risk factor for severe COVID-19 and post-COVID mental fatigue and provides the first indication that some of this effect could be mediated via increased cerebrovascular damage. Further studies in larger cohorts and animal models are warranted.


Subject(s)
Apolipoprotein E4/genetics , COVID-19/complications , COVID-19/genetics , Cerebral Hemorrhage/genetics , Mental Fatigue/genetics , Patient Acuity , Adult , Aged , Autopsy , Biological Specimen Banks , COVID-19/diagnosis , COVID-19/epidemiology , Cerebral Hemorrhage/diagnosis , Cerebral Hemorrhage/epidemiology , Cohort Studies , Female , Finland/epidemiology , Genetic Association Studies/methods , Heterozygote , Humans , Male , Mental Fatigue/diagnosis , Mental Fatigue/epidemiology , Microvessels/pathology , Middle Aged , Prospective Studies , Risk Factors , Young Adult
8.
Int J Med Inform ; 159: 104677, 2022 03.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1587603

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: Covid-19 pandemic has boosted digitalization in healthcare, as mobility restrictions and social distancing rules have made healthcare providers to adopt digital tools to replace or complement face-to-face interactions. PURPOSE: We discuss the effects of Covid-19 pandemic on physicians' use of digital media. We examine whether Covid-19 conditions have changed how physicians use internet resources for information search, how they engage in social media, and their attitude towards online events. BASIC PROCEDURES: The study was done as a longitudinal panel survey in four waves. The sample was a panel including active physicians in Finland. The panel was updated annually. Identical surveys were administered in 2018, 2019, 2020 and 2021. Spring 2020 was the time when Finland executed mobility restrictions and re-organization of healthcare because of pandemic. Comparing results of the survey before and after Covid-19 restrictions gives us a unique opportunity to do comparative analysis of Covid-19 effects. MAIN FINDINGS: Our results show that the use of digital media for information search stayed relatively stable without statistically significant change during the four-year period covered in the study. The use of social media rose steadily from 2018 to 2021 with no significant difference in the trend. However, there was a significant change in the attitude of Finnish physicians on online events. Year 2021, the attitude remained in this more positive level. PRINCIPAL CONCLUSIONS: As use of digital media including social media was already high prior Covid-19 in Finland, our results do not show significant change because of special circumstances introduced in 2020. However, our results show that the attitudes towards online events turned more positive during Covid-19 related restrictions. This could indicate that Covid-19 era has triggered a change that might continue also when pandemic related restrictions will be removed.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Physicians , Social Media , Finland/epidemiology , Humans , Internet , Pandemics , SARS-CoV-2
9.
Vaccine ; 40(5): 701-705, 2022 01 31.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1586273

ABSTRACT

Recently, Covid-19 vaccine effectiveness has decreased especially against mild disease due to emergence of the Delta variant and waning protection. In this register-based study among healthcare workers in Finland, the vaccine effectiveness of two-dose mRNA vaccine series against SARS-CoV-2 infection decreased from 82% (95% CI 79-85%) 14-90 days after vaccination to 53% (43-62%) after 6 months. Similar trend was observed for other series. Waning was not observed against Covid-19 hospitalization. These results facilitate decision-making of booster doses for healthcare workers.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 Vaccines , COVID-19 , Cohort Studies , Finland/epidemiology , Health Personnel , Humans , SARS-CoV-2 , Vaccines, Synthetic
10.
JMIR Public Health Surveill ; 7(12): e31961, 2021 12 07.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1560428

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: The COVID-19 pandemic has prevailed over a year, and log and register data on coronavirus have been utilized to establish models for detecting the pandemic. However, many sources contain unreliable health information on COVID-19 and its symptoms, and platforms cannot characterize the users performing searches. Prior studies have assessed symptom searches from general search engines (Google/Google Trends). Little is known about how modeling log data on smell/taste disorders and coronavirus from the dedicated internet databases used by citizens and health care professionals (HCPs) could enhance disease surveillance. Our material and method provide a novel approach to analyze web-based information seeking to detect infectious disease outbreaks. OBJECTIVE: The aim of this study was (1) to assess whether citizens' and professionals' searches for smell/taste disorders and coronavirus relate to epidemiological data on COVID-19 cases, and (2) to test our negative binomial regression modeling (ie, whether the inclusion of the case count could improve the model). METHODS: We collected weekly log data on searches related to COVID-19 (smell/taste disorders, coronavirus) between December 30, 2019, and November 30, 2020 (49 weeks). Two major medical internet databases in Finland were used: Health Library (HL), a free portal aimed at citizens, and Physician's Database (PD), a database widely used among HCPs. Log data from databases were combined with register data on the numbers of COVID-19 cases reported in the Finnish National Infectious Diseases Register. We used negative binomial regression modeling to assess whether the case numbers could explain some of the dynamics of searches when plotting database logs. RESULTS: We found that coronavirus searches drastically increased in HL (0 to 744,113) and PD (4 to 5375) prior to the first wave of COVID-19 cases between December 2019 and March 2020. Searches for smell disorders in HL doubled from the end of December 2019 to the end of March 2020 (2148 to 4195), and searches for taste disorders in HL increased from mid-May to the end of November (0 to 1980). Case numbers were significantly associated with smell disorders (P<.001) and taste disorders (P<.001) in HL, and with coronavirus searches (P<.001) in PD. We could not identify any other associations between case numbers and searches in either database. CONCLUSIONS: Novel infodemiological approaches could be used in analyzing database logs. Modeling log data from web-based sources was seen to improve the model only occasionally. However, search behaviors among citizens and professionals could be used as a supplementary source of information for infectious disease surveillance. Further research is needed to apply statistical models to log data of the dedicated medical databases.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Pandemics , Finland/epidemiology , Health Personnel , Humans , SARS-CoV-2 , Smell , Taste Disorders
11.
Epidemiol Infect ; 149: e233, 2021 10 26.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1537268

ABSTRACT

School lockdowns have been widely used to control the COVID-19 pandemic. However, these lockdowns may have a significant negative impact on the lives of young people. In this study, we have evaluated the impact of closing lower secondary schools for COVID-19 incidence in 13-15-year-olds in Finland, in a situation where restrictions and recommendation of social distancing were implemented uniformly in the entire country. COVID-19 case numbers were obtained from the National Infectious Disease Registry (NIDR) of the Finnish Institute for Health and Welfare, in which clinical microbiology laboratories report all positive SARS-CoV-2 tests with unique identifiers in a timely manner. The NIDR is linked to population data registry, enabling calculation of incidences. We estimated the differences in trends between areas with both restaurant and lower secondary school closures and areas with only restaurant closures in different age groups by using joinpoint regression. We also estimated the differences in trends between age groups. Based on our analysis, closing lower secondary schools had no impact on COVID-19 incidence among 13-15-year-olds. No significant changes on COVID-19 incidence were observed in other age groups either.


Subject(s)
COVID-19/epidemiology , COVID-19/prevention & control , Schools , Adolescent , Adult , COVID-19/diagnosis , Child , Finland/epidemiology , Humans , Incidence , Middle Aged , Physical Distancing , Restaurants , SARS-CoV-2/isolation & purification , Schools/statistics & numerical data , Young Adult
12.
BMC Emerg Med ; 21(1): 102, 2021 09 09.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1533244

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: The COVID-19 pandemic has had profound effects on the utilization of health care services, including Emergency Medical Services (EMS). Social distancing measures taken to prevent the spread of the disease have greatly affected the functioning of societies and reduced or halted many activities with a risk of injury. The aim of this study was to report the effects of lockdown measures on trauma-related EMS calls in the Finnish capital area. METHODS: We conducted a retrospective cohort study of all EMS calls in the Helsinki University Hospital (HUH) catchment area between 1 January and 31 July 2020. Calls were identified from the HUH EMS database. Calls were grouped into pre-lockdown, lockdown, and post-lockdown periods according to the restrictions set by the Finnish government and compared to the mean number of calls for the corresponding periods in 2018 and 2019. Statistical comparisons were performed using Mann-Whitney U-test for weekly numbers and percentages. RESULTS: During the study period there was a total of 70,705 EMS calls, of which 14,998 (21.2%) were related to trauma; 67,973 patients (median age 61.6 years; IQR 35.3-78.6) were met by EMS. There was no significant change in the weekly number of total or trauma-related EMS calls during the pre-lockdown period. During the lockdown period, the number of weekly total EMS calls was reduced by 12.2% (p = 0.001) and the number of trauma-related calls was reduced by 23.3% (p = 0.004). The weekly number of injured patients met by EMS while intoxicated with alcohol was reduced by 41.8% (p = 0.002). During the post-lockdown period, the number of total and trauma-related calls and the number of injured patients intoxicated by alcohol returned to previous years' levels. CONCLUSIONS: The COVID-19 pandemic and social distancing measures reduced the number of trauma-related EMS calls. Lockdown measures had an especially significant effect on the number of injured patients intoxicated by alcohol met by the EMS. TRIAL REGISTRATION: Not applicable.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Emergency Medical Services , Wounds and Injuries/epidemiology , Communicable Disease Control , Emergency Medical Services/statistics & numerical data , Finland/epidemiology , Humans , Middle Aged , Pandemics , Retrospective Studies
13.
PLoS One ; 16(11): e0258704, 2021.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1523426

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: In Finland, both mRNA and adenovirus vector (AdV) Covid-19 vaccines have been used after the vaccination campaign started on December 27, 2020. Vaccination of the elderly and chronically ill was prioritized and the interval between doses set to 12 weeks. The objective of this interim analysis was to evaluate first and second dose vaccine effectiveness (VE) in a real-world setting. METHODS: During the first five months of the campaign, a register-based cohort study was conducted in the Finnish elderly aged 70+ years and those aged 16-69 years with medical conditions predisposing to severe Covid-19 (chronically ill). Using Cox regression, VE against SARS-CoV-2 infection and Covid-19 hospitalisation was estimated comparing the hazard in the vaccinated with that in the unvaccinated. RESULTS: The cohorts included 901092 elderly (89% vaccinated) and 774526 chronically ill (69% vaccinated) individuals. Three weeks after the first dose, mRNA VE against infection was 45% (95% confidence interval, 36-53%) and 40% (26-51%) in elderly and chronically ill; mRNA VE against hospitalisation was 63% (49-74%) and 82% (56-93%). In chronically ill, AdV VE was 42% (32-50) and 62% (42-75%) against infection and hospitalisation, respectively. One week after the second dose, mRNA VE against infection was 75% (65-82%) and 77% (65-85%) in elderly and chronically ill; mRNA VE against hospitalisation was 93% (70-98%) and 90% (29-99%). CONCLUSIONS: Covid-19 vaccines protect against SARS-CoV-2 infection and Covid-19 hospitalisation. A single dose provides moderate protection in elderly and chronically ill, although two doses are clearly superior.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 Vaccines/administration & dosage , COVID-19/prevention & control , Chronic Disease , Treatment Outcome , Adolescent , Adult , Age Factors , Aged , Aged, 80 and over , Cohort Studies , Female , Finland/epidemiology , Humans , Male , Middle Aged , Young Adult
14.
Scand J Clin Lab Invest ; 81(8): 653-660, 2021 12.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1521954

ABSTRACT

Coagulation disturbances are common in severe COVID-19 infection. We examined laboratory markers in COVID-19 patients during the first wave of the pandemic in Finland. We analysed a wide panel of coagulation tests (IL ACL TOP 750/500®) from anonymously collected samples of 78 hospitalized COVID-19 patients in intensive care units (ICUs; n = 34) or medical wards (n = 44) at Helsinki University Hospital in April-May 2020. These coagulation data were supplemented with the laboratory information system results, including complete blood count and C reactive protein (CRP). Coagulation and inflammatory markers were elevated in most: FVIII in 52%, fibrinogen 77%, D-dimer 74%, CRP 94%, platelet count 37%. Anaemia was common, especially in men (73% vs. 44% in women), and overall weakly correlated with FVIII (women R2 = 0.48, men R2 = 0.24). ICU patients had higher fibrinogen and D-dimer levels (p < .01). Men admitted to the ICU also had higher platelet count, leukocytes and FVIII and lower haemoglobin than the non-ICU patients. None of the patients met the disseminated intravascular coagulation (DIC) criteria, but 31% had a D-dimer level of at least 1.5 mg/L. Presence of both anaemia and high D-dimer together with FVIII is independently associated with ICU admission. Antithrombin was reduced in 47% of the patients but did not distinguish severity. Overall, CRP was associated with coagulation activation. Elevated FVIII, fibrinogen and D-dimer reflected a strong inflammatory response and were characteristic of hospitalized COVID-19 patients. The patients were often anaemic, as is typical in severe inflammation, while anaemia was also associated with coagulation activity.


Subject(s)
Anemia/virology , Blood Coagulation Disorders/virology , Blood Coagulation , COVID-19/complications , Adolescent , Adult , Aged , Aged, 80 and over , Antithrombins , Big Data , Blood Coagulation Tests , C-Reactive Protein , Female , Fibrin Fibrinogen Degradation Products , Fibrinogen , Finland/epidemiology , Humans , Intensive Care Units , Male , Middle Aged , Platelet Count , Retrospective Studies , Young Adult
15.
Emerg Infect Dis ; 27(12): 3137-3141, 2021 12.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1496966

ABSTRACT

Severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 Alpha and Beta variants became dominant in Finland in spring 2021 but had diminished by summer. We used phylogenetic clustering to identify sources of spreading. We found that outbreaks were mostly seeded by a few introductions, highlighting the importance of surveillance and prevention policies.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , SARS-CoV-2 , Finland/epidemiology , Humans , Incidence , Phylogeny
16.
Sci Rep ; 11(1): 20363, 2021 10 13.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1467138

ABSTRACT

COVID-19 diagnostics was quickly ramped up worldwide early 2020 based on the detection of viral RNA. However, based on the scientific knowledge for pre-existing coronaviruses, it was expected that the SARS-CoV-2 RNA will be detected from symptomatic and at significant rates also from asymptomatic individuals due to persistence of non-infectious RNA. To increase the efficacy of diagnostics, surveillance, screening and pandemic control, rapid methods, such as antigen tests, are needed for decentralized testing and to assess infectiousness. A novel automated mariPOC SARS-CoV-2 test was developed for the detection of conserved structural viral nucleocapsid proteins. The test utilizes sophisticated optical laser technology for two-photon excitation and individual detection of immunoassay solid-phase particles. We validated the new method against qRT-PCR. Sensitivity of the test was 100.0% (13/13) directly from nasopharyngeal swab specimens and 84.4% (38/45) from swab specimens in undefined transport mediums. Specificity of the test was 100.0% (201/201). The test's limit of detection was 2.7 TCID50/test. It showed no cross-reactions. Our study shows that the new test can detect infectious individuals already in 20 min with clinical sensitivity close to qRT-PCR. The mariPOC is a versatile platform for syndromic testing and for high capacity infection control screening of infectious individuals.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 Serological Testing/methods , COVID-19/diagnosis , Adult , Aged , Antigens, Viral/analysis , COVID-19/immunology , Cross Reactions/immunology , Female , Finland/epidemiology , Humans , Immunoassay/methods , Male , Middle Aged , Nasopharynx/virology , RNA, Viral/genetics , Reproducibility of Results , SARS-CoV-2/immunology , SARS-CoV-2/pathogenicity , Sensitivity and Specificity
17.
Clin Microbiol Infect ; 28(1): 107-113, 2022 Jan.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1446536

ABSTRACT

OBJECTIVES: Motivated by reports of increased risk of coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) in ethnic minorities of high-income countries, we explored whether patients with a foreign first language are at an increased risk of COVID-19 infections, more serious presentations, or worse outcomes. METHODS: In a retrospective observational population-based quality registry study covering a population of 1.7 million, we studied the incidence of severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2), admissions to specialist healthcare and the intensive care unit (ICU), and all-cause case fatality in different language groups between 27th February and 3rd August 2020 in Southern Finland. A first language other than Finnish, Swedish or Sámi served as a surrogate marker for a foreign ethnic background. RESULTS: In total, 124 240 individuals were tested, and among the 118 300 (95%) whose first language could be determined, 4005 (3.4%) were COVID-19-positive, 623 (0.5%) were admitted to specialized hospitals, and 147 (0.1%) were admitted to the ICU; 254 (0.2%) died. Those with a foreign first language had lower testing rates (348, 95%CI 340-355 versus 758, 95%CI 753-762 per 10 000, p < 0.0001), higher incidence (36, 95%CI 33-38 versus 22, 95%CI 21-23 per 10 000, p < 0.0001), and higher positivity rates (103, 95%CI 96-109 versus 29, 95%CI 28-30 per 1000, p < 0.0001). There was no significant difference in ICU admissions, disease severity at ICU admission, or ICU outcomes. Case fatality by 90 days was 7.7% in domestic cases and 1.2% in those with a foreign first language, explained by demographics (age- and sex-adjusted HR 0.49, 95%CI 0.21-1.15). CONCLUSIONS: The population with a foreign first language was at an increased risk for testing positive for SARS-CoV-2, but when hospitalized they had outcomes similar to those in the native, domestic language population. This suggests that special attention should be paid to the prevention and control of infectious diseases among language minorities.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , /statistics & numerical data , COVID-19/epidemiology , COVID-19/ethnology , Cohort Studies , Critical Care , Finland/epidemiology , Hospitalization , Humans , Intensive Care Units , Language , Retrospective Studies
18.
Acta Odontol Scand ; 80(2): 157-160, 2022 Mar.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1442871

ABSTRACT

OBJECTIVES: To evaluate the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic on the occurrence of facial fractures in a tertiary trauma centre. MATERIALS AND METHODS: All facial fracture patients evaluated by an oral and maxillofacial surgeon during the first stage of the pandemic in spring 2020 were included in the study and compared to the corresponding periods in 2017 and 2018. Differences in age, sex, timespan from accident to diagnosis of facial fracture, injury mechanism, fracture type, treatment method, associated injuries (AIs), and alcohol consumption at the time of injury were analyzed between the forementioned time periods. RESULTS: The total number of patients (n = 107) during the COVID restriction period did not differ from the previous years (116 and 113 patients in 2017 and 2018, respectively, p=.368). Injury mechanism was less often assault during 2020 compared with previous years (14.0% in 2020 versus 31.8% in 2018 and 30.2% in 2017). Non-intracranial AIs were more common in the COVID period (28% in 2020 versus 14.2% in 2018 and 21.6%). The distribution was statistically significant (p=.041). Alcohol use prior to injury varied between years (p=.023). Alcohol was more often related to the injuries in 2020 compared to the previous years. CONCLUSIONS: COVID restrictions did not affect the overall facial fracture occurrence, but there was a significant decrease in assaults. The proportion of alcohol-related injuries did not decrease despite restrictions.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Maxillofacial Injuries , Finland/epidemiology , Humans , Maxillofacial Injuries/epidemiology , Pandemics , Physical Distancing , Retrospective Studies , SARS-CoV-2 , Trauma Centers
19.
Br J Psychiatry ; 220(1): 38-40, 2022 01.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1443810

ABSTRACT

The COVID-19 pandemic has had negative mental health outcomes in populations, but the suicide numbers in Finland have remained unchanged compared with expected levels based on the pre-pandemic period. We included all deaths from suicide verified by the official cause-of-death investigations, including forensic autopsy with analysis of forensic toxicology samples, between 1 January 2016 and 31 December 2020 in Finland. There was a decline in suicide incidence from 2016 to 2020 in men, and a declining tendency in suicide rates for every consecutive month during the COVID-19 pandemic period. The COVID-19 governmental policy responses do not seem to have led to an increase in suicide numbers.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Suicide , Cause of Death , Finland/epidemiology , Humans , Male , Pandemics , SARS-CoV-2
20.
Eur J Immunol ; 51(12): 3202-3213, 2021 12.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1439677

ABSTRACT

Most subjects develop antibodies to SARS-CoV-2 following infection. In order to estimate the duration of immunity induced by SARS-CoV-2 it is important to understand for how long antibodies persist after infection in humans. Here, we assessed the persistence of serum antibodies following WT SARS-CoV-2 infection at 8 and 13 months after diagnosis in 367 individuals. The SARS-CoV-2 spike IgG (S-IgG) and nucleoprotein IgG (N-IgG) concentrations and the proportion of subjects with neutralizing antibodies (NAb) were assessed. Moreover, the NAb titers among a smaller subset of participants (n = 78) against a WT virus (B) and variants of concern (VOCs): Alpha (B.1.1.7), Beta (B.1.351), and Delta (B.1.617.2) were determined. We found that NAb against the WT virus persisted in 89% and S-IgG in 97% of subjects for at least 13 months after infection. Only 36% had N-IgG by 13 months. The mean S-IgG concentrations declined from 8 to 13 months by less than one third; N-IgG concentrations declined by two-thirds. Subjects with severe infection had markedly higher IgG and NAb levels and are expected to remain seropositive for longer. Significantly lower NAb titers against the variants compared to the WT virus, especially after a mild disease, suggests reduced protection against VOCs.


Subject(s)
Antibodies, Neutralizing/metabolism , Antibodies, Viral/metabolism , COVID-19/immunology , Immunoglobulin G/metabolism , SARS-CoV-2/physiology , Adolescent , Adult , Aged , COVID-19/epidemiology , Cohort Studies , Coronavirus Nucleocapsid Proteins/immunology , Female , Finland/epidemiology , Humans , Male , Middle Aged , Seroepidemiologic Studies , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/immunology , Time Factors , Young Adult
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