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1.
Lancet Respir Med ; 9(4): 407-418, 2021 04.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1180128

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: Most low-income and middle-income countries (LMICs) have little or no data integrated into a national surveillance system to identify characteristics or outcomes of COVID-19 hospital admissions and the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on their national health systems. We aimed to analyse characteristics of patients admitted to hospital with COVID-19 in Brazil, and to examine the impact of COVID-19 on health-care resources and in-hospital mortality. METHODS: We did a retrospective analysis of all patients aged 20 years or older with quantitative RT-PCR (RT-qPCR)-confirmed COVID-19 who were admitted to hospital and registered in SIVEP-Gripe, a nationwide surveillance database in Brazil, between Feb 16 and Aug 15, 2020 (epidemiological weeks 8-33). We also examined the progression of the COVID-19 pandemic across three 4-week periods within this timeframe (epidemiological weeks 8-12, 19-22, and 27-30). The primary outcome was in-hospital mortality. We compared the regional burden of hospital admissions stratified by age, intensive care unit (ICU) admission, and respiratory support. We analysed data from the whole country and its five regions: North, Northeast, Central-West, Southeast, and South. FINDINGS: Between Feb 16 and Aug 15, 2020, 254 288 patients with RT-qPCR-confirmed COVID-19 were admitted to hospital and registered in SIVEP-Gripe. The mean age of patients was 60 (SD 17) years, 119 657 (47%) of 254 288 were aged younger than 60 years, 143 521 (56%) of 254 243 were male, and 14 979 (16%) of 90 829 had no comorbidities. Case numbers increased across the three 4-week periods studied: by epidemiological weeks 19-22, cases were concentrated in the North, Northeast, and Southeast; by weeks 27-30, cases had spread to the Central-West and South regions. 232 036 (91%) of 254 288 patients had a defined hospital outcome when the data were exported; in-hospital mortality was 38% (87 515 of 232 036 patients) overall, 59% (47 002 of 79 687) among patients admitted to the ICU, and 80% (36 046 of 45 205) among those who were mechanically ventilated. The overall burden of ICU admissions per ICU beds was more pronounced in the North, Southeast, and Northeast, than in the Central-West and South. In the Northeast, 1545 (16%) of 9960 patients received invasive mechanical ventilation outside the ICU compared with 431 (8%) of 5388 in the South. In-hospital mortality among patients younger than 60 years was 31% (4204 of 13 468) in the Northeast versus 15% (1694 of 11 196) in the South. INTERPRETATION: We observed a widespread distribution of COVID-19 across all regions in Brazil, resulting in a high overall disease burden. In-hospital mortality was high, even in patients younger than 60 years, and worsened by existing regional disparities within the health system. The COVID-19 pandemic highlights the need to improve access to high-quality care for critically ill patients admitted to hospital with COVID-19, particularly in LMICs. FUNDING: National Council for Scientific and Technological Development (CNPq), Coordinating Agency for Advanced Training of Graduate Personnel (CAPES), Carlos Chagas Filho Foundation for Research Support of the State of Rio de Janeiro (FAPERJ), and Instituto de Salud Carlos III.


Subject(s)
/epidemiology , Epidemiological Monitoring , Healthcare Disparities/statistics & numerical data , Hospital Mortality/trends , Pandemics/statistics & numerical data , Adult , Aged , Aged, 80 and over , Brazil/epidemiology , /therapy , Comorbidity , Female , Geography , Health Services Accessibility/organization & administration , Health Services Accessibility/statistics & numerical data , Health Services Needs and Demand/statistics & numerical data , Humans , Intensive Care Units/statistics & numerical data , Male , Middle Aged , Patient Admission/statistics & numerical data , Respiration, Artificial/statistics & numerical data , Retrospective Studies , Young Adult
2.
BMC Public Health ; 21(1): 685, 2021 04 08.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1175313

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: People with chronic conditions are disproportionately prone to be affected by the COVID-19 pandemic but there are limited data documenting this. We aimed to assess the health, psychosocial and economic impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic on people with chronic conditions in India. METHODS: Between July 29, to September 12, 2020, we telephonically surveyed adults (n = 2335) with chronic conditions across four sites in India. Data on participants' demographic, socio-economic status, comorbidities, access to health care, treatment satisfaction, self-care behaviors, employment, and income were collected using pre-tested questionnaires. We performed multivariable logistic regression analysis to examine the factors associated with difficulty in accessing medicines and worsening of diabetes or hypertension symptoms. Further, a diverse sample of 40 participants completed qualitative interviews that focused on eliciting patient's experiences during the COVID-19 lockdowns and data analyzed using thematic analysis. RESULTS: One thousand seven hundred thirty-four individuals completed the survey (response rate = 74%). The mean (SD) age of respondents was 57.8 years (11.3) and 50% were men. During the COVID-19 lockdowns in India, 83% of participants reported difficulty in accessing healthcare, 17% faced difficulties in accessing medicines, 59% reported loss of income, 38% lost jobs, and 28% reduced fruit and vegetable consumption. In the final-adjusted regression model, rural residence (OR, 95%CI: 4.01,2.90-5.53), having diabetes (2.42, 1.81-3.25) and hypertension (1.70,1.27-2.27), and loss of income (2.30,1.62-3.26) were significantly associated with difficulty in accessing medicines. Further, difficulties in accessing medicines (3.67,2.52-5.35), and job loss (1.90,1.25-2.89) were associated with worsening of diabetes or hypertension symptoms. Qualitative data suggest most participants experienced psychosocial distress due to loss of job or income and had difficulties in accessing in-patient services. CONCLUSION: People with chronic conditions, particularly among poor, rural, and marginalized populations, have experienced difficulties in accessing healthcare and been severely affected both socially and financially by the COVID-19 pandemic.


Subject(s)
Chronic Disease , Pandemics , Aged , /epidemiology , Chronic Disease/epidemiology , Chronic Disease/therapy , Female , Health Services Accessibility/statistics & numerical data , Health Status , Humans , India/epidemiology , Male , Middle Aged , Qualitative Research , Quarantine , Socioeconomic Factors , Surveys and Questionnaires
4.
PLoS One ; 16(3): e0249195, 2021.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1150557

ABSTRACT

The COVID-19 pandemic has increasingly disrupted the global delivery of preventive health care services, as a large number of governments have issued state of emergency orders halting service delivery. However, there is limited evidence on the realized effects of the pandemic and associated emergency orders on access to services in low-income country contexts to date. To address this gap, this paper analyzes administrative data on utilization of contraceptive health services by women referred via community health promoters in two large urban and peri-urban areas of Mozambique. We focus on the period immediately surrounding the national state of emergency declaration linked to the COVID-19 pandemic on March 31, 2020. Data reported for 109,129 women served by 132 unique promoters and 192 unique public health facilities is analyzed using logistic regression, interrupted time series analysis and hazard analysis. The results demonstrate that the imposition of the state of emergency is associated with a modest short-term drop in both service provision and utilization, followed by a relatively rapid rebound. We conclude that in this context, the accessibility of reproductive health services was not dramatically reduced during the first phase of the pandemic-related emergency.


Subject(s)
/pathology , Contraceptive Agents/administration & dosage , Adult , Female , Health Services Accessibility/statistics & numerical data , Humans , Interrupted Time Series Analysis , Logistic Models , Mozambique , Proportional Hazards Models , Referral and Consultation , Young Adult
5.
BMJ Open ; 11(3): e045813, 2021 03 18.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1143048

ABSTRACT

OBJECTIVE: Access to health services and adequate care is influenced by sex, ethnicity, socioeconomic position (SEP) and the burden of comorbidities. Our study aimed to assess whether the COVID-19 pandemic further deepened these already existing health inequalities. DESIGN: Cross-sectional study. SETTING: Data were collected from five longitudinal age-homogenous British cohorts (born in 2000-2002, 1989-1990, 1970, 1958 and 1946). PARTICIPANTS: A web survey was sent to the cohorts. Anybody who responded to the survey was included, resulting in 14 891 eligible participants. MAIN OUTCOMES MEASURED: The survey provided data on cancelled surgical or medical appointments, and the number of care hours received in a week during the first UK COVID-19 national lockdown. INTERVENTIONS: Using binary or ordered logistic regression, we evaluated whether these outcomes differed by sex, ethnicity, SEP and having a chronic illness. Adjustment was made for study design, non-response weights, psychological distress, presence of children or adolescents in the household, COVID-19 infection, key worker status, and whether participants had received a shielding letter. Meta-analyses were performed across the cohorts, and meta-regression was used to evaluate the effect of age as a moderator. RESULTS: Women (OR 1.40, 95% CI 1.27 to 1.55) and those with a chronic illness (OR 1.84, 95% CI 1.65 to 2.05) experienced significantly more cancellations during lockdown (all p<0.0001). Ethnic minorities and those with a chronic illness required a higher number of care hours during the lockdown (both OR≈2.00, all p<0.002). SEP was not associated with cancellation or care hours. Age was not independently associated with either outcome in the meta-regression. CONCLUSION: The UK government's lockdown approach during the COVID-19 pandemic appears to have deepened existing health inequalities, impacting predominantly women, ethnic minorities and those with chronic illnesses. Public health authorities need to implement urgent policies to ensure equitable access to health and care for all in preparation for a fourthwave.


Subject(s)
Health Services Accessibility/statistics & numerical data , Healthcare Disparities/statistics & numerical data , Pandemics , Adult , Aged , Communicable Disease Control , Cross-Sectional Studies , Female , Humans , Longitudinal Studies , Male , Middle Aged , United Kingdom , Young Adult
6.
Ciênc. Saúde Colet ; 26(3): 987-1000, mar. 2021. tab, graf
Article in English | LILACS (Americas) | ID: covidwho-1138612

ABSTRACT

Abstract The objective was to identify the impact of social distance in the management of noncommunicable diseases (NCD) in the adult population from the state of Rio Grande do Sul, southern Brazil. This is an ambispective, population-based cohort study. Descriptive analysis and Poisson regression models were used and the results were reported as prevalence ratio and 95% confidence intervals. From a total of 1,288 participants, 43.1% needed medical care and 28.5% reported impaired management of NCDs during social distance. Female sex, age between 18 and 30 years old, living in the Serra region (central region of the state), people with depression and multimorbidity were more likely to have impaired management of NCDs. Being physically active reduced the probability of having impaired management of NCD by 15%. Reduced monthly income was associated with the difficulty in accessing prescription medicine and avoidance of seeking in-person medical assistance. Depression was associated with difficulties in accessing medications, while avoidance of seeking in-person medical assistance was more likely for people with multimorbidity, arthritis/arthrosis/fibromyalgia, heart disease, and high cholesterol.


Resumo O objetivo foi identificar o impacto do distanciamento social no manejo das doenças crônicas não transmissíveis (DCNT) na população adulta do estado do Rio Grande do Sul, sul do Brasil. Este é um estudo de coorte ambispectivo de base populacional. Foi utilizada análise descritiva e modelos de regressão de Poisson, os resultados são apresentados em razão de prevalência e intervalos de confiança de 95%. De um total de 1.288 participantes, 43,1% necessitaram de cuidados médicos e 28,5% relataram manejo prejudicado de DCNT durante o distanciamento social. Sexo feminino, idade entre 18 e 30 anos, residente na região da Serra (região central do estado), pessoas com depressão e multimorbidade apresentaram maior chance de manejo prejudicado das DCNT. Ser fisicamente ativo reduziu a probabilidade de ter gerenciamento prejudicado de DCNT em 15%. A redução da renda mensal esteve associada à dificuldade de acesso a medicamentos prescritos e a deixar de buscar atendimento médico presencial. A depressão foi associada a dificuldades de acesso a medicamentos, enquanto deixar de buscar assistência médica pessoalmente foi mais provável para pessoas com multimorbidade, artrite/artrose/fibromialgia, doenças cardíacas e colesterol alto.


Subject(s)
Humans , Male , Female , Adult , Young Adult , Coronavirus Infections/epidemiology , Pandemics , Noncommunicable Diseases/therapy , Socioeconomic Factors , Brazil/epidemiology , Exercise , Patient Acceptance of Health Care , Poisson Distribution , Sex Factors , Regression Analysis , Cohort Studies , Age Factors , Depression/psychology , Multimorbidity , Health Services Accessibility/statistics & numerical data , Income , Middle Aged
9.
Pediatr Endocrinol Diabetes Metab ; 26(4): 167-175, 2020.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1112834

ABSTRACT

INTRODUCTION: On March 11, 2020 the WHO announced a coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic. Lockdown restrictions, compromised access to medical care and fear of potential exposure to SARS-CoV-2 have forced patients with non-COVID-19 illnesses such as type 1 diabetes (T1D) to stay home. This situation can lead to delay in T1D diagnosis and insulin treatment resulting in rapid progression to diabetic ketoacidosis (DKA) and therefore increased risk of complications and death.  . AIM: The aim of this study was to evaluate the frequency and severity of DKA at the onset of T1D in children diagnosed in our department during COVID-19 pandemic lockdown from March 2020 till May 2020 in comparison to corresponding period of the previous year. . MATERIAL AND METHODS: We collected data of children with newly diagnosed T1D. DKA was defined according to ISPAD guidelines. . RESULTS: The study cohort comprised 34 children in group 2020 and 52 in group 2019 with an average age 9.90 ±4.9 vs. 9.59±4.7 years with mean HbA1c 12.9 ±2.4 vs. 11.5 ±2.2%, respectively. The incidence of DKA was higher by 12% in group 2020 vs. 2019 (52.94% vs 40.38%; p = 0.276).  Regarding the DKA severity (2020 vs. 2019) 32.35% vs. 11.54% were severe (p = 0.026), 17.65 vs. 13% were moderate (p = 0.759), and 2.94 vs. 15.38% were mild (p = 0.081). None of the analyzed patients were COVID-19 positive. CONCLUSIONS: During the COVID-19 pandemic lockdown changes in society and health care system, the DKA rate has increased by 12 percentage points with more severe cases noted in children with newly diagnosed T1D. Regular education of the whole society about the symptoms of diabetes could contribute to faster diagnosis of T1D and reduction of DKA prevalence. .


Subject(s)
/psychology , Diabetes Mellitus, Type 1/complications , Diabetes Mellitus, Type 1/drug therapy , Diabetic Ketoacidosis/diagnosis , Diabetic Ketoacidosis/etiology , Health Services Accessibility/statistics & numerical data , Quarantine/statistics & numerical data , Adolescent , Child , Child, Preschool , Cohort Studies , Diabetes Mellitus, Type 1/epidemiology , Diabetic Ketoacidosis/epidemiology , Female , Humans , Incidence , Male , Pandemics/statistics & numerical data , Poland/epidemiology , Prevalence , Quarantine/trends , Risk Factors
10.
J Occup Environ Med ; 62(10): e593-e597, 2020 10.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1105014

ABSTRACT

OBJECTIVES: To describe the strategies to monitor and expand access to care for a health system workers in the first 2 months of the COVID-19 epidemic in Brazil. METHODS: Description of the implemented strategy based on the guidelines developed to address the surveillance and care of a large health system's workforce in the COVID-19 epidemic. RESULTS: During phase 1, the surveillance strategy focused on monitoring suspected cases among employees. In phase 2, surveillance was restricted to employees with confirmed COVID-19, aiming at monitoring of symptoms and following hospitalizations. Access to care was expanded. A total of 1089 employees were diagnosed with COVID-19, 89 required hospitalizations and none had died. CONCLUSION: The strategies adopted were promptly implemented and could be adapted to the changing epidemic dynamics, allowing low rates of adverse outcomes in this high-risk population.


Subject(s)
Coronavirus Infections/prevention & control , Delivery of Health Care/organization & administration , Health Personnel/statistics & numerical data , Health Services Accessibility/statistics & numerical data , Infectious Disease Transmission, Patient-to-Professional/prevention & control , Occupational Health , Pandemics/prevention & control , Pneumonia, Viral/prevention & control , Adult , Brazil/epidemiology , Coronavirus Infections/epidemiology , Cross-Sectional Studies , Female , Humans , Infection Control/organization & administration , Male , Middle Aged , Pandemics/statistics & numerical data , Pneumonia, Viral/epidemiology , Registries , Risk Assessment , Workforce/organization & administration
11.
J Am Board Fam Med ; 34(Suppl): S77-S84, 2021 Feb.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1100003

ABSTRACT

INTRODUCTION: This study was conducted to determine if limited access to health care during the COVID-19 pandemic impacted utilization of recommended nonpharmacological treatments, nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs, and opioids by patients with chronic low back pain and affected clinical outcomes relating to pain intensity and disability. METHODS: Participants within the Pain Registry for Epidemiological, Clinical, and Interventional Studies and Innovation were eligible if they provided encounter data in the 3 months immediately before and after the national emergency proclamation date (NEPD). RESULTS: The mean age of the 528 study participants was 53.9 years and 74.1% were women. Utilization of exercise therapy, massage therapy, and spinal manipulation decreased during the pandemic. Increasing age was associated with decreased utilization of all nonpharmacological treatments except exercise therapy, and with increased opioid use during the pandemic. African American participants reported decreased utilization of yoga and spinal manipulation during the pandemic. Overall, mean change scores for pain intensity and disability before and after the NEPD were not significant. However, African American participants consistently reported worse pain intensity and disability outcomes during the pandemic. Marginally worse outcomes were observed less consistently for pain intensity with increasing age and for disability among women. DISCUSSION: Social distancing during the pandemic impacted the uptake of recommended nonpharmacological treatments for chronic low back pain that require visiting community-based facilities or interacting closely with providers. CONCLUSIONS: The pandemic threatens to exacerbate the impact of chronic low back pain, particularly among African American patients and the older population, by impeding access to guideline-informed noninvasive treatments.


Subject(s)
Chronic Pain/therapy , Low Back Pain/therapy , Adult , Aged , Demography , Female , Guideline Adherence/organization & administration , Guideline Adherence/trends , Health Services Accessibility/statistics & numerical data , Health Services Accessibility/trends , Humans , Male , Middle Aged , Pandemics , Quality of Life , Registries , United States
12.
JCO Glob Oncol ; 6: 1428-1438, 2020 09.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1088630

ABSTRACT

PURPOSE: The COVID-19 pandemic affected health care systems globally and resulted in the interruption of usual care in many health care facilities, exposing vulnerable patients with cancer to significant risks. Our study aimed to evaluate the impact of this pandemic on cancer care worldwide. METHODS: We conducted a cross-sectional study using a validated web-based questionnaire of 51 items. The questionnaire obtained information on the capacity and services offered at these centers, magnitude of disruption of care, reasons for disruption, challenges faced, interventions implemented, and the estimation of patient harm during the pandemic. RESULTS: A total of 356 centers from 54 countries across six continents participated between April 21 and May 8, 2020. These centers serve 716,979 new patients with cancer a year. Most of them (88.2%) reported facing challenges in delivering care during the pandemic. Although 55.34% reduced services as part of a preemptive strategy, other common reasons included an overwhelmed system (19.94%), lack of personal protective equipment (19.10%), staff shortage (17.98%), and restricted access to medications (9.83%). Missing at least one cycle of therapy by > 10% of patients was reported in 46.31% of the centers. Participants reported patient exposure to harm from interruption of cancer-specific care (36.52%) and noncancer-related care (39.04%), with some centers estimating that up to 80% of their patients were exposed to harm. CONCLUSION: The detrimental impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on cancer care is widespread, with varying magnitude among centers worldwide. Additional research to assess this impact at the patient level is required.


Subject(s)
Cancer Care Facilities/statistics & numerical data , Coronavirus Infections/prevention & control , Health Services Accessibility/statistics & numerical data , Medical Oncology/statistics & numerical data , Neoplasms/therapy , Pandemics/prevention & control , Pneumonia, Viral/prevention & control , Betacoronavirus/pathogenicity , Cancer Care Facilities/standards , Coronavirus Infections/epidemiology , Coronavirus Infections/transmission , Coronavirus Infections/virology , Cross-Sectional Studies , Global Burden of Disease , Health Services Accessibility/standards , Humans , Infection Control/standards , International Cooperation , Medical Oncology/standards , Pneumonia, Viral/epidemiology , Pneumonia, Viral/transmission , Pneumonia, Viral/virology , Surveys and Questionnaires/statistics & numerical data
13.
Spinal Cord Ser Cases ; 7(1): 13, 2021 02 12.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1081887

ABSTRACT

STUDY DESIGN: An online survey. OBJECTIVES: To follow-up with and re-query the international spinal cord community's response to the Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic by revisiting questions posed in a previous survey and investigating new lines of inquiry. SETTING: An international collaboration of authors and participants. METHODS: Two identical surveys (one in English and one in Spanish) were distributed via the internet. Responses from both surveys were pooled and analyzed for demographic and response data. RESULTS: Three hundred and sixty-six respondents were gathered from multiple continents and regions. The majority (63.1%) were rehabilitation physicians and only 12.1% had patients with spinal cord injury/disease (SCI/D) that they knew had COVID-19. Participants reported that the COVID-19 pandemic had caused limited access to clinician and support services and worsening medical complications. Nearly 40% of inpatient clinicians reported that "some or all" of their facilities' beds were being used by medical and surgical patients, rather than by individuals requiring inpatient rehabilitation. Respondents reported a 25.1% increase in use of telemedicine during the pandemic (35% used it before; 60.1% during), though over 60% felt the technology incompletely met their patients' needs. CONCLUSION: The COVID-19 pandemic has negatively impacted the ability of individuals with SCI/D to obtain their "usual level of care." Moving forward into a potential "second wave" of COVID-19, patient advocacy and efforts to secure access to thorough and accessible care are essential.


Subject(s)
Attitude of Health Personnel , Health Personnel/statistics & numerical data , Health Services Accessibility/statistics & numerical data , Neurological Rehabilitation/statistics & numerical data , Spinal Cord Injuries/rehabilitation , Telemedicine/statistics & numerical data , Adult , Female , Health Care Surveys , Humans , Male , Middle Aged , Physicians/statistics & numerical data
15.
Acta Biomed ; 91(14-S): e2020028, 2020 12 30.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1070033

ABSTRACT

INTRODUCTION AND AIM: The Coronavirus pandemic represents one of the most massive health emergencies in the last century. Aim of the study is to evaluate the trend of E.R. accesses and orthopaedic events during the pandemic of Covid-19. MATERIALS AND METHODS: we retrospectively analysed all data related to patients admitted to the E.R. Department of the Hospital of Piacenza from August 26th 2019 to August 23rd 2020, splitting this period on February 23rd 2020. RESULTS: Our analysis shows a reduction of -18.0% in E.R. accesses. We calculated a growth of deaths in the E.R. equal to +220%. Our orthopaedic pathway recorded a drop of -26.8%. Traumas occurred at home increased (+19.1%). We note an actual drop only on proximal femur fractures (weighted average of -17.7%), while all the others underwent an increase. DISCUSSION: The amount of E.R. accesses registered a drop -18.0%, while the pathway dedicated to emergency cases underwent an increase. The major complexity of clinical conditions influenced the number of hospitalizations and the fear of the infection increased hospitalization refusals. There has been a zeroing of school traumas, a reduction in sport, transfer home-work/work-home, work, roadside, injuries. Total amount of fractures strongly increase after the end of the lockdown. CONCLUSION: our data confirmed the decrease of retirement houses, sports, works and roadsides traumas and a zeroing of schools ones, while those occurred inside domestic environment underwent a consistent raise. We noticed a reduction in femur fractures and significant spread of all fractures after the end of the lockdown.


Subject(s)
Emergency Service, Hospital/statistics & numerical data , Orthopedics/statistics & numerical data , Femur/injuries , Fractures, Bone/epidemiology , Health Services Accessibility/statistics & numerical data , Hospitalization , Humans , Italy , Pandemics , Retrospective Studies , Wounds and Injuries/epidemiology
16.
mSphere ; 6(1)2021 01 13.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1066824

ABSTRACT

Information on severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) spread in Africa is limited by insufficient diagnostic capacity. Here, we assessed the coronavirus disease (COVID-19)-related diagnostic workload during the onset of the pandemic in the central laboratory of Benin, Western Africa; characterized 12 SARS-CoV-2 genomes from returning travelers; and validated the Da An RT-PCR-based diagnostic kit that is widely used across Africa. We found a 15-fold increase in the monthly laboratory workload due to COVID-19, dealt with at the cost of routine activities. Genomic surveillance showed near-simultaneous introduction of distinct SARS-CoV-2 lineages termed A.4 and B.1, including the D614G spike protein variant potentially associated with higher transmissibility from travelers from six different European and African countries during March-April 2020. We decoded the target regions within the ORF1ab and N genes of the Da An dual-target kit by MinION-based amplicon sequencing. Despite relatively high similarity between SARS-CoV-2 and endemic human coronaviruses (HCoVs) within the ORF1ab target domain, no cross-detection of high-titered cell culture supernatants of HCoVs was observed, suggesting high analytical specificity. The Da An kit was highly sensitive, detecting 3.2 to 9.0 copies of target-specific in vitro transcripts/reaction. Although discrepant test results were observed in low-titered clinical samples, clinical sensitivity of the Da An kit was at least comparable to that of commercial kits from affluent settings. In sum, virologic diagnostics are achievable in a resource-limited setting, but unprecedented pressure resulting from COVID-19-related diagnostics requires rapid and sustainable support of national and supranational stakeholders addressing limited laboratory capacity.IMPORTANCE Months after the start of the COVID-19 pandemic, case numbers from Africa are surprisingly low, potentially because the number of SARS-CoV-2 tests performed in Africa is lower than in other regions. Here, we show an overload of COVID-19-related diagnostics in the central laboratory of Benin, Western Africa, with a stagnating average number of positive samples irrespective of daily sample counts. SARS-CoV-2 genomic surveillance confirmed a high genomic diversity in Benin introduced by travelers returning from Europe and other African countries, including early circulation of the D614G spike mutation associated with potentially higher transmissibility. We validated a widely used RT-PCR kit donated by the Chinese Jack Ma Foundation and confirmed high analytical specificity and clinical sensitivity equivalent to tests used in affluent settings. Our assessment shows that although achievable in an African setting, the burden from COVID-19-related diagnostics on national reference laboratories is very high.


Subject(s)
/diagnosis , /isolation & purification , Adult , Benin/epidemiology , /transmission , /methods , Developing Countries , Female , Genome, Viral , Health Resources/supply & distribution , Health Services Accessibility/statistics & numerical data , Humans , Male , Middle Aged , Sensitivity and Specificity , Travel-Related Illness , Workload/statistics & numerical data
17.
Epidemiol Prev ; 44(5-6 Suppl 2): 344-352, 2020.
Article in Italian | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1068157

ABSTRACT

OBJECTIVES: to describe the course of Italian organized cancer screening programmes during the COVID-19 emergency; to provide estimates of the diagnosis of malignant or pre-malignant lesions that will face a diagnostic delay due to the slowing down of screening activities. DESIGN: quantitative survey of aggregated data for each Region and overall for Italy relating to screening tests carried out in the period January-May 2020 compared to those of the same period of 2019; estimate of diagnostic delays starting from the calculation of the average detection rate of the last 3 years available (specific by Region). SETTING AND PARTICIPANTS: Italian mass screening programmes. Data on the tests carried out in the target population of the breast (women 50-69 years old), cervix (women 25-64 years old), and colorectal (women and men 50-69 years old) cancer screening. MAIN OUTCOME MEASURES: the cumulative delay (in absolute numbers and as a percentage) in the period January-May 2020 compared to the same period of 2019, by Region; the difference of screening tests (in absolute number and in percentage) performed in May 2020 compared to May 2019; the estimate of the fewer lesions diagnosed in 2020 compared with 2019 with relative 95% confidence intervals (95%CI); the 'standard months' of delay (proportion of fewer tests carried out from January to May 2020 for the corresponding number of months). RESULTS: 20 Regions out of 21 participated. In the period January-May 2020, the fewer screening tests performed in comparison with the same period of 2019 were: 472,389 (equal to 53.8%) with an average delay of standard months of 2.7 for mammography screening; 585,287 (equal to 54.9%) with an average delay of standard months of 2.7 for colorectal screening; 371,273 (equal to 55.3%) with an average delay of 2.8 standard months for cervical screening. The estimated number of undiagnosed lesions is 2,201 (95%CI 2,173-2,220) breast cancers; 645 (95%CI 632-661) colorectal carcinomas; 3,890 (95%CI 3,855-3,924) advanced colorectal adenomas and 1,497 (95%CI 1,413-1,586) CIN2 or more serious lesions. CONCLUSIONS: mass screenings need to be restarted as quickly as possible. In order to make up for the delay that is accumulating, it is necessary to provide for wider delivery times, greater resources, and new organizational approaches. It will also be essential to develop communication strategies suitable for promoting participation during this emergency.


Subject(s)
Appointments and Schedules , Breast Neoplasms/diagnosis , Colorectal Neoplasms/diagnosis , Delayed Diagnosis , Early Detection of Cancer , Pandemics , Quarantine , Uterine Cervical Neoplasms/diagnosis , Adult , Aged , Breast Neoplasms/epidemiology , Colorectal Neoplasms/epidemiology , Delayed Diagnosis/statistics & numerical data , Early Detection of Cancer/statistics & numerical data , Female , Health Care Surveys , Health Services Accessibility/statistics & numerical data , Humans , Italy/epidemiology , Mammography/statistics & numerical data , Middle Aged , Procedures and Techniques Utilization/statistics & numerical data , Uterine Cervical Neoplasms/epidemiology
18.
Seizure ; 86: 60-67, 2021 Mar.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1065593

ABSTRACT

OBJECTIVE: To assess the impact of ongoing COVID-19 pandemic on epilepsy care in India. METHODS: We conducted a three-part survey comprising neurologists, people with epilepsy (PWE), and 11 specialized epilepsy centers across India. We sent two separate online survey questionnaires to Indian neurologists and PWE to assess the epilepsy practice, seizures control, and access to care during the COVID-19 pandemic. We collected and compared the data concerning the number of PWE cared for and epilepsy procedures performed during the 6 months periods preceding and following COVID-19 lockdown from epilepsy centers. RESULTS: The survey was completed by 453 neurologists and 325 PWE. One third of the neurologist reported >50 % decline in outdoor visits by PWE and EEG recordings. The cumulative data from 11 centers showed 65-70 % decline in the number of outdoor patients, video-EEG monitoring, and epilepsy surgery. Working in a hospital admitting COVID-19 patients and use of teleconsultation correlated with this decline. Half of PWE had postponed their planned outpatient visits and EEG. Less than 10 % of PWE missed their antiseizure medicines (ASM) or had seizures due to the nonavailability of ASM. Seizure control remained unchanged or improved in 92 % PWE. Half of the neurologists started using teleconsultation during the pandemic. Only 4% of PWE were afflicted with COVID-19 infection. CONCLUSIONS: Despite significant decline in the number of PWE visiting hospitals, their seizure control and access to ASMs were not affected during the COVID-19 pandemic in India. Risk of COVID-19 infection in PWE is similar to general population.


Subject(s)
Anticonvulsants/administration & dosage , Epilepsy/therapy , Health Services Accessibility/statistics & numerical data , Hospitals, Special/statistics & numerical data , Neurologists/statistics & numerical data , Outpatients/statistics & numerical data , Remote Consultation/statistics & numerical data , Adolescent , Adult , Aged , Child , Child, Preschool , Electroencephalography/statistics & numerical data , Epilepsy/epidemiology , Female , Health Care Surveys , Humans , India/epidemiology , Infant , Male , Middle Aged , Young Adult
19.
JAMA Netw Open ; 4(1): e2034882, 2021 01 04.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1064290

ABSTRACT

Importance: The coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic has caused major disruptions in the US health care system. Objective: To estimate frequency of and reasons for reported forgone medical care from March to mid-July 2020 and examine characteristics of US adults who reported forgoing care. Design, Setting, and Participants: This survey study used data from the second wave of the Johns Hopkins COVID-19 Civic Life and Public Health Survey, fielded from July 7 to July 22, 2020. Respondents included a national sample of 1337 individuals aged 18 years or older in the US who were part of National Opinion Research Center's AmeriSpeak Panel. Exposures: The initial period of the COVID-19 pandemic in the US, defined as from March to mid-July 2020. Main Outcomes and Measures: The primary outcomes were missed doses of prescription medications; forgone preventive and other general medical care, mental health care, and elective surgeries; forgone care for new severe health issues; and reasons for forgoing care. Results: Of 1468 individuals who completed wave 1 of the Johns Hopkins COVID-19 Civic Life and Public Health Survey (70.4% completion rate), 1337 completed wave 2 (91.1% completion rate). The sample of respondents included 691 (52%) women, 840 non-Hispanic White individuals (63%), 160 non-Hispanic Black individuals (12%), and 223 Hispanic individuals (17%). The mean (SE) age of respondents was 48 (0.78) years. A total of 544 respondents (41%) forwent medical care from March through mid-July 2020. Among 1055 individuals (79%) who reported needing care, 544 (52%) reported forgoing care for any reason, 307 (29%) forwent care owing to fear of severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) transmission, and 75 (7%) forwent care owing to financial concerns associated with the COVID-19 pandemic. Respondents who were unemployed, compared with those who were employed, forwent care more often (121 of 186 respondents [65%] vs 251 of 503 respondents [50%]; P = .01) and were more likely to attribute forgone care to fear of SARS-CoV-2 transmission (78 of 186 respondents [42%] vs 120 of 503 respondents [24%]; P = .002) and financial concerns (36 of 186 respondents [20%] vs 28 of 503 respondents [6%]; P = .001). Respondents lacking health insurance were more likely to attribute forgone care to financial concerns than respondents with Medicare or commercial coverage (19 of 88 respondents [22%] vs 32 of 768 respondents [4%]; P < .001). Frequency of and reasons for forgone care differed in some instances by race/ethnicity, socioeconomic status, age, and health status. Conclusions and Relevance: This survey study found a high frequency of forgone care among US adults from March to mid-July 2020. Policies to improve health care affordability and to reassure individuals that they can safely seek care may be necessary with surging COVID-19 case rates.


Subject(s)
/therapy , Health Services Accessibility/statistics & numerical data , Patient Acceptance of Health Care/statistics & numerical data , Time-to-Treatment/statistics & numerical data , Adult , Aged , Female , Humans , Male , Middle Aged , Poverty/statistics & numerical data , Risk Factors , Socioeconomic Factors , United States
20.
JAMA Netw Open ; 4(1): e2034578, 2021 01 04.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1064288

ABSTRACT

Importance: It is now established that across the United States, minoritized populations have borne a disproportionate burden from coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19). However, little is known about the interaction among a county's racial/ethnic composition, its level of income inequality, political factors, and COVID-19 outcomes in the population. Objective: To quantify the association of economic inequality, racial/ethnic composition, political factors, and state health care policy with the incidence and mortality burden associated with COVID-19. Design, Setting, and Participants: This cross-sectional study used data from the 3142 counties in the 50 US states and for Washington, DC. Data on the first 200 days of the COVID-19 pandemic, from the first confirmed US case on January 22 to August 8, 2020, were gathered from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and USAFacts.org, the US Census Bureau, the American Community Survey, GitHub, the Kaiser Family Foundation, the Council of State Governments, and the National Governors Association. Exposures: Racial/ethnic composition was determined as percentage of the population that is Black or Hispanic; income inequality, using the Gini index; politics, political affiliation and sex of the state governor, gubernatorial term limits, and percentage of the county's population that voted Republican in 2016; and state health care policy, participation in the expansion of Medicaid under the Affordable Care Act. Six additional covariates were assessed. Main Outcomes and Measures: Cumulative COVID-19 incidence and mortality rates for US counties during the first 200 days of the pandemic. Main measures include percentage Black and Hispanic population composition, income inequality, and a set of additional covariates. Results: This study included 3141 of 3142 US counties. The mean Black population was 9.365% (range, 0-86.593%); the mean Hispanic population was 9.754% (range, 0.648%-96.353%); the mean Gini ratio was 44.538 (range, 25.670-66.470); the proportion of counties within states that implemented Medicaid expansion was 0.577 (range, 0-1); the mean number of confirmed COVID-19 cases per 100 000 population was 1093.882 (range, 0-14 019.852); and the mean number of COVID-19-related deaths per 100 000 population was 26.173 (range, 0-413.858). A 1.0% increase in a county's income inequality corresponded to an adjusted risk ratio (RR) of 1.020 (95% CI, 1.012-1.027) for COVID-19 incidence and adjusted RR of 1.030 (95% CI, 1.012-1.047) for COVID-19 mortality. Inequality compounded the association of racial/ethnic composition through interaction, with higher income inequality raising the intercepts of the incidence curve RR by a factor of 1.041 (95% CI, 1.031-1.051) and that of the mortality curve RR by a factor of 1.068 (95% CI, 1.042-1.094) but slightly lowering their curvatures, especially for Hispanic composition. When state-level specificities were controlled, none of the state political factors were associated with COVID-19 incidence or mortality. However, a county in a state with Medicaid expansion implemented would see the incidence rate RR decreased by a multiplicative factor of 0.678 (95% CI, 0.501-0.918). Conclusions and Relevance: This county-level ecological analysis suggests that COVID-19 surveillance systems should account for county-level income inequality to better understand the social patterning of COVID-19 incidence and mortality. High levels of income inequality may harm population health irrespective of racial/ethnic composition.


Subject(s)
/ethnology , Ethnic Groups/statistics & numerical data , Health Status Disparities , Cross-Sectional Studies , Epidemiological Monitoring , Health Services Accessibility/statistics & numerical data , Humans , Incidence , United States
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