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1.
BMC Infect Dis ; 21(1): 335, 2021 Apr 09.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1175296

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: Unusually high snowfall in western Washington State in February 2019 led to widespread school and workplace closures. We assessed the impact of social distancing caused by this extreme weather event on the transmission of respiratory viruses. METHODS: Residual specimens from patients evaluated for acute respiratory illness at hospitals in the Seattle metropolitan area were screened for a panel of respiratory viruses. Transmission models were fit to each virus to estimate the magnitude reduction in transmission due to weather-related disruptions. Changes in contact rates and care-seeking were informed by data on local traffic volumes and hospital visits. RESULTS: Disruption in contact patterns reduced effective contact rates during the intervention period by 16 to 95%, and cumulative disease incidence through the remainder of the season by 3 to 9%. Incidence reductions were greatest for viruses that were peaking when the disruption occurred and least for viruses in an early epidemic phase. CONCLUSION: High-intensity, short-duration social distancing measures may substantially reduce total incidence in a respiratory virus epidemic if implemented near the epidemic peak. For SARS-CoV-2, this suggests that, even when SARS-CoV-2 spread is out of control, implementing short-term disruptions can prevent COVID-19 deaths.


Subject(s)
Epidemics/prevention & control , Respiratory Tract Infections/transmission , Respiratory Tract Infections/virology , Weather , Cities , Humans , Incidence , Models, Theoretical , Retrospective Studies , Washington
2.
PLoS Comput Biol ; 16(9): e1007836, 2020 09.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-962642

ABSTRACT

Early warning signals (EWS) identify systems approaching a critical transition, where the system undergoes a sudden change in state. For example, monitoring changes in variance or autocorrelation offers a computationally inexpensive method which can be used in real-time to assess when an infectious disease transitions to elimination. EWS have a promising potential to not only be used to monitor infectious diseases, but also to inform control policies to aid disease elimination. Previously, potential EWS have been identified for prevalence data, however the prevalence of a disease is often not known directly. In this work we identify EWS for incidence data, the standard data type collected by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) or World Health Organization (WHO). We show, through several examples, that EWS calculated on simulated incidence time series data exhibit vastly different behaviours to those previously studied on prevalence data. In particular, the variance displays a decreasing trend on the approach to disease elimination, contrary to that expected from critical slowing down theory; this could lead to unreliable indicators of elimination when calculated on real-world data. We derive analytical predictions which can be generalised for many epidemiological systems, and we support our theory with simulated studies of disease incidence. Additionally, we explore EWS calculated on the rate of incidence over time, a property which can be extracted directly from incidence data. We find that although incidence might not exhibit typical critical slowing down properties before a critical transition, the rate of incidence does, presenting a promising new data type for the application of statistical indicators.


Subject(s)
Communicable Diseases/epidemiology , Computational Biology/methods , Models, Statistical , Public Health Surveillance/methods , Communicable Disease Control , Humans , Incidence , Prevalence
3.
MMWR Morb Mortal Wkly Rep ; 70(14): 514-518, 2021 Apr 09.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1173070

ABSTRACT

COVID-19 has disproportionately affected persons who identify as non-Hispanic American Indian or Alaska Native (AI/AN) (1). The Blackfeet Tribal Reservation, the northern Montana home of the sovereign Blackfeet Nation, with an estimated population of 10,629 (2), detected the first COVID-19 case in the community on June 16, 2020. Following CDC guidance,* and with free testing widely available, the Indian Health Service and Blackfeet Tribal Health Department began investigating all confirmed cases and their contacts on June 25. The relationship between three community mitigation resolutions passed and enforced by the Blackfeet Tribal Business Council and changes in the daily COVID-19 incidence and in the distributions of new cases was assessed. After the September 28 issuance of a strictly enforced stay-at-home order and adoption of a mask use resolution, COVID-19 incidence in the Blackfeet Tribal Reservation decreased by a factor of 33 from its peak of 6.40 cases per 1,000 residents per day on October 5 to 0.19 on November 7. Other mitigation measures the Blackfeet Tribal Reservation used included closing the east gate of Glacier National Park for the summer tourism season, instituting remote learning for public school students throughout the fall semester, and providing a Thanksgiving meal to every household to reduce trips to grocery stores. CDC has recommended use of routine public health interventions for infectious diseases, including case investigation with prompt isolation, contact tracing, and immediate quarantine after exposure to prevent and control transmission of SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes COVID-19 (3). Stay-at-home orders, physical distancing, and mask wearing indoors, outdoors when physical distancing is not possible, or when in close contact with infected or exposed persons are also recommended as nonpharmaceutical community mitigation measures (3,4). Implementation and strict enforcement of stay-at-home orders and a mask use mandate likely helped reduce the spread of COVID-19 in the Blackfeet Tribal Reservation.


Subject(s)
/ethnology , Indians, North American/statistics & numerical data , Masks , Public Health/legislation & jurisprudence , Quarantine/legislation & jurisprudence , Residence Characteristics/statistics & numerical data , Adolescent , Adult , Aged , Aged, 80 and over , Child , Child, Preschool , Contact Tracing , Female , Health Status Disparities , Humans , Incidence , Infant , Infant, Newborn , Male , Middle Aged , Montana/epidemiology , Young Adult
4.
MMWR Morb Mortal Wkly Rep ; 70(14): 510-513, 2021 Apr 09.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1173069

ABSTRACT

Geographic differences in infectious disease mortality rates have been observed among American Indian or Alaska Native (AI/AN) persons in the United States (1), and aggregate analyses of data from selected U.S. states indicate that COVID-19 incidence and mortality are higher among AI/AN persons than they are among White persons (2,3). State-level data could be used to identify disparities and guide local efforts to reduce COVID-19-associated incidence and mortality; however, such data are limited. Reports of laboratory-confirmed COVID-19 cases and COVID-19-associated deaths reported to the Montana Department of Public Health and Human Services (MDPHHS) were analyzed to describe COVID-19 incidence, mortality, and case-fatality rates among AI/AN persons compared with those among White persons. During March-November 2020 in Montana, the estimated cumulative COVID-19 incidence among AI/AN persons (9,064 cases per 100,000) was 2.2 times that among White persons (4,033 cases per 100,000).* During the same period, the cumulative COVID-19 mortality rate among AI/AN persons (267 deaths per 100,000) was 3.8 times that among White persons (71 deaths per 100,000). The AI/AN COVID-19 case-fatality rate (29.4 deaths per 1,000 COVID-19 cases) was 1.7 times the rate in White persons (17.0 deaths per 1,000). State-level surveillance findings can help in developing state and tribal COVID-19 vaccine allocation strategies and assist in local implementation of culturally appropriate public health measures that might help reduce COVID-19 incidence and mortality in AI/AN communities.


Subject(s)
/statistics & numerical data , /ethnology , European Continental Ancestry Group/statistics & numerical data , Health Status Disparities , Adult , Aged , Aged, 80 and over , Female , Humans , Incidence , Male , Middle Aged , Montana/epidemiology , Mortality/ethnology , Young Adult
5.
Anticancer Res ; 41(4): 2193-2195, 2021 Apr.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1168334

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND/AIM: Since January 2020, coronavirus disease (COVID-19) cases have been confirmed in Japan, and the number of patients with COVID-19 has been increasing. Two emergency declarations have been made previously and one is currently in effect. Based on our experience of a situation that could affect cancer treatment, this study retrospectively examined the correlation between perioperative anticancer therapy and COVID-19 incidence in patients with breast cancer. PATIENTS AND METHODS: Patients who underwent perioperative anticancer therapy for breast cancer at our hospital from February 2020 to February 2021 were included in this study. The presence or absence of COVID-19, timing of anticancer drug initiation, and clinical data were collected. RESULTS: No cases of COVID-19 were diagnosed in patients receiving perioperative anticancer therapy at our hospital. CONCLUSION: Regimen modification, active use of supportive care, and patient lifestyle were factors reducing the incidence of COVID-19.


Subject(s)
Antineoplastic Combined Chemotherapy Protocols/administration & dosage , Breast Neoplasms , Perioperative Care/methods , Aged , Aged, 80 and over , Antineoplastic Combined Chemotherapy Protocols/adverse effects , Breast Neoplasms/drug therapy , Breast Neoplasms/epidemiology , Breast Neoplasms/pathology , Breast Neoplasms/surgery , Chemotherapy, Adjuvant/statistics & numerical data , Combined Modality Therapy , Female , Humans , Immunocompromised Host , Incidence , Japan/epidemiology , Middle Aged , Neoadjuvant Therapy/statistics & numerical data , Perioperative Care/adverse effects , Perioperative Care/statistics & numerical data , Retrospective Studies , Risk Factors , /physiology
6.
MMWR Morb Mortal Wkly Rep ; 70(13): 483-489, 2021 Apr 02.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1168278

ABSTRACT

Long-standing systemic social, economic, and environmental inequities in the United States have put many communities of color (racial and ethnic minority groups) at increased risk for exposure to and infection with SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes COVID-19, as well as more severe COVID-19-related outcomes (1-3). Because race and ethnicity are missing for a proportion of reported COVID-19 cases, counties with substantial missing information often are excluded from analyses of disparities (4). Thus, as a complement to these case-based analyses, population-based studies can help direct public health interventions. Using data from the 50 states and the District of Columbia (DC), CDC identified counties where five racial and ethnic minority groups (Hispanic or Latino [Hispanic], non-Hispanic Black or African American [Black], non-Hispanic Asian [Asian], non-Hispanic American Indian or Alaska Native [AI/AN], and non-Hispanic Native Hawaiian or other Pacific Islander [NH/PI]) might have experienced high COVID-19 impact during April 1-December 22, 2020. These counties had high 2-week COVID-19 incidences (>100 new cases per 100,000 persons in the total population) and percentages of persons in five racial and ethnic groups that were larger than the national percentages (denoted as "large"). During April 1-14, a total of 359 (11.4%) of 3,142 U.S. counties reported high COVID-19 incidence, including 28.7% of counties with large percentages of Asian persons and 27.9% of counties with large percentages of Black persons. During August 5-18, high COVID-19 incidence was reported by 2,034 (64.7%) counties, including 92.4% of counties with large percentages of Black persons and 74.5% of counties with large percentages of Hispanic persons. During December 9-22, high COVID-19 incidence was reported by 3,114 (99.1%) counties, including >95% of those with large percentages of persons in each of the five racial and ethnic minority groups. The findings of this population-based analysis complement those of case-based analyses. In jurisdictions with substantial missing race and ethnicity information, this method could be applied to smaller geographic areas, to identify communities of color that might be experiencing high potential COVID-19 impact. As areas with high rates of new infection change over time, public health efforts can be tailored to the needs of communities of color as the pandemic evolves and integrated with longer-term plans to improve health equity.


Subject(s)
/epidemiology , Continental Population Groups/statistics & numerical data , Ethnic Groups/statistics & numerical data , Minority Groups/statistics & numerical data , /ethnology , Epidemiological Monitoring , Health Status Disparities , Humans , Incidence , Risk Assessment , United States/epidemiology
7.
PLoS One ; 16(4): e0248946, 2021.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1167102

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: Accurate seroprevalence estimates of SARS-CoV-2 in different populations could clarify the extent to which current testing strategies are identifying all active infection, and hence the true magnitude and spread of the infection. Our primary objective was to identify valid seroprevalence studies of SARS-CoV-2 infection and compare their estimates with the reported, and imputed, COVID-19 case rates within the same population at the same time point. METHODS: We searched PubMed, Embase, the Cochrane COVID-19 trials, and Europe-PMC for published studies and pre-prints that reported anti-SARS-CoV-2 IgG, IgM and/or IgA antibodies for serosurveys of the general community from 1 Jan to 12 Aug 2020. RESULTS: Of the 2199 studies identified, 170 were assessed for full text and 17 studies representing 15 regions and 118,297 subjects were includable. The seroprevalence proportions in 8 studies ranged between 1%-10%, with 5 studies under 1%, and 4 over 10%-from the notably hard-hit regions of Gangelt, Germany; Northwest Iran; Buenos Aires, Argentina; and Stockholm, Sweden. For seropositive cases who were not previously identified as COVID-19 cases, the majority had prior COVID-like symptoms. The estimated seroprevalences ranged from 0.56-717 times greater than the number of reported cumulative cases-half of the studies reported greater than 10 times more SARS-CoV-2 infections than the cumulative number of cases. CONCLUSIONS: The findings show SARS-CoV-2 seroprevalence is well below "herd immunity" in all countries studied. The estimated number of infections, however, were much greater than the number of reported cases and deaths in almost all locations. The majority of seropositive people reported prior COVID-like symptoms, suggesting that undertesting of symptomatic people may be causing a substantial under-ascertainment of SARS-CoV-2 infections.


Subject(s)
Antibodies, Viral/blood , Immunoglobulin Isotypes/blood , Adolescent , Adult , Aged , Argentina , /immunology , Female , Germany , Humans , Immunity, Herd , Incidence , Iran , Male , Middle Aged , Seroepidemiologic Studies , Sweden , Young Adult
8.
PLoS One ; 16(3): e0248336, 2021.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1167081

ABSTRACT

Early reports indicate that the social determinants of health are implicated in COVID-19 incidence and outcomes. To inform the ongoing response to the pandemic, we conducted a rapid review of peer-reviewed studies to examine the social determinants of COVID-19. We searched Ovid MEDLINE, Embase, PsycINFO, CINAHL and Cochrane Central Register of Controlled Trials from December 1, 2019 to April 27, 2020. We also searched the bibliographies of included studies, COVID-19 evidence repositories and living evidence maps, and consulted with expert colleagues internationally. We included studies identified through these supplementary sources up to June 25, 2020. We included English-language peer-reviewed quantitative studies that used primary data to describe the social determinants of COVID-19 incidence, clinical presentation, health service use and outcomes in adults with a confirmed or presumptive diagnosis of COVID-19. Two reviewers extracted data and conducted quality assessment, confirmed by a third reviewer. Forty-two studies met inclusion criteria. The strongest evidence was from three large observational studies that found associations between race or ethnicity and socioeconomic deprivation and increased likelihood of COVID-19 incidence and subsequent hospitalization. Limited evidence was available on other key determinants, including occupation, educational attainment, housing status and food security. Assessing associations between sociodemographic factors and COVID-19 was limited by small samples, descriptive study designs, and the timeframe of our search. Systematic reviews of literature published subsequently are required to fully understand the magnitude of any effects and predictive utility of sociodemographic factors related to COVID-19 incidence and outcomes. PROSPERO: CRD4202017813.


Subject(s)
/epidemiology , Social Determinants of Health/statistics & numerical data , /diagnosis , Continental Population Groups/statistics & numerical data , Humans , Incidence , Prognosis
9.
J Rural Health ; 37(2): 272-277, 2021 03.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1160184

ABSTRACT

PURPOSE: This report compares COVID-19 incidence and mortality rates in the nonmetropolitan areas of the United States with the metropolitan areas across three 11-week periods from March 1 to October 18, 2020. METHODS: County-level COVID-19 case, death, and population counts were downloaded from USAFacts.org. The 2013 NCHS Urban-Rural Classification Scheme was collapsed into two categories called metropolitan (large central, large fringe, medium, and small metropolitans) and nonmetropolitan (micropolitan/noncore). Daily COVID-19 incidence and mortality rates were computed to show temporal trends for each of these two categories. Maps showing the ratio of nonmetropolitan to metropolitan COVID-19 incidence and mortality rates by state identify states with higher rates in nonmetropolitan areas than in metropolitan areas in each of the three 11-week periods. FINDINGS: In the period between March 1 and October 18, 2020, 13.8% of the 8,085,214 confirmed COVID-19 cases and 10.7% of the 217,510 deaths occurred among people residing in nonmetropolitan counties. The nonmetropolitan incidence and mortality trends steadily increased and surpassed those in metropolitan areas, beginning in early August. CONCLUSIONS: Despite the relatively small size of the US population living in nonmetropolitan areas, these areas have an equal need for testing, health care personnel, and mitigation resources. Having state-specific rural data allow the development of prevention messages that are tailored to the sociocultural context of rural locations.


Subject(s)
/epidemiology , Rural Population/statistics & numerical data , Suburban Population/statistics & numerical data , Urban Population/statistics & numerical data , Humans , Incidence , Pandemics , United States/epidemiology
10.
BMC Urol ; 21(1): 50, 2021 Mar 30.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1159540

ABSTRACT

OBJECTIVES: To establish the role of BCG instillations in the incidence and mortality of COVID-19. PATIENTS AND METHODS: NMIBC patients in instillations with BCG (induction or maintenance) during 2019/2020 were included, establishing a COVID-19 group (with a diagnosis according to the national registry) and a control group (NO-COVID). The cumulative incidence (cases/total patients) and the case fatality rate (deaths/cases) were established, and compared with the national statistics for the same age group. T-test was used for continuous variables and Fisher's exact test for categorical variables. RESULTS: 175 patients were included. Eleven patients presented CIS (11/175, 6.3%), 84/175 (48.0%) Ta and 68/175 (38.9%) T1. Average number of instillations = 13.25 ± 7.4. One hundred sixty-seven patients (95.4%) had complete induction. Forty-three patients (cumulative incidence 24.6%) were diagnosed with COVID-19. There is no difference between COVID-19 and NO-COVID group in age, gender or proportion of maintenance completed. COVID-19 group fatality rate = 1/43 (2.3%). Accumulated Chilean incidence 70-79 years = 6.3%. Chilean fatality rate 70-79 years = 14%. CONCLUSIONS: According to our results, patients with NMIBC submitted to instillations with BCG have a lower case-fatality rate than the national registry of patients between 70 and 79 years (2.3% vs. 14%, respectively). Intravesical BCG could decrease the mortality due to COVID-19, so instillation schemes should not be suspended in a pandemic.


Subject(s)
Adjuvants, Immunologic/administration & dosage , BCG Vaccine/administration & dosage , Urinary Bladder Neoplasms/drug therapy , Administration, Intravesical , Aged , Aged, 80 and over , Case-Control Studies , Chile , Cohort Studies , Female , Humans , Incidence , Male , Severity of Illness Index , Urinary Bladder Neoplasms/pathology
11.
PLoS One ; 16(3): e0237294, 2021.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1156076

ABSTRACT

The coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) outbreak in North, Central, and South America has become the epicenter of the current pandemic. We have suggested previously that the infection rate of this virus might be lower in people living at high altitude (over 2,500 m) compared to that in the lowlands. Based on data from official sources, we performed a new epidemiological analysis of the development of the pandemic in 23 countries on the American continent as of May 23, 2020. Our results confirm our previous finding, further showing that the incidence of COVID-19 on the American continent decreases significantly starting at 1,000 m above sea level (masl). Moreover, epidemiological modeling indicates that the virus transmission rate is lower in the highlands (>1,000 masl) than in the lowlands (<1,000 masl). Finally, evaluating the differences in the recovery percentage of patients, the death-to-case ratio, and the theoretical fraction of undiagnosed cases, we found that the severity of COVID-19 is also decreased above 1,000 m. We conclude that the impact of the COVID-19 decreases significantly with altitude.


Subject(s)
Altitude , /pathology , /epidemiology , /virology , Central America/epidemiology , Humans , Incidence , North America/epidemiology , Severity of Illness Index , South America/epidemiology
12.
J Infect Dis ; 223(6): 1019-1028, 2021 03 29.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1155785

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: The global COVID-19 pandemic has the potential to indirectly impact transmission dynamics and prevention of HIV and other sexually transmitted infections (STI). It is unknown what combined impact reductions in sexual activity and interruptions in HIV/STI services will have on HIV/STI epidemic trajectories. METHODS: We adapted a model of HIV, gonorrhea, and chlamydia for a population of approximately 103 000 men who have sex with men (MSM) in the Atlanta area. Model scenarios varied the timing, overlap, and relative extent of COVID-19-related sexual distancing and service interruption within 4 service categories (HIV screening, preexposure prophylaxis, antiretroviral therapy, and STI treatment). RESULTS: A 50% relative decrease in sexual partnerships and interruption of all clinical services, both lasting 18 months, would generally offset each other for HIV (total 5-year population impact for Atlanta MSM, -227 cases), but have net protective effect for STIs (-23 800 cases). If distancing lasted only 3 months but service interruption lasted 18 months, the total 5-year population impact would be an additional 890 HIV cases and 57 500 STI cases. CONCLUSIONS: Immediate action to limit the impact of service interruptions is needed to address the indirect effects of the global COVID-19 pandemic on the HIV/STI epidemic.


Subject(s)
/epidemiology , HIV Infections/epidemiology , Sexual Behavior/statistics & numerical data , Sexually Transmitted Diseases, Bacterial/epidemiology , Georgia/epidemiology , Homosexuality, Male , Humans , Incidence , Male , Models, Statistical , Pandemics , Sexual Partners , Sexual and Gender Minorities
13.
Dtsch Med Wochenschr ; 146(7): 455-460, 2021 Apr.
Article in German | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1155711

ABSTRACT

Invasive fungal infections are gaining increasing importance in intensive care medicine. The aim of this article is to present an update on recent developments in the field of invasive fungal infection in critically ill patients. Particular emphasis is placed on the recently described invasive mold infections in patients with acute respiratory distress syndrome due to influenza or COVID-19. Detecting high-risk patients and the optimal diagnostic and therapeutic strategies play a decisive role to improve outcome.


Subject(s)
/complications , Influenza, Human/complications , Invasive Fungal Infections/epidemiology , /complications , Biomarkers , Candidiasis, Invasive/diagnosis , Candidiasis, Invasive/epidemiology , Candidiasis, Invasive/therapy , Humans , Incidence , Influenza, Human/epidemiology , Intensive Care Units , Invasive Fungal Infections/diagnosis , Invasive Fungal Infections/therapy , Invasive Pulmonary Aspergillosis/complications , Invasive Pulmonary Aspergillosis/diagnosis , Invasive Pulmonary Aspergillosis/epidemiology , Invasive Pulmonary Aspergillosis/therapy , /etiology
14.
MMWR Morb Mortal Wkly Rep ; 70(12): 427-430, 2021 Mar 26.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1154922

ABSTRACT

Although tuberculosis (TB) is curable and preventable, in 2019, TB remained the leading cause of death from a single infectious agent worldwide and the leading cause of death among persons living with HIV infection (1). The World Health Organization's (WHO's) End TB Strategy set ambitious targets for 2020, including a 20% reduction in TB incidence and a 35% reduction in the number of TB deaths compared with 2015, as well as zero TB-affected households facing catastrophic costs (defined as costs exceeding 20% of annual household income) (2). In addition, during the 2018 United Nations High-Level Meeting on TB (UNHLM-TB), all member states committed to setting 2018-2022 targets that included provision of TB treatment to 40 million persons and TB preventive treatment (TPT) to 30 million persons, including 6 million persons living with HIV infection and 24 million household contacts of patients with confirmed TB (4 million aged <5 years and 20 million aged ≥5 years) (3,4). Annual data reported to WHO by 215 countries and territories, supplemented by surveys assessing TB prevalence and patient costs in some countries, were used to estimate TB incidence, the number of persons accessing TB curative and preventive treatment, and the percentage of TB-affected households facing catastrophic costs (1). Globally, TB illness developed in an estimated 10 million persons in 2019, representing a decline in incidence of 2.3% from 2018 and 9% since 2015. An estimated 1.4 million TB-related deaths occurred, a decline of 7% from 2018 and 14% since 2015. Although progress has been made, the world is not on track to achieve the 2020 End TB Strategy incidence and mortality targets (1). Efforts to expand access to TB curative and preventive treatment need to be substantially amplified for UNHLM-TB 2022 targets to be met.


Subject(s)
Disease Eradication , Global Health/statistics & numerical data , Tuberculosis/epidemiology , Tuberculosis/prevention & control , Goals , Humans , Incidence , Tuberculosis/mortality , United Nations , World Health Organization
15.
Euro Surveill ; 26(9)2021 03.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1154190

ABSTRACT

BackgroundSeveral clinical trials have assessed the protective potential of chloroquine and hydroxychloroquine. Chronic exposure to such drugs might lower the risk of infection with severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) or severe coronavirus disease (COVID-19).AimTo assess COVID-19 incidence and risk of hospitalisation in a cohort of patients chronically taking chloroquine/hydroxychloroquine.MethodsWe used linked health administration databases to follow a cohort of patients with chronic prescription of hydroxychloroquine/chloroquine and a control cohort matched by age, sex and primary care service area, between 1 January and 30 April 2020. COVID-19 cases were identified using International Classification of Diseases 10 codes.ResultsWe analysed a cohort of 6,746 patients (80% female) with active prescriptions for hydroxychloroquine/chloroquine, and 13,492 controls. During follow-up, there were 97 (1.4%) COVID-19 cases in the exposed cohort and 183 (1.4%) among controls. The incidence rate was very similar between the two groups (12.05 vs 11.35 cases/100,000 person-days). The exposed cohort was not at lower risk of infection compared with controls (hazard ratio (HR): 1.08; 95% confidence interval (CI): 0.83-1.44; p = 0.50). Forty cases (0.6%) were admitted to hospital in the exposed cohort and 50 (0.4%) in the control cohort, suggesting a higher hospitalisation rate in the former, though differences were not confirmed after adjustment (HR: 1·46; 95% CI: 0.91-2.34; p = 0.10).ConclusionsPatients chronically exposed to chloroquine/hydroxychloroquine did not differ in risk of COVID-19 nor hospitalisation, compared with controls. As controls were mainly female, findings might not be generalisable to a male population.


Subject(s)
Antiviral Agents/therapeutic use , /epidemiology , Chloroquine/adverse effects , Female , Humans , Hydroxychloroquine/adverse effects , Incidence , Male , Prospective Studies , Spain/epidemiology
17.
PLoS Comput Biol ; 17(2): e1008728, 2021 02.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1154072

ABSTRACT

Large-scale serological testing in the population is essential to determine the true extent of the current SARS-CoV-2 pandemic. Serological tests measure antibody responses against pathogens and use predefined cutoff levels that dichotomize the quantitative test measures into sero-positives and negatives and use this as a proxy for past infection. With the imperfect assays that are currently available to test for past SARS-CoV-2 infection, the fraction of seropositive individuals in serosurveys is a biased estimator of the cumulative incidence and is usually corrected to account for the sensitivity and specificity. Here we use an inference method-referred to as mixture-model approach-for the estimation of the cumulative incidence that does not require to define cutoffs by integrating the quantitative test measures directly into the statistical inference procedure. We confirm that the mixture model outperforms the methods based on cutoffs, leading to less bias and error in estimates of the cumulative incidence. We illustrate how the mixture model can be used to optimize the design of serosurveys with imperfect serological tests. We also provide guidance on the number of control and case sera that are required to quantify the test's ambiguity sufficiently to enable the reliable estimation of the cumulative incidence. Lastly, we show how this approach can be used to estimate the cumulative incidence of classes of infections with an unknown distribution of quantitative test measures. This is a very promising application of the mixture-model approach that could identify the elusive fraction of asymptomatic SARS-CoV-2 infections. An R-package implementing the inference methods used in this paper is provided. Our study advocates using serological tests without cutoffs, especially if they are used to determine parameters characterizing populations rather than individuals. This approach circumvents some of the shortcomings of cutoff-based methods at exactly the low cumulative incidence levels and test accuracies that we are currently facing in SARS-CoV-2 serosurveys.


Subject(s)
/methods , /epidemiology , Models, Statistical , Pandemics , Antibodies, Viral/blood , Asymptomatic Infections/epidemiology , /statistics & numerical data , Computational Biology , Computer Simulation , Confidence Intervals , False Negative Reactions , False Positive Reactions , Humans , Incidence , Likelihood Functions , Pandemics/statistics & numerical data , ROC Curve , Reproducibility of Results , Sensitivity and Specificity
18.
Lancet ; 397(10281): 1265-1275, 2021 04 03.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1152702

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: Although the first wave of the COVID-19 pandemic progressed more slowly in Africa than the rest of the world, by December, 2020, the second wave appeared to be much more aggressive with many more cases. To date, the pandemic situation in all 55 African Union (AU) Member States has not been comprehensively reviewed. We aimed to evaluate reported COVID-19 epidemiology data to better understand the pandemic's progression in Africa. METHODS: We did a cross-sectional analysis between Feb 14 and Dec 31, 2020, using COVID-19 epidemiological, testing, and mitigation strategy data reported by AU Member States to assess trends and identify the response and mitigation efforts at the country, regional, and continent levels. We did descriptive analyses on the variables of interest including cumulative and weekly incidence rates, case fatality ratios (CFRs), tests per case ratios, growth rates, and public health and social measures in place. FINDINGS: As of Dec 31, 2020, African countries had reported 2 763 421 COVID-19 cases and 65 602 deaths, accounting for 3·4% of the 82 312 150 cases and 3·6% of the 1 798 994 deaths reported globally. Nine of the 55 countries accounted for more than 82·6% (2 283 613) of reported cases. 18 countries reported CFRs greater than the global CFR (2·2%). 17 countries reported test per case ratios less than the recommended ten to 30 tests per case ratio range. At the peak of the first wave in Africa in July, 2020, the mean daily number of new cases was 18 273. As of Dec 31, 2020, 40 (73%) countries had experienced or were experiencing their second wave of cases with the continent reporting a mean of 23 790 daily new cases for epidemiological week 53. 48 (96%) of 50 Member States had five or more stringent public health and social measures in place by April 15, 2020, but this number had decreased to 36 (72%) as of Dec 31, 2020, despite an increase in cases in the preceding month. INTERPRETATION: Our analysis showed that the African continent had a more severe second wave of the COVID-19 pandemic than the first, and highlights the importance of examining multiple epidemiological variables down to the regional and country levels over time. These country-specific and regional results informed the implementation of continent-wide initiatives and supported equitable distribution of supplies and technical assistance. Monitoring and analysis of these data over time are essential for continued situational awareness, especially as Member States attempt to balance controlling COVID-19 transmission with ensuring stable economies and livelihoods. FUNDING: None.


Subject(s)
/epidemiology , Pandemics , Africa/epidemiology , /mortality , Cross-Sectional Studies , Humans , Incidence , Population Surveillance
19.
Cochrane Database Syst Rev ; 3: CD013879, 2021 03 11.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1151840

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: A small minority of people with coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) develop a severe illness, characterised by inflammation, microvascular damage and coagulopathy, potentially leading to myocardial injury, venous thromboembolism (VTE) and arterial occlusive events. People with risk factors for or pre-existing cardiovascular disease may be at greater risk. OBJECTIVES: To assess the prevalence of pre-existing cardiovascular comorbidities associated with suspected or confirmed cases of COVID-19 in a variety of settings, including the community, care homes and hospitals. We also assessed the nature and rate of subsequent cardiovascular complications and clinical events in people with suspected or confirmed COVID-19. SEARCH METHODS: We conducted an electronic search from December 2019 to 24 July 2020 in the following databases: the Cochrane Central Register of Controlled Trials (CENTRAL), MEDLINE, Embase, covid-19.cochrane.org, ClinicalTrials.gov and EU Clinical Trial Register. SELECTION CRITERIA: We included prospective and retrospective cohort studies, controlled before-and-after, case-control and cross-sectional studies, and randomised controlled trials (RCTs). We analysed controlled trials as cohorts, disregarding treatment allocation. We only included peer-reviewed studies with 100 or more participants, and excluded articles not written in English or only published in pre-print servers. DATA COLLECTION AND ANALYSIS: Two review authors independently screened the search results and extracted data. Given substantial variation in study designs, reported outcomes and outcome metrics, we undertook a narrative synthesis of data, without conducting a meta-analysis. We critically appraised all included studies using the Joanna Briggs Institute (JBI) checklist for prevalence studies and the JBI checklist for case series. MAIN RESULTS: We included 220 studies. Most of the studies originated from China (47.7%) or the USA (20.9%); 9.5% were from Italy. A large proportion of the studies were retrospective (89.5%), but three (1.4%) were RCTs and 20 (9.1%) were prospective. Using JBI's critical appraisal checklist tool for prevalence studies, 75 studies attained a full score of 9, 57 studies a score of 8, 31 studies a score of 7, 5 studies a score of 6, three studies a score of 5 and one a score of 3; using JBI's checklist tool for case series, 30 studies received a full score of 10, six studies a score of 9, 11 studies a score of 8, and one study a score of 5 We found that hypertension (189 studies, n = 174,414, weighted mean prevalence (WMP): 36.1%), diabetes (197 studies, n = 569,188, WMP: 22.1%) and ischaemic heart disease (94 studies, n = 100,765, WMP: 10.5%)  are highly prevalent in people hospitalised with COVID-19, and are associated with an increased risk of death. In those admitted to hospital, biomarkers of cardiac stress or injury are often abnormal, and the incidence of a wide range of cardiovascular complications is substantial, particularly arrhythmias (22 studies, n = 13,115, weighted mean incidence (WMI) 9.3%), heart failure (20 studies, n = 29,317, WMI: 6.8%) and thrombotic complications (VTE: 16 studies, n = 7700, WMI: 7.4%). AUTHORS' CONCLUSIONS: This systematic literature review indicates that cardiometabolic comorbidities are common in people who are hospitalised with a COVID-19 infection, and cardiovascular complications are frequent. We plan to update this review and to conduct a formal meta-analysis of outcomes based on a more homogeneous selected subsample of high-certainty studies.


Subject(s)
/epidemiology , Cardiovascular Diseases/epidemiology , Arrhythmias, Cardiac/epidemiology , Comorbidity , Diabetes Mellitus/epidemiology , Heart Failure/epidemiology , Hospitalization/statistics & numerical data , Humans , Hypertension/epidemiology , Incidence , Myocardial Ischemia/epidemiology , Obesity/epidemiology , Prevalence , Thrombosis/epidemiology
20.
MMWR Morb Mortal Wkly Rep ; 70(12): 437-441, 2021 Mar 26.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1151033

ABSTRACT

After detection of cases of COVID-19 in Florida in March 2020, the governor declared a state of emergency on March 9,* and all school districts in the state suspended in-person instruction by March 20. Most kindergarten through grade 12 (K-12) public and private schools in Florida reopened for in-person learning during August 2020, with varying options for remote learning offered by school districts. During August 10-December 21, 2020, a total of 63,654 COVID-19 cases were reported in school-aged children; an estimated 60% of these cases were not school-related. Fewer than 1% of registered students were identified as having school-related COVID-19 and <11% of K-12 schools reported outbreaks. District incidences among students correlated with the background disease incidence in the county; resumption of in-person education was not associated with a proportionate increase in COVID-19 among school-aged children. Higher rates among students were observed in smaller districts, districts without mandatory mask-use policies, and districts with a lower proportion of students participating in remote learning. These findings highlight the importance of implementing both community-level and school-based strategies to reduce the spread of COVID-19 and suggest that school reopening can be achieved without resulting in widespread illness among students in K-12 school settings.


Subject(s)
/epidemiology , Schools/organization & administration , Schools/statistics & numerical data , Students/statistics & numerical data , Adolescent , Child , Child, Preschool , Florida/epidemiology , Humans , Incidence , Time Factors
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