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Rev Epidemiol Sante Publique ; 68(5): 302-305, 2020 Sep.
Article in French | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-888892


Following the onset of the global COVID-19 pandemic and the alerts issued by the World Health Organization, for several months attention has been focused on Africa as a potentially severely endangered continent. A sizable number of African countries, mainly low and middle income, suffer from limited available resources, especially in critical care, and COVID-19 is liable to overwhelm their already fragile health systems. To effectively manage what is shaping up as a multidimensional crisis, the challenge unquestionably goes beyond the necessary upgrading of public health infrastructures. It is also a matter of anticipating and taking timely action with regard to factors that may mitigate the propagation of SARS-CoV2 and thereby cushion the shock of the pandemic on the African continent. While some of these factors are largely unmanageable (climate, geography…), several others (socio-cultural, religious, audio-visual, and potentially political…) could be more or less effectively dealt with by African governments and populations.

Coronavirus Infections/epidemiology , Coronavirus Infections/prevention & control , Pandemics/prevention & control , Pneumonia, Viral/epidemiology , Pneumonia, Viral/prevention & control , Africa/epidemiology , BCG Vaccine/therapeutic use , Betacoronavirus/physiology , COVID-19 , Climate , Coronavirus Infections/economics , Coronavirus Infections/therapy , Health Resources/organization & administration , Health Resources/statistics & numerical data , Health Resources/supply & distribution , History, 20th Century , History, 21st Century , Humans , Infection Control/economics , Infection Control/history , Infection Control/organization & administration , Infection Control/standards , Pandemics/economics , Pandemics/statistics & numerical data , Pneumonia, Viral/economics , Pneumonia, Viral/therapy , Poverty Areas , Professional Role , Public Health/economics , Public Health/history , Public Health/statistics & numerical data , SARS-CoV-2 , Social Media , Social Responsibility , Socioeconomic Factors , World Health Organization
ACS Infect Dis ; 6(7): 1563-1566, 2020 07 10.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-456955


Pandemics such as influenza, smallpox, and plague have caused the loss of hundreds of millions of lives and have occurred for many centuries. Fortunately, they have been largely eliminated by the use of vaccinations and drugs. More recently, Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS), Middle East Respiratory Syndrome (MERS), and now Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) have arisen, and given the current absence of highly effective approved vaccines or drugs, brute-force approaches involving physical barriers are being used to counter virus spread. A major basis for physical protection from respiratory infections is eye, nose, and mouth protection. However, eye protection with goggles is problematic due to "fogging", while nose/mouth protection is complicated by the breathing difficulties associated with non-valved respirators. Here, we give a brief review of the origins and development of face masks and eye protection to counter respiratory infections on the basis of experiments conducted 100 years ago, work that was presaged by the first use of personal protective equipment, "PPE", by the plague doctors of the 17th Century. The results of the review lead to two conclusions: first, that eye protection using filtered eye masks be used to prevent ocular transmission; second, that new, pre-filtered, valved respirators be used to even more effectively block viral transmission.

Betacoronavirus , Coronavirus Infections/prevention & control , Eye Protective Devices/history , Infection Control/instrumentation , Infection Control/methods , Masks/history , Pandemics/prevention & control , Pneumonia, Viral/prevention & control , Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome/prevention & control , COVID-19 , Coronavirus Infections/transmission , Coronavirus Infections/virology , History, 17th Century , History, 20th Century , History, 21st Century , Humans , Infection Control/history , Influenza Pandemic, 1918-1919/history , Pneumonia, Viral/transmission , Pneumonia, Viral/virology , SARS-CoV-2 , Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome/history , Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome/transmission , Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome/virology
Chin J Integr Med ; 26(4): 243-250, 2020 Apr.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1125


OBJECTIVE: Since December 2019, an outbreak of corona virus disease 2019 (COVID-19) occurred in Wuhan, and rapidly spread to almost all parts of China. This was followed by prevention programs recommending Chinese medicine (CM) for the prevention. In order to provide evidence for CM recommendations, we reviewed ancient classics and human studies. METHODS: Historical records on prevention and treatment of infections in CM classics, clinical evidence of CM on the prevention of severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS) and H1N1 influenza, and CM prevention programs issued by health authorities in China since the COVID-19 outbreak were retrieved from different databases and websites till 12 February, 2020. Research evidence included data from clinical trials, cohort or other population studies using CM for preventing contagious respiratory virus diseases. RESULTS: The use of CM to prevent epidemics of infectious diseases was traced back to ancient Chinese practice cited in Huangdi's Internal Classic (Huang Di Nei Jing) where preventive effects were recorded. There were 3 studies using CM for prevention of SARS and 4 studies for H1N1 influenza. None of the participants who took CM contracted SARS in the 3 studies. The infection rate of H1N1 influenza in the CM group was significantly lower than the non-CM group (relative risk 0.36, 95% confidence interval 0.24-0.52; n=4). For prevention of COVID-19, 23 provinces in China issued CM programs. The main principles of CM use were to tonify qi to protect from external pathogens, disperse wind and discharge heat, and resolve dampness. The most frequently used herbs included Radix astragali (Huangqi), Radix glycyrrhizae (Gancao), Radix saposhnikoviae (Fangfeng), Rhizoma Atractylodis Macrocephalae (Baizhu), Lonicerae Japonicae Flos (Jinyinhua), and Fructus forsythia (Lianqiao). CONCLUSIONS: Based on historical records and human evidence of SARS and H1N1 influenza prevention, Chinese herbal formula could be an alternative approach for prevention of COVID-19 in high-risk population. Prospective, rigorous population studies are warranted to confirm the potential preventive effect of CM.

Betacoronavirus , Coronavirus Infections/therapy , Drugs, Chinese Herbal/therapeutic use , Epidemics , Medicine, Chinese Traditional , Pneumonia, Viral/therapy , Astragalus propinquus , COVID-19 , Clinical Trials as Topic , Coronavirus Infections/drug therapy , Epidemics/history , Epidemics/prevention & control , History, Ancient , Humans , Infection Control/history , Infection Control/methods , Influenza A Virus, H1N1 Subtype , Influenza, Human/therapy , Medicine, Chinese Traditional/history , Medicine, Chinese Traditional/methods , Pandemics , Qi , SARS-CoV-2 , Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome/therapy