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3.
Am J Public Health ; 112(1): 38-42, 2022 01.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1594448

ABSTRACT

We conducted a community seroprevalence survey in Arizona, from September 12 to October 1, 2020, to determine the presence of antibodies to severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2). We used the seroprevalence estimate to predict SARS-CoV-2 infections in the jurisdiction by applying the adjusted seroprevalence to the county's population. The estimated community seroprevalence of SARS-CoV-2 infections was 4.3 times greater (95% confidence interval = 2.2, 7.5) than the number of reported cases. Field surveys with representative sampling provide data that may help fill in gaps in traditional public health reporting. (Am J Public Health. 2022;112(1):38-42. https://doi.org/10.2105/AJPH.2021.306568).


Subject(s)
Antibodies, Viral/blood , COVID-19 Serological Testing , COVID-19/diagnosis , COVID-19/epidemiology , Adolescent , Adult , Aged , Arizona/epidemiology , Child , Family Characteristics , Female , Humans , Male , Middle Aged , Public Health Practice , SARS-CoV-2 , Seroepidemiologic Studies
4.
J Public Health Manag Pract ; 28(Suppl 1): S27-S37, 2022.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1526225

ABSTRACT

This article outlines a pathway for public health departments and practitioners to incorporate law into their efforts to advance equity in health outcomes. We assert that examining and applying law can accelerate public health efforts to mitigate structural and systemic inequities, including racism. Recent events such as the COVID-19 pandemic and the community impacts of policing have brought into sharp relief the inequities faced by many populations. These stark and explosive examples arise out of long-standing, persistent, and sometimes hidden structural and systemic inequities that are difficult to trace because they are embedded in laws and accompanying policies and practices. We emphasize this point with a case study involving a small, majority Black community in semirural Appalachia that spent almost 50 years attempting to gain access to the local public water system, despite being surrounded by water lines. We suggest that public health practitioners have a role to play in addressing these kinds of public health problems, which are so clearly tied to the ways laws and policies are developed and executed. We further suggest that public health practitioners, invoking the 10 Essential Public Health Services, can employ law as a tool to increase their capacity to craft and implement evidence-based interventions.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Health Equity , Racism , Humans , Pandemics , Public Health , Public Health Practice , SARS-CoV-2
5.
J Public Health Manag Pract ; 27(5): 492-500, 2021.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1501235

ABSTRACT

OBJECTIVES: To examine levels of expenditure and needed investment in public health at the local level in the state of Ohio pre-COVID-19. DESIGN: Using detailed financial reporting from fiscal year (FY) 2018 from Ohio's local health departments (LHDs), we characterize spending by Foundational Public Health Services (FPHS). We also constructed estimates of the gap in public health spending in the state using self-reported gaps in service provision and a microsimulation approach. Data were collected between January and June 2019 and analyzed between June and September 2019. PARTICIPANTS: Eighty-four of the 113 LHDs in the state of Ohio covering a population of almost 9 million Ohioans. RESULTS: In FY2018, Ohio LHDs spent an average of $37 per capita on protecting and promoting the public's health. Approximately one-third of this investment supported the Foundational Areas (communicable disease control; chronic disease and injury prevention; environmental public health; maternal, child, and family health; and access to and linkages with health care). Another third supported the Foundational Capabilities, that is, the crosscutting skills and capacities needed to support all LHD activities. The remaining third supported programs and activities that are responsive to local needs and vary from community to community. To fully meet identified LHD needs in the state pre-COVID-19, Ohio would require an additional annual investment of $20 per capita on top of the current $37 spent per capita, or approximately $240 million for the state. CONCLUSIONS: A better understanding of the cost and value of public health services can educate policy makers so that they can make informed trade-offs when balancing health care, public health, and social services investments. The current environment of COVID-19 may dramatically increase need, making understanding and growing public health investment critical.


Subject(s)
Health Care Costs/statistics & numerical data , Health Services Needs and Demand/economics , Public Health Practice/economics , Public Health/economics , COVID-19/economics , Financing, Government/economics , Humans , Local Government , Ohio
8.
BMJ Mil Health ; 166(1): 37-41, 2020 Feb.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1452951

ABSTRACT

Major disease outbreaks continue to be a significant risk to public health, with pandemic influenza or an emerging infectious disease outbreak at the top of the UK National Risk Register. The risk of deliberate release of a biological agent is lower but remains possible and may only be recognised after casualties seek medical attention. In this context the emergency preparedness, resilience and response (EPRR) process protects the public from high consequence infectious diseases, other infectious disease outbreaks and biological agent release. The core elements of the EPRR response are recognition of an outbreak, isolation of patients, appropriate personal protective equipment for medical staff and actions to minimise further disease spread. The paper discusses how high-threat agents may be recognised by clinicians, the initial actions to be taken on presentation and how the public health system is notified and responds. It draws on the national pandemic influenza plans to describe the wider response to a major disease outbreak and discusses training requirements and the potential role of the military.


Subject(s)
Biohazard Release , Civil Defense , Influenza, Human/prevention & control , Military Personnel , Pandemics/prevention & control , Public Health Practice , Biohazard Release/prevention & control , Civil Defense/education , Communicable Disease Control , Communicable Diseases/diagnosis , Disaster Planning , Disease Notification , Humans , Influenza, Human/therapy , Interinstitutional Relations , Patient Isolation , Personal Protective Equipment , United Kingdom
9.
Int J Equity Health ; 20(1): 204, 2021 09 14.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1412693

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: People with disabilities (PwD) have been facing multiple health, social, and economic disparities during the COVID-19 pandemic, stemming from structural disparities experienced for long time. This paper aims to present the PREparedness, RESponse and SySTemic transformation (PRE-RE-SyST): a model for a disability-inclusive pandemic responses and systematic disparities reduction. METHODS: Scoping review with a thematic analysis was conducted on the literature published up to mid-September 2020, equating to the initial stages of the COVID-19 pandemic. Seven scientific databases and three preprint databases were searched to identify empirical or perspective papers addressing health and socio-economic disparities experienced by PwD as well as reporting actions to address them. Snowballing searches and experts' consultation were also conducted. Two independent reviewers made eligibility decisions and performed data extractions on any action or recommended action to address disparities. A thematic analysis was then used for the model construction, informed by a systems-thinking approach (i.e., the Iceberg Model). RESULTS: From 1027 unique references, 84 were included in the final analysis. The PRE-RE-SyST model articulates a four-level strategic action to: 1) Respond to prevent or reduce disability disparities during a pandemic crisis; 2) Prepare ahead for pandemic and other crises responses; 3) Design systems and policies for a structural disability-inclusiveness; and 4) Transform society's cultural assumptions about disability. 'Simple rules' and literature-based examples on how these strategies can be deployed are provided. CONCLUSION: The PRE-RE-SyST model articulates main strategies, 'simple rules' and possible means whereby public health authorities, policy-makers, and other stakeholders can address disability disparities in pandemic crises, and beyond. Beyond immediate pandemic responses, disability-inclusiveness is needed to develop everyday equity-oriented policies and practices that can transform societies towards greater resiliency, as a whole, to pandemic and other health and social emergencies.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Disabled Persons , Pandemics , Public Health Practice , COVID-19/epidemiology , COVID-19/prevention & control , Health Status Disparities , Humans , Models, Organizational , Pandemics/prevention & control
10.
Yearb Med Inform ; 30(1): 69-74, 2021 Aug.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1392943

ABSTRACT

OBJECTIVE: To summarize significant research contributions on managing pandemics with health informatics published in 2020. METHODS: An extensive search using PubMed and Scopus was conducted to identify peer-reviewed articles published in 2020 that examined health informatics systems used during the global COVID-19 pandemic. The selection process comprised three steps: 1) 15 candidate best papers were first selected by the two section editors; 2) external reviewers from internationally renowned research teams reviewed each candidate best paper; and 3) the final selection of three best papers was conducted by the editorial committee of the International Medical Informatics Association (IMIA) Yearbook. RESULTS: Selected best papers represent the important and diverse ways that health informatics supported clinical and public health responses to the global COVID-19 pandemic. Selected papers represent four groups of papers: 1) Use of analytics to screen, triage, and manage patients; 2) Use of telehealth and remote monitoring to manage patients and populations; 3) Use of EHR systems and administrative systems to manage internal operations of a hospital or health system; and 4) Use of informatics methods and systems by public health authorities to capture, store, manage, and visualize population-level data and information. CONCLUSION: Health informatics played a critical role in managing patients and populations during the COVID-19 pandemic. Health care and public health organizations both leveraged available information systems and standards to rapidly identify cases, triage infected individuals, and monitor population trends. The selected best papers represent a fraction of the body of knowledge stemming from COVID-19, most of which is focused on pandemic response. Future work will be needed to help the world recover from the pandemic and strengthen the health information infrastructure in preparation for the next pandemic.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Medical Informatics , COVID-19/epidemiology , COVID-19/therapy , Humans , Medical Records Systems, Computerized , Public Health Practice , Telemedicine
11.
Yearb Med Inform ; 30(1): 75-83, 2021 Aug.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1392941

ABSTRACT

OBJECTIVES: To identify gaps and challenges in health informatics and health information management during the COVID-19 pandemic. To describe solutions and offer recommendations that can address the identified gaps and challenges. METHODS: A literature review of relevant peer-reviewed and grey literature published from January 2020 to December 2020 was conducted to inform the paper. RESULTS: The literature revealed several themes regarding health information management and health informatics challenges and gaps: information systems and information technology infrastructure; data collection, quality, and standardization; and information governance and use. These challenges and gaps were often driven by public policy and funding constraints. CONCLUSIONS: COVID-19 exposed complexities related to responding to a world-wide, fast moving, quickly spreading novel virus. Longstanding gaps and ongoing challenges in the local, national, and global health and public health information systems and data infrastructure must be addressed before we are faced with another global pandemic.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Information Management , Medical Informatics , Data Accuracy , Data Collection/standards , Humans , Public Health Administration , Public Health Practice/legislation & jurisprudence , United States
13.
MMWR Morb Mortal Wkly Rep ; 69(49): 1860-1867, 2020 Dec 11.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1389860

ABSTRACT

In the 10 months since the first confirmed case of coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) was reported in the United States on January 20, 2020 (1), approximately 13.8 million cases and 272,525 deaths have been reported in the United States. On October 30, the number of new cases reported in the United States in a single day exceeded 100,000 for the first time, and by December 2 had reached a daily high of 196,227.* With colder weather, more time spent indoors, the ongoing U.S. holiday season, and silent spread of disease, with approximately 50% of transmission from asymptomatic persons (2), the United States has entered a phase of high-level transmission where a multipronged approach to implementing all evidence-based public health strategies at both the individual and community levels is essential. This summary guidance highlights critical evidence-based CDC recommendations and sustainable strategies to reduce COVID-19 transmission. These strategies include 1) universal face mask use, 2) maintaining physical distance from other persons and limiting in-person contacts, 3) avoiding nonessential indoor spaces and crowded outdoor spaces, 4) increasing testing to rapidly identify and isolate infected persons, 5) promptly identifying, quarantining, and testing close contacts of persons with known COVID-19, 6) safeguarding persons most at risk for severe illness or death from infection with SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes COVID-19, 7) protecting essential workers with provision of adequate personal protective equipment and safe work practices, 8) postponing travel, 9) increasing room air ventilation and enhancing hand hygiene and environmental disinfection, and 10) achieving widespread availability and high community coverage with effective COVID-19 vaccines. In combination, these strategies can reduce SARS-CoV-2 transmission, long-term sequelae or disability, and death, and mitigate the pandemic's economic impact. Consistent implementation of these strategies improves health equity, preserves health care capacity, maintains the function of essential businesses, and supports the availability of in-person instruction for kindergarten through grade 12 schools and preschool. Individual persons, households, and communities should take these actions now to reduce SARS-CoV-2 transmission from its current high level. These actions will provide a bridge to a future with wide availability and high community coverage of effective vaccines, when safe return to more everyday activities in a range of settings will be possible.


Subject(s)
COVID-19/prevention & control , Guidelines as Topic , Public Health Practice , COVID-19/mortality , COVID-19/transmission , Community-Acquired Infections/mortality , Community-Acquired Infections/prevention & control , Community-Acquired Infections/transmission , Humans , United States/epidemiology
15.
Fam Pract ; 38(Suppl 1): i16-i22, 2021 Aug 27.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1376298

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: Pandemics threaten lives and economies. This article addresses the global threat of the anticipated overlap of COVID-19 with seasonal-influenza. OBJECTIVES: Scientific evidence based on simulation methodology is presented to reveal the impact of a dual outbreak, with scenarios intended for propagation analysis. This article aims at researchers, clinicians of family medicine, general practice and policy-makers worldwide. The implications for the clinical practice of primary health care are discussed. Current research is an effort to explore new directions in epidemiology and health services delivery. METHODS: Projections consisted of machine learning, dynamic modelling algorithms and whole simulations. Input data consisted of global indicators of infectious diseases. Four simulations were run for '20% versus 60% flu-vaccinated populations' and '10 versus 20 personal contacts'. Outputs consisted of numerical values and mathematical graphs. Outputs consisted of numbers for 'never infected', 'vaccinated', 'infected/recovered', 'symptomatic/asymptomatic' and 'deceased' individuals. Peaks, percentages, R0, durations are reported. RESULTS: The best-case scenario was one with a higher flu-vaccination rate and fewer contacts. The reverse generated the worst outcomes, likely to disrupt the provision of vital community services. Both measures were proven effective; however, results demonstrated that 'increasing flu-vaccination rates' is a more powerful strategy than 'limiting social contacts'. CONCLUSIONS: Results support two affordable preventive measures: (i) to globally increase influenza-vaccination rates, (ii) to limit the number of personal contacts during outbreaks. The authors endorse changing practices and research incentives towards multidisciplinary collaborations. The urgency of the situation is a call for international health policy to promote interdisciplinary modern technologies in public health engineering.


Subject(s)
COVID-19/epidemiology , Communicable Disease Control/organization & administration , Global Health , Influenza, Human/epidemiology , Pneumonia, Viral/epidemiology , Public Health Practice , COVID-19 Vaccines/administration & dosage , Computer Simulation , Disease Outbreaks , Humans , Influenza Vaccines/administration & dosage , Pandemics , Planning Techniques , Pneumonia, Viral/virology , SARS-CoV-2
16.
Sci Rep ; 11(1): 15482, 2021 07 29.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1333991

ABSTRACT

To ensure the safe operation of schools, workplaces, nursing homes, and other businesses during COVID-19 pandemic there is an urgent need to develop cost-effective public health strategies. Here we focus on the cruise industry which was hit early by the COVID-19 pandemic, with more than 40 cruise ships reporting COVID-19 infections. We apply mathematical modeling to assess the impact of testing strategies together with social distancing protocols on the spread of the novel coronavirus during ocean cruises using an individual-level stochastic model of the transmission dynamics of COVID-19. We model the contact network, the potential importation of cases arising during shore excursions, the temporal course of infectivity at the individual level, the effects of social distancing strategies, different testing scenarios characterized by the test's sensitivity profile, and testing frequency. Our findings indicate that PCR testing at embarkation and daily testing of all individuals aboard, together with increased social distancing and other public health measures, should allow for rapid detection and isolation of COVID-19 infections and dramatically reducing the probability of onboard COVID-19 community spread. In contrast, relying only on PCR testing at embarkation would not be sufficient to avert outbreaks, even when implementing substantial levels of social distancing measures.


Subject(s)
COVID-19/prevention & control , Contact Tracing/methods , Disease Outbreaks/prevention & control , COVID-19/transmission , Humans , Models, Theoretical , Oceans and Seas , Pandemics/prevention & control , Physical Distancing , Public Health , Public Health Practice , Quarantine , SARS-CoV-2/isolation & purification , Ships
18.
Int J Health Plann Manage ; 36(S1): 151-167, 2021 May.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1318702

ABSTRACT

A strong public health workforce (PHW) is needed to respond to COVID-19 and public health (PH) issues worldwide. However, classifying, enumerating, and planning the PHW is challenging. Existing PHW taxonomies and enumerations focus on the existing workforce, and largely ignore workforce competition for public health graduates (PHGs). Such efforts also do not utilize real time data to assess rapid changes to the employment landscape, like those caused by COVID-19. A job postings analysis can inform workforce planning and educational program design alike. To identify occupations and industries currently seeking PHGs and contrast them with existing taxonomies, authors matched existing PHW taxonomies to standardized occupational classification codes, then compared this with 38,533 coded, US job postings from employers seeking Master's level PHGs from 1 July 2019 to 30 June 2020. Authors also analysed 24,516 postings from March 2019 to October 2019 and compared them with 24,845 postings from March 2020 to October 2020 to assess changing employer demands associated with COVID-19. We also performed schema matching to align various occupational classification systems. Job postings pre-COVID and during COVID show considerable but changing demand for PHGs in the US, with 16%-28% of postings outside existing PHW taxonomies, suggesting labour market competition which may compound PHW recruitment and retention challenges.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Competitive Behavior , Public Health Practice , Workforce , Databases, Factual , Humans , Pandemics , SARS-CoV-2 , United States
20.
Drug Discov Ther ; 15(3): 124-129, 2021.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1298218

ABSTRACT

The COVID -19 pandemic has had a catastrophic impact on the global economy and the healthcare industry. Unfortunately, the scientific community still hasn't discovered a definite cure for this virus. Also, owing to the unscrupulous use of antibiotics in wake of the current situation, another ongoing pandemic of antimicrobial resistance (AMR) has been entirely eclipsed. However, increased compliance to infection control measures like hand hygiene (both at hospital and community level), and restricted travel might be favorable. It is evident that the AMR strategies will be impacted disproportionately varying with the respective policies followed by the countries and hospitals to deal with the pandemic. The vaccination drive initiated globally has provided a glimmer of hope. In this article, the possible reciprocity between the two contemporaneous pandemics has been addressed. The world needs to be vigilant to punctuate the symphony between these lethal threats to global health. The restraint to combat against AMR will be boosted as our discernment of the problem also changes with the epidemiological interplay becoming more apparent in near future.


Subject(s)
COVID-19/epidemiology , Drug Resistance, Microbial , Public Health Practice , Syndemic , COVID-19/virology , Humans , SARS-CoV-2/isolation & purification
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