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2.
Epidemiol Infect ; 149: e233, 2021 10 26.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1537268

ABSTRACT

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


Subject(s)
COVID-19/epidemiology , COVID-19/prevention & control , Schools , Adolescent , Adult , COVID-19/diagnosis , Child , Finland/epidemiology , Humans , Incidence , Middle Aged , Physical Distancing , Restaurants , SARS-CoV-2/isolation & purification , Schools/statistics & numerical data , Young Adult
4.
Lancet Respir Med ; 9(5): 522-532, 2021 05.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1537199

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: Elevated proinflammatory cytokines are associated with greater COVID-19 severity. We aimed to assess safety and efficacy of sarilumab, an interleukin-6 receptor inhibitor, in patients with severe (requiring supplemental oxygen by nasal cannula or face mask) or critical (requiring greater supplemental oxygen, mechanical ventilation, or extracorporeal support) COVID-19. METHODS: We did a 60-day, randomised, double-blind, placebo-controlled, multinational phase 3 trial at 45 hospitals in Argentina, Brazil, Canada, Chile, France, Germany, Israel, Italy, Japan, Russia, and Spain. We included adults (≥18 years) admitted to hospital with laboratory-confirmed SARS-CoV-2 infection and pneumonia, who required oxygen supplementation or intensive care. Patients were randomly assigned (2:2:1 with permuted blocks of five) to receive intravenous sarilumab 400 mg, sarilumab 200 mg, or placebo. Patients, care providers, outcome assessors, and investigators remained masked to assigned intervention throughout the course of the study. The primary endpoint was time to clinical improvement of two or more points (seven point scale ranging from 1 [death] to 7 [discharged from hospital]) in the modified intention-to-treat population. The key secondary endpoint was proportion of patients alive at day 29. Safety outcomes included adverse events and laboratory assessments. This study is registered with ClinicalTrials.gov, NCT04327388; EudraCT, 2020-001162-12; and WHO, U1111-1249-6021. FINDINGS: Between March 28 and July 3, 2020, of 431 patients who were screened, 420 patients were randomly assigned and 416 received placebo (n=84 [20%]), sarilumab 200 mg (n=159 [38%]), or sarilumab 400 mg (n=173 [42%]). At day 29, no significant differences were seen in median time to an improvement of two or more points between placebo (12·0 days [95% CI 9·0 to 15·0]) and sarilumab 200 mg (10·0 days [9·0 to 12·0]; hazard ratio [HR] 1·03 [95% CI 0·75 to 1·40]; log-rank p=0·96) or sarilumab 400 mg (10·0 days [9·0 to 13·0]; HR 1·14 [95% CI 0·84 to 1·54]; log-rank p=0·34), or in proportions of patients alive (77 [92%] of 84 patients in the placebo group; 143 [90%] of 159 patients in the sarilumab 200 mg group; difference -1·7 [-9·3 to 5·8]; p=0·63 vs placebo; and 159 [92%] of 173 patients in the sarilumab 400 mg group; difference 0·2 [-6·9 to 7·4]; p=0·85 vs placebo). At day 29, there were numerical, non-significant survival differences between sarilumab 400 mg (88%) and placebo (79%; difference +8·9% [95% CI -7·7 to 25·5]; p=0·25) for patients who had critical disease. No unexpected safety signals were seen. The rates of treatment-emergent adverse events were 65% (55 of 84) in the placebo group, 65% (103 of 159) in the sarilumab 200 mg group, and 70% (121 of 173) in the sarilumab 400 mg group, and of those leading to death 11% (nine of 84) were in the placebo group, 11% (17 of 159) were in the sarilumab 200 mg group, and 10% (18 of 173) were in the sarilumab 400 mg group. INTERPRETATION: This trial did not show efficacy of sarilumab in patients admitted to hospital with COVID-19 and receiving supplemental oxygen. Adequately powered trials of targeted immunomodulatory therapies assessing survival as a primary endpoint are suggested in patients with critical COVID-19. FUNDING: Sanofi and Regeneron Pharmaceuticals.


Subject(s)
Antibodies, Monoclonal, Humanized , COVID-19 , Cytokine Release Syndrome , Receptors, Interleukin-6/antagonists & inhibitors , Respiratory Distress Syndrome , SARS-CoV-2/isolation & purification , Antibodies, Monoclonal, Humanized/administration & dosage , Antibodies, Monoclonal, Humanized/adverse effects , COVID-19/complications , COVID-19/immunology , COVID-19/mortality , COVID-19/therapy , Critical Care/methods , Cytokine Release Syndrome/drug therapy , Cytokine Release Syndrome/etiology , Cytokine Release Syndrome/immunology , Dose-Response Relationship, Drug , Drug Monitoring/methods , Female , Humans , Immunologic Factors/administration & dosage , Immunologic Factors/adverse effects , International Cooperation , Male , Middle Aged , Mortality , Respiratory Distress Syndrome/diagnosis , Respiratory Distress Syndrome/etiology , Severity of Illness Index , Treatment Outcome
5.
Lancet Respir Med ; 9(5): 511-521, 2021 05.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1537197

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: Global randomised controlled trials of the anti-IL-6 receptor antibody tocilizumab in patients admitted to hospital with COVID-19 have shown conflicting results but potential decreases in time to discharge and burden on intensive care. Tocilizumab reduced progression to mechanical ventilation and death in a trial population enriched for racial and ethnic minorities. We aimed to investigate whether tocilizumab treatment could prevent COVID-19 progression in the first multicentre randomised controlled trial of tocilizumab done entirely in a lower-middle-income country. METHODS: COVINTOC is an open-label, multicentre, randomised, controlled, phase 3 trial done at 12 public and private hospitals across India. Adults (aged ≥18 years) admitted to hospital with moderate to severe COVID-19 (Indian Ministry of Health grading) confirmed by positive SARS-CoV-2 PCR result were randomly assigned (1:1 block randomisation) to receive tocilizumab 6 mg/kg plus standard care (the tocilizumab group) or standard care alone (the standard care group). The primary endpoint was progression of COVID-19 (from moderate to severe or from severe to death) up to day 14 in the modified intention-to-treat population of all participants who had at least one post-baseline assessment for the primary endpoint. Safety was assessed in all randomly assigned patients. The trial is completed and registered with the Clinical Trials Registry India (CTRI/2020/05/025369). FINDINGS: 180 patients were recruited between May 30, 2020, and Aug 31, 2020, and randomly assigned to the tocilizumab group (n=90) or the standard care group (n=90). One patient randomly assigned to the standard care group inadvertently received tocilizumab at baseline and was included in the tocilizumab group for all analyses. One patient randomly assigned to the standard care group withdrew consent after the baseline visit and did not receive any study medication and was not included in the modified intention-to-treat population but was still included in safety analyses. 75 (82%) of 91 in the tocilizumab group and 68 (76%) of 89 in the standard care group completed 28 days of follow-up. Progression of COVID-19 up to day 14 occurred in eight (9%) of 91 patients in the tocilizumab group and 11 (13%) of 88 in the standard care group (difference -3·71 [95% CI -18·23 to 11·19]; p=0·42). 33 (36%) of 91 patients in the tocilizumab group and 22 (25%) of 89 patients in the standard care group had adverse events; 18 (20%) and 15 (17%) had serious adverse events. The most common adverse event was acute respiratory distress syndrome, reported in seven (8%) patients in each group. Grade 3 adverse events were reported in two (2%) patients in the tocilizumab group and five (6%) patients in the standard care group. There were no grade 4 adverse events. Serious adverse events were reported in 18 (20%) patients in the tocilizumab group and 15 (17%) in the standard care group; 13 (14%) and 15 (17%) patients died during the study. INTERPRETATION: Routine use of tocilizumab in patients admitted to hospital with moderate to severe COVID-19 is not supported. However, post-hoc evidence from this study suggests tocilizumab might still be effective in patients with severe COVID-19 and so should be investigated further in future studies. FUNDING: Medanta Institute of Education and Research, Roche India, Cipla India, and Action COVID-19 India.


Subject(s)
Antibodies, Monoclonal, Humanized , COVID-19 , Cytokine Release Syndrome , Receptors, Interleukin-6/antagonists & inhibitors , Respiratory Distress Syndrome , SARS-CoV-2/isolation & purification , Antibodies, Monoclonal, Humanized/administration & dosage , Antibodies, Monoclonal, Humanized/adverse effects , COVID-19/complications , COVID-19/immunology , COVID-19/mortality , COVID-19/therapy , Critical Care/methods , Cytokine Release Syndrome/drug therapy , Cytokine Release Syndrome/etiology , Cytokine Release Syndrome/immunology , Drug Monitoring/methods , Female , Humans , Immunologic Factors/administration & dosage , Immunologic Factors/adverse effects , India , Male , Middle Aged , Mortality , Respiration, Artificial/methods , Respiratory Distress Syndrome/diagnosis , Respiratory Distress Syndrome/etiology , Severity of Illness Index , Treatment Outcome
7.
Sci Rep ; 11(1): 20121, 2021 10 11.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1532138

ABSTRACT

The Brazilian strategy to overcome the spread of COVID-19 has been particularly criticized due to the lack of a national coordinating effort and an appropriate testing program. Here, a successful approach to control the spread of COVID-19 transmission is described by the engagement of public (university and governance) and private sectors (hospitals and oil companies) in Macaé, state of Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, a city known as the National Oil Capital. In 2020 between the 17th and 38th epidemiological week, over two percent of the 206,728 citizens were subjected to symptom analysis and RT-qPCR testing by the Federal University of Rio de Janeiro, with positive individuals being notified up to 48 h after swab collection. Geocodification and spatial cluster analysis were used to limit COVID-19 spreading in Macaé. Within the first semester after the outbreak of COVID-19 in Brazil, Macaé recorded 1.8% of fatalities associated with COVID-19 up to the 38th epidemiological week, which was at least five times lower than the state capital (10.6%). Overall, considering the successful experience of this joint effort of private and public engagement in Macaé, our data suggest that the development of a similar strategy countrywise could have contributed to a better control of the COVID-19 spread in Brazil. Quarantine decree by the local administration, comprehensive molecular testing coupled to scientific analysis of COVID-19 spreading, prevented the catastrophic consequences of the pandemic as seen in other populous cities within the state of Rio de Janeiro and elsewhere in Brazil.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 Nucleic Acid Testing/statistics & numerical data , COVID-19/epidemiology , Pandemics/statistics & numerical data , SARS-CoV-2/isolation & purification , Adolescent , Adult , Aged , Brazil/epidemiology , COVID-19/diagnosis , COVID-19/transmission , COVID-19/virology , Cities/epidemiology , Cities/statistics & numerical data , Female , Humans , Male , Middle Aged , RNA, Viral/isolation & purification , SARS-CoV-2/genetics , Young Adult
11.
Nat Med ; 27(10): 1693-1695, 2021 10.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1526092

ABSTRACT

To evaluate the effectiveness of the BNT162b2 messenger RNA vaccine in pregnant women, we conducted an observational cohort study of pregnant women aged 16 years or older, with no history of SARS-CoV-2, who were vaccinated between 20 December 2020 and 3 June 2021. A total of 10,861 vaccinated pregnant women were matched to 10,861 unvaccinated pregnant controls using demographic and clinical characteristics. Study outcomes included documented infection with SARS-CoV-2, symptomatic COVID-19, COVID-19-related hospitalization, severe illness and death. Estimated vaccine effectiveness from 7 through to 56 d after the second dose was 96% (95% confidence interval 89-100%) for any documented infection, 97% (91-100%) for infections with documented symptoms and 89% (43-100%) for COVID-19-related hospitalization. Only one event of severe illness was observed in the unvaccinated group and no deaths were observed in either group. In summary, the BNT162b2 mRNA vaccine was estimated to have high vaccine effectiveness in pregnant women, which is similar to the effectiveness estimated in the general population.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 Vaccines/adverse effects , COVID-19/prevention & control , Pregnancy Complications, Infectious/prevention & control , Adolescent , Adult , COVID-19/epidemiology , COVID-19/virology , COVID-19 Vaccines/administration & dosage , Cohort Studies , Female , Humans , Incidence , Pregnancy , SARS-CoV-2/isolation & purification , Young Adult
12.
Int J Biol Sci ; 17(1): 20-31, 2021.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1526974

ABSTRACT

The current severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) has caused a global infection, and is seriously threatening human life, especially cancer patients. Thus, we sought to determine the clinical roles of ACE2 (the cell entry receptor of SARS-CoV-2) in ccRCC (clear cell renal cell carcinoma). TCGA, GEO and TIP datasets, and immunohistochemistry and western blot results were used to determine the prognostic and clinicopathological characteristics of ACE2. ACE2 expression was down-regulated in ccRCC tissues and cell lines. The multivariate Cox regression analysis results indicated that increased ACE2 expression was independent predictor of longer OS (HR: 0.8259, 95%CI: 0.7734-0.8819, P<0.0001) and RFS (HR: 0.8023, 95%CI: 0.7375-0.8729, P<0.0001) in ccRCC patients. Lower ACE2 expression was also associated with advanced tumor stage, higher histological grade and pathological stage, and metastasis. Besides, ACE2 expression was significantly positively and negatively correlated with CD4 Naïve infiltration and CD4 Memory infiltration, respectively. Moreover, higher CD4 Naïve and lower CD4 Memory infiltration levels were associated with better pathological features and longer OS and RFS. Furthermore, high ACE2 expression group in decreased CD4 Naïve, enriched CD4 Naïve and enriched CD4 memory cohort had favorable prognosis. These findings identified that AEC2 was significantly reduced in ccRCC, and decreased ACE2 was related to worse pathological features and poor prognosis. Low ACE2 expression in ccRCC may partially affect the prognosis due to altered immune cells infiltration levels.


Subject(s)
Angiotensin-Converting Enzyme 2/metabolism , Biomarkers, Tumor/metabolism , Carcinoma, Renal Cell/metabolism , Kidney Neoplasms/metabolism , CD4-Positive T-Lymphocytes/immunology , COVID-19/immunology , COVID-19/metabolism , COVID-19/virology , Carcinoma, Renal Cell/immunology , Humans , Kidney Neoplasms/immunology , Prognosis , SARS-CoV-2/isolation & purification
13.
Molecules ; 26(20)2021 Oct 13.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1526851

ABSTRACT

There have been more than 150 million confirmed cases of SARS-CoV-2 since the beginning of the pandemic in 2019. By June 2021, the mortality from such infections approached 3.9 million people. Despite the availability of a number of vaccines which provide protection against this virus, the evolution of new viral variants, inconsistent availability of the vaccine around the world, and vaccine hesitancy, in some countries, makes it unreasonable to rely on mass vaccination alone to combat this pandemic. Consequently, much effort is directed to identifying potential antiviral treatments. Marine brominated tyrosine alkaloids are recognized to have antiviral potential. We test here the antiviral capacity of fourteen marine brominated tyrosine alkaloids against five different target proteins from SARS-CoV-2, including main protease (Mpro) (PDB ID: 6lu7), spike glycoprotein (PDB ID: 6VYB), nucleocapsid phosphoprotein (PDB ID: 6VYO), membrane glycoprotein (PDB ID: 6M17), and non-structural protein 10 (nsp10) (PDB ID: 6W4H). These marine alkaloids, particularly the hexabrominated compound, fistularin-3, shows promising docking interactions with predicted binding affinities (S-score = -7.78, -7.65, -6.39, -6.28, -8.84 Kcal/mol) for the main protease (Mpro) (PDB ID: 6lu7), spike glycoprotein (PDB ID: 6VYB), nucleocapsid phosphoprotein (PDB ID: 6VYO), membrane glycoprotein (PDB ID: 6M17), and non-structural protein 10 (nsp10) (PDB ID: 6W4H), respectively, where it forms better interactions with the protein pockets than the native interaction. It also shows promising molecular dynamics, pharmacokinetics, and toxicity profiles. As such, further exploration of the antiviral properties of fistularin-3 against SARS-CoV-2 is merited.


Subject(s)
Alkaloids/chemistry , SARS-CoV-2/metabolism , Alkaloids/isolation & purification , Alkaloids/therapeutic use , Antiviral Agents/chemistry , Antiviral Agents/metabolism , Antiviral Agents/therapeutic use , Binding Sites , COVID-19/drug therapy , COVID-19/virology , Coronavirus 3C Proteases/chemistry , Coronavirus 3C Proteases/metabolism , Halogenation , Humans , Isoxazoles/chemistry , Isoxazoles/metabolism , Molecular Docking Simulation , Molecular Dynamics Simulation , SARS-CoV-2/isolation & purification , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/chemistry , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/metabolism , Structure-Activity Relationship , Tyrosine/analogs & derivatives , Tyrosine/chemistry , Tyrosine/metabolism
14.
J Korean Med Sci ; 36(44): e301, 2021 Nov 15.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1526760

ABSTRACT

We used serial rectal swabs to investigate the amount and duration of virus secretion through the gastrointestinal tract and assessed the association between fecal shedding and gastrointestinal symptoms and to clarify the clinical usefulness testing rectal swabs. We enrolled ten adult patients hospitalized with symptomatic coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19). Respiratory and stool specimens were collected by physicians. The presence of severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) was confirmed using real-time reverse-transcription polymerase chain reaction. All ten patients had respiratory symptoms, six had diarrhea, and seven were positive for SARS-CoV-2 on rectal swabs. The viral loads in the respiratory specimens was higher than those in the rectal specimens, and no rectal specimens were positive after the respiratory specimens became negative. There was no association between gastrointestinal symptoms, pneumonia, severity, and rectal viral load. Rectal swabs may play a role in detecting SARS-CoV-2 in individuals with suspected COVID-19, regardless of gastrointestinal symptoms.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 Nucleic Acid Testing/methods , COVID-19/virology , Rectum/virology , SARS-CoV-2/isolation & purification , Virus Shedding , Adolescent , Adult , Aged , Aged, 80 and over , COVID-19/complications , COVID-19/transmission , Diarrhea/etiology , Diarrhea/virology , Feces/virology , Female , Humans , Male , Middle Aged , Nasopharynx/virology , Prospective Studies , Real-Time Polymerase Chain Reaction , Severity of Illness Index , Time Factors , Viral Load
15.
Microbiol Spectr ; 9(2): e0079221, 2021 10 31.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1526452

ABSTRACT

A wastewater surveillance program targeting a university residence hall was implemented during the spring semester 2021 as a proactive measure to avoid an outbreak of COVID-19 on campus. Over a period of 7 weeks from early February through late March 2021, wastewater originating from the residence hall was collected as grab samples 3 times per week. During this time, there was no detection of SARS-CoV-2 by reverse transcriptase quantitative PCR (RT-qPCR) in the residence hall wastewater stream. Aiming to obtain a sample more representative of the residence hall community, a decision was made to use passive samplers beginning in late March onwards. Adopting a Moore swab approach, SARS-CoV-2 was detected in wastewater samples just 2 days after passive samplers were deployed. These samples also tested positive for the B.1.1.7 (Alpha) variant of concern (VOC) using RT-qPCR. The positive result triggered a public health case-finding response, including a mobile testing unit deployed to the residence hall the following day, with testing of nearly 200 students and staff, which identified two laboratory-confirmed cases of Alpha variant COVID-19. These individuals were relocated to a separate quarantine facility, averting an outbreak on campus. Aggregating wastewater and clinical data, the campus wastewater surveillance program has yielded the first estimates of fecal shedding rates of the Alpha VOC of SARS-CoV-2 in individuals from a nonclinical setting. IMPORTANCE Among early adopters of wastewater monitoring for SARS-CoV-2 have been colleges and universities throughout North America, many of whom are using this approach to monitor congregate living facilities for early evidence of COVID-19 infection as an integral component of campus screening programs. Yet, while there have been numerous examples where wastewater monitoring on a university campus has detected evidence for infection among community members, there are few examples where this monitoring triggered a public health response that may have averted an actual outbreak. This report details a wastewater-testing program targeting a residence hall on a university campus during spring 2021, when there was mounting concern globally over the emergence of SARS-CoV-2 variants of concern, reported to be more transmissible than the wild-type Wuhan strain. In this communication, we present a clear example of how wastewater monitoring resulted in actionable responses by university administration and public health, which averted an outbreak of COVID-19 on a university campus.


Subject(s)
COVID-19/epidemiology , Disease Outbreaks , SARS-CoV-2/isolation & purification , Universities , Waste Water/virology , Wastewater-Based Epidemiological Monitoring , COVID-19/transmission , COVID-19/virology , Humans , Mass Screening , Ontario , Public Health , SARS-CoV-2/classification , SARS-CoV-2/genetics
16.
J Mater Chem B ; 9(42): 8851-8861, 2021 11 03.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1526111

ABSTRACT

Nanomaterial-based optical techniques for biomarker detection have garnered tremendous attention from the nanofabrication community due to their high precision and enhanced limit of detection (LoD) features. These nanomaterials are highly responsive to local refractive index (RI) fluctuations, and their RI unit sensitivity can be tuned by varying the chemical composition, geometry, and dimensions of the utilized nanostructures. To improve the sensitivity and LoD values of these nanomaterials, it is common to increase both dimensions and aspect ratios of the fabricated nanostructures. However, limited by the complexity, prolonged duration, and elevated costs of the available nanofabrication techniques, mass production of these nanostructures remains challenging. To address not only high accuracy, but also speed and production effectiveness in these nanostructures' fabrication, our work reports, for the first time, a fast, high-throughput, and cost-effective nanofabrication protocol for routine manufacturing of polymer-based nanostructures with high sensitivity and calculated LoD in the pM range by utilizing anodized aluminum oxide (AAO) membranes as templates. Specifically, our developed platform consists of arrays of nearly uniform polystyrene nanopillars with an average diameter of ∼185 nm and aspect ratio of ∼11. We demonstrate that these nanostructures can be produced at a high speed and a notably low price, and that they can be efficiently applied for biosensing purposes after being coated with aluminum-doped silver (Ag/Al) thin films. Our platform successfully detected very low concentrations of human C-reactive protein (hCRP) and SARS-CoV-2 spike protein biomarkers in human plasma samples with LoDs of 11 and 5 pM, respectively. These results open new opportunities for day-to-day fabrication of high aspect ratio arrays of nanopillars that can be used as a base for nanoplasmonic sensors with competitive LoD values. This, in turn, contributes to the development of point-of-care devices and further improvement of the existing nanofabrication techniques, thereby enriching the fields of pharmacology, clinical analysis, and diagnostics.


Subject(s)
Aluminum Oxide/chemistry , Biomarkers/blood , High-Throughput Screening Assays/methods , Nanostructures/chemistry , Silver/chemistry , Biosensing Techniques , C-Reactive Protein/analysis , COVID-19/diagnosis , COVID-19/virology , Dimethylpolysiloxanes/chemistry , Humans , Limit of Detection , Point-of-Care Systems , Polystyrenes/chemistry , SARS-CoV-2/isolation & purification , SARS-CoV-2/metabolism , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/blood
18.
Pediatr Pulmonol ; 56(7): 1946-1950, 2021 07.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1525483

ABSTRACT

INTRODUCTION: Preschool wheezers are at high risk of recurrent attacks triggered by respiratory viruses, sometimes exacerbated by exposure to allergens and pollution. Because of the COVID-19 infection, the lockdown was introduced, but the effects on preschool wheezers are unknown. We hypothesized that there would be an improvement in outcomes during the lockdown, and these would be lost when the lockdown was eased. MATERIALS AND METHODS: Patients underwent medical visits before and after the COVID-19 lockdown. We recorded the childhood Asthma Control Test (cACT) and a clinical questionnaire. Data on symptoms, the need for medications and the use of healthcare resources were recorded. We compared these data with retrospective reports from the preceding year and prospectively acquired questionnaires after lockdown. RESULTS: We studied 85 preschool wheezers, mean age 4.9 years. During the lockdown, cACT score was significantly higher (median 25 vs. 23); families reported a dramatic drop in wheezing episodes (51 vs. none), significant reductions in the day and nighttime symptoms, including episodes of shortness of breath (p < .0001); the use of salbutamol and oral corticosteroids (OCS) dropped significantly (p < .0001) and 79 (95%) patients needed no OCS bursts during the lockdown. Finally, patients had significantly fewer extra medical examinations, as well as fewer Emergency Room visits (p < .0001). All were improved compared with the same time period from the previous year, but outcomes worsened significantly again after lockdown (cACT median: 22). CONCLUSIONS: During the national lockdown, children with persistent preschool wheeze showed a significant clinical improvement with reduction of respiratory symptoms, medication use for exacerbations, and use of healthcare resources. This trend reversed when lockdown restrictions were eased.


Subject(s)
COVID-19/epidemiology , Pandemics , Respiratory Sounds , Adrenal Cortex Hormones , Allergens , COVID-19/physiopathology , COVID-19/virology , Child, Preschool , Communicable Disease Control , Female , Humans , Male , Recurrence , Retrospective Studies , SARS-CoV-2/isolation & purification , Surveys and Questionnaires
19.
Commun Dis Intell (2018) ; 452021 May 27.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1524942

ABSTRACT

Abstract: With COVID-19 affecting millions of people around the globe, quarantine of international arrivals is a critical public health measure to prevent further disease transmission in local populations. This measure has also been applied in the repatriation of citizens, undertaken by several countries as an ethical obligation and legal responsibility. This article describes the process of planning and preparing for the repatriation operation in South Australia during the COVID-19 pandemic. Interagency collaboration, development of a COVID-19 testing and quarantining protocol, implementing infection prevention and control, and building a specialised health care delivery model were essential aspects of the repatriation operational planning, with a focus on maintaining dignity and wellbeing of the passengers as well as on effective prevention of COVID-19 transmission. From April 2020 to mid-February 2021, more than 14,000 international arrivals travellers have been repatriated under the South Australian repatriation operations. This paper has implications to inform ongoing repatriation efforts in Australia and overseas in a pandemic situation.


Subject(s)
COVID-19/epidemiology , Infection Control/legislation & jurisprudence , Public Health/legislation & jurisprudence , Quarantine/legislation & jurisprudence , COVID-19/diagnosis , COVID-19/transmission , COVID-19 Testing/methods , COVID-19 Testing/standards , Delivery of Health Care , Humans , Infection Control/methods , International Health Regulations , Pandemics , Public Health/methods , Quarantine/methods , Risk Assessment , Risk Factors , SARS-CoV-2/isolation & purification , South Australia/epidemiology , Travel
20.
Eur Rev Med Pharmacol Sci ; 25(21): 6813-6824, 2021 11.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1524868

ABSTRACT

OBJECTIVE: The aim of the study was to appraise the capacity of serum aminotransferases to discriminate between hepatic and other extra-pulmonary COVID-19-related manifestations and, potentially, to serve as predictors of poor clinical outcomes. MATERIALS AND METHODS: Ninety-eight studies were identified (79% from China), including 43,554 patients (57% males), 9,983 (62% males) with poor outcomes and 33,571 (50% males) with favorable outcomes. After splitting studies depending on whether serum alanine aminotransferase (ALT) concentrations were statistically different between patients with poor vs. favorable outcomes, the 35 'hepatic involvement' articles (p<0.05) included 28,510 patients (51% males), 5,279 (66% males) and 23,231 subjects (48% males) with poor and favorable outcomes, respectively. The 63 'extra-hepatic involvement' studies (p>0.05) included 15,044 patients (54% males), 4,704 (60% males) with poor outcomes and 10,340 (51% males) with favorable outcomes. RESULTS: The meta-analysis shows that serum aspartate aminotransferase (AST) concentrations were significantly higher in patients with poor outcomes than those with favorable outcomes (WMD 12.5 UI/L, 95% CI 10.9 to 14.1 p<0.001). Similarly, AST concentrations were significantly higher in the 'hepatic involvement' studies (WMD 16.3 UI/L, 95% CI 13.4 to 19.2 p<0.001) and in the 'extra-hepatic involvement' studies (WMD 10.3 UI/L, 95% CI 8.6 to 12.0 p<0.001). CONCLUSIONS: The different association of serum AST concentrations with some clinical, demographic, and biochemical factors in the two clusters suggests that in COVID-19 patients, serum AST elevation is not necessarily linked to real liver damage.


Subject(s)
Alanine Transaminase/blood , Aspartate Aminotransferases/blood , COVID-19/pathology , COVID-19/therapy , COVID-19/virology , Databases, Factual , Humans , SARS-CoV-2/isolation & purification , Treatment Outcome
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