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1.
PLoS One ; 17(11): e0277895, 2022.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-2140671

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: With the reduction in access to polymerase chain reaction (PCR) testing and changes in testing guidelines in Australia, a reduced number of people are seeking testing for coronavirus disease (COVID-19), limiting the opportunity to monitor disease transmission. Knowledge of community transmission of COVID-19 and other respiratory viruses is essential to better predict subsequent surges in cases during the pandemic to alert health services, protect vulnerable populations and enhance public health measures. We describe a methodology for a testing-based sentinel surveillance program to monitor disease in the community for early signal detection of SARS-CoV-2 and other respiratory viruses. METHODS/DESIGN: A longitudinal active testing-based sentinel surveillance program for respiratory viruses (including SARS-CoV-2, influenza A, influenza B and Respiratory Syncytial Virus) will be implemented in some regions of Queensland. Adults will be eligible for enrolment if they are part of specific community groups at increased risk of exposure and have not had a COVID-19 infection in the last 13 weeks. Recruitment via workplaces will occur in-person, via email and through online advertisement. Asymptomatic participants will be tested via PCR for SARS-CoV-2 infection by weekly self-collected nasal swabs. In addition, symptomatic participants will be asked to seek SARS-CoV-2 and additional respiratory virus PCR testing at nominated COVID-19 testing sites. SARS-CoV-2 and respiratory virus prevalence data will be analysed weekly and at the end of the study period. DISCUSSION: Once implemented, this surveillance program will determine the weekly prevalence of COVID-19 and other respiratory viruses in the broader community by testing a representative sample of adults, with an aim to detect early changes in the baseline positivity rate. This information is essential to define the epidemiology of SARS-CoV-2 in the community in near-real time to inform public health control measures and prepare health services and other stakeholders for a rise in service demand.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Influenza, Human , Respiratory Syncytial Virus, Human , Adult , Humans , Sentinel Surveillance , Queensland/epidemiology , COVID-19/epidemiology , SARS-CoV-2 , COVID-19 Testing
2.
JMIR Public Health Surveill ; 7(4): e27433, 2021 04 28.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-2141323

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: Sentinel surveillance of influenza-like illness (ILI) in Egypt started in 2000 at 8 sentinel sites geographically distributed all over the country. In response to the COVID-19 pandemic, SARS-CoV-2 was added to the panel of viral testing by polymerase chain reaction for the first 2 patients with ILI seen at one of the sentinel sites. We report the first SARS-CoV-2 and influenza A(H1N1) virus co-infection with mild symptoms detected through routine ILI surveillance in Egypt. OBJECTIVE: This report aims to describe how the case was identified and the demographic and clinical characteristics and outcomes of the patient. METHODS: The case was identified by Central Public Health Laboratory staff, who contacted the ILI sentinel surveillance officer at the Ministry of Health. The case patient was contacted through a telephone call. Detailed information about the patient's clinical picture, course of disease, and outcome was obtained. The contacts of the patient were investigated for acute respiratory symptoms, disease confirmation, and outcomes. RESULTS: Among 510 specimens collected from patients with ILI symptoms from October 2019 to August 2020, 61 (12.0%) were COVID-19-positive and 29 (5.7%) tested positive for influenza, including 15 (51.7%) A(H1N1), 11 (38.0%) A(H3N2), and 3 (10.3%) influenza B specimens. A 21-year-old woman was confirmed to have SARS-CoV-2 and influenza A(H1N1) virus coinfection. She had a high fever of 40.2 °C and mild respiratory symptoms that resolved within 2 days with symptomatic treatment. All five of her family contacts had mild respiratory symptoms 2-3 days after exposure to the confirmed case, and their symptoms resolved without treatment or investigation. CONCLUSIONS: This case highlights the possible occurrence of SARS-CoV-2/influenza A(H1N1) coinfection in younger and healthy people, who may resolve the infection rapidly. We emphasize the usefulness of the surveillance system for detection of viral causative agents of ILI and recommend broadening of the testing panel, especially if it can guide case management.


Subject(s)
COVID-19/diagnosis , Coinfection , Influenza A Virus, H1N1 Subtype/isolation & purification , Influenza, Human/diagnosis , SARS-CoV-2/isolation & purification , Sentinel Surveillance , COVID-19/epidemiology , Egypt/epidemiology , Female , Humans , Influenza, Human/epidemiology , Young Adult
5.
Int J Environ Res Public Health ; 19(19)2022 Sep 28.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-2065956

ABSTRACT

We evaluated the performance of the exponentially weighted moving average (EWMA) model for comparing two families of predictors (i.e., structured and unstructured data from visits to the emergency department (ED)) for the early detection of SARS-CoV-2 epidemic waves. The study included data from 1,282,100 ED visits between 1 January 2011 and 9 December 2021 to a local health unit in Lombardy, Italy. A regression model with an autoregressive integrated moving average (ARIMA) error term was fitted. EWMA residual charts were then plotted to detect outliers in the frequency of the daily ED visits made due to the presence of a respiratory syndrome (based on coded diagnoses) or respiratory symptoms (based on free text data). Alarm signals were compared with the number of confirmed SARS-CoV-2 infections. Overall, 150,300 ED visits were encoded as relating to respiratory syndromes and 87,696 to respiratory symptoms. Four strong alarm signals were detected in March and November 2020 and 2021, coinciding with the onset of the pandemic waves. Alarm signals generated for the respiratory symptoms preceded the occurrence of the first and last pandemic waves. We concluded that the EWMA model is a promising tool for predicting pandemic wave onset.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , SARS-CoV-2 , COVID-19/diagnosis , COVID-19/epidemiology , Disease Outbreaks , Emergency Service, Hospital , Humans , Italy/epidemiology , Pandemics , Sentinel Surveillance , Syndrome
6.
Nat Commun ; 13(1): 5547, 2022 09 22.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-2036824

ABSTRACT

Public health indicators typically used for COVID-19 surveillance can be biased or lag changing community transmission patterns. In this study, we investigate whether sentinel surveillance of recently symptomatic individuals receiving outpatient diagnostic testing for SARS-CoV-2 could accurately assess the instantaneous reproductive number R(t) and provide early warning of changes in transmission. We use data from community-based diagnostic testing sites in the United States city of Chicago. Patients tested at community-based diagnostic testing sites between September 2020 and June 2021, and reporting symptom onset within four days preceding their test, formed the sentinel population. R(t) calculated from sentinel cases agreed well with R(t) from other indicators. Retrospectively, trends in sentinel cases did not precede trends in COVID-19 hospital admissions by any identifiable lead time. In deployment, sentinel surveillance held an operational recency advantage of nine days over hospital admissions. The promising performance of opportunistic sentinel surveillance suggests that deliberately designed outpatient sentinel surveillance would provide robust early warning of increasing transmission.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , SARS-CoV-2 , COVID-19/diagnosis , COVID-19/epidemiology , Chicago/epidemiology , Humans , Outpatients , Retrospective Studies , Sentinel Surveillance , United States/epidemiology
7.
Stud Health Technol Inform ; 298: 137-141, 2022 Aug 31.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-2022608

ABSTRACT

The Oxford-Royal College of General Practitioners (RCGP) Research and Surveillance Centre (RSC) is one of Europe's oldest sentinel systems, providing sentinel surveillance since 1967. We report the interdisciplinary informatics required to run such a system. We used the Donabedian framework to describe the interdisciplinary informatics roles that support the structures, processes and outcomes of the RSC. Over the course of the COVID-19 pandemic University, RCGP, information technology specialists, SQL developers, analysts, practice liaison team, network member primary care providers, and their registered patients have nearly quadrupled the size of the RSC from working with 5 million to 19 million peoples pseudonymised health data. We have produced outputs used by the UK Health Security Agency to describe the epidemiology of COVID-19 and report vaccine effectiveness. We have also supported a trial of community-based therapies for COVID-19 and other observational studies. The home of the primary care sentinel surveillance network is with a clinical informatics research group. Interdisciplinary informatics teamwork was required to support primary care sentinel surveillance; such teams can accelerate the scale, scope and digital maturity of surveillance systems as demonstrated by the RSC across the COVID-19 pandemic.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Communicable Diseases , COVID-19/epidemiology , Humans , Informatics , Pandemics , Primary Health Care , Sentinel Surveillance
8.
Euro Surveill ; 27(27)2022 07.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-2022501

ABSTRACT

BackgroundThe COVID-19 pandemic expanded the need for timely information on acute respiratory illness at population level.AimWe explored the potential of routine emergency department data for syndromic surveillance of acute respiratory illness in Germany.MethodsWe used routine attendance data from emergency departments, which continuously transferred data between week 10 2017 and 10 2021, with ICD-10 codes available for > 75% of attendances. Case definitions for acute respiratory infection (ARI), severe acute respiratory infection (SARI), influenza-like illness (ILI), respiratory syncytial virus infection (RSV) and COVID-19 were based on a combination of ICD-10 codes, and/or chief complaints, sometimes combined with information on hospitalisation and age.ResultsWe included 1,372,958 attendances from eight emergency departments. The number of attendances dropped in March 2020 during the first COVID-19 pandemic wave, increased during summer, and declined again during the resurge of COVID-19 cases in autumn and winter of 2020/21. A pattern of seasonality of respiratory infections could be observed. By using different case definitions (i.e. for ARI, SARI, ILI, RSV) both the annual influenza seasons in the years 2017-2020 and the dynamics of the COVID-19 pandemic in 2020/21 were apparent. The absence of the 2020/21 influenza season was visible, parallel to the resurge of COVID-19 cases. SARI among ARI cases peaked in April-May 2020 (17%) and November 2020-January 2021 (14%).ConclusionSyndromic surveillance using routine emergency department data can potentially be used to monitor the trends, timing, duration, magnitude and severity of illness caused by respiratory viruses, including both influenza viruses and SARS-CoV-2.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Influenza, Human , Respiratory Syncytial Virus Infections , Respiratory Tract Infections , Virus Diseases , COVID-19/epidemiology , Emergency Service, Hospital , Germany/epidemiology , Humans , Influenza, Human/epidemiology , Pandemics , Respiratory Syncytial Virus Infections/epidemiology , Respiratory Tract Infections/epidemiology , SARS-CoV-2 , Seasons , Sentinel Surveillance , Virus Diseases/epidemiology
9.
J Korean Med Sci ; 37(34): e258, 2022 Aug 29.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-2009843

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: This study aimed to investigate whether respiratory syncytial virus (RSV) and influenza virus (IFV) infections would occur in 2021-2022 as domestic nonpharmaceutical interventions (NPIs) are easing. METHODS: Data were collected from the Korean Influenza and Respiratory Virus Monitoring System database. The weekly positivity rates of respiratory viruses and number of hospitalizations for acute respiratory infections were evaluated (January 2016-2022). The period from February 2020 to January 2022 was considered the NPI period. The autoregressive integrated moving average model and Poisson analysis were used for data analysis. Data from 14 countries/regions that reported positivity rates of RSV and IFV were also investigated. RESULTS: Compared with the pre-NPI period, the positivity and hospitalization rates for IFV infection during 2021-2022 significantly decreased to 0.0% and 1.0%, respectively, at 0.0% and 1.2% of the predicted values, respectively. The RSV infection positivity rate in 2021-2022 was 1.8-fold higher than that in the pre-NPI period at 1.5-fold the predicted value. The hospitalization rate for RSV was 20.0% of that in the pre-NPI period at 17.6% of the predicted value. The re-emergence of RSV and IFV infections during 2020-2021 was observed in 13 and 4 countries, respectively. CONCLUSION: During 2021-2022, endemic transmission of the RSV, but not IFV, was observed in Korea.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Respiratory Syncytial Virus Infections , Respiratory Syncytial Virus, Human , COVID-19/epidemiology , Hospitalization , Humans , Pandemics , Respiratory Syncytial Virus Infections/diagnosis , Respiratory Syncytial Virus Infections/epidemiology , Seasons , Sentinel Surveillance
10.
Lancet Infect Dis ; 22(8): 1231-1241, 2022 08.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1972394

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: Although data from large implementation trials suggest that sexually transmissible infection (STI) risk increases among gay and bisexual men who initiate HIV pre-exposure prophylaxis (PrEP), there are few data on the trends in population-level STI incidence in the years following widespread PrEP implementation. We aimed to describe trends in bacterial STI incidence among gay and bisexual men using PrEP across Australia in the context of broad PrEP availability through Australia's subsidised medicines scheme. METHODS: We analysed linked clinical data from HIV-negative gay and bisexual men aged 16 years or older who had been prescribed PrEP across a sentinel surveillance clinical network, including 37 clinics in Australia, between Jan 1, 2016, and Dec 31, 2019. Patients were included if they had STI testing at least twice during the observation period. Repeat testing methods were used to calculate chlamydia, gonorrhoea, syphilis, and any STI incidence rates during individuals' periods of PrEP use. Incidence rate ratios (IRRs) for estimated change in incidence per half calendar year (6-month) period were calculated using negative binomial regression. Secondary analyses compared STI incidence rates across individuals initiating PrEP in each year from 2016 to 2019, as well as by length of time using PrEP (per each additional 6 months of PrEP use). FINDINGS: 22 730 men were included in the analyses. During the observation period, 11 351 chlamydia infections were diagnosed in 6630 (30·1%) of 22 034 men over 25 991·2 person-years of PrEP use (incidence rate 43·7 cases [95% CI 42·9-44·5] per 100 person-years). Chlamydia incidence decreased from 48·7 cases per 100 person-years in July-December, 2016, to 42·0 cases per 100 person-years in July-December, 2019 (IRR for estimated change per 6-month period 0·98 [95% CI 0·97-0·99]; p=0·0031). 9391 gonorrhoea infections were diagnosed in 5885 (26·9%) of 21 845 men over 24 858·7 person-years of PrEP use (incidence rate 37·8 cases [95% CI 37·0-38·5] per 100 person-years). Gonorrhoea incidence decreased from 45·5 cases per 100 person-years in July-December, 2016, to 37·2 cases per 100 person-years in July-December, 2019 (IRR 0·97 [95% CI 0·96-0·98]; p<0·0001). Declines in chlamydia and gonorrhoea incidence were most prominent in the first 18 months of observation and incidence was stable thereafter. 2062 syphilis infections were diagnosed in 1488 (7·7%) of 19 262 men over 21 978·9 person-years of PrEP use (incidence rate 9·4 cases [95% CI 9·0-9·8] per 100 person-years). Syphilis incidence increased from 6·2 cases per 100 person-years in July-December, 2016, to 9·8 cases per 100 person-years in July-December, 2019 (IRR 1·08 [95% CI 1·05-1·10]; p<0·0001). INTERPRETATION: Chlamydia and gonorrhoea incidence among gay and bisexual men using PrEP were highest in the early months of PrEP implementation in Australia and stabilised at slightly lower rates thereafter following wider PrEP uptake. Lower prospective STI risk among people initiating PrEP in later years contributed to the observed trends in STI incidence. Widespread PrEP implementation can contribute to increased STI screening and detection. FUNDING: Australian Department of Health, National Health and Medical Research Council.


Subject(s)
Bacterial Infections , Chlamydia , Gonorrhea , HIV Infections , Pre-Exposure Prophylaxis , Sexual and Gender Minorities , Sexually Transmitted Diseases , Syphilis , Australia/epidemiology , Gonorrhea/epidemiology , HIV Infections/epidemiology , HIV Infections/prevention & control , Homosexuality, Male , Humans , Incidence , Male , Pre-Exposure Prophylaxis/methods , Prospective Studies , Sentinel Surveillance , Sexually Transmitted Diseases/epidemiology , Syphilis/epidemiology
11.
Int J Environ Res Public Health ; 19(15)2022 07 22.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1957297

ABSTRACT

Maps have become the de facto primary mode of visualizing the COVID-19 pandemic, from identifying local disease and vaccination patterns to understanding global trends. In addition to their widespread utilization for public communication, there have been a variety of advances in spatial methods created for localized operational needs. While broader dissemination of this more granular work is not commonplace due to the protections under Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA), its role has been foundational to pandemic response for health systems, hospitals, and government agencies. In contrast to the retrospective views provided by the aggregated geographies found in the public domain, or those often utilized for academic research, operational response requires near real-time mapping based on continuously flowing address level data. This paper describes the opportunities and challenges presented in emergent disease mapping using dynamic patient data in the response to COVID-19 for northeast Ohio for the period 2020 to 2022. More specifically it shows how a new clustering tool developed by geographers in the initial phases of the pandemic to handle operational mapping continues to evolve with shifting pandemic needs, including new variant surges, vaccine targeting, and most recently, testing data shortfalls. This paper also demonstrates how the geographic approach applied provides the framework needed for future pandemic preparedness.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Pandemics , COVID-19/epidemiology , Humans , Pandemics/prevention & control , Retrospective Studies , Sentinel Surveillance , Vaccination
12.
Influenza Other Respir Viruses ; 16(6): 1014-1025, 2022 11.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1956749

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: With the emergence of SARS-CoV-2, influenza surveillance systems in Spain were transformed into a new syndromic sentinel surveillance system. The Acute Respiratory Infection Surveillance System (SiVIRA in Spanish) is based on a sentinel network for acute respiratory infection (ARI) surveillance in primary care and a network of sentinel hospitals for severe ARI (SARI) surveillance in hospitals. METHODS: Using a test-negative design and data from SARI admissions notified to SiVIRA between January 1 and October 3, 2021, we estimated COVID-19 vaccine effectiveness (VE) against hospitalization, by age group, vaccine type, time since vaccination, and SARS-CoV-2 variant. RESULTS: VE was 89% (95% CI: 83-93) against COVID-19 hospitalization overall in persons aged 20 years and older. VE was higher for mRNA vaccines, and lower for those aged 80 years and older, with a decrease in protection beyond 3 months of completing vaccination, and a further decrease after 5 months. We found no differences between periods with circulation of Alpha or Delta SARS-CoV-2 variants, although variant-specific VE was slightly higher against Alpha. CONCLUSIONS: The SiVIRA sentinel hospital surveillance network in Spain was able to describe clinical and epidemiological characteristics of SARI hospitalizations and provide estimates of COVID-19 VE in the population under surveillance. Our estimates add to evidence of high effectiveness of mRNA vaccines against severe COVID-19 and waning of protection with time since vaccination in those aged 80 or older. No substantial differences were observed between SARS-CoV-2 variants (Alpha vs. Delta).


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Respiratory Tract Infections , COVID-19/epidemiology , COVID-19/prevention & control , COVID-19 Vaccines , Hospitalization , Humans , Respiratory Tract Infections/epidemiology , Respiratory Tract Infections/prevention & control , SARS-CoV-2/genetics , Sentinel Surveillance , Spain/epidemiology , Vaccine Efficacy
13.
BMC Prim Care ; 23(1): 173, 2022 Jul 14.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1933088

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: Sentinel networks composed of general practitioners (GPs) represent a powerful tool for epidemiologic surveillance and ad-hoc studies. Globalization necesitates greater international cooperation among sentinel networks. The aim of this study was to inventory GP sentinel networks involved in epidemiological surveillance on a global scale. METHODS: GP sentinel surveillance networks were inventoried globally between July 2016 and December 2019. Each identified network was required to fill out an electronic descriptive survey for inclusion. RESULTS: A total of 148 networks were identified as potential surveillance networks in general practice and were contacted. Among them, 48 were included in the study. Geographically, 33 networks (68.8%) were located in Europe and 38 (79.2%) had national coverage. The number of GPs registered in these networks represented between 0.1 and 100% of the total number of GPs in the network's country or region, with a median of 2.5%. All networks were involved in continuous epidemiologic surveillance and 47 (97.9%) monitored influenza-like illness. Data collection methods were paper-based forms (n = 26, 55.3%), electronic forms on a dedicated website (n = 18, 38.3%), electronic forms on a dedicated software program (n = 14, 29.8%), and direct extraction from electronic medical records (n = 14, 29.8%). Along with this study, a website has been created to share all data collected. CONCLUSIONS: This study represents the first global geographic mapping of GP sentinel surveillance networks. By sharing this information, collaboration between networks will be easier, which can strengthen the quality of international epidemiologic surveillance. In the face of crises like that of COVID-19, this is more imperative than ever before.


Subject(s)
General Practice , General Practitioners , Sentinel Surveillance , Family Practice/methods , General Practice/methods , Humans
14.
Euro Surveill ; 27(26)2022 06.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1923991

ABSTRACT

As the COVID-19 pandemic began in early 2020, primary care influenza sentinel surveillance networks within the Influenza - Monitoring Vaccine Effectiveness in Europe (I-MOVE) consortium rapidly adapted to COVID-19 surveillance. This study maps system adaptations and lessons learned about aligning influenza and COVID-19 surveillance following ECDC / WHO/Europe recommendations and preparing for other diseases possibly emerging in the future. Using a qualitative approach, we describe the adaptations of seven sentinel sites in five European Union countries and the United Kingdom during the first pandemic phase (March-September 2020). Adaptations to sentinel systems were substantial (2/7 sites), moderate (2/7) or minor (3/7 sites). Most adaptations encompassed patient referral and sample collection pathways, laboratory testing and data collection. Strengths included established networks of primary care providers, highly qualified testing laboratories and stakeholder commitments. One challenge was the decreasing number of samples due to altered patient pathways. Lessons learned included flexibility establishing new routines and new laboratory testing. To enable simultaneous sentinel surveillance of influenza and COVID-19, experiences of the sentinel sites and testing infrastructure should be considered. The contradicting aims of rapid case finding and contact tracing, which are needed for control during a pandemic and regular surveillance, should be carefully balanced.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Influenza Vaccines , Influenza, Human , COVID-19/epidemiology , Europe/epidemiology , Humans , Influenza, Human/epidemiology , Influenza, Human/prevention & control , Pandemics/prevention & control , Primary Health Care , Sentinel Surveillance
15.
BMC Infect Dis ; 22(1): 578, 2022 Jun 27.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1910277

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: The risk of transmission of viral respiratory tract infections (RTIs) is high in mass gatherings including Hajj. This cohort study estimated the incidence of symptomatic RTIs and hand hygiene compliance with its impact among Hajj pilgrims during the COVID-19 pandemic. METHODS: During the week of Hajj rituals in 2021, domestic pilgrims were recruited by phone and asked to complete a baseline questionnaire. Pilgrims were followed up after seven days using a questionnaire about the development of symptoms, and practices of hand hygiene. Syndromic definitions were used to clinically diagnose 'possible' influenza-like illnesses (ILI) and COVID-19 infection. RESULTS: A total of 510 pilgrims aged between 18 and 69 (median of 50) years completed the questionnaire, 280 (54.9%) of whom were female, and all of them (except for one) were vaccinated against COVID-19 with at least one dose. The mean (± SD) of pilgrims' hand hygiene knowledge score (on a scale of 0 to 6) was 4.15 (± 1.22), and a higher level of knowledge was correlated with a higher frequency of handwashing using soap and water. Among those 445 pilgrims who completed the follow-up form, 21 (4.7%) developed one or more respiratory symptoms, of which sore throat and cough were the commonest (respectively 76.2% and 42.8%); 'possible ILI' and 'possible COVID-19' were present in 1.1% and 0.9% of pilgrims. Obesity was found to be a significant factor associated with the risk of developing RTIs (odds ratio = 4.45, 95% confidence interval 1.15-17.13). CONCLUSIONS: Hajj pilgrims are still at risk of respiratory infections. Further larger and controlled investigations are needed to assess the efficacy of hand hygiene during Hajj.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Hand Hygiene , Respiratory Tract Infections , Virus Diseases , Adolescent , Adult , Aged , COVID-19/epidemiology , COVID-19/prevention & control , Cohort Studies , Female , Humans , Islam , Male , Middle Aged , Pandemics/prevention & control , Respiratory Tract Infections/epidemiology , Respiratory Tract Infections/prevention & control , Saudi Arabia/epidemiology , Sentinel Surveillance , Travel , Virus Diseases/epidemiology , Young Adult
16.
BMJ Glob Health ; 7(Suppl 4)2022 06.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1909729

ABSTRACT

INTRODUCTION: A global reduction in influenza virus activity during the COVID-19 pandemic has been observed, including in the Eastern Mediterranean Region (EMR). However, these changes have not been thoroughly evaluated scientifically in the EMR. OBJECTIVE: We aim to present data on seasonal influenza activity during the pre-pandemic period (2016-2019) and compare it to the pandemic period (2020-2021) in EM countries. METHODS: Epidemiological and virological influenza surveillance data were retrieved from both WHO FluNet and EMFLU networks. Four pre-pandemic analytical periods were used in the comparative analysis. We compiled and calculated weekly aggregated epidemiological data on the number of enrolled patients, number of tested specimens and number of positive influenza specimens. RESULTS: 19 out of the 22 countries of the EMR have functioning sentinel influenza surveillance systems, and these countries report the influenza data to WHO through FluNet and EMFLU. The number of enrolled patients and tested specimens increased gradually from 51 384 and 50 672, respectively, in 2016-2017 analytical period to 194 049 enrolled patients and 124 697 tested specimens in 2019-2020. A decrease has been witnessed in both enrolled patients and tested specimens in 2020-2021 'pandemic period' (166 576 and 44 764, respectively). By comparing influenza activity of analytical period 2020-2021 with that of 2016-2019 analytical periods, we found that there has been a decrease in influenza positivity rate in the EMR by 89%. CONCLUSION: The implementation of non-pharmaceutical interventions to control the COVID-19 pandemic may have also impacted the spread of influenza viruses. The low circulation of influenza viruses during 2020-2021 and the associated potential immunity gap may result in increased transmission and severity of post-pandemic influenza seasons. This necessitates high vigilance to continuous data and virus sharing to monitor circulating viruses in a timely fashion to reduce the intensity and severity of future influenza epidemics.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Influenza, Human , Humans , Influenza, Human/epidemiology , Mediterranean Region/epidemiology , Pandemics , Sentinel Surveillance
17.
Influenza Other Respir Viruses ; 16(4): 740-748, 2022 07.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1891583

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: We describe the epidemiology and clinical features of Kenyan patients hospitalized with laboratory-confirmed influenza compared with those testing negative and discuss the potential contribution of severe acute respiratory illness (SARI) surveillance in monitoring a broader range of respiratory pathogens. METHODS: We described demographic and clinical characteristics of SARI cases among children (<18 years) and adults, separately. We compared disease severity (clinical features and treatment) of hospitalized influenza positive versus negative cases and explored independent predictors of death among SARI cases using a multivariable logistic regression model. RESULTS: From January 2014 to December 2018, 11,166 persons were hospitalized with SARI and overall positivity for influenza was ~10%. There were 10,742 (96%) children (<18 years)-median age of 1 year, interquartile range (IQR = 6 months, 2 years). Only 424 (4%) of the SARI cases were adults (≥18 years), with median age of 38 years (IQR 28 years, 52 years). There was no difference in disease severity comparing influenza positive and negative cases among children. Children hospitalized with SARI who had an underlying illness had greater odds of in-hospital death compared with those without (adjusted odds ratio 2.11 95% CI 1.09-4.07). No further analysis was done among adults due to the small sample size. CONCLUSION: Kenya's sentinel surveillance for SARI mainly captures data on younger children. Hospital-based platforms designed to monitor influenza viruses and associated disease burden may be adapted and expanded to other respiratory viruses to inform public health interventions. Efforts should be made to capture adults as part of routine respiratory surveillance.


Subject(s)
Influenza, Human , Orthomyxoviridae , Respiratory Tract Infections , Adult , Child , Hospital Mortality , Hospitalization , Humans , Infant , Influenza, Human/complications , Influenza, Human/diagnosis , Influenza, Human/epidemiology , Kenya/epidemiology , Sentinel Surveillance
18.
Int J Infect Dis ; 122: 337-344, 2022 Sep.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1882081

ABSTRACT

OBJECTIVE: Northern Syria faces a large burden of influenza-like illness (ILI) and severe acute respiratory illness (SARI). This study aimed to investigate the trends of Early Warning and Response Network (EWARN) reported ILI and SARI in northern Syria between 2016 and 2021 and the potential impact of SARS-CoV-2. METHODS: We extracted weekly EWARN data on ILI/ SARI and aggregated cases and consultations into 4-week intervals to calculate case positivity. We conducted a seasonal-trend decomposition to assess case trends in the presence of seasonal fluctuations. RESULTS: It was observed that 4-week aggregates of ILI cases (n = 5,942,012), SARI cases (n = 114,939), ILI case positivity, and SARI case positivity exhibited seasonal fluctuations with peaks in the winter months. ILI and SARI cases in individuals aged ≥5 years surpassed those in individuals aged <5 years in late 2019. ILI cases clustered primarily in Aleppo and Idlib, whereas SARI cases clustered in Aleppo, Idlib, Deir Ezzor, and Hassakeh. SARI cases increased sharply in 2021, corresponding with a severe SARS-CoV-2 wave, compared with the steady increase in ILI cases over time. CONCLUSION: Respiratory infections cause widespread morbidity and mortality throughout northern Syria, particularly with the emergence of SARS-CoV-2. Strengthened surveillance and access to testing and treatment are critical to manage outbreaks among conflict-affected populations.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Influenza, Human , Respiratory Tract Infections , Virus Diseases , COVID-19/epidemiology , Humans , Influenza, Human/diagnosis , Influenza, Human/epidemiology , Respiratory Tract Infections/diagnosis , Respiratory Tract Infections/epidemiology , SARS-CoV-2 , Seasons , Sentinel Surveillance , Syria/epidemiology
19.
Nat Commun ; 13(1): 2877, 2022 05 26.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1864740

ABSTRACT

Diagnostics for COVID-19 detection are limited in many settings. Syndromic surveillance is often the only means to identify cases but lacks specificity. Rapid antigen testing is inexpensive and easy-to-deploy but can lack sensitivity. We examine how combining these approaches can improve surveillance for guiding interventions in low-income communities in Dhaka, Bangladesh. Rapid-antigen-testing with PCR validation was performed on 1172 symptomatically-identified individuals in their homes. Statistical models were fitted to predict PCR-status using rapid-antigen-test results, syndromic data, and their combination. Under contrasting epidemiological scenarios, the models' predictive and classification performance was evaluated. Models combining rapid-antigen-testing and syndromic data yielded equal-to-better performance to rapid-antigen-test-only models across all scenarios with their best performance in the epidemic growth scenario. These results show that drawing on complementary strengths across rapid diagnostics, improves COVID-19 detection, and reduces false-positive and -negative diagnoses to match local requirements; improvements achievable without additional expense, or changes for patients or practitioners.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Epidemics , Bangladesh/epidemiology , COVID-19/diagnosis , COVID-19/epidemiology , Humans , Models, Statistical , Sentinel Surveillance
20.
Sci Rep ; 11(1): 24449, 2021 12 27.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1852475

ABSTRACT

Syndromic surveillance systems monitor disease indicators to detect emergence of diseases and track their progression. Here, we report on a rapidly deployed active syndromic surveillance system for tracking COVID-19 in Israel. The system was a novel combination of active and passive components: Ads were shown to people searching for COVID-19 symptoms on the Google search engine. Those who clicked on the ads were referred to a chat bot which helped them decide whether they needed urgent medical care. Through its conversion optimization mechanism, the ad system was guided to focus on those people who required such care. Over 6 months, the ads were shown approximately 214,000 times and clicked on 12,000 times, and 722 people were informed they needed urgent care. Click rates on ads and the fraction of people deemed to require urgent care were correlated with the hospitalization rate ([Formula: see text] and [Formula: see text], respectively) with a lead time of 9 days. Males and younger people were more likely to use the system, and younger people were more likely to be determined to require urgent care (slope: [Formula: see text], [Formula: see text]). Thus, the system can assist in predicting case numbers and hospital load at a significant lead time and, simultaneously, help people determine if they need medical care.


Subject(s)
COVID-19/epidemiology , Sentinel Surveillance , Ambulatory Care/statistics & numerical data , COVID-19/pathology , COVID-19/virology , Hospitalization/statistics & numerical data , Humans , Israel/epidemiology , Linear Models , SARS-CoV-2/isolation & purification , Search Engine
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