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1.
J Travel Med ; 28(6)2021 08 27.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-2189286

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: In 2016, the travel subcommittee of the UK Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation (JCVI) recommended that 13-valent PCV (PCV13) could be offered to travellers aged over 65 years, visiting countries without infant PCV immunization programmes. This study aimed to identify, collate and review the available evidence to identify specific countries where UK travellers might be at an increased risk of developing pneumococcal infection. The data were then used to develop an algorithm, which could be used to facilitate implementation of the JCVI recommendation. METHODS: We conducted a systematic search of the published data available for pneumococcal disease, PCV vaccine implementation, coverage data and programme duration by country. The primary data sources used were World Health Organization databases and the International Vaccine Access Centre Vaccine Information and Epidemiology Window-hub database. Based on the algorithm, the countries were classified into 'high overall risk', 'intermediate overall risk' and 'low overall risk' from an adult traveller perspective. This could determine whether PCV13 should be recommended for UK adult travellers. RESULTS: A data search for a total of 228 countries was performed, with risk scores calculated for 188 countries. Overall, 45 countries were classified as 'high overall risk', 86 countries as 'intermediate overall risk', 57 countries as 'low overall risk' and 40 countries as 'unknown'. CONCLUSION: To our knowledge this is the first attempt to categorize the risk to UK adult travellers of contracting pneumococcal infection in each country, globally. These findings could be used by national travel advisory bodies and providers of travel vaccines to identify travellers at increased risk of pneumococcal infection, who could be offered PCV immunization.


Subject(s)
Pneumococcal Infections , Pneumococcal Vaccines , Adult , Aged , Algorithms , Humans , Infant , Pneumococcal Infections/epidemiology , Pneumococcal Infections/prevention & control , United Kingdom/epidemiology , Vaccination , Vaccines, Conjugate
2.
Lancet Digit Health ; 3(9): e577-e586, 2021 09.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-2184865

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: Multiple voluntary surveillance platforms were developed across the world in response to the COVID-19 pandemic, providing a real-time understanding of population-based COVID-19 epidemiology. During this time, testing criteria broadened and health-care policies matured. We aimed to test whether there were consistent associations of symptoms with SARS-CoV-2 test status across three surveillance platforms in three countries (two platforms per country), during periods of testing and policy changes. METHODS: For this observational study, we used data of observations from three volunteer COVID-19 digital surveillance platforms (Carnegie Mellon University and University of Maryland Facebook COVID-19 Symptom Survey, ZOE COVID Symptom Study app, and the Corona Israel study) targeting communities in three countries (Israel, the UK, and the USA; two platforms per country). The study population included adult respondents (age 18-100 years at baseline) who were not health-care workers. We did logistic regression of self-reported symptoms on self-reported SARS-CoV-2 test status (positive or negative), adjusted for age and sex, in each of the study cohorts. We compared odds ratios (ORs) across platforms and countries, and we did meta-analyses assuming a random effects model. We also evaluated testing policy changes, COVID-19 incidence, and time scales of duration of symptoms and symptom-to-test time. FINDINGS: Between April 1 and July 31, 2020, 514 459 tests from over 10 million respondents were recorded in the six surveillance platform datasets. Anosmia-ageusia was the strongest, most consistent symptom associated with a positive COVID-19 test (robust aggregated rank one, meta-analysed random effects OR 16·96, 95% CI 13·13-21·92). Fever (rank two, 6·45, 4·25-9·81), shortness of breath (rank three, 4·69, 3·14-7·01), and cough (rank four, 4·29, 3·13-5·88) were also highly associated with test positivity. The association of symptoms with test status varied by duration of illness, timing of the test, and broader test criteria, as well as over time, by country, and by platform. INTERPRETATION: The strong association of anosmia-ageusia with self-reported positive SARS-CoV-2 test was consistently observed, supporting its validity as a reliable COVID-19 signal, regardless of the participatory surveillance platform, country, phase of illness, or testing policy. These findings show that associations between COVID-19 symptoms and test positivity ranked similarly in a wide range of scenarios. Anosmia, fever, and respiratory symptoms consistently had the strongest effect estimates and were the most appropriate empirical signals for symptom-based public health surveillance in areas with insufficient testing or benchmarking capacity. Collaborative syndromic surveillance could enhance real-time epidemiological investigations and public health utility globally. FUNDING: National Institutes of Health, National Institute for Health Research, Alzheimer's Society, Wellcome Trust, and Massachusetts Consortium on Pathogen Readiness.


Subject(s)
Ageusia , Anosmia , COVID-19 , Cough , Dyspnea , Fever , Population Surveillance/methods , Adolescent , Adult , Aged , Aged, 80 and over , Ageusia/epidemiology , Ageusia/etiology , Anosmia/epidemiology , Anosmia/etiology , COVID-19/complications , COVID-19/epidemiology , COVID-19/virology , Cough/epidemiology , Cough/etiology , Digital Technology , Dyspnea/epidemiology , Dyspnea/etiology , Female , Fever/epidemiology , Fever/etiology , Humans , Israel/epidemiology , Male , Middle Aged , Odds Ratio , Pandemics , SARS-CoV-2 , United Kingdom/epidemiology , United States/epidemiology , Young Adult
6.
Elife ; 92020 08 21.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-2155740

ABSTRACT

We conducted voluntary Covid-19 testing programmes for symptomatic and asymptomatic staff at a UK teaching hospital using naso-/oro-pharyngeal PCR testing and immunoassays for IgG antibodies. 1128/10,034 (11.2%) staff had evidence of Covid-19 at some time. Using questionnaire data provided on potential risk-factors, staff with a confirmed household contact were at greatest risk (adjusted odds ratio [aOR] 4.82 [95%CI 3.45-6.72]). Higher rates of Covid-19 were seen in staff working in Covid-19-facing areas (22.6% vs. 8.6% elsewhere) (aOR 2.47 [1.99-3.08]). Controlling for Covid-19-facing status, risks were heterogenous across the hospital, with higher rates in acute medicine (1.52 [1.07-2.16]) and sporadic outbreaks in areas with few or no Covid-19 patients. Covid-19 intensive care unit staff were relatively protected (0.44 [0.28-0.69]), likely by a bundle of PPE-related measures. Positive results were more likely in Black (1.66 [1.25-2.21]) and Asian (1.51 [1.28-1.77]) staff, independent of role or working location, and in porters and cleaners (2.06 [1.34-3.15]).


Subject(s)
Coronavirus Infections/epidemiology , Health Personnel/statistics & numerical data , Pneumonia, Viral/epidemiology , Adolescent , Adult , Age Factors , Aged , Asymptomatic Infections/epidemiology , Betacoronavirus/isolation & purification , COVID-19 , Coronavirus Infections/transmission , Coronavirus Infections/virology , Female , Hospitals, Teaching/statistics & numerical data , Humans , Incidence , Infectious Disease Transmission, Patient-to-Professional/statistics & numerical data , Intensive Care Units/statistics & numerical data , Male , Middle Aged , Pandemics , Pneumonia, Viral/transmission , Pneumonia, Viral/virology , Risk , SARS-CoV-2 , Surveys and Questionnaires , United Kingdom/epidemiology , Young Adult
7.
J Med Internet Res ; 24(11): e42320, 2022 Nov 10.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-2141450

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: The first UK COVID-19 lockdown had a polarizing impact on drinking behavior and may have impacted engagement with digital interventions to reduce alcohol consumption. OBJECTIVE: We examined the effect of lockdown on engagement, alcohol reduction, and the sociodemographic characteristics of users of the popular and widely available alcohol reduction app Drink Less. METHODS: This was a natural experiment. The study period spanned 468 days between March 24, 2019, and July 3, 2020, with the introduction of UK lockdown measures beginning on March 24, 2020. Users were 18 years or older, based in the United Kingdom, and interested in drinking less. Interrupted time series analyses using generalized additive mixed models (GAMMs) were conducted for each outcome variable (ie, sociodemographic characteristics, app downloads and engagement levels, alcohol consumption, and extent of alcohol reduction) for existing (downloaded the app prelockdown) and new (downloaded the app during the lockdown) users of the app. RESULTS: Among existing users of the Drink Less app, there were increases in the time spent on the app per day (B=0.01, P=.01), mean units of alcohol recorded per day (B>0.00 P=.02), and mean heavy drinking (>6 units) days (B>0.00, P=.02) during the lockdown. Previous declines in new app downloads plateaued during the lockdown (incidence rate ratio [IRR]=1.00, P=.18). Among new app users, there was an increase in the proportion of female users (B>0.00, P=.04) and those at risk of alcohol dependence (B>0.00, P=.01) and a decrease in the proportion of nonmanual workers (B>-0.00, P=.04). Among new app users, there were step increases in the mean number of alcohol units per day (B=20.12, P=.03), heavy-drinking days (B=1.38, P=.01), and the number of days the app was used (B=2.05, P=.02), alongside a step decrease in the percentage of available screens viewed (B=-0.03, P=.04), indicating users were using less of the intervention components within the app. CONCLUSIONS: Following the first UK lockdown, there was evidence of increases in engagement and alcohol consumption among new and existing users of the Drink Less app.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Mobile Applications , Humans , Female , Interrupted Time Series Analysis , COVID-19/epidemiology , COVID-19/prevention & control , Communicable Disease Control , United Kingdom/epidemiology , Alcohol Drinking/epidemiology , Alcohol Drinking/prevention & control
8.
PLoS One ; 17(11): e0277317, 2022.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-2140640

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: Stigma can be experienced as perceived or actual disqualification from social and institutional acceptance on the basis of one or more physical, behavioural or other attributes deemed to be undesirable. Long Covid is a predominantly multisystem condition that occurs in people with a history of SARSCoV2 infection, often resulting in functional disability. This study aimed to develop and validate a Long Covid Stigma Scale (LCSS); and to quantify the burden of Long Covid stigma. METHODS: Data from the follow-up of a co-produced community-based Long Covid online survey using convenience non-probability sampling was used. Thirteen questions on stigma were designed to develop the LCSS capturing three domains-enacted (overt experiences of discrimination), internalised (internalising negative associations with Long Covid and accepting them as self-applicable) and anticipated (expectation of bias/poor treatment by others) stigma. Confirmatory factor analysis tested whether LCSS consisted of the three hypothesised domains. Model fit was assessed and prevalence was calculated. RESULTS: 966 UK-based participants responded (888 for stigma questions), with mean age 48 years (SD: 10.7) and 85% female. Factor loadings for enacted stigma were 0.70-0.86, internalised 0.75-0.84, anticipated 0.58-0.87, and model fit was good. The prevalence of experiencing stigma at least 'sometimes' and 'often/always' was 95% and 76% respectively. Anticipated and internalised stigma were more frequently experienced than enacted stigma. Those who reported having a clinical diagnosis of Long Covid had higher stigma prevalence than those without. CONCLUSION: This study establishes a scale to measure Long Covid stigma and highlights common experiences of stigma in people living with Long Covid.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Humans , Female , Middle Aged , Male , COVID-19/epidemiology , RNA, Viral , SARS-CoV-2 , United Kingdom/epidemiology
9.
BMJ Open ; 12(11): e062561, 2022 11 21.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-2137738

ABSTRACT

OBJECTIVE: This study aimed to assess US/UK adults' attitudes towards COVID-19 ventilator and vaccine allocation. DESIGN: Online survey including US and UK adults, sampled to be representative for sex, age, race, household income and employment. A total of 2580 participated (women=1289, age range=18 to 85 years, Black American=114, BAME=138). INTERVENTIONS: Participants were asked to allocate ventilators or vaccines in scenarios involving individuals or groups with different medical risk and additional risk factors. RESULTS: Participant race did not impact vaccine or ventilator allocation decisions in the USA, but did impact ventilator allocation attitudes in the UK (F(4,602)=6.95, p<0.001). When a racial minority or white patient had identical chances of survival, 14.8% allocated a ventilator to the minority patient (UK BAME participants: 24.4%) and 68.9% chose to toss a coin. When the racial minority patient had a 10% lower chance of survival, 12.4% participants allocated them the ventilator (UK BAME participants: 22.1%). For patients with identical risk of severe COVID-19, 43.6% allocated a vaccine to a minority patient, 7.2% chose a white patient and 49.2% chose a coin toss. When the racial minority patient had a 10% lower risk of severe COVID-19, 23.7% participants allocated the vaccine to the minority patient. Similar results were seen for obesity or male sex as additional risk factors. In both countries, responses on the Modern Racism Scale were strongly associated with attitudes toward race-based ventilator and vaccine allocations (p<0.0001). CONCLUSIONS: Although living in countries with high racial inequality during a pandemic, most US and UK adults in our survey allocated ventilators and vaccines preferentially to those with the highest chance of survival or highest chance of severe illness. Race of recipient led to vaccine prioritisation in cases where risk of illness was similar.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Vaccines , Adult , Humans , Male , Female , Adolescent , Young Adult , Middle Aged , Aged , Aged, 80 and over , COVID-19/epidemiology , COVID-19/prevention & control , African Americans , Ventilators, Mechanical , United Kingdom/epidemiology
10.
BMJ Open ; 12(11): e060994, 2022 11 22.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-2137707

ABSTRACT

OBJECTIVE: To estimate continuous positive airway pressure (CPAP) length of treatment effect on survival of hospitalised COVID-19 patients in a medium-sized UK Hospital, and how this effect changes according to the patient's comorbidity and COVID-19 route of acquisition (community or nosocomial) during the two waves in 2020. SETTING: The acute inpatient unit in Wrightington, Wigan and Leigh Teaching Hospitals National Health Service (NHS) Foundation Trust (WWL), a medium-sized NHS Trust in north-west of England. DESIGN: Retrospective cohort of all confirmed COVID-19 patients admitted in WWL during 2020. PARTICIPANTS: 1830 patients (568 first wave, 1262 s wave) with antigen confirmed COVID-19 disease and severe acute respiratory syndrome admitted between 17 March 2020 (first confirmed COVID-19 case) and 31 December 2020. OUTCOME MEASURE: COVID-19 survival rate in all patients and survival rate in potentially hospital-acquired COVID-19 (PHA) patients were modelled using a predictor set which include comorbidities (eg, obesity, diabetes, chronic ischaemic heart disease (IHD), chronic kidney disease (CKD), chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD)), wave, age, sex and care home residency, and interventions (remdesivir, dexamethasone, CPAP, intensive care unit (ICU), intubation). Secondary outcome measure was CPAP length, which was modelled using the same predictors of the survival rate. RESULTS: Mortality rate in the second wave was significantly lower than in the first wave (43.4% vs 28.1%, p<0.001), although for PHA COVID-19 patients mortality did not reduce, remaining at very high levels independently of wave and CPAP length. For all cohort, statistical modelling identified CPAP length (HR 95% CI 0.86 to 0.96) and women (HR 95% CI 0.71 to 0.81) were associated with improved survival, while being older age (HR 95% CI 1.02 to 1.03) admitted from care homes (HR 95% CI 2.22 to 2.39), IHD (HR 95% CI 1.13 to 1.24), CKD (HR 95% CI 1.14 to 1.25), obesity (HR 95% CI 1.18 to 1.28) and COPD-emphysema (HR 95% CI 1.18 to 1.57) were associated with reduced survival. Despite the detrimental effect of comorbidities, patients with CKD (95% CI 16% to 30% improvement in survival), IHD (95% CI 1% to 10% improvement in survival) and asthma (95% CI 8% to 30% improvement in survival) benefitted most from CPAP length, while no significant survival difference was found for obese and patients with diabetes. CONCLUSIONS: The experience of an Acute Trust during the COVID-19 outbreak of 2020 is documented and indicates the importance of care home and hospitals in disease acquisition. Death rates fell between the first and second wave only for community-acquired COVID-19 patients. The fall was associated to CPAP length, especially for some comorbidities. While uncovering some risk and protective factors of mortality in COVID-19 studies, the study also unravels how little is known about PHA COVID-19 and the interaction between CPAP and some comorbidities.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Pulmonary Disease, Chronic Obstructive , Renal Insufficiency, Chronic , Humans , Female , Continuous Positive Airway Pressure , Retrospective Studies , COVID-19/therapy , State Medicine , Comorbidity , Pulmonary Disease, Chronic Obstructive/epidemiology , Pulmonary Disease, Chronic Obstructive/therapy , Hospitals , Obesity , Renal Insufficiency, Chronic/epidemiology , Renal Insufficiency, Chronic/therapy , United Kingdom/epidemiology
11.
BMJ ; 379: o2802, 2022 11 18.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-2137627
12.
Sci Rep ; 12(1): 19785, 2022 Nov 18.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-2133589

ABSTRACT

This article examines the association between partisanship and vaccination in the UK. The lower vaccination rates among Republicans in the US have been linked to ideology and President Trump's anti-vaccination rhetoric. By contrast, both ruling and opposition parties in the UK promoted the national vaccination program. Using two datasets at constituency and individual levels, we analyse whether there are partisan differences in uptake when vaccination garners cross-party support. Our findings contrast in important ways from the US case. First, the correlation between partisanship and vaccination is the opposite to that of the US: both Conservative constituencies and individuals are associated with higher vaccination rates than Labour across almost all age groups. Thus, right-leaning individuals do not necessarily vaccinate less, at least when their political party is in power and supportive of vaccination. Second, partisanship alone accounts for a large share of variation in vaccination rates, but this association appears largely driven by socio-economic and demographic differences: older and economically better off individuals and constituencies tend to be more vaccinated. Once these controls are included, the correlation between Conservative partisanship and vaccination shrinks substantially. Hence, the ideological source of the partisan gap in vaccination rates appears smaller than in the US.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Politics , Humans , COVID-19 Vaccines , COVID-19/epidemiology , COVID-19/prevention & control , Vaccination , United Kingdom/epidemiology
13.
Acute Med ; 21(3): 131-138, 2022.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-2146878

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: Coronavirus disease 2019 has had a dramatic impact on the delivery of acute care globally. Accurate risk stratification is fundamental to the efficient organisation of care. Point-of-care lung ultrasound offers practical advantages over conventional imaging with potential to improve the operational performance of acute care pathways during periods of high demand. The Society for Acute Medicine and the Intensive Care Society undertook a collaborative evaluation of point-of-care imaging in the UK to describe the scope of current practice and explore performance during real-world application. METHODS: A retrospective service evaluation was undertaken of the use of point-of-care lung ultrasound during the initial wave of coronavirus infection in the UK. We report an evaluation of all imaging studies performed outside the intensive care unit. An ordinal scale was used to measure the severity of loss of lung aeration. The relationship between lung ultrasound, polymerase chain reaction for SARS-CoV-2 and 30-day outcomes were described using logistic regression models. RESULTS: Data were collected from 7 hospitals between February and September 2020. In total, 297 ultrasound examinations from 295 patients were recorded. Nasopharyngeal swab samples were positive in 145 patients (49.2% 95%CI 43.5-54.8). A multivariate model combining three ultrasound variables showed reasonable discrimination in relation to the polymerase chain reaction reference (AUC 0.77 95%CI 0.71-0.82). The composite outcome of death or intensive care admission at 30 days occurred in 83 (28.1%, 95%CI 23.3-33.5). Lung ultrasound was able to discriminate the composite outcome with a reasonable level of accuracy (AUC 0.76 95%CI 0.69-0.83) in univariate analysis. The relationship remained statistically significant in a multivariate model controlled for age, sex and the time interval from admission to scan Conclusion: Point-of-care lung ultrasound is able to discriminate patients at increased risk of deterioration allowing more informed clinical decision making.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Humans , COVID-19/diagnostic imaging , Point-of-Care Systems , Retrospective Studies , SARS-CoV-2 , Lung/diagnostic imaging , United Kingdom/epidemiology
14.
Front Public Health ; 10: 1020850, 2022.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-2119552

ABSTRACT

The COVID-19 pandemic led to the introduction of a range of infection prevention and control (IPC) measures that resulted in dramatic changes in people's lives however these IPC measures are not practiced consistently across the population. One predictor of an individual's responses to the pandemic is disgust sensitivity. Understanding how disgust sensitivity varies within the population could help to inform design of public health messages to promote more uniform behavioral change during future pandemics. To understand the effect of the current COVID-19 pandemic on an individual's pathogen disgust sensitivity we have compared pathogen disgust sensitivity during the current COVID-19 pandemic to baseline pathogen disgust sensitivity, determined prior to the COVID-19 pandemic, in the same sample of UK adults. We find that the COVID-19 pandemic did not alter overall pathogen disgust sensitivity suggesting that disgust sensitivity is stable despite IPC measures, public health messaging, media coverage and other factors associated with the COVID-19 pandemic.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Disgust , Adult , Humans , Pandemics , COVID-19/epidemiology , Emotions/physiology , United Kingdom/epidemiology
15.
PLoS One ; 17(11): e0276781, 2022.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-2117546

ABSTRACT

Hypertension appears to be one of the commonest comorbidities in COVID-19 patients, although whether hypertensive individuals have a higher risk of severe COVID-19 compared with non-hypertensives is unclear. It is also unclear whether the absolute level of systolic blood pressure, or the type of anti-hypertensive medication is related to this risk. Analyses were conducted using data from the UK Biobank and linked health records. Logistic regression models were fitted to assess the impact of hypertension, systolic blood pressure (SBP) and medications on the risk of severe COVID-19. 16,134 individuals tested positive for severe acute respiratory syndrome-coronavirus, 22% (n = 3,584) developed severe COVID-19 and 40% (n = 6,517) were hypertensive. Hypertension was associated with 22% higher odds of severe COVID-19 (Odds ratio (OR) 1.22; 95% confidence interval (CI) 1.12, 1.33), compared with normotension after adjusting for confounding variables. In those taking anti-hypertensive medications, elevated SBP showed a dose-response relationship with severe COVID-19 (150-159mmHg versus 120-129mmHg (OR 1.91; 95% CI 1.44, 2.53), >180+mmHg versus 120-129mmHg (OR 1.93; 95% CI 1.06, 3.51)). SBP <120mmHg was associated with greater odds of severe COVID-19 (OR 1.40; 95% CI 1.11, 1.78). Angiotensin-converting enzyme inhibitors or angiotensin-II receptor blockers were not associated with altered risk of severe COVID-19. Hypertension is an important risk factor for COVID-19. A better understanding of the underlying mechanisms is warranted in case of more severe strains or other viruses in the future.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Hypertension , Humans , Antihypertensive Agents/adverse effects , COVID-19/epidemiology , Biological Specimen Banks , Hypertension/complications , Hypertension/drug therapy , Hypertension/epidemiology , Angiotensin Receptor Antagonists/adverse effects , United Kingdom/epidemiology , Retrospective Studies
16.
Influenza Other Respir Viruses ; 16(6): 986-993, 2022 11.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-2117516

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: The Omicron (lineage B.1.1.529) variant of severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) was first reported in Wales, UK, on 3 December 2021. The aim of the study was to describe the first 1000 cases of the Omicron variant by demographic, vaccination status, travel and severe outcome status and compare this to contemporaneous cases of the Delta variant. METHODS: Testing, typing and contact tracing data were collected by Public Health Wales and analysis undertaken by the Communicable Disease Surveillance Centre (CDSC). Risk ratios for demographic factors and symptoms were calculated comparing Omicron cases to Delta cases identified over the same time period. RESULTS: By 14 December 2021, 1000 cases of the Omicron variant had been identified in Wales. Of the first 1000, just 3% of cases had a prior history of travel revealing rapid community transmission. A higher proportion of Omicron cases were identified in individuals aged 20-39, and most cases were double vaccinated (65.9%) or boosted (15.7%). Age-adjusted analysis also revealed that Omicron cases were less likely to be hospitalised (0.4%) or report symptoms (60.8%). Specifically a significant reduction was observed in the proportion of Omicron cases reporting anosmia (8.9%). CONCLUSION: Key findings include a lower risk of anosmia and a reduced risk of hospitalisation in the first 1000 Omicron cases compared with co-circulating Delta cases. We also identify that existing measures for travel restrictions to control importations of new variants identified outside the United Kingdom did not prevent the rapid ingress of Omicron within Wales.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , SARS-CoV-2 , Anosmia , COVID-19/epidemiology , Humans , SARS-CoV-2/genetics , United Kingdom/epidemiology , Wales/epidemiology
17.
Adv Biol Regul ; 86: 100918, 2022 Dec.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-2117332
18.
BMC Public Health ; 22(1): 2095, 2022 11 16.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-2117239

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: Family carers of people with profound and multiple intellectual disabilities (PMID) experienced a reduction in healthcare services due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Many subsequently turned to Non-Governmental Organisations who worked to support families. However, little research has sought to capture the experiences of family carers or identify effective interventions which might support them. To address these concerns we explored the views of Non-Governmental sector workers across the UK and Ireland who supported families people with PMID during the COVID-19 pandemic. We also sought to explore their views on the characteristics of online support programmes for family carers.  METHODS: This study employed a qualitative design using focus groups with participants (n = 24) from five Non-Governmental Organisations across the UK and Ireland. A focus group guide included questions on challenges, supports, coping and resources which helped during lockdown restrictions. Focus groups were held online, were audio recorded and transcribed verbatim. The resulting transcripts were pseudonymised and subjected to thematic analysis. FINDINGS: Four themes were identified (i) 'mental and emotional health', (ii) 'they who shout the loudest' (fighting for services), (iii) 'lack of trust in statutory services' and (iv) 'creating an online support programme'. Mental and emotional health emerged as the most prominent theme and included three subthemes named as 'isolation', 'fear of COVID-19' and 'the exhaustion of caring'. CONCLUSIONS: The COVID-19 pandemic has increased the vulnerability of family carers who were already experiencing difficulties in accessing services and supports for their families. While Non-Governmental Organisations have been a crucial lifeline there is urgent need to design services, including online support programmes, in partnership with family carers which adequately address their needs.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Intellectual Disability , Humans , Caregivers/psychology , COVID-19/epidemiology , Intellectual Disability/epidemiology , Intellectual Disability/psychology , Pandemics , Qualitative Research , Communicable Disease Control , Blindness , United Kingdom/epidemiology
19.
Int J Environ Res Public Health ; 19(22)2022 Nov 17.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-2116020

ABSTRACT

Health Communication is critical in the context of public health and this was highlighted during the COVID-19 pandemic. Ethnic minority groups were significantly impacted during the pandemic; however, communication and information available to them were reported to be insufficient. This study explored the health information communication amongst ethnic communities in relation to their experiences with primary health care services during the COVID-19 pandemic. The research used qualitative methodology using focus groups and semi-structured interviews with community members and leaders from three ethnic minority communities (African-Caribbean, Somali and South Asian) in Leicester, United Kingdom. The interviews were audio recorded, transcribed, and open-coded. Rigour was determined through methodological coherence, appropriate and sufficient sampling, and iterative data collection and analysis. Six focus groups and interviews were conducted with 42 participants. Four overarching themes were identified related to health communication, experiences, services and community recommendations to improve primary care communication. To address primary care inequalities effectively and improve future health communication strategies, experiences from the pandemic should be reflected upon, and positive initiatives infused into the healthcare strategies, especially for ethnic minority communities.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Health Communication , Humans , Minority Groups , Ethnicity , COVID-19/epidemiology , Pandemics , Ethnic and Racial Minorities , United Kingdom/epidemiology , Primary Health Care
20.
Int J Environ Res Public Health ; 19(22)2022 Nov 10.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-2110082

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: Several quantitative studies have found a decline in physical activity in response to COVID-19 pandemic restrictions. The aim of the present study was to use large-scale free text survey data to qualitatively gain a more in-depth understanding of the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on physical activity, then map barriers and facilitators to the Capability, Opportunity, Motivation, and Behaviour (COM-B) Model of Behaviour to aid future intervention development. METHODS: 17,082 participants provided a response to the free text module, and data from those who mentioned a physical activity related word in any context were included. Data were analysed using thematic analysis and key themes identified. RESULTS: 5396 participants provided 7490 quotes related to physical activity. The sample were predominately female (84%), white (British/Irish/Other) (97%) and aged <60 years (57%). Seven key themes were identified: the importance of outdoor space, changes in daily routine, COVID-19 restrictions prevented participation, perceived risks or threats to participation, the importance of physical health, the importance of physical activity for mental health and the use of technology. CONCLUSION: Future physical activity interventions could encourage people to walk outdoors, which is low cost, flexible, and accessible to many. Developing online resources to promote and support physical activity provides a flexible way to deliver quality content to a large audience.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Humans , Female , COVID-19/epidemiology , Pandemics , Exercise/psychology , Surveys and Questionnaires , United Kingdom/epidemiology
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