Your browser doesn't support javascript.
Show: 20 | 50 | 100
Results 1 - 20 de 56
Filter
1.
Microbiol Spectr ; 11(3): e0039123, 2023 Jun 15.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-2315092

ABSTRACT

Wastewater-based epidemiology has emerged as a powerful public health tool to trace new outbreaks, detect trends in infection, and provide an early warning of COVID-19 community spread. Here, we investigated the spread of SARS-CoV-2 infections across Utah by characterizing lineages and mutations detected in wastewater samples. We sequenced over 1,200 samples from 32 sewersheds collected between November 2021 and March 2022. Wastewater sequencing confirmed the presence of Omicron (B.1.1.529) in Utah in samples collected on November 19, 2021, up to 10 days before its corresponding detection via clinical sequencing. Analysis of diversity of SARS-CoV-2 lineages revealed Delta as the most frequently detected lineage during November 2021 (67.71%), but it started declining in December 2021 with the onset of Omicron (B.1.1529) and its sublineage BA.1 (6.79%). The proportion of Omicron increased to ~58% by January 4, 2022, and completely displaced Delta by February 7, 2022. Wastewater genomic surveillance revealed the presence of Omicron sublineage BA.3, a lineage that was not identified from Utah's clinical surveillance. Interestingly, several Omicron-defining mutations began to appear in early November 2021 and increased in prevalence across sewersheds from December to January, aligning with the surge in clinical cases. Our study highlights the importance of tracking epidemiologically relevant mutations in detecting emerging lineages in the early stages of an outbreak. Wastewater genomic epidemiology provides an unbiased representation of community-wide infection dynamics and is an excellent complementary tool to SARS-CoV-2 clinical surveillance, with the potential of guiding public health action and policy decisions. IMPORTANCE SARS-CoV-2, the virus responsible for the COVID-19 pandemic, has had a significant impact on public health. Global emergence of novel SARS-CoV-2 variants, shift to at-home tests, and reduction in clinical tests demonstrate the need for a reliable and effective surveillance strategy to contain COVID-19 spread. Monitoring of SARS-CoV-2 viruses in wastewater is an effective way to trace new outbreaks, establish baseline levels of infection, and complement clinical surveillance efforts. Wastewater genomic surveillance, in particular, can provide valuable insights into the evolution and spread of SARS-CoV-2 variants. We characterized the diversity of SARS-CoV-2 mutations and lineages using whole-genome sequencing to trace the introduction of lineage B.1.1.519 (Omicron) in Utah. Our data showed that Omicron appeared in Utah on November 19, 2021, up to 10 days prior to its detection in patient samples, indicating that wastewater surveillance provides an early warning signal. Our findings are important from a public health perspective as timely identification of communities with high COVID-19 transmission could help guide public health interventions.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , SARS-CoV-2 , Humans , SARS-CoV-2/genetics , Wastewater , Wastewater-Based Epidemiological Monitoring , Utah/epidemiology , Pandemics , COVID-19/diagnosis , COVID-19/epidemiology , Genomics
2.
Int J Environ Res Public Health ; 20(9)2023 05 06.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-2312376

ABSTRACT

With structural changes in work arrangements, employee retention becomes more important for organizational success. Guided by the Ability, Motivation, Opportunity (AMO) framework, this study investigated the factors affecting remote workers' job satisfaction and personal wellbeing in Utah. From a sample of n = 143 remote workers, the study used a correlational design to identify the significant predictors of job satisfaction and personal wellbeing. It mapped the relationships between significant predictors of job satisfaction and personal wellbeing and explored the role of human resources (HR) policies and organizational culture in a remote work environment. Results showed intrinsic motivation, affective commitment, opportunity, and amotivation affected employee job satisfaction, while self-efficacy, amotivation, and job satisfaction affected personal wellbeing. A structural equation model (SEM) showed that remote workers with higher levels of self-efficacy, lower amotivation, and higher job satisfaction were likely to have greater personal wellbeing compared to others. When exploring the role of HR, findings showed that HR bundles and organizational culture indirectly affected job satisfaction but had a direct effect on the most important predictors of job satisfaction and personal wellbeing. Overall, results demonstrated the interconnectivity of HR practices, AMO factors, job satisfaction, and personal wellbeing.


Subject(s)
Job Satisfaction , Models, Theoretical , Humans , Utah , Motivation , Workforce , Surveys and Questionnaires
3.
J Midwifery Womens Health ; 68(3): 353-363, 2023.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-2294670

ABSTRACT

INTRODUCTION: This study seeks to understand the experiences of Utah midwives and doulas caring for patients during the recent coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic. Specifically, the goal of the study was to describe the perceived impact on the community birth system and explore differences in the access and use of personal protective equipment (PPE) between in- and out-of-hospital births. METHODS: This study used a cross-sectional, descriptive study design. A 26-item survey developed by the research team was sent via email to Utah birth workers, including nurse-midwives, community midwives, and doulas. Quantitative data were collected during December 2020 and January 2021. Descriptive statistics were used in the analysis. RESULTS: Of the 409 birth workers who were sent a link to the survey, 120 (30%) responded: 38 (32%) CNMs, 30 (25%) direct-entry or community midwives, and 52 (43%) doulas. The majority (79%) reported changes to clinical practice during the COVID-19 pandemic. Community midwives (71%) who responded indicated practice volume increased. Survey participants reported an increased patient preference for home births (53%) and birth center births (43%). Among those with one or more patient transfers to the hospital, 61% experienced a change in the process. One participant reported that it took 43 minutes longer to transfer to the hospital. Community midwives and doulas reported poor access to a regular source of PPE. DISCUSSION: Survey participants reported changes to planned birth locations during the COVID-19 pandemic. When necessary, transfers to hospitals were reported to be slower. Community midwives and doulas reported having insufficient access to PPE and reported limited knowledge about COVID-19 testing resources and resources for educating patients on COVID-19. This study adds an important perspective to the existing literature on COVID-19 by indicating that policymakers should include community birth partners in community planning for natural disasters and future pandemics.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Doulas , Midwifery , Pregnancy , Female , Humans , COVID-19/epidemiology , Utah/epidemiology , COVID-19 Testing , Pandemics , Cross-Sectional Studies
4.
Vaccine ; 41(18): 2996-3002, 2023 05 02.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-2301624

ABSTRACT

INTRODUCTION: In order to evaluate trends in death after COVID-19 vaccination we analyzed the timing of death relative to vaccination date and the causes of death in vaccinated Utahns in 2021. METHODS: We matched people in the Utah immunization registry with documented COVID-19 vaccinations between December 18, 2020 and December 31, 2021 to Utah's 2021 vital statistics death records. Vaccinated people were categorized as having one, two, or ≥ three COVID-19 vaccine doses in a time-updated metric. We examined crude mortality rates by dosing groups in two-week intervals for all deaths, and by COVID-19 versus non-COVID-19 causes, within the 44 weeks following receipt of the most recent vaccine. RESULTS: We identified 2,072,908 individuals who received at least one dose of COVID-19 vaccine of whom 10,997 died in 2021. Only 17.5 % of the total vaccinated population was age 65+, while 80.9 % of those who died were over 65. In the four weeks following the first or second vaccination, all-cause mortality was low and then stabilized for the remainder of the evaluation period at a bi-weekly average of 33.0 and 39.0 deaths/100,000 people for one and two doses, respectively. Typical seasonal variation in death was observed among those with two doses. Small sample size precluded analysis of those with ≥ three doses, but trends were similar. CONCLUSIONS: Mortality rates in the 44 weeks following the COVID-19 vaccination did not show trends suggesting an increase in mortality related to COVID-19 vaccination, reinforcing the safety of COVID-19 vaccines. This represents an accessible approach for local evaluation.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 Vaccines , COVID-19 , Humans , Aged , Utah/epidemiology , COVID-19/prevention & control , Vaccination , Immunization
5.
MMWR Surveill Summ ; 72(1): 1-15, 2023 03 24.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-2280973

ABSTRACT

Problem/Condition: Autism spectrum disorder (ASD). Period Covered: 2020. Description of System: The Autism and Developmental Disabilities Monitoring Network is an active surveillance program that estimates prevalence and characteristics of ASD and monitors timing of ASD identification among children aged 4 and 8 years. In 2020, a total of 11 sites (located in Arizona, Arkansas, California, Georgia, Maryland, Minnesota, Missouri, New Jersey, Tennessee, Utah, and Wisconsin) conducted surveillance of ASD among children aged 4 and 8 years and suspected ASD among children aged 4 years. Surveillance included children who lived in the surveillance area at any time during 2020. Children were classified as having ASD if they ever received 1) an ASD diagnostic statement in an evaluation, 2) a special education classification of autism (eligibility), or 3) an ASD International Classification of Diseases (ICD) code (revisions 9 or 10). Children aged 4 years were classified as having suspected ASD if they did not meet the case definition for ASD but had a documented qualified professional's statement indicating a suspicion of ASD. This report focuses on children aged 4 years in 2020 compared with children aged 8 years in 2020. Results: For 2020, ASD prevalence among children aged 4 years varied across sites, from 12.7 per 1,000 children in Utah to 46.4 in California. The overall prevalence was 21.5 and was higher among boys than girls at every site. Compared with non-Hispanic White children, ASD prevalence was 1.8 times as high among Hispanic, 1.6 times as high among non-Hispanic Black, 1.4 times as high among Asian or Pacific Islander, and 1.2 times as high among multiracial children. Among the 58.3% of children aged 4 years with ASD and information on intellectual ability, 48.5% had an IQ score of ≤70 on their most recent IQ test or an examiner's statement of intellectual disability. Among children with a documented developmental evaluation, 78.0% were evaluated by age 36 months. Children aged 4 years had a higher cumulative incidence of ASD diagnosis or eligibility by age 48 months compared with children aged 8 years at all sites; risk ratios ranged from 1.3 in New Jersey and Utah to 2.0 in Tennessee. In the 6 months before the March 2020 COVID-19 pandemic declaration by the World Health Organization, there were 1,593 more evaluations and 1.89 more ASD identifications per 1,000 children aged 4 years than children aged 8 years received 4 years earlier. After the COVID-19 pandemic declaration, this pattern reversed: in the 6 months after pandemic onset, there were 217 fewer evaluations and 0.26 fewer identifications per 1,000 children aged 4 years than children aged 8 years received 4 years earlier. Patterns of evaluation and identification varied among sites, but there was not recovery to pre-COVID-19 pandemic levels by the end of 2020 at most sites or overall. For 2020, prevalence of suspected ASD ranged from 0.5 (California) to 10.4 (Arkansas) per 1,000 children aged 4 years, with an increase from 2018 at five sites (Arizona, Arkansas, Maryland, New Jersey, and Utah). Demographic and cognitive characteristics of children aged 4 years with suspected ASD were similar to children aged 4 years with ASD. Interpretation: A wide range of prevalence of ASD by age 4 years was observed, suggesting differences in early ASD identification practices among communities. At all sites, cumulative incidence of ASD by age 48 months among children aged 4 years was higher compared with children aged 8 years in 2020, indicating improvements in early identification of ASD. Higher numbers of evaluations and rates of identification were evident among children aged 4 years until the COVID-19 pandemic onset in 2020. Sustained lower levels of ASD evaluations and identification seen at a majority of sites after the pandemic onset could indicate disruptions in typical practices in evaluations and identification for health service providers and schools through the end of 2020. Sites with more recovery could indicate successful strategies to mitigate service interruption, such as pivoting to telehealth approaches for evaluation. Public Health Action: From 2016 through February of 2020, ASD evaluation and identification among the cohort of children aged 4 years was outpacing ASD evaluation and identification 4 years earlier (from 2012 until March 2016) among the cohort of children aged 8 years in 2020 . From 2016 to March 2020, ASD evaluation and identification among the cohort of children aged 4 years was outpacing that among children aged 8 years in 2020 from 2012 until March 2016. The disruptions in evaluation that coincided with the start of the COVID-19 pandemic and the increase in prevalence of suspected ASD in 2020 could have led to delays in ASD identification and interventions. Communities could evaluate the impact of these disruptions as children in affected cohorts age and consider strategies to mitigate service disruptions caused by future public health emergencies.


Subject(s)
Autism Spectrum Disorder , Autistic Disorder , COVID-19 , Male , Female , Humans , Child , United States/epidemiology , Autism Spectrum Disorder/diagnosis , Autism Spectrum Disorder/epidemiology , Autistic Disorder/diagnosis , Autistic Disorder/epidemiology , Developmental Disabilities/epidemiology , Pandemics , Population Surveillance , COVID-19/epidemiology , Utah , Prevalence
6.
J Am Heart Assoc ; 12(7): e028356, 2023 04 04.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-2279167

ABSTRACT

The American Heart Association's Strategically Focused Children's Research Network started in July 2017 with 4 unique programs at Children's National Hospital in Washington, DC; Duke University in Durham, North Carolina; University of Utah in Salt Lake City, Utah; and Lurie Children's Hospital/Northwestern University in Chicago, Illinois. The overarching goal of the Children's National center was to develop evidence-based strategies to strengthen the health system response to rheumatic heart disease through synergistic basic, clinical, and population science research. The overall goals of the Duke center were to determine risk factors for obesity and response to treatment including those that might work on a larger scale in communities across the country. The integrating theme of the Utah center focused on leveraging big data-science approaches to improve the quality of care and outcomes for children with congenital heart defects, within the context of the patient and their family. The overarching hypothesis of the Northwestern center is that the early course of change in cardiovascular health, from birth onward, reflects factors that result in either subsequent development of cardiovascular risk or preservation of lifetime favorable cardiovascular health. All 4 centers exceeded the original goals of research productivity, fellow training, and collaboration. This article describes details of these accomplishments and highlights challenges, especially around the COVID-19 pandemic.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Heart Defects, Congenital , Humans , Child , United States/epidemiology , American Heart Association , Pandemics , Utah
7.
Viruses ; 15(1)2022 Dec 29.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-2229091

ABSTRACT

From July−November 2020, mink (Neogale vison) on 12 Utah farms experienced an increase in mortality rates due to confirmed SARS-CoV-2 infection. We conducted epidemiologic investigations on six farms to identify the source of virus introduction, track cross-species transmission, and assess viral evolution. Interviews were conducted and specimens were collected from persons living or working on participating farms and from multiple animal species. Swabs and sera were tested by SARS-CoV-2 real-time reverse transcription polymerase chain reaction (rRT-PCR) and serological assays, respectively. Whole genome sequencing was attempted for specimens with cycle threshold values <30. Evidence of SARS-CoV-2 infection was detected by rRT-PCR or serology in ≥1 person, farmed mink, dog, and/or feral cat on each farm. Sequence analysis showed high similarity between mink and human sequences on corresponding farms. On farms sampled at multiple time points, mink tested rRT-PCR positive up to 16 weeks post-onset of increased mortality. Workers likely introduced SARS-CoV-2 to mink, and mink transmitted SARS-CoV-2 to other animal species; mink-to-human transmission was not identified. Our findings provide critical evidence to support interventions to prevent and manage SARS-CoV-2 in people and animals on mink farms and emphasizes the importance of a One Health approach to address emerging zoonoses.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , One Health , Animals , Humans , Cats , Dogs , SARS-CoV-2/genetics , COVID-19/epidemiology , COVID-19/veterinary , Mink , Farms , Utah/epidemiology
8.
Public Health Rep ; 138(3): 416-421, 2023.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-2223957

ABSTRACT

Group singing and playing of wind instruments increase COVID-19 transmission risk. After a pause during the initial period of the COVID-19 pandemic, The Tabernacle Choir at Temple Square organization (hereinafter, Choir) resumed musical events in September 2021 with prevention protocols, including required vaccination and pre-event rapid antigen testing. We investigated potential SARS-CoV-2 transmission at Choir events during September 21-November 7, 2021. We interviewed COVID-19-positive members (hereinafter, case-members) and identified members exposed when a case-member attended a Choir event during his or her infectious period. We compared whole genome sequencing results to assess the genetic relatedness of available SARS-CoV-2 specimens obtained from case-members. We identified 30 case-members through pre-event testing (n = 10), self-reported positive test results (n = 18), and a review of Utah's disease surveillance system (n = 2). All 30 case-members reported symptoms; 21 (70%) were women and 23 (77%) received a positive test result by nucleic acid amplification test. No hospitalizations or deaths were reported. We identified 176 test-eligible exposed members from 14 instances of case-members attending events during their infectious periods. All were tested at least once 2 to 14 days after exposure: 74 (42%) by rapid antigen test only (all negative) and 102 (58%) by nucleic acid amplification test (4 positive, 97 negative, and 1 equivocal). Among viral sequences available from 15 case-members, the smallest single-nucleotide polymorphism distance between 2 sequences was 2, and the next-smallest distance was 10. The lack of disease detected in most exposed members suggests that minimal, if any, transmission occurred at Choir events. When community COVID-19 incidence is high, prevention protocols might help limit SARS-CoV-2 transmission during group musical activities.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , SARS-CoV-2 , Humans , Male , Female , SARS-CoV-2/genetics , COVID-19/epidemiology , COVID-19/prevention & control , Utah/epidemiology , Pandemics/prevention & control , COVID-19 Testing , Review Literature as Topic
9.
Accid Anal Prev ; 184: 106995, 2023 May.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-2220351

ABSTRACT

During the past several years, the COVID-19 pandemic has had pronounced impacts on traffic safety. Existing studies found that the crash frequency was reduced and the severity level was increased during the earlier "Lockdown" period. However, there is a lack of studies investigating its impacts on traffic safety during the later stage of the pandemic. To bridge such a gap, this study selects Salt Lake County, Utah as the study area and employs statistical methods to investigate whether the impact of COVID-19 on traffic safety differs among different stages. Negative binomial models and binary logit models were utilized to study the effects of the pandemic on the crash frequency and severity respectively while accounting for the exposure, environmental, and human factors. Welch's t-test and Pairwise t-test are employed to investigate the possible indirect effect of the pandemic by influencing other non-pandemic-related factors in the statistical models. The results show that the crash frequency is significantly less than that of the pre-pandemic during the whole course of the pandemic. However, it significantly increases during the later stage due to the relaxed restrictions. Crash severity levels were increased during the earlier pandemic due to the increased traffic speed, the prevalence of DUI, reduced use of seat belts, and increased presence of commercial vehicles. It reduced to a level comparable to the pre-pandemic later, owing to the reduction of speed and increased seat-belt-used to the pre-pandemic level. As for the incoming "New Normal" stage, stakeholders may need to take actions to deter DUI and reduce commercial-vehicle-related crashes to improve traffic safety.


Subject(s)
Accidents, Traffic , COVID-19 , Humans , Accidents, Traffic/prevention & control , Safety , Utah/epidemiology , Pandemics , COVID-19/epidemiology , COVID-19/prevention & control
10.
J Wildl Dis ; 59(1): 197-201, 2023 01 01.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-2203165

ABSTRACT

Adult, free-ranging cougars (Puma concolor) were sampled in three regions of Utah, US, from 2018 to 2021. A total of 68% (23/34) of the sampled cougars had antibodies to feline parvovirus, 15% (5/33) to canine distemper virus, 18% (6/34) to calicivirus, and 22% (8/37) to Yersinia pestis. Forty-one percent (13/32) had IgG antibodies to Toxoplasma gondii and 6% (2/33) to feline immunodeficiency virus, and 3% (1/32) were positive for Dirofilaria immitis (heartworm) antigen. All were seronegative for Toxoplasma gondii IgM, feline enteric coronavirus, SARS-CoV-2, feline leukemia virus, feline herpesvirus, and Francisella tularensis. Tapeworms and Toxascaris leonina eggs were detected in the feces. The disease exposures detected were similar to what has been reported from cougar populations in other western US states, and the current level of exposures is unlikely to have a negative impact on the state's population.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Cat Diseases , Dirofilaria immitis , Puma , Animals , Cats , Utah , Antibodies, Viral , COVID-19/veterinary , SARS-CoV-2 , Cat Diseases/epidemiology
11.
Viruses ; 14(10)2022 09 27.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-2066542

ABSTRACT

Zoonotic transmission of SARS-CoV-2 from infected humans to other animals has been documented around the world, most notably in mink farming operations in Europe and the United States. Outbreaks of SARS-CoV-2 on Utah mink farms began in late July 2020 and resulted in high mink mortality. An investigation of these outbreaks revealed active and past SARS-CoV-2 infections in free-roaming and in feral cats living on or near several mink farms. Cats were captured using live traps, were sampled, fitted with GPS collars, and released on the farms. GPS tracking of these cats show they made frequent visits to mink sheds, moved freely around the affected farms, and visited surrounding residential properties and neighborhoods on multiple occasions, making them potential low risk vectors of additional SARS-CoV-2 spread in local communities.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , SARS-CoV-2 , Cats , Animals , Humans , Mink , COVID-19/epidemiology , COVID-19/veterinary , Farms , Utah/epidemiology
12.
Public Health Rep ; 137(2_suppl): 56S-60S, 2022.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-2020756

ABSTRACT

This case study describes how we paired free SARS-CoV-2 rapid antigen testing with on-site case investigation and contact tracing at a drive-through site in an underresourced area of Salt Lake City. Residents of this area had lower rates of employment and health insurance and higher rates of poverty than in the Utah general population. People were given an option to remain on-site and wait until their test results were ready. If a vehicle occupant received a positive test result, the case investigation occurred on-site; contact tracing with the other vehicle occupants was also initiated. People were provided resources to support isolation and quarantine. Bilingual staff who spoke Spanish were incorporated into the workflow. From December 2020 through April 2021, public health staff administered 39 587 rapid tests; 4094 people received a positive test result and 1133 stayed for on-site case investigation. More than half (60.5%) of people with a positive test result who agreed to stay for on-site case investigation were Hispanic or self-reported belonging to a non-Hispanic racial minority group (American Indian/Alaska Native, Asian, Black or African American, Native Hawaiian or Other Pacific Islander, or other racial identities). Pairing rapid antigen testing with on-site case investigation and contact tracing is feasible and improved the timeliness of case investigation by ≥1 day. On-site vaccination services were later integrated. Future emergency responses might consider assisting underresourced communities with on-site services that provide convenient and accessible public health interventions. By providing dependable and reliable services, we were able to achieve buy-in and become a consistent resource for those in the community.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Contact Tracing , Humans , COVID-19 Testing , Utah/epidemiology , COVID-19/diagnosis , COVID-19/epidemiology , COVID-19/prevention & control , SARS-CoV-2
13.
J Public Health Manag Pract ; 28(1): 60-69, 2022.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1607529

ABSTRACT

OBJECTIVE: To identify potential strategies to mitigate COVID-19 transmission in a Utah meat-processing facility and surrounding community. DESIGN/SETTING: During March-June 2020, 502 workers at a Utah meat-processing facility (facility A) tested positive for SARS-CoV-2. Using merged data from the state disease surveillance system and facility A, we analyzed the relationship between SARS-CoV-2 positivity and worker demographics, work section, and geospatial data on worker residence. We analyzed worker survey responses to questions regarding COVID-19 knowledge, beliefs, and behaviors at work and home. PARTICIPANTS: (1) Facility A workers (n = 1373) with specimen collection dates and SARS-CoV-2 RT-PCR test results; (2) residential addresses of all persons (workers and nonworkers) with a SARS-CoV-2 diagnostic test (n = 1036), living within the 3 counties included in the health department catchment area; and (3) facility A workers (n = 64) who agreed to participate in the knowledge, attitudes, and practices survey. MAIN OUTCOME MEASURES: New cases over time, COVID-19 attack rates, worker characteristics by SARS-CoV-2 test results, geospatially clustered cases, space-time proximity of cases among workers and nonworkers; frequency of quantitative responses, crude prevalence ratios, and counts and frequency of coded responses to open-ended questions from the COVID-19 knowledge, attitudes, and practices survey. RESULTS: Statistically significant differences in race (P = .01), linguistic group (P < .001), and work section (P < .001) were found between workers with positive and negative SARS-CoV-2 test results. Geographically, only 6% of cases were within statistically significant spatiotemporal case clusters. Workers reported using handwashing (57%) and social distancing (21%) as mitigation strategies outside work but reported apprehension with taking COVID-19-associated sick leave. CONCLUSIONS: Mitigating COVID-19 outbreaks among workers in congregate settings requires a multifaceted public health response that is tailored to the workforce. IMPLICATIONS FOR POLICY AND PRACTICE: Tailored, multifaceted mitigation strategies are crucial for reducing COVID-19-associated health disparities among disproportionately affected populations.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Disease Outbreaks , Humans , Meat , Public Health , SARS-CoV-2 , Utah/epidemiology
15.
PLoS Pathog ; 17(11): e1009952, 2021 11.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1593026

ABSTRACT

The breadth of animal hosts that are susceptible to severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) and may serve as reservoirs for continued viral transmission are not known entirely. In August 2020, an outbreak of SARS-CoV-2 occurred on five mink farms in Utah and was associated with high mink mortality (35-55% of adult mink) and rapid viral transmission between animals. The premise and clinical disease information, pathology, molecular characterization, and tissue distribution of virus within infected mink during the early phase of the outbreak are provided. Infection spread rapidly between independently housed animals and farms, and caused severe respiratory disease and death. Disease indicators were most notably sudden death, anorexia, and increased respiratory effort. Gross pathology examination revealed severe pulmonary congestion and edema. Microscopically there was pulmonary edema with moderate vasculitis, perivasculitis, and fibrinous interstitial pneumonia. Reverse transcriptase polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR) of tissues collected at necropsy demonstrated the presence of SARS-CoV-2 viral RNA in multiple organs including nasal turbinates, lung, tracheobronchial lymph node, epithelial surfaces, and others. Localization of viral RNA by in situ hybridization revealed a more localized infection, particularly of the upper respiratory tract. Whole genome sequencing from multiple mink was consistent with published SARS-CoV-2 genomes with few polymorphisms. The Utah mink SARS-CoV-2 strains fell into Clade GH, which is unique among mink and other animal strains sequenced to date. While sharing the N501T mutation which is common in mink, the Utah strains did not share other spike RBD mutations Y453F and F486L found in nearly all mink from the United States. Mink in the outbreak reported herein had high levels of SARS-CoV-2 in the upper respiratory tract associated with symptomatic respiratory disease and death.


Subject(s)
COVID-19/veterinary , Mink/virology , Animals , COVID-19/epidemiology , COVID-19/mortality , COVID-19/pathology , Disease Outbreaks/veterinary , Farms , Female , Lung/pathology , Male , RNA, Viral/blood , Real-Time Polymerase Chain Reaction/veterinary , SARS-CoV-2/classification , Utah/epidemiology
16.
PLoS One ; 16(11): e0259097, 2021.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1575776

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: Severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) poses a high risk of transmission in close-contact indoor settings, which may include households. Prior studies have found a wide range of household secondary attack rates and may contain biases due to simplifying assumptions about transmission variability and test accuracy. METHODS: We compiled serological SARS-CoV-2 antibody test data and prior SARS-CoV-2 test reporting from members of 9,224 Utah households. We paired these data with a probabilistic model of household importation and transmission. We calculated a maximum likelihood estimate of the importation probability, mean and variability of household transmission probability, and sensitivity and specificity of test data. Given our household transmission estimates, we estimated the threshold of non-household transmission required for epidemic growth in the population. RESULTS: We estimated that individuals in our study households had a 0.41% (95% CI 0.32%- 0.51%) chance of acquiring SARS-CoV-2 infection outside their household. Our household secondary attack rate estimate was 36% (27%- 48%), substantially higher than the crude estimate of 16% unadjusted for imperfect serological test specificity and other factors. We found evidence for high variability in individual transmissibility, with higher probability of no transmissions or many transmissions compared to standard models. With household transmission at our estimates, the average number of non-household transmissions per case must be kept below 0.41 (0.33-0.52) to avoid continued growth of the pandemic in Utah. CONCLUSIONS: Our findings suggest that crude estimates of household secondary attack rate based on serology data without accounting for false positive tests may underestimate the true average transmissibility, even when test specificity is high. Our finding of potential high variability (overdispersion) in transmissibility of infected individuals is consistent with characterizing SARS-CoV-2 transmission being largely driven by superspreading from a minority of infected individuals. Mitigation efforts targeting large households and other locations where many people congregate indoors might curb continued spread of the virus.


Subject(s)
COVID-19/epidemiology , COVID-19/transmission , Family Characteristics , Humans , Incidence , Likelihood Functions , Pandemics/statistics & numerical data , SARS-CoV-2/pathogenicity , Sensitivity and Specificity , Serologic Tests/methods , Utah/epidemiology
17.
J Med Libr Assoc ; 109(4): 677-679, 2021 Oct 01.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1538716

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: In 2017, an academic health sciences library in Utah developed a multimedia studio for students, faculty, and academic staff. Educational projects needing video, audio, and lecture capture could utilize a one-button studio for recording video sessions, microphones for audio, and various screen capture software for lectures. Since the pandemic, this service has seen rapid growth due to academic lectures going exclusively online. In response, the library launched a dedicated podcasting suite to accommodate the increase in students and faculty needing to record lectures or podcasts for others in the medical profession. DESCRIPTION: This article will outline the process of creating the podcasting suite and provide equipment rosters and methods other libraries may consider for establishing their own studio. Administrating duties of the studio will also be included, such as handling reservations and user assessment. An instructional guide for users is also included to assist patrons in accomplishing their podcast creations. CONCLUSION: Podcasts created in the space range from topics about teaching strategies in medicine to diagnoses and treatments of skin disorders. A podcasting suite is another way libraries can provide valuable services for asynchronous learning and student projects. Students, staff, and faculty have appreciated the ease of the service and the support behind it. A feedback loop was developed to further improve the space to meet the needs of users.


Subject(s)
Libraries, Medical , Medicine , Humans , Learning , Students , Utah
18.
Clin Infect Dis ; 73(10): 1831-1839, 2021 11 16.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1522142

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: Monitoring of severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) antibody prevalence can complement case reporting to inform more accurate estimates of SARS-CoV-2 infection burden, but few studies have undertaken repeated sampling over time on a broad geographic scale. METHODS: We performed serologic testing on a convenience sample of residual serum obtained from persons of all ages, at 10 sites in the United States from 23 March through 14 August 2020, from routine clinical testing at commercial laboratories. We standardized our seroprevalence rates by age and sex, using census population projections and adjusted for laboratory assay performance. Confidence intervals were generated with a 2-stage bootstrap. We used bayesian modeling to test whether seroprevalence changes over time were statistically significant. RESULTS: Seroprevalence remained below 10% at all sites except New York and Florida, where it reached 23.2% and 13.3%, respectively. Statistically significant increases in seroprevalence followed peaks in reported cases in New York, South Florida, Utah, Missouri, and Louisiana. In the absence of such peaks, some significant decreases were observed over time in New York, Missouri, Utah, and Western Washington. The estimated cumulative number of infections with detectable antibody response continued to exceed reported cases in all sites. CONCLUSIONS: Estimated seroprevalence was low in most sites, indicating that most people in the United States had not been infected with SARS-CoV-2 as of July 2020. The majority of infections are likely not reported. Decreases in seroprevalence may be related to changes in healthcare-seeking behavior, or evidence of waning of detectable anti-SARS-CoV-2 antibody levels at the population level. Thus, seroprevalence estimates may underestimate the cumulative incidence of infection.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , SARS-CoV-2 , Antibodies, Viral , Bayes Theorem , Child , Humans , Seroepidemiologic Studies , United States/epidemiology , Utah
19.
J Emerg Manag ; 19(7): 19-37, 2021.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1497654

ABSTRACT

The following article addresses the complexities of responding to the Magna, Utah earthquake under conditions of the global corona virus disease (COVID-19) pandemic. The article begins with a brief mention of the literature on complex disasters along with the research methods employed for the study. Contextual information about COVID-19 and the Magna earthquake are then provided along with general issues that had to be addressed in the public health emergency and after the seismic hazard occurred. The following two sections identify how COVID-19 benefited the response to the earthquake as well as how the virus complicated operations after the tremor. The article then discusses major lessons of this research and provides recommendations for future study and practice. Overall, this research reveals that the responses to these two simultaneous events witnessed successes as well as significant challenges. The appearance of COVID-19 may have limited injuries or the loss of life during the Magna earthquake, and it also enabled an early activation of the emergency operations center (EOC). However, COVID-19 presented unique challenges for evacuation, sheltering, and damage assessment functions. The pandemic also altered the nature of EOC operations, created the need for a virtual response, and had distinct implications for financial accounting and personnel workload.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Disasters , Earthquakes , Emergencies , Humans , Pandemics , SARS-CoV-2 , Utah
20.
Emerg Infect Dis ; 27(12): 2999-3008, 2021 12.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1485010

ABSTRACT

Outcomes and costs of coronavirus disease (COVID-19) contact tracing are limited. During March-May 2020, we constructed transmission chains from 184 index cases and 1,499 contacts in Salt Lake County, Utah, USA, to assess outcomes and estimate staff time and salaries. We estimated 1,102 staff hours and $29,234 spent investigating index cases and contacts. Among contacts, 374 (25%) had COVID-19; secondary case detection rate was ≈31% among first-generation contacts, ≈16% among second- and third-generation contacts, and ≈12% among fourth-, fifth-, and sixth-generation contacts. At initial interview, 51% (187/370) of contacts were COVID-19-positive; 35% (98/277) became positive during 14-day quarantine. Median time from symptom onset to investigation was 7 days for index cases and 4 days for first-generation contacts. Contact tracing reduced the number of cases between contact generations and time between symptom onset and investigation but required substantial resources. Our findings can help jurisdictions allocate resources for contact tracing.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Contact Tracing , Humans , Quarantine , SARS-CoV-2 , Utah/epidemiology
SELECTION OF CITATIONS
SEARCH DETAIL