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1.
Scand J Public Health ; 49(7): 797-803, 2021 Nov.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1631163

ABSTRACT

AIM: This study aimed to explore experiences of awaiting a test result for COVID-19 among individuals from the general population. METHODS: Fifteen participants were recruited from COVID-19 testing tents in the Capital Region of Denmark in March and April 2020. A phenomenological-hermeneutic approach inspired by Ricoeur's theory of interpretation was used. RESULTS: The analysis revealed five themes. (1) The participants' experiences of awaiting a COVID-19 test result illuminated concerns related to infecting others rather than their own health. Experiences of guilt for not taking all possible precautions to avoid the spread of COVID-19 were described and thoughts of potentially having exposed others bothered the participants. (2) The test result would guide their precautions and therefore regulate behaviour at home and in society. (3) Even though the participants did not take all possible precautions they made some changes in their everyday lives. (4) Leaving the individual with the responsibility for taking precautions based on their subjective experiences created feelings of insecurity and uncertainty. (5) Being met by health professionals was an experience that meant for the particpants that behaviour towards limiting the infection became very clear. The seriousness experienced around the test situation facilitated this attitude and behaviour in the participants. Conclusion: This study illuminated how testing for COVID-19 regulates behavior in the general population. The testing was both important for the individual's cautious behavior towards other people, work and in getting around in society but also a way to regulate behavior from a societal perspective to quicken suppression and avoid transmission of COVID-19.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 Testing , COVID-19 , Health Personnel , Humans , Qualitative Research , SARS-CoV-2
2.
Clin Infect Dis ; 2021 Mar 10.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1621577

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: Several vaccines are now clinically available under emergency use authorization in the United States and have demonstrated efficacy against symptomatic COVID-19. The impact of vaccines on asymptomatic SARS-CoV-2 infection is largely unknown. METHODS: We conducted a retrospective cohort study of consecutive, asymptomatic adult patients (n = 39,156) within a large United States healthcare system who underwent 48,333 pre-procedural SARS-CoV-2 molecular screening tests between December 17, 2020 and February 8, 2021. The primary exposure of interest was vaccination with at least one dose of an mRNA COVID-19 vaccine. The primary outcome was relative risk of a positive SARS-CoV-2 molecular test among those asymptomatic persons who had received at least one dose of vaccine, as compared to persons who had not received vaccine during the same time period. Relative risk was adjusted for age, sex, race/ethnicity, patient residence relative to the hospital (local vs. non-local), healthcare system regions, and repeated screenings among patients using mixed effects log-binomial regression. RESULTS: Positive molecular tests in asymptomatic individuals were reported in 42 (1.4%) of 3,006 tests performed on vaccinated patients and 1,436 (3.2%) of 45,327 tests performed on unvaccinated patients (RR=0.44 95% CI: 0.33-0.60; p<.0001). Compared to unvaccinated patients, the risk of asymptomatic SARS-CoV-2 infection was lower among those >10 days after 1 st dose (RR=0.21; 95% CI: 0.12-0.37; p<.0001) and >0 days after 2 nd dose (RR=0.20; 95% CI: 0.09-0.44; p<.0001) in the adjusted analysis. CONCLUSIONS: COVID-19 vaccination with an mRNA-based vaccine showed a significant association with a reduced risk of asymptomatic SARS-CoV-2 infection as measured during pre-procedural molecular screening. The results of this study demonstrate the impact of the vaccines on reduction in asymptomatic infections supplementing the randomized trial results on symptomatic patients.

3.
Clin Infect Dis ; 2021 Mar 09.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1621573

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: COVID-19 associated pulmonary aspergillosis (CAPA) occurs in critically ill COVID-19 patients. Risks and outcomes remain poorly understood. METHODS: A retrospective cohort study of adult mechanically ventilated COVID-19 patients admitted to five Johns Hopkins hospitals was conducted between March and August 2020. CAPA was defined using composite clinical criteria. Fine and Gray competing risks regression was used to analyze clinical outcomes and multilevel mixed-effects ordinal logistic regression was used to compare longitudinal disease severity scores. RESULTS: Amongst the cohort of 396 people, 39 met criteria for CAPA. Compared to those without, patients with CAPA were more likely to have underlying pulmonary vascular disease (41% vs 21.6%, p=0.01), liver disease (35.9% vs 18.2%, p=0.02), coagulopathy (51.3% vs 33.1%, p=0.03), solid tumors (25.6% vs 10.9%, p=0.017), multiple myeloma (5.1% vs 0.3%, p=0.027), corticosteroid exposure during index admission (66.7% vs 42.6%, p=0.005), and had a lower BMI (median 26.6 vs 29.9, p=0.04). People with CAPA had worse outcomes as measured by ordinal severity of disease scores, requiring longer time to improvement (adjusted odds ratio 1.081.091.1, p<0.001), and advancing in severity almost twice as fast (subhazard ratio, sHR 1.31.82.5, p<0.001). People with CAPA were intubated twice as long as those without (sHR) 0.40.50.6, p<0.001) and had a longer hospital length of stay [median (IQR) 41.1 (20.5, 72.4) vs 18.5 (10.7, 31.8), p<0.001]. CONCLUSION: CAPA is associated with poor outcomes. Attention towards preventative measures (screening and/or prophylaxis) is warranted in people with high risk of developing CAPA.

4.
Eur J Neurol ; 28(10): 3230-3244, 2021 10.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1607758

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND AND PURPOSE: An incremental number of cases of acute transverse myelitis (ATM) in individuals with ongoing or recent coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) have been reported. METHODS: A systematic review was performed of cases of ATM described in the context of severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) infection by screening both articles published and in preprint. RESULTS: Twenty cases were identified. There was a slight male predominance (60.0%) and the median age was 56 years. Neurological symptoms first manifested after a mean of 10.3 days from the first onset of classical, mostly respiratory symptoms of COVID-19. Overall, COVID-19 severity was relatively mild. Polymerase chain reaction of cerebrospinal fluid for SARS-CoV-2 was negative in all 14 cases examined. Cerebrospinal fluid findings reflected an inflammatory process in most instances (77.8%). Aquaporin-4 and myelin oligodendrocyte protein antibodies in serum (tested in 10 and nine cases, respectively) were negative. On magnetic resonance imaging, the spinal cord lesions spanned a mean of 9.8 vertebral segments, necrotic-hemorrhagic transformation was present in three cases and two individuals had additional acute motor axonal neuropathy. More than half of the patients received a second immunotherapy regimen. Over a limited follow-up period of several weeks, 90% of individuals recovered either partially or near fully. CONCLUSION: Although causality cannot readily be inferred, it is possible that cases of ATM occur para- or post-infectiously in COVID-19. All identified reports are anecdotal and case descriptions are heterogeneous. Whether the condition and the observed radiological characteristics are specific to SARS-CoV-2 infection needs to be clarified.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Guillain-Barre Syndrome , Myelitis, Transverse , Humans , Magnetic Resonance Imaging , Male , Middle Aged , SARS-CoV-2
5.
Eur J Neurol ; 28(10): 3289-3302, 2021 10.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1605352

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND AND PURPOSE: The full spectrum of neurological sequelae in COVID-19 is beginning to emerge. SARS-CoV-2 has the potential to cause both direct and indirect brain vascular endothelial damage through infection and inflammation that may result in long-term neurological signs and symptoms. We sought to illuminate persistent neuro-ophthalmological deficits that may be seen following posterior reversible encephalopathy syndrome (PRES) due to COVID-19. METHODS: We identified three individuals with PRES due to COVID-19 in our hospital system. One patient was identified on presentation to our neuro-ophthalmology clinic. The other patients were identified through internal records search. These cases were compared to published reports of PRES in COVID-19 identified through systematic literature search of PubMed/LitCOVID. RESULTS: All three patients were hospitalized with severe COVID-19 and developed altered mental status with new onset seizures that led to the recognition of PRES through diagnostic imaging. During recovery, two patients had persistent visual dysfunction including visual field deficits. One patient also experienced hallucinatory palinopsia and visual hallucinations. Literature search identified 32 other cases of PRES in the context of COVID-19. Visual disturbances were described in 14 cases (40%), with only seven cases (50%) reporting full recovery by the time of publication. CONCLUSIONS: As we learn about enduring neurological complications of COVID-19, it is possible that complications may be underrecognized and underreported. Understanding the range of complications can help in postcare evaluation and management changes in the critical care setting to potentially allow intervention before persistent deficits occur due to COVID-19.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Posterior Leukoencephalopathy Syndrome , Critical Care , Humans , Posterior Leukoencephalopathy Syndrome/complications , Posterior Leukoencephalopathy Syndrome/diagnostic imaging , SARS-CoV-2 , Vision Disorders/etiology
6.
Eur J Neurol ; 28(10): 3375-3383, 2021 Oct.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1604393

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND AND PURPOSE: In multiple sclerosis (MS), disease-related factors and dysfunctional coping might favor the development of mental distress induced by COVID-19 containment measures. Aim of this study was exploring the relationship between disability, coping strategies, daily life reorganization and neuropsychiatric symptoms in an Italian MS population during the COVID-19 lockdown, in order to identify potentially modifiable factors that could inform clinical management of mental distress in people with MS. METHODS: We explored the relationship between mental distress, disability and coping strategies in the Italian MS population under lockdown. Structural equation modeling was applied to information collected via web survey to identify modifiable factors that could account for mental distress. RESULTS: A total of 845 participants (497 with MS and 348 controls) were included in the study. The MS group had higher scores than the control group for depression (p = 0.005), but not for anxiety, emotional dyscontrol or sleep disturbances. The structural equation modeling explained 74% of the variance observed in depression score. Within the model, three latent factors were characterized from measured variables: motor disability and cognitive dysfunction contributed to disability (ß = 0.509 and ß = 0.836; p < 0.001); positive attitude and exercise contributed to active attitude (ß = 0.386 and ß = 0.297; p < 0.001); and avoidance, social support and watching television contributed to passive attitude (ß = 0.301, ß = 0.243 and ß = 0.212; p < 0.001). With regard to the relationship between latent factors and their influence on depression, disability contributed to passive attitude (ß = 0.855; p < 0.001), while both passive and active attitude significantly influenced depression (ß = 0.729 and ß = -0.456; p < 0.001). CONCLUSION: As a practical implication of our model, favoring exercise would enhance active attitude and its positive impact on mental well-being while, at the same time, reducing the negative impact of disability on depression, representing a valuable tool in facing COVID-19-related mental distress.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Disabled Persons , Motor Disorders , Multiple Sclerosis , Anxiety , Communicable Disease Control , Depression/epidemiology , Humans , Multiple Sclerosis/epidemiology , Pandemics , SARS-CoV-2 , Surveys and Questionnaires
7.
Eur J Neurol ; 28(10): 3467-3477, 2021 Oct.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1604178

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: There is debate as to whether there is an increased risk of COVID-19 infection in people with Parkinson's disease (PD), possibly due to associated factors. This study aimed to systematically review the factors associated with COVID-19 in people with PD. METHODS: A search was carried out in PubMed, Scopus, and Web of Science up to November 2020 (updated until 1 April 2021). Observational studies that analyzed factors associated with COVID-19 in people with PD were selected and revised. RESULTS: The authors included six studies (four case-controlled studies and two cross-sectional studies) in the qualitative and quantitative syntheses. The authors found that the following factors were associated with COVID-19 in people with PD: obesity (OR: 1.79, 95% CI: 1.07-2.99, I2 : 0%), any pulmonary disease (OR: 1.92, 95% CI: 1.17-3.15, I2 : 0%), COVID-19 contact (OR: 41.77, 95% CI: 4.77 - 365.56, I2 : 0%), vitamin D supplementation (OR: 0.50, 95% CI: 0.30-0.83, I2 : 0%), hospitalization (OR: 11.78, 95% CI: 6.27-22.12, I2 : 0%), and death (OR: 11.23, 95% CI: 3.92-32.18, I2 : 0%). The authors did not find any significant association between COVID-19 and hypertension, diabetes, cardiopathy, cancer, any cognitive problem, dementia, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, renal or hepatic disease, smoking, and tremor. CONCLUSIONS: Meta-analyses were limited by the number of events and some methodological limitations. Despite this, the authors assessed the available evidence, and the results may be useful for future health policies.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Diabetes Mellitus , Parkinson Disease , Cross-Sectional Studies , Humans , Parkinson Disease/complications , Parkinson Disease/epidemiology , SARS-CoV-2
8.
Eur J Neurol ; 28(10): 3245-3253, 2021 10.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1604031

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND AND PURPOSE: Neurological complications of SARS-CoV-2 infection are noticed among critically ill patients soon after disease onset. Information on delayed neurological sequelae of SARS-CoV-2 infection is nil. Following a longitudinal study design, the occurrence of cognitive decline among individuals with a history of mild symptomatic SARS-CoV-2 infection was assessed. METHODS: Stroke- and seizure-free Atahualpa residents aged ≥40 years, who had pre-pandemic cognitive assessments as well as normal brain magnetic resonance imaging and electroencephalogram recordings, underwent repeated evaluations 6 months after a SARS-CoV-2 outbreak infection in Atahualpa. Patients requiring oxygen therapy, hospitalization, and those who had initial neurological manifestations were excluded. Cognitive decline was defined as a reduction in the Montreal Cognitive Assessment (MoCA) score between the post-pandemic and pre-pandemic assessments that was ≥4 points greater than the reduction observed between two pre-pandemic MoCAs. The relationship between SARS-CoV-2 infection and cognitive decline was assessed by fitting logistic mixed models for longitudinal data as well as exposure-effect models. RESULTS: Of 93 included individuals (mean age 62.6 ± 11 years), 52 (56%) had a history of mild symptomatic SARS-CoV-2 infection. Post-pandemic MoCA decay was worse in seropositive individuals. Cognitive decline was recognized in 11/52 (21%) seropositive and 1/41 (2%) seronegative individuals. In multivariate analyses, the odds for developing cognitive decline were 18.1 times higher among SARS-CoV-2 seropositive individuals (95% confidence interval 1.75-188; p = 0.015). Exposure-effect models confirmed this association (ß = 0.24; 95% confidence interval 0.07-0.41; p = 0.006). CONCLUSIONS: This study provides evidence of cognitive decline among individuals with mild symptomatic SARS-CoV-2 infection. The pathogenesis of this complication remains unknown.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Cognitive Dysfunction , Aged , Cognitive Dysfunction/epidemiology , Cognitive Dysfunction/etiology , Humans , Longitudinal Studies , Middle Aged , Prospective Studies , SARS-CoV-2
9.
Eur J Neurol ; 28(10): 3396-3402, 2021 Oct.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1603954

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND AND PURPOSE: The COVID-19 emergency may cause post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), and with regard to people with MS (pwMS) chronic exposure to a wide range of challenging life events has been shown to be correlated with worsening of neurological symptoms, increased lesion burden on brain magnetic resonance imaging and relapses. The aim was to investigate perceived stress, depression, perceived social support, habits and behaviour changes in pwMS through COVID-19 in comparison to a control group. METHODS: A web-based survey was posted on SMsocialnetwork.com to investigate perceived stress (using the Perceived Stress Scale), depression (with Patient Health Questionnaire 2) and perceived social support (using Social Provision Scale 10 item) in pwMS and a control group through the COVID-19 pandemic. A secondary group of people with migraine was investigated. RESULTS: In all, 1286 answers from 612 pwMS and 674 control people were included in the final analysis. The answers from 318 people with migraine were included for a secondary analysis. A higher proportion of pwMS were depressed (43.1% vs. 23.1%; p < 0.001), had a high level of perceived stress (58% vs. 39.8%; p < 0.001) and felt significantly less social support (median 33 vs. 35; Q1-Q3 28-36 vs. 32-37; p < 0.001) compared to the control group. A higher percentage of people with migraine were depressed (50% vs. 43%, p = 0.04) compared to pwMS. CONCLUSIONS: Considering the negative impact that prolonged stress may have on clinical and radiological disease activity of pwMS, and bearing in mind that a beneficial effect has been demonstrated and achieved with stress management, it is suggested to promote stress control in these patients during the COVID-19 pandemic.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Multiple Sclerosis , Humans , Multiple Sclerosis/epidemiology , Neoplasm Recurrence, Local , Pandemics , SARS-CoV-2 , Social Support , Stress, Psychological/epidemiology
10.
Eur J Neurol ; 28(10): 3478-3490, 2021 Oct.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1603703

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND AND PURPOSE: Severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus-2 (SARS-CoV-2) infection predisposes patients to arterial and venous thrombosis. This study aimed to systematically review the available evidence in the literature for cerebral venous thrombosis (CVT) in association with coronavirus disease-2019 (COVID-19). METHODS: We searched MEDLINE, Embase, and Cochrane Central Register of Controlled Trials databases to identify cases of COVID-19-associated CVT. The search period spanned 1 January 2020 to 1 December 2020, and the review protocol (PROSPERO-CRD42020214327) followed Preferred Reporting Items for Systematic Reviews and Meta-Analyses guidelines. Identified studies were evaluated for bias using the Newcastle-Ottawa scale. A proportion meta-analysis was performed to estimate the frequency of CVT among hospitalized COVID-19 patients. RESULTS: We identified 57 cases from 28 reports. Study quality was mostly classified as low. CVT symptoms developed after respiratory disease in 90%, and the mean interval was 13 days. CVT involved multiple sites in 67% of individuals, the deep venous system was affected in 37%, and parenchymal hemorrhage was found in 42%. Predisposing factors for CVT beyond SARS-CoV-2 infection were present in 31%. In-hospital mortality was 40%. Using data from 34,331 patients, the estimated frequency of CVT among patients hospitalized for SARS-CoV-2 infection was 0.08% (95% confidence interval [CI]: 0.01-0.5). In an inpatient setting, CVT accounted for 4.2% of cerebrovascular disorders in individuals with COVID-19 (cohort of 406 patients, 95% CI: 1.47-11.39). CONCLUSIONS: Cerebral venous thrombosis in the context of SARS-CoV-2 infection is a rare, although there seems to be an increased relative risk. High suspicion is necessary, because the diagnosis of this potentially life-threatening condition in COVID-19 patients can be challenging. Evidence is still scarce on the pathophysiology and potential prevention of COVID-19-associated CVT.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Intracranial Thrombosis , Venous Thrombosis , Cohort Studies , Humans , Intracranial Thrombosis/epidemiology , SARS-CoV-2 , Venous Thrombosis/epidemiology
11.
Clin Infect Dis ; 2021 Jan 05.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1592629

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: Venous thromboembolism (VTE) is a potentially fatal complication of SARS-CoV-2 infection and thromboprophylaxis should be balanced against risk of bleeding. This study aimed to examine risks of VTE and major bleeding in hospitalized and community-managed SARS-CoV-2 patients compared with control populations. METHODS: Using nationwide population-based registries, 30-day risks of VTE and major bleeding in SARS-CoV-2 positive patients were compared with those of SARS-CoV-2 test-negative patients and with an external cohort of influenza patients. Medical records of all COVID-19 patients at six departments of infectious diseases in Denmark were reviewed in detail. RESULTS: The overall 30-day risk of VTE was 0.4% (40/9,460) among SARS-CoV-2 patients (16% hospitalized), 0.3% (649/226,510) among SARS-CoV-2 negative subjects (12% hospitalized), and 1.0% (158/16,281) among influenza patients (59% hospitalized). VTE risks were higher and comparable in hospitalized SARS-CoV-2 positive (1.5%), SARS-CoV-2 negative (1.8%), and influenza patients (1.5%). Diagnosis of major bleeding was registered in 0.5% (47/9,460) of all SARS-CoV-2 positive individuals and in 2.3% of those hospitalized. Medical record review of 582 hospitalized SARS-CoV-2 patients observed VTE in 4% (19/450) and major bleeding in 0.4% (2/450) of ward patients, of whom 31% received thromboprophylaxis. Among intensive care patients (100% received thromboprophylaxis), risks were 7% (9/132) for VTE and 11% (15/132) for major bleeding. CONCLUSIONS: Among people with SARS-CoV-2 infection in a population-based setting, VTE risks were low to moderate and were not substantially increased compared with SARS-CoV-2 test-negative and influenza patients. Risk of severe bleeding was low for ward patients, but mirrored VTE risk in the intensive care setting.

12.
Stem Cell Investig ; 7: 11, 2020.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1579497

ABSTRACT

The COVID-19 pandemic has presented with debilitating respiratory consequences especially more pronounced in high risk individuals. Individuals with underlying systemic diseases are more prone and vulnerable to suffer severe consequences of SARS-CoV-2 infectivity. The pathophysiological changes identified cytokine storm mechanism for out setting the series of adverse clinical conditions. Thereby, associating it with high mortality rates. This warrants urgent consideration of divergent modalities such as the cellular therapy. Cellular therapy (CT) is a new medical paradigm wherein cellular material is administered to patients for therapeutic purposes. In this regard, mesenchymal stem cells (MSCs) have yielded the most promising results among stromal vascular fraction (SVF); placental cells; natural killer (NK) cell and platelet lysate respectively. Following the administration of the CT as per preferred route, these play pivotal role in modifying the microenvironment of the lung tissue with their distinct sets of mechanism. Evidences have shown how their immunomodulatory action repairs and prevents lung injury which in turn improvise the compliance of lungs. In this review article we have discussed these emerging novel approaches and their target step serving as a ray of hope to combat severe form of COVID-19. Currently these aren't approved for preventing or treating COVID-19 cases, however clinical trials are afoot to dispense the utmost understanding in terms of efficacy and safety concerns.

13.
PLoS One ; 16(3): e0248009, 2021.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1575841

ABSTRACT

INTRODUCTION: Since the start of the pandemic, millions of people have been infected, with thousands of deaths. Many foci worldwide have been identified in retirement nursing homes, with a high number of deaths. Our study aims were to evaluate the spread of SARS-CoV-2 in the retirement nursing homes, the predictors to develop symptoms, and death. METHODS AND FINDINGS: We conducted a retrospective study enrolling all people living in retirement nursing homes (PLRNH), where at least one SARS-CoV-2 infected person was present. Medical and clinical data were collected. Variables were compared with Student's t-test or Pearson chi-square test as appropriate. Uni- and multivariate analyses were conducted to evaluate variables' influence on infection and symptoms development. Cox proportional-hazards model was used to evaluate 30 days mortality predictors, considering death as the dependent variable. We enrolled 382 subjects. The mean age was 81.15±10.97 years, and males were 140(36.7%). At the multivariate analysis, mental disorders, malignancies, and angiotensin II receptor blockers were predictors of SARS-CoV-2 infection while having a neurological syndrome was associated with a lower risk. Only half of the people with SARS-CoV-2 infection developed symptoms. Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease and neurological syndrome were correlated with an increased risk of developing SARS-CoV-2 related symptoms. Fifty-six (21.2%) people with SARS-CoV-2 infection died; of these, 53 died in the first 30 days after the swab's positivity. Significant factors associated with 30-days mortality were male gender, hypokinetic disease, and the presence of fever and dyspnea. Patients' autonomy and early heparin treatment were related to lower mortality risk. CONCLUSIONS: We evidenced factors associated with infection's risk and death in a setting with high mortality such as retirement nursing homes, that should be carefully considered in the management of PLRNH.


Subject(s)
COVID-19/pathology , Aged , Aged, 80 and over , Angiotensin Receptor Antagonists/administration & dosage , COVID-19/complications , COVID-19/mortality , COVID-19/virology , Dyspnea/etiology , Female , Fever/etiology , Heparin, Low-Molecular-Weight/therapeutic use , Humans , Male , Mental Disorders/complications , Mental Disorders/pathology , Neoplasms/complications , Neoplasms/pathology , Nursing Homes , Proportional Hazards Models , Retrospective Studies , Risk Factors , SARS-CoV-2/isolation & purification , Sex Factors , Survival Rate
14.
J Med Internet Res ; 23(2): e23795, 2021 02 18.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1574557

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: It has been widely communicated that individuals with underlying health conditions are at higher risk of severe disease due to COVID-19 than healthy peers. As social distancing measures continue during the COVID-19 pandemic, experts encourage individuals with underlying conditions to engage in telehealth appointments to maintain continuity of care while minimizing risk exposure. To date, however, little information has been provided regarding telehealth uptake among this high-risk population. OBJECTIVE: The aim of this study is to describe the telehealth use, resource needs, and information sources of individuals with chronic conditions during the COVID-19 pandemic. Secondary objectives include exploring differences in telehealth use by sociodemographic characteristics. METHODS: Data for this study were collected through an electronic survey distributed between May 12-14, 2020, to members of 26 online health communities for individuals with chronic disease. Descriptive statistics were run to explore telehealth use, support needs, and information sources, and z tests were run to assess differences in sociodemographic factors and information and support needs among those who did and did not use telehealth services. RESULTS: Among the 2210 respondents, 1073 (49%) reported engaging in telehealth in the past 4 months. Higher proportions of women engaged in telehealth than men (890/1781, 50% vs 181/424, 43%; P=.007), and a higher proportion of those earning household incomes of more than US $100,000 engaged in telehealth than those earning less than US $30,000 (195/370, 53% vs 241/530 45%; P=.003). Although 59% (133/244) of those younger than 40 years and 54% (263/486) of those aged 40-55 years used telehealth, aging populations were less likely to do so, with only 45% (677/1500) of individuals 56 years or older reporting telehealth use (P<.001 and P=.001, respectively). Patients with cystic fibrosis, lupus, and ankylosing spondylitis recorded the highest proportions of individuals using telehealth when compared to those with other diagnoses. Of the 2210 participants, 1333 (60%) participants either looked up information about the virus online or planned to in the future, and when asked what information or support would be most helpful right now, over half (1151/2210, 52%) responded "understanding how COVID-19 affects people with my health condition." CONCLUSIONS: Nearly half of the study sample reported participating in telehealth in the past 4 months. Future efforts to engage individuals with underlying medical conditions in telehealth should focus on outreach to men, members of lower-income households, and aging populations. These results may help inform and refine future health communications to further engage this at-risk population in telehealth as the pandemic continues.


Subject(s)
COVID-19/diagnosis , Telemedicine/methods , Chronic Disease , Female , Humans , Internet , Learning Health System , Male , Middle Aged , Pandemics , SARS-CoV-2 , Surveys and Questionnaires
15.
J Leukoc Biol ; 110(1): 21-26, 2021 07.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1574077

ABSTRACT

The global pandemic caused by the severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) is a highly pathogenic RNA virus causing coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) in humans. Although most patients with COVID-19 have mild illness and may be asymptomatic, some will develop severe pneumonia, acute respiratory distress syndrome, multi-organ failure, and death. RNA viruses such as SARS-CoV-2 are capable of hijacking the epigenetic landscape of host immune cells to evade antiviral defense. Yet, there remain considerable gaps in our understanding of immune cell epigenetic changes associated with severe SARS-CoV-2 infection pathology. Here, we examined genome-wide DNA methylation (DNAm) profiles of peripheral blood mononuclear cells from 9 terminally-ill, critical COVID-19 patients with confirmed SARS-CoV-2 plasma viremia compared with uninfected, hospitalized influenza, untreated primary HIV infection, and mild/moderate COVID-19 HIV coinfected individuals. Cell-type deconvolution analyses confirmed lymphopenia in severe COVID-19 and revealed a high percentage of estimated neutrophils suggesting perturbations to DNAm associated with granulopoiesis. We observed a distinct DNAm signature of severe COVID-19 characterized by hypermethylation of IFN-related genes and hypomethylation of inflammatory genes, reinforcing observations in infection models and single-cell transcriptional studies of severe COVID-19. Epigenetic clock analyses revealed severe COVID-19 was associated with an increased DNAm age and elevated mortality risk according to GrimAge, further validating the epigenetic clock as a predictor of disease and mortality risk. Our epigenetic results reveal a discovery DNAm signature of severe COVID-19 in blood potentially useful for corroborating clinical assessments, informing pathogenic mechanisms, and revealing new therapeutic targets against SARS-CoV-2.


Subject(s)
COVID-19/genetics , DNA Methylation/genetics , Epigenesis, Genetic , Genome, Human , COVID-19/virology , HIV Infections/genetics , Humans , Influenza, Human/genetics , SARS-CoV-2/physiology
16.
Dig Dis ; 39(6): 622-625, 2021.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1574067

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND/AIMS: The COVID-19 disease, which was declared epidemic by the WHO, is a global emergency public health problem. Patients with extrapulmonary symptoms are the group of patients who should be considered for person-to-person transmission in the community. In our study, it was aimed to investigate the characteristics of patients with COVID-19-related diarrhea symptoms. MATERIALS AND METHODS: The study was conducted retrospectively in CO-VID-19 rtRT-PCR-positive patients in 5 medical centers. Three or more loose/liquid stools per day or increased number of defecations compared to normal defecation were defined as diarrhea. The patients were analyzed in 2 groups as those with and without diarrhea. RESULTS: One thousand eighty-six patients were included in the study. Seventy-eight (7.2%) of the patients had diarrhea. Diarrhea was watery in 54 (69.2%) patients while with blood and mucus in 18 (23.1%) patients. Diarrhea continued for an average of 5.2 ± 1.6 (2-11) days. The clinical and laboratory findings of patients with diarrhea were more serious than those without diarrhea. Diarrhea is more common in the elderly and people with comorbid disease, and patients with diarrhea had higher CMI score and CRP and higher complaints of fever, cough, shortness of breath, myalgia, and fatigue. CONCLUSIONS: The presence of diarrhea should indicate a suspected COVID-19 infection and suggest testing for early diagnosis of the disease. It should be kept in mind that the course of the disease may be more severe in these patients, and precautions should also be taken in terms of fecal transmission during discharge.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Aged , Diarrhea/epidemiology , Diarrhea/etiology , Feces , Humans , Retrospective Studies , SARS-CoV-2
17.
Rev Med Virol ; 31(5): 1-13, 2021 09.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1574052

ABSTRACT

Anti-tumour necrosis factor (TNF) biologicals, Dexamethasone and rIL-7 are of considerable interest in treating COVID-19 patients who are in danger of, or have become, seriously ill. Yet reducing sepsis mortality by lowering circulating levels of TNF lost favour when positive endpoints in earlier simplistic models could not be reproduced in well-conducted human trials. Newer information with anti-TNF biologicals has encouraged reintroducing this concept for treating COVID-19. Viral models have had encouraging outcomes, as have the effects of anti-TNF biologicals on community-acquired COVID-19 during their long-term use to treat chronic inflammatory states. The positive outcome of a large scale trial of dexamethasone, and its higher potency late in the disease, harmonises well with its capacity to enhance levels of IL-7Rα, the receptor for IL-7, a cytokine that enhances lymphocyte development and is increased during the cytokine storm. Lymphoid germinal centres required for antibody-based immunity can be harmed by TNF, and restored by reducing TNF. Thus the IL-7- enhancing activity of dexamethasone may explain its higher potency when lymphocytes are depleted later in the infection, while employing anti-TNF, for several reasons, is much more logical earlier in the infection. This implies dexamethasone could prove to be synergistic with rIL-7, currently being trialed as a COVID-19 therapeutic. The principles behind these COVID-19 therapies are consistent with the observed chronic hypoxia through reduced mitochondrial function, and also the increased severity of this disease in ApoE4-positive individuals. Many of the debilitating persistent aspects of this disease are predictably susceptible to treatment with perispinal etanercept, since they have cerebral origins.


Subject(s)
COVID-19/drug therapy , Cytokine Release Syndrome/drug therapy , Dexamethasone/administration & dosage , Interleukin-17/administration & dosage , Tumor Necrosis Factor-alpha/antagonists & inhibitors , Animals , COVID-19/genetics , COVID-19/immunology , Cytokine Release Syndrome/genetics , Cytokine Release Syndrome/immunology , Humans , Tumor Necrosis Factor-alpha/genetics , Tumor Necrosis Factor-alpha/immunology
19.
Clin Infect Dis ; 73(11): 2073-2082, 2021 12 06.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1560084

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: The severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) pandemic poses an urgent need for the development of effective therapies for coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19). METHODS: We first tested SARS-CoV-2-specific T-cell (CοV-2-ST) immunity and expansion in unexposed donors, COVID-19-infected individuals (convalescent), asymptomatic polymerase chain reaction (PCR)-positive subjects, vaccinated individuals, non-intensive care unit (ICU) hospitalized patients, and ICU patients who either recovered and were discharged (ICU recovered) or had a prolonged stay and/or died (ICU critical). CoV-2-STs were generated from all types of donors and underwent phenotypic and functional assessment. RESULTS: We demonstrate causal relationship between the expansion of endogenous CoV-2-STs and the disease outcome; insufficient expansion of circulating CoV-2-STs identified hospitalized patients at high risk for an adverse outcome. CoV-2-STs with a similarly functional and non-alloreactive, albeit highly cytotoxic, profile against SARS-CoV-2 could be expanded from both convalescent and vaccinated donors generating clinical-scale, SARS-CoV-2-specific T-cell products with functional activity against both the unmutated virus and its B.1.1.7 and B.1.351 variants. In contrast, critical COVID-19 patient-originating CoV-2-STs failed to expand, recapitulating the in vivo failure of CoV-2-specific T-cell immunity to control the infection. CoV-2-STs generated from asymptomatic PCR-positive individuals presented only weak responses, whereas their counterparts originating from exposed to other seasonal coronaviruses subjects failed to kill the virus, thus disempowering the hypothesis of protective cross-immunity. CONCLUSIONS: Overall, we provide evidence on risk stratification of hospitalized COVID-19 patients and the feasibility of generating powerful CoV-2-ST products from both convalescent and vaccinated donors as an "off-the shelf" T-cell immunotherapy for high-risk patients.

20.
Clin Infect Dis ; 73(11): e4058-e4063, 2021 12 06.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1560027

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: Little is known about long-term recovery from coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) disease, especially in nonhospitalized individuals. In this longitudinal study we present symptoms registered during the acute phase as well as long COVID (ie, long-lasting COVID-19 symptoms) in patients from the Faroe Islands. METHODS: All consecutive patients with confirmed reverse transcription-polymerase chain reaction testing from April to June 2020 were invited to participate in this study for the assessment of long COVID. Demographic and clinical characteristics and self-reported acute and persistent symptoms were assessed using a standardized detailed questionnaire administered at enrollment and at repeated phone interviews in the period 22 April to 16 August. RESULTS: Of the 180 participants (96.3% of the 187 eligible COVID-19 patients), 53.1% reported persistence of at least 1 symptom after a mean of 125 days after symptoms onset, 33.0% reported 1 or 2 symptoms, and 20.1% reported 3 or more symptoms. At the last follow-up, 46.9% were asymptomatic compared with 4.4% during the acute phase. The most prevalent persistent symptoms were fatigue, loss of smell and taste, and arthralgias. CONCLUSIONS: Our results show that it might take months for symptoms to resolve, even among nonhospitalized persons with mild illness course in the acute phase. Continued monitoring for long COVID is needed.

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