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1.
Elife ; 92020 08 13.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-2155738

ABSTRACT

As of 1 May 2020, there had been 6808 confirmed cases of COVID-19 in Australia. Of these, 98 had died from the disease. The epidemic had been in decline since mid-March, with 308 cases confirmed nationally since 14 April. This suggests that the collective actions of the Australian public and government authorities in response to COVID-19 were sufficiently early and assiduous to avert a public health crisis - for now. Analysing factors that contribute to individual country experiences of COVID-19, such as the intensity and timing of public health interventions, will assist in the next stage of response planning globally. We describe how the epidemic and public health response unfolded in Australia up to 13 April. We estimate that the effective reproduction number was likely below one in each Australian state since mid-March and forecast that clinical demand would remain below capacity thresholds over the forecast period (from mid-to-late April).


Subject(s)
Betacoronavirus , Coronavirus Infections/epidemiology , Pandemics , Pneumonia, Viral/epidemiology , Adolescent , Adult , Age Distribution , Aged , Aged, 80 and over , Australia/epidemiology , COVID-19 , Child , Child, Preschool , Communicable Disease Control/methods , Communicable Disease Control/organization & administration , Communicable Disease Control/statistics & numerical data , Coronavirus Infections/prevention & control , Female , Forecasting , Geography, Medical , Hospitalization/statistics & numerical data , Humans , Infant , Infant, Newborn , Male , Middle Aged , Pandemics/prevention & control , Pneumonia, Viral/prevention & control , Public Health , Quarantine , SARS-CoV-2 , Travel , Young Adult
3.
Hypertension ; 76(5): 1368-1383, 2020 11.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-2153222

ABSTRACT

Telemedicine allows the remote exchange of medical data between patients and healthcare professionals. It is used to increase patients' access to care and provide effective healthcare services at a distance. During the recent coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic, telemedicine has thrived and emerged worldwide as an indispensable resource to improve the management of isolated patients due to lockdown or shielding, including those with hypertension. The best proposed healthcare model for telemedicine in hypertension management should include remote monitoring and transmission of vital signs (notably blood pressure) and medication adherence plus education on lifestyle and risk factors, with video consultation as an option. The use of mixed automated feedback services with supervision of a multidisciplinary clinical team (physician, nurse, or pharmacist) is the ideal approach. The indications include screening for suspected hypertension, management of older adults, medically underserved people, high-risk hypertensive patients, patients with multiple diseases, and those isolated due to pandemics or national emergencies.


Subject(s)
Coronavirus Infections/prevention & control , Cross Infection/prevention & control , Hypertension/drug therapy , Pandemics/prevention & control , Pneumonia, Viral/prevention & control , Telemedicine/statistics & numerical data , Blood Pressure Determination/methods , COVID-19 , Coronavirus Infections/epidemiology , Disease Management , Evidence-Based Medicine , Female , Humans , Hypertension/diagnosis , Italy , Male , Occupational Health , Pandemics/statistics & numerical data , Patient Safety , Pneumonia, Viral/epidemiology , Severity of Illness Index
4.
Hypertension ; 76(5): 1526-1536, 2020 11.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-2153220

ABSTRACT

ACE2 (angiotensin-converting enzyme 2) is a key component of the renin-angiotensin-aldosterone system. Yet, little is known about the clinical and biologic correlates of circulating ACE2 levels in humans. We assessed the clinical and proteomic correlates of plasma (soluble) ACE2 protein levels in human heart failure. We measured plasma ACE2 using a modified aptamer assay among PHFS (Penn Heart Failure Study) participants (n=2248). We performed an association study of ACE2 against ≈5000 other plasma proteins measured with the SomaScan platform. Plasma ACE2 was not associated with ACE inhibitor and angiotensin-receptor blocker use. Plasma ACE2 was associated with older age, male sex, diabetes mellitus, a lower estimated glomerular filtration rate, worse New York Heart Association class, a history of coronary artery bypass surgery, and higher pro-BNP (pro-B-type natriuretic peptide) levels. Plasma ACE2 exhibited associations with 1011 other plasma proteins. In pathway overrepresentation analyses, top canonical pathways associated with plasma ACE2 included clathrin-mediated endocytosis signaling, actin cytoskeleton signaling, mechanisms of viral exit from host cells, EIF2 (eukaryotic initiation factor 2) signaling, and the protein ubiquitination pathway. In conclusion, in humans with heart failure, plasma ACE2 is associated with various clinical factors known to be associated with severe coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19), including older age, male sex, and diabetes mellitus, but is not associated with ACE inhibitor and angiotensin-receptor blocker use. Plasma ACE2 protein levels are prominently associated with multiple cellular pathways involved in cellular endocytosis, exocytosis, and intracellular protein trafficking. Whether these have a causal relationship with ACE2 or are relevant to novel coronavirus-2 infection remains to be assessed in future studies.


Subject(s)
Coronavirus Infections/epidemiology , Disease Outbreaks/statistics & numerical data , Disease Progression , Heart Failure/enzymology , Heart Failure/physiopathology , Peptidyl-Dipeptidase A/blood , Pneumonia, Viral/epidemiology , Academic Medical Centers , Analysis of Variance , Angiotensin-Converting Enzyme 2 , Biomarkers/metabolism , COVID-19 , Cohort Studies , Coronavirus Infections/prevention & control , Female , Humans , Linear Models , Male , Middle Aged , Pandemics/prevention & control , Pneumonia, Viral/prevention & control , Prognosis , Proportional Hazards Models , Proteomics/methods , Retrospective Studies , Sensitivity and Specificity , Severity of Illness Index , United States
12.
Infect Control Hosp Epidemiol ; 41(10): 1127-1135, 2020 10.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-2096357

ABSTRACT

To understand hospital policies and practices as the COVID-19 pandemic accelerated, the Society for Healthcare Epidemiology of America (SHEA) conducted a survey through the SHEA Research Network (SRN). The survey assessed policies and practices around the optimization of personal protection equipment (PPE), testing, healthcare personnel policies, visitors of COVID-19 patients in relation to procedures, and types of patients. Overall, 69 individual healthcare facilities responded in the United States and internationally, for a 73% response rate.


Subject(s)
Coronavirus Infections/prevention & control , Cross Infection/prevention & control , Health Policy , Infection Control/methods , Pandemics/prevention & control , Pneumonia, Viral/prevention & control , Practice Patterns, Physicians'/statistics & numerical data , Betacoronavirus , COVID-19 , Health Personnel/organization & administration , Hospitals/statistics & numerical data , Humans , Personal Protective Equipment , SARS-CoV-2 , Surveys and Questionnaires
13.
Infect Control Hosp Epidemiol ; 41(11): 1328-1330, 2020 Nov.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-2096354

ABSTRACT

Environmental surface testing was performed to search for evidence of severe acute respiratory coronavirus virus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) environmental contamination by an asymptomatic SARS-CoV-2 carrier with persistently high viral loads under isolation. No evidence of environmental contamination was found. Further studies are needed to measure environmental contamination by SARS-CoV-2 carriers and to determine reasonable isolation periods.


Subject(s)
Asymptomatic Infections , Betacoronavirus/isolation & purification , Clinical Laboratory Techniques , Coronavirus Infections/diagnosis , Fomites/virology , Pneumonia, Viral/diagnosis , Quarantine/methods , Viral Load , Adult , COVID-19 , COVID-19 Testing , Child , Coronavirus Infections/prevention & control , Coronavirus Infections/transmission , Coronavirus Infections/virology , Female , Humans , Pandemics/prevention & control , Patients' Rooms , Pneumonia, Viral/prevention & control , Pneumonia, Viral/transmission , Pneumonia, Viral/virology , Quarantine/standards , SARS-CoV-2
14.
Infect Control Hosp Epidemiol ; 41(11): 1258-1265, 2020 11.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-2096345

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: The role of severe respiratory coronavirus virus 2 (SARS-CoV-2)-laden aerosols in the transmission of coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) remains uncertain. Discordant findings of SARS-CoV-2 RNA in air samples were noted in early reports. METHODS: Sampling of air close to 6 asymptomatic and symptomatic COVID-19 patients with and without surgical masks was performed with sampling devices using sterile gelatin filters. Frequently touched environmental surfaces near 21 patients were swabbed before daily environmental disinfection. The correlation between the viral loads of patients' clinical samples and environmental samples was analyzed. RESULTS: All air samples were negative for SARS-CoV-2 RNA in the 6 patients singly isolated inside airborne infection isolation rooms (AIIRs) with 12 air changes per hour. Of 377 environmental samples near 21 patients, 19 (5.0%) were positive by reverse-transcription polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR) assay, with a median viral load of 9.2 × 102 copies/mL (range, 1.1 × 102 to 9.4 × 104 copies/mL). The contamination rate was highest on patients' mobile phones (6 of 77, 7.8%), followed by bed rails (4 of 74, 5.4%) and toilet door handles (4 of 76, 5.3%). We detected a significant correlation between viral load ranges in clinical samples and positivity rate of environmental samples (P < .001). CONCLUSION: SARS-CoV-2 RNA was not detectable by air samplers, which suggests that the airborne route is not the predominant mode of transmission of SARS-CoV-2. Wearing a surgical mask, appropriate hand hygiene, and thorough environmental disinfection are sufficient infection control measures for COVID-19 patients isolated singly in AIIRs. However, this conclusion may not apply during aerosol-generating procedures or in cohort wards with large numbers of COVID-19 patients.


Subject(s)
Air Microbiology , Betacoronavirus/isolation & purification , Coronavirus Infections/transmission , Fomites/virology , Infection Control/methods , Patients' Rooms , Pneumonia, Viral/transmission , Adolescent , Adult , Aerosols , COVID-19 , Coronavirus Infections/diagnosis , Coronavirus Infections/prevention & control , Female , Hospitalization , Humans , Male , Middle Aged , Pandemics/prevention & control , Pneumonia, Viral/diagnosis , Pneumonia, Viral/prevention & control , SARS-CoV-2 , Viral Load
17.
Infect Control Hosp Epidemiol ; 41(9): 1003-1010, 2020 09.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-2096313

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: SARS-CoV-2 has been implicated in the largest recorded coronavirus outbreak to date. Initially, most COVID-19 cases were in China, but the virus has spread to more than 184 countries worldwide, and the United States currently has more cases than any other country. OBJECTIVE: With person-to-person spread expanding in the United States, we describe hospital preparedness for managing suspected and confirmed COVID-19 patients. DESIGN: Cross-sectional survey focused on various elements of respiratory disease preparedness. SETTING: Critical access hospitals (CAHs) and acute-care hospitals (ACHs) in Idaho. METHODS: The electronic survey was sent to infection preventionists (IPs) and nurse administrators in 44 hospitals in Idaho. RESULTS: Overall, 32 (73%) hospitals responded to the survey. Participating facilities reported their preparedness with respect to existing, formalized structures for managing infectious disease incidents-specifically COVID-19-as well as availability of resources, such as isolation rooms and personal protective equipment, for safely managing suspected and confirmed COVID-19 cases. CONCLUSIONS: Hospitals covered by the survey had varying levels of preparedness for managing COVID-19 cases, with differences across the various categories of interest in this study. Although the study reveals strengths, including in application of emergency management and infection control frameworks, it also suggests that other areas, such as consistent implementation of federal guidelines and requirements for infection prevention, are potential areas for strengthening preparedness for SARS-CoV-2 and other respiratory pathogens with pandemic potential.


Subject(s)
Betacoronavirus , Coronavirus Infections/prevention & control , Health Resources/supply & distribution , Hospitals/statistics & numerical data , Infection Control/statistics & numerical data , Pandemics/prevention & control , Pneumonia, Viral/prevention & control , COVID-19 , Cross-Sectional Studies , Health Care Surveys , Humans , Idaho , Infection Control/instrumentation , Infection Control/methods , Personal Protective Equipment/supply & distribution , Quarantine/methods , Quarantine/statistics & numerical data , SARS-CoV-2
18.
Infect Control Hosp Epidemiol ; 41(7): 820-825, 2020 Jul.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-2096308

ABSTRACT

OBJECTIVES: Patients with COVID-19 may present with respiratory syndromes indistinguishable from those caused by common viruses. Early isolation and containment is challenging. Although screening all patients with respiratory symptoms for COVID-19 has been recommended, the practicality of such an effort has yet to be assessed. METHODS: Over a 6-week period during a SARS-CoV-2 outbreak, our institution introduced a "respiratory surveillance ward" (RSW) to segregate all patients with respiratory symptoms in designated areas, where appropriate personal protective equipment (PPE) could be utilized until SARS-CoV-2 testing was done. Patients could be transferred when SARS-CoV-2 tests were negative on 2 consecutive occasions, 24 hours apart. RESULTS: Over the study period, 1,178 patients were admitted to the RSWs. The mean length-of-stay (LOS) was 1.89 days (SD, 1.23). Among confirmed cases of pneumonia admitted to the RSW, 5 of 310 patients (1.61%) tested positive for SARS-CoV-2. This finding was comparable to the pickup rate from our isolation ward. In total, 126 HCWs were potentially exposed to these cases; however, only 3 (2.38%) required quarantine because most used appropriate PPE. In addition, 13 inpatients overlapped with the index cases during their stay in the RSW; of these 13 exposed inpatients, 1 patient subsequently developed COVID-19 after exposure. No patient-HCW transmission was detected despite intensive surveillance. CONCLUSIONS: Our institution successfully utilized the strategy of an RSW over a 6-week period to contain a cluster of COVID-19 cases and to prevent patient-HCW transmission. However, this method was resource-intensive in terms of testing and bed capacity.


Subject(s)
Coronavirus Infections/transmission , Cross Infection/transmission , Infection Control/methods , Infectious Disease Transmission, Patient-to-Professional/prevention & control , Occupational Diseases/prevention & control , Patient Isolation , Pneumonia, Viral/transmission , Population Surveillance/methods , Adult , Aged , Aged, 80 and over , Betacoronavirus , COVID-19 , Coronavirus Infections/diagnosis , Coronavirus Infections/prevention & control , Cross Infection/diagnosis , Cross Infection/prevention & control , Early Diagnosis , Female , Humans , Length of Stay , Male , Middle Aged , Pandemics/prevention & control , Patients' Rooms/organization & administration , Personal Protective Equipment , Pneumonia/virology , Pneumonia, Viral/diagnosis , Pneumonia, Viral/prevention & control , SARS-CoV-2 , Singapore , Symptom Assessment , Tertiary Care Centers
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