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BMJ Open ; 11(9): e051836, 2021 09 21.
Artigo em Inglês | MEDLINE | ID: mdl-34548362


OBJECTIVE: This study aimed to capture key epidemiological data on SARS-CoV-2 infection in Nicaraguan children (≤18 years) seeking medical care, between 6 October and 16 November 2020. DESIGN: In this cross-sectional study, 418 children were recruited: 319 with symptoms characteristic of COVID-19 and 99 with no symptoms of illness. Children were tested for SARS-CoV-2 RNA using loop-mediated isothermal amplification. A questionnaire was employed to identify symptoms, risk factors, comorbidities and COVID-19 prevention measures. SETTING: Research was carried out in four hospitals and two clinics in Managua, Nicaragua, where schools and businesses remained open throughout the COVID-19 pandemic. PARTICIPANTS: Children were enrolled into a possible COVID-19 group if presenting with clinical symptoms. A comparison group included children lacking any COVID-19 symptoms attending routine check-ups or seeking care for issues unrelated to COVID-19. RESULTS: A high prevalence (43%) of SARS-CoV-2 infection was found, which was relatively equivalent in symptomatic and non-symptomatic children. Age distribution was similar between symptomatic and non-symptomatic children testing positive for SARS-CoV-2. Symptomatic children who tested positive for SARS-CoV-2 were 2.7 times more likely to have diarrhoea (26.7% in positive vs 12.0% in negative; OR=2.7 (95% CI 1.5 to 4.8), p=0.001) and were 2.0 times more likely to have myalgia (17.8% in positive vs 9.8% in negative; OR=2.0 (95% CI 1.0 to 3.8), p=0.04). Children with COVID-19 symptoms, who tested positive for SARS-CoV-2, were more likely to be under age 5 years and to have a pre-existing comorbid condition than children who tested positive but did not have symptoms. CONCLUSIONS: This is the first paediatric study to provide laboratory-confirmed data on SARS-CoV-2 infection in Nicaragua, crucial for paediatric health services planning and a successful COVID-19 response. The high prevalence of the virus suggests widespread and sustained community transmission, underscoring the urgent need for robust data on the true extent of SARS-CoV-2 infection throughout Nicaragua.

COVID-19 , SARS-CoV-2 , Criança , Pré-Escolar , Estudos Transversais , Humanos , Técnicas de Diagnóstico Molecular , Nicarágua/epidemiologia , Técnicas de Amplificação de Ácido Nucleico , Pandemias , Prevalência , RNA Viral , Fatores de Risco
PLoS One ; 16(1): e0246084, 2021.
Artigo em Inglês | MEDLINE | ID: mdl-33503071


The Nicaraguan COVID-19 situation is exceptional for Central America. The government restricts testing and testing supplies, and the true extent of the coronavirus crisis remains unknown. Dozens of deaths have been reported among health-care workers. However, statistics on the crisis' effect on health-care workers and their risk of being infected with SARS-CoV-2 are lacking. We aimed to estimate the prevalence of SARS-CoV-2 infection in health-care workers and to examine correlations with risk factors such as age, sex and comorbidities. Study participants (N = 402, median age 38.48 years) included physicians, nurses and medical assistants, from public and private hospitals, independent of symptom presentation. SARS-CoV-2 was detected on saliva samples using the loop-mediated isothermal amplification assay. A questionnaire was employed to determine subjects' COVID-19-associated symptoms and their vulnerability to complications from risk factors such as age, sex, professional role and comorbidities. The study was performed five weeks into the exponential growth period in Nicaragua. We discovered that 30.35% of health-care workers participating in our study had been infected with SARS-CoV-2. A large percentage (54.92%) of those who tested positive were asymptomatic and were still treating patients. Nearly 50% of health-care workers who tested positive were under 40, an astonishing 30.33% reported having at least one comorbidity. In our study, sex and age are important risk factors for the probability of testing positive for SARS-CoV-2 with significance being greatest among those between 30 and 40 years of age. In general, being male resulted in higher risk. Our data are the first non-governmental data obtained in Nicaragua. They shed light on several important aspects of COVID-19 in an underdeveloped nation whose government has implemented a herd-immunity strategy, while lacking an adequate healthcare system and sufficient PPE for health-care workers. These data are important for creating policies for containing the spread of SARS-CoV-2.

COVID-19/epidemiologia , Pessoal de Saúde/estatística & dados numéricos , Adulto , Idoso , Doenças Assintomáticas/epidemiologia , COVID-19/transmissão , Infecções por Coronavirus/epidemiologia , Infecções por Coronavirus/virologia , Feminino , Humanos , Transmissão de Doença Infecciosa do Paciente para o Profissional/estatística & dados numéricos , Masculino , Pessoa de Meia-Idade , Nicarágua/epidemiologia , Prevalência , Fatores de Risco , SARS-CoV-2/isolamento & purificação , Saliva/virologia