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This page contains a variety of information related to COVID-19 available from MDPI, including journal articles, special issues, and preprints, among others.
Background: Since its first report in Wuhan, China, in December 2019, COVID-19 has become a pandemic, affecting millions of people worldwide. Although the virus primarily affects the respiratory tract, gastrointestinal symptoms are also common. The aim of this narrative review is to
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Background: Since its first report in Wuhan, China, in December 2019, COVID-19 has become a pandemic, affecting millions of people worldwide. Although the virus primarily affects the respiratory tract, gastrointestinal symptoms are also common. The aim of this narrative review is to provide an overview of the pathophysiology and clinical manifestations of gastrointestinal COVID-19. Methods: We conducted a systematic electronic search of English literature up to January 2023 using Medline, Scopus, and the Cochrane Library, focusing on papers that analyzed the role of SARS-CoV-2 in the gastrointestinal tract. Results: Our review highlights that SARS-CoV-2 directly infects the gastrointestinal tract and can cause symptoms such as diarrhea, nausea/vomiting, abdominal pain, anorexia, loss of taste, and increased liver enzymes. These symptoms result from mucosal barrier damage, inflammation, and changes in the microbiota composition. The exact mechanism of how the virus overcomes the acid gastric environment and leads to the intestinal damage is still being studied. Conclusions: Although vaccination has increased the prevalence of less severe symptoms, the long-term interaction with SARS-CoV-2 remains a concern. Understanding the interplay between SARS-CoV-2 and the gastrointestinal tract is essential for future management of the virus.
Background: The aim of this study was to assess whether procalcitonin levels is a diagnostic tool capable of accurately identifying sepsis and ventilator-associated pneumonia (VAP) even in critically ill COVID-19 patients. Methods: In this retrospective, observational study, all critically ill COVID-19 patients who
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Background: The aim of this study was to assess whether procalcitonin levels is a diagnostic tool capable of accurately identifying sepsis and ventilator-associated pneumonia (VAP) even in critically ill COVID-19 patients. Methods: In this retrospective, observational study, all critically ill COVID-19 patients who survived for ≥2 days in a single university hospital and had at least one serum procalcitonin (PCT) value and associated blood culture and/or culture from a lower respiratory tract specimen available were eligible for the study. Results: Over the research period, 184 patients were recruited; 67 VAP/BSI occurred, with an incidence rate of 21.82 episodes of VAP/BSI (95% CI: 17.18–27.73) per 1000 patient-days among patients who were included. At the time of a positive microbiological culture, an average PCT level of 1.25–3.2 ng/mL was found. Moreover, also in subjects without positive cultures, PCT was altered in 21.7% of determinations, with an average value of 1.04–5.5 ng/mL. Both PCT and PCT-72 h were not linked to a diagnosis of VAP/BSI in COVID-19 patients, according to the multivariable GEE models (aOR 1.13, 95% CI 0.51–2.52 for PCT; aOR 1.32, 95% CI 0.66–2.64 for PCT-72 h). Conclusion: Elevated PCT levels might not always indicate bacterial superinfections or coinfections in a severe COVID-19 setting.
Background: The COVID-19 pandemic has negatively affected several aspects of people’s lifestyle worldwide. Healthy dietary patterns and their bioactive components may improve or even co-treat the negative impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic in several aspects of people’s lifestyle and mental health in daily
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Background: The COVID-19 pandemic has negatively affected several aspects of people’s lifestyle worldwide. Healthy dietary patterns and their bioactive components may improve or even co-treat the negative impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic in several aspects of people’s lifestyle and mental health in daily life. The aim of this survey is to evaluate the potential effect of Mediterranean diet (MD) adherence against COVID-19-induced complications. Methods: This is a cross-sectional survey performed on 3721 adults aged between 18 and 65 years old, which aims to evaluate the potential association of MD adherence with multiple sociodemographic, anthropometric, and lifestyle factors during the COVID-19 pandemic period. Results: This study has supported evidence that elevated MD compliance was independently related to female gender, better economic status, no smoking, increased risk of abdominal obesity, higher physical activity levels, greater prevalence of adequate sleep quality, better quality of life, and reduced probability of anxiety and depression during the COVID-19 pandemic by adjusting for multiple confounders. Conclusions: MD compliance may improve or even co-treat the negative impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic in several aspect of people’s lifestyle in daily life. Further research is strongly recommended exploring the possible beneficial effects of the MD against COVID-19 lifestyle complications in daily life.
The chemical composition of COVID test swabs has not been examined beyond the manufacturer’s datasheets. The unprecedented demand for swabs to conduct rapid lateral flow tests and nucleic acid amplification tests led to mass production, including 3D printing platforms. Manufacturing impurities could be
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The chemical composition of COVID test swabs has not been examined beyond the manufacturer’s datasheets. The unprecedented demand for swabs to conduct rapid lateral flow tests and nucleic acid amplification tests led to mass production, including 3D printing platforms. Manufacturing impurities could be present in the swabs and, if so, could pose a risk to human health. We used scanning electron microscopy and energy dispersive X-ray (EDX) spectroscopy to examine the ultrastructure of seven assorted brands of COVID test swabs and to identify and quantify their chemical elements. We detected eight unexpected elements, including transition metals, such as titanium and zirconium, the metalloid silicon, as well as post-transition metals aluminium and gallium, and the non-metal elements sulphur and fluorine. Some of the elements were detected as trace amounts, but for others, the amount was close to reported toxicological thresholds for inhalation routes. Experimental studies have shown that the detrimental effects of unexpected chemical elements include moderate to severe inflammatory states in the exposed epithelium as well as proliferative changes. Given the massive testing still being used in the context of the COVID pandemic, we urge caution in continuing to recommend repeated and frequent testing, particularly of healthy, non-symptomatic, individuals.
Medical professions are characterized by a great responsibility for human health and life; they are also vulnerable to burnout. The outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic has brought new challenges and threats. This study aimed to assess the mental health of healthcare workers after
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Medical professions are characterized by a great responsibility for human health and life; they are also vulnerable to burnout. The outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic has brought new challenges and threats. This study aimed to assess the mental health of healthcare workers after a year and a half of working in COVID-19 pandemic conditions. The Perceived Stress Scale (PSS-10), the Link Burnout Questionnaire (LBQ), and the General Health Questionnaire (GHQ-28) were utilized in this cross-sectional investigation. A total of 335 healthcare employees from Polish hospitals (median age 44 years) filled out online questionnaires between the 16 August 2021 and the 30 March 2022. Most of the sample was female (86%). In this study, 40.0% of the surveyed healthcare workers reported a high stress intensity. Burnout was reported by 9.6% of the workers, and the most frequently experienced symptom was psychophysical exhaustion. Almost half of the healthcare workers surveyed (49.6%) reported health disorders at both the mental and physiological levels. Interestingly, working in a COVID-19 ward did not significantly differentiate healthcare workers in any of the evaluated variables: PSS-10 (gr. A F = 1.21; gr. B F = 0.71; p > 0.05), LBQ (gr. A F = 1.89, F = 0.94, F = 1.08, F = 2.57; gr. B F = 0.32, F = 1.14, F = 0.77, F = 0.36; p > 0.05), and GHQ-28 (gr. A F = 0.85, F = 0.52, F = 0.57, F = 0.31; gr. B F = 0.31, F = 0.06, F = 0.06, F = 0.54; p > 0.05). Furthermore, there were no statistically significant differences between the compared occupational groups of healthcare workers: PSS-10 (F = 1.08; p > 0.05) and GHQ-28 (F = 1.78; F = 0.85; F = 0.62; F = 0.54; p > 0.05). The mental health of healthcare workers is alarming, and psychophysical conditions can affect the quality of work and relations with patients. Psychological care in workplaces and workshops that build resources for dealing with difficult situations are necessary.
The onset of the COVID-19 pandemic prompted educational institutions to swiftly integrate e-learning software systems, including learning management systems (LMSs), as essential tools for online education. This study aims to probe the inherent security vulnerabilities of three widely utilized e-learning platforms, namely, Moodle,
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The onset of the COVID-19 pandemic prompted educational institutions to swiftly integrate e-learning software systems, including learning management systems (LMSs), as essential tools for online education. This study aims to probe the inherent security vulnerabilities of three widely utilized e-learning platforms, namely, Moodle, Chamilo, and Ilias, spanning the pre-pandemic, pandemic, and post-pandemic periods. The rapid adoption of these platforms during the pandemic revolutionized online education but also unveiled security risks. This paper delves into these security vulnerabilities, offering insights before, during, and after the pandemic. Through an analysis of existing patches and security measures, areas for improvement are identified. Furthermore, the paper considers emerging cybersecurity technologies and trends, providing comprehensive recommendations to enhance system resilience against evolving cyber threats. The results obtained here can provide educational institutions with a guide for action to enable effective mitigation of e-learning software security vulnerabilities and ensure the continued security and sustainability of online education systems.
submission deadline 30 Sep 2023
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Keywords: COVID-19 pandemic and labour market; COVID-19 and financial sector; economic and social consequences of COVID-19 crisis; working from home (WFH) practices; the trade-off between economic and health measures; the effect of the pandemic on the environment and CO2 emissions; the role of central banks; and international institutions; cities after the pandemic; hybrid work and co-working spaces; pandemic and technologies; the future of work after COVID-19
The first webinar in the series, held on 17 April 2020, saw both Prof. Dr. Antoine Flahault, Director of the Institute of Global Health, University of Geneva, Switzerland, and Prof. Dr. Evelyne Bischof, Associate Professor, Shanghai University of Medicine and Health Sciences, Shanghai, China and Research physician, University Hospital of Basel, Basel, Switzerland speak on this topic.
The second webinar in the series, entitled “Coronaviruses: history, replication, innate immune antagonism”, saw Prof. Dr. Susan R. Weiss, Professor of Microbiology, Perelman School of Medicine, University of Pennsylvania speak on this topic.
WEBINAR 3: Could the COVID-19 Crisis be the Opportunity to Make Cities Carbon Neutral, Liveable and Healthy
The third webinar in this series was presented by Prof. Dr. Mark Nieuwenhuijsen, a world leading expert in environmental exposure assessment, epidemiology, and health risk/impact assessment with a strong focus and interest on healthy urban living.
WEBINAR 6: Survey on Symptoms/Signs, Protective Measures, Level of Awareness and Perception Regarding COVID-19 Outbreak among Dentists
In the sixth webinar of this series, Prof. Dr. Guglielmo Campus and Prof. Dr. Maria Grazia present and discuss the risk and the preventions that can and should be taken by dentists during this pandemic.
WEBINAR 8: Impact of COVID-19 on Routine Immunization, Reproduction and Pregnancy Outcome
For the eighth COVID-19 webinar, Prof. Dr. Jon Øyvind Odland discussed the effect that COVID-19 seems to have on pregnant women; whereas Prof. Dr. Giovanni Gabutti discussed the role of routine immunization as a way of fighting COVID-19.
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