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Special Issue "COVID-19 in North America: Clinical, Psychosocial, Laboratory, and Epidemiological Aspects"

A special issue of International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health (ISSN 1660-4601). This special issue belongs to the section "Environmental Health".

Deadline for manuscript submissions: 30 June 2022 | Viewed by 25264

Special Issue Editors

Prof. Dr. Amal K. Mitra
E-Mail Website
Guest Editor
Department of Epidemiology and Biostatistics, School of Public Health, Jackson State University, 350 West Woodrow Wilson Dr., room 216, Jackson, MS 39213, USA
Interests: breastfeeding; COVID-19; health disparities; lead poisoning; infectious diseases
Special Issues, Collections and Topics in MDPI journals
Prof. Dr. Dawn Bishop McLin
E-Mail Website
Guest Editor
Department of Psychology, Jackson State University, Jackson, MS 39217, USA
Interests: cultural competency; multicultural psychology; emergency preparedness and psychology of disasters
Prof. Dr. Abdullah Baqui
E-Mail Website
Guest Editor
Department of International Health, Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health, Baltimore, MD 21205, USA
Interests: clinical trials; program evaluation; global policies and programs; neonatal medicine; child and maternal health
Dr. Sarah Buxbaum
E-Mail Website
Guest Editor
Department of Epidemiology and Biostatistics, College of Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Sciences, Institute of Public Health, Florida A&M University, Tallahassee, FL 32307, USA
Interests: genetic epidemiology; cardiovascular genetics; biomarkers for hypertension and diabetes; long term effects of neonatal nutrition; prostate cancer

Special Issue Information

Dear Researchers,

COVID-19 has emerged as a major pandemic affecting many countries and territories. Every day, the incidence and death rates due to COVID-19 are escalating in an exponential trend. The U.S. is the country most affected by this pandemic in the world. In this context, the editors of the International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health (IJERPH) have initiated a Special Issue of the journal - COVID-19 in North America: Clinical, Psychosocial, Laboratory, and Epidemiological Aspects. IJERPH is a peer-reviewed open access scientific journal published by MDPI, with an impact factor of 3.390. As the name of the Special Issue suggests, the editors intend to make the focus of the Special Issue North America due to the current situation in these countries.

Type of articles: The editors welcome original articles, communications, case reports, and review articles (systematic review and meta-analysis) describing research findings on COVID-19 in the North American countries. The subject areas may include epidemiology, risk factors, the disease burden, societal impact, psychological effects, pathogenesis, immunology, microbiology, vaccines, clinical presentations, causes of death, autopsy findings, management, treatment algorithms, diagnostic scoring systems, clinical trials, machine learning, predictive models, etc.

Prof. Dr. Amal K. Mitra
Prof. Dr. Dawn Bishop McLins
Prof. Dr. Abdullah Baqui
Dr. Sarah Buxbaum
Guest Editors

Manuscript Submission Information

Manuscripts should be submitted online at www.mdpi.com by registering and logging in to this website. Once you are registered, click here to go to the submission form. Manuscripts can be submitted until the deadline. All submissions that pass pre-check are peer-reviewed. Accepted papers will be published continuously in the journal (as soon as accepted) and will be listed together on the special issue website. Research articles, review articles as well as short communications are invited. For planned papers, a title and short abstract (about 100 words) can be sent to the Editorial Office for announcement on this website.

Submitted manuscripts should not have been published previously, nor be under consideration for publication elsewhere (except conference proceedings papers). All manuscripts are thoroughly refereed through a single-blind peer-review process. A guide for authors and other relevant information for submission of manuscripts is available on the Instructions for Authors page. International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health is an international peer-reviewed open access semimonthly journal published by MDPI.

Please visit the Instructions for Authors page before submitting a manuscript. The Article Processing Charge (APC) for publication in this open access journal is 2500 CHF (Swiss Francs). Submitted papers should be well formatted and use good English. Authors may use MDPI's English editing service prior to publication or during author revisions.

Keywords

  • Clinical (clinical presentations, complications, clinical trials)
  • Psychosocial (stress, coping and resilience, mental health, social impact)
  • Laboratory (virology, pathophysiology, immunology, vaccine trial)
  • Public health (epidemiology, risk factors, KAP survey, modeling, GIS and remote sensing, machine learning, outreach programs, community interventions, health education etc.)

Published Papers (6 papers)

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Research

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Article
Identifying Factors That Predict Behavioral Intention to Stay under Lockdown during the SARS-CoV-2 Pandemic Using a Structural Equation Model
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2022, 19(5), 2757; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph19052757 - 27 Feb 2022
Viewed by 600
Abstract
Lockdown is considered to be a successful strategy for preventing the spread of severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2). To predict the behavioral intention to stay under lockdown (BIKL), components of the theory of planned behavior (TPB) and the behavioral indicators of [...] Read more.
Lockdown is considered to be a successful strategy for preventing the spread of severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2). To predict the behavioral intention to stay under lockdown (BIKL), components of the theory of planned behavior (TPB) and the behavioral indicators of infection were applied. Sampling was conducted between 11 April and 30 May 2020. The objective of the study was to identify factors predictive of BIKL by means of a structural equation model. Method: A correlational and comparative repeated measures study was conducted with a sample of 315 participants from different cities in Mexico. Results: Model indices were χ2 = 505.1, SD = 228, p < 0.001, χ2/SD = 2.2, CFI = 0.91, RMSEA = 0.06, and SRMR = 0.06; 47% of BIKL was explained by the variables attitude (β = 0.71, p < 0.001), subjective norm (β = 0.14, p = 0.042), and behavioral control (β = 0.24, p < 0.001). Conclusions: Personal and family work conviction and persuasion are favorable for the maintenance of lockdown, including concepts of civic responsibility, a positive attitude, and a family that supports compliance with lockdown. From a governmental point of view, there is a context that promotes control over the situation and exerts a positive impact on the behavioral intention to stay under lockdown. Full article
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Article
An Efficient Deep Learning Model to Detect COVID-19 Using Chest X-ray Images
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2022, 19(4), 2013; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph19042013 - 11 Feb 2022
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 867
Abstract
The tragic pandemic of COVID-19, due to the Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome coronavirus-2 or SARS-CoV-2, has shaken the entire world, and has significantly disrupted healthcare systems in many countries. Because of the existing challenges and controversies to testing for COVID-19, improved and cost-effective [...] Read more.
The tragic pandemic of COVID-19, due to the Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome coronavirus-2 or SARS-CoV-2, has shaken the entire world, and has significantly disrupted healthcare systems in many countries. Because of the existing challenges and controversies to testing for COVID-19, improved and cost-effective methods are needed to detect the disease. For this purpose, machine learning (ML) has emerged as a strong forecasting method for detecting COVID-19 from chest X-ray images. In this paper, we used a Deep Learning Method (DLM) to detect COVID-19 using chest X-ray (CXR) images. Radiographic images are readily available and can be used effectively for COVID-19 detection compared to other expensive and time-consuming pathological tests. We used a dataset of 10,040 samples, of which 2143 had COVID-19, 3674 had pneumonia (but not COVID-19), and 4223 were normal (not COVID-19 or pneumonia). Our model had a detection accuracy of 96.43% and a sensitivity of 93.68%. The area under the ROC curve was 99% for COVID-19, 97% for pneumonia (but not COVID-19 positive), and 98% for normal cases. In conclusion, ML approaches may be used for rapid analysis of CXR images and thus enable radiologists to filter potential candidates in a time-effective manner to detect COVID-19. Full article
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Article
Potential Years of Life Lost Due to COVID-19 in the United States, Italy, and Germany: An Old Formula with Newer Ideas
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2020, 17(12), 4392; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph17124392 - 18 Jun 2020
Cited by 22 | Viewed by 2418
Abstract
Today, the world is facing the challenge of a major pandemic due to COVID-19, which has caused more than 6.1 million cases of infection and nearly 370,000 deaths so far. Most of the deaths from the disease are clustered in the older population, [...] Read more.
Today, the world is facing the challenge of a major pandemic due to COVID-19, which has caused more than 6.1 million cases of infection and nearly 370,000 deaths so far. Most of the deaths from the disease are clustered in the older population, but the young and children are not spared. In this context, there is a critical need to revisit the formula for calculating potential years of life lost (PYLL). Data on age-specific deaths due to COVID-19 in three countries, including the United States (US), Italy, and Germany, were evaluated. New York State, as a significant outlier within the US, was also included. PYLLs in the US were five times as high as those of Italy. Compared with Germany, PYLLs in Italy were 4 times higher, and the rates in the US were 23, 25, and 18 times higher when using upper age limits of 70, 75, and 80, respectively. Standardized PYLLs in New York were 2 times as high as the rates in Italy, and 7 to 9 times as high as PYLLs in Germany. The revised formula of PYLL, using an upper limit of age 80, is recommended to accurately measure premature deaths due to a major disastrous disease such as COVID-19. Full article
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Review

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Review
Diverse Manifestations of COVID-19: Some Suggested Mechanisms
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2021, 18(18), 9785; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph18189785 - 17 Sep 2021
Cited by 4 | Viewed by 1044
Abstract
Severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2), the cause of the novel respiratory disease COVID-19, has reached pandemic status and presents a wide range of manifestations of diverse magnitude, including fever, cough, shortness of breath, and damage to vital organs, such as the [...] Read more.
Severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2), the cause of the novel respiratory disease COVID-19, has reached pandemic status and presents a wide range of manifestations of diverse magnitude, including fever, cough, shortness of breath, and damage to vital organs, such as the heart, lung, kidney, and brain. Normally, older individuals and those with underlying health issues are more at risk. However, about 40% of COVID-19 positive individuals are asymptomatic. This review aims to identify suggested mechanisms of diverse manifestations of COVID-19. Studies suggest that T cell-mediated immunity and specific and/or nonspecific immunity from other vaccines could protect against SARS-CoV-2. The potential role of cross-reacting antibodies to coronaviruses that cause the common cold, mumps virus, polio virus, and pneumococcal bacteria are also suggested to help protect against COVID-19. Decreased production of Type I interferons (IFN-α and IFN-β) could also be linked to COVID-19 manifestations. Several studies suggest that ACE2 cell membrane receptors are involved in SARS-CoV-2 infection. However, the relationship between an abundance of ACE2 receptors and the infectivity of the virus is unknown. Unlocking these manifestation mysteries could be crucial as this could help researchers better understand the virulence, pathology, and immune responses associated with SARS-CoV-2, leading to the development of effective therapies and treatment plans. Full article
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Review
Impact of COVID-19 on Mental Health in Adolescents: A Systematic Review
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2021, 18(5), 2470; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph18052470 - 03 Mar 2021
Cited by 82 | Viewed by 18380
Abstract
Due to lack of sufficient data on the psychological toll of the COVID-19 pandemic on adolescent mental health, this systematic analysis aims to evaluate the impact of the pandemic on adolescent mental health. This study follows the PRISMA guidelines for systematic reviews of [...] Read more.
Due to lack of sufficient data on the psychological toll of the COVID-19 pandemic on adolescent mental health, this systematic analysis aims to evaluate the impact of the pandemic on adolescent mental health. This study follows the PRISMA guidelines for systematic reviews of 16 quantitative studies conducted in 2019–2021 with 40,076 participants. Globally, adolescents of varying backgrounds experience higher rates of anxiety, depression, and stress due to the pandemic. Secondly, adolescents also have a higher frequency of using alcohol and cannabis during the COVID-19 pandemic. However, social support, positive coping skills, home quarantining, and parent–child discussions seem to positively impact adolescent mental health during this period of crisis. Whether in the United States or abroad, the COVID-19 pandemic has impacted adolescent mental health. Therefore, it is important to seek and to use all of the available resources and therapies to help adolescents mediate the adjustments caused by the pandemic. Full article
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Other

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Case Report
Learning and Collaboration during Crisis: A Novel University-Community Partnership to Manufacture Medical Personal Protective Equipment
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2021, 18(5), 2258; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph18052258 - 25 Feb 2021
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 1117
Abstract
Research on crisis management focuses on pre-planning for disasters in order to understand potential barriers. However, one significant barrier to crisis response is that organizations may come together in unplanned configurations during crisis response. This means that significant opportunities exist for understanding the [...] Read more.
Research on crisis management focuses on pre-planning for disasters in order to understand potential barriers. However, one significant barrier to crisis response is that organizations may come together in unplanned configurations during crisis response. This means that significant opportunities exist for understanding the process by which individuals learn, collaborate, and create new systems during crises. In this case report, we present the case of face shield production by a university, academic medical center, and community partners during the supply chain collapse of the early COVID-19 pandemic with the aim of identifying the relationships that formed during the COVID-19 response, so that this case of relationship formation and participant experiences might inform similar disaster response challenges in the future. Thirteen participants responded to an in-depth questionnaire designed to simulate an asynchronous in-depth interview. Respondents reported on the activities of 80 individuals from 38 units/organizations, providing insight into communication challenges and resolutions. Responses were analyzed using thematic analysis, highlighting roles and relationships among participants. The findings grant insight into the experience of learning from crisis response efforts, responding to recent calls for social scientific work on COVID-19 responses. Full article
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