Special Issue "COVID-19: Prevention, Diagnosis, Therapy and Follow Up"

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

Deadline for manuscript submissions: 31 January 2021.

Special Issue Editors

Dr. Ivan Gentile
Website
Guest Editor
Università degli Studi di Napoli Federico II, Naples, Italy
Interests: HCV; antibiotics; multidrug resistant bacteria
Dr. Annamaria Colao
Website
Guest Editor
Department of Clinical Medicine and Surgery, Federico II University of Naples, Via Pansini5, Naples, 81100 Italy
Interests: endocrinology; epidemiology; preventive medicine; precision medicine; predictive medicine; rare diseases; environmental pollution
Dr. Prisco Piscitelli
Website
Guest Editor
Department of Department of Clinical Medicine and Surgery, Federico II University of Naples, Via Pansini5, Naples, 81100 Italy
Interests: epidemiology; preventive medicine; infectious diseases; indoor pollution; asbestos-related diseases; Radon; air pollution

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

Covid-19 pandemic is dramatically impacting population and healthcare systems across the world. Many issues concern COVID-19 prevention of the contagion, symptoms, underlying factors or concurrent conditions that can predispose people to the infection, diagnosis and early diagnostic tools, treatment protocols, and follow up of healed people. A lot of emerging evidences have already been published concerning the effect of SARS-COV-2 infection on almost any human organ, and clinical experiences are going everywhere in order to cope with this incredible threat to human health.

This special issue on COVID-19: Prevention, Diagnosis, Therapy and Follow Up is aimed at stimulating clinicians and researchers working in the field of indfectious diseases, virology, epidemiology, preventive medicine and public health, internal medicine, pulmonology, radiology, neurology, cardiology etc. to share their experiences with the scientific community, in the perspective of common advance of knowledge that will lead us out from this health emergency.

Articles addressing exposure to the virus, biological mechanisms, treatment protocols, follow up, as well as epidemiological surveys are solicited: systematic reviews, meta-analyses, original research articles, short articles or commentaries are welcome and expected to add relevant information to the current knowledge.

Dr. Ivan Gentile
Dr. Annamaria Colao
Dr. Prisco Piscitelli
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 papers will be 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 2300 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

  • COVID-19
  • Epidemiology
  • Prevention
  • Diagnosis
  • Treatment
  • Follow-up

Published Papers (8 papers)

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Research

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Open AccessArticle
Simple, Low-Cost and Long-Lasting Film for Virus Inactivation Using Avian Coronavirus Model as Challenge
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2020, 17(18), 6456; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph17186456 - 04 Sep 2020
Abstract
The COVID-19 infection, caused by SARS-CoV-2, is inequitably distributed and more lethal among populations with lower socioeconomic status. Direct contact with contaminated surfaces has been among the virus sources, as it remains infective up to days. Several disinfectants have been shown to inactivate [...] Read more.
The COVID-19 infection, caused by SARS-CoV-2, is inequitably distributed and more lethal among populations with lower socioeconomic status. Direct contact with contaminated surfaces has been among the virus sources, as it remains infective up to days. Several disinfectants have been shown to inactivate SARS-CoV-2, but they rapidly evaporate, are flammable or toxic and may be scarce or inexistent for vulnerable populations. Therefore, we are proposing simple, easy to prepare, low-cost and efficient antiviral films, made with a widely available dishwashing detergent, which can be spread on hands and inanimate surfaces and is expected to maintain virucidal activity for longer periods than the current sanitizers. Avian coronavirus (ACoV) was used as model of the challenge to test the antivirus efficacy of the proposed films. Polystyrene petri dishes were covered with a thin layer of detergent formula. After drying, the films were exposed to different virus doses for 10 min and virus infectivity was determined using embryonated chicken eggs, and RNA virus quantification in allantoic fluids by RT-qPCR. The films inactivated the ACoV (ranging from 103.7 to 106.7 EID50), which is chemically and morphologically similar to SARS-CoV-2, and may constitute an excellent alternative to minimize the spread of COVID-19. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue COVID-19: Prevention, Diagnosis, Therapy and Follow Up)
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Open AccessArticle
Characterization of Home Working Population during COVID-19 Emergency: A Cross-Sectional Analysis
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2020, 17(17), 6284; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph17176284 - 28 Aug 2020
Abstract
Evidence about the characterization of home workers in terms of both work-related outcomes and health issues is lacking. The purpose of this cross-sectional study was to examine the impact of home working on perceived job productivity and satisfaction, work-related stress, and musculoskeletal (MSK) [...] Read more.
Evidence about the characterization of home workers in terms of both work-related outcomes and health issues is lacking. The purpose of this cross-sectional study was to examine the impact of home working on perceived job productivity and satisfaction, work-related stress, and musculoskeletal (MSK) issues. We included 51 mobile workers, collecting data about demographic characteristics, working experience, job productivity, and stress. Job satisfaction was assessed through the Utrecht Work Engagement Scale (UWES), while MSK pain was investigated by the Brief Pain Inventory (BPI) and Fear Avoidance Beliefs Questionnaire (FABQ). Moreover, a home workplace analysis had to be carried out according to current Italian regulations. Participants declared that they were less productive (39.2%) but less stressed (39.2%) and equally satisfied (51%) compared to the time of office working. Regarding MSK disorders, low back pain (LBP) was referred by 41.2% of home workers and neck pain by 23.5% of them. Neck pain worsened in 50% of home workers, while LBP did not exacerbate in 47.6% of cases. Home workers with MSK pain reported a lower job satisfaction. Depending on our data, the home environment seems to be not adequate in the mobile worker population, with an increased risk for mental health and MSK problems, particularly affecting the spine. Addressing these issues can significantly reduce risks for health, thus, improving job productivity and satisfaction and reducing cost. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue COVID-19: Prevention, Diagnosis, Therapy and Follow Up)
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Open AccessArticle
A Look Behind the Scenes at COVID-19: National Strategies of Infection Control and Their Impact on Mortality
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2020, 17(15), 5616; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph17155616 - 04 Aug 2020
Cited by 1
Abstract
(1) Background: The severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) began spreading across the globe in December and, as of 9 July 2020, had inflicted more than 550,000 deaths. Public health measures implemented to control the outbreak caused socio-economic havoc in many countries. [...] Read more.
(1) Background: The severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) began spreading across the globe in December and, as of 9 July 2020, had inflicted more than 550,000 deaths. Public health measures implemented to control the outbreak caused socio-economic havoc in many countries. The pandemic highlighted the quality of health care systems, responses of policymakers in harmony with the population, and socio-economic resilience factors. We suggest that different national strategies had an impact on mortality and case count. (2) Methods: We collected fatality data for 17 countries until 2 June 2020 from public data and associated these with implemented containment measures. (3) Results: The outcomes present the effectiveness of control mechanisms in mitigating the virus for selected countries and the UAE as a special case. Pre-existing conditions defined the needed public health strategies and fatality numbers. Other pre-existing conditions, such as temperature, humidity, median age, and low serum 25-hydroxyvitamin D (25(OH)D) concentrations played minor roles and may have had no direct impact on fatality rates. (4) Conclusions: Prevention, fast containment, adequate public health strategies, and importance of indoor environments were determining factors in mitigating the pandemic. Development of public health strategies adapted to pre-existing conditions for each country and community compliance with implemented policies ensure the successful control of pandemics. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue COVID-19: Prevention, Diagnosis, Therapy and Follow Up)
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Open AccessArticle
BCG Vaccination and Mortality of COVID-19 across 173 Countries: An Ecological Study
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2020, 17(15), 5589; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph17155589 - 03 Aug 2020
Abstract
Ecological studies have suggested fewer COVID-19 morbidities and mortalities in Bacillus Calmette–Guérin (BCG)-vaccinated countries than BCG-non-vaccinated countries. However, these studies obtained data during the early phase of the pandemic and did not adjust for potential confounders, including PCR-test numbers per population (PCR-tests). Currently—more [...] Read more.
Ecological studies have suggested fewer COVID-19 morbidities and mortalities in Bacillus Calmette–Guérin (BCG)-vaccinated countries than BCG-non-vaccinated countries. However, these studies obtained data during the early phase of the pandemic and did not adjust for potential confounders, including PCR-test numbers per population (PCR-tests). Currently—more than four months after declaration of the pandemic—the BCG-hypothesis needs reexamining. An ecological study was conducted by obtaining data of 61 factors in 173 countries, including BCG vaccine coverage (%), using morbidity and mortality as outcomes, obtained from open resources. ‘Urban population (%)’ and ‘insufficient physical activity (%)’ in each country was positively associated with morbidity, but not mortality, after adjustment for PCR-tests. On the other hand, recent BCG vaccine coverage (%) was negatively associated with mortality, but not morbidity, even with adjustment for percentage of the population ≥ 60 years of age, morbidity, PCR-tests and other factors. The results of this study generated a hypothesis that a national BCG vaccination program seems to be associated with reduced mortality of COVID-19, although this needs to be further examined and proved by randomized clinical trials. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue COVID-19: Prevention, Diagnosis, Therapy and Follow Up)
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Open AccessArticle
Experiential Learning Program to Strengthen Self-Reflection and Critical Thinking in Freshmen Nursing Students during COVID-19: A Quasi-Experimental Study
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2020, 17(15), 5442; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph17155442 - 28 Jul 2020
Abstract
This article focuses on the unique needs and concerns of nursing educators and nursing students in the face of the COVID-19 pandemic. During social distancing, interacting with other human beings has been restricted. This would undermine the experiential learning of nursing students. Hence, [...] Read more.
This article focuses on the unique needs and concerns of nursing educators and nursing students in the face of the COVID-19 pandemic. During social distancing, interacting with other human beings has been restricted. This would undermine the experiential learning of nursing students. Hence, it is important to develop and evaluate an experiential learning program (ELP) for nursing education. A pre-test and post-test design were used. The study was conducted in a university in Central Taiwan. A total of 103 nursing students participated in the study from February to June 2019. The study intervention was the experiential learning program (ELP), including bodily experiences and nursing activities with babies, pregnant women, and the elderly. After the intervention, the students completed the self-reflection and insight scale (SRIS) and Taiwan Critical Thinking Disposition Inventory (TCTDI) as outcome measures. An independent t-test showed that there was a significant difference between pre-test and post-test in both SRIS and TCTDI (p < 0.01). The Pearson product–moment correlation analysis showed that SRIS and TCTDI were significantly positively correlated (p < 0.01). ELP has a significant impact on the self-reflection and critical thinking of first-year nursing students, which can be used as a reference for the education of nursing students. During these turbulent times, it is especially vital for faculties to provide experiential learning instead of the traditional teaching concept. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue COVID-19: Prevention, Diagnosis, Therapy and Follow Up)

Review

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Open AccessReview
State of Fragility Fractures Management During the COVID-19 pandemic
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2020, 17(21), 7732; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph17217732 (registering DOI) - 22 Oct 2020
Abstract
Osteoporosis is a public health concern all over the world. As a chronic condition, it generally requires prolonged medical interventions to limit the risks of further bone loss, impaired skeletal integrity and the onset of fractures. This problem is further complicated by the [...] Read more.
Osteoporosis is a public health concern all over the world. As a chronic condition, it generally requires prolonged medical interventions to limit the risks of further bone loss, impaired skeletal integrity and the onset of fractures. This problem is further complicated by the fact that the abrupt cessation of some therapies may be associated with an increased risk of harm. It is in this context that the COVID-19 pandemic has caused an unprecedented disruption to the provision of healthcare worldwide, exceeding our worst expectations in terms of the number of lives lost and the rapidity at which consolidated economies and healthcare systems are being significantly damaged. In this review, we assessed the challenges and strategies used in the management of osteoporosis and fragility fracture care during the COVID-19 pandemic. We also examined the available evidence and provided clinical recommendations that will require reassessment as the worldwide response to COVID-19 evolves. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue COVID-19: Prevention, Diagnosis, Therapy and Follow Up)
Open AccessReview
Clinical Presentation of COVID-19: Case Series and Review of the Literature
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2020, 17(14), 5062; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph17145062 - 14 Jul 2020
Cited by 5
Abstract
COVID-19 infection has a broad spectrum of severity ranging from an asymptomatic form to a severe acute respiratory syndrome that requires mechanical ventilation. Starting with the description of our case series, we evaluated the clinical presentation and evolution of COVID-19. This article is [...] Read more.
COVID-19 infection has a broad spectrum of severity ranging from an asymptomatic form to a severe acute respiratory syndrome that requires mechanical ventilation. Starting with the description of our case series, we evaluated the clinical presentation and evolution of COVID-19. This article is addressed particularly to physicians caring for patients with COVID-19 in their clinical practice. The intent is to identify the subjects in whom the infection is most likely to evolve and the best methods of management in the early phase of infection to determine which patients should be hospitalized and which could be monitored at home. Asymptomatic patients should be followed to evaluate the appearance of symptoms. Patients with mild symptoms lasting more than a week, and without evidence of pneumonia, can be managed at home. Patients with evidence of pulmonary involvement, especially in patients over 60 years of age, and/or with a comorbidity, and/or with the presence of severe extrapulmonary manifestations, should be admitted to a hospital for careful clinical-laboratory monitoring. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue COVID-19: Prevention, Diagnosis, Therapy and Follow Up)
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Open AccessReview
COVID-19: Time for Post-Exposure Prophylaxis?
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2020, 17(11), 3997; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph17113997 - 04 Jun 2020
Cited by 1
Abstract
From a healthcare perspective, infection due to the novel coronavirus SARS-CoV-2 (severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2) and the ensuing syndrome called COVID-19 (coronavirus disease 2019) represents the biggest challenge the world has faced in several decades. Particularly worrisome are the high contagiousness [...] Read more.
From a healthcare perspective, infection due to the novel coronavirus SARS-CoV-2 (severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2) and the ensuing syndrome called COVID-19 (coronavirus disease 2019) represents the biggest challenge the world has faced in several decades. Particularly worrisome are the high contagiousness of the virus and the saturation of hospitals’ capacity due to overwhelming caseloads. Non-pharmaceutical interventions such as quarantine and inter-personal distancing are crucial to limiting the spread of the virus in the general population, but more tailored interventions may be needed at an individual level on a case-by-case basis. In this perspective, the most insidious situation is when an individual has contact with a contagious subject without adequate protection. If rapidly recognized afterwards, this occurrence may be promptly addressed through a post-exposure chemoprophylaxis (PEP) with antiviral drugs. This strategy has been implemented for other respiratory viruses (influenza above all) and was successfully used in South Korea among healthcare workers against the Middle East respiratory syndrome (MERS) coronavirus, by providing people who were exposed to high-risk contacts with lopinavir-ritonavir plus ribavirin. Initial experiences with the use of hydroxychloroquine to prevent COVID-19 also seem promising. Post-exposure chemoprophylaxis might help mitigate the spread of SARS-CoV-2 in the current phase of the COVID-19 pandemic. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue COVID-19: Prevention, Diagnosis, Therapy and Follow Up)
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