Topic Editors

Department of Hygiene, Epidemiology and Medical Statistics, Medical School, National and Kapodistrian University of Athens, 11527 Athens, Greece
1. Endocrinology Unit, First Department of Propaedeutic and Internal Medicine, National and Kapodistrian University of Athens, Medical School, LAIKO General Hospital of Athens, 115 27 Athens, Greece
2. Department of Medical Research, LCH Adult Clinic, Hellenic Air Force and VA General Hospital, 115 27 Athens, Greece
Specialist of Internal Medicine & Infectious Diseases, 4th Department of Internal Medicine, University of Athens Medical School, 1 Rimini Street, GR-12462 Haidari, Athens, Greece

Burden of COVID-19 in Different Countries

Abstract submission deadline
closed (31 October 2021)
Manuscript submission deadline
closed (31 December 2021)
Viewed by
731436

Topic Information

Dear Colleagues,

SARS-CoV-2 has caused a devastating pandemic with serious consequences for global health and economy. Globally, as of 18 March 2021, there have been 120,915,219 confirmed cases of COVID-19, including 2,674,078 deaths. The virus is highly transmissible with a basic reproduction number approximately equal to 2.5, and during the first 15 months of its expansion, the virus has caused several pandemic waves across different geographic areas. The risk of severe disease increases significantly with age, and the central focus of public health measures is to reduce SARS-CoV-2 transmission and fatality of the disease. This aim will be accomplished by keeping the case burden of COVID-19 patients within the treatment capacity of the healthcare system. Therefore, it is of importance to know the burden of COVID-19 and COVID-19-related diseases, as well as the healthcare burden in different countries.

We are seeking contributions that will address COVID-19-related diseases and healthcare burden, building on information of the pandemic prevalence and incidence. Investigations on viral pathogenesis and clinical aspects of virus infection are also welcome, as well as relevant epidemiological findings.

Dr. Dimitrios Paraskevis
Dr. Maria Yavropoulou
Prof. Dr. Sotirios Tsiodras
Topic Editors

Keywords

  • SARS-CoV-2
  • COVID-19
  • health care system
  • disease burden
  • medical care resources
  • public health measures
  • basic reproduction number
  • burden of hospitalizations
  • mortality rate
  • prevalence
  • incidence
  • epidemiology
  • immunity
  • pandemic
  • clinical aspects
  • viral pathogenesis
  • virulence
  • public health resources

Participating Journals

Journal Name Impact Factor CiteScore Launched Year First Decision (median) APC
Viruses
viruses
4.7 7.1 2009 13.8 Days CHF 2600
Life
life
3.2 2.7 2011 17.5 Days CHF 2600
International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health
ijerph
- 5.4 2004 29.6 Days CHF 2500
Healthcare
healthcare
2.8 2.7 2013 19.5 Days CHF 2700
COVID
covid
- - 2021 16.8 Days CHF 1000

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Published Papers (238 papers)

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17 pages, 1422 KiB  
Article
Alcohol Use of German Adults during Different Pandemic Phases: Repeated Cross-Sectional Analyses in the COVID-19 Snapshot Monitoring Study (COSMO)
by Melanie Koeger, Hannah Schillok, Stephan Voss, Michaela Coenen, Christina Merkel, Caroline Jung-Sievers and On behalf of the COSMO Study Team
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2022, 19(9), 5489; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph19095489 - 1 May 2022
Viewed by 1761
Abstract
There is little evidence on how different COVID-19 pandemic phases influence the alcohol use behaviour of adults. The objective of this study is to investigate alcohol use frequency over different COVID-19 pandemic phases and to identify vulnerable subgroups for risky use behaviour in [...] Read more.
There is little evidence on how different COVID-19 pandemic phases influence the alcohol use behaviour of adults. The objective of this study is to investigate alcohol use frequency over different COVID-19 pandemic phases and to identify vulnerable subgroups for risky use behaviour in the German adult population. Survey waves of 14/15 April 2020 (n = 1032), 23/24 June 2020 (n = 993), and 26/27 January 2021 (n = 1001) from the COVID-19 Snapshot Monitoring (COSMO) were analysed. The mean age was 46 ± 15.3 years in April, 46 ± 15.5 years in June, and 45 ± 15.5 years in January. The gender ratio was mostly equal in each survey wave. Descriptive analyses and univariate and multivariate logistic regression analyses for individuals with increased alcohol use frequency (AUF) were performed. 13.2% in April (lockdown), 11.3% in June (easement), and 8.6% in January (lockdown) of participants showed an increased AUF. Individuals with perceived burden, high frustration levels due to protective measures, and young to middle-aged adults were more likely to increase their AUF during different pandemic phases. In conclusion, unfavourable alcohol behaviour might occur as a potentially maladaptive coping strategy in pandemics. Because of potential negative long-term consequences of problematic alcohol use behaviour on health, public health strategies should consider mental health consequences and target addictive behaviour, while also guiding risk groups towards healthy coping strategies such as physical activities during pandemics/crises. Full article
(This article belongs to the Topic Burden of COVID-19 in Different Countries)
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14 pages, 1555 KiB  
Article
The Impact of COVID-19 on the Mental Well-Being of College Students
by Natalia Sauer, Agnieszka Sałek, Wojciech Szlasa, Tomasz Ciecieląg, Jakub Obara, Sara Gaweł, Dominik Marciniak and Katarzyna Karłowicz-Bodalska
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2022, 19(9), 5089; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph19095089 - 22 Apr 2022
Cited by 10 | Viewed by 3473
Abstract
The COVID-19 pandemic has caused an overall increase in stress and depression in society. The aim of the present research was to evaluate the psychological condition of college students during the COVID-19 pandemic and explore factors influencing their daily functioning. The study focused [...] Read more.
The COVID-19 pandemic has caused an overall increase in stress and depression in society. The aim of the present research was to evaluate the psychological condition of college students during the COVID-19 pandemic and explore factors influencing their daily functioning. The study focused on four main aspects such as mental well-being, sexuality, concern about financial status, and trust in medical authorities. The study was based on a specially designed survey. The questionnaire was created using Google Forms and shared on social media sites. A total of 630 students participated in the survey, 17 surveys were excluded due to incomplete data and 613 surveys (97.30%) were considered for the final analysis. During isolation, 68.0% of students experienced fear of missing out (FOMO). A total of 73.4% were frustrated due to spending a lot of time in front of a computer. A significant decrease in motivation to study was reported by 78.1% of the respondents. Students showed significantly different attitudes towards sexuality. Concern about the financial situation was reported by 48.7% of respondents. The state of the Polish economy was of concern to 86.4% of respondents. A total of 74.5% of students declared concern about their career development. During the pandemic, 59.0% of respondents became concerned about their health. The attitude towards vaccination was described as positive by 82.5% of the respondents. The percentage of respondents experiencing negative psychological effects relative to the overall epidemiological situation of COVID-19 is troubling. Given the unexpected length and severity of the pandemic, we suggest that students’ concerns be more thoroughly understood and addressed. Full article
(This article belongs to the Topic Burden of COVID-19 in Different Countries)
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21 pages, 2298 KiB  
Article
Identification of Transcription Factors Regulating SARS-CoV-2 Tropism Factor Expression by Inferring Cell-Type-Specific Transcriptional Regulatory Networks in Human Lungs
by Haonan Tong, Hao Chen and Cranos M. Williams
Viruses 2022, 14(4), 837; https://doi.org/10.3390/v14040837 - 17 Apr 2022
Cited by 3 | Viewed by 2596
Abstract
Severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) is the virus that caused the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic. Though previous studies have suggested that SARS-CoV-2 cellular tropism depends on the host-cell-expressed proteins, whether transcriptional regulation controls SARS-CoV-2 tropism factors in human lung cells [...] Read more.
Severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) is the virus that caused the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic. Though previous studies have suggested that SARS-CoV-2 cellular tropism depends on the host-cell-expressed proteins, whether transcriptional regulation controls SARS-CoV-2 tropism factors in human lung cells remains unclear. In this study, we used computational approaches to identify transcription factors (TFs) regulating SARS-CoV-2 tropism for different types of lung cells. We constructed transcriptional regulatory networks (TRNs) controlling SARS-CoV-2 tropism factors for healthy donors and COVID-19 patients using lung single-cell RNA-sequencing (scRNA-seq) data. Through differential network analysis, we found that the altered regulatory role of TFs in the same cell types of healthy and SARS-CoV-2-infected networks may be partially responsible for differential tropism factor expression. In addition, we identified the TFs with high centralities from each cell type and proposed currently available drugs that target these TFs as potential candidates for the treatment of SARS-CoV-2 infection. Altogether, our work provides valuable cell-type-specific TRN models for understanding the transcriptional regulation and gene expression of SARS-CoV-2 tropism factors. Full article
(This article belongs to the Topic Burden of COVID-19 in Different Countries)
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2 pages, 159 KiB  
Correction
Correction: Ntakolia et al. An Explainable Machine Learning Approach for COVID-19’s Impact on Mood States of Children and Adolescents during the First Lockdown in Greece. Healthcare 2022, 10, 149
by Charis Ntakolia, Dimitrios Priftis, Mariana Charakopoulou-Travlou, Ioanna Rannou, Konstantina Magklara, Ioanna Giannopoulou, Konstantinos Kotsis, Aspasia Serdari, Emmanouil Tsalamanios, Aliki Grigoriadou, Konstantina Ladopoulou, Iouliani Koullourou, Neda Sadeghi, Georgia O’Callaghan and Eleni Lazaratou
Healthcare 2022, 10(4), 657; https://doi.org/10.3390/healthcare10040657 - 31 Mar 2022
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 1566
Abstract
Argyris Stringaris was initially included as an author in the original publication [...] Full article
(This article belongs to the Topic Burden of COVID-19 in Different Countries)
17 pages, 2548 KiB  
Article
Examining Psychosocial Factors and Community Mitigation Practices to Limit the Spread of COVID-19: Evidence from Nigeria
by Ekundayo Shittu, Funmilayo Adewumi, Nkemdilim Ene, Somto Chloe Keluo-Udeke and Chizoba Wonodi
Healthcare 2022, 10(3), 585; https://doi.org/10.3390/healthcare10030585 - 21 Mar 2022
Cited by 4 | Viewed by 2262
Abstract
We examine the psychosocial factors influencing community adoption of non-pharmaceutical interventions (NPI) to limit the spread of COVID-19. Using data from 990 respondents in communities across Nigeria, we examine the correlation of health behaviors and socioeconomic indicators. We conduct logistic regression to estimate [...] Read more.
We examine the psychosocial factors influencing community adoption of non-pharmaceutical interventions (NPI) to limit the spread of COVID-19. Using data from 990 respondents in communities across Nigeria, we examine the correlation of health behaviors and socioeconomic indicators. We conduct logistic regression to estimate the relationship between mask wearing as a health-seeking NPI with demographic and socioeconomic variables. We estimate separate models in the sensitivity robustness checks with other NPIs and control for differences across sex, age, education, number in household, and the presence of a student in the respondent’s household. A crucial finding is that health-seeking NPI behaviors are statistically significantly affected in different ways by the menu of socioeconomic indicators. The control for age, sex, education, and household size indicates that there is intersectionality of how these factors influence specific mitigation practices. We find that women are more likely to engage in mask wearing, hand washing, and use of hand sanitizers and tissues than men, and the provision of palliatives and access to family supplies significantly enhances community mitigation. Palliatives and access to family supplies enhance most health-seeking behaviors. The implication for pandemic mitigation policy is that minimizing incidence rates requires having responsive initiatives such as information updates on pandemic progression. Full article
(This article belongs to the Topic Burden of COVID-19 in Different Countries)
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11 pages, 811 KiB  
Article
The Influence of Research Follow-Up during COVID-19 Pandemic on Mental Distress and Resilience: A Multicenter Cohort Study of Treatment-Resistant Depression
by Pham Thi Thu Huong, Chia-Yi Wu, Ming-Been Lee, Wei-Chieh Hung, I-Ming Chen and Hsi-Chung Chen
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2022, 19(6), 3738; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph19063738 - 21 Mar 2022
Viewed by 2179
Abstract
Background: During the COVID-19 outbreak, patients with mental disorders have faced more negative psychological consequences than the public. For people with treatment-resistant depression (TRD), it is unclear whether research engagement would protect them from the deterioration of their symptoms. The study aimed to [...] Read more.
Background: During the COVID-19 outbreak, patients with mental disorders have faced more negative psychological consequences than the public. For people with treatment-resistant depression (TRD), it is unclear whether research engagement would protect them from the deterioration of their symptoms. The study aimed to examine if chronic depressive patients would have improved resilience and mental distress levels after follow-up interviews during an observation period under COVID-19. Methods: The study was nested within a three-year prospective cohort study. A two-group comparison design was conducted, i.e., the follow-up group with regular research interviews every three months after baseline assessment and the control group with one assessment-only interview. The two groups were compared with demographics, psychosocial, and suicide information. Results: Baseline assessments were not significantly different in sociodemographic variables, suicide risks, mental distress, and resilience between groups. Significant differences were detected in resilient coping and mental distress levels (p < 0.05). The follow-up group (n = 46) experienced a higher level of resilient coping (37% vs. 25%) and lower level of mental distress (47.8% vs. 64.7%) than the control group (n = 68). Conclusions: Findings highlight under universal government strategy against COVID-19, TRD patients receiving regular research follow-ups exhibited better resilience and less mental distress than those without regular support from healthcare providers. Full article
(This article belongs to the Topic Burden of COVID-19 in Different Countries)
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13 pages, 894 KiB  
Systematic Review
Global Health Governance and Health Equity in the Context of COVID-19: A Scoping Review
by Wafa Abu El Kheir-Mataria, Hassan El-Fawal, Shahjahan Bhuiyan and Sungsoo Chun
Healthcare 2022, 10(3), 540; https://doi.org/10.3390/healthcare10030540 - 15 Mar 2022
Cited by 5 | Viewed by 3608
Abstract
Background: Health equity is an important aspect of responsible governance. COVID-19 exposed existing shortfalls of Global Health Governance (GHG). A considerable amount of related literature is produced. This scoping review aims at mapping the present knowledge and at identifying research gaps. Methods: This [...] Read more.
Background: Health equity is an important aspect of responsible governance. COVID-19 exposed existing shortfalls of Global Health Governance (GHG). A considerable amount of related literature is produced. This scoping review aims at mapping the present knowledge and at identifying research gaps. Methods: This scoping review is based on the Joanna Briggs Institute’s guideline for standardized methods and PRISMA-ScR guidelines for reporting. Documents published from December 2019 to October 2021 were searched using PubMed, Scopus, Google Scholar, World cat, and WHO-Global Index Medicus. Two reviewers screened and reviewed eligible studies in three stages: duplicates identification and elimination, title and abstract screening, and full-text assessment. Data was charted and results were classified into conceptual categories. Analysis was done in three stages: open descriptive coding, focused thematic analysis, and frequency, commonality and significance analysis. Results: forty-nine studies met the inclusion criteria. Areas of research were grouped into seven themes: “human rights and inequities”, “solidarity, collaboration and partnership”, “GHG structure change”, “political and economic power and finance”, “approaches to address inequity”, “law and regulations”, and “private investment and public-private partnerships (PPPs) in GHG”. The highest number of papers were in the first theme, “human rights and inequities”. However, the themes are interrelated. Authors who contributed to research were mostly affiliated to developed countries indicating a gap in knowledge and expertise in developing countries. Conclusion: Through this scoping review we found that the seven themes are interconnected. Disciplinary collaboration in research relating GHG to health inequities is solicited. Collaboration in research, information sharing, and research capacity development are in needed in developing countries. Full article
(This article belongs to the Topic Burden of COVID-19 in Different Countries)
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15 pages, 286 KiB  
Article
Quality of Life among Caregivers of Patients Diagnosed with Major Chronic Disease during COVID-19 in Saudi Arabia
by Mohammed Aljuaid, Namrah Ilyas, Eman Altuwaijri, Haddel Albedawi, Ohoud Alanazi, Duaa Shahid and Wadi Alonazi
Healthcare 2022, 10(3), 523; https://doi.org/10.3390/healthcare10030523 - 13 Mar 2022
Cited by 7 | Viewed by 3209
Abstract
Quality of life (QoL) is considered one of the measures of health outcomes. Limited research studies have assessed family caregivers’ QoL, especially among patients diagnosed with chronic disease. This study measures the QoL of caregivers who guardian patients diagnosed with cardiovascular disease, diabetes, [...] Read more.
Quality of life (QoL) is considered one of the measures of health outcomes. Limited research studies have assessed family caregivers’ QoL, especially among patients diagnosed with chronic disease. This study measures the QoL of caregivers who guardian patients diagnosed with cardiovascular disease, diabetes, cancer, and/or other diseases during the COVID-19 pandemic. Participants were primary caregivers who were supporting, in the last six months, individuals diagnosed with one of the previously mentioned chronic diseases. This included caregivers of patients admitted to a tertiary hospital from January 2021 to July of the same year (n = 1081); all participants completed the World Health Organization Quality of Life Assessment tool (WHOQOL-BREF) questionnaire. Caregivers of patients with cancer reported the highest mean level of QoL, followed by diabetes, cardiovascular diseases, then other different diseases (M = 3.80; M = 3.38; M = 3.37; and M = 2.51, respectively). A chi-square test of independence was performed to examine the relationship between the QoL of the four groups and their behaviors (i.e., caregivers’ psychological onuses and physical actions/reactions). The relation between these variables was significant, X2 (3, n = 1081) = 8.9, p = 0.001. The Kruskal–Wallis test indicated significant differences among the four groups (p ≤ 0.001). While the overall results of the QoL level of participants were low, a major recommendation of this study was to incorporate a QoL assessment to caregivers of chronically ill patients. Regular psychological and physical health check-ups of caregivers should be mandated in the healthcare system. Research studies should consider investigating and identifying the factors affecting health outcomes and positive developments which have a great impact on the wellbeing of both caregivers and patients on personal, organizational, and national levels. Full article
(This article belongs to the Topic Burden of COVID-19 in Different Countries)
9 pages, 414 KiB  
Viewpoint
Emerging SARS-CoV-2 Variants, Inequitable Vaccine Distribution, and Implications for COVID-19 Control in Sub-Saharan Africa
by Grant Murewanhema, Tafadzwa Dzinamarira, Innocent Chingombe, Munyaradzi Paul Mapingure, Solomon Mukwenha, Itai Chitungo, Helena Herrera, Roda Madziva, Solwayo Ngwenya and Godfrey Musuka
COVID 2022, 2(3), 341-349; https://doi.org/10.3390/covid2030023 - 10 Mar 2022
Cited by 4 | Viewed by 2885
Abstract
Since the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic, four SARS-CoV-2 variants of concern have emerged, which have shifted the clinical and epidemiological characteristics of the disease. Of concern is the impact of the emerging variants on COVID-19 vaccination programmes, with vaccination perceived as a [...] Read more.
Since the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic, four SARS-CoV-2 variants of concern have emerged, which have shifted the clinical and epidemiological characteristics of the disease. Of concern is the impact of the emerging variants on COVID-19 vaccination programmes, with vaccination perceived as a key global pandemic control strategy. Variants of concern can reduce the effectiveness of the currently available vaccines, shift herd immunity thresholds, and promote wider vaccine inequities as richer countries hoard vaccines for booster shots for their populations without accounting for the needs of the underdeveloped countries of sub-Saharan Africa. Currently, Africa lags far behind the rest of the world, with most sub-Saharan Africa countries still to reach 50% vaccination of their eligible populations against global herd immunity thresholds of 70–90%. As long as the vaccination gap between sub-Saharan Africa and the rest of the world persists, SARS-CoV-2 will most likely persist as a significant global health threat, with continued emergence of variants of concern. Therefore, strategies to ensure wider reach of different types of vaccines on the African continent are urgently required alongside fighting vaccine hesitancy and logistical barriers to access for the marginalized populations. Sub-Saharan Africa must look for opportunities to manufacture vaccines on the continent and enhance genomic sequencing capacity as key pandemic-control strategies. Full article
(This article belongs to the Topic Burden of COVID-19 in Different Countries)
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27 pages, 1625 KiB  
Article
The Well-Being of the German Adult Population Measured with the WHO-5 over Different Phases of the COVID-19 Pandemic: An Analysis within the COVID-19 Snapshot Monitoring Study (COSMO)
by Fang-Yi Tsai, Hannah Schillok, Michaela Coenen, Christina Merkel, Caroline Jung-Sievers and on behalf of the COSMO Study Group
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2022, 19(6), 3236; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph19063236 - 9 Mar 2022
Cited by 8 | Viewed by 2671
Abstract
The aim of this study is to evaluate factors associated with the subjective well-being (SWB) and suspected depression measured with WHO-5 among German adults during different phases of the COVID-19 pandemic. Survey data were analyzed from the COVID-19 Snapshot Monitoring (COSMO) study, which [...] Read more.
The aim of this study is to evaluate factors associated with the subjective well-being (SWB) and suspected depression measured with WHO-5 among German adults during different phases of the COVID-19 pandemic. Survey data were analyzed from the COVID-19 Snapshot Monitoring (COSMO) study, which collected data from 972, 1013, and 973 participants in time point 1 (19–20 May 2020), time point 2 (15–16 September 2020), and time point 3 (21–22 December 2020), respectively. Descriptive analyses and logistic regression analyses to identify the factors associated with suspected depression (WHO-5 ≤ 50) were conducted. Data showed that the mean WHO-5 scores in three time points were 56.17, 57.27, and 53.93, respectively. The risk of suspected depression was increased by about 1.5 times for females, 2.5–3 times among 18–24 year-olds compared to ages above 65 years, 1.5 times for singles, 2 times for those with chronic illnesses, and 2–3 times for people living in poverty. The main study findings show that German adult SWB is lower than pre-pandemic reference values. Special focus should be placed on vulnerable groups, such as females, younger persons, and people living in poverty who are most prone to a reduction in SWB and therefore suspected depression. Full article
(This article belongs to the Topic Burden of COVID-19 in Different Countries)
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24 pages, 3714 KiB  
Article
Residential Mobility of a Cohort of Homeless People in Times of Crisis: COVID-19 Pandemic in a European Metropolis
by Agathe Allibert, Aurélie Tinland, Jordi Landier, Sandrine Loubière, Jean Gaudart, Marine Mosnier, Cyril Farnarier, Pascal Auquier and Emilie Mosnier
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2022, 19(5), 3129; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph19053129 - 7 Mar 2022
Cited by 3 | Viewed by 2220
Abstract
Most vulnerable individuals are particularly affected by the COVID-19 pandemic. This study takes place in a large city in France. The aim of this study is to describe the mobility of the homeless population at the beginning of the health crisis and to [...] Read more.
Most vulnerable individuals are particularly affected by the COVID-19 pandemic. This study takes place in a large city in France. The aim of this study is to describe the mobility of the homeless population at the beginning of the health crisis and to analyze its impact in terms of COVID-19 prevalence. From June to August 2020 and September to December 2020, 1272 homeless people were invited to be tested for SARS-CoV-2 antibodies and virus and complete questionnaires. Our data show that homeless populations are sociologically different depending on where they live. We show that people that were living on the street were most likely to be relocated to emergency shelters than other inhabitants. Some neighborhoods are points of attraction for homeless people in the city while others emptied during the health crisis, which had consequences for virus circulation. People with a greater number of different dwellings reported became more infected. This first study of the mobility and epidemiology of homeless people in the time of the pandemic provides unique information about mobility mapping, sociological factors of this mobility, mobility at different scales, and epidemiological consequences. We suggest that homeless policies need to be radically transformed since the actual model exposes people to infection in emergency. Full article
(This article belongs to the Topic Burden of COVID-19 in Different Countries)
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12 pages, 1092 KiB  
Article
Epidemiological Algorithm for Early Detection of COVID-19 Cases in a Mexican Oncologic Center
by Moisés González-Escamilla, Diana Cristina Pérez-Ibave, Carlos Horacio Burciaga-Flores, Vanessa Natali Ortiz-Murillo, Genaro A. Ramírez-Correa, Patricia Rodríguez-Niño, Rafael Piñeiro-Retif, Hazyadee Frecia Rodríguez-Gutiérrez, Fernando Alcorta-Nuñez, Juan Francisco González-Guerrero, Oscar Vidal-Gutiérrez and María Lourdes Garza-Rodríguez
Healthcare 2022, 10(3), 462; https://doi.org/10.3390/healthcare10030462 - 1 Mar 2022
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 2180
Abstract
An early detection tool for latent COVID-19 infections in oncology staff and patients is essential to prevent outbreaks in a cancer center. (1) Background: In this study, we developed and implemented two early detection tools for the radiotherapy area to identify COVID-19 cases [...] Read more.
An early detection tool for latent COVID-19 infections in oncology staff and patients is essential to prevent outbreaks in a cancer center. (1) Background: In this study, we developed and implemented two early detection tools for the radiotherapy area to identify COVID-19 cases opportunely. (2) Methods: Staff and patients answered a questionnaire (electronic and paper surveys, respectively) with clinical and epidemiological information. The data were collected through two online survey tools: Real-Time Tracking (R-Track) and Summary of Factors (S-Facts). Cut-off values were established according to the algorithm models. SARS-CoV-2 qRT-PCR tests confirmed the positive algorithms individuals. (3) Results: Oncology staff members (n = 142) were tested, and 14% (n = 20) were positives for the R-Track algorithm; 75% (n = 15) were qRT-PCR positive. The S-Facts Algorithm identified 7.75% (n = 11) positive oncology staff members, and 81.82% (n = 9) were qRT-PCR positive. Oncology patients (n = 369) were evaluated, and 1.36% (n = 5) were positive for the Algorithm used. The five patients (100%) were confirmed by qRT-PCR. (4) Conclusions: The proposed early detection tools have proved to be a low-cost and efficient tool in a country where qRT-PCR tests and vaccines are insufficient for the population. Full article
(This article belongs to the Topic Burden of COVID-19 in Different Countries)
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15 pages, 1041 KiB  
Article
Quality of National Disease Surveillance Reporting before and during COVID-19: A Mixed-Method Study in Indonesia
by Muhammad Hardhantyo, Hanevi Djasri, Aldilas Achmad Nursetyo, Andriani Yulianti, Bernadeta Rachela Adipradipta, William Hawley, Jennifer Mika, Catharina Yekti Praptiningsih, Amalya Mangiri, Endang Burni Prasetyowati and Laura Brye
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2022, 19(5), 2728; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph19052728 - 26 Feb 2022
Cited by 3 | Viewed by 4547
Abstract
Background: Global COVID-19 outbreaks in early 2020 have burdened health workers, among them surveillance workers who have the responsibility to undertake routine disease surveillance activities. The aim of this study was to describe the quality of the implementation of Indonesia’s Early Warning and [...] Read more.
Background: Global COVID-19 outbreaks in early 2020 have burdened health workers, among them surveillance workers who have the responsibility to undertake routine disease surveillance activities. The aim of this study was to describe the quality of the implementation of Indonesia’s Early Warning and Response Alert System (EWARS) for disease surveillance and to measure the burden of disease surveillance reporting quality before and during the COVID-19 epidemic in Indonesia. Methods: A mixed-method approach was used. A total of 38 informants from regional health offices participated in Focus Group Discussion (FGD) and In-Depth Interview (IDI) for informants from Ministry of Health. The FGD and IDI were conducted using online video communication. Yearly completeness and timeliness of reporting of 34 provinces were collected from the application. Qualitative data were analyzed thematically, and quantitative data were analyzed descriptively. Results: Major implementation gaps were found in poorly distributed human resources and regional infrastructure inequity. National reporting from 2017–2019 showed an increasing trend of completeness (55%, 64%, and 75%, respectively) and timeliness (55%, 64%, and 75%, respectively). However, the quality of the reporting dropped to 53% and 34% in 2020 concomitant with the SARS-CoV2 epidemic. Conclusions: Report completeness and timeliness are likely related to regional infrastructure inequity and the COVID-19 epidemic. It is recommended to increase report capacities with an automatic EWARS application linked systems in hospitals and laboratories. Full article
(This article belongs to the Topic Burden of COVID-19 in Different Countries)
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15 pages, 1041 KiB  
Article
Impact on Sleep Quality, Mood, Anxiety, and Personal Satisfaction of Doctors Assigned to COVID-19 Units
by Pilar Andrés-Olivera, Judit García-Aparicio, María Teresa Lozano López, José Antonio Benito Sánchez, Carmen Martín, Ana Maciá-Casas, Armando González-Sánchez, Miguel Marcos and Carlos Roncero
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2022, 19(5), 2712; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph19052712 - 25 Feb 2022
Cited by 4 | Viewed by 2131
Abstract
The SARS-CoV-2 health emergency has led to a restructuring of health care systems and the reassignment of medical specialists from their usual duties to attend COVID-19 patients. The aim of this paper is to describe the levels of insomnia, anxiety, depression, and the [...] Read more.
The SARS-CoV-2 health emergency has led to a restructuring of health care systems and the reassignment of medical specialists from their usual duties to attend COVID-19 patients. The aim of this paper is to describe the levels of insomnia, anxiety, depression, and the impact on quality of life of doctors who were on the frontline of COVID-19 during the first two waves of the pandemic. Self-report surveys were conducted on said physicians during both waves, with 83 and 61 responses in the first and second waves, respectively. The reported presence of insomnia was frequent (71.8%), although it decreased in the second survey. Anxiety was moderate, decreasing from 57.1% to 43.1% between measurements. Overall, depression rates decreased between the two surveys. Substance use was found to have an indirect correlation with personal and professional satisfaction. In the light of the unforeseeable evolution of the pandemic and the medium- to long-term repercussions on professionals, we believe the adaptation of health resources is crucial to meet the new unpredictable mental health needs of this group. Full article
(This article belongs to the Topic Burden of COVID-19 in Different Countries)
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12 pages, 482 KiB  
Article
Risk Perception among Psychiatric Patients during the COVID-19 Pandemic
by Antimo Natale, Carmen Concerto, Alessandro Rodolico, Andrea Birgillito, Marina Bonelli, Miriam Martinez, Maria Salvina Signorelli, Antonino Petralia, Carmenrita Infortuna, Fortunato Battaglia and Eugenio Aguglia
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2022, 19(5), 2620; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph19052620 - 24 Feb 2022
Cited by 4 | Viewed by 1688
Abstract
The fear of the new coronavirus infection has driven many non-COVID-19 patients away from essential healthcare. Our study aimed to investigate the perception of risk and feelings of danger for the contagion in a sample of Italian psychiatric patients. We conducted a cross-sectional [...] Read more.
The fear of the new coronavirus infection has driven many non-COVID-19 patients away from essential healthcare. Our study aimed to investigate the perception of risk and feelings of danger for the contagion in a sample of Italian psychiatric patients. We conducted a cross-sectional observational study during the second wave of the COVID-19 pandemic and the lockdown in Italy. The risk perception and risk-related variables were assessed in a sample of 150 consecutive patients with a previous diagnosis of major depression (50), bipolar I disorder (50), and schizophrenia seeking ambulatory care using a questionnaire previously administered to the general Italian population. Our results showed that patients were more concerned about economic, psychological, and interpersonal consequences of COVID-19 pandemic, rather than about their own health. At the multiple regression analysis, the likelihood of COVID-19 resolution was positively influenced by the diagnosis of schizophrenia, the increased perceived effectiveness, and the presence of positive emotions. Indeed, positive emotions and uncertainty positively influenced interpersonal risk. Our study highlights the need to provide more support to psychiatric patients during emergency events to prevent them from engaging in risky behaviors. Full article
(This article belongs to the Topic Burden of COVID-19 in Different Countries)
20 pages, 1813 KiB  
Article
Prevalence Estimates and Risk Factors of Anxiety among Healthcare Workers in Jordan over One Year of the COVID-19 Pandemic: A Cross-Sectional Study
by Ahmed Yassin, Abdel-Hameed Al-Mistarehi, Khalid El-Salem, Reema A. Karasneh, Sayer Al-Azzam, Aref A. Qarqash, Aws G. Khasawneh, Anas M. Zein Alaabdin and Ola Soudah
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2022, 19(5), 2615; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph19052615 - 24 Feb 2022
Cited by 13 | Viewed by 2167
Abstract
This study investigates the changes in prevalence estimates, severity, and risk factors of anxiety among healthcare workers (HCWs) over the first year of the COVID-19 pandemic. A survey was distributed among HCWs using snowball sampling, collecting their socio-demographics, occupation, and anxiety symptoms as [...] Read more.
This study investigates the changes in prevalence estimates, severity, and risk factors of anxiety among healthcare workers (HCWs) over the first year of the COVID-19 pandemic. A survey was distributed among HCWs using snowball sampling, collecting their socio-demographics, occupation, and anxiety symptoms as measured by the Generalized Anxiety Disorder-7 (GAD-7) scale. It was distributed one month after the pandemic’s onset in Jordan between 15 and 30 April 2020 (onset group) and after one year between 15 and 30 March 2021 (one-year group). A total of 422 HCWs were included (211 in each group). The one-year group reported a higher risk of GAD (30.8% vs. 16.6%; p = 0.001), a higher mean (SD) GAD-7 score (7.94 (5.29) vs. 6.15 (4.15); p < 0.001), and more severe symptoms (p = 0.003). Univariate analyses showed that participants who were younger, women, unmarried, had lower monthly incomes, underwent testing for COVID-19, had higher contact with COVID-19 patients, did not receive special education, and were unsatisfied with the institutional COVID-19 preparedness scored higher on the GAD-7 scale and had more severe symptoms than their counterparts in both groups. Unlike the onset group, occupation as a physician, COVID-19 infection history, and perception of remarkable changes in work were associated with higher anxiety scores and severity among the one-year group. The COVID-19 vaccine was a relative protective action. Logistic regression analyses showed that the female gender was a risk factor for developing GAD at the pandemic onset, while poor satisfaction with institutional preparedness was a significant GAD risk factor in the one-year group. Low monthly income and lack of special education were the shared risk factors for GAD in both groups. This study reveals a significant rise in anxiety among HCWs over a year of the COVID-19 pandemic and shows the vulnerable sub-groups who likely need psychological interventions. Full article
(This article belongs to the Topic Burden of COVID-19 in Different Countries)
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22 pages, 2100 KiB  
Article
Development and Validation of the COVID-19 Knowledges and Behavior Questionnaire in a French Population (CoVQuest-CC)
by Elise Verot, Paul Bonjean, Robin Chaux, Julie Gagnaire, Amandine Gagneux-Brunon, Bruno Pozzetto, Philippe Berthelot, Elisabeth Botelho-Nevers and Franck Chauvin
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2022, 19(5), 2569; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph19052569 - 23 Feb 2022
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 2008
Abstract
Background: The SARS-CoV-2 pandemic has led most countries to take restrictive measures affecting social activities and individual freedoms to limit viral transmission. It was shown that practical, motivational and social barriers impact on adherence to the isolation and social distancing measures advocated by [...] Read more.
Background: The SARS-CoV-2 pandemic has led most countries to take restrictive measures affecting social activities and individual freedoms to limit viral transmission. It was shown that practical, motivational and social barriers impact on adherence to the isolation and social distancing measures advocated by the health authorities. The purpose of this study was to develop and validate a COVID-19 Knowledges and Behavior Questionnaire adapted to a teenager and adult French population. Methods: CoVQuest-CC was developed by a multidisciplinary team made of infectious diseases physicians, medical virologist, specialists of infectious control, experts of the questionnaires methodology, experts in public health and prevention, and statisticians. CoVQuest-CC was responded to by a big cohort from the general population during their participation in a massive SARS-CoV-2 screening campaign in 2021 in Saint-Etienne, France. Results: The confirmatory factorial analysis yielded good results (CFI = 0.94, TLI = 0.94, RMSEA = 0.04), and confirmed the five-dimensional structure of the questionnaire. Each dimension had a satisfying internal consistency, with Cronbach alphas of 0.83, 0.71, 0.65, 0.72 and 0.83 for transmission knowledge, barrier gesture respect, tests acceptability, home isolation possibility and test practicability, respectively. Conclusions: According to our knowledge, CoVQuest-CC is the first validated, consistent and reliable self-administrated French-specific questionnaire investigating the general population’s knowledge and attitudes towards COVID-19. It shows acceptable psychometric properties and can be use by Public Health teams or caregivers for public health and research purposes. Trial Registration: The study protocol was approved by the IRB ILE-DE-FRANCE 1 (No. IRB: I ORG0009918). All participants were given written and verbal information about the study and gave informed consent to participate. ClinicalTrials.gov identifier (NCT number): NCT04859023. Full article
(This article belongs to the Topic Burden of COVID-19 in Different Countries)
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5 pages, 216 KiB  
Communication
BA.1 Omicron Variant of SARS-CoV-2: First Case Reported in Calabria Region, Italy
by Cinzia Peronace, Rossana Tallerico, Manuela Colosimo, Marco De Fazio, Federica Pasceri, Ilenia Talotta, Giuseppina Panduri, Letizia Pintomalli, Rosaria Oteri, Valeria Calantoni, Maria Teresa Fiorillo, Luca Gallelli, Erika Cione and Pasquale Minchella
COVID 2022, 2(3), 211-215; https://doi.org/10.3390/covid2030016 - 22 Feb 2022
Cited by 3 | Viewed by 2497
Abstract
In December 2019, severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2), the etiologic agent of coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19), emerged in Wuhan, China. Several variants of concern (VOCs) have been identified so far. Recently, the B.1.1.529 (Omicron) variant of SARS-CoV-2 spread rapidly worldwide. We [...] Read more.
In December 2019, severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2), the etiologic agent of coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19), emerged in Wuhan, China. Several variants of concern (VOCs) have been identified so far. Recently, the B.1.1.529 (Omicron) variant of SARS-CoV-2 spread rapidly worldwide. We describe the first case of the Omicron genetic lineage BA.1 in our region. The patient is a physician who traveled to Johannesburg (South Africa) and returned to Reggio Calabria (Italy). He underwent a SARS-CoV-2 screening before leaving—a required procedure where travelers present a negative PCR test one-day prior to departing. Three days after arriving in Italy, he started experiencing cold symptoms. Clinically, he was without fever or severe respiratory symptoms and reported suffering from a cold and sore throat. The nasopharyngeal swab specimen was tested by TaqPath COVID-19 RT-PCR and sequenced by Sanger sequencing, and next-generation sequencing (NGS) data were processed with their relative software. A peculiar drop-off of the S gene was obtained with TaqPath COVID-19 RT-PCR. S gene mutations indicative of the Omicron variant were obtained with both sequencing methods, pointing out 17 mutations in the 29 recognized by Sanger and the 28 recognized by NGS. Full article
(This article belongs to the Topic Burden of COVID-19 in Different Countries)
19 pages, 2658 KiB  
Article
The Longevity-Frailty Hypothesis: Evidence from COVID-19 Death Rates in Europe
by Sammy Zahran, Levi Altringer and Ashok Prasad
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2022, 19(4), 2434; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph19042434 - 20 Feb 2022
Cited by 5 | Viewed by 3208
Abstract
By the end of spring (31 May), the COVID-19 death rate was remarkably unevenly distributed across the countries in Europe. While the risk of COVID-19 mortality is known to increase with age, age-specific COVID-19 death rates across Europe were similarly unevenly distributed. To [...] Read more.
By the end of spring (31 May), the COVID-19 death rate was remarkably unevenly distributed across the countries in Europe. While the risk of COVID-19 mortality is known to increase with age, age-specific COVID-19 death rates across Europe were similarly unevenly distributed. To explain these mortality distributions, we present a simple model where more favorable survival environments promote longevity and the accumulation of health frailty among the elderly while less favorable survival environments induce a mortality selection process that results in lower health frailty. Because the age-related conditions of frailty render the elderly less resistant to SARS-CoV-2, pre-existing survival environments may be non-obviously positively related to the COVID-19 death rate. To quantify the survival environment parameter of our model, we leveraged historic cohort- and period-based age-specific probabilities of death and life expectancies at age 65 across Europe. All variables are significantly correlated with indicators of frailty like elderly dependence on others for personal and household care for a subset of European countries. With respect to COVID-19 death rates, we find significant positive relationships between our survival indicators and COVID-19 death rates across Europe, a result that is robust to statistical control for the capacity of a healthcare system to treat and survive infected persons, the timing and stringency of non-pharmaceutical interventions, population density, age structure, case rates and the volume of inbound international travelers, among other factors. To address possible concerns over reporting heterogeneity across countries, we show that results are robust to the substitution of our response variable for a measure of cumulative excess mortality. Also consistent with the intuition of our model, we also show a strong negative association between age-specific COVID-19 death rates and pre-existing all-cause age-specific mortality rates for a subset of European countries. Overall, results support the notion that variation in pre-existing frailty, resulting from heterogeneous survival environments, partially accounts for striking differences in COVID-19 death during the first wave of the pandemic. Full article
(This article belongs to the Topic Burden of COVID-19 in Different Countries)
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11 pages, 504 KiB  
Article
Bacterial Coinfections Increase Mortality of Severely Ill COVID-19 Patients in Saudi Arabia
by Abdulaziz Alqahtani, Edrous Alamer, Mushtaq Mir, Ali Alasmari, Mohammed Merae Alshahrani, Mohammed Asiri, Irfan Ahmad, Abdulaziz Alhazmi and Abdullah Algaissi
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2022, 19(4), 2424; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph19042424 - 19 Feb 2022
Cited by 31 | Viewed by 3642
Abstract
Coronavirus disease 19 (COVID-19) is an ongoing global pandemic that is caused by severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2). The severity and mortality rates of COVID-19 are affected by several factors, such as respiratory diseases, diabetes, and hypertension. Bacterial coinfections are another [...] Read more.
Coronavirus disease 19 (COVID-19) is an ongoing global pandemic that is caused by severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2). The severity and mortality rates of COVID-19 are affected by several factors, such as respiratory diseases, diabetes, and hypertension. Bacterial coinfections are another factor that could contribute to the severity of COVID-19. Limited studies have investigated morbidity and mortality due to microbial coinfections in COVID-19 patients. Here, we retrospectively studied the effects of bacterial coinfections on intensive care unit (ICU)-admitted patients with COVID-19 in Asir province, Saudi Arabia. We analyzed electronic medical records of hospitalized patients with COVID-19 at Asir Central Hospital. A total of 34 patients were included, and the clinical data of 16 patients infected with SARS-CoV-2 only and 18 patients coinfected with SARS-CoV-2 and bacterial infections were analyzed in our study. Our data showed that the length of stay at the hospital for patients infected with both SARS-CoV-2 and bacterial infection was 35.2 days, compared to 16.2 days for patients infected with only SARS-CoV-2 (p = 0.0001). In addition, higher mortality rates were associated with patients in the coinfection group compared to the SARS-CoV-2-only infected group (50% vs. 18.7%, respectively). The study also showed that gram-negative bacteria are the most commonly isolated bacteria in COVID-19 patients. To conclude, this study found that individuals with COVID-19 who presented with bacterial infections are at higher risk for a longer stay at the hospital and potentially death. Further studies with a larger population are warranted to better understand the clinical outcomes of COVID-19 with bacterial infections. Full article
(This article belongs to the Topic Burden of COVID-19 in Different Countries)
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20 pages, 441 KiB  
Article
‘Who Else If Not We’. Medical Students’ Perception and Experiences with Volunteering during the COVID-19 Crisis in Poznan, Poland
by Jan Domaradzki
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2022, 19(4), 2314; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph19042314 - 17 Feb 2022
Cited by 17 | Viewed by 2959
Abstract
Introduction: The first wave of the COVID-19 pandemic resulted in the closure of all Polish medical universities. Simultaneously, due to staff shortages and the Polish health-care system being seriously challenged, many students were eager to contribute to the fight against the outbreak. This [...] Read more.
Introduction: The first wave of the COVID-19 pandemic resulted in the closure of all Polish medical universities. Simultaneously, due to staff shortages and the Polish health-care system being seriously challenged, many students were eager to contribute to the fight against the outbreak. This study explores medial student volunteers’ (MSV) perspectives and their lived experiences during the COVID-19 pandemic in Poland. Material and Methods: Semi-structured interviews were conducted with twenty-one students. Results: A total of seven major themes emerged from the interviews: 1. students’ reactions to the COVID-19 pandemic, 2. students’ experiences of the outbreak, 3. motivations for volunteering, 4. students’ perceptions of the COVID-19 volunteering, 5. organization of students’ volunteering, 6. benefits and costs of volunteering during COVID-19, and 7. social perception of MSVs. Although students volunteering was an example of civic responsibility and created new learning opportunities, many students felt unprepared for the pandemic, lacked social skills and access to psychological support, and were the target of stigmatization and discrimination. Discussion: Because during the first wave of the COVID-19 pandemic medical universities were closed and classes were held online, students’ volunteering became an important part of service learning and created an opportunity for education. Consequently, while it benefited students, patients and the healthcare system, students’ involvement reinforced such important values of medical ethos as: altruism, public service, and (professional) solidarity. However, some systemic approach should be undertaken that would prepare students better for future crises. Full article
(This article belongs to the Topic Burden of COVID-19 in Different Countries)
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14 pages, 10136 KiB  
Article
Seropositivity of SARS-CoV-2 in the Population of Kazakhstan: A Nationwide Laboratory-Based Surveillance
by Yuliya Semenova, Zhanna Kalmatayeva, Ainash Oshibayeva, Saltanat Mamyrbekova, Aynura Kudirbekova, Ardak Nurbakyt, Ardak Baizhaxynova, Paolo Colet, Natalya Glushkova, Alexandr Ivankov and Antonio Sarria-Santamera
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2022, 19(4), 2263; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph19042263 - 17 Feb 2022
Cited by 4 | Viewed by 1858
Abstract
The data on seroprevalence of anti-SARS-CoV-2 antibodies in Kazakhstani population are non-existent, but are needed for planning of public health interventions targeted to COVID-19 containment. The aim of the study was to estimate the seropositivity of SARS-CoV-2 infection in the Kazakhstani population from [...] Read more.
The data on seroprevalence of anti-SARS-CoV-2 antibodies in Kazakhstani population are non-existent, but are needed for planning of public health interventions targeted to COVID-19 containment. The aim of the study was to estimate the seropositivity of SARS-CoV-2 infection in the Kazakhstani population from 2020 to 2021. We relied on the data obtained from the results from “IN VITRO” laboratories of enzyme-linked immunosorbent assays for class G immunoglobulins (IgG) and class M (IgM) to SARS-CoV-2. The association of COVID-19 seropositivity was assessed in relation to age, gender, and region of residence. Additionally, we related the monitoring of longitudinal seropositivity with COVID-19 statistics obtained from Our World in Data. The total numbers of tests were 68,732 for SARS-CoV-2 IgM and 85,346 for IgG, of which 22% and 63% were positive, respectively. The highest rates of positive anti-SARS-CoV-2 IgM results were seen during July/August 2020. The rate of IgM seropositivity was the lowest on 25 October 2020 (2%). The lowest daily rate of anti-SARS-CoV-2 IgG was 17% (13 December 2020), while the peak of IgG seropositivity was seen on 6 June 2021 (84%). A longitudinal serological study should be envisaged to facilitate understanding of the dynamics of the epidemiological situation and to forecast future scenarios. Full article
(This article belongs to the Topic Burden of COVID-19 in Different Countries)
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18 pages, 1035 KiB  
Article
Burnout Syndrome in a Military Tertiary Hospital Staff during the COVID-19 Contingency
by Adriana Martínez-Cuazitl, Iván Noé Martínez-Salazar, Guadalupe Maza-De La Torre, Jorge Arturo García-Dávila, Edgardo Alonso Montelongo-Mercado, Antonio García-Ruíz, Héctor Faustino Noyola-Villalobos, Mayra Gabriela García-Araiza, Sergio Hernández-Díaz, Dora Luz Villegas-Tapia, Eira Cerda-Reyes, Arleth Sarai Chávez-Velasco and Juan Salvador García-Hernández
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2022, 19(4), 2229; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph19042229 - 16 Feb 2022
Cited by 4 | Viewed by 2120
Abstract
(1) Background: Burnout syndrome (BOS) is defined as a psychological state of physical and mental fatigue associated with work. The COVID-19 pandemic greatly impacted the physical and mental wellbeing of health professionals. The objective of this work was to determine the impact on [...] Read more.
(1) Background: Burnout syndrome (BOS) is defined as a psychological state of physical and mental fatigue associated with work. The COVID-19 pandemic greatly impacted the physical and mental wellbeing of health professionals. The objective of this work was to determine the impact on personnel, monitoring the frequency of BOS throughout the pandemic. (2) Methods: The Maslach Burnout Inventory (MBI) was self-applied in four periods of the pandemic according to sociodemographic and employment characteristics. In this study, all hospital personnel were included; the association of BOS with sex, age, type of participant (civilian or military), military rank and profession was analyzed. (3) Results: The frequency of BOS was 2.4% (start of the pandemic), 7.9% (peak of the first wave), 3.7% (end of the first wave) and 3.6% (peak of the third wave). Emotional exhaustion (EE) was the most affected factor, and the groups most affected were men under 30 years of age, civilians, chiefs and doctors, especially undergraduate medical doctors and specialty resident doctors, and nursing personnel were less affected. (4) Conclusions: The low BOS levels show that the containment measures and military training implemented by the hospital authorities were effective, although the chief personnel were more affected in the first wave. It is probable that this combination allowed the containment of BOS, which was not observed in civilians. Full article
(This article belongs to the Topic Burden of COVID-19 in Different Countries)
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22 pages, 456 KiB  
Review
Lockdowns and Physical Activities: Sports in the Time of COVID
by Mónika Harangi-Rákos, Christa Pfau, Éva Bácsné Bába, Bence András Bács and Péter Miklós Kőmíves
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2022, 19(4), 2175; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph19042175 - 15 Feb 2022
Cited by 15 | Viewed by 4639
Abstract
As aging causes challenges in several countries globally, more and more people are suffering from bad health conditions. Nowadays, COVID-19 causes many problems—and one of the root causes of these problems is the isolation of people from each other. The aim of our [...] Read more.
As aging causes challenges in several countries globally, more and more people are suffering from bad health conditions. Nowadays, COVID-19 causes many problems—and one of the root causes of these problems is the isolation of people from each other. The aim of our article is to investigate the effects of COVID-19 on people’s physical activity. Physical activity is strongly correlated with health status and health preservation is very important to minimize the negative effects of the pandemic. In order to investigate this topic, we prepared an extended literature review, citing the most important sources of COVID-related health-preservation issues. Our results showed that the negative economic effects of the coronavirus pandemic have caused a decrease in physical activities in several cases. A reduction in possible physical activities has a potential negative effect on the life expectancies of elderly people. In order to underline the importance of physical activities, we prepared an extended literature review, aiming to summarize the available knowledge related to COVID-19. As a conclusion we recommend to strengthen, maintain, and develop available sporting possibilities for people. The most important of these recommendations is the development of physical activities that are available for free. Full article
(This article belongs to the Topic Burden of COVID-19 in Different Countries)
10 pages, 340 KiB  
Review
Do COVID-19 and Food Insecurity Influence Existing Inequalities between Women and Men in Africa?
by Heather VanVolkenburg, Isabelle Vandeplas, Katim Touré, Safiétou Sanfo, Fatoumata Lamarana Baldé and Liette Vasseur
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2022, 19(4), 2065; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph19042065 - 12 Feb 2022
Cited by 6 | Viewed by 2871
Abstract
This review sought to understand what is currently known about how the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic and restrictive measures are affecting food security and equality between women and men in all of Africa. A review of both the academic and grey literature was performed [...] Read more.
This review sought to understand what is currently known about how the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic and restrictive measures are affecting food security and equality between women and men in all of Africa. A review of both the academic and grey literature was performed by following PRISMA guidelines. Results showed that a general disparity exists in gender-inclusive/-sensitive research. Most reported increases in inequalities between women and men were predictive only. Evidence-based articles found were mainly conducted online and target tertiary educated populations, among which neutral effects were found. A general lack of disaggregated data (e.g., women vs. men) was found to be a barrier in gaining a complete understanding of the situation on-the-ground. Furthermore, documents reporting on food security seldom included all four pillars (i.e., availability, access, utility, stability) in their analysis despite the reciprocal connection between them all. Within household disparities and the impacts on power relationships within households were also overlooked. Future studies must focus on rural settings and gender disaggregated interview processes as well as consider all pillars of food security. Doing so will help to better inform governments and humanitarian groups leading to better designed policies and social supports that target where they are most needed. Full article
(This article belongs to the Topic Burden of COVID-19 in Different Countries)
12 pages, 516 KiB  
Article
Risk Perception Influence on Vaccination Program on COVID-19 in Chile: A Mathematical Model
by Juan Pablo Gutiérrez-Jara and Chiara Saracini
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2022, 19(4), 2022; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph19042022 - 11 Feb 2022
Cited by 7 | Viewed by 2156
Abstract
The SARS-CoV-2 virus emergency prompted unprecedented safety measures, which were accepted by the population of each country to different degrees, for example, with more or less willingness to use personal protective elements (PPEs). We have developed a mathematical model of the contagion process, [...] Read more.
The SARS-CoV-2 virus emergency prompted unprecedented safety measures, which were accepted by the population of each country to different degrees, for example, with more or less willingness to use personal protective elements (PPEs). We have developed a mathematical model of the contagion process, based on chilean data, to assess the interaction between biological factors (such as the impact of vaccination) and behavioral factors (such as the population’s perception of risk). The model clearly shows that the virus spreads through three waves of contagion, the second being the most prominent, regardless of any alteration in the variables taken into account, which only affect the overall number of people infected. By considering alternative values of the risk perception variable and examining the different possible scenarios, we have also found that the less reaction to change the population has (and the lower the disposition to use PPEs), the higher the waves of contagion and the death toll are. Full article
(This article belongs to the Topic Burden of COVID-19 in Different Countries)
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10 pages, 1362 KiB  
Article
A “Ballpark” Assessment of Social Distancing Efficiency in the Early Stages of the COVID-19 Pandemic
by Taejong Kim and Hyosun Kim
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2022, 19(3), 1852; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph19031852 - 7 Feb 2022
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 1540
Abstract
This paper presents an efficiency assessment of social distancing as an internationally adopted measure to tackle the COVID-19 pandemic in 2020. The simple framework adopted for the assessment accounts for two kinds of costs that a society may bear in a pandemic. The [...] Read more.
This paper presents an efficiency assessment of social distancing as an internationally adopted measure to tackle the COVID-19 pandemic in 2020. The simple framework adopted for the assessment accounts for two kinds of costs that a society may bear in a pandemic. The first is welfare loss due to infection and its consequences, and the second is welfare loss resulting from a slowdown in economic transactions. We call the first infection costs, and the second economic costs, for convenience in the paper. Efficient social distancing should minimize the sum of these costs. Infection costs are likely to decrease with social distancing at a decreasing rate as intensified social distancing eases pressure on scarce resources for intensive care. Economic costs on the other hand are likely to increase at an increasing rate as extreme slowdown in economic life may entail job losses and business failures. The resulting U-shaped total costs curve implies parity between infection costs and economic costs as a necessary condition for efficiency. In a simplified implementation of the framework, we approximate infection costs by the value of (statistical) lives lost, and economic costs by the gap between the actual gross domestic product (GDP) in 2020 and the potential GDP as predicted by the within-country growth trend during the preceding decade. The results for 158 countries suggest that the global community perhaps reacted with overly strict social distancing measures. The results for the subgroup of high-income countries, however, suggest that these countries were more successful in maintaining the parity between infection and economic costs. Full article
(This article belongs to the Topic Burden of COVID-19 in Different Countries)
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8 pages, 489 KiB  
Article
Prevalence of Post COVID-19 Condition in Primary Care: A Cross Sectional Study
by Patricia Montenegro, Irene Moral, Alicia Puy, Esther Cordero, Noa Chantada, Lluis Cuixart and Carlos Brotons
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2022, 19(3), 1836; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph19031836 - 6 Feb 2022
Cited by 14 | Viewed by 3535
Abstract
Background: The COVID-19 pandemic is a major challenge for health systems, citizens and policymakers worldwide. It is not known how many people are affected with longer term sequelae after acute COVID-19 and a wide range of prevalence estimates have been reported with a [...] Read more.
Background: The COVID-19 pandemic is a major challenge for health systems, citizens and policymakers worldwide. It is not known how many people are affected with longer term sequelae after acute COVID-19 and a wide range of prevalence estimates have been reported with a high heterogeneity between studies. Methods: We designed a cross-sectional study to estimate the prevalence of post COVID-19 conditions in a community setting. We selected a random sample of 579 individuals from three different primary health care centers and collected information on symptoms through a standardized questionnaire. Results: Our main study finding was an overall population prevalence of 14.34% (95% CI 11.58–17.46%) of post COVID-19. Only 9% of patients were hospitalized in our study. Prevalence was higher in women than men (15.63% versus 13.06%) and the most frequent persistent symptoms were fatigue (44.6%), smell impairment (27.7%) and dyspnea (24.09%). Conclusions: The prevalence of post COVID-19 condition was lower than expected according to other studies published in the literature. The prevalence was higher in women than men, and the most frequent persistent symptoms were fatigue, smell impairment, and dyspnea. Full article
(This article belongs to the Topic Burden of COVID-19 in Different Countries)
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13 pages, 553 KiB  
Article
Latent Class Analysis of Health Behavior Changes Due to COVID-19 among Middle-Aged Korean Workers
by Eun-Hi Choi, Won-Jong Kim and Eun-Mi Baek
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2022, 19(3), 1832; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph19031832 - 6 Feb 2022
Cited by 3 | Viewed by 2070
Abstract
The purpose of this study was to identify the latent class for changes in health behavior due to COVID-19, reveal the characteristics of participants by type, and identify predictive factors for these types. The participants of this study were office workers between the [...] Read more.
The purpose of this study was to identify the latent class for changes in health behavior due to COVID-19, reveal the characteristics of participants by type, and identify predictive factors for these types. The participants of this study were office workers between the ages of 40 and 60 and secondary data from the 2020 Community Health Survey of G city was utilized. Latent class analysis was performed on physical activities such as walking and exercise, eating fast food or carbonated drinks, eating delivered food, drinking alcohol, and smoking. Three types of health behavior changes due to COVID-19 were found: (1) decrease in all health behavior type, (2) increase in fast food and delivered food type, and (3) increase in smoking maintenance type. Second, the variables predicting the three types after controlling for general characteristics were health problems, social distancing among the COVID-19 quarantine rules, refraining from going out, and meeting with friends and neighbors and had an impact on COVID-19 life. It is necessary to strengthen non-face-to-face health promotion activities along with quarantine rules for COVID-19. In addition, there is a need for a health management plan for people with non-visible risk factors such as obesity and high blood pressure. Full article
(This article belongs to the Topic Burden of COVID-19 in Different Countries)
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11 pages, 342 KiB  
Article
Is Lower Trust in COVID-19 Regulations Associated with Academic Frustration? A Comparison between Danish and German University Students
by Julia Ballmann, Stefanie M. Helmer, Gabriele Berg-Beckhoff, Julie Dalgaard Guldager, Signe Smith Jervelund, Heide Busse, Claudia R. Pischke, Sarah Negash, Claus Wendt and Christiane Stock
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2022, 19(3), 1748; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph19031748 - 3 Feb 2022
Cited by 5 | Viewed by 1801
Abstract
Despite the proximity of both countries, Danes and Germans differ in the level of trust in their government. This may play a role with respect to the disruptive impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on university students. This study investigated the association between trust [...] Read more.
Despite the proximity of both countries, Danes and Germans differ in the level of trust in their government. This may play a role with respect to the disruptive impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on university students. This study investigated the association between trust in governmental regulations, trust in university regulations, risk perceptions, and academic frustration among Danish and German students. As part of the COVID-19 International Student Well-being Study, an online survey was distributed among university students in participating European and non-European universities. In Denmark, 2945 students and Germany, 8725 students responded to the questionnaire between May and July 2020. Students from both countries reported approximately the same level of academic frustration concerning their progress and quality of education. However, German students perceived a higher risk of contracting SARS-CoV-2 compared to Danish respondents. Danish students showed higher trust in their government’s COVID-19 regulations than German students. Lower trust in government and university COVID-19 regulations and higher risk perception were associated with higher academic frustration. These results indicate that the level of trust in COVID-19 regulations might have an impact the overall frustration of students regarding their study conditions. Full article
(This article belongs to the Topic Burden of COVID-19 in Different Countries)
9 pages, 1404 KiB  
Article
Impact of the COVID-19 Pandemic on Atopic Dermatitis Patients
by Joanna Sieniawska, Aleksandra Lesiak, Karol Ciążyński, Joanna Narbutt and Magdalena Ciążyńska
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2022, 19(3), 1734; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph19031734 - 2 Feb 2022
Cited by 8 | Viewed by 2157
Abstract
Atopic dermatitis (AD) can have a significantly negative impact on quality of life (QoL). The impact of coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) on the AD population is not yet well established. The study comprised 195 patients with diagnosed AD who were asked about their [...] Read more.
Atopic dermatitis (AD) can have a significantly negative impact on quality of life (QoL). The impact of coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) on the AD population is not yet well established. The study comprised 195 patients with diagnosed AD who were asked about their cognitive and preventive behaviors regarding COVID-19 and the accessibility of medical support, including online consultations. Moreover, the patients responded to the self-reported Dermatology Life Quality Index (DLQI) and Hospital Anxiety and Depression Scale (HADS). Most of the patients were worried about being infected with COVID-19. Most of the patients believed that people suffering from skin disease were more prone to be infected with COVID-19 compared with the general population. Most the patients negatively assessed the availability of dermatological treatment during the pandemic. Furthermore, 66.1% of the patients declared using telemedicine. Nearly 50% of patients were discontented with telemedicine, and 1/3 of the patients did not mind the use of telemedicine. AD during the COVID-19 pandemic was associated with a lower overall health rating and life satisfaction and impaired QoL related to mental health in a Polish population. These results provide original information that can be applied in dermatologic patient screenings to evaluate the state of depression and anxiety during the epidemic period. Full article
(This article belongs to the Topic Burden of COVID-19 in Different Countries)
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12 pages, 3758 KiB  
Article
Impacts of COVID-19 on Air Quality through Traffic Reduction
by Hyemin Hwang and Jae Young Lee
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2022, 19(3), 1718; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph19031718 - 2 Feb 2022
Cited by 10 | Viewed by 1984
Abstract
In 2020, the first case of COVID-19 was confirmed in Korea, and social distancing was implemented to prevent its spread. This reduced the movement of people, and changes in air quality were expected owing to reduced emissions. In the present paper, the impact [...] Read more.
In 2020, the first case of COVID-19 was confirmed in Korea, and social distancing was implemented to prevent its spread. This reduced the movement of people, and changes in air quality were expected owing to reduced emissions. In the present paper, the impact of traffic volume change caused by COVID-19 on air quality in Seoul, Korea, is examined. Two regression analyses were performed using the generalized additive model (GAM), assuming a Gaussian distribution; the relationships between (1) the number of confirmed COVID-19 cases in 2020–2021 and the rate of change in the traffic volume in Seoul, and (2) the traffic volume and the rate of change in the air quality in Seoul from 2016 to 2019 were analyzed. The regression results show that traffic decreased by 0.00431% per COVID-19 case; when traffic fell by 1%, the PM10, PM2.5, CO, NO2, O3, and SO2 concentrations fell by 0.48%, 0.94%, 0.39%, 0.74%, 0.16%, and −0.01%, respectively. This mechanism accounts for air quality improvements in PM10, PM2.5, CO, NO2, and O3 in Seoul during 2020–2021. From these results, the majority of the reduction in pollutant concentrations in 2020–2021 appears to be the result of a long-term declining trend rather than COVID-19. Full article
(This article belongs to the Topic Burden of COVID-19 in Different Countries)
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14 pages, 2028 KiB  
Article
A Prospective, Longitudinal Evaluation of SARS-CoV-2 COVID-19 Exposure, Use of Protective Equipment and Social Distancing in a Group of Community Physicians
by Eli D. Ehrenpreis, Sigrun Hallmeyer, David H. Kruchko, Alexea A. Resner, Nhan Dang, Natasha Shah, Nancy Mayer and Anne Rivelli
Healthcare 2022, 10(2), 285; https://doi.org/10.3390/healthcare10020285 - 1 Feb 2022
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 1864
Abstract
Introduction: Healthcare workers experience a significant risk of exposure to and infection from SARS-CoV-2, COVID-19. Nonetheless, little research has focused on physicians’ use of personal protective equipment (PPE), their concerns about becoming infected and their social distancing maneuvers. Methods: All staff physicians at [...] Read more.
Introduction: Healthcare workers experience a significant risk of exposure to and infection from SARS-CoV-2, COVID-19. Nonetheless, little research has focused on physicians’ use of personal protective equipment (PPE), their concerns about becoming infected and their social distancing maneuvers. Methods: All staff physicians at Advocate Lutheran General Hospital were invited to participate. Their COVID-19 IgG antibody level was measured and an online questionnaire was completed. The questionnaire assessed the risk of COVID-19 exposure, PPE usage, concern for contracting COVID-19, the performance of high-risk procedures, work in high-risk settings, and social distancing practices. Testing was performed in September (T0), and December 2020 (T1) at the height of the global pandemic. Results: A total of 481 (26.7%) of 1800 AGLH physicians were enrolled at T0 and 458 (95% of the original group) at T1. A total of 21 (4.3%) and 39 (8.5%) participants had antibodies at T0 and T1. A total of 63 (13.8%) worked in high-risk settings and 111 (24.2%) performed high-risk procedures. Participants working in high-risk settings had increased exposure to COVID-19 infected patients (OR = 4.464 CI = 2.522–8.459, p < 0.001). Participants were highly adherent to the use of PPE and social distancing practices including mask-wearing in public (86%, 82.1%), avoiding crowds (85.1%, 85.6%), six feet distancing (83.8%, 83.4%), and avoiding public transportation (78%, 83.8%). A total of 251 (55.4%) participants expressed moderate to extreme concern about becoming infected with COVID-19. Conclusions and Relevance: Among a group of community physicians, consistent PPE use and social distancing practices were common. These practices were associated with a low level of initial acquisition of COVID-19 infections and a relatively low longitudinal risk of infection. Full article
(This article belongs to the Topic Burden of COVID-19 in Different Countries)
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9 pages, 1821 KiB  
Study Protocol
Neurological, Psychiatric, and Psychological Implications of the COVID-19 Pandemic: Protocol for a Large-Scale Umbrella Review of Observational Studies
by Ta-Chuan Yeh, Chih-Sung Liang, Chia-Kuang Tsai, Marco Solmi, Beny Lafer, Ping-Tao Tseng, Chih-Wei Hsu, Pao-Yen Lin, Joseph Firth, Brendon Stubbs, Lamiece Hassan, Michele Fornaro, Eduard Vieta, Trevor Thompson, Jaeil Shin and Andre F. Carvalho
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2022, 19(3), 1681; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph19031681 - 1 Feb 2022
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 2440
Abstract
The severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 disease (SARS-CoV-2) is the most severe manifestation of the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic. Accruing evidence indicates that the COVID-19 pandemic may have profound deleterious neurological, psychiatric, and psychological outcomes. The number of systematic reviews (SRs) [...] Read more.
The severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 disease (SARS-CoV-2) is the most severe manifestation of the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic. Accruing evidence indicates that the COVID-19 pandemic may have profound deleterious neurological, psychiatric, and psychological outcomes. The number of systematic reviews (SRs) and meta-analyses (MAs) on this topic has grown exponentially. This protocol aims to synthesize all evidence from SRs and MAs on the associations between the COVID-19 pandemic and neuropsychiatric outcomes. The following electronic databases will be systematically searched from inception up to 15 January 2022: PubMed, Embase, APA PsycINFO, and Cochrane Reviews. An umbrella review (UR) of SRs and MAs of observational studies will be conducted. SRs and/or MAs of observational studies examining any direct or indirect association of COVID-19 with the neuropsychiatric outcomes will be deemed eligible for potential inclusion in this UR. The direct associations include the impact on the (1) prognosis of COVID-19 and (2) neuropsychiatric sequelae after COVID-19 infection. The indirect associations include the influence of the COVID-19 pandemic on the (1) treatments and (2) outcomes of neurological and psychiatric conditions associated with the COVID-19 pandemic. Full article
(This article belongs to the Topic Burden of COVID-19 in Different Countries)
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22 pages, 4759 KiB  
Article
Analyzing the Data of COVID-19 with Quasi-Distribution Fitting Based on Piecewise B-Spline Curves
by Qingliang Zhao, Zhenhuan Lu and Yiduo Wang
COVID 2022, 2(2), 175-196; https://doi.org/10.3390/covid2020013 - 31 Jan 2022
Viewed by 2892
Abstract
Facing the worldwide coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic, a new fitting method (QDF, quasi-distribution fitting) which can be used to analyze the data of COVID-19 is developed based on piecewise quasi-uniform B-spline curves. For any given country or district, it simulates the distribution [...] Read more.
Facing the worldwide coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic, a new fitting method (QDF, quasi-distribution fitting) which can be used to analyze the data of COVID-19 is developed based on piecewise quasi-uniform B-spline curves. For any given country or district, it simulates the distribution histogram data which is made from the daily confirmed cases (or the other data including daily recovery cases and daily fatality cases) of COVID-19 with piecewise quasi-uniform B-spline curves. After using the area normalization method, the fitting curves could be regarded as a kind of probability density function (PDF): its mathematical expectation and the variance could be used to analyze the situation of the coronavirus pandemic. Numerical experiments based on the data of certain countries have indicated that the QDF method demonstrates the intrinsic characteristics of COVID-19 data of a given country or district, and because the interval of data used in this paper is over one year (500 days), it reveals the fact that after the multi-wave transmission of the coronavirus, the case fatality rate has obviously declined. These results show that the QDF method is effective and feasible as an appraisal method. Full article
(This article belongs to the Topic Burden of COVID-19 in Different Countries)
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20 pages, 52676 KiB  
Article
Spatiotemporal Analysis for COVID-19 Delta Variant Using GIS-Based Air Parameter and Spatial Modeling
by Mokhamad Nur Cahyadi, Hepi Hapsari Handayani, IDAA Warmadewanthi, Catur Aries Rokhmana, Soni Sunarso Sulistiawan, Christrijogo Sumartono Waloedjo, Agus Budi Raharjo, Endroyono, Mohamad Atok, Shilvy Choiriyatun Navisa, Mega Wulansari and Shuanggen Jin
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2022, 19(3), 1614; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph19031614 - 30 Jan 2022
Cited by 10 | Viewed by 4029
Abstract
The coronavirus disease of 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic is currently a global challenge, with 210 countries, including Indonesia, seeking to minimize its spread. Therefore, this study aims to determine the spatiotemporal spread pattern of this virus in Surabaya using various data on confirmed cases [...] Read more.
The coronavirus disease of 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic is currently a global challenge, with 210 countries, including Indonesia, seeking to minimize its spread. Therefore, this study aims to determine the spatiotemporal spread pattern of this virus in Surabaya using various data on confirmed cases from 28 April to 26 October 2021. It also aims to determine the relationship between pollutant parameters, such as carbon monoxide (CO), nitrogen dioxide (NO2), sulfur dioxide (SO2), and ozone (O3), as well as the government’s high social restrictions policy in Java-Bali. Several methods, such as the weighted mean center, directional distribution, Getis–Ord Gi*, Moran’s I, and geographically weighted regression, were used to identify the spatial spread pattern of the virus. The weighted mean center indicated that the epicenter location of the outbreak moved randomly. The directional distribution demonstrated a decrease of 21 km2 at the end of the study phase, which proved that its spread has significantly reduced in Surabaya. Meanwhile, the Getis–Ord Gi* results demonstrated that the eastern and southern parts of the study region were highly infected. Moran’s I demonstrate that COVID-19 cases clustered during the spike. The geographically weighted regression model indicated a number of influence zones in the northeast, northwest, and a few in the southwest parts at the peak of R2 0.55. The relationship between COVID-19 cases and air pollution parameters proved that people living at the outbreak’s center have low pollution levels due to lockdown. Furthermore, the lockdown policy reduced CO, NO2, SO2, and O3. In addition, increase in air pollutants; namely, NO2, CO, SO2 and O3, was recorded after 7 weeks of lockdown implementation (started from 18 August). Full article
(This article belongs to the Topic Burden of COVID-19 in Different Countries)
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12 pages, 1854 KiB  
Article
Trends and Risk Factors of In-Hospital Mortality of Patients with COVID-19 in Germany: Results of a Large Nationwide Inpatient Sample
by Lukas Hobohm, Ingo Sagoschen, Stefano Barco, Irene Schmidtmann, Christine Espinola-Klein, Stavros Konstantinides, Thomas Münzel and Karsten Keller
Viruses 2022, 14(2), 275; https://doi.org/10.3390/v14020275 - 28 Jan 2022
Cited by 29 | Viewed by 3327
Abstract
Unselected data of nationwide studies of hospitalized patients with COVID-19 are still sparse, but these data are of outstanding interest to avoid exceeding hospital capacities and overloading national healthcare systems. Thus, we sought to analyze seasonal/regional trends, predictors of in-hospital case-fatality, and mechanical [...] Read more.
Unselected data of nationwide studies of hospitalized patients with COVID-19 are still sparse, but these data are of outstanding interest to avoid exceeding hospital capacities and overloading national healthcare systems. Thus, we sought to analyze seasonal/regional trends, predictors of in-hospital case-fatality, and mechanical ventilation (MV) in patients with COVID-19 in Germany. We used the German nationwide inpatient samples to analyze all hospitalized patients with a confirmed COVID-19 diagnosis in Germany between 1 January and 31 December in 2020. We analyzed data of 176,137 hospitalizations of patients with confirmed COVID-19-infection. Among those, 31,607 (17.9%) died, whereby in-hospital case-fatality grew exponentially with age. Overall, age ≥ 70 years (OR 5.91, 95%CI 5.70–6.13, p < 0.001), pneumonia (OR 4.58, 95%CI 4.42–4.74, p < 0.001) and acute respiratory distress syndrome (OR 8.51, 95%CI 8.12–8.92, p < 0.001) were strong predictors of in-hospital death. Most COVID-19 patients were treated in hospitals in urban areas (n = 92,971) associated with the lowest case-fatality (17.5%), as compared to hospitals in suburban (18.3%) or rural areas (18.8%). MV demand was highest in November/December 2020 (32.3%, 20.3%) in patients between the 6th and 8th age decade. In the first age decade, 78 of 1861 children (4.2%) with COVID-19-infection were treated with MV, and five of them died (0.3%). The results of our study indicate seasonal and regional variations concerning the number of COVID-19 patients, necessity of MV, and case fatality in Germany. These findings may help to ensure the flexible allocation of intensive care (human) resources, which is essential for managing enormous societal challenges worldwide to avoid overloaded regional healthcare systems. Full article
(This article belongs to the Topic Burden of COVID-19 in Different Countries)
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10 pages, 687 KiB  
Article
Burnout Syndrome among Staff at an Emergency Department during the COVID-19 Pandemic
by Mihaela Corlade-Andrei, Cornelia Măirean, Paul Nedelea, Gabriela Grigorași and Diana Cimpoeșu
Healthcare 2022, 10(2), 258; https://doi.org/10.3390/healthcare10020258 - 28 Jan 2022
Cited by 9 | Viewed by 3129
Abstract
Objective: The aim of this current study was to identify the prevalence of burnout manifestation in a sample recruited from the emergency department of a hospital. Moreover, we aimed to assess the role of professional experience, age, and the professional category in shaping [...] Read more.
Objective: The aim of this current study was to identify the prevalence of burnout manifestation in a sample recruited from the emergency department of a hospital. Moreover, we aimed to assess the role of professional experience, age, and the professional category in shaping burnout manifestations. Results: The results showed that higher proportions of burnout symptoms were reported by resident physicians, nurses, and physicians whereas lower proportions were encountered in the orderly group. Moreover, the results revealed a significant difference between men and women in the nurse group concerning depersonalization; men presented higher levels of depersonalization compared with women. Concerning emotional exhaustion and depersonalization, multiple comparisons showed differences among the professional categories. Conclusions: The implications of these results for preventing burnout syndrome are discussed. Full article
(This article belongs to the Topic Burden of COVID-19 in Different Countries)
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15 pages, 244 KiB  
Article
The Experiences of African American Male Caregivers
by Barbara Pollard Deskins, Susan Letvak, Laurie Kennedy-Malone, Pamela Johnson Rowsey, Leandra Bedini and Denise Rhew
Healthcare 2022, 10(2), 252; https://doi.org/10.3390/healthcare10020252 - 28 Jan 2022
Cited by 5 | Viewed by 3417
Abstract
Aging of the population has led to an increasing number of caregivers. While research has been conducted on caregiver experiences, less is known about the experiences of African American males in the U.S. This qualitative descriptive study describes the experiences of 13 African [...] Read more.
Aging of the population has led to an increasing number of caregivers. While research has been conducted on caregiver experiences, less is known about the experiences of African American males in the U.S. This qualitative descriptive study describes the experiences of 13 African American men who acted as caregivers to adult chronically ill or debilitated loved ones, the majority of whom provided care during the COVID-19 pandemic. The revised Sociocultural Stress and Coping Model (R-SSCM) guided this study. Individual interviews were conducted via the Zoom application. Content analysis revealed four themes: (1) “My time to take the reins”, (2) “It’s a male thang”, (3) “Caring amid a pandemic”, and (4) “Effects of the caregiver’s journey”. This study’s findings in relation to the literature provide overdue attention to the African American male caregiving experience, especially in relation to the COVID-19 pandemic. The implications of our findings include the need for more culturally congruent support services for African American male caregivers, as well as increased efforts to encourage trust in the healthcare system—especially in relation to vaccination for the SARS-CoV-2 virus. Full article
(This article belongs to the Topic Burden of COVID-19 in Different Countries)
13 pages, 552 KiB  
Article
The Interpersonal Dimension of Pandemic Fear and the Dual-Factor Model of Mental Health: The Role of Coping Strategies
by Edita Fino, Denis Mema and Valbona Treska
Healthcare 2022, 10(2), 247; https://doi.org/10.3390/healthcare10020247 - 27 Jan 2022
Cited by 6 | Viewed by 2736
Abstract
(1) Background: Current COVID-19 research has mainly focused on negative outcomes associated with fear of the pandemic with the examination of potentially positive outcomes remaining underexplored. Based on the dual-factor model of mental health, which postulates positive and negative dimensions, we assessed the [...] Read more.
(1) Background: Current COVID-19 research has mainly focused on negative outcomes associated with fear of the pandemic with the examination of potentially positive outcomes remaining underexplored. Based on the dual-factor model of mental health, which postulates positive and negative dimensions, we assessed the influence of COVID-19 fear on both negative and positive mental health outcomes and examined the mediational role of coping strategies. (2) Methods: A convenience sample of 231 respondents participated in an online survey reporting on measures of pandemic fear (SFS), distress (HADS), post-traumatic growth (PTGI) and individual differences in terms of coping strategies (CSI-SF). (3) Results: Respondents’ main concerns related with the pandemic highlighted the interpersonal and social dimensions implicated in fear of COVID-19. As expected, fear of the pandemic was associated not just with negative but also positive outcomes, while different coping strategies played a role in determining such effects. More specifically, disengagement coping mediated the effects of fear on anxiety and depression, whereas engagement coping was the only mediator of the relationship between COVID-19 fear and post-traumatic growth. (4) Conclusions: Approaches to promote psychological wellbeing in the context of the COVID-19 pandemic should on the one hand be sensitive to the needs of the more vulnerable population groups, while on the other leverage existing resources to harness the potential for growth. Strengthening engagement coping in the context of fears triggered by the pandemic may constitute a valuable target to protect against negative and optimize positive mental health outcomes in the general population. Full article
(This article belongs to the Topic Burden of COVID-19 in Different Countries)
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12 pages, 331 KiB  
Article
The Psychological Impacts of COVID-19 Pandemic among Emerging Adults: An Observational Cross-Sectional Study
by Fatemah Alghamdi, Amal Ashour, Lola Adeyemi, Paula Bamidele, Blessing Nwambo-Logan, Maha Alsharif, Amal M. Sindi and Nada Binmadi
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2022, 19(3), 1445; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph19031445 - 27 Jan 2022
Cited by 4 | Viewed by 3280
Abstract
(1) Background: COVID-19 has had psychological impacts, particularly anxiety, depression, anger, and suicidal ideation, on the world’s populace, including young persons who were prone to mental health disorders even before the pandemic. We described the psychological impacts of COVID-19 among emerging adults aged [...] Read more.
(1) Background: COVID-19 has had psychological impacts, particularly anxiety, depression, anger, and suicidal ideation, on the world’s populace, including young persons who were prone to mental health disorders even before the pandemic. We described the psychological impacts of COVID-19 among emerging adults aged 18–30 years in Saudi Arabia. (2) Methods: A cross-sectional survey was done among a randomly sampled population in Saudi Arabia between July 2020 and May 2021 using the DSM-5 Self-rated Level 1 Cross-Cutting Symptom Measure and Ask Suicide Questionnaire. Logistic regression was used to assess participant characteristics associated with reporting symptoms of mental disorders under each of the 13 domains that would warrant further investigation. (3) Results: Approximately, 91% of participants experienced different mental health symptoms; these participants are more likely to be young, female students, those who had a history of being diagnosed with a mental disorder, and those diagnosed or treated for COVID-19. (4) Conclusion: This study strongly showed an increased prevalence of mental health symptoms among young persons during the COVID-19 pandemic. Addressing the mental health burden among young persons in time using simple, self-administered screening tools linked to interventions will prevent dire consequences in the future. Full article
(This article belongs to the Topic Burden of COVID-19 in Different Countries)
9 pages, 248 KiB  
Article
Clinicians’ Social Support, Job Stress, and Intent to Leave Healthcare during COVID-19
by Ayhan Tabur, Avishek Choudhury, Abdurrahim Emhan, Cengiz Mengenci and Onur Asan
Healthcare 2022, 10(2), 229; https://doi.org/10.3390/healthcare10020229 - 26 Jan 2022
Cited by 19 | Viewed by 3857
Abstract
The onset of COVID-19 has escalated healthcare workers’ psychological distress. Multiple factors, including prolonged exposure to COVID-19 patients, irregular working hours, and workload, have substantially contributed to stress and burnout among healthcare workers. To explore the impact of COVID-19 on healthcare workers, our [...] Read more.
The onset of COVID-19 has escalated healthcare workers’ psychological distress. Multiple factors, including prolonged exposure to COVID-19 patients, irregular working hours, and workload, have substantially contributed to stress and burnout among healthcare workers. To explore the impact of COVID-19 on healthcare workers, our study compares the job stress, social support, and intention to leave the job among healthcare workers working in a pandemic (HP) and a non-pandemic hospital (HNP) in Turkey during the pandemic. The cross-sectional, paper-based survey involved 403 healthcare workers including physicians, registered nurses, health technicians, and auxiliary staff across two hospitals from 1 September 2020 to 31 November 2020. The findings indicate a significant impact of ‘Job stress’ on ‘Intent to leave’ job among participants in the HP. We noted that ‘intent to leave’ and ‘job stress’ were significantly higher among the HP healthcare workers than those working in the HNP, respectively. However, workers’ ‘social support’ was significantly lower in the HP. Healthcare workers, during COVID-19, face several hurdles such as job stress, reduced social support, and excessive workload, all of which are potential factors influencing a care provider’s intent to leave the job. Full article
(This article belongs to the Topic Burden of COVID-19 in Different Countries)
18 pages, 1141 KiB  
Article
Prevalence and Sociodemographic Predictors of Mental Health in a Representative Sample of Young Adults from Germany, Israel, Poland, and Slovenia: A Longitudinal Study during the COVID-19 Pandemic
by Joy Benatov, Dominika Ochnik, Aleksandra M. Rogowska, Ana Arzenšek and Urša Mars Bitenc
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2022, 19(3), 1334; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph19031334 - 25 Jan 2022
Cited by 42 | Viewed by 5559
Abstract
The aim of this cross-national longitudinal study was to evaluate the prevalence and sociodemographic predictors of mental health indicators (coronavirus-related post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), perceived stress, anxiety, depression, and suicidal/self-harm ideation) during the coronavirus disease-2019 (COVID-19) pandemic in a three-month period among representative [...] Read more.
The aim of this cross-national longitudinal study was to evaluate the prevalence and sociodemographic predictors of mental health indicators (coronavirus-related post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), perceived stress, anxiety, depression, and suicidal/self-harm ideation) during the coronavirus disease-2019 (COVID-19) pandemic in a three-month period among representative samples of young adults from Germany, Israel, Poland, and Slovenia. The participants were 1724 young adults between 20 and 40 years of age (M = 30.74, SD = 5.74). The first measurement (T1) was in February 2021 and the second (T2) was in May–June 2021. The samples were representative of young adults in each country: Germany (n = 418, 24%), Israel (n = 428, 25%), Poland (n = 446, 26%), and Slovenia (n = 431, 25%). Women constituted 54% (n = 935) of the total sample. The mental health indicators were coronavirus-related PTSD measured by PCL-S, perceived stress (PSS-10), anxiety (GAD-7), depression (PHQ-8), and suicidal ideation (PHQ-9). The participants completed an online questionnaire that also included a physical activity (PA) measurement and sociodemographic variables. The Pearson’s χ2 independence test was used for prevalence comparisons and McNemar’s χ2 was used for longitudinal changes, whereas generalized estimating equations (GEEs) were used for the predictors of change in mental health indices. Significant differences were found between countries in each mental health dimension in both T1 and T2, with moderate effect sizes for coronavirus-related PTSD and suicidal ideation. The highest rate of PTSD and depression risk was in Germany, the highest rates of stress and anxiety risk were in Poland, and there was insufficient PA in Slovenia. The anxiety, depression, and suicidal ideation rates were the lowest in Israel and Slovenia. Israeli participants reported the lowest rate of coronavirus-related PTSD among the other countries in T1 and T2. Significant decreases in coronavirus-related PTSD and stress were observed during T2 compared to T1 in the total sample. There was no change in the risk of anxiety, depression, or suicidal ideation. Being single was a predictor of changes in all mental health indices. Having children was a risk factor for coronavirus-related PTSD and high stress. Being a student was a predictor of depression and suicidal ideation. A younger age (20–29 years) predicted coronavirus-related PTSD risk, whereas female gender predicted high stress. The mental health indices improved over time or remained stable. The groups that are most prone to mental health problems were single individuals, students, and parents in young adulthood across all countries. Future intervention programs for young adults should consider these factors when prioritizing, planning, and implementing such programs. Full article
(This article belongs to the Topic Burden of COVID-19 in Different Countries)
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20 pages, 1652 KiB  
Article
COVID-19 Vaccination Hesitancy or Acceptance and Its Associated Factors: Findings from Post-Vaccination Cross-Sectional Survey from Punjab Pakistan
by Rubeena Zakar, Ain ul Momina, Sara Shahzad, Mahwish Hayee, Ruhma Shahzad and Muhammad Zakria Zakar
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2022, 19(3), 1305; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph19031305 - 24 Jan 2022
Cited by 23 | Viewed by 5421
Abstract
COVID-19 has posed massive challenges related to health, economy, and the social fabric of the entire human population. To curb the spread of the virus, the Government of Pakistan initiated a vaccination campaign against COVID-19. The objective of this research was to assess [...] Read more.
COVID-19 has posed massive challenges related to health, economy, and the social fabric of the entire human population. To curb the spread of the virus, the Government of Pakistan initiated a vaccination campaign against COVID-19. The objective of this research was to assess the factors associated with COVID-19 vaccine acceptance or hesitancy. The data were collected telephonically using a cross-sectional survey design through a close-ended structured questionnaire from a sample of 1325 vaccinated and non-vaccinated individuals with a response rate of 38%. SPSS v. 26 was used to analyze the data. The study revealed that 73% of the respondents were male, half in the 40–49 age group, 78% living in urban areas, and 45% had a monthly income between 20,001–50,000 Pakistani rupees. People felt reluctant to get vaccinated because of myths and misinformation related to it. The socio-demographic factors including male, age 60–69, middle or higher level of education, marital status, currently employed, from middle socio-economic status, living in urban areas, high access to mass media, history of influenza vaccination, physical activity, and perceived good health status were significantly associated with COVID-19 vaccination uptake. Concerted efforts are needed to achieve vaccine targets for the broader population through understanding and identifying barriers to vaccination. Full article
(This article belongs to the Topic Burden of COVID-19 in Different Countries)
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16 pages, 1543 KiB  
Article
Epidemiology of SARS-CoV-2 Infection in Italy Using Real-World Data: Methodology and Cohort Description of the Second Phase of Web-Based EPICOVID19 Study
by Fulvio Adorni, Nithiya Jesuthasan, Elena Perdixi, Aleksandra Sojic, Andrea Giacomelli, Marianna Noale, Caterina Trevisan, Michela Franchini, Stefania Pieroni, Liliana Cori, Claudio Maria Mastroianni, Fabrizio Bianchi, Raffaele Antonelli-Incalzi, Stefania Maggi, Massimo Galli, Federica Prinelli and on behalf of the EPICOVID19 Working Group
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2022, 19(3), 1274; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph19031274 - 24 Jan 2022
Cited by 5 | Viewed by 2837
Abstract
Digital technologies have been extensively employed in response to the SARS-CoV-2 pandemic worldwide. This study describes the methodology of the two-phase internet-based EPICOVID19 survey, and the characteristics of the adult volunteer respondents who lived in Italy during the first (April–May 2020) and the [...] Read more.
Digital technologies have been extensively employed in response to the SARS-CoV-2 pandemic worldwide. This study describes the methodology of the two-phase internet-based EPICOVID19 survey, and the characteristics of the adult volunteer respondents who lived in Italy during the first (April–May 2020) and the second wave (January–February 2021) of the epidemic. Validated scales and ad hoc questionnaires were used to collect socio-demographic, medical and behavioural characteristics, as well as information on COVID-19. Among those who provided email addresses during phase I (105,355), 41,473 participated in phase II (mean age 50.7 years ± 13.5 SD, 60.6% females). After a median follow-up of ten months, 52.8% had undergone nasopharyngeal swab (NPS) testing and 13.2% had a positive result. More than 40% had undergone serological test (ST) and 11.9% were positive. Out of the 2073 participants with at least one positive ST, 72.8% had only negative results from NPS or never performed it. These results indicate that a large fraction of individuals remained undiagnosed, possibly contributing to the spread of the virus in the community. Participatory online surveys offer a unique opportunity to collect relevant data at individual level from large samples during confinement. Full article
(This article belongs to the Topic Burden of COVID-19 in Different Countries)
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47 pages, 464 KiB  
Article
Effects of the Early Phase of COVID-19 on the Autistic Community in Sweden: A Qualitative Multi-Informant Study Linking to ICF
by Anna Fridell, Hjalmar Nobel Norrman, Linda Girke and Sven Bölte
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2022, 19(3), 1268; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph19031268 - 24 Jan 2022
Cited by 23 | Viewed by 3897
Abstract
While the COVID-19 pandemic is ongoing, early outcome studies indicate severe and pervasive global effects of the pandemic and associated measures to prevent the spread of the virus. General population studies, as well as insight into the outcomes for particular groups, will be [...] Read more.
While the COVID-19 pandemic is ongoing, early outcome studies indicate severe and pervasive global effects of the pandemic and associated measures to prevent the spread of the virus. General population studies, as well as insight into the outcomes for particular groups, will be necessary in order to mitigate potentially long-term effects as well as to prepare for future epidemics or pandemics. The pandemic conditions have been marked by rapid and abrupt changes and unpredictability which are circumstances that leave the autistic population particularly vulnerable to adverse outcomes following the distinctive features of the diagnosis. Studies are only beginning to delineate the outcomes of the global autism community and the present study adds to these findings by providing a local, multi-perspective, qualitative analysis of the lived experiences of the Swedish autism community. In this study, autistic youth and adults, caregivers of autistic individuals, as well as representatives of Swedish interest organizations were interviewed. Thematic analysis was performed on the population as a whole and patterns of results were formalized according to the International Classification of Function, Disability and Health (ICF-CY). Participants report wide-ranging adverse outcomes of the pandemic relating to mental health and access to support, participation in daily activities and socialization, education, and work as well as parental resources. However, participants also report positive outcomes relating to a reduction in specific social and everyday demands, and normalization of lived experiences. Additionally, interviews outlined some strategies used to cope during pandemic conditions. Implications of these findings are discussed. Full article
(This article belongs to the Topic Burden of COVID-19 in Different Countries)
19 pages, 782 KiB  
Article
Teleworking, Work Engagement, and Intention to Quit during the COVID-19 Pandemic: Same Storm, Different Boats?
by Annick Parent-Lamarche
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2022, 19(3), 1267; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph19031267 - 24 Jan 2022
Cited by 22 | Viewed by 5959
Abstract
The ability to retain and engage employees is now, more than ever, a major strategic issue for organizations in the context of a pandemic paired with a persistent labor shortage. To this end, teleworking is among the work organization conditions that merit consideration. [...] Read more.
The ability to retain and engage employees is now, more than ever, a major strategic issue for organizations in the context of a pandemic paired with a persistent labor shortage. To this end, teleworking is among the work organization conditions that merit consideration. The purpose of this cross-sectional study is to examine the direct and indirect effects of teleworking on work engagement and intention to quit, as well as the potential moderating effect of organizational and individual characteristics on the relationship between teleworking, work engagement, and intention to quit during the COVID-19 pandemic, based on a sample of 254 Canadian employees from 18 small and medium organizations. To address these objectives, path analyses were conducted. Overall, we found that teleworking, use of emotion, skill utilization, and recognition appear to be key considerations for organizations that wish to increase work engagement and decrease intention to quit, in the context of a pandemic paired with a labor shortage. Our results extend the literature by revealing the pathways through which teleworking, use of emotion, skill utilization, and recognition are linked to work engagement and intention to quit, and by suggesting specific interventions and formation plans that are needed. Full article
(This article belongs to the Topic Burden of COVID-19 in Different Countries)
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20 pages, 2333 KiB  
Review
Cardiovascular System during SARS-CoV-2 Infection
by Maciej Koźlik, Adrianna Błahuszewska and Maciej Kaźmierski
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2022, 19(3), 1184; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph19031184 - 21 Jan 2022
Cited by 4 | Viewed by 2311
Abstract
SARS-CoV-2 virus can not only damage the respiratory system but may also pose a threat to other organs, such as the heart or vessels. This review focuses on cardiovascular complications of COVID-19, including acute cardiac injury, arrhythmias, biomarkers, accompanying comorbidities and outcomes in [...] Read more.
SARS-CoV-2 virus can not only damage the respiratory system but may also pose a threat to other organs, such as the heart or vessels. This review focuses on cardiovascular complications of COVID-19, including acute cardiac injury, arrhythmias, biomarkers, accompanying comorbidities and outcomes in patients diagnosed with SARS-CoV-2 infection. The research was conducted on the databases: PubMed, Springer, ScienceDirect, UpToDate, Oxford Academic, Wiley Online Library, ClinicalKey. Fifty-six publications from 1 November 2020 till 15 August 2021 were included in this study. The results show that cardiac injury is present in about 1 in 4 patients with COVID-19 disease, and it is an independent risk factor, which multiplies the death rate several times in comparison to infected patients without myocardial injury. New-onset cardiac injury occurs in nearly every 10th patient of the COVID-19-suffering population. Comorbidities (such as hypertension, cardiovascular disease and diabetes) severely deteriorate the outcome. Therefore, patients with SARS-CoV-2 infection should be carefully assessed in terms of cardiac medical history and possible cardiological complications. Full article
(This article belongs to the Topic Burden of COVID-19 in Different Countries)
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15 pages, 1154 KiB  
Article
Changes in Mental Health among Psychiatric Patients during the COVID-19 Pandemic in Hong Kong—A Cross-Sectional Study
by Joyce Tik-Sze Li, Chui-Ping Lee and Wai-Kwong Tang
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2022, 19(3), 1181; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph19031181 - 21 Jan 2022
Cited by 8 | Viewed by 2928
Abstract
Background: The COVID-19 pandemic has had substantial impacts on citizens’ daily living. Concerns over mental health issues are rising. Recent studies assessing the psychosocial impact of COVID-19 on the general public revealed alarming results. Meanwhile, the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on mental [...] Read more.
Background: The COVID-19 pandemic has had substantial impacts on citizens’ daily living. Concerns over mental health issues are rising. Recent studies assessing the psychosocial impact of COVID-19 on the general public revealed alarming results. Meanwhile, the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on mental health among patients with pre-existing psychiatric disorders remained unclear. Methods: Patients diagnosed with anxiety disorders, depressive disorders, bipolar disorders, or schizophrenia were invited to complete a survey between July and October 2020. The survey collected information on subjects’ demographics, accommodation status, changes in mental health status during the COVID-19 outbreak, and the factors that affect subjects’ mental health during COVID-19. The primary outcome of this study was the change in mental health, defined by psychiatric symptom change and patient satisfaction on symptom control. The secondary outcomes were patients’ emotional status—measured by the Depression, Anxiety and Stress Scale (DASS-21)—during the COVID-19 pandemic and factors that impacted patients’ mental health during the COVID-19 pandemic. Results: Out of the 294 patients recruited, 65.0% were living in hostel while 35.0% were living in the community. The proportion of patients with ‘unsatisfied’ or ‘very unsatisfied’ mental disease control increased from 10.2% to 17.1% after the COVID-19 outbreak (p < 0.001). Under the DASS-21 questionnaire, 24.2% subjects, 32.6% subjects, and 18.9% subjects were classified as severe or extremely severe in terms of the level of depression, anxiety, and stress they experienced, respectively. Patients living in the community, patients with mood disorders, and female patients reported significantly worse control over anxiety and mood symptoms. The three major factors that affected patients’ mental health during COVID-19 were ‘reduced social activities’, ‘worries over people around getting infected’, and ‘reduced exercise’. Conclusion: Psychiatric patients in general have poorer disease control after the COVID-19 outbreak. Patients in the community appeared to be more affected than patients residing in hostels. More efforts should be directed to screening patients with pre-existing mental health disorders to enable timely interventions. Full article
(This article belongs to the Topic Burden of COVID-19 in Different Countries)
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12 pages, 593 KiB  
Article
A SARS-CoV-2 Infection High-Uptake Program on Healthcare Workers and Cancer Patients of the National Cancer Institute of Naples, Italy
by Anna Crispo, Piergiacomo Di Gennaro, Sergio Coluccia, Sara Gandini, Concetta Montagnese, Giuseppe Porciello, Flavia Nocerino, Maria Grimaldi, Mariangela Tafuri, Assunta Luongo, Emanuela Rotondo, Alfonso Amore, Francesco Labonia, Serena Meola, Stefanie Marone, Giovanni Pierro, Simona Menegozzo, Leonardo Miscio, Francesco Perri, Maurizio Rainisio, Attilio A. M. Bianchi, Ernesta Cavalcanti, Marco Cascella and Egidio Celentanoadd Show full author list remove Hide full author list
Healthcare 2022, 10(2), 205; https://doi.org/10.3390/healthcare10020205 - 20 Jan 2022
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 2293
Abstract
Background: From the beginning of 2020, Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome Coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) quickly spread worldwide, becoming the main problem for the healthcare systems. Healthcare workers (HCWs) are at higher risk of infection and can be a dangerous vehicle for the spread of [...] Read more.
Background: From the beginning of 2020, Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome Coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) quickly spread worldwide, becoming the main problem for the healthcare systems. Healthcare workers (HCWs) are at higher risk of infection and can be a dangerous vehicle for the spread of the virus. Furthermore, cancer patients (CPs) are a vulnerable population, with an increased risk of developing severe and lethal forms of Coronavirus Disease 19 (COVID-19). Therefore, at the National Cancer Institute of Naples, where only cancer patients are treated, a surveillance program aimed to prevent the hospital access of SARS-CoV-2 positive subjects (HCWs and CPs) was implemented. The study aims to describe the results of the monitoring activity for the SARS-CoV-2 spread among HCWs and CPs, from March 2020 to March 2021. Methods: This surveillance program included a periodic sampling through nasopharyngeal molecular swabs for SARS-CoV-2 (Real-Time Polymerase Chain Reaction, RT-PCR). CPs were submitted to the molecular test at least 48 h before hospital admission. Survival analysis and multiple logistic regression models were performed among HCWs and CPs to assess the main SARS-CoV-2 risk factors. Results: The percentages of HCWs tested with RT-PCR for the detection of SARS-CoV-2, according to the first and the second wave, were 79.7% and 91.7%, respectively, while the percentages for the CPs were 24.6% and 39.6%. SARS-CoV-2 was detected in 20 (1.7%) HCWs of the 1204 subjects tested during the first wave, and in 127 (9.2%) of 1385 subjects tested in the second wave (p < 0.001); among CPs, the prevalence of patients tested varied from 100 (4.6%) during the first wave to 168 (4.9%) during the second wave (p = 0.8). The multivariate logistic analysis provided a significant OR for nurses (OR = 2.24, 95% CI 1.23–4.08, p < 0.001) compared to research, administrative staff, and other job titles. Conclusions: Our findings show that the positivity rate between the two waves in the HCWs increased over time but not in the CPs; therefore, the importance of adopting stringent measures to contain the shock wave of SARS-CoV-2 infection in the hospital setting was essential. Among HCWs, nurses are more exposed to contagion and patients who needed continuity in oncological care for diseases other than COVID-19, such as suspected cancer. Full article
(This article belongs to the Topic Burden of COVID-19 in Different Countries)
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21 pages, 2670 KiB  
Systematic Review
Adverse Perinatal Outcomes in COVID-19 Infected Pregnant Women: A Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis
by Malshani L. Pathirathna, Buddhini P. P. Samarasekara, Thakshila S. Dasanayake, Padmapriya Saravanakumar and Ishanka Weerasekara
Healthcare 2022, 10(2), 203; https://doi.org/10.3390/healthcare10020203 - 20 Jan 2022
Cited by 24 | Viewed by 4999
Abstract
The impact of COVID-19 virus infection during pregnancy is still unclear. This systematic review and meta-analysis aimed to quantitatively pool the evidence on impact of COVID-19 infection on perinatal outcomes. Databases of Medline, Embase, and Cochrane library were searched using the keywords related [...] Read more.
The impact of COVID-19 virus infection during pregnancy is still unclear. This systematic review and meta-analysis aimed to quantitatively pool the evidence on impact of COVID-19 infection on perinatal outcomes. Databases of Medline, Embase, and Cochrane library were searched using the keywords related to COVID-19 and perinatal outcomes from December 2019 to 30 June 2021. Observational studies comparing the perinatal outcomes of COVID-19 infection in pregnancy with a non-infected comparator were included. The screening process and quality assessment of the included studies were performed independently by two reviewers. Meta-analyses were used to pool the comparative dichotomous data on perinatal outcomes. The database search yielded 4049 results, 1254 of which were duplicates. We included a total of 21 observational studies that assessed the adverse perinatal outcomes with COVID-19 infection. The odds of maternal death (pooled OR: 7.05 [2.41−20.65]), preeclampsia (pooled OR: 1.39 [1.29−1.50]), cesarean delivery (pooled OR: 1.67 [1.29−2.15]), fetal distress (pooled OR: 1.66 [1.35−2.05]), preterm birth (pooled OR: 1.86 [1.34−2.58]), low birth weight (pooled OR: 1.69 [1.35−2.11]), stillbirth (pooled OR: 1.46 [1.16−1.85]), 5th minute Apgar score of less than 7 (pooled OR: 1.44 [1.11−1.86]) and admissions to neonatal intensive care unit (pooled OR: 2.12 [1.36−3.32]) were higher among COVID-19 infected pregnant women compared to non-infected pregnant women. Full article
(This article belongs to the Topic Burden of COVID-19 in Different Countries)
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15 pages, 16395 KiB  
Article
The Effects of Non-Pharmaceutical Interventions on COVID-19 Epidemic Growth Rate during Pre- and Post-Vaccination Period in Asian Countries
by Le Duc Huy, Nhi Thi Hong Nguyen, Phan Thanh Phuc and Chung-Chien Huang
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2022, 19(3), 1139; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph19031139 - 20 Jan 2022
Cited by 8 | Viewed by 3220
Abstract
There is little knowledge about how the influence of non-pharmaceutical interventions (NPIs) reduces the COVID-19 infection rate during the period of vaccine rollout. This study aimed to examine the effectiveness of NPIs on decreasing the epidemic growth of COVID-19 between before and after [...] Read more.
There is little knowledge about how the influence of non-pharmaceutical interventions (NPIs) reduces the COVID-19 infection rate during the period of vaccine rollout. This study aimed to examine the effectiveness of NPIs on decreasing the epidemic growth of COVID-19 between before and after the vaccine rollout period among Asian countries. Our ecological study included observations from 30 Asian countries over the 20 weeks of the pre- and post-vaccination period. Data were extracted from the Oxford COVID-19 Government Response Tracker and other open databases. Longitudinal analysis was utilized to evaluate the impacts of public health responses and vaccines. The facial covering policy was the most effective intervention in the pre-vaccination period, followed by border control and testing policies. In the post-vaccination period, restrictions on gatherings and public transport closure both play a key role in reducing the epidemic growth rate. Vaccine coverage of 1–5%, 5–10%, 10–30%, and over 30% of the population was linked with an average reduction of 0.12%, 0.32%, 0.31%, and 0.59%, respectively. Our findings support the evidence that besides the vaccine increasingly contributing to pandemic control, the implementation of NPIs also plays a key role. Full article
(This article belongs to the Topic Burden of COVID-19 in Different Countries)
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19 pages, 1677 KiB  
Article
Social Group Differences in the Exposure Risk of COVID-19: A Case Study in Beijing, China
by Chen Lu, Xiaodi Yi and Xiaocui Ren
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2022, 19(3), 1121; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph19031121 - 20 Jan 2022
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 1505
Abstract
Taking Beijing as a case, this paper conducted a survey to collect the characteristics of residents’ daily activities, including the mode of frequency and duration of travel, the type and environment of activities, and the duration and frequency of activities. We calculated the [...] Read more.
Taking Beijing as a case, this paper conducted a survey to collect the characteristics of residents’ daily activities, including the mode of frequency and duration of travel, the type and environment of activities, and the duration and frequency of activities. We calculated the COVID-19 exposure risk of residents in different activities based on the exposure risk formula; the influencing factors of residents’ exposure risk were analyzed by regression analysis. The variance of residents’ COVID-19 exposure risk was calculated by coefficient of variation. The main conclusions are as follows: (1) There are differences in activity types of COVID-19 exposure risk, which are survival activity, daily activity and leisure activity from high to low. (2) There are differences in populations of COVID-19 exposure risk. Education level, occupation and income are the main factors affecting residents’ COVID-19 exposure risk. (3) There is internal inequity in the risk of COVID-19 exposure. The exposure risk was higher on work days than on rest days. Health inequities at work are highest on both work days and rest days. Among the different population characteristics, male, 31–40 years old, married, with a high school education, income level of 20,001–25,000 yuan, with a non-local rural hukou, rental housing, farmers, three generations or more living together have a greater degree of COVID-19 exposure risk. Full article
(This article belongs to the Topic Burden of COVID-19 in Different Countries)
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12 pages, 464 KiB  
Article
Perspectives on Mass Media and Governmental Measures during the 2020 COVID-19 Pandemic in a Romanian Sample of Healthcare Practitioners
by Daniela Reisz and Iulia Crișan
Healthcare 2022, 10(2), 191; https://doi.org/10.3390/healthcare10020191 - 19 Jan 2022
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 1585
Abstract
Objective: Along with the rapid spread of the COVID-19 pandemic around the globe, a proliferation of mass media information exposed the population to an infodemic with various implications documented worldwide. The present study analyzed Romanian healthcare practitioners’ (HCPs) appraisal of COVID-19 mass media [...] Read more.
Objective: Along with the rapid spread of the COVID-19 pandemic around the globe, a proliferation of mass media information exposed the population to an infodemic with various implications documented worldwide. The present study analyzed Romanian healthcare practitioners’ (HCPs) appraisal of COVID-19 mass media information and governmental measures throughout 2020, ranking vaccination priorities and moral values. Methods: 97 HCP completed a cross-sectional survey with items referring to the COVID-19 pandemic in 2020. Results: Findings were consistent with other studies, indicating an overall negative appraisal of mass media information, which predicted anxiety and relaxation difficulties. Unlike other studies, our sample reported a moderate level of satisfaction with official measures in 2020, which was not related to their view on mass media information. The ranking of population categories in the vaccination order showed similarities with the governmental vaccination program in 2021. Despite placing freedom third after health and love in the hierarchy of values, HCPs showed a high tendency of limiting individual liberty for the common good. Conclusions: Results showed a dissociation between the overall negative appraisal of mass media information and the satisfaction with governmental measures in 2020. Romanian HCPs shared a secular perspective on moral values and assumed an authoritarian position. Full article
(This article belongs to the Topic Burden of COVID-19 in Different Countries)
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14 pages, 498 KiB  
Article
Effects of a Reminiscence Program on Meaning of Life, Sense of Coherence and Coping in Older Women Living in Nursing Homes during COVID-19
by Alicia Sales, Sacramento Pinazo-Hernandis and Dolores Martinez
Healthcare 2022, 10(2), 188; https://doi.org/10.3390/healthcare10020188 - 19 Jan 2022
Cited by 8 | Viewed by 2984
Abstract
Aging is a dynamic process that can bring well-being but also physical and cognitive decline. Older adults can draw on their personal resources to help them cope and thrive through the aging process. Having personal resources to cope and ensure older adults’ well-being [...] Read more.
Aging is a dynamic process that can bring well-being but also physical and cognitive decline. Older adults can draw on their personal resources to help them cope and thrive through the aging process. Having personal resources to cope and ensure older adults’ well-being is important. Psychological strengths such as a sense of coherence, resilience, and coping are protective against the adversity associated with health problems such as those stemming from the COVID-19 pandemic. Our study’s purpose was to investigate the usefulness of reminiscence therapy for older women living in nursing homes during the COVID-19 pandemic. A sample composed of 29 older women was evaluated with the Purpose-in-Life Test (PIL), Sense of Coherence (SOC-13) and Brief Cope Inventory (COPE-28). Our reminiscence program consisted of 10 sessions lasting 60 min each. Reminiscence therapy is a psychological intervention for older adults to assist in remembering and interpreting the life events, feelings, and thoughts that define and give meaning to the person’s life. Reminiscence can lead to positive mental health and other elements of particular relevance to older adults. In each session, we worked on a different theme that promoted the memory of positive emotions: optimal experience, decisive moment, stresses, tensions, problems and solutions, memories of childhood, adolescence, maturity, significant people in life, sense of life, and future script. We compared an intervention group (n = 12) with a control group (n = 17) using a pre-post, single-blind design. Significant results were obtained and showed that reminiscence therapy was effective in increasing meaning of life, sense of coherence, and coping in older women. The reminiscence therapy applied yielded positive effects in older female participants living in a nursing home during COVID-19 pandemic. Full article
(This article belongs to the Topic Burden of COVID-19 in Different Countries)
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11 pages, 872 KiB  
Article
Self-Assessment of Health Status and Willingness to Be Vaccinated in Adolescents from the Niigata Prefecture and the Khabarovsk Region during COVID-19
by Hiromi Inaba, Marina F. Rziankina, Fumi Hoshino, Kousuke Takano, Kseniia E. Potapova, Konstantin V. Zhmerenetsky and Kazuo Ishigami
Healthcare 2022, 10(2), 184; https://doi.org/10.3390/healthcare10020184 - 18 Jan 2022
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 1585
Abstract
This study examined the self-assessment of Niigata’s and Khabarovsk’s adolescents’ health status and their willingness to be vaccinated during the COVID-19 pandemic. A self-reported questionnaire was administered to 735 boys and girls (aged 15 years) from Niigata, Japan (n = 387), and [...] Read more.
This study examined the self-assessment of Niigata’s and Khabarovsk’s adolescents’ health status and their willingness to be vaccinated during the COVID-19 pandemic. A self-reported questionnaire was administered to 735 boys and girls (aged 15 years) from Niigata, Japan (n = 387), and Khabarovsk, Russia (n = 394), between May and July 2021. Specifically, this questionnaire focused on COVID-19, including a self-assessment of health status, adaptation to a new lifestyle, and impressions about the COVID-19 vaccination. The self-assessment was based on a 4-point scale: “Got very bad”; “Got a little bit bad”; “Did not change”; “Got better/I don’t know”. Additionally, binomial logistic regression was conducted to determine the association between the self-assessment of health status and the factors exacerbating their responses. Based on the findings, 25.7 and 29.9% of Niigata and Khabarovsk’s adolescents, respectively, selected “Got very bad” and “Got a little bit bad” for their self-assessments, while the binomial logistic regression showed that the difficulty of adapting to a new lifestyle was a factor worsening the boys’ subjective health. However, the items could not explain the deterioration of their subjective health in girls. Moreover, 76.9% of Niigata’s adolescents were positive about the COVID-19 vaccination, compared to 35.5% of the adolescents in Khabarovsk. Full article
(This article belongs to the Topic Burden of COVID-19 in Different Countries)
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16 pages, 1176 KiB  
Article
The Relationship between Future Anxiety Due to COVID-19 and Vigilance: The Role of Message Fatigue and Autonomy Satisfaction
by Roselyn J. Lee-Won, Inyoung Jang, Hyun-Suk Kim and Sung-Gwan Park
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2022, 19(3), 1062; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph19031062 - 18 Jan 2022
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 2260
Abstract
How does future anxiety caused by the COVID-19 pandemic relate to people’s willingness to remain vigilant and adhere to preventive measures? We examined the mediating role of message fatigue and the moderating role of autonomy satisfaction in the relationship between future anxiety due [...] Read more.
How does future anxiety caused by the COVID-19 pandemic relate to people’s willingness to remain vigilant and adhere to preventive measures? We examined the mediating role of message fatigue and the moderating role of autonomy satisfaction in the relationship between future anxiety due to COVID-19 and willingness to remain vigilant. A cross-sectional online survey was conducted with adults residing in the United States in June 2021 when numerous U.S. states re-opened following the CDC’s relaxed guidelines for fully vaccinated individuals. Our data showed that message fatigue mediated the relationship between future anxiety due to the pandemic and willingness to remain vigilant. The data further revealed that autonomy satisfaction significantly moderated the mediation. Namely, the role of message fatigue in the indirect relationship between future anxiety and willingness to remain vigilant was significant only among people low to moderate in autonomy satisfaction; its role in the indirect path was not significant for those high in autonomy satisfaction. Notably, independent of the mechanism involving message fatigue, future anxiety was directly and positively associated with willingness to remain vigilant regardless of the levels of autonomy satisfaction. Implications of these findings are discussed in light of psychological and behavioral responses to the current pandemic and policy directions. Full article
(This article belongs to the Topic Burden of COVID-19 in Different Countries)
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9 pages, 326 KiB  
Article
Health Behaviors in Austrian Apprentices and School Students during the COVID-19 Pandemic
by Teresa O’Rourke, Rachel Dale, Elke Humer, Thomas Probst, Paul Plener and Christoph Pieh
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2022, 19(3), 1049; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph19031049 - 18 Jan 2022
Cited by 6 | Viewed by 2460
Abstract
Background: The COVID-19 pandemic has disrupted our daily lives, which in turn has impacted health behaviors. Young people have been particularly affected. This study aimed to assess health behaviors in Austrian apprentices and high school students during the COVID-19 pandemic and whether vaccination [...] Read more.
Background: The COVID-19 pandemic has disrupted our daily lives, which in turn has impacted health behaviors. Young people have been particularly affected. This study aimed to assess health behaviors in Austrian apprentices and high school students during the COVID-19 pandemic and whether vaccination willingness is affected by health behaviors. Methods: Two online surveys were conducted via REDCap with 1442 apprentices (female: 53.5%, male: 45.4%) from 29 March to 18 May 2021 and 563 school students (female: 79.6%, male: 18.6%) from 19 June to 2 July 2021. The two samples were matched to account for sociodemographic differences and analyses were run on the matched sample. Besides the health behaviors, namely, smoking, alcohol consumption, cannabis consumption, and exercise, health status and vaccination willingness were also assessed. Results: Health behaviors were affected by both education group and gender. Apprentices reported significantly more smoking than high school students and this difference was more pronounced in women (all p < 0.01). Alcohol consumption was higher in apprentices than school students, but only in women (p < 0.01). There was a trend for the two education groups to differ in their cannabis use as well (p = 0.05). Apprentices took part in more weekly exercise (p < 0.0001), but high school students reported better average health status (p < 0.001). When included in the same model, health behaviors did not affect vaccine willingness, but education group did, with high school students showing a higher willingness to receive the COVD-19 vaccine than apprentices. Conclusions: These findings support the argument that education type is an important factor for health behaviors, but this is also mediated by gender. Appropriate interventions for adolescents are needed to prevent adverse health behavior changes following the COVID-19 pandemic. Full article
(This article belongs to the Topic Burden of COVID-19 in Different Countries)
10 pages, 718 KiB  
Article
Estimating US Earnings Loss Associated with COVID-19 Based on Human Capital Calculation
by Fuhmei Wang and Jung-Der Wang
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2022, 19(2), 1015; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph19021015 - 17 Jan 2022
Cited by 8 | Viewed by 2191
Abstract
Infection with COVID-19 could result in lockdown, quarantine of contacts, absenteeism from work, and temporary productivity loss. This research aims to calculate (1) how the pandemic affects on-the-job probability and earnings for the working population, and (2) how much productivity loss is associated [...] Read more.
Infection with COVID-19 could result in lockdown, quarantine of contacts, absenteeism from work, and temporary productivity loss. This research aims to calculate (1) how the pandemic affects on-the-job probability and earnings for the working population, and (2) how much productivity loss is associated with self or a family member sick with COVID-19. Based on data collected from the U.S Research and Development Survey (RANDS), this research projects the relationship between on-the-job possibility and age of the index group and calculates the employment possibilities of the index group relative to the healthy group, namely the employment ratio. The weekly loss of productivity, presented by earnings, associated with COVID-19 for groups aged 18–44 years and 45–64 years was calculated, since the 18- to 64-year-old population is an economy’s active workforce. Analytical results indicate that the older the age group, the lower the on-the-job possibility, and the higher the weekly productivity loss due to self or a family member being sick from COVID-19. For the group aged 45–64 years, the employment ratio of the index group relative to the healthy group dropped from 0.863 to 0.39, corresponding to a weekly productivity loss of 136–590 US dollars. The overall impact would be about a 9% loss in GDP. Infected or quarantined people would be confined to working in relatively isolated offices or places to allow for social distancing. Proactive health promotion in the workplace plus reactive work through telecommunication systems would reduce such losses. Such preparedness needs to be implemented early for more vulnerable workers who are of middle or old age and/or those comorbid with diabetes. Full article
(This article belongs to the Topic Burden of COVID-19 in Different Countries)
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8 pages, 308 KiB  
Article
Psychological Impact and Compliance with Staying at Home of the Public to COVID-19 Outbreak during Chinese Spring Festival
by Huiwen Xu, Lin Liu, Luming Zhao, En Takashi, Akio Kitayama and Yan Zou
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2022, 19(2), 916; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph19020916 - 14 Jan 2022
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 1750
Abstract
In December 2019, COVID-19 was reported in Wuhan, China. Most of the studies related to the psychological impact and compliance with staying at home due to COVID-19 focused on ten days or one month after the initial “stay-at-home” phase of the COVID-19 pandemic. [...] Read more.
In December 2019, COVID-19 was reported in Wuhan, China. Most of the studies related to the psychological impact and compliance with staying at home due to COVID-19 focused on ten days or one month after the initial “stay-at-home” phase of the COVID-19 pandemic. The early psychological impact and behavior change to COVID-19 during the Chinese Spring Festival (the start time for recommendations to stay at home) is uncertain. In this study, people from 23 provinces in China were recruited to participate in an online survey, using Credamo. Psychological impact and compliance with staying at home were evaluated by a self-designed and validated questionnaire. The results indicated that anxiety was the most often reported feeling (mean: 3.69), followed by sadness (mean: 3.63). Participants employed in foreign-owned companies were most likely to express anxiety and sadness. Overall, 61.8% of participants reported hardly going out, whereas 2.4% said they frequently went out during the initial “stay-at-home” phase of the COVID-19 pandemic. Participants with higher levels of anxiety and sadness were most likely to stay at home against the spread of COVID-19, as were female gender. This survey is an important study of the first reaction to staying at home during the initial “stay-at-home” phase coinciding with Chinese Spring Festival. Our findings identified factors associated with higher level of psychological impact and better compliance with staying at home recommendations during Chinese Spring Festival. The findings can be used to formulate precaution interventions to improve the mental health of vulnerable groups and high uptake of policy during the COVID-19 epidemic. Full article
(This article belongs to the Topic Burden of COVID-19 in Different Countries)
5 pages, 542 KiB  
Case Report
Symptomatic SARS-CoV-2 Infection with Ageusia after Two mRNA Vaccine Doses
by Vito Carlo Alberto Caponio, Maria Rosaria Lipsi, Francesca Fortunato, Fabio Arena and Lorenzo Lo Muzio
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2022, 19(2), 886; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph19020886 - 13 Jan 2022
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 1880
Abstract
To raise awareness about preventive measures in COVID-19 pandemic, even though fully vaccinated. Although recent trials showed high efficacy of vaccines in preventing symptomatic infections, there are some individuals experiencing symptomatic SARS-CoV-2 infection. In this case report, a fully vaccinated young dental practitioner [...] Read more.
To raise awareness about preventive measures in COVID-19 pandemic, even though fully vaccinated. Although recent trials showed high efficacy of vaccines in preventing symptomatic infections, there are some individuals experiencing symptomatic SARS-CoV-2 infection. In this case report, a fully vaccinated young dental practitioner experienced symptomatic SARS-CoV-2 infection 55 days postvaccination with BNT162b2 Pfizer vaccine with evident ageusia. Diagnostic swabs were performed and used for viral genome sequencing. The patient fully recovered 15 days after diagnosis. Loss of smell and taste, together with nasal congestion were the main reported symptoms. The use of personal protective equipment prevented spread of infection in patients and co-workers. With the increase of people being fully vaccinated, it is still necessary to follow infection preventive protocols by correctly applying personal protective equipment. Although high efficacy has been proved, some individuals may still be vulnerable to symptomatic infection and new guidelines and markers should be adopted and investigated to find out patients for whom vaccination may not determine full immunization. Full article
(This article belongs to the Topic Burden of COVID-19 in Different Countries)
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6 pages, 1900 KiB  
Case Report
A COVID-19 Patient with Simultaneous Renal Infarct, Splenic Infarct and Aortic Thrombosis during the Severe Disease
by Georgios Mavraganis, Sofia Ioannou, Anastasios Kallianos, Gianna Rentziou and Georgia Trakada
Healthcare 2022, 10(1), 150; https://doi.org/10.3390/healthcare10010150 - 13 Jan 2022
Cited by 10 | Viewed by 1894
Abstract
Severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) infection has been associated with a high incidence of arterial and venous thrombotic complications. However, thromboembolic events in unusual sites such as limb and visceral arterial ischemia are reported rarely in the literature. Herein, we describe [...] Read more.
Severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) infection has been associated with a high incidence of arterial and venous thrombotic complications. However, thromboembolic events in unusual sites such as limb and visceral arterial ischemia are reported rarely in the literature. Herein, we describe a rare case of a patient with severe coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) infection who experienced severe abdominal pain during the hospitalization and presented simultaneously renal artery, splenic artery and vein as well as aortic thrombi despite prophylactic antithrombotic treatment. Information about his follow-up post discharge is also provided. This case report raises significant clinical implications regarding the correct dose of antithrombotic treatment during the acute phase of the severe COVID-19 infection and highlights the need for incessant vigilance in order to detect thrombosis at unusual sites as a possible diagnosis when severe abdominal pain is present in severe COVID-19 patients. Full article
(This article belongs to the Topic Burden of COVID-19 in Different Countries)
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28 pages, 8415 KiB  
Article
An Explainable Machine Learning Approach for COVID-19’s Impact on Mood States of Children and Adolescents during the First Lockdown in Greece
by Charis Ntakolia, Dimitrios Priftis, Mariana Charakopoulou-Travlou, Ioanna Rannou, Konstantina Magklara, Ioanna Giannopoulou, Konstantinos Kotsis, Aspasia Serdari, Emmanouil Tsalamanios, Aliki Grigoriadou, Konstantina Ladopoulou, Iouliani Koullourou, Neda Sadeghi, Georgia O’Callaghan and Eleni Lazaratou
Healthcare 2022, 10(1), 149; https://doi.org/10.3390/healthcare10010149 - 13 Jan 2022
Cited by 10 | Viewed by 3360 | Correction
Abstract
The global spread of COVID-19 led the World Health Organization to declare a pandemic on 11 March 2020. To decelerate this spread, countries have taken strict measures that have affected the lifestyles and economies. Various studies have focused on the identification of COVID-19’s [...] Read more.
The global spread of COVID-19 led the World Health Organization to declare a pandemic on 11 March 2020. To decelerate this spread, countries have taken strict measures that have affected the lifestyles and economies. Various studies have focused on the identification of COVID-19’s impact on the mental health of children and adolescents via traditional statistical approaches. However, a machine learning methodology must be developed to explain the main factors that contribute to the changes in the mood state of children and adolescents during the first lockdown. Therefore, in this study an explainable machine learning pipeline is presented focusing on children and adolescents in Greece, where a strict lockdown was imposed. The target group consists of children and adolescents, recruited from children and adolescent mental health services, who present mental health problems diagnosed before the pandemic. The proposed methodology imposes: (i) data collection via questionnaires; (ii) a clustering process to identify the groups of subjects with amelioration, deterioration and stability to their mood state; (iii) a feature selection process to identify the most informative features that contribute to mood state prediction; (iv) a decision-making process based on an experimental evaluation among classifiers; (v) calibration of the best-performing model; and (vi) a post hoc interpretation of the features’ impact on the best-performing model. The results showed that a blend of heterogeneous features from almost all feature categories is necessary to increase our understanding regarding the effect of the COVID-19 pandemic on the mood state of children and adolescents. Full article
(This article belongs to the Topic Burden of COVID-19 in Different Countries)
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12 pages, 616 KiB  
Article
Psychological Reactions of Hospital Workers to a Pandemic: A Comparison of SARS-CoV-2 in 2020 and SARS in 2003
by Yu Lee, Liang-Jen Wang, Wen-Jiun Chou, Ming-Chu Chiang, Shan Huang, Yi-Chun Lin, Jie-Yi Lin, Nien-Mu Chiu, Chih-Hung Chen, Ing-Kit Lee, Chia-Te Kung, Chih-Chi Wang and Mian-Yoon Chong
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2022, 19(2), 833; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph19020833 - 12 Jan 2022
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 1456
Abstract
Epidemic viral infections, including the outbreak of severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS) in 2003 and SARS-CoV-2 in 2019, have brought tremendous loss to people across the nations. The aim of this study was to compare the psychological impact of the SARS-CoV-2 pandemic in [...] Read more.
Epidemic viral infections, including the outbreak of severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS) in 2003 and SARS-CoV-2 in 2019, have brought tremendous loss to people across the nations. The aim of this study was to compare the psychological impact of the SARS-CoV-2 pandemic in 2020 and the SARS pandemic in 2003 on hospital workers. Hospital workers at a medical center in Southern Taiwan (n = 1816) were invited to complete questionnaires (SARS-CoV-2 Exposure Experience, the Impact of Event Scale, the Chinese Health Questionnaire, and the Distress Thermometer). The current data were compared to the data collected from hospital workers (n = 1257) at the same medical center during the SARS pandemic in 2003. We found the psychological impact on hospital workers during the SARS-CoV-2 pandemic was significantly lower than that during the previous SARS period. During the SARS-CoV-2 pandemic period, hospital workers with SARS experience were more accepting of the risk, felt a greater responsibility to take care of the SARS-CoV-2 patients, and were more likely to perceive the danger of becoming infected. The associated factors of psychiatric morbidity in hospital workers with SARS experience were being female, the degree of intrusion severity, and severity of psychological distress. Proper management strategies and lessons learned from the SARS experience might have led to low psychiatric morbidity during the SARS-CoV-2 pandemic. Full article
(This article belongs to the Topic Burden of COVID-19 in Different Countries)
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16 pages, 27810 KiB  
Article
Spatiotemporal Associations between Local Safety Level Index and COVID-19 Infection Risks across Capital Regions in South Korea
by Youngbin Lym, Hyobin Lym, Keekwang Kim and Ki-Jung Kim
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2022, 19(2), 824; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph19020824 - 12 Jan 2022
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 3024
Abstract
This study aims to provide an improved understanding of the local-level spatiotemporal evolution of COVID-19 spread across capital regions of South Korea during the second and third waves of the pandemic (August 2020~June 2021). To explain transmission, we rely upon the local safety [...] Read more.
This study aims to provide an improved understanding of the local-level spatiotemporal evolution of COVID-19 spread across capital regions of South Korea during the second and third waves of the pandemic (August 2020~June 2021). To explain transmission, we rely upon the local safety level indices along with latent influences from the spatial alignment of municipalities and their serial (temporal) correlation. Utilizing a flexible hierarchical Bayesian model as an analytic operational framework, we exploit the modified BYM (BYM2) model with the Penalized Complexity (PC) priors to account for latent effects (unobserved heterogeneity). The outcome reveals that a municipality with higher population density is likely to have an elevated infection risk, whereas one with good preparedness for infectious disease tends to have a reduction in risk. Furthermore, we identify that including spatial and temporal correlations into the modeling framework significantly improves the performance and explanatory power, justifying our adoption of latent effects. Based on these findings, we present the dynamic evolution of COVID-19 across the Seoul Capital Area (SCA), which helps us verify unique patterns of disease spread as well as regions of elevated risk for further policy intervention and for supporting informed decision making for responding to infectious diseases. Full article
(This article belongs to the Topic Burden of COVID-19 in Different Countries)
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12 pages, 633 KiB  
Article
A Cross-Sectional Study of the Satisfaction with, Adherence to, and Perspectives toward COVID-19 Preventive Measures among Public Health Students in Jazan, Saudi Arabia
by Mohammed J. Almalki
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2022, 19(2), 802; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph19020802 - 12 Jan 2022
Cited by 5 | Viewed by 3404
Abstract
The COVID-19 pandemic has had a significant influence on education systems, educational environments, teachers, and students. This study aims to assess the satisfaction with, adherence to, and perspectives toward COVID-19 preventive measures among public health students in Jazan, Saudi Arabia in order to [...] Read more.
The COVID-19 pandemic has had a significant influence on education systems, educational environments, teachers, and students. This study aims to assess the satisfaction with, adherence to, and perspectives toward COVID-19 preventive measures among public health students in Jazan, Saudi Arabia in order to enhance their campus experience. This study utilized a cross-sectional methodology. Data were collected using convenience sampling between 2–19 November 2020; this was accomplished using an online survey administered via Google Forms. The final sample consisted of 200 participants. More than half of the participants (55.0%) were dissatisfied with the preventive measures that had been applied on campus, while 19.0% had a neutral outlook. Interestingly, female participants showed a higher level of dissatisfaction toward the preventive measures (70.6%) than male participants (43.5%). The ordinal logistic regression analysis revealed a significant correlation between the degree of satisfaction with the COVID-19 preventive measures and the participant’s gender and education level. Male students were more likely to be satisfied with the preventive measures (p < 0.029, OR = 2.199) than female students. In addition, final year students were 4.1 times more likely to be satisfied with the COVID-19 preventive measures (p < 0.004, OR = 0.242) than Year 2 students, and 6.2 times more likely to be satisfied (p ≤ 0.001, OR = 0.162) than Year 3 students. Efforts are needed to improve the students’ satisfaction with COVID-19 preventive measures. Steps are also required to ensure that the procedures and actions introduced by the college extend to all students. In addition, further research is needed to recognize and understand the participants’ experiences after moving to the new buildings, receiving COVID-19 vaccines, and returning to on campus study. Full article
(This article belongs to the Topic Burden of COVID-19 in Different Countries)
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12 pages, 353 KiB  
Article
Staying Physically Active Is Associated with Better Mental Health and Sleep Health Outcomes during the Initial Period of COVID-19 Induced Nation-Wide Lockdown in Jordan
by Yazan A. Al-Ajlouni, Su Hyun Park, Jude Alawa, Ban Dodin, Ghaith Shamaileh, Nour Makarem, Katherine M. Keyes and Dustin T. Duncan
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2022, 19(2), 776; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph19020776 - 11 Jan 2022
Cited by 4 | Viewed by 2144
Abstract
Jordan, a Middle Eastern country, initially responded to an outbreak of COVID-19 cases within its own borders by imposing a 7-week strict lockdown and closure of international and domestic travel. Such measures drastically influenced lifestyle behaviors of the population. This study aimed to [...] Read more.
Jordan, a Middle Eastern country, initially responded to an outbreak of COVID-19 cases within its own borders by imposing a 7-week strict lockdown and closure of international and domestic travel. Such measures drastically influenced lifestyle behaviors of the population. This study aimed to investigate the prevalence of physical activity, and its association with mental and sleep health outcomes among Jordanians during a period of COVID-19 induced lockdown. Validated questionnaires were administered using a web-based platform to evaluate moderate-to-vigorous physical activity (MVPA), anxiety and depressive symptoms, sleep health, and sociodemographic characteristics. A modified Poisson regression model with robust error variance was used to estimate adjusted prevalence ratios (aPRs) and 95% confidence intervals (CIs). Compared to participants who met the guidelines, those who did not had significantly higher prevalence of moderate or severe anxiety symptoms than that of minimal or mild anxiety symptoms and increased depressive symptoms. Insufficient MVPA was associated with higher prevalence of poor sleep quality, short sleep duration (<7 h) and sleep problems. Overall, sufficient MVPA was associated with better mental and sleep health during the COVID-19 induced nation-wide lockdown in Jordan. While further research is necessary, promoting physical activity during the lockdown could potentially improve mental and sleep health outcomes among the population. Full article
(This article belongs to the Topic Burden of COVID-19 in Different Countries)
11 pages, 6031 KiB  
Article
Access to COVID-19 Vaccination during the Pandemic in the Informal Settlements of Rome
by Enrico Bentivegna, Silvia Di Meo, Anita Carriero, Nadia Capriotti, Alberto Barbieri and Paolo Martelletti
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2022, 19(2), 719; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph19020719 - 10 Jan 2022
Cited by 18 | Viewed by 2041
Abstract
With the advent of vaccines, the world has a chance to see a real end to the COVID-19 pandemic. To make this possible, however, it is necessary that all groups of people are considered. Contexts of informal settlements and populations such as the [...] Read more.
With the advent of vaccines, the world has a chance to see a real end to the COVID-19 pandemic. To make this possible, however, it is necessary that all groups of people are considered. Contexts of informal settlements and populations such as the homeless and migrants are often forgotten by vaccination campaigns. In this study, carried out as a result of a collaboration with MEDU, a non-profit association aimed at bringing healthcare to vulnerable populations, we provide important data related to the vaccination campaign carried out in the informal settlements of Rome. The objectives of this work are to (1) evaluate vaccination coverage in these contexts, (2) assess the gap with the vaccination coverage of the Italian population and try to hypothesize the causes, and (3) provide recommendations for how humanitarian associations can respond to reduce this gap. We observed important differences in vaccination coverage depending on the type of settlement. The percentage of vaccinated people in these contexts at the beginning of October range between 14.4% and 55.5%, underlining an important gap with the vaccination rate of Italy’s population, which is close to 80%. The data also show that particular attention must be paid to the transiting and irregular people as they are more at risk for a lack of access to vaccination. With this study, in which we provide recommendations that integrate MEDU’s fieldwork experience with the advice of the Framework report, we hope we can help those who work in similar contexts, to carry out a fair and effective vaccination campaign. Full article
(This article belongs to the Topic Burden of COVID-19 in Different Countries)
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15 pages, 681 KiB  
Review
The Great Lockdown in the Wake of COVID-19 and Its Implications: Lessons for Low and Middle-Income Countries
by Sigamani Panneer, Komali Kantamaneni, Vigneshwaran Subbiah Akkayasamy, A. Xavier Susairaj, Prasant Kumar Panda, Sanghmitra Sheel Acharya, Louis Rice, Champika Liyanage and Robert Ramesh Babu Pushparaj
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2022, 19(1), 610; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph19010610 - 5 Jan 2022
Cited by 29 | Viewed by 5287
Abstract
Concern for public health has been growing with the increasing volume of cases of COVID-19 in India. To combat this pandemic, India has implemented nationwide lockdowns, and unlocking phases continue with certain restrictions in different parts of the country. The lockdown has required [...] Read more.
Concern for public health has been growing with the increasing volume of cases of COVID-19 in India. To combat this pandemic, India has implemented nationwide lockdowns, and unlocking phases continue with certain restrictions in different parts of the country. The lockdown has required people to adopt social-distance measures to minimize contacts in order to reduce the risks of additional infection. Nevertheless, the lockdown has already impacted economic activities and other dimensions of the health of individuals and society. Although many countries have helped their people through advanced welfare protection networks and numerous support aids, several emerging economies face specific difficulties to adapt to the pandemic due to vulnerable communities and scarce resources. However, certain lower-income countries need more rigorous analysis to implement more effective strategies to combat COVID-19. Accordingly, the current systematic review addresses the impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic and lockdowns in India in relation to health and the economy. This work also provides further information on health inequalities, eco-nomic and social disparities in the country due to the COVID-19 pandemic and lockdowns and also contributes pragmatic suggestions for overcoming these challenges. These observations will be useful to the relevant local and national officials for improving and adopting novel strategies to face lockdown challenges Full article
(This article belongs to the Topic Burden of COVID-19 in Different Countries)
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12 pages, 623 KiB  
Article
Emotional Labor and Burnout of Public Health Nurses during the COVID-19 Pandemic: Mediating Effects of Perceived Health Status and Perceived Organizational Support
by Mi-Na Kim, Yang-Sook Yoo, Ok-Hee Cho and Kyung-Hye Hwang
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2022, 19(1), 549; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph19010549 - 4 Jan 2022
Cited by 25 | Viewed by 4789
Abstract
The purpose of this study was to identify the mediating effects of perceived health status (PHS) and perceived organizational support (POS) in the association between emotional labor and burnout in public health nurses (PHNs). The participants were 207 PHNs convenience sampled from 30 [...] Read more.
The purpose of this study was to identify the mediating effects of perceived health status (PHS) and perceived organizational support (POS) in the association between emotional labor and burnout in public health nurses (PHNs). The participants were 207 PHNs convenience sampled from 30 public health centers and offices in Jeju, Korea. Data regarding emotional labor, PHS, POS, and burnout were collected between February and March 2021 using a structured questionnaire. Collected data were analyzed by Pearson’s correlation coefficient and multiple regression analysis. Burnout of PHNs was positively correlated with emotional labor (r = 0.64, p < 0.001) and negatively correlated with PHS (r = −0.51, p < 0.001) and POS (r = −0.51, p < 0.001). In the association between emotional labor and burnout, PHS (B = −1.36, p < 0.001) and POS (B = −0.42, p = 0.001) had a partial mediating effect. Reduction of burnout among PHNs requires not only effective management of emotional labor but also personal and organizational efforts to improve PHS and POS. Full article
(This article belongs to the Topic Burden of COVID-19 in Different Countries)
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9 pages, 343 KiB  
Article
The Social and Natural Environment’s Impact on SARS-CoV-2 Infections in the UK Biobank
by Ryan J. Scalsky, Yi-Ju Chen, Zhekang Ying, James A. Perry and Charles C. Hong
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2022, 19(1), 533; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph19010533 - 4 Jan 2022
Cited by 4 | Viewed by 2758
Abstract
COVID-19 has caused a global pandemic with considerable impact. Studies have examined the influence of socioeconomic status and air pollution on COVID-19 risk but in low detail. This study seeks to further elucidate the nuances of socioeconomic status, as defined by the Index [...] Read more.
COVID-19 has caused a global pandemic with considerable impact. Studies have examined the influence of socioeconomic status and air pollution on COVID-19 risk but in low detail. This study seeks to further elucidate the nuances of socioeconomic status, as defined by the Index of Multiple Deprivation (IMD), air pollution, and their relationship. We examined the effect of IMD and air pollution on the likelihood of testing positive for SARS-CoV-2 among 66,732 UKB participants tested for SARS-CoV-2 from 16 March 2020 through 16 March 2021. Logistic regression was performed controlling for age, sex, ancestry and IMD or air pollution in the respective models. IMD and its sub-scores were significantly associated with increased risk of testing positive for SARS-CoV-2. All particulate matter less than 2.5 μm (PM2.5), nitrogen oxide (NOx), and nitrogen dioxide (NO2) levels were associated with increased likelihood of testing positive for SARS-CoV-2. Measures of green space and natural environment around participants’ homes were associated with reduced likelihood of SARS-CoV-2. Socioeconomic status and air pollution have independent effects on the risk of testing positive for SARS-CoV-2. Green space and natural environment space in the proximity of people’s homes may mediate the effect of air pollution on the risk of testing positive for SARS-CoV-2. Full article
(This article belongs to the Topic Burden of COVID-19 in Different Countries)
11 pages, 316 KiB  
Article
Perception Regarding Knowledge of COVID-19 Prevention in a Sample of a Middle Eastern and North African (MENA) Community in Houston, Texas, USA
by Jenna Zamil, Fatin Atrooz, Zahra Majd, Sarah Zeidat, Ghalya Alrousan, Susan Abughosh and Samina Salim
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2022, 19(1), 524; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph19010524 - 4 Jan 2022
Cited by 3 | Viewed by 1645
Abstract
(1) Background: Knowledge of COVID-19 prevention among communities is the first step towards protective behaviors. The objective of this study was to assess COVID-19 prevention knowledge among a Middle Eastern and North African community in Houston, Texas. (2) Methods: A cross-sectional study was [...] Read more.
(1) Background: Knowledge of COVID-19 prevention among communities is the first step towards protective behaviors. The objective of this study was to assess COVID-19 prevention knowledge among a Middle Eastern and North African community in Houston, Texas. (2) Methods: A cross-sectional study was conducted using a validated quantitative survey; survey questions consisted of three parts: COVID-19 specific questions, general health questions, and sociodemographic questions. A multivariable logistic regression model was used to determine predictors of perception of knowledge on preventing COVID-19 spread. The outcome of interest comprised of “good/excellent” versus “average and below” knowledge. (3) Results: A total of 366 participants (66.39% males) completed the survey. A univariate analysis demonstrated significant differences in self-reported COVID-19 prevention knowledge among those with and without health insurance, different ages, level of knowledge, and perceived severity of COVID-19 infection. In the multivariate logistic regression, two predictors were identified: those in the 18–25-year-old group were more likely to have “excellent/good” knowledge on COVID-19 spread compared to the ≥40-year-old group (OR: 6.36; 95% CI: 1.38, 29.34). Those who somewhat agree with knowing how to protect themselves from COVID-19 were more likely to have “excellent/good” knowledge of preventing COVID-19 spread compared to those that neither agree nor disagree or disagree (OR: 7.74; 95% CI: 2.58, 23.26). (4) Conclusions: Younger adults reported higher knowledge of COVID-19 prevention. Full article
(This article belongs to the Topic Burden of COVID-19 in Different Countries)
12 pages, 3886 KiB  
Article
Burden of COVID-19 and Vaccination Coverage in the Italian Population as of October 2021
by Emma Altobelli, Francesca Marzi, Anna Maria Angelone, Riccardo Mazzocca, Marianna Mastrodomenico, Reimondo Petrocelli and Ciro Marziliano
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2022, 19(1), 496; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph19010496 - 3 Jan 2022
Cited by 6 | Viewed by 1914
Abstract
Following the pandemic scenario, researchers from all over the world, including Italians, have undertaken fervent research activity using the epidemiological data available on the sites of government and national and international research institutes. The objectives of our study were: (1) to analyze the [...] Read more.
Following the pandemic scenario, researchers from all over the world, including Italians, have undertaken fervent research activity using the epidemiological data available on the sites of government and national and international research institutes. The objectives of our study were: (1) to analyze the load and trend of the COVID-19 pandemic in Italy, from the beginning to October 2021; (2) to analyze vaccination coverage by age groups and types of vaccines administered and check how the vaccination campaign has influenced the course of the disease and deaths; (3) to evaluate the Italian situation in the European context, comparing the incidence and mortality of Italy with respect to European countries; (4) finally, to evaluate how much vaccination coverage may have had an effect on mortality in the various European countries. Databases were structured to archive Italian and European COVID-19 data provided by Our World in Data, and data came from the Ministry of Health, to evaluate percentage of vaccines administered. The monthly trend of the cumulative incidence per 100,000 inhabitants in the period January 2020–October 2021 was evaluated. It is important to underline 3 peaks of incidence and mortality rates that occurred during the three waves of COVID-19: March–April–May 2020, October–November–December 2020, and March–April–May 2021. There is a slight increase in incidence in August 2021 and in mortality in September 2021. The three mortality rate peaks, related to the three waves of COVID-19, are always higher in Italy than in Europe, particularly in April 2020, December 2020, and March 2021. From May 2021 to October 2021, the mortality trend reversed, and it turned out to be higher in Europe than in Italy. Regarding vaccination, Italy currently has an important coverage, not only in the most fragile population, where it exceeds 90%, but also in the 12–19 age group, with percentages above 65%. The Pfizer/BioNTech vaccine was used widely in all age groups (first and second dose), with highest administration in 12–19 age groups and 80+, while the lowest was recorded in the 70–79 age group. In conclusion, these data confirm the importance of vaccination in the management of the COVID-19 pandemic. Full article
(This article belongs to the Topic Burden of COVID-19 in Different Countries)
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16 pages, 278 KiB  
Article
Experiences of Nurse Managers during the COVID-19 Outbreak in a Selected District Hospital in Limpopo Province, South Africa
by Idah Moyo, Siyabulela Eric Mgolozeli, Patrone Rebecca Risenga, Sheilla Hlamalani Mboweni, Livhuwani Tshivhase, Tshimangadzo Selina Mudau, Nthomeni Dorah Ndou and Azwihangwisi Helen Mavhandu-Mudzusi
Healthcare 2022, 10(1), 76; https://doi.org/10.3390/healthcare10010076 - 31 Dec 2021
Cited by 9 | Viewed by 4172
Abstract
The South African health care system was hard hit by the second wave of Coronavirus disease (COVID-19), which affected nurse managers as healthcare facilities became overwhelmed due to an increased workload emanating from the overflow of admissions. Therefore, this study sought to explore [...] Read more.
The South African health care system was hard hit by the second wave of Coronavirus disease (COVID-19), which affected nurse managers as healthcare facilities became overwhelmed due to an increased workload emanating from the overflow of admissions. Therefore, this study sought to explore and describe the nurse managers’ experiences during COVID-19 in order to identify gaps and lessons learnt. A descriptive phenomenological research approach was used to explore the experiences of ten nurse managers who were purposively selected from different units of a selected district hospital. Data was collected through telephonic unstructured individual interviews and analysed using Colaizzi’s seven steps method. The study revealed that nurse managers experienced human resource related challenges during COVID-19, worsened by the fact that vacant posts were frozen. It also emerged that there was a shortage of material resources that affected patient care. Nurse managers also indicated that COVID-19 brought a lot of administrative duties plus an additional duty of patient care. Also, nurse managers who had previously contracted COVID-19 experienced stigma and discrimination. The government needs to address resource related challenges in rural public hospitals and provide continuous support to nurse managers, particularly during a pandemic like COVID-19. Full article
(This article belongs to the Topic Burden of COVID-19 in Different Countries)
29 pages, 33132 KiB  
Article
COVID-19 Pandemic: How Effective Are Preventive Control Measures and Is a Complete Lockdown Justified? A Comparison of Countries and States
by Franz Konstantin Fuss, Yehuda Weizman and Adin Ming Tan
COVID 2022, 2(1), 18-46; https://doi.org/10.3390/covid2010003 - 30 Dec 2021
Cited by 10 | Viewed by 8639
Abstract
For fighting the COVID-19 pandemic, countries used control measures of different severity, from “relaxed” to lockdown. Drastic lockdown measures are considered more effective but also have a negative impact on the economy. When comparing the financial value of lost lives to the losses [...] Read more.
For fighting the COVID-19 pandemic, countries used control measures of different severity, from “relaxed” to lockdown. Drastic lockdown measures are considered more effective but also have a negative impact on the economy. When comparing the financial value of lost lives to the losses of an economic disaster, the better option seems to be lockdown measures. We developed a new parameter, the effectiveness of control measures, calculated from the 2nd time derivative of daily case data, for 92 countries, states and provinces. We compared this parameter, and also the mortality during and after the effective phase, for countries with and without lockdowns measures by means of the Mann–Whitney test. We did not find any statistically significant difference in the effectiveness between countries with and without lockdowns (p > 0.76). There was also no significant difference in mortality during the effective phase (p > 0.1); however, a significant difference after the effective phase, with higher mortality for lockdown countries, was identified. The effectiveness correlated well with a parameter derived from the reproductive number (R2 = 0.9480). The average duration of the effective phase was 17.3 ± 10.5 days. The results indicated that lockdown measures are not necessarily superior to relaxed measures, which in turn are not necessarily a recipe for failure. Relaxed measures are, however, more economy-friendly. Full article
(This article belongs to the Topic Burden of COVID-19 in Different Countries)
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13 pages, 890 KiB  
Article
The Experiences of People with Diabetes during COVID-19 Pandemic Lockdown
by Modi Al-Moteri, Virginia Plummer, Hanan A. M. Youssef, Ruba W. H. Yaseen, Mohammed Al Malki, Ahmed AbdElbagy Ibrahim Elryah and Ahmed Al Karani
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2022, 19(1), 340; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph19010340 - 29 Dec 2021
Cited by 3 | Viewed by 3040
Abstract
Little is known about the theoretical foundation underling the response of people with diabetes managing their everyday routines during COVID-19 pandemic lockdown. Aim: To explore the experience of people with diabetes during COVID-19 pandemic lockdown in light of the risk perception, response and [...] Read more.
Little is known about the theoretical foundation underling the response of people with diabetes managing their everyday routines during COVID-19 pandemic lockdown. Aim: To explore the experience of people with diabetes during COVID-19 pandemic lockdown in light of the risk perception, response and behavioral change theories. Method: A qualitative descriptive design was employed, and Braun and Clark’s six step analysis were used for thematic analysis. Semi-structured interviews were conducted online using Zoom Videos Communication. Result: Five themes were defined as follows: (1) perceived the threat and faced their fears, (2) appraised the damage, (3) identified the challenges, (4) modified their routine, and (5) identified the strengths that facilitate the efficacy of their response. There were eight sub-themes within the themes. Conclusion: The results of this study may provide an opportunity for nurses to reflect on issues highlighted by the patients regarding more effective communication, knowledge and skill development for people to support self-care during national emergencies. Full article
(This article belongs to the Topic Burden of COVID-19 in Different Countries)
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8 pages, 568 KiB  
Article
Association between SARS-CoV-2 Seroprevalence in Nursing Home Staff and Resident COVID-19 Cases and Mortality: A Cross-Sectional Study
by Ania Wisniak, Lakshmi Krishna Menon, Roxane Dumont, Nick Pullen, Simon Regard, Richard Dubos, María-Eugenia Zaballa, Hélène Baysson, Delphine Courvoisier, Laurent Kaiser, Didier Pittet, Andrew S. Azman, Silvia Stringhini, Idris Guessous, Jean-François Balavoine, Omar Kherad and The SEROCoV-WORK + Study Group
Viruses 2022, 14(1), 43; https://doi.org/10.3390/v14010043 - 28 Dec 2021
Cited by 5 | Viewed by 2532
Abstract
The burden of COVID-19 has disproportionately impacted the elderly, who are at increased risk of severe disease, hospitalization, and death. This cross-sectional study aimed to assess the association between SARS-CoV-2 seroprevalence among nursing home staff, and cumulative incidence rates of COVID-19 cases, hospitalizations, [...] Read more.
The burden of COVID-19 has disproportionately impacted the elderly, who are at increased risk of severe disease, hospitalization, and death. This cross-sectional study aimed to assess the association between SARS-CoV-2 seroprevalence among nursing home staff, and cumulative incidence rates of COVID-19 cases, hospitalizations, and deaths among residents. Staff seroprevalence was estimated within the SEROCoV-WORK+ study between May and September 2020 across 29 nursing homes in Geneva, Switzerland. Data on nursing home residents were obtained from the canton of Geneva for the period between March and August 2020. Associations were assessed using Spearman’s correlation coefficient and quasi-Poisson regression models. Overall, seroprevalence among staff ranged between 0 and 31.4%, with a median of 8.3%. A positive association was found between staff seroprevalence and resident cumulative incidence of COVID-19 cases (correlation coefficient R = 0.72, 95%CI 0.45–0.87; incidence rate ratio [IRR] = 1.10, 95%CI 1.07–1.17), hospitalizations (R = 0.59, 95%CI 0.25–0.80; IRR = 1.09, 95%CI 1.05–1.13), and deaths (R = 0.71, 95%CI 0.44–0.86; IRR = 1.12, 95%CI 1.07–1.18). Our results suggest that SARS-CoV-2 transmission between staff and residents may contribute to the spread of the virus within nursing homes. Awareness among nursing home professionals of their likely role in the spread of SARS-CoV-2 has the potential to increase vaccination coverage and prevent unnecessary deaths due to COVID-19. Full article
(This article belongs to the Topic Burden of COVID-19 in Different Countries)
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10 pages, 759 KiB  
Article
The Impact of COVID-19 Pandemic on the Learning Outcomes of Medical Students in Taiwan: A Two-Year Prospective Cohort Study of OSCE Performance
by Tzyy-Yurn Tzeng, Chia-An Hsu, Ying-Ying Yang, Eunice J. Yuan, Ya-Ting Chang, Tzu-Hao Li, Chung-Pin Li, Jen-Feng Liang, Jiing-Feng Lirng, Tzeng-Ji Chen, Chia-Chang Huang, Ming-Chih Hou, Chen-Huan Chen and Wayne Huey-Herng Sheu
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2022, 19(1), 208; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph19010208 - 25 Dec 2021
Cited by 8 | Viewed by 3485
Abstract
Background/Aims: To avoid the negative impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic on clinical clerkship, supplemental teachings such as digital materials in the scenario-based distal simulations were implemented. This study utilized the OSCE (objective-structured clinical examination) to evaluate the impact of COVID-19 pandemic on the [...] Read more.
Background/Aims: To avoid the negative impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic on clinical clerkship, supplemental teachings such as digital materials in the scenario-based distal simulations were implemented. This study utilized the OSCE (objective-structured clinical examination) to evaluate the impact of COVID-19 pandemic on the learning outcome of medical students from the regular group (class of 2020) and pandemic-impacted group (class of 2021). Methods: All medical students serially took, firstly, the mock-OSCE, secondly, the mock-OSCE, and the national OSCE. Then, the serial OSCE scores were compared between groups. Results: Although with similar scores in the first mock OSCE, the regular group (n = 78) had a higher average score in the national OSCE than the pandemic-impacted group (n = 80) (872.18 vs. 834.96, p = 0.003). In terms of improvement, the performances of the regular group were also better than the pandemic-impacted group between the second mock OSCE and the national OSCE (79.10 vs. 38.14, p = 0.014), and between the second mock OSCE and the national OSCE (125.11 vs. 77.52, p = 0.003). While separating distinct genres, the regular group had more of a score increment in standardized patient-based stations between the second mock OSCE and the national OSCE (regular vs. pandemic-impacted: 57.03 vs. 18.95, p = 0.003), as well as between the first mock OSCE and the national OSCE (75.97 vs. 26.36, p < 0.001), but there was no significant difference among the skill-based stations. In particular, the scores of the emergency medicine associated station in the national OSCE of the pandemic-impacted group was lower. Conclusions: Our study implies that the pandemic significantly hampered the learning outcomes of final year medical students in their clinical participation. Especially facing the COVID-19 pandemic, more supplemental teachings are needed to compensate the decreasing emergency medicine exposure. Full article
(This article belongs to the Topic Burden of COVID-19 in Different Countries)
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11 pages, 627 KiB  
Article
Vaccination Hesitancy among Health-Care-Workers in Academic Hospitals Is Associated with a 12-Fold Increase in the Risk of COVID-19 Infection: A Nine-Month Greek Cohort Study
by Fotinie Ntziora, Evangelia Georgia Kostaki, Ioannis Grigoropoulos, Amalia Karapanou, Ismini Kliani, Maria Mylona, Alexa Thomollari, Sotirios Tsiodras, Theoklis Zaoutis, Dimitrios Paraskevis, Nikolaos V. Sipsas, Anastasia Antoniadou and Petros P. Sfikakis
Viruses 2022, 14(1), 26; https://doi.org/10.3390/v14010026 - 24 Dec 2021
Cited by 5 | Viewed by 3125
Abstract
Health-Care-Workers (HCWs) are considered at high risk for SARS-CoV-2 infection. We sought to compare rates and severity of Coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) among vaccinated and unvaccinated HCWs conducting a retrospective cohort study in two tertiary Academic Hospitals, namely Laiko and Attikon, in Athens, [...] Read more.
Health-Care-Workers (HCWs) are considered at high risk for SARS-CoV-2 infection. We sought to compare rates and severity of Coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) among vaccinated and unvaccinated HCWs conducting a retrospective cohort study in two tertiary Academic Hospitals, namely Laiko and Attikon, in Athens, Greece. Vaccinated by BNT162b2 Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 mRNA vaccine and unvaccinated HCWs were included and data were collected between 1 January 2021 and 15 September 2021. Overall, 2921 of 3219 HCWs without a history of Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome Coronavirus-2 (SARS-CoV-2) infection were fully vaccinated during the study period (90.7% at each Hospital). Demographic characteristics were comparable between 102/2921 (3.5%) vaccinated and 88/298 (29.5%) unvaccinated HCWs with COVID-19, although age and occupation differed significantly. None were in need of hospital admission in the vaccinated Group, whereas in the unvaccinated Group 4/88 (4.5%) were hospitalized and one (1.1%) died. Multivariable logistic regression analysis revealed that lack of vaccination was an independent risk factor for COVID-19 with an odds ratio 11.54 (95% CI: 10.75–12.40). Vaccination hesitancy among HCWs resulted to highly increased COVID-19 rates; almost one in three unvaccinated HCWs was SARS-CoV-2 infected during the 9-month period. The absolute need of vaccination of HCWs, including boosting dose, is highlighted. Evidence should be used appropriately to overcome any hesitancy. Full article
(This article belongs to the Topic Burden of COVID-19 in Different Countries)
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13 pages, 1620 KiB  
Article
Perioperative Outcomes in COVID-19 Obstetric Patients Undergoing Spinal Anesthesia for Cesarean Section: A Prospective Observational Study
by Omar Ababneh, Mustafa Alrabayah, Ahmad I. El-Share’, Isam Bsisu, Yara Bahar, Banan Dabousi, Alia Sandoqa, Dania AlWreikat and Ayman Qatawneh
Healthcare 2022, 10(1), 23; https://doi.org/10.3390/healthcare10010023 - 24 Dec 2021
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 2543
Abstract
Coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) adds more challenges to the perioperative management of parturients. The aim of this study is to examine perioperative adverse events and hemodynamic stability among COVID-19 positive parturients undergoing spinal anesthesia. This prospective observational investigation was conducted at a tertiary [...] Read more.
Coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) adds more challenges to the perioperative management of parturients. The aim of this study is to examine perioperative adverse events and hemodynamic stability among COVID-19 positive parturients undergoing spinal anesthesia. This prospective observational investigation was conducted at a tertiary teaching hospital in Jordan between January and June 2021, during which 31 COVID-19 positive parturients were identified. Each COVID-19 positive parturient was matched with a COVID-19 negative parturient who received anesthesia under similar operating conditions as a control group. Of the 31 COVID-19 patients, 22 (71%) were otherwise medically free, 8 (25.8%) were emergency cesarean sections. The sensory level of spinal block after 10 min was T8 (T6–T10) among COVID-19 positive group, compared to T4 (T4–T6) among control group (p = 0.001). There were no significant differences in heart rate, SBP, DBP, and MAP intraoperatively (p > 0.05). Twelve (36.4%) neonates born to COVID-19 positive patients were admitted to NICU, compared to four (11.8%) among control group (p = 0.018). There was no statistically significant difference in postoperative complications. In conclusion, spinal anesthesia is considered a safe anesthetic technique in COVID-19 parturients, and therefore it is the anesthetic method of choice for cesarean deliveries among COVID-19 patients. Full article
(This article belongs to the Topic Burden of COVID-19 in Different Countries)
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11 pages, 325 KiB  
Article
Stress and Coping Strategies of Nurses Working with Patients Infected with and Not Infected with SARS-CoV-2 Virus
by Grażyna Puto, Maria Jurzec, Anna Leja-Szpak, Joanna Bonior, Marta Muszalik and Agnieszka Gniadek
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2022, 19(1), 195; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph19010195 - 24 Dec 2021
Cited by 10 | Viewed by 3946
Abstract
Introduction: Working during the COVID-19 pandemic is a particular challenge for nurses because, while performing their daily routines, they are exposed to physical and social consequences of the SARS-CoV-2 virus, which is accompanied by intensified stress. The aim of this study was to [...] Read more.
Introduction: Working during the COVID-19 pandemic is a particular challenge for nurses because, while performing their daily routines, they are exposed to physical and social consequences of the SARS-CoV-2 virus, which is accompanied by intensified stress. The aim of this study was to assess the intensity of stress and coping strategies applied by nurses working with both infected and non-infected patients with SARS-CoV-2 virus during the COVID-19 pandemic. Materials and Methods: The study was conducted between January and March 2021. Due to the epidemiological situation, the questionnaire was posted on Facebook in nurses’ groups and sent out via the “Messenger” and “WhatsApp” applications. Stress intensity was assessed by means of the Perceived Stress Scale (PSS-10), whereas coping strategies were assessed using the Mini-COPE stress coping inventory. Results: Among 151 surveyed nurses, more than half (52.3%) worked with infected patients and the remaining ones (47.7%) worked with non-infected patients. The level of stress perceived by nurses working with infected patients was higher than among nurses working with patients without SARS-CoV-2 infection (22.22 ± 5.94 vs. 20.21 ± 5.68, p = 0.03). The nurses working with infected patients were most likely to choose coping strategies focused on the problem (2.00 ± 0.62) and emotions (2.01 ± 0.69), whereas those working with non-infected patients usually chose strategies focused only on the problem (2.11 ± 0.58). Conclusions: During the COVID-19 pandemic, nurses working with SARS-CoV-2 patients experienced more intense stress than those working with non-infected patients. Nurses working with SARS-CoV-2 patients tended to cope with stress using strategies focused on the problem and on emotions, while those working with non-infected patients were more likely to choose strategies focused only on the problem. Full article
(This article belongs to the Topic Burden of COVID-19 in Different Countries)
11 pages, 375 KiB  
Article
Caregivers of Individuals with Cancer in the COVID-19 Pandemic: A Phenomenological Study
by Leila Abou Salha, Julio Cesar Souza Silva, Cleusa Alves Martins, Cristiane Soares da Costa Araújo, Edinamar Aparecida Santos da Silva, Angela Gilda Alves, Cácia Régia de Paula, Flavio Henrique Alves de Lima, Veidma Siqueira de Moura, José Elmo de Menezes, Virginia Visconde Brasil and Maria Alves Barbosa
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2022, 19(1), 185; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph19010185 - 24 Dec 2021
Cited by 6 | Viewed by 2748
Abstract
Caregivers of individuals with cancer in the COVID-19 pandemic are faced with the demands of cancer and the health needs produced by it, along with their own health and self-care needs, and the uncertainties of expectations and risks. A qualitative analytical phenomenological study [...] Read more.
Caregivers of individuals with cancer in the COVID-19 pandemic are faced with the demands of cancer and the health needs produced by it, along with their own health and self-care needs, and the uncertainties of expectations and risks. A qualitative analytical phenomenological study with caregivers of individuals with cancer registered at the state referral hospital supplying medications, who answered the sociodemographic assessment questionnaires and semi-structured questions about their feelings and perceptions in the COVID-19 pandemic. Bardin’s content analysis was used, with methodological quality assessed using SRQR Standards for Reporting Qualitative Research and the MAXQDA software. Most of the caregivers are women, married, Catholic, of low income and education, aged between 30 and 60 years, optimistic, comply with health guidelines regarding social distancing, use of masks, and routine hand hygiene, do not practice regular physical activities, mention concern for their own physical and financial survival, and that of their family. The main need identified in the affective sphere was to reframe contact with family members, seeking to strengthen the bonds of affection. The feeling of emotional vulnerability shows the importance of building effective public policies for social support consistent with the improvement of health care for this population. Full article
(This article belongs to the Topic Burden of COVID-19 in Different Countries)
13 pages, 365 KiB  
Article
Depression, Anxiety and Stress on Caregivers of Persons with Dementia (CGPWD) in Hong Kong amid COVID-19 Pandemic
by Tommy Kwan-Hin Fong, Teris Cheung, Wai-Chi Chan and Calvin Pak-Wing Cheng
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2022, 19(1), 184; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph19010184 - 24 Dec 2021
Cited by 21 | Viewed by 5660
Abstract
Background: Coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) contributed to increasing prevalence of depressive symptoms and other psychological repercussions, particularly in the disease population in Hong Kong. Nonetheless, the caregiver burden of caregivers of persons with dementia (CGPWD), has been under-investigated. Aims: This study examined the [...] Read more.
Background: Coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) contributed to increasing prevalence of depressive symptoms and other psychological repercussions, particularly in the disease population in Hong Kong. Nonetheless, the caregiver burden of caregivers of persons with dementia (CGPWD), has been under-investigated. Aims: This study examined the psychological impact and its correlates on the CGPWD in Hong Kong amid the COVID-19 outbreak. Methods: CGPWD referred from rehabilitation clinics and online seminar were used to recruit participants to complete an online questionnaire by the end of the second-wave of the COVID-19 outbreak (June 2021). To be eligible, either full-time or part-time CGPWD, aged 18 or above, can understand Cantonese, currently reside in Hong Kong and offering care to PWD for at least one year, were recruited. Those CGPWD diagnosed with any type of psychiatric disorder were excluded from this study. The Chinese Center for Epidemiologic Studies Depression Scale (CES-D), Perceived Stress Scale (PSS-10), Generalized Anxiety Disorder (GAD-7), Zarit Burden Interview (ZBI-22), and Nonattachment Scale (NAS-7) were used to measure participants’ depression, perceived stress, anxiety symptoms, caregiver burden and wisdom in subjective feelings of internal stress. The modified Medical Outcomes Study Social Support Survey (mMOS-SS) and the SARS Appraisal Inventory (SAI) were also administered to measure participants’ perceived support and coping efficacy. Follow-up responses were gathered by the end of third-wave outbreak (October 2021). Results: A total of 51 CGPWD participated, of which, 33 (64.7%) suffered from probable depression (CES-D score ≥ 16). Participants also showed a significant increase in depression symptom scores at the three-month follow-up period (t = 2.25, p = 0.03). CGPWD with probable depression had less non-attachment awareness and higher scores in anxiety, stress, caregiving burden, and coronavirus impact (all p < 0.05) than those without. Conclusions: High prevalence of depressive symptoms was noted among our CGPWD sample and these symptoms seemed to worsen substantially. Contingent online mental health support should be prioritized to those CGPWD to reduce psychiatric morbidity and the global disease burden. Full article
(This article belongs to the Topic Burden of COVID-19 in Different Countries)
9 pages, 309 KiB  
Review
Women’s Healthcare Services since the COVID-19 Pandemic Outbreak in Poland
by Katarzyna Wszołek, Dominik Pruski, Katarzyna Tomczyk, Małgorzata Kampioni, Karolina Chmaj-Wierzchowska, Marcin Przybylski and Maciej Wilczak
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2022, 19(1), 180; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph19010180 - 24 Dec 2021
Cited by 7 | Viewed by 3177
Abstract
The COVID-19 pandemic had a direct impact on the extent of guaranteed healthcare services. Many gynecologists’, obstetricians’, and midwives’ offices were closed, laboratories suspended their activities, the collection of necessary tests was delayed, and women had to wait much longer for test results [...] Read more.
The COVID-19 pandemic had a direct impact on the extent of guaranteed healthcare services. Many gynecologists’, obstetricians’, and midwives’ offices were closed, laboratories suspended their activities, the collection of necessary tests was delayed, and women had to wait much longer for test results than they had to previously. General women’s healthcare prophylactic programs were suspended or delayed. In 2020, screening financed by public funds covered less than one-seventh of the female population in Poland. As medical teams, professionals, clinicians, and scientists, we have been facing a challenge to help, protect, and care for one of the most vulnerable population groups, pregnant women. A significant part of that challenge has been in preventing the spread of severe COVID-19, along with other preventable diseases, among women who are pregnant, who are in labor, or who have recently given birth. Full article
(This article belongs to the Topic Burden of COVID-19 in Different Countries)
9 pages, 2061 KiB  
Brief Report
Remote Health Monitoring in the Workplace for Early Detection of COVID-19 Cases during the COVID-19 Pandemic Using a Mobile Health Application: COVIDApp.
by Patricia Echeverría, Jordi Puig, José María Ruiz, Jordi Herms, Maria Sarquella, Bonaventura Clotet and Eugenia Negredo
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2022, 19(1), 167; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph19010167 - 24 Dec 2021
Cited by 7 | Viewed by 2853
Abstract
Background: COVIDApp is a platform created for management of COVID-19 in the workplace. Methods: COVIDApp was designed and implemented for the follow-up of 253 workers from seven companies in Catalonia. The assessment was based on two actions: first, the early detection and management [...] Read more.
Background: COVIDApp is a platform created for management of COVID-19 in the workplace. Methods: COVIDApp was designed and implemented for the follow-up of 253 workers from seven companies in Catalonia. The assessment was based on two actions: first, the early detection and management of close contacts and potential cases of COVID-19, and second, the rapid remote activation of protocols. The main objectives of this strategy were to minimize the risk of transmission of COVID-19 infection in the work area through a new real-time communication channel and to avoid unnecessary sick leave. The parameters reported daily by workers were close contact with COVID cases and signs and/or symptoms of COVID-19. Results: Data were recorded between 1 May and 30 November 2020. A total of 765 alerts were activated by 76 workers: 127 green alarms (16.6%), 301 orange alarms (39.3%), and 337 red alarms (44.1%). Of all the red alarms activated, 274 (81.3%) were activated for symptoms potentially associated with COVID-19, and 63 (18.7%) for reporting close contact with COVID-19 cases. Only eight workers (3.1%) presented symptoms associated with COVID-19 infection. All of these workers underwent RT-PCR tests, which yielded negative results for SARS-CoV2. Three workers were considered to have had a risk contact with COVID-19 cases; only 1 (0.4%) asymptomatic worker had a positive RT-PCR test result, requiring the activation of protocols, isolation, and contact tracing. Conclusions: COVIDApp contributes to the early detection and rapid activation of protocols in the workplace, thus limiting the risk of spreading the virus and reducing the economic impact caused by COVID-19 in the productive sector. The platform shows the progression of infection in real time and can help design new strategies. Full article
(This article belongs to the Topic Burden of COVID-19 in Different Countries)
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13 pages, 2088 KiB  
Article
Emerging SARS-CoV-2 Genotypes Show Different Replication Patterns in Human Pulmonary and Intestinal Epithelial Cells
by Gabriel Augusto Pires de Souza, Marion Le Bideau, Celine Boschi, Lorène Ferreira, Nathalie Wurtz, Christian Devaux, Philippe Colson and Bernard La Scola
Viruses 2022, 14(1), 23; https://doi.org/10.3390/v14010023 - 23 Dec 2021
Cited by 14 | Viewed by 3789
Abstract
Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome Coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) quickly spread worldwide following its emergence in Wuhan, China, and hit pandemic levels. Its tremendous incidence favoured the emergence of viral variants. The current genome diversity of SARS-CoV-2 has a clear impact on epidemiology and clinical [...] Read more.
Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome Coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) quickly spread worldwide following its emergence in Wuhan, China, and hit pandemic levels. Its tremendous incidence favoured the emergence of viral variants. The current genome diversity of SARS-CoV-2 has a clear impact on epidemiology and clinical practice, especially regarding transmission rates and the effectiveness of vaccines. In this study, we evaluated the replication of different SARS-CoV-2 isolates representing different virus genotypes which have been isolated throughout the pandemic. We used three distinct cell lines, including Vero E6 cells originating from monkeys; Caco-2 cells, an intestinal epithelium cell line originating from humans; and Calu-3 cells, a pulmonary epithelium cell line also originating from humans. We used RT-qPCR to replicate different SARS-CoV-2 genotypes by quantifying the virus released in the culture supernatant of infected cells. We found that the different viral isolates replicate similarly in Caco-2 cells, but show very different replicative capacities in Calu-3 cells. This was especially highlighted for the lineages B.1.1.7, B.1.351 and P.1, which are considered to be variants of concern. These results underscore the importance of the evaluation and characterisation of each SARS-CoV-2 isolate in order to establish the replication patterns before performing tests, and of the consideration of the ideal SARS-CoV-2 genotype–cell type pair for each assay. Full article
(This article belongs to the Topic Burden of COVID-19 in Different Countries)
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9 pages, 477 KiB  
Brief Report
Comparison of Antigen Tests and qPCR in Rapid Diagnostics of Infections Caused by SARS-CoV-2 Virus
by Adrianna Klajmon, Aldona Olechowska-Jarząb, Dominika Salamon, Agnieszka Sroka-Oleksiak, Monika Brzychczy-Włoch and Tomasz Gosiewski
Viruses 2022, 14(1), 17; https://doi.org/10.3390/v14010017 - 23 Dec 2021
Cited by 5 | Viewed by 3172
Abstract
Diagnostics of the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) using molecular techniques from the collected respiratory swab specimens requires well-equipped laboratory and qualified personnel, also it needs several hours of waiting for results and is expensive. Antigen tests appear to be faster and cheaper but [...] Read more.
Diagnostics of the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) using molecular techniques from the collected respiratory swab specimens requires well-equipped laboratory and qualified personnel, also it needs several hours of waiting for results and is expensive. Antigen tests appear to be faster and cheaper but their sensitivity and specificity are debatable. The aim of this study was to compare a selected antigen test with quantitative polymerase chain reaction (qPCR) tests results. Nasopharyngeal swabs were collected from 192 patients with COVID-19 symptoms. All samples were tested using Vitassay qPCR SARS-CoV-2 kit and the Humasis COVID-19 Ag Test (MedSun) antigen immunochromatographic test simultaneously. Ultimately, 189 samples were tested; 3 samples were excluded due to errors in taking swabs. The qPCR and antigen test results were as follows: 47 positive and 142 negative, and 45 positive and 144 negative, respectively. Calculated sensitivity of 91.5% and specificity of 98.6% for the antigen test shows differences which are not statistically significant in comparison to qPCR. Our study showed that effectiveness of the antigen tests in rapid laboratory diagnostics is high enough to be an alternative and support for nucleic acid amplification tests (NAAT) in the virus replication phase in the course of COVID-19. Full article
(This article belongs to the Topic Burden of COVID-19 in Different Countries)
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12 pages, 477 KiB  
Article
Acceptance of COVID-19 Vaccines among Patients with Inflammatory Bowel Disease in Japan
by Yu Nishida, Shuhei Hosomi, Yumie Kobayashi, Rieko Nakata, Masaki Ominami, Yuji Nadatani, Shusei Fukunaga, Koji Otani, Fumio Tanaka, Yasuaki Nagami, Koichi Taira, Noriko Kamata and Yasuhiro Fujiwara
Healthcare 2022, 10(1), 6; https://doi.org/10.3390/healthcare10010006 - 22 Dec 2021
Cited by 7 | Viewed by 2700
Abstract
Coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) vaccination is recommended for patients with inflammatory bowel disease (IBD). However, the acceptance of COVID-19 vaccines has not been sufficiently evaluated in patients with IBD. We aimed to assess the acceptance and hesitancy of COVID-19 vaccination and related factors [...] Read more.
Coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) vaccination is recommended for patients with inflammatory bowel disease (IBD). However, the acceptance of COVID-19 vaccines has not been sufficiently evaluated in patients with IBD. We aimed to assess the acceptance and hesitancy of COVID-19 vaccination and related factors among these patients. A retrospective cohort study using a self-reported questionnaire was performed among patients with IBD between 22 June 2021 and 30 August 2021. Of the 187 participants, 10.2% (n = 19) were hesitant to be vaccinated. Patients in the vaccine-hesitant group were younger (p = 0.009) and had a shorter disease duration (p = 0.020). Vedolizumab was prescribed more frequently (p = 0.024) and immunomodulators were less frequently used (p = 0.027) in this group. Multivariable logistic regression analysis identified age (odds ratio [OR]: 0.96, 95% confidence interval [CI]: 0.92–1.00, p = 0.042) and the use of immunomodulators (OR: 0.08, 95% CI: 0.01–0.66, p = 0.019) as independent significant factors for vaccine hesitancy. The COVID-19 vaccine hesitancy rate in patients with IBD in Japan was 10% in this study. The Japanese COVID-19 vaccination campaign appears to be successful. The risk of COVID-19 among patients with IBD requires adequate measures to ensure that vaccines are accepted by vaccine-hesitant patients. These findings may be helpful in achieving adequate vaccination rates. Full article
(This article belongs to the Topic Burden of COVID-19 in Different Countries)
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17 pages, 380 KiB  
Article
Experiencing the Unprecedented COVID-19 Lockdown: Abu Dhabi Older Adults’ Challenges and Concerns
by Masood A. Badri, Mugheer A. Alkhaili, Hamad Aldhaheri, Guang Yang, Muna Albahar, Asma Alrashdi, Bushra Almulla and Layla Alhyas
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2021, 18(24), 13427; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph182413427 - 20 Dec 2021
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 2779
Abstract
This study focused on older adults (60+ years old) of both genders in Abu Dhabi during the COVID-19 pandemic before vaccines were made available (age ranged from 60 years to 75 years). They faced more strict rules of movement restriction and isolation that [...] Read more.
This study focused on older adults (60+ years old) of both genders in Abu Dhabi during the COVID-19 pandemic before vaccines were made available (age ranged from 60 years to 75 years). They faced more strict rules of movement restriction and isolation that might have resulted in certain psychological feelings and social reactions. The main objective was to understand Abu Dhabi older adults’ psychological feelings during the pandemic and to identify their main concerns and challenges considering the various COVID-19-related policies and restrictions. The psychological feelings focused on fear, loneliness, sadness, irritability, emotional exhaustion, depressive symptoms, sleeping disorders, overeating, and excessive screen use. The objectives also included the changes in the psychological feelings concerning time. Other objectives covered better understanding the differences in (some activities) compared to the other age categories. Data were gathered through an online survey of community members from February to July 2020 as part of government initiatives (Department of Community Development). Responses were collected from 574 older adults in Abu Dhabi (60.1% male and 39.9% female). The analysis mainly used descriptive analysis, t-tests, analysis of variance (ANOVA), and simple trend analysis. For all tests, a p-value less than 0.05 was used for significance. The results pointed to the significant rise in feelings related to excessive screen use, fear, loneliness, and stress. The most significant concerns were related to more restrictions being imposed and not being able to see the grandchildren.The impact of new technologies on their quality of life was significantly reflected by respondents. The influence of the pandemic on older adults’ health and weight was also investigated. Analysis of variance, t-tests, and regression analysis with relevant tests were employed. The relevant results showed that some negative psychological feelings were common among older adults during the pandemic. However, the psychological feelings did not portray significant changes with time, except for sleeping disorders and overeating. Overall, older adults scored significantly different from other age groups on many challenges, concerns, and views regarding new technologies during the pandemic. No significant differences were observed regarding gender and marital status for the challenges and concerns. The research summarizes some policy guidance while noting some limitations of this study and future research directions. Full article
(This article belongs to the Topic Burden of COVID-19 in Different Countries)
13 pages, 2125 KiB  
Article
Response of Saudi Population to Strict Preventive Measures against COVID-19
by Amro K. Bin Abdulrahman, Khalid A. Bin Abdulrahman and Randa M. Nouh
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2021, 18(24), 13424; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph182413424 - 20 Dec 2021
Cited by 4 | Viewed by 2777
Abstract
The Saudi ministry of health (MOH) started the preventive measures very early on before having a single case of COVID-19. There were very few studies regarding the awareness and adherence to the preventive measures against COVID-19 among the Saudi population in the literature. [...] Read more.
The Saudi ministry of health (MOH) started the preventive measures very early on before having a single case of COVID-19. There were very few studies regarding the awareness and adherence to the preventive measures against COVID-19 among the Saudi population in the literature. Objectives: The study aims to examine the awareness and commitment to the strict Saudi government preventive measures against COVID-19. Methods: A cross-sectional online survey targeted Saudi and non-Saudi populations aged 18+ in March–April 2020. The online questionnaire was designed to explore the participant’s sociodemographic data, washing hygiene habits, the general level of awareness regarding COVID-19, and the extent to which they adhere to the government’s strict instructions. Results: Out of the 2958 participants in the survey, 23% washed their hands for between 20 and 30 s, 59.6% washed their hands after shaking hands with other people, 67.9% washed their hands after use of other’s utilities, 65.9% had appropriately followed the MOH recommended guidelines for home quarantine and social distancing. People in different age groups differed significantly on their practiced hygienic practices score p < 0.001. Respondents’ educational level had converged considerably and positively on their clean proper prevention practices score, f(2838.3) = 15.70. Conclusion: The majority of the participants adhere to the strict government instructions regarding COVID-19 as they have to obey the law. Health sector employees measured significantly greater hygienic preventive measures and precautions in comparison to other sectors. More public health efforts should increase hygienic best practice scores to achieve the best outcome. Full article
(This article belongs to the Topic Burden of COVID-19 in Different Countries)
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13 pages, 256 KiB  
Article
A Qualitative Study on the Care Experience of Emergency Department Nurses during the COVID-19 Pandemic
by Hsing-Chi Hsu, Hsin-Ju Chou and Kai-Yu Tseng
Healthcare 2021, 9(12), 1759; https://doi.org/10.3390/healthcare9121759 - 19 Dec 2021
Cited by 6 | Viewed by 3793
Abstract
Background: The rapid spread of the disease has severely impacted healthcare systems around the world. There is a lack of evidence related to the care experience of emergency department nurses. Objective: To understand the care experience and thoughts of emergency department nurses during [...] Read more.
Background: The rapid spread of the disease has severely impacted healthcare systems around the world. There is a lack of evidence related to the care experience of emergency department nurses. Objective: To understand the care experience and thoughts of emergency department nurses during the COVID-19 epidemic. Methods: Purposive sampling was used to recruit 16 emergency department nurses from a medical center, and a semi-structured interview was used for data collection. The enrollment period was from 28 July 2021 to 30 October 2021. Thematic content analysis was used for data analysis. Results: The care experiences of emergency department nurses during the COVID-19 epidemic can be classified into three themes and six sub-themes. Theme 1: I am the gatekeeper; theme 2: Care and environment challenges: difficulties with equipment and environment, managing patient’s and family members’ emotions, insufficient manpower of care; theme 3: Conflicting emotions: worrying about being infected or transmitting the disease, needs of effective support and empathy, and lack of understanding and discrimination towards the occupation. Conclusion: Emergency department nurses adhered to professional awareness and responsibility during the epidemic and play a critical role in epidemic prevention. Full article
(This article belongs to the Topic Burden of COVID-19 in Different Countries)
21 pages, 1598 KiB  
Article
The Sustained Psychological Impact of the COVID-19 Pandemic on Health Care Workers One Year after the Outbreak—A Repeated Cross-Sectional Survey in a Tertiary Hospital of North-East Italy
by Antonio Lasalvia, Luca Bodini, Francesco Amaddeo, Stefano Porru, Angela Carta, Ranieri Poli and Chiara Bonetto
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2021, 18(24), 13374; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph182413374 - 19 Dec 2021
Cited by 26 | Viewed by 3990
Abstract
This study aimed to evaluate the mental health outcomes of health care workers (HCWs) of the Verona academic hospital trust (Italy) one year after the outbreak of COVID-19 and to identify predicted risk factors. A web-based survey was conducted from mid-April to mid-May [...] Read more.
This study aimed to evaluate the mental health outcomes of health care workers (HCWs) of the Verona academic hospital trust (Italy) one year after the outbreak of COVID-19 and to identify predicted risk factors. A web-based survey was conducted from mid-April to mid-May 2021 on hospital workers one year after the first evaluation performed during the lock-down phase of the COVID-19 pandemic. Post-traumatic stress, general anxiety, depression, and burnout were assessed by using, respectively, the impact of event scale (IES-R), the self-rating anxiety scale (SAS), the patient health questionnaire (PHQ-9) and the Maslach burnout inventory-general survey (MBI-GS). Multivariate logistic regression analysis was performed to identify factors associated with each of the four mental health outcomes one year after the COVID-19 outbreak. A total of 1033 HCWs participated. The percentage of HCWs scoring above the cut-off increased from 2020 to 2021 in all of the outcome domains (anxiety, 50.1% vs. 55.7, p < 0.05; depression, 26.6% vs. 40.6%, p < 0.001; burnout, 28.6% vs. 40.6%, p < 0.001; chi-square test), with the exception of post-traumatic distress. There was also an increase when stratifying by occupation and workplace, with a greater increase for depression and burnout. Multivariate analysis revealed that, one year after the COVID-19 outbreak, nurses were at the greatest risk of anxiety and depression, whereas residents were at the greatest risk of burnout (in terms of low professional efficacy). Working in intensive care units was associated with an increased risk of developing severe emotional exhaustion and a cynical attitude towards work. Full article
(This article belongs to the Topic Burden of COVID-19 in Different Countries)
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24 pages, 1791 KiB  
Article
COVID-19 Vaccine Acceptance of Pregnant and Lactating Women (PLW) in Czechia: An Analytical Cross-Sectional Study
by Abanoub Riad, Anna Jouzová, Batuhan Üstün, Eliška Lagová, Lukáš Hruban, Petr Janků, Andrea Pokorná, Jitka Klugarová, Michal Koščík and Miloslav Klugar
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2021, 18(24), 13373; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph182413373 - 19 Dec 2021
Cited by 62 | Viewed by 5652
Abstract
Pregnant and lactating women (PLW) represent a particular population subset with increased susceptibility for COVID-19 morbidity and mortality, even though the evidence about the safety and efficacy of COVID-19 vaccines was delayed due to their initial exclusion from development trials. This unclear situation [...] Read more.
Pregnant and lactating women (PLW) represent a particular population subset with increased susceptibility for COVID-19 morbidity and mortality, even though the evidence about the safety and efficacy of COVID-19 vaccines was delayed due to their initial exclusion from development trials. This unclear situation could have led to increased COVID-19 vaccine hesitancy levels among PLW; therefore, this study aimed to evaluate the attitudes of Czech PLW towards COVID-19 vaccines and the determinants of their attitudes. An analytical cross-sectional survey-based study was carried out in the University Hospital Brno (South Moravia, Czechia) between August and October 2021. The study utilised a self-administered questionnaire (SAQ) adapted from previous instruments used for the same purpose. The SAQ included closed-ended items covering demographic characteristics, clinical and obstetric characteristics, attitudes towards COVID-19 vaccination, and potential psychosocial predictors of vaccine acceptance. Out of the 362 included participants, 278 were pregnant (PW) and 84 were lactating women (LW). The overall COVID-19 vaccine acceptance (immediate and delayed) level was substantially high (70.2%), with a significant difference between PW (76.6%) and LW (48.8%). Out of the 70.2% who agreed to receive the vaccine, 3.6% indicated immediate acceptance, and 66.6% indicated delayed acceptance. Only 13.3% of the participants indicated their acceptance of their physician’s vaccination recommendation during pregnancy or while lactating, and 62.2% were against it. Our results agreed with the recent studies that revealed that PW tended to have a high level of COVID-19 vaccine acceptance, and they were also inclined to resist professional recommendations because they predominantly preferred to delay their vaccination. The pregnancy trimester, education level, employment status, and previous live births were significant determinants for COVID-19 vaccine acceptance. The most commonly preferred vaccine type was mRNA-based vaccines, followed by viral vector-based and inactivated virus vaccines. The first top priority of PLW was vaccine safety for their children, followed by vaccine safety for the PLW and vaccine effectiveness. Regarding psychosocial predictors, media/social media, trust in the government, the pharmaceutical industry, and healthcare professionals, partners, and a positive risk-benefit ratio were significant promoters for COVID-19 vaccine acceptance. Findings from this study suggest that promotional interventions targeting PLW should use web platforms and focus on vaccine safety evidence, the expected benefits of vaccines and potential harms of the infection. Full article
(This article belongs to the Topic Burden of COVID-19 in Different Countries)
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13 pages, 369 KiB  
Article
Alcohol Use and Its Related Psychosocial Effects during the Prolonged COVID-19 Pandemic in Japan: A Cross-Sectional Survey
by Nagisa Sugaya, Tetsuya Yamamoto, Naho Suzuki and Chigusa Uchiumi
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2021, 18(24), 13318; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph182413318 - 17 Dec 2021
Cited by 10 | Viewed by 2733
Abstract
We conducted a large-scale survey in the Japanese population, about one year after the initial declaration of the state of emergency, to investigate alcohol use under the prolonged coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic and its related psychosocial and demographic characteristics. The survey was [...] Read more.
We conducted a large-scale survey in the Japanese population, about one year after the initial declaration of the state of emergency, to investigate alcohol use under the prolonged coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic and its related psychosocial and demographic characteristics. The survey was conducted online between 15 and 20 June 2021. A total of 11,427 participants were included in the analysis (48.5% female, 48.82 ± 13.30 years, range = 20–90 years). Compared with females, males were more prevalent in the hazardous user and the potential alcoholism group and were less prevalent in the no alcohol-related problem group. However, the prevalence of potential alcoholism among the participants in our study was higher than that previously reported. This trend was particularly pronounced in women. The presence of potential alcoholism was related to a deteriorated psychological status, particularly depression and anxiety, and various difficulties in their daily lives due to the COVID-19 pandemic. In the future, intervention methods and systems should be developed to provide optimal assistance to people with psychological problems who are vulnerable to alcohol-related problems during the COVID-19 pandemic, while conducting further long-term follow-up studies. Full article
(This article belongs to the Topic Burden of COVID-19 in Different Countries)
6 pages, 1907 KiB  
Brief Report
Causes of Death during the First COVID-19 Pandemic Wave in Italy: A Comparison with Some European Countries
by Enrico Grande, Giulia Marcone, Alessia Scuro, Tania Bracci, Simona Cinque, Roberta Crialesi, Luisa Frova, Stefano Marchetti, Simone Navarra, Chiara Orsi, Marilena Pappagallo, Silvia Simeoni and Francesco Grippo
COVID 2021, 1(4), 751-756; https://doi.org/10.3390/covid1040060 - 16 Dec 2021
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 2720
Abstract
Studies comparing cause-of-death patterns across countries during the COVID-19 outbreak are still lacking although such studies would contribute to the understanding of the direct and indirect effect of the virus on mortality. In this report, we compare the mortality pattern observed in Italy [...] Read more.
Studies comparing cause-of-death patterns across countries during the COVID-19 outbreak are still lacking although such studies would contribute to the understanding of the direct and indirect effect of the virus on mortality. In this report, we compare the mortality pattern observed in Italy during the first pandemic wave (March–April 2020) with that of some European countries. We calculated cause-specific, age-standardized mortality ratios (SMR) for Spain, England, and Sweden for the two mentioned months from 2016 to 2020, using already published data. Although Italy presented the highest crude overall mortality rate (267 per 100,000 population), age-adjusted ratios showed that all-cause and COVID-19 mortality in Italy were higher than in Sweden but lower than in the other two countries. Some causes had a similar increase in 2020 compared to previous years in all countries, i.e., endocrine diseases (especially diabetes), dementia and Alzheimer’s (in general mental disorders), and hypertensive heart diseases. Conversely, respiratory diseases, in particular pneumonia and influenza, increased to a greater extent in Italy. This latter result could be, in part, related to the underreporting of COVID-19 on death certificates during the first period of the pandemic, when Italy was the first European country severely hit by the virus. Full article
(This article belongs to the Topic Burden of COVID-19 in Different Countries)
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11 pages, 816 KiB  
Article
General and COVID-19-Related Mortality by Pre-Existing Chronic Conditions and Care Setting during 2020 in Emilia-Romagna Region, Italy
by Nicola Caranci, Chiara Di Girolamo, Letizia Bartolini, Daniela Fortuna, Elena Berti, Stefano Sforza, Paolo Giorgi Rossi and Maria Luisa Moro
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2021, 18(24), 13224; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph182413224 - 15 Dec 2021
Cited by 9 | Viewed by 1635
Abstract
In 2020, the number of deaths increased in Italy, mainly because of the COVID-19 pandemic; mortality was among the highest in Europe, with a clear heterogeneity among regions and socio-demographic strata. The present work aims to describe trends in mortality and to quantify [...] Read more.
In 2020, the number of deaths increased in Italy, mainly because of the COVID-19 pandemic; mortality was among the highest in Europe, with a clear heterogeneity among regions and socio-demographic strata. The present work aims to describe trends in mortality and to quantify excess mortality variability over time and in relation to demographics, pre-existent chronic conditions and care setting of the Emilia-Romagna region (Northern Italy). This is a registry-based cross-sectional study comparing the 2020 observed mortality with figures of the previous five years by age, sex, month, place of death, and chronicity. It includes 300,094 deaths in those 18 years of age and above resident in the Emilia-Romagna region. Excess deaths were higher during the first pandemic wave, particularly among men and in March. Age-adjusted risk was similar among both men and women (Mortality Rate Ratio 1.15; IC95% 1.14–1.16). It was higher among females aged 75+ years and varied between sub-periods. Excluding COVID-19 related deaths, differences in the risk of dying estimates tended to disappear. Metabolic and neuropsychiatric diseases were more prevalent among those that deceased in 2020 compared to the deaths that occurred in 2015–2019 and therefore can be confirmed as elements of increased frailty, such as being in long-term care facilities or private homes as the place of death. Understanding the impact of the pandemic on mortality considering frailties is relevant in a changing scenario. Full article
(This article belongs to the Topic Burden of COVID-19 in Different Countries)
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10 pages, 983 KiB  
Article
Differences in the Association between Physical Activity and People’s Resilience and Emotions during Two Consecutive Covid-19 Lockdowns in Israel
by Sima Zach, Sigal Eilat-Adar, Miki Ophir and Avital Dotan
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2021, 18(24), 13217; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph182413217 - 15 Dec 2021
Cited by 4 | Viewed by 1531
Abstract
Governments worldwide have imposed harsh restrictions for decreasing the Covid-19 pandemic and maintaining public health. Yet such limitations have impacted people’s physical activity. This study examined relationships between changes in physical activity and resilience, emotions, and depression during two lockdowns in Israel. An [...] Read more.
Governments worldwide have imposed harsh restrictions for decreasing the Covid-19 pandemic and maintaining public health. Yet such limitations have impacted people’s physical activity. This study examined relationships between changes in physical activity and resilience, emotions, and depression during two lockdowns in Israel. An online survey was completed twice by 135 participants during two consecutive lockdowns. The results indicate that resilience and positive emotions were higher, and negative emotions and depression were lower during the second lockdown compared to the first one—even though people spent less time performing physical activity in the later lockdown. Moreover, negative emotions significantly decreased among people who reported increased physical activity during the second lockdown [M = 2.2 (SD = 0.9) compared to M = 1.9 (SD = 0.8) on a scale of 1–5] and increased among those who reported a reduction in activity [M = 1.8 (SD = 0.7) compared to M = 2.2 (SD = 0.7)]. It could therefore be concluded that while the Israeli population’s resilience is higher compared to other populations (who do not regularly deal with crisis situations), their increased physical activity was associated with better resilience and emotions and lower depression scores. Since lockdowns are an extreme yet often repeated phenomenon, it is important to understand the psychological implications of engaging in physical activity. Full article
(This article belongs to the Topic Burden of COVID-19 in Different Countries)
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9 pages, 257 KiB  
Review
Development of Serological Assays and Seroprevalence Studies of the New Coronavirus 2019 (COVID-19): Reports from Saudi Arabia
by Thamir A. Alandijany and Arwa A. Faizo
Healthcare 2021, 9(12), 1730; https://doi.org/10.3390/healthcare9121730 - 14 Dec 2021
Cited by 3 | Viewed by 2443
Abstract
Serological assays are valuable tools for tracking COVID-19 spread, estimation of herd immunity, and evaluation of vaccine effectiveness. Several reports from Saudi Arabia describe optimized in-house protocols that enable detection of SARS-CoV-2 specific antibodies and measurement of their neutralizing activity. Notably, there were [...] Read more.
Serological assays are valuable tools for tracking COVID-19 spread, estimation of herd immunity, and evaluation of vaccine effectiveness. Several reports from Saudi Arabia describe optimized in-house protocols that enable detection of SARS-CoV-2 specific antibodies and measurement of their neutralizing activity. Notably, there were variations in the approaches utilized to develop and validate these immunoassays in term of sample size, validation methodologies, and statistical analyses. The developed enzyme-linked immunoassays (ELISAs) were based on the viral full-length spike (S), S1 subunit, and nucleocapsid (NP), and enabled detection of IgM and/or IgG. ELISAs were evaluated and validated against a microneutralization assay utilizing a local SARS-CoV-2 clinical isolate, FDA-approved commercially available immunoassays, and/or real-time polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR). Overall, the performance of the described assays was high, reaching up to 100% sensitivity and 98.9% specificity with no cross-reactivity with other coronaviruses. In-house immunoassays, along with commercially available kits, were subsequently applied in a number of sero-epidemiological studies aiming to estimate sero-positivity status among local populations including healthcare workers, COVID-19 patients, non-COVID-19 patients, and healthy blood donors. The reported seroprevalence rates differed widely among these studies, ranging from 0.00% to 32.2%. These variations are probably due to study period, targeted population, sample size, and performance of the immunoassays utilized. Indeed, lack of sero-positive cases were reported among healthy blood donors during the lockdown, while the highest rates were reported when the number of COVID-19 cases peaked in the country, particularly among healthcare workers working in referral hospitals and quarantine sites. In this review, we aim to (1) provide a critical discussion about the developed in-house immunoassays, and (2) summarize key findings of the sero-epidemiological studies and highlight strengths and weaknesses of each study. Full article
(This article belongs to the Topic Burden of COVID-19 in Different Countries)
16 pages, 1321 KiB  
Review
Testing Antigens, Antibodies, and Immune Cells in COVID-19 as a Public Health Topic—Experience and Outlines
by Monica Neagu, Carolina Constantin and Mihaela Surcel
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2021, 18(24), 13173; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph182413173 - 14 Dec 2021
Cited by 7 | Viewed by 2988
Abstract
The current COVID-19 pandemic has triggered an accelerated pace in all research domains, including reliable diagnostics methodology. Molecular diagnostics of the virus and its presence in biological samples relies on the RT-PCR method, the most used and validated worldwide. Nonconventional tests with improved [...] Read more.
The current COVID-19 pandemic has triggered an accelerated pace in all research domains, including reliable diagnostics methodology. Molecular diagnostics of the virus and its presence in biological samples relies on the RT-PCR method, the most used and validated worldwide. Nonconventional tests with improved parameters that are in the development stages will be presented, such as droplet digital PCR or CRISPR-based assays. These molecular tests were followed by rapid antigen testing along with the development of antibody tests, whether based on ELISA platform or on a chemiluminescent microparticle immunoassay. Less-conventional methods of testing antibodies (e.g., lateral flow immunoassay) are presented as well. Left somewhere in the backstage of COVID-19 research, immune cells and, furthermore, immune memory cells, are gaining the spotlight, more so in the vaccination context. Recently, methodologies using flow-cytometry evaluate circulating immune cells in infected/recovered patients. The appearance of new virus variants has triggered a surge for tests improvement. As the pandemic has entered an ongoing or postvaccination era, all methodologies that are used to monitor public health focus on diagnostic strategies and this review points out where gaps should be filled in both clinical and research settings. Full article
(This article belongs to the Topic Burden of COVID-19 in Different Countries)
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14 pages, 464 KiB  
Review
SARS-CoV-2 and Variant Diagnostic Testing Approaches in the United States
by Emmanuel Thomas, Stephanie Delabat, Yamina L. Carattini and David M. Andrews
Viruses 2021, 13(12), 2492; https://doi.org/10.3390/v13122492 - 13 Dec 2021
Cited by 31 | Viewed by 5454
Abstract
Purpose of Review Given the rapid development of diagnostic approaches to test for and diagnose infection with SARS-CoV-2 and its associated variants including Omicron (B.1.1.529), many options are available to diagnose infection. Multiple established diagnostic companies are now providing testing platforms whereas initially, [...] Read more.
Purpose of Review Given the rapid development of diagnostic approaches to test for and diagnose infection with SARS-CoV-2 and its associated variants including Omicron (B.1.1.529), many options are available to diagnose infection. Multiple established diagnostic companies are now providing testing platforms whereas initially, testing was being performed with simple PCR-based tests using standard laboratory reagents. Recent Findings Additional testing platforms continue to be developed, including those to detect specific variants, but challenges with testing, including obtaining testing reagents and other related supplies, are frequently encountered. With time, the testing supply chain has improved, and more established companies are providing materials to support these testing efforts. In the United States (U.S.), the need for rapid assay development and subsequent approval through the attainment of emergency use authorization (EUA) has superseded the traditional arduous diagnostic testing approval workflow mandated by the FDA. Through these efforts, the U.S. has been able to continue to significantly increase its testing capabilities to address this pandemic; however, challenges still remain due to the diversity of the performance characteristics of tests being utilized and newly discovered viral variants. Summary This review provides an overview of the current diagnostic testing landscape, with pertinent information related to SARS-CoV-2 virology, variants and antibody responses that are available to diagnose infection in the U.S. Full article
(This article belongs to the Topic Burden of COVID-19 in Different Countries)
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27 pages, 1391 KiB  
Article
Challenges and Innovations Brought about by the COVID-19 Pandemic Regarding Medical and Pharmacy Education Especially in Africa and Implications for the Future
by Ayukafangha Etando, Adefolarin A. Amu, Mainul Haque, Natalie Schellack, Amanj Kurdi, Alian A. Alrasheedy, Angela Timoney, Julius C. Mwita, Godfrey Mutashambara Rwegerera, Okwen Patrick, Loveline Lum Niba, Baffour Boaten Boahen-Boaten, Felicity Besong Tabi, Olufunke Y. Amu, Joseph Acolatse, Robert Incoom, Israel Abebrese Sefah, Anastasia Nkatha Guantai, Sylvia Opanga, Ibrahim Chikowe, Felix Khuluza, Dan Kibuule, Francis Kalemeera, Ester Hango, Jennie Lates, Joseph Fadare, Olayinka O. Ogunleye, Zikria Saleem, Frasia Oosthuizen, Werner Cordier, Moliehi Matlala, Johanna C. Meyer, Gustav Schellack, Amos Massele, Oliver Ombeva Malande, Aubrey Chichonyi Kalungia, James Sichone, Sekelani S. Banda, Trust Zaranyika, Stephen Campbell and Brian Godmanadd Show full author list remove Hide full author list
Healthcare 2021, 9(12), 1722; https://doi.org/10.3390/healthcare9121722 - 13 Dec 2021
Cited by 34 | Viewed by 5239
Abstract
Background: Multiple measures introduced early to restrict COVID-19 have dramatically impacted the teaching of medical and pharmacy students, exacerbated by the lack of infrastructure and experience with e-learning at the start of the pandemic. In addition, the costs and reliability of the Internet [...] Read more.
Background: Multiple measures introduced early to restrict COVID-19 have dramatically impacted the teaching of medical and pharmacy students, exacerbated by the lack of infrastructure and experience with e-learning at the start of the pandemic. In addition, the costs and reliability of the Internet across Africa pose challenges alongside undertaking clinical teaching and practical programmes. Consequently, there is a need to understand the many challenges and how these were addressed, given increasingly complex patients, to provide future direction. Method: An exploratory study was conducted among senior-level medical and pharmacy educators across Africa, addressing four key questions, including the challenges resulting from the pandemic and how these were dealt with. Results: Staff and student members faced multiple challenges initially, including adapting to online learning. In addition, concerns with the lack of equipment (especially among disadvantaged students), the costs of Internet bundles, and how to conduct practicals and clinical teaching. Multiple activities were undertaken to address these challenges. These included training sessions, developing innovative approaches to teaching, and seeking ways to reduce Internet costs. Robust approaches to practicals, clinical teaching, and assessments have been developed. Conclusions: Appreciable difficulties to teaching arising from the pandemic are being addressed across Africa. Research is ongoing to improve education and assessments. Full article
(This article belongs to the Topic Burden of COVID-19 in Different Countries)
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9 pages, 3727 KiB  
Article
Sentiment Analysis of Comments of American Birders during Two Waves of the COVID-19 Pandemic Reveal More Negative Sentiments in the Context of Birding
by Christoph Randler, Nadine Kalb and Piotr Tryjanowski
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2021, 18(24), 13142; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph182413142 - 13 Dec 2021
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 2276
Abstract
Human–nature relationships are an important aspect of leisure research. Previous studies also reported that nature-related activities have a health benefit. In this study, we surveyed US-American birdwatchers at two time points during the COVID pandemic (independent samples). During the beginning of the COVID [...] Read more.
Human–nature relationships are an important aspect of leisure research. Previous studies also reported that nature-related activities have a health benefit. In this study, we surveyed US-American birdwatchers at two time points during the COVID pandemic (independent samples). During the beginning of the COVID pandemic in spring 2020, we analyzed their comments with an AI sentiment analysis. Approximately one year later (winter 2020/21), during the second wave, the study was repeated, and a second data set was analyzed. Here we show that during the ongoing pandemic, the sentiments became more negative. This is an important result because it shows that despite the positive impact of nature on mental health, the sentiments become more negative in the enduring pandemic. Full article
(This article belongs to the Topic Burden of COVID-19 in Different Countries)
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11 pages, 970 KiB  
Article
Physical Activity and Screen Time among Hungarian High School Students during the COVID-19 Pandemic Caused Distance Education Period
by Zsolt Bálint Katona, Johanna Takács, László Kerner, Zoltán Alföldi, Imre Soós, Tamás Gyömörei, Robert Podstawski and Ferenc Ihász
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2021, 18(24), 13024; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph182413024 - 10 Dec 2021
Cited by 6 | Viewed by 3397
Abstract
Background: High school education took place in the form of distance learning during SARS-CoV-2 pandemic worldwide, including Hungary. Decreased physical activity and an increase in inactive behaviours may lead to an increased risk of obesity, diabetes, and cardiovascular disease. Aim: Our study targeted [...] Read more.
Background: High school education took place in the form of distance learning during SARS-CoV-2 pandemic worldwide, including Hungary. Decreased physical activity and an increase in inactive behaviours may lead to an increased risk of obesity, diabetes, and cardiovascular disease. Aim: Our study targeted changes in physical activity (aerobic exercise, muscle strengthening) and screen time in adolescents and young adults during the pandemic. Methods: High school students were interviewed in 66 public schools in 37 Hungarian cities (N = 2508). Survey items on physical activity and screen time were derived from the WHO Health Behaviour of School-aged Children Survey and the Centers for Disease Control Youth Risk Behavior Survey. A 2 × 2 factorial ANCOVA was used to test the effects of gender (male vs. female) and/or age (adolescents vs. young adults) on the reported changes in physical activity and screen time before and during lockdown (covariate: BMI Z-score). Results: The majority of the cohort indicated less physical activity. Aerobic and muscle-strengthening type of exercises significantly decreased, and screen time increased during distance education. Male individuals showed a higher decrease in the level of aerobic exercise, and young adults reported a higher increase in the time spent in front of the screen. Full article
(This article belongs to the Topic Burden of COVID-19 in Different Countries)
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12 pages, 499 KiB  
Article
Sources of Resilience in Frontline Health Professionals during COVID-19
by Lydia Brown, Simon Haines, Hermioni L. Amonoo, Cathy Jones, Jeffrey Woods, Jeff C. Huffman and Meg E. Morris
Healthcare 2021, 9(12), 1699; https://doi.org/10.3390/healthcare9121699 - 8 Dec 2021
Cited by 16 | Viewed by 4097
Abstract
Background: While the challenges for psychological well-being for Australian healthcare workers have been documented, there has been a dearth of qualitative research on the sources of resilience that sustained workers during the COVID-19 pandemic. This study identified sources of resilience that clinicians used [...] Read more.
Background: While the challenges for psychological well-being for Australian healthcare workers have been documented, there has been a dearth of qualitative research on the sources of resilience that sustained workers during the COVID-19 pandemic. This study identified sources of resilience that clinicians used to cope with frontline challenges during the COVID-19 pandemic. Methods: Semi-structured interviews were conducted with 20 frontline health professionals, across five Australian hospitals, between October 2020 and April 2021. The interviews were recorded and transcribed, and the results were analysed using thematic analysis based on a phenomenological approach. Results: Three sources of resilience were identified by respondents: personal, relational, and organisational. A positive mindset, sense of purpose, and self-care behaviours emerged as key sources of personal resilience. Teamwork, altruism, and social support from family and friends contributed to relational resilience. Leadership, effective communication, and effective implementation of COVID-19 policies were associated with resilience at the organisational level. Frontline healthcare workers also voiced the need for the implementation of further strategies to support personal resilience whilst nurturing resilience within clinical teams and across entire healthcare organisations. Conclusions: Trust in healthcare systems, organisation leaders, colleagues, and personal support teams was an overarching theme supporting resilience. Full article
(This article belongs to the Topic Burden of COVID-19 in Different Countries)
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20 pages, 1638 KiB  
Article
Vaccine Hesitancy and Political Populism. An Invariant Cross-European Perspective
by Almudena Recio-Román, Manuel Recio-Menéndez and María Victoría Román-González
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2021, 18(24), 12953; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph182412953 - 8 Dec 2021
Cited by 16 | Viewed by 3829
Abstract
Vaccine-hesitancy and political populism are positively associated across Europe: those countries in which their citizens present higher populist attitudes are those that also have higher vaccine-hesitancy rates. The same key driver fuels them: distrust in institutions, elites, and experts. The reluctance of citizens [...] Read more.
Vaccine-hesitancy and political populism are positively associated across Europe: those countries in which their citizens present higher populist attitudes are those that also have higher vaccine-hesitancy rates. The same key driver fuels them: distrust in institutions, elites, and experts. The reluctance of citizens to be vaccinated fits perfectly in populist political agendas because is a source of instability that has a distinctive characteristic known as the “small pockets” issue. It means that the level at which immunization coverage needs to be maintained to be effective is so high that a small number of vaccine-hesitants have enormous adverse effects on herd immunity and epidemic spread. In pandemic and post-pandemic scenarios, vaccine-hesitancy could be used by populists as one of the most effective tools for generating distrust. This research presents an invariant measurement model applied to 27 EU + UK countries (27,524 participants) that segments the different behaviours found, and gives social-marketing recommendations for coping with the vaccine-hesitancy problem when used for generating distrust. Full article
(This article belongs to the Topic Burden of COVID-19 in Different Countries)
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15 pages, 3302 KiB  
Article
Factors Associated with Psychological Distress in French Medical Students during the COVID-19 Health Crisis: A Cross-Sectional Study
by Carole Pelissier, Manon Viale, Philippe Berthelot, Brigitte Poizat, Catherine Massoubre, Theophile Tiffet and Luc Fontana
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2021, 18(24), 12951; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph182412951 - 8 Dec 2021
Cited by 14 | Viewed by 2753
Abstract
Background: The purpose of this study was to assess the prevalence of psychological distress in medical students during the COVID-19 health crisis and to identify factors associated with psychological distress. Methods: A cross-sectional observational study was presented to 1814 medical students (from first [...] Read more.
Background: The purpose of this study was to assess the prevalence of psychological distress in medical students during the COVID-19 health crisis and to identify factors associated with psychological distress. Methods: A cross-sectional observational study was presented to 1814 medical students (from first to sixth year) in a French university hospital center. Sociodemographic, occupational and medical information (psychological distress measured on the French GHQ12 scale) were collected via an online anonymous self-administered questionnaire. Variables associated with psychological distress were investigated using univariate analysis and multivariate analysis (modified Poisson regression). Results: In total, 832 medical students responded (46%) and 699 completed the questionnaire in full (39%); 625 (75%) showed signs of psychological distress and 109 (15%) reported suicidal ideation. Female gender, psychological trauma during the COVID-19 health crisis, change in alcohol consumption, and difficulties with online learning emerged as risk factors for psychological distress, whereas a paid activity, a feeling of mutual aid and cooperation within the studies framework, and recognition of work appeared to be protective factors. Conclusions: Mental health care or suicide prevention should be provided to students at risk in the aftermath of the pandemic. Knowing the educational and medical factors associated with psychological distress enables areas for prevention to be identified. Full article
(This article belongs to the Topic Burden of COVID-19 in Different Countries)
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17 pages, 949 KiB  
Systematic Review
Risk Factors for Venous Thromboembolism in Severe COVID-19: A Study-Level Meta-Analysis of 21 Studies
by Hervé Lobbes, Sabine Mainbourg, Vicky Mai, Marion Douplat, Steeve Provencher and Jean-Christophe Lega
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2021, 18(24), 12944; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph182412944 - 8 Dec 2021
Cited by 17 | Viewed by 2396
Abstract
Venous thromboembolism (VTE) in patients with COVID-19 in intensive care units (ICU) is frequent, but risk factors (RF) remain unidentified. In this meta-analysis (CRD42020188764) we searched for observational studies from ICUs reporting the association between VTE and RF in Medline/Embase up to 15 [...] Read more.
Venous thromboembolism (VTE) in patients with COVID-19 in intensive care units (ICU) is frequent, but risk factors (RF) remain unidentified. In this meta-analysis (CRD42020188764) we searched for observational studies from ICUs reporting the association between VTE and RF in Medline/Embase up to 15 April 2021. Reviewers independently extracted data in duplicate and assessed the certainty of the evidence using the GRADE approach. Analyses were conducted using the random-effects model and produced a non-adjusted odds ratio (OR). We analysed 83 RF from 21 studies (5296 patients). We found moderate-certainty evidence for an association between VTE and the D-dimer peak (OR 5.83, 95%CI 3.18–10.70), and length of hospitalization (OR 7.09, 95%CI 3.41–14.73) and intubation (OR 2.61, 95%CI 1.94–3.51). We identified low-certainty evidence for an association between VTE and CRP (OR 1.83, 95% CI 1.32–2.53), D-dimer (OR 4.58, 95% CI 2.52–8.50), troponin T (OR 8.64, 95% CI 3.25–22.97), and the requirement for inotropic drugs (OR 1.67, 95% CI 1.15–2.43). Traditional VTE RF (i.e., history of cancer, previous VTE events, obesity) were not found to be associated to VTE in COVID-19. Anticoagulation was not associated with a decreased VTE risk. VTE RF in severe COVID-19 correspond to individual illness severity, and inflammatory and coagulation parameters. Full article
(This article belongs to the Topic Burden of COVID-19 in Different Countries)
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11 pages, 237 KiB  
Article
Effectiveness of BNT162b2 and ChAdOx1 Vaccines against Symptomatic COVID-19 among Healthcare Workers in Kuwait: A Retrospective Cohort Study
by Walid Q. Alali, Lamiaa A. Ali, Mohammad AlSeaidan and Mohammad Al-Rashidi
Healthcare 2021, 9(12), 1692; https://doi.org/10.3390/healthcare9121692 - 7 Dec 2021
Cited by 6 | Viewed by 2754
Abstract
Background: Estimating vaccine effectiveness (VE) against severe, acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) among healthcare workers (HCWs) is necessary to demonstrate protection from the disease. Between 24 December 2020 and 15 June 2021, we determined the factors associated with vaccine coverage and estimated [...] Read more.
Background: Estimating vaccine effectiveness (VE) against severe, acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) among healthcare workers (HCWs) is necessary to demonstrate protection from the disease. Between 24 December 2020 and 15 June 2021, we determined the factors associated with vaccine coverage and estimated VE against SARS-CoV-2 infection in HCWs at a secondary hospital in Kuwait. Methods: We extracted sociodemographic, occupational, SARS-CoV-2 infection, and vaccination data for eligible HCWs from the hospital records. Vaccine coverage percentages were cross-tabulated with the HCW factors. Cox regression was used to estimate hazard ratios in vaccinated versus unvaccinated. Results: 3246 HCWs were included in the analysis, of which 82.1% received at least one vaccine dose (50.4% only one dose of ChAdOx1, 3.3% only one dose of BNT162b2, and 28.3% two doses of BNT162b2). However, 17.9% of HCWs were unvaccinated. A significantly lower vaccination coverage was reported amongst female HCWs, younger age group (20–30 years), and administrative/executive staff. The adjusted VE of fully vaccinated HCWs was 94.5% (95% CI = 89.4–97.2%), while it was 75.4% (95% CI = 67.2–81.6%) and 91.4% (95% CI = 65.1–97.9%) in partially vaccinated for ChAdOx1 and BNT162b2, respectively. Conclusions: BNT162b2 and ChAdOx1 vaccines prevented most symptomatic infections in HCWs across age groups, nationalities, and occupations. Full article
(This article belongs to the Topic Burden of COVID-19 in Different Countries)
14 pages, 1014 KiB  
Article
Developing a Hybrid Platform for Emergency Remote Education of Nursing Students in the Context of COVID-19
by Hiromi Kawasaki, Satoko Yamasaki and Md Moshiur Rahman
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2021, 18(24), 12908; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph182412908 - 7 Dec 2021
Cited by 6 | Viewed by 2437
Abstract
Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, many nursing students are being taught remotely. Remote learning has drawbacks, such as decreased motivation for learning and difficulties conveying the instructor’s intentions. Strategies that compensate for the shortcomings of remote learning should be identified. This study aimed [...] Read more.
Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, many nursing students are being taught remotely. Remote learning has drawbacks, such as decreased motivation for learning and difficulties conveying the instructor’s intentions. Strategies that compensate for the shortcomings of remote learning should be identified. This study aimed to evaluate the understanding of the knowledge use and awareness of negotiation methods through cases and teaching tools in nursing student classes on environmental assessment and daily life support, and to examine whether supplementary assistance can compensate for the drawbacks of remote learning. This study used a mixed-method design, and included 59 second-year nursing students attending an environmental assessment course in 2021. Students’ knowledge use and awareness of negotiation methods were evaluated using self-assessment worksheets before and after the class. The pre- and post-class scores were compared using the Wilcoxon signed-rank test. The mean knowledge score increased significantly during the study period (p < 0.001). Students acquired awareness of how to use the knowledge gained during class and negotiation awareness by observing role play, factors that strengthen motivation when learning alone. This study provides insight into the potential of class supplements to compensate for the deficits of remote learning. Supplementing the shortcomings of remote learning should be a priority and may be a focal point of hybrid learning. Full article
(This article belongs to the Topic Burden of COVID-19 in Different Countries)
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13 pages, 336 KiB  
Article
Factors Associated with COVID-19 Vaccine Hesitancy in Mongolia: A Web-Based Cross-Sectional Survey
by Davaalkham Dambadarjaa, Gan-Erdene Altankhuyag, Unurtesteg Chandaga, Ser-Od Khuyag, Bilegt Batkhorol, Nansalmaa Khaidav, Oyunbileg Dulamsuren, Nadmidtseren Gombodorj, Avirmed Dorjsuren, Pramil Singh, Gunchmaa Nyam, Dashpagma Otganbayar and Nyamsuren Tserennadmid
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2021, 18(24), 12903; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph182412903 - 7 Dec 2021
Cited by 22 | Viewed by 4249
Abstract
Vaccine acceptance in the general public is essential in controlling the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic. The study aimed to assess the COVID-19 vaccine hesitancy in the adult population of Mongolia, and determine the associated factors. A total of 2875 individuals from urban [...] Read more.
Vaccine acceptance in the general public is essential in controlling the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic. The study aimed to assess the COVID-19 vaccine hesitancy in the adult population of Mongolia, and determine the associated factors. A total of 2875 individuals from urban and rural areas were recruited, and completed an online survey. Older age, urban residence, previous vaccination, high education, good knowledge of side effects, and a personal view of the importance of vaccines were associated with vaccine acceptability, whereas gender and religion were not. Receiving COVID-19 vaccine information from official government pages was related to a higher acceptance rate. Reliance on social media as a source of COVID-19 vaccine information was associated with high level of vaccine hesitancy. The side effects and the type of the COVID-19 vaccine were a major reason for hesitation. Countering false information regarding COVID-19 vaccines on social media, and promoting vaccine importance on general news websites is necessary. Moreover, providing clear and direct educational materials through official communication channels on the safety and efficacy of COVID-19 vaccines alongside information on COVID-19 symptoms, vaccine side effects, and location of vaccine administration centers among the younger populations, rural residents, and those with lower education is needed. Full article
(This article belongs to the Topic Burden of COVID-19 in Different Countries)
14 pages, 342 KiB  
Article
Achievements and Challenges for Higher Education during the COVID-19 Pandemic: A Rapid Review of Media in Africa
by Inge K. Sonn, Marieta Du Plessis, Carel D. Jansen Van Vuuren, Janene Marais, Emma Wagener and Nicolette V. Roman
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2021, 18(24), 12888; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph182412888 - 7 Dec 2021
Cited by 13 | Viewed by 3768
Abstract
The coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic struck globally and has affected higher education institutions (HEIs) and their operations, indirectly impacting the progress of the Sustainable Development Goal 4 achieved thus far. This article addresses HEIs achievements and challenges experienced in the wake of the pandemic. [...] Read more.
The coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic struck globally and has affected higher education institutions (HEIs) and their operations, indirectly impacting the progress of the Sustainable Development Goal 4 achieved thus far. This article addresses HEIs achievements and challenges experienced in the wake of the pandemic. Online news media reports played a facilitative role in providing information to the HEI communities. A rapid review exploring online news media messages relating to higher education at the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic in Africa was utilised. Narrative synthesis was used to analyse the data. The results highlight HEIs achievements, which aim to ensure that all students receive the same level of education and provision in terms of devices and mental health support. However, challenges were also experienced at HEIs and include students feeling uncertainty and fear regarding completing their education. Furthermore, the results also show that not all students received the same level of education due to contextual factors, thus deepening the existing social disparities in Africa. The pandemic provides an opportunity for HEIs to embed the components of global citizenship education into the curriculum and to work in an innovative way to promote Sustainable Development Goal 4. Full article
(This article belongs to the Topic Burden of COVID-19 in Different Countries)
9 pages, 391 KiB  
Article
Impact of the COVID-19 Pandemic on Patients with Gastrointestinal Cancer Undergoing Active Cancer Treatment in an Ambulatory Therapy Center: The Patients’ Perspective
by Koichi Taira, Hisashi Nagahara, Hiroaki Tanaka, Akie Kimura, Akinobu Nakata, Yasuhito Iseki, Tatsunari Fukuoka, Masatsune Shibutani, Takahiro Toyokawa, Shigeru Lee, Kazuya Muguruma, Masaichi Ohira, Tomoya Kawaguchi and Yasuhiro Fujiwara
Healthcare 2021, 9(12), 1688; https://doi.org/10.3390/healthcare9121688 - 6 Dec 2021
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 2171
Abstract
Background: The mortality risk increases greatly in patients with cancer if they are infected with severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2. The new American Society of Clinical Oncology (ASCO) and the European Society of Medical Oncology (ESMO) guidelines for the COVID-19 pandemic suggested [...] Read more.
Background: The mortality risk increases greatly in patients with cancer if they are infected with severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2. The new American Society of Clinical Oncology (ASCO) and the European Society of Medical Oncology (ESMO) guidelines for the COVID-19 pandemic suggested modifications to the standards of care to reduce harm from treatment. However, it is unclear whether these changes suit the wishes of patients. Methods: We conducted a survey of patients with gastrointestinal cancer who were undergoing active chemotherapy in our ambulatory therapy center between 17 August and 11 September 2020. The survey comprised 18 questions on five topics: patient characteristics, lifestyle changes, disturbance in their psychological health, thoughts on the cancer treatment, and infection control in the hospital. Results: Among the 63 patients who received the questionnaire, 61 participated in the study. The COVID-19 pandemic has led to changes in their lifestyles and substantially impacted their psychological wellbeing. The incidence of anxiety and insomnia has considerably increased during the pandemic. However, female patients and patients aged 70 years or older reported no notable differences. There was no significant difference in the responses to the questions regarding thoughts on the cancer treatment. Conclusion: Our study revealed that the COVID-19 pandemic has substantially impacted patients’ lifestyles and psychological wellbeing. However, most patients preferred to continue their usual treatment without any change to their treatment plan. It is important to involve the patient in the decision-making process when formulating treatment goals. Full article
(This article belongs to the Topic Burden of COVID-19 in Different Countries)
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15 pages, 667 KiB  
Article
The Experiences of People with Dementia and Informal Carers Related to the Closure of Social and Medical Services in Poland during the COVID-19 Pandemic—A Qualitative Study
by Maria Maćkowiak, Adrianna Senczyszyn, Katarzyna Lion, Elżbieta Trypka, Monika Małecka, Marta Ciułkowicz, Justyna Mazurek, Roksana Świderska, Clarissa Giebel, Mark Gabbay, Joanna Rymaszewska and Dorota Szcześniak
Healthcare 2021, 9(12), 1677; https://doi.org/10.3390/healthcare9121677 - 3 Dec 2021
Cited by 9 | Viewed by 3121
Abstract
Older people with dementia are particularly at risk of COVID-19; however, relatively little is known about the indirect impact of the pandemic on the lives of those living with, and/or caring for someone with, dementia. The aim of this study was to investigate [...] Read more.
Older people with dementia are particularly at risk of COVID-19; however, relatively little is known about the indirect impact of the pandemic on the lives of those living with, and/or caring for someone with, dementia. The aim of this study was to investigate the experiences of people with dementia and informal carers during the closure of available social and medical services in Poland during the COVID-19 pandemic. A qualitative thematic analysis of semi-structured interviews with people with dementia (n = 5) and informal carers (n = 21) was performed between June and August 2020 after the first wave of COVID-19 in Poland. Three overarching themes were identified: (1) care re-organization; (2) psychological responses; (3) emerging needs. The factor underlying all these elements was reliance on other people. Social support and engagement are vital to the ongoing health and well-being of people living with dementia and their informal carers. Services need to be strengthened to provide ongoing provision to those living with dementia to reach pre-pandemic levels, if not better. Within the post-pandemic environment, people with dementia and their informal carers need reassurance that they can rely on external institutional and social support able to meet their needs. Full article
(This article belongs to the Topic Burden of COVID-19 in Different Countries)
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15 pages, 363 KiB  
Article
Stress and Bio-Ethical Issues Perceived by Romanian Healthcare Practitioners in the COVID-19 Era
by Daniela Reisz, Iulia Crișan, Andrea Reisz, Raluca Tudor and Doina Georgescu
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2021, 18(23), 12749; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph182312749 - 3 Dec 2021
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 2087
Abstract
Objective: The COVID-19 pandemic had a major impact on different areas of life, especially in the medical system. Because of the pandemic outbreak, the medical system was remodeled to treat COVID-19 patients in secure conditions. Those changes and restrictive measures have put pressure [...] Read more.
Objective: The COVID-19 pandemic had a major impact on different areas of life, especially in the medical system. Because of the pandemic outbreak, the medical system was remodeled to treat COVID-19 patients in secure conditions. Those changes and restrictive measures have put pressure on individual adaptability. The present study investigated the stress of Romanian healthcare practitioners (HCP) and the capacity to deal with new bio-ethical issues that emerged during the COVID-19 pandemic in 2020. Methods: We analyzed results from a survey on 97 Romanian HCP in several areas: personal experience with COVID-19, perceived emotional distress, and appraisal of bio-ethical principles respected or infringed during the pandemic in 2020. Results: Unlike previous studies, our respondents reported low to moderate stress levels. In addition, few bio-ethical principles were infringed on a personal level. Tendencies to sacrifice individual autonomy and make decisions affecting patients and co-workers were more prevalent among HCP with over 30 years of experience. Conclusions: Retrospectively, Romanian HCP in our sample appeared to share an embellished view of the COVID-19 pandemic in 2020. Potentially related factors and coping mechanisms with stress are discussed. Full article
(This article belongs to the Topic Burden of COVID-19 in Different Countries)
14 pages, 389 KiB  
Article
Mental Health among Higher Education Students during the COVID-19 Pandemic: A Cross-Sectional Survey from Lithuania
by Emilijus Žilinskas, Giedrė Žulpaitė, Kristijonas Puteikis and Rima Viliūnienė
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2021, 18(23), 12737; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph182312737 - 2 Dec 2021
Cited by 13 | Viewed by 3524
Abstract
Mental health issues—anxiety, depression, suicidal ideation and behavior—are prevalent among students of higher education. The COVID-19 pandemic further affected students’ daily life through academic and socioeconomic disturbances. We set out to investigate students’ mental health amidst the COVID-19 pandemic and conducted a cross-sectional [...] Read more.
Mental health issues—anxiety, depression, suicidal ideation and behavior—are prevalent among students of higher education. The COVID-19 pandemic further affected students’ daily life through academic and socioeconomic disturbances. We set out to investigate students’ mental health amidst the COVID-19 pandemic and conducted a cross-sectional online survey at higher education institutions in Lithuania in 2021. The questionnaire consisted of the Hospital Anxiety and Depression scale (HADS) and the Sense of Coherence scale (SOC-3) questionnaires, evaluation of suicidal risk, experiences during the COVID-19 pandemic and self-rated health status (SRHS). Among 1001 students who completed the survey, the prevalence of clinically relevant anxiety was high (46.6%) and contrasted with the lower prevalence of depression (11.1%). 37.5% of all students admitted that they had thought about suicide at least once during their lifetime and a similar number of students thought about suicide during the previous year. High levels of anxiety and depression were statistically significant predictors of suicidal ideation and planning during the past year in binary regression models. High SRHS (higher score refers to more positive health status) was the only significant independent variable associated with less frequent suicidal attempts in the past year (p < 0.01, OR = 0.29, 95% CI = 0.12 to 0.66). Our study highlights anxiety and suicidality to be burdensome mental health issues among higher education students in Lithuania during the COVID-19 pandemic. Full article
(This article belongs to the Topic Burden of COVID-19 in Different Countries)
13 pages, 2163 KiB  
Article
The Disproportionate Impact of COVID-19 among Undocumented Immigrants and Racial Minorities in the US
by Mohammad Tawhidul Hasan Bhuiyan, Irtesam Mahmud Khan, Sheikh Saifur Rahman Jony, Renee Robinson, Uyen-Sa D. T. Nguyen, David Keellings, M. Sohel Rahman and Ubydul Haque
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2021, 18(23), 12708; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph182312708 - 2 Dec 2021
Cited by 19 | Viewed by 4575
Abstract
Severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2), the virus responsible for coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19), has had an unprecedented effect, especially among under-resourced minority communities. Surveillance of those at high risk is critical for preventing and controlling the pandemic. We must better understand [...] Read more.
Severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2), the virus responsible for coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19), has had an unprecedented effect, especially among under-resourced minority communities. Surveillance of those at high risk is critical for preventing and controlling the pandemic. We must better understand the relationships between COVID-19-related cases or deaths and characteristics in our most vulnerable population that put them at risk to target COVID-19 prevention and management efforts. Population characteristics strongly related to United States (US) county-level data on COVID-19 cases and deaths during all stages of the pandemic were identified from the onset of the epidemic and included county-level socio-demographic and comorbidities data, as well as daily meteorological modeled observation data from the North American Regional Reanalysis (NARR), and the NARR high spatial resolution model to assess the environment. Advanced machine learning (ML) approaches were used to identify outbreaks (geographic clusters of COVID-19) and included spatiotemporal risk factors and COVID-19 vaccination efforts, especially among vulnerable and underserved communities. COVID-19 outcomes were found to be negatively associated with the number of people vaccinated and positively associated with age, the prevalence of cardiovascular disease, diabetes, and the minority population. There was also a strong positive correlation between unauthorized immigrants and the prevalence of COVID-19 cases and deaths. Meteorological variables were also investigated, but correlations with COVID-19 were relatively weak. Our findings suggest that COVID-19 has had a disproportionate impact across the US population among vulnerable and minority communities. Findings also emphasize the importance of vaccinations and tailored public health initiatives (e.g., mask mandates, vaccination) to reduce the spread of COVID-19 and the number of COVID-19 related deaths across all populations. Full article
(This article belongs to the Topic Burden of COVID-19 in Different Countries)
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