Burden of COVID-19 in Different Countries

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

Deadline for abstract submissions: 31 October 2021.
Deadline for manuscript submissions: 31 December 2021.

Topic Board

Dr. Dimitrios Paraskevis
E-Mail Website
Topic Editor-in-Chief
Department of Hygiene, Epidemiology and Medical Statistics, Medical School, National and Kapodistrian University of Athens, 115 27 Athens, Greece
Interests: molecular epidemiology of viral infections; viral resistance; HIV/AIDS; viral hepatitis; molecular diagnostics; public health; preventive medicine
Special Issues and Collections in MDPI journals
Dr. Maria Yavropoulou
E-Mail Website
Topic Associate Editor-in-Chief
Endocrinology Unit, First Department of Propaedeutic and Internal Medicine, National and Kapodistrian Universtiy of Athens, Medical School, LAIKO General Hospital of Athens, Athens, Greece; Department of Medical Research, LCH Adult Clinic, Hellenic Air Force and VA General Hospital, Athens, Greece
Interests: Bone Biology; Insulin; Osteoporosis; Bone; Incretins; Metabolism; Osteoblasts; Glucose
Special Issues and Collections in MDPI journals
Prof. Dr. Sotirios Tsiodras
E-Mail Website
Topic Associate Editor-in-Chief
Specialist of Internal Medicine & Infectious Diseases, 4th Department of Internal Medicine, University of Athens Medical School, 1 Rimini street, GR-12462 Haidari, Athens, Greece
Interests: infectious diseases; sepsis; healthcare-associated infections; multidrug-resistant microorganisms; epidemiology; public health; virology
Special Issues and Collections in MDPI journals

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

Relevant Journals List

Journal Name Impact Factor CiteScore Launched Year First Decision (median) APC
Viruses
viruses
5.048 5.7 2009 15.47 Days 2200 CHF Submit
Life
life
3.817 2.6 2011 14.05 Days 1600 CHF Submit
International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health
ijerph
3.390 3.4 2004 17.79 Days 2300 CHF Submit
Healthcare
healthcare
2.645 - 2013 18.14 Days 1600 CHF Submit
COVID
covid
- - 2021 14.36 Days 1000 CHF Submit

Published Papers (41 papers)

Order results
Result details
Select all
Export citation of selected articles as:
Article
Feelings, Behavioral Actions and Depressive Symptoms Related to COVID-19 among Undergraduates in Hail, Saudi Arabia
Healthcare 2021, 9(10), 1280; https://doi.org/10.3390/healthcare9101280 - 28 Sep 2021
Abstract
The severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (COVID-19) outbreak has had a profound psychological impact on university undergraduates. Feelings, behavioral actions, and depressive symptoms related to COVID-19 in undergraduates in Hail, Saudi Arabia, were assessed using an online survey. Eighteen feelings and six [...] Read more.
The severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (COVID-19) outbreak has had a profound psychological impact on university undergraduates. Feelings, behavioral actions, and depressive symptoms related to COVID-19 in undergraduates in Hail, Saudi Arabia, were assessed using an online survey. Eighteen feelings and six behavioral acts were assessed. The Center for Epidemiological Studies Depression Scale was used to measure depressive symptomatology. Descriptive statistics and logistic regression techniques were used. The mean age of the participants (n = 418) was 20.2 years (standard deviation (SD) = 1.8 years), and 52.9% (n = 221) were males. Elevated levels of depressive symptoms were reported by 47.1% of male and 51.3% of female participants. Social isolation, loss of interest, obsessive monitoring of symptoms, concentration difficulties, recurrent negative thoughts, and worries about health services emerged as vital negative feelings related to COVID-19 that were expressed by the participants. Younger age (odds ratio (OR) = 0.636, confidence interval (CI) = 0.428–0.946) and coming from the middle-income category (OR = 0.388, CI = 0.151–0.994) were found to be protective factors against developing depressive symptoms. Frequent cleaning of hands, wearing masks when going out, and adherence to social distancing rules were practiced by 71.5% (95% CI = 67.2%–75.8%), 78.7% (95% CI = (74.4%–82.5%) and 66.0% (95% CI = (61.3%–70.5%) of the participants, respectively. These behavioral acts were not associated with the development of depressive symptoms. Although the practice of COVID-19 precautionary measures by the participants was satisfactory, nearly half of the participants reported depressive symptoms. Innovative educational strategies are needed to curb concentration difficulties and social isolation experienced by undergraduates during outbreaks such as COVID-19. Full article
(This article belongs to the Topic Burden of COVID-19 in Different Countries)
Article
Risk Factors for COVID-19 Morbidity and Mortality in Institutionalised Elderly People
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2021, 18(19), 10221; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph181910221 - 28 Sep 2021
Abstract
Background: SARS-CoV-2 has caused a high mortality in institutionalised individuals. There are very few studies on the involvement and the real impact of COVID-19 in nursing homes. This study analysed factors related to morbidity and mortality of COVID-19 in institutionalised elderly people. Methods: [...] Read more.
Background: SARS-CoV-2 has caused a high mortality in institutionalised individuals. There are very few studies on the involvement and the real impact of COVID-19 in nursing homes. This study analysed factors related to morbidity and mortality of COVID-19 in institutionalised elderly people. Methods: This cohort study included 842 individuals from 12 nursing homes in Sant Cugat del Vallès (Spain) from 15 March to 15 May 2020. We evaluated individual factors (demographic, dependence, clinical, and therapeutic) and those related to the nursing homes (size and staff) associated with infection and mortality by SARS-CoV-2. Infection was diagnosed by molecular biology test. Results: Of the 842 residents included in the analysis, 784 underwent a Polymerase Chain Reaction (PCR) test; 74.2% were women, the mean age was 87.1 years, and 11.1% died. The PCR test was positive in 44%. A total of 33.4% of the residents presented symptoms compatible with COVID-19 and of these, 80.9% were PCR-positive for SARS-CoV-2. Infection by SARS-CoV-2 among residents was associated with the rate of staff infected in the homes. Mortality by SARS-CoV-2 was related to male sex and a greater grade of dependence measured with the Barthel index. Conclusions: SARS-Cov-2 infection in institutionalised people is associated with the infection rate in nursing home workers and mortality by SARS-Cov-2 with sex and greater dependency according to the Barthel index. Adequate management of nursing home staff and special attention to measures of infection control, especially of individuals with greater dependence, are keys for successful management of future pandemic situations. Full article
(This article belongs to the Topic Burden of COVID-19 in Different Countries)
Brief Report
The Impact of COVID-19 on Individuals with Hearing and Visual Disabilities during the First Pandemic Wave in Italy
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2021, 18(19), 10208; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph181910208 - 28 Sep 2021
Abstract
Background. The COVID-19 pandemic has imposed radical behavioral and social changes in the general population, significantly impacting the lives of individuals affected by disabilities. The aim of this study was to investigate the impact of COVID-19 on noninstitutionalized subjects with sensorineural disabilities during [...] Read more.
Background. The COVID-19 pandemic has imposed radical behavioral and social changes in the general population, significantly impacting the lives of individuals affected by disabilities. The aim of this study was to investigate the impact of COVID-19 on noninstitutionalized subjects with sensorineural disabilities during the first COVID-19 wave in Italy. Methods. A 39-item online national survey was disseminated from 1 April 2020 to 31 June 2020 via social media throughout Italy to communities of individuals with proven severe sensorineural disabilities, affiliated to five national patient associations. The survey collected extensive information on the socio-demographic profile, health, everyday activities, and lifestyle of individuals with hearing and visual disabilities. Results. One hundred and sixty-three respondents with hearing (66.9%) and visual (33.1%) disabilities returned a usable questionnaire. The mean age of interviewees was 38.4 ± 20.2 years and 56.3% of them were females. Despite the vast majority of respondents (77.9%) perceiving their health status as unchanged (68.8% of interviewees with hearing deficits vs. 96.3% of those with visual impairments), about half the interviewees reported sleep disorders during lock-down, more likely those with visual deficits. Remote services were seemingly more effective for business than school activities were. Furthermore, although just 18.8% of respondents rated remote rehabilitation care unsatisfactory, only 12.8% of interviewees felt supported by health and social services. The vast majority of respondents were concerned about the future and the risk of SARS-CoV-2 contagion, particularly individuals with hearing impairments. Among the various risk mitigation measures, facemasks caused the greatest discomfort due to communication barriers, particularly among interviewees affected by hearing disabilities (92.2% vs. 45.7%). The most common request (46.5%) of respondents to reduce the inconveniences of country lock-down was improving the access to and delivery of health and social services (19.3%), followed by the use of transparent masks (17.5%). Conclusions. Although health protection measures such as face masks and social distancing play a key role in preventing and controlling the spread of SARS-CoV-2, the unmet needs of disabled individuals should be carefully considered, especially those affected by sensory disabilities. Tailored access to health and social services for individuals affected by sensorineural disabilities should be implemented. Additional actions should include the use of face shields as a valid alternative to reduce communication barriers linked to hearing-impairment, as well as the improvement of remote services, especially distance learning at school. Full article
(This article belongs to the Topic Burden of COVID-19 in Different Countries)
Show Figures

Figure 1

Article
Simple Disposable Odor Identification Tests for Predicting SARS-CoV-2 Positivity
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2021, 18(19), 10185; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph181910185 - 28 Sep 2021
Abstract
Olfactory dysfunction (OD) is a common manifestation of COVID-19 and may be useful for screening. Survey-based olfactory evaluation tends to underestimate the prevalence of OD, while psychophysical olfactory testing during a pandemic has the disadvantage of being time consuming, expensive, and requiring standardized [...] Read more.
Olfactory dysfunction (OD) is a common manifestation of COVID-19 and may be useful for screening. Survey-based olfactory evaluation tends to underestimate the prevalence of OD, while psychophysical olfactory testing during a pandemic has the disadvantage of being time consuming, expensive, and requiring standardized laboratory settings. We aimed to develop a quick, simple, affordable, and reliable test to objectively assess the prevalence and diagnostic accuracy of OD in COVID-19. The olfactory function of 64 COVID-19 inpatients and 34 controls was evaluated using a questionnaire and a simple disposable odor identification test (SDOIT) developed for this study. Four SDOIT models were assessed: 10-SDOIT, 9-SDOIT, 8-SDOIT, and 4-SDOIT, with 10, 9, 8 and 4 samples, respectively. We found a high frequency of self-reported OD in COVID-19 patients, with 32.8% and 42.2% reporting current and recent OD, respectively. Different SDOIT models revealed smell impairment in 54.7–64.1% of COVID-19 patients. The combination of either 10-SDOIT results and self-reported OD, or 8-SDOIT results and self-reported OD, were the best predictors of COVID-19, both with an AUC value of 0.87 (0.85 and 0.86 for the age-matched subjects). OD is a common symptom of COVID-19. A combination of self-reported smell deterioration and OD psychophysically evaluated using SDOIT appears to be a good predictor of COVID-19. Full article
(This article belongs to the Topic Burden of COVID-19 in Different Countries)
Article
Temporal Analysis of SARS-CoV-2 Variants during the COVID-19 Pandemic in Nepal
COVID 2021, 1(2), 423-434; https://doi.org/10.3390/covid1020036 - 26 Sep 2021
Abstract
Nepal has suffered two waves of SARS-CoV-2 infections, one in the year 2020 and another in the year 2021. Although the government of Nepal keeps a detailed record of daily coronavirus infections and deaths throughout the country, and publishes the result every day, [...] Read more.
Nepal has suffered two waves of SARS-CoV-2 infections, one in the year 2020 and another in the year 2021. Although the government of Nepal keeps a detailed record of daily coronavirus infections and deaths throughout the country, and publishes the result every day, genomic surveillance of mutants in the country has lagged behind. Sequencing of COVID-19 samples has been conducted sporadically during the pandemic. From the GISAID database, 127 high-quality sequences deposited by different health authorities in Nepal were collected and analyzed. From the analysis, it can be concluded that at least two variants of concern, alpha and delta, and one variant of interest, kappa, were detected in Nepal in 2021. As in other countries, the delta variant outcompeted the kappa and alpha variants and by July 2021 had established itself as the dominant variant. It can be hypothesized that the second wave in Nepal was primarily caused by the delta variant. Further, phylogenetic tree analysis suggests cases of local transmission and global transmission of coronavirus. This analysis reveals the global nature of the disease, where variants arising in one part of the world can quickly spread to other parts of the world and can also spread through individual communities. This paper highlights a need to structure public policy of Nepal to target the delta variant since it has become the predominant variant in Nepal. A further policy suggestion is to appropriately sample and sequence genomes of SARS-CoV-2 at regular intervals to understand the dynamics of variants in the population. Full article
(This article belongs to the Topic Burden of COVID-19 in Different Countries)
Show Figures

Figure 1

Article
The COVID-19 Global Pandemic and Its Impact on the Mental Health of Nurses in Malaysia
Healthcare 2021, 9(10), 1259; https://doi.org/10.3390/healthcare9101259 - 24 Sep 2021
Abstract
The Coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) global pandemic since its onset has had a dramatic and often devastating impact, both physical and psychological, on all healthcare workers. This study aimed to assess the impact of psychological distress that COVID-19 has on nurses, as well [...] Read more.
The Coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) global pandemic since its onset has had a dramatic and often devastating impact, both physical and psychological, on all healthcare workers. This study aimed to assess the impact of psychological distress that COVID-19 has on nurses, as well as the coping strategies that they employed. This is a cross-sectional national online survey. A total of 859 nurses actively involved in caring for patients with suspected or confirmed COVID-19 in Malaysia participated in the study. More than three-quarters of the nurses experienced stress (77.2%). A total of 88.7% and 7.2% of nurses revealed a moderate and high stress level, respectively. Approximately one in eight (12.1%) nurses reported feeling depressed. Nurses working in the outpatient departments reported significantly higher stress levels than nurses working in inpatient care departments. Nurses having chronic health problems reported significantly higher depression levels than nurses with no chronic health problem. Highly stressed or depressed nurses tend to adopt avoidance coping strategies while religion and emotional support were used regardless of the stress or depression levels experienced. The findings of the study provide insight into the mental health and coping strategies of nurses actively involved in caring for patients with suspected or confirmed COVID-19 in Malaysia. This would be of tremendous help to nursing administrators in implementing mental health services for nurses during and following the COVID-19 global pandemic. Full article
(This article belongs to the Topic Burden of COVID-19 in Different Countries)
Article
The Intentions to Wear Face Masks and the Differences in Preventive Behaviors between Urban and Rural Areas during COVID-19: An Analysis Based on the Technology Acceptance Model
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2021, 18(19), 9988; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph18199988 - 23 Sep 2021
Abstract
The SARS-CoV-2 virus first emerged in late 2019 and has since spread quickly throughout China and become a global pandemic. As the situation with COVID-19 has evolved, wearing a face mask in public has grown commonplace. Using the technology acceptance model (TAM) as [...] Read more.
The SARS-CoV-2 virus first emerged in late 2019 and has since spread quickly throughout China and become a global pandemic. As the situation with COVID-19 has evolved, wearing a face mask in public has grown commonplace. Using the technology acceptance model (TAM) as a foundation, this study introduces three new variables, namely, perceived risk, social pressure, and social image, to establish an extended model for investigating the factors that influence if residents wear masks. A total of 1200 questionnaires were distributed in China, from 1 February to 30 May 2020, through China’s largest online platform. The results indicate the following: 1. Residents’ positive attitude towards mask wearing promotes their behavioral intention to wear masks. 2. Perceived risk, social pressure, and social image have a positive impact on attitude towards mask wearing. 3. The intention to wear masks and attitude were both positively influenced by perceived usefulness. 4. The perceived usefulness is more influential in rural than urban groups, in terms of behavioral intention. This article proposes that public education on the facts related to the coronavirus, the threats posed by the COVID-19 pandemic to health, and the usefulness of face masks in preventing the transmission of COVID-19 could increase residents’ intention to wear a mask. Full article
(This article belongs to the Topic Burden of COVID-19 in Different Countries)
Show Figures

Figure 1

Article
Using Systems Dynamics for Capturing the Multicausality of Factors Affecting Health System Capacity in Latin America while Responding to the COVID-19 Pandemic
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2021, 18(19), 10002; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph181910002 - 23 Sep 2021
Abstract
Similar interventions to stop the spread of COVID-19 led to different outcomes in Latin American countries. This study aimed to capture the multicausality of factors affecting HS-capacity that could help plan a more effective response, considering health as well as social aspects. A [...] Read more.
Similar interventions to stop the spread of COVID-19 led to different outcomes in Latin American countries. This study aimed to capture the multicausality of factors affecting HS-capacity that could help plan a more effective response, considering health as well as social aspects. A facilitated GMB was constructed by experts and validated with a survey from a wider population. Statistical analyses estimated the impact of the main factors to the HS-capacity and revealed the differences in its mechanisms. The results show a similar four-factor structure in all countries that includes public administration, preparedness, information, and collective self-efficacy. The factors are correlated and have mediating effects with HS-capacity; this is the base for differences among countries. HS-capacity has a strong relation with public administration in Bolivia, while in Nicaragua and Uruguay it is related through preparedness. Nicaragua lacks information as a mediation effect with HS-capacity whereas Bolivia and Uruguay have, respectively, small and large mediation effects with it. These outcomes increase the understanding of the pandemic based on country-specific context and can aid policymaking in low-and middle-income countries by including these factors in future pandemic response models. Full article
(This article belongs to the Topic Burden of COVID-19 in Different Countries)
Show Figures

Figure 1

Article
Assessment of SARS-CoV-2 Anti-Spike IgG Antibody in Women and Children in Madinah, Saudi Arabia: A Single-Center Study
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2021, 18(19), 9971; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph18199971 - 22 Sep 2021
Abstract
Background: Coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19), caused by severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2). Information on the prevalence of SARS-CoV-2 antibodies in women and children in Madinah has been limited. The current study aimed to evaluate SARS-CoV-2 IgG seropositivity among women and children [...] Read more.
Background: Coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19), caused by severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2). Information on the prevalence of SARS-CoV-2 antibodies in women and children in Madinah has been limited. The current study aimed to evaluate SARS-CoV-2 IgG seropositivity among women and children at Madinah Maternity and Children’s Hospital. Methods: In this cross-sectional study, 579 participants were recruited between January and April 2021 from Madinah Maternity and Children’s Hospital, Saudi Arabia. Data concerning age, sex (for children), blood group, and height and weight (for women) were collected from the hospital database. SARS-CoV-2 anti-spike (anti-S) IgG antibodies were detected by enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA). Results: Over 58% of children (n = 195), including 60% of children ≤ 1 year (n = 75), and 50.2% (n = 124) of women were SARS-CoV-2 anti-S IgG seropositive. Significantly higher anti-S IgG levels were observed in children than in women (0.78 ± 1.05 vs. 0.65 ± 0.98, p = 0.008). Compared with women, children had higher odds of high SARS-CoV-2 anti-S IgG levels (odds ratio: 1.41; 95% confidence interval: 1.01–1.97; p = 0.041). No significant associations were observed for anti-S IgG levels with age in women or children or with body mass index among women. Conclusion: Non-reported COVID-19 infections were more prevalent among children than women, and non-reported COVID-19 infections children represent a viral transmission risk; therefore, increased screening, especially among school-aged children, may represent an important COVID-19 preventive control measure. Full article
(This article belongs to the Topic Burden of COVID-19 in Different Countries)
Show Figures

Figure 1

Article
Anxiety, Depression and Risk of Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder in Health Workers: The Relationship with Burnout during COVID-19 Pandemic in Italy
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2021, 18(18), 9929; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph18189929 - 21 Sep 2021
Abstract
During the COVID-19 pandemic, healthcare workers (HW) have faced an extremely difficult work environment, with an increased workload and traumatic events. Our study aimed to investigate the impact of COVID-19 pandemic on HW’s mental wellbeing. We analyzed the correlations between levels of burnout [...] Read more.
During the COVID-19 pandemic, healthcare workers (HW) have faced an extremely difficult work environment, with an increased workload and traumatic events. Our study aimed to investigate the impact of COVID-19 pandemic on HW’s mental wellbeing. We analyzed the correlations between levels of burnout and other mental health disorders and we searched for the presence of specific risk factors of post-traumatic symptomatology related to the pandemic. A structured an on-line questionnaire and validated instruments were completed by a sample of HW from some hospitals in Genoa, Italy. Anxious, depressive, post-traumatic and other psychological symptoms were assessed and risk factors, related to the pandemic, were considered. Then, we investigated the correlation between levels of burnout and the risk of developing psychopathology. A total of 731 HW were screened, and we found increased levels of anxiety (61%), depression (62%), PTSD (34%) and high levels of burnout; especially emotional exhaustion (37%). A statistically significant association between burnout and insomnia, depression, anxiety, and post-traumatic symptoms was demonstrated. This study indicates that during the COVID-19 pandemic, HW showed high levels of psychological distress and that burnout is an important predictor of sufferance. These findings support the idea to provide psychological and psychiatric support for HW. Full article
(This article belongs to the Topic Burden of COVID-19 in Different Countries)
Article
Application of Pandemic Intelligence in Dynamic Data in Taiwan
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2021, 18(18), 9925; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph18189925 - 21 Sep 2021
Abstract
Taiwan was successful in containing the spread of the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) in 2020. One major factor in this success was the compilation and provision of comprehensive information about the pandemic. The present study proposes a pandemic intelligence system that provides data on [...] Read more.
Taiwan was successful in containing the spread of the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) in 2020. One major factor in this success was the compilation and provision of comprehensive information about the pandemic. The present study proposes a pandemic intelligence system that provides data on the number of epidemic prevention professionals in each county and city, as well as daily confirmed cases, the demographics of the confirmed cases, and available resources (negative-pressure room beds and artificial ventilation apparatuses) in hospitals. Furthermore, the system provides the location of pharmacies selling masks and their current inventories, as well as the distribution of crowds at popular tourist destinations and social-distance monitoring. The most frequently used map layer in the thematic map of the pandemic is that of crowd distribution during the study period from March 2020 until the end of the same year. The case study used in this investigation for applying the system is represented by the 4-day weekend for Tomb-Sweeping Day of 2020. Through the real-time analysis of dynamic data and the integration of intelligence, the system offers a clear insight into changes in relevant information and, thus, enables the preemptive deployment of control measures by the county/city governments regarding pandemic management. Full article
(This article belongs to the Topic Burden of COVID-19 in Different Countries)
Show Figures

Figure 1

Article
Cytokine Response to SARS-CoV-2 Infection in Children
Viruses 2021, 13(9), 1868; https://doi.org/10.3390/v13091868 - 18 Sep 2021
Abstract
The causal connection between serum biomarkers and COVID-19 severity or pathogenicity in children is unclear. The aim of this study was to describe clinical and immunological features of children affected by COVID-19. The secondary aim was to evaluate whether these cytokines could predict [...] Read more.
The causal connection between serum biomarkers and COVID-19 severity or pathogenicity in children is unclear. The aim of this study was to describe clinical and immunological features of children affected by COVID-19. The secondary aim was to evaluate whether these cytokines could predict severity of COVID-19. All children (aged 0−18) admitted to the Pediatric Emergency Department and tested with nasopharyngeal swab for SARS-CoV-2 were recruited and assigned to three groups: COVID-19, other infections, control group. Clinical and laboratory data of these patients, including circulating cytokine levels, were analyzed in three groups. Fever was the most frequent symptom in COVID-19 (67.3%). Neutropenia was found in the COVID-19 group (p < 0.05); no difference was observed for lymphocyte counts in the three groups. Higher levels of IL-6 and TNF-alpha were found in the COVID-19 group compared to other infections and control groups (p = 0.014 and p = 0.001, respectively). Whereas, in the COVID-19 group, no difference was observed as for the same cytokines among sub-groups of different disease severity (p = 0.7 and p = 0.8). Serum levels of IL-6 and TNF-alpha were higher in COVID-19 children than in children with other infectious diseases, but those levels did not correlate with disease severity. Clinical studies in a large pediatric population are necessary to better define the role of the immune-mediated response in SARS-CoV-2 infections in children. Full article
(This article belongs to the Topic Burden of COVID-19 in Different Countries)
Show Figures

Figure 1

Article
The Impact of COVID-19 on the Preparation for the Tokyo Olympics: A Comprehensive Performance Assessment of Top Swimmers
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2021, 18(18), 9770; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph18189770 - 16 Sep 2021
Abstract
Background: The Olympic preparation of athletes has been highly influenced by COVID and post-COVID syndrome. As the complex screening of athletes is essential for safe and successful sports, we aimed to repeat the 2019-year sports cardiology screening of the Olympic Swim Team before [...] Read more.
Background: The Olympic preparation of athletes has been highly influenced by COVID and post-COVID syndrome. As the complex screening of athletes is essential for safe and successful sports, we aimed to repeat the 2019-year sports cardiology screening of the Olympic Swim Team before the Olympics and to compare the results of COVID and non-COVID athletes. Methods: Patient history, electrocardiogram, laboratory tests, body composition analysis, echocardiography, cardiopulmonary exercise test (CPET) were performed. We used time-ranking points to compare swimming performance. Results: From April 2019, we examined 46 elite swimmers (24 ± 4 years). Fourteen swimmers had COVID infection; all cases were mild. During CPET there was no difference in the performance of COVID (male: VO2 max 55 ± 4 vs. 56.5 ± 5 mL/kg/min, p = 0.53; female: VO2 max 54.6 ± 4 vs. 56 ± 5.5 mL/kg/min, p = 0.86) vs. non-COVID athletes (male VO2 max 56.7 ± 5 vs. 55.5 ± 4.5 mL/kg/min, p = 0.50; female 49.6 ± 3 vs. 50.7 ± 2.6 mL/kg/min, p = 0.47) between 2019 and 2021. When comparing the time results of the National Championships, 54.8% of the athletes showed an improvement (p = 0.75). Conclusions: COVID infection with short-term detraining did not affect the performance of well-trained swimmers. According to our results, the COVID pandemic did not impair the effectiveness of the preparation for the Tokyo Olympics. Full article
(This article belongs to the Topic Burden of COVID-19 in Different Countries)
Show Figures

Figure 1

Article
The Mediating Role of Resilience in the Relationship between Perceived Stress and Mental Health
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2021, 18(18), 9762; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph18189762 - 16 Sep 2021
Abstract
The COVID-19 pandemic has created great uncertainty around the world, and due to the pandemic, nurses have been exposed to an increase in highly stressful clinical situations. This study examines the relationships between perceived stress and emotional disorders among nurses who have provided [...] Read more.
The COVID-19 pandemic has created great uncertainty around the world, and due to the pandemic, nurses have been exposed to an increase in highly stressful clinical situations. This study examines the relationships between perceived stress and emotional disorders among nurses who have provided direct patient care during the COVID-19 pandemic and explores the mediating role of resilience in these relationships. In an online cross-sectional design, we asked Spanish nurses (N = 214) to complete self-reported scales, and we performed correlation and mediation analyses between perceived stress (Perceived Stress Scale, PSS-4), resilience (Wagnild Resilience Scale, RS-14), wellbeing (World Health Organization Wellbeing Index, five items, WHO-5), anxiety (PHQ-2) and depression (GAD-2). The nurses self-reported moderate levels of perceived stress, considerable psychological distress and high resilience. We found resilience to be significantly negatively correlated with the reported levels of perceived stress, anxiety and depression (p < 0.001). The mediating analysis revealed that resilience played a protective role in the direct relationships of stress with depression, anxiety, and psychological distress. To conclude, our findings supported the hypothesis that resilience mediated the relationship between stress and mental health. Full article
(This article belongs to the Topic Burden of COVID-19 in Different Countries)
Article
Impact Measurement of COVID-19 Lockdown on China’s Electricity-Carbon Nexus
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2021, 18(18), 9736; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph18189736 - 15 Sep 2021
Abstract
Lockdown measures to prevent the spread of coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) resulted in the plummeting of China’s overall electric-power demand and production. To date, power generation remains one of the largest carbon dioxide (CO2) emitting sectors of China on account of [...] Read more.
Lockdown measures to prevent the spread of coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) resulted in the plummeting of China’s overall electric-power demand and production. To date, power generation remains one of the largest carbon dioxide (CO2) emitting sectors of China on account of its high carbon intensity. Within this context, our study seeks to measure the impacts of COVID-19 lockdown on the electricity-power related carbon footprints on both generation and consumption sides. Built on statistical data of electricity generation and consumption released by the National Bureau of Statistics of China (NBSC), we calculate he nationwide electricity related CO2 emission changes in regional, economic-sectoral and technological dimensions during January–April 2020, when the strictest lock-down measures were taken in China and compare the results with the same months of the year prior. Our results show that both east and central China power grids witnessed drastic reduction (15.0% and 13.8%) in electricity-generation caused CO2 emissions; and the biggest falls of provincial-scale electricity-generation CO2 emission took place in Hubei (27.3%). Among China’s electricity production mix, coal remains the biggest CO2 emitter and contributed 95.7% of the overall nationwide reduction. The most significant decline of the nationwide consumptive-electricity carbon footprint was by 10.1% in February, with the secondary economic sector the biggest contributor. Full article
(This article belongs to the Topic Burden of COVID-19 in Different Countries)
Show Figures

Figure 1

Article
Changes in Substance Use and Mental Health Burden among Women during the Second Wave of COVID-19 in Germany
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2021, 18(18), 9728; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph18189728 - 15 Sep 2021
Abstract
Unlike men, who are disproportionately affected by severe disease progression and mortality from COVID-19, women may be more affected by the economic, social and psychological consequences of the pandemic. Psychological distress and mental health problems are general risk factors for increases in the [...] Read more.
Unlike men, who are disproportionately affected by severe disease progression and mortality from COVID-19, women may be more affected by the economic, social and psychological consequences of the pandemic. Psychological distress and mental health problems are general risk factors for increases in the use of alcohol and other substances as a dysfunctional coping mechanism. Methods: An analysis was carried out of the female subset (n = 2153) of a population-based, cross-sectional online survey (October–December 2020), covering the “second wave” of the COVID-19 pandemic in Germany. Results: Among women, 23% increased their alcohol use, 28.4% increased their nicotine use and 44% increased their illicit substance use during the COVID-19 pandemic. Twenty percent reported major depressive symptoms and 23.4% symptoms of generalized anxiety. Generalized anxiety proved to be a significant predictor of increases in alcohol and nicotine use in logistic regression. Discussion: The mental health burden remained high during the second wave of COVID-19 and alcohol, nicotine and other substance use increased. However, the association between mental health and substance use was weak. Psychological distress does not seem to be the main motivator of substance use. Full article
(This article belongs to the Topic Burden of COVID-19 in Different Countries)
Article
Practical Impact of the COVID-19 Pandemic on Indoor Air Quality and Thermal Comfort in Kindergartens. A Case Study of Slovenia
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2021, 18(18), 9712; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph18189712 - 15 Sep 2021
Abstract
The experimental monitoring of carbon dioxide concentration was carried out in kindergartens in Slovenia, together with indoor air temperature and relative humidity, before and during the COVID-19 pandemic. The aim of the research was to estimate the practical impact of the pandemic on [...] Read more.
The experimental monitoring of carbon dioxide concentration was carried out in kindergartens in Slovenia, together with indoor air temperature and relative humidity, before and during the COVID-19 pandemic. The aim of the research was to estimate the practical impact of the pandemic on indoor air quality and thermal comfort. The case study sample included buildings with different architectural typology, which are predominantly present in the building stock of Slovenia. The monitoring process lasted for 125 days before and during the COVID-19 pandemic. The results have shown a better indoor air quality in kindergartens during the pandemic, mostly due to ventilation protocols and almost imperceptibly changed indoor air temperature. The COVID-19 pandemic affected air quality in kindergarten classrooms in Slovenia by reducing the average carbon dioxide concentration when children were present in classrooms by 30%. Full article
(This article belongs to the Topic Burden of COVID-19 in Different Countries)
Show Figures

Figure 1

Article
Temporal Geospatial Analysis of COVID-19 Pre-Infection Determinants of Risk in South Carolina
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2021, 18(18), 9673; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph18189673 - 14 Sep 2021
Abstract
Disparities and their geospatial patterns exist in morbidity and mortality of COVID-19 patients. When it comes to the infection rate, there is a dearth of research with respect to the disparity structure, its geospatial characteristics, and the pre-infection determinants of risk (PIDRs). This [...] Read more.
Disparities and their geospatial patterns exist in morbidity and mortality of COVID-19 patients. When it comes to the infection rate, there is a dearth of research with respect to the disparity structure, its geospatial characteristics, and the pre-infection determinants of risk (PIDRs). This work aimed to assess the temporal–geospatial associations between PIDRs and COVID-19 infection at the county level in South Carolina. We used the spatial error model (SEM), spatial lag model (SLM), and conditional autoregressive model (CAR) as global models and the geographically weighted regression model (GWR) as a local model. The data were retrieved from multiple sources including USAFacts, U.S. Census Bureau, and the Population Estimates Program. The percentage of males and the unemployed population were positively associated with geodistributions of COVID-19 infection (p values < 0.05) in global models throughout the time. The percentage of the white population and the obesity rate showed divergent spatial correlations at different times of the pandemic. GWR models fit better than global models, suggesting nonstationary correlations between a region and its neighbors. Characterized by temporal–geospatial patterns, disparities in COVID-19 infection rate and their PIDRs are different from the mortality and morbidity of COVID-19 patients. Our findings suggest the importance of prioritizing different populations and developing tailored interventions at different times of the pandemic. Full article
(This article belongs to the Topic Burden of COVID-19 in Different Countries)
Show Figures

Figure 1

Article
Compassionate Use of GC5131 (Hyperimmunoglobulin) Therapy in Critically Ill Patients Diagnosed with COVID-19: A Case Series and Review of Literature
Viruses 2021, 13(9), 1826; https://doi.org/10.3390/v13091826 - 14 Sep 2021
Abstract
Presently, the use of convalescent plasma and hyperimmunoglobulin obtained from individuals who have recovered from coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) has proved to potentially provide passive antibody-based immunity, thereby leading to several clinical trials to develop an immune-based COVID-19 treatment. However, the therapeutic efficacy [...] Read more.
Presently, the use of convalescent plasma and hyperimmunoglobulin obtained from individuals who have recovered from coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) has proved to potentially provide passive antibody-based immunity, thereby leading to several clinical trials to develop an immune-based COVID-19 treatment. However, the therapeutic efficacy of hyperimmunoglobulin in critically ill patients with COVID-19 remains unknown. On 23 October 2020, we first administered GC5131 in a compassionate-use program to critically ill patients at the Kyungpook National University, Chilgok Hospital, Korea. Since then, five more critically ill patients were treated with GC5131 in this compassionate-use program in our hospital up until 17 December 2020. We retrospectively reviewed the clinical responses of six critically ill patients diagnosed with COVID-19 who received the hyperimmunoglobulin concentrate, GC5131, which was produced by the Green Cross Corporation. After the administration of GC5131, five patients died due to an exacerbation of COVID-19 pneumonia. GC5131 was ineffective when administered to critically ill patients with COVID-19. Nevertheless, we propose that to expect a therapeutic effect from GC5131, it should be administered as early as possible to avoid the excessive inflammatory response phase in patients with severe and advanced COVID-19 infection. This step was difficult to achieve in the real world due to the time required for decision making and the process of the compassionate-use program. Full article
(This article belongs to the Topic Burden of COVID-19 in Different Countries)
Show Figures

Figure 1

Article
Pandemic Growth and Benfordness: Empirical Evidence from 176 Countries Worldwide
COVID 2021, 1(1), 366-383; https://doi.org/10.3390/covid1010031 - 13 Sep 2021
Abstract
In the battle against the Coronavirus, over 190 territories and countries independently work on one end goal: to stop the pandemic growth. In this context, a tidal wave of data has emerged since the beginning of the COVID-19 crisis. Extant research shows that [...] Read more.
In the battle against the Coronavirus, over 190 territories and countries independently work on one end goal: to stop the pandemic growth. In this context, a tidal wave of data has emerged since the beginning of the COVID-19 crisis. Extant research shows that the pandemic data are partially reliable. Only a small group of nations publishes reliable records on COVID-19 incidents. We collected global data from 176 countries and explored the causal relationship between average growth ratios and progress in the reliability of pandemic data. Furthermore, we replicated and operationalized the results of prior studies regarding the conformity of COVID-19 data to Benford’s law. Our outcomes confirm that the average growth rates of new cases in the first nine months of the Coronavirus pandemic explain improvement or deterioration in Benfordness and thus reliability of COVID-19 data. We found significant evidence for the notion that nonconformity to BL rises by the growth of new cases in the initial phases of outbreaks. Full article
(This article belongs to the Topic Burden of COVID-19 in Different Countries)
Show Figures

Figure 1

Article
Public Protests and the Risk of Novel Coronavirus Disease Hospitalizations: A County-Level Analysis from California
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2021, 18(18), 9481; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph18189481 - 08 Sep 2021
Abstract
The objective of this study was to assess the relationship between public protests and county-level, novel coronavirus disease (COVID-19) hospitalization rates across California. Publicly available data were included in the analysis from 55 of 58 California state counties (29 March–14 October 2020). Mixed-effects [...] Read more.
The objective of this study was to assess the relationship between public protests and county-level, novel coronavirus disease (COVID-19) hospitalization rates across California. Publicly available data were included in the analysis from 55 of 58 California state counties (29 March–14 October 2020). Mixed-effects negative binomial regression models were used to examine the relationship between daily county-level COVID-19 hospitalizations and two main exposure variables: any vs. no protests and 1 or >1 protest vs. no protests on a given county-day. COVID-19 hospitalizations were used as a proxy for viral transmission since such rates are less sensitive to temporal changes in testing access/availability. Models included covariates for daily county mobility, county-level characteristics, and time trends. Models also included a county-population offset and a two-week lag for the association between exposure and outcome. No significant associations were observed between protest exposures and COVID-19 hospitalization rates among the 55 counties. We did not find evidence to suggest that public protests were associated with COVID-19 hospitalization within California counties. These findings support the notion that protesting during a pandemic may be safe, ostensibly, so long as evidence-based precautionary measures are taken. Full article
(This article belongs to the Topic Burden of COVID-19 in Different Countries)
Show Figures

Figure 1

Article
New Nurses’ Experience of Caring for COVID-19 Patients in South Korea
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2021, 18(18), 9471; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph18189471 - 08 Sep 2021
Abstract
The purpose of this study was to explore the experiences of new nurses who took care of COVID-19 patients. For this study, study subjects were conducted with a total of nine new nurses, and data were collected through individual in-depth interviews from September [...] Read more.
The purpose of this study was to explore the experiences of new nurses who took care of COVID-19 patients. For this study, study subjects were conducted with a total of nine new nurses, and data were collected through individual in-depth interviews from September to November 2020. The data were analyzed using the phenomenological analysis method suggested by Colaizzi. New nurses’ experience of caring for COVID-19 patients consisted of three categories. The three categories are “The fear as a new nurse about infectious diseases that they have not experienced”, “Physical and psychological burden in an isolated environment”’, and “Building professional values”. Findings from this study presented vivid experiences of new nurses who took care of COVID-19 patients. This study is meaningful in that it grasped the physical and psychological difficulties of nurses nursing COVID-19 patients, especially the difficulties as a new nurse, and the implications for developing and growing within them. It is expected that it will serve as basic data for the establishment of strategies for infectious education programs for new nurses. Full article
(This article belongs to the Topic Burden of COVID-19 in Different Countries)
Article
Experience of a Neuro-Emergency Expert in the Emergency Department during One Year of the COVID-19 Pandemic
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2021, 18(18), 9461; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph18189461 - 08 Sep 2021
Abstract
We aimed to evaluate the overall clinical characteristics of patients treated by a neuro-emergency expert dedicated to the emergency department (ED) as an attending neurologist during the COVID-19 pandemic. We included adult patients who visited the ED between 1 January and 31 December [...] Read more.
We aimed to evaluate the overall clinical characteristics of patients treated by a neuro-emergency expert dedicated to the emergency department (ED) as an attending neurologist during the COVID-19 pandemic. We included adult patients who visited the ED between 1 January and 31 December 2020 and were treated by a neuro-emergency expert. We retrospectively obtained and analyzed the data on patients’ clinical characteristics and outcome. The neuro-emergency expert treated 1155 patients (mean age, 62.9 years). The proportion of aged 18–40 years was the lowest, and the most common modes of arrival were public ambulance (50.6%) and walk-in (42.3%). CT and MRI examinations were performed in 94.4 and 33.1% of cases, respectively. The most frequent complaints were dizziness (31.8%), motor weakness (24.2%), and altered mental status (15.8%). The ED diagnoses were acute ischemic stroke (19.8%), benign paroxysmal positional vertigo (14.2%), vestibular neuritis (9.9%), and seizure (8.8%). The mean length of stay in the ED was 207 min. Of the patients, 55.0% were admitted to the hospital, and 41.8% were discharged for outpatient follow-up. Despite the longer stay and the complexity and difficulty of neurological diseases during the COVID-19 pandemic, the accurate diagnosis and treatment provided by a neuro-emergency expert can be presented as a good model in the ED. Full article
(This article belongs to the Topic Burden of COVID-19 in Different Countries)
Show Figures

Figure 1

Brief Report
The Impact of COVID-19 Era on Pulmonary Embolism Patients: Increased Incidence of Hospitalizations and Higher Mortality—What Can Be Done?
COVID 2021, 1(1), 357-365; https://doi.org/10.3390/covid1010030 - 07 Sep 2021
Abstract
The coronavirus disease outbreak in 2019 (COVID-19) reached devastating pandemic proportions, still representing a challenge for all healthcare workers. Furthermore, the social environment underwent significant changes and healthcare facilities were overwhelmed by COVID-19 patients. The purpose of our study was to compare the [...] Read more.
The coronavirus disease outbreak in 2019 (COVID-19) reached devastating pandemic proportions, still representing a challenge for all healthcare workers. Furthermore, the social environment underwent significant changes and healthcare facilities were overwhelmed by COVID-19 patients. The purpose of our study was to compare the prevalence, characteristics and outcomes of 234 patients presenting with pulmonary embolism diagnosed by computed tomography pulmonary angiography (CTPA) during the COVID-19 pandemic, to patients presenting with PE one year before, aiming to assess differences and similarities between these patients. Or main findings were: patients with PE had worse survival during the pandemic, there was an increased incidence of PE among hospitalizations in our cardiology unit during the COVID-19 pandemic, and patients hospitalized with PE during the pandemic were more likely to be obese, allowing us to infer that weight control can have a positive impact on preventing PE. Future research should establish optimal therapeutic, epidemiological and economical strategies for non-COVID patients, as the pandemic continues to put significant burden on the healthcare systems worldwide. Full article
(This article belongs to the Topic Burden of COVID-19 in Different Countries)
Show Figures

Figure 1

Article
Effective Preventive Strategies to Prevent Secondary Transmission of COVID-19 in Hemodialysis Unit: The First Month of Community Outbreak in Taiwan
Healthcare 2021, 9(9), 1173; https://doi.org/10.3390/healthcare9091173 - 07 Sep 2021
Abstract
Background: Dialyzed patients are vulnerable to coronavirus infection disease 2019 (COVID-19). The incidence and outcome of COVID-19 in hemodialysis (HD) patients in Taiwan remain unclear. A series of preventive measures were executed to combat COVID-19 transmission among HD patients. Methods: We carried out [...] Read more.
Background: Dialyzed patients are vulnerable to coronavirus infection disease 2019 (COVID-19). The incidence and outcome of COVID-19 in hemodialysis (HD) patients in Taiwan remain unclear. A series of preventive measures were executed to combat COVID-19 transmission among HD patients. Methods: We carried out a series of forward-looking and practical preventive strategies of COVID-19 control in our HD center. Incidences of COVID-19 of our HD unit were compared with those of national and local estimates from a community outbreak from 15 May to 30 June 2021. Prognostic factors associated with mortality were analyzed. Results: The national incidence of COVID-19 was 0.062%; being highest in Taipei City (0.173%), followed by New Taipei City (0.161%) and Keelung (0.083%). The overall incidence in Keelung HD patients was 0.666%. One patient of our HD center contracted COVID-19 from the household; however, we have contained secondary transmission in our HD center by implementing strict preventive measures. The mortality rate of HD patients in Keelung was 66.6%. The median Ct value of HD patients was 17.53 (11.75–27.90) upon diagnosis. The deceased patients had a higher cardiac/thoracic ratio than alive (0.61 vs. 0.55, p = 0.036). Conclusions: Taking aggressive and proactive infection preventive measures impedes the secondary transmission of COVID-19 in HD facilities. COVID-19-associated mortality was high in HD patients, being the high cardiac-thoracic ratio, an important prognostic factor for clinical outcome of infected HD patients. Full article
(This article belongs to the Topic Burden of COVID-19 in Different Countries)
Show Figures

Figure 1

Article
Influencing Factors of Environmental Risk Perception during the COVID-19 Epidemic in China
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2021, 18(17), 9375; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph18179375 - 05 Sep 2021
Abstract
The spread of COVID-19 is having a serious impact on socioeconomic development, and increased environmental risk perception (ERP). ERP provide new ideas for the orderly recovery of society. However, there have been studies that often pay attention to individual factors, and less concerned [...] Read more.
The spread of COVID-19 is having a serious impact on socioeconomic development, and increased environmental risk perception (ERP). ERP provide new ideas for the orderly recovery of society. However, there have been studies that often pay attention to individual factors, and less concerned about the external environment. In fact, ERP will be affected by the external environment and individual factors. We used a Python script to collect 65,277 valid Weibo comments during the COVID-19 epidemic in China to assess urban residents’ environmental risk perception (ERP). SnowNLP emotion analysis was used to measure the ERP of 366 urban in China, and the structural proportion characteristics and spatial-temporal differentiation of ERP were analyzed. Then, an order logistic regression model was used to investigate the relationship between economic level, social security, medical facilities and ERP. The study investigated the Chinese cities have a higher ERP during the COVID-19 period, and it shows marked fluctuations. As COVID-19 spreads, the ERP shows a distribution pattern of “high in the southeast and low in the northwest” with Hu line as the boundary and “from high to low” with Wuhan as the high value center. COVID-19 serves as catalysts for ERP, the impact of COVID-19 is enhanced after socioeconomic factors are considered. The economic level effectively regulates ERP, except the stage of accelerating diffusion. ERP is effectively stabilized by social security and medical facilities. After considering all the variables simultaneously, we found that the mitigation effect of social security and medical facilities on ERP has improved. Full article
(This article belongs to the Topic Burden of COVID-19 in Different Countries)
Show Figures

Figure 1

Communication
A Simple and Fast Method to Sequence the Full-Length Spike Gene for SARS-CoV-2 Variant Identification from Patient Samples
COVID 2021, 1(1), 337-344; https://doi.org/10.3390/covid1010028 - 03 Sep 2021
Abstract
Since the beginning of the pandemic, a race has been underway to detect SARS-CoV-2 virus infection (PCR screening, serological diagnostic kits), treat patients (drug repurposing, standard care) and develop a vaccine. After almost a year of active circulation worldwide, SARS-CoV-2 variants have appeared [...] Read more.
Since the beginning of the pandemic, a race has been underway to detect SARS-CoV-2 virus infection (PCR screening, serological diagnostic kits), treat patients (drug repurposing, standard care) and develop a vaccine. After almost a year of active circulation worldwide, SARS-CoV-2 variants have appeared in different countries. Those variants include mutations in multiple regions of the genome, particularly in the spike gene. Because this surface protein is a key player in both the spread of the virus and the efficacy of vaccine strategies, the challenge is to efficiently monitor the appearance of spike mutations in the population. The present work describes a procedure based on the widely available Sanger technology to produce a full-length sequence of the spike gene from patient-derived samples. Full article
(This article belongs to the Topic Burden of COVID-19 in Different Countries)
Show Figures

Figure 1

Review
Evaluation of the Effectiveness of Employers and H&S Services in Relation to the COVID-19 System in Polish Manufacturing Companies
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2021, 18(17), 9302; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph18179302 - 03 Sep 2021
Abstract
With the advent of the COVID-19 pandemic, companies had to adapt quickly to survive in the market. During this time, employers played a key role, along with employees involved in Occupational Health and Safety (OHS) activities, as they were responsible for implementing the [...] Read more.
With the advent of the COVID-19 pandemic, companies had to adapt quickly to survive in the market. During this time, employers played a key role, along with employees involved in Occupational Health and Safety (OHS) activities, as they were responsible for implementing the recommendations of the European Commission. There is no unambiguous definition of OHS in Polish legislation. It is assumed that it is a set of rules defining the manner of performing work, and above all, a method of providing employees with working conditions so that their performance is safe and hygienic. Responsibility for the health and safety in the workplace is imposed on the employer by the legislature. Thus, effective health and safety training is an essential element of the success of any properly operating company. In the literature, no studies have been identified that evaluate the effectiveness of actions during the COVID-19 outbreak. The aim of the article is to present the actions of Polish employers along with their effectiveness assessment related to the protection of employees during the COVID-19 outbreak. The article presents a proposal for conducting remote OHS (Occupational Health and Safety) training using the platform Moodle. The created course was implemented during OHS training conducted in a selected manufacturing company. At its end, an evaluation of the course was carried out, and the collected opinions of training participants allowed the formulation of interesting conclusions, which became the contribution of this paper. The authors pay special attention to three main points of the work. The first is the form of training, which gives the possibility to conduct training at a distance while maintaining its effectiveness. The second important point is the mandatory feedback of the trainees, ensuring the possibility of continuous improvement and quality enhancement of both the program and the form of training. The evaluation was developed on the basis of the extended Kirkpatrick model, which is a completely new approach to OHS training evaluation. The third point emphasized by the authors is the possibility of precise adaptation of the training to other plants and even industries. Therefore, it can be concluded that the course developed by the authors is a very interesting and practical didactic tool with great implementation potential. Full article
(This article belongs to the Topic Burden of COVID-19 in Different Countries)
Show Figures

Figure 1

Article
Sort and Sieve: Pre-Triage Screening of Patients with Suspected COVID-19 in the Emergency Department
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2021, 18(17), 9271; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph18179271 - 02 Sep 2021
Abstract
Introduction. To reduce the risk of nosocomial transmission, suspected COVID-19 patients entering the Emergency Department (ED) were assigned to a high-risk (ED) or low-risk (acute medical unit, AMU) area based on symptoms, travel and contact history. The objective of this study was to [...] Read more.
Introduction. To reduce the risk of nosocomial transmission, suspected COVID-19 patients entering the Emergency Department (ED) were assigned to a high-risk (ED) or low-risk (acute medical unit, AMU) area based on symptoms, travel and contact history. The objective of this study was to evaluate the performance of our pre-triage screening method and to analyse the characteristics of initially undetected COVID-19 patients. Methods. This was a retrospective, observational, single centre study. Patients ≥ 18 years visiting the AMU-ED between 17 March and 17 April 2020 were included. Primary outcome was the (correct) number of COVID-19 patients assigned to the AMU or ED. Results. In total, 1287 patients visited the AMU-ED: 525 (40.8%) AMU, 762 (59.2%) ED. Within the ED group, 304 (64.3%) of 473 tested patients were COVID-19 positive, compared to 13 (46.4%) of 28 tested patients in the AMU group. Our pre-triage screening accuracy was 63.7%. Of the 13 COVID-19 patients who were initially assigned to the AMU, all patients were ≥65 years of age and the majority presented with gastro-intestinal or non-specific symptoms. Conclusion. Older COVID-19 patients presenting with non-specific symptoms were more likely to remain undetected. ED screening protocols should therefore also include non-specific symptoms, particularly in older patients. Full article
(This article belongs to the Topic Burden of COVID-19 in Different Countries)
Show Figures

Figure 1

Article
Challenges in Preventive Practices and Risk Communication towards COVID-19: A Cross-Sectional Study in Bangladesh
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2021, 18(17), 9259; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph18179259 - 02 Sep 2021
Abstract
Bangladesh recently experienced a COVID-19 second wave, resulting in the highest number of new cases and deaths in a single day. This study aims to identify the challenges for COVID-19 preventive practices and risk communications and associated factors among Bangladeshi adults. A cross-sectional [...] Read more.
Bangladesh recently experienced a COVID-19 second wave, resulting in the highest number of new cases and deaths in a single day. This study aims to identify the challenges for COVID-19 preventive practices and risk communications and associated factors among Bangladeshi adults. A cross-sectional survey was conducted between December 2020 and January 2021 involving 1382 Bangladeshi adults (aged ≥ 18-years) in randomly selected urban and rural areas from all eight divisions in Bangladesh. Descriptive data analysis was conducted to highlight the challenges for preventive practices and risk communications for COVID-19. Multiple logistic regression analysis was used to determine the sociodemographic groups vulnerable to these challenges. Lack of availability of protective equipment (44.4%), crowded living situations/workspaces (36.8%), inadequate information on the proper use of protective measures (21.9%), inadequate handwashing and sanitation facilities (17.6%), and negative influences on family/friends (17.4%) were identified as barriers to COVID-19 preventive practices. It was also found that males (OR = 1.3, 95% CI = 1.01, 1.7), rural residents (OR = 1.5, 95% CI = 1.2, 2), respondents with a low level of education: no schooling vs. ≥higher secondary (OR = 3.5, 95% CI = 2.3, 5.2), primary vs. ≥higher secondary (OR = 2.5, 95% CI = 1.7, 3.8), respondents engaged in agricultural (OR = 1.7, 95% CI = 1.2, 2.4), laboring (OR = 3.2, 95% CI = 2, 5), and domestic works (OR = 1.6, 95% CI = 1.07, 2.5), and people with disabilities (OR = 1.7, 95% CI = 1.1, 2.6) were all likely to have difficulty in practicing effective COVID-19 protective behaviors. Respondents’ education and occupation were significant predictors of inadequate understanding of COVID-19 risk communications and was identified as a problem among 17.4% of the respondents. A substantial percentage of Bangladeshi adults have difficulty practising COVID-19 protective behaviours and have poor comprehension of risk communications, particularly in rural areas and among those with low education. This research can aid policymakers in developing tailored COVID-19 risk communications and mitigation strategies to help prevent future waves of the pandemic. Full article
(This article belongs to the Topic Burden of COVID-19 in Different Countries)
Show Figures

Figure 1

Article
Potential Protection of Pre-Existent Antibodies to Human Coronavirus 229E on COVID-19 Severity
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2021, 18(17), 9058; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph18179058 - 27 Aug 2021
Abstract
The causes of the broad spectrum of severity in COVID-19 are unknown. A protective effect through humoral immunity from previous infections by viruses of the SARS-CoV-2 family could explain a mild form of this disease. This study aimed to address whether the presence [...] Read more.
The causes of the broad spectrum of severity in COVID-19 are unknown. A protective effect through humoral immunity from previous infections by viruses of the SARS-CoV-2 family could explain a mild form of this disease. This study aimed to address whether the presence of antibodies against human seasonal coronaviruses (HCoVs) could prevent severe manifestations of COVID-19. A cross-sectional study was carried out in 165 participants. The presence of pre-existent antibodies against the seasonal HCoV-OC43, HCoV-HKU1, HCoV-229E, and HCoV-NL63 were detected. From all of the seasonal HCoVs studied, it was only found that being seropositive to HCoV-229E presented an association (p = 0.012) with developing mild clinical symptoms of COVID-19 or being asymptomatic. Multinomial regression analysis showed that being seropositive to HCoV-229E is associated with mild or moderate clinical symptoms for COVID-19. Statistical analysis also showed that being female is associated with being asymptomatic for SARS-CoV-2 infection or developing mild COVID-19. A subgroup analysis taking only seropositive to HCoV-229E revealed that females are more likely to develop asymptomatic SARS-CoV-2 infection (OR = 27.242, 95% CI 2.092–354.706, p = 0.012). Our results suggest that previous infections by HCoV-229E could prevent more serious clinical manifestations of COVID-19, but these are not the only variables that influence this event. Full article
(This article belongs to the Topic Burden of COVID-19 in Different Countries)
Show Figures

Figure 1

Article
COVID-19 Screening by Anti-SARS-CoV-2 Antibody Seropositivity: Clinical and Epidemiological Characteristics, Comorbidities, and Food Intake Quality
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2021, 18(17), 8995; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph18178995 - 26 Aug 2021
Abstract
Developing countries have reported lower molecular diagnostic testing levels due to a lack of resources. Therefore, antibody tests represent an alternative to detect exposure to SARS-CoV-2 and analyze possible risk factors. We aimed to describe and compare the clinical-epidemiological characteristics and the quality [...] Read more.
Developing countries have reported lower molecular diagnostic testing levels due to a lack of resources. Therefore, antibody tests represent an alternative to detect exposure to SARS-CoV-2 and analyze possible risk factors. We aimed to describe and compare the clinical-epidemiological characteristics and the quality of food intake in Mexican individuals with a positive or negative test to antibodies against SARS-CoV-2. We carried out antibody tests and applied a survey to 1799 individuals; 42% were positive, and diabetes was more prevalent in these cases (p < 0.01). No differences were identified in the blood type nor influenza vaccination between groups. Coughing, respiratory distress, muscle pain, joint pain, and anosmia were the most prevalent symptoms among seropositive cases (p < 0.0001). Food intake quality was similar in both groups, except for the most consumed type of fat (p = 0.006). In conclusion, this study supports the association of diabetes as a principal risk factor for SARS-CoV-2 infection in the Mexican population. The results do not support previous associations between blood group or influenza vaccination as protective factors against SARS-CoV-2 infection. However, frequent consumption of polyunsaturated fats is highlighted as a new possible associated factor with COVID-19, which more studies should corroborate as with all novel findings. Full article
(This article belongs to the Topic Burden of COVID-19 in Different Countries)
Show Figures

Figure 1

Article
Knowledge, Attitudes, and Practices Related to Dietary Supplementation, before and during the COVID-19 Pandemic: Findings from a Cross-Sectional Survey in the Lebanese Population
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2021, 18(16), 8856; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph18168856 - 23 Aug 2021
Abstract
At the start of 2020, a new coronavirus (COVID-19) invaded the world leading to the death of 3.92 million people. Sadly, to date, no remedy has been discovered for this virus. Preventive vaccines have been under investigation, but were unavailable until December 2020. [...] Read more.
At the start of 2020, a new coronavirus (COVID-19) invaded the world leading to the death of 3.92 million people. Sadly, to date, no remedy has been discovered for this virus. Preventive vaccines have been under investigation, but were unavailable until December 2020. Clinical deficiencies of nutrients may increase susceptibility to infections. This knowledge may have provided an incentive for some dietary supplement (DS) manufacturers to advertise their products as COVID-19 preventatives or cures without any substantiation, targeting mainly social media fans. The objective of this research was to assess the usage, knowledge and attitudes towards dietary supplementation before and during the COVID-19 pandemic among Lebanese people. A cross-sectional study was conducted based on a convenience sample (N = 2966) and information from participants aged 18 years and above was collected about periods before and during the pandemic. Our findings showed that attitudes towards DSs changed when the pandemic emerged and people believed that DSs can improve their health and strengthen their immunity. Despite the rise in DS prescription by healthcare professionals, the prevalence of DS use decreased from 73.3% before the pandemic to 69.9% during the pandemic (p < 0.001). Study results declared that the weekly or the daily estimated intake had increased during the pandemic as compared to before the pandemic, from 14% to 15.6% for antioxidants (p = 0.014), from 35.3% to 42.1% for vitamin C (p < 0.001), from 35.5% to 41% for vitamin D (p < 0.001), from 15.2% to 17.5% for vitamin E (p = 0.002), and from 18.8% to 29.3% for zinc (p < 0.001) and other vitamins and minerals (from 9% to 10.9%, p < 0.001). Binary logistic regression indicated that the use of DSs during the pandemic was 4 times higher among those infected with COVID-19, 30 times higher among those who used to take DSs before pandemic, and 1.5 times higher among those who worked in the medical sector. To conclude, there is a crucial need to increase awareness among Lebanese people regarding the use of DSs. Full article
(This article belongs to the Topic Burden of COVID-19 in Different Countries)
Show Figures

Figure 1

Systematic Review
Repurposing Colchicine in Treating Patients with COVID-19: A Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis
Life 2021, 11(8), 864; https://doi.org/10.3390/life11080864 - 23 Aug 2021
Abstract
Coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) had caused huge health losses worldwide. Several drugs had been applied to treat patients with COVID-19, and repurposing colchicine had been proposed for its anti-inflammatory properties via several pathways. In this systematic review, we evaluated the effects of colchicine [...] Read more.
Coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) had caused huge health losses worldwide. Several drugs had been applied to treat patients with COVID-19, and repurposing colchicine had been proposed for its anti-inflammatory properties via several pathways. In this systematic review, we evaluated the effects of colchicine treatment. From inception to May 31, 2021, databases, including PubMed, EMbase, medRxiv, and Research Square were searched, and 11 studies were enrolled. A total of 17,205 COVID-19 patients with male predominance (62.9%) were analyzed. Patients with colchicine treatment had a significantly lower risk of mortality (odds ratio (OR): 0.57, 95% confidence interval (CI): 0.38–0.87, I2: 72%; p < 0.01) and a non-significantly lower rate of mechanical ventilation (OR: 0.67, 95%CI: 0.39–1.15). The side effects were mild and not significantly different (OR: 2.03, 95%CI: 0.51–8.09). Subgroup analysis with randomized controlled trials showed no statistically significant difference in the mortality (OR: 0.80, 95%CI: 0.44–1.46, I2: 33%; p = 0.22). In conclusion, our meta-analysis found that colchicine treatment was associated with a significantly lower risk of mortality in patients with COVID-19. However, this benefit was not observed in the subgroup analysis of randomized controlled trials. Further randomized controlled studies are required to confirm the potential benefits of colchicine treatment. Full article
(This article belongs to the Topic Burden of COVID-19 in Different Countries)
Show Figures

Figure 1

Article
Burnout of Physicians, Pharmacists and Nurses in the Course of the COVID-19 Pandemic: A Serbian Cross-Sectional Questionnaire Study
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2021, 18(16), 8728; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph18168728 - 18 Aug 2021
Abstract
This research was a prospective, cross-sectional observational study of 128 health workers in the central part of the Republic of Serbia. The study surveyed health workers (physicians, pharmacists and nurses) who worked during peaks of the COVID-19 pandemic in the Republic of Serbia [...] Read more.
This research was a prospective, cross-sectional observational study of 128 health workers in the central part of the Republic of Serbia. The study surveyed health workers (physicians, pharmacists and nurses) who worked during peaks of the COVID-19 pandemic in the Republic of Serbia in June and November 2020. The Maslach Burnout Survey for Medical Personnel addresses three scales: (a) emotional exhaustion (EE) measures feelings of being emotionally overextended and exhausted by one’s work; (b) depersonalization (DP) measures an unfeeling and impersonal response toward recipients of one’s service, care treatment, or instruction; and (c) personal accomplishment (PA) measures feelings of competence and successful achievement in one’s work. Linear regression and the chi-square test were used to test a relationship between the input variables (x) and the single output variable (y). We can conclude that most health workers had a high degree of emotional exhaustion, but also a low degree of depersonalization and a high degree of sense of personal achievement. Nurses and physicians had similar answers on the pandemic during their work, but pharmacists had different answers. Full article
(This article belongs to the Topic Burden of COVID-19 in Different Countries)
Article
Estimates of COVID-19 Risk Factors among Social Strata and Predictors for a Vulnerability to the Infection
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2021, 18(16), 8701; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph18168701 - 18 Aug 2021
Abstract
Coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) has emerged as a potentially severe disease, especially for individuals presenting with certain underlying medical conditions. We analyzed the rates of comorbidities and symptoms to reveal the potential severity of the pandemic in Volos, one of the most air-polluted [...] Read more.
Coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) has emerged as a potentially severe disease, especially for individuals presenting with certain underlying medical conditions. We analyzed the rates of comorbidities and symptoms to reveal the potential severity of the pandemic in Volos, one of the most air-polluted cities in Greece. Environmental and health-related predictors for SARS-CoV-2 infection were investigated. A web-based questionnaire was disseminated through social media in the first half of March 2021 during a five-month strict lockdown. Sociodemographic data, preexisting medical conditions, frequency of clinical symptoms, and COVID-19 information were recorded. The study population consisted of 2000 responders. Four-fifths of the participants reported comorbidities that could increase vulnerability to severe COVID-19. Respiratory symptoms were reported from the unemployed and from retirees, and cold-related symptoms were reported in the education sector and in undergraduates. Women and younger generations shaped social vulnerability to respiratory infections similar to the elderly. SARS-CoV-2 infection was reported in 3.7% of the study population. Common headache (OR 2; CI 1189–3013; p = 0.007) and prior pneumonia (OR 1.9; CI 1024–2898; p = 0.04) were significant predictors for susceptibility to SARS-CoV-2 infection. The importance of monitoring society through community-based questionnaires is highlighted, for predicting and preventing future widespread transmission of infectious diseases. Full article
(This article belongs to the Topic Burden of COVID-19 in Different Countries)
Article
The Alpha Variant (B.1.1.7) of SARS-CoV-2 in Children: First Experience from 3544 Nucleic Acid Amplification Tests in a Cohort of Children in Germany
Viruses 2021, 13(8), 1600; https://doi.org/10.3390/v13081600 - 12 Aug 2021
Abstract
In May 2021, the Alpha variant (B.1.1.7) of SARS-CoV-2 was found in 91% of the SARS-CoV-2 cases in Germany. Not much is known about the symptoms, courses of disease, and infectiousness in pediatric patients with the Alpha variant. Objective: The aim of this [...] Read more.
In May 2021, the Alpha variant (B.1.1.7) of SARS-CoV-2 was found in 91% of the SARS-CoV-2 cases in Germany. Not much is known about the symptoms, courses of disease, and infectiousness in pediatric patients with the Alpha variant. Objective: The aim of this retrospective analysis was to gain information on the infection with the Alpha variant in children and adolescents. Methods: Between 12 January 2021 and 3 June 2021, all nucleic acid amplification tests (NAATs) of children who received a swab for SARS-CoV-2 were included. Data were collected on standardized questionnaires. The analysis of data was anonymized and retrospective. Results: We investigated 3544 NAATs; 95 children were tested positive (2.7%) for SARS-CoV-2. For the sub-analysis, 65 children were analyzed. In 59 children, the Alpha variant was found (90.8%), and 54.2% (n = 32/59) were symptomatic. The most common symptoms were fever, cough, and rhinitis. The median Ct value was 24.0 (min 17.0; max 32.7). Conclusions: We can underline early findings that children are still less effected by SARS-CoV-2 infection with the spread of the Alpha variant. We found no evidence that children infected with the Alpha variant showed more severe symptoms or suffered from a more severe clinical course than those infected with the wild type. Full article
(This article belongs to the Topic Burden of COVID-19 in Different Countries)
Show Figures

Figure 1

Communication
The Positive Rhinovirus/Enterovirus Detection and SARS-CoV-2 Persistence beyond the Acute Infection Phase: An Intra-Household Surveillance Study
Viruses 2021, 13(8), 1598; https://doi.org/10.3390/v13081598 - 12 Aug 2021
Abstract
We aimed to assess the duration of nasopharyngeal severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) RNA persistence in adults self-confined at home after acute infection; and to identify the associations of SARS-CoV-2 persistence with respiratory virus co-detection and infection transmission. A cross-sectional intra-household [...] Read more.
We aimed to assess the duration of nasopharyngeal severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) RNA persistence in adults self-confined at home after acute infection; and to identify the associations of SARS-CoV-2 persistence with respiratory virus co-detection and infection transmission. A cross-sectional intra-household study was conducted in metropolitan Barcelona (Spain) during the time period of April to June 2020. Every adult who was the first family member reported as SARS-CoV-2-positive by reverse transcription polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR) as well as their household child contacts had nasopharyngeal swabs tested by a targeted SARS-CoV-2 RT-PCR and a multiplex viral respiratory panel after a 15 day minimum time lag. Four-hundred and four households (404 adults and 708 children) were enrolled. SARS-CoV-2 RNA was detected in 137 (33.9%) adults and 84 (11.9%) children. Rhinovirus/Enterovirus (RV/EV) was commonly found (83.3%) in co-infection with SARS-CoV-2 in adults. The mean duration of SARS-CoV-2 RNA presence in adults’ nasopharynx was 52 days (range 26–83 days). The persistence of SARS-CoV-2 was significantly associated with RV/EV co-infection (adjusted odds ratio (aOR) 9.31; 95% CI 2.57–33.80) and SARS-CoV-2 detection in child contacts (aOR 2.08; 95% CI 1.24–3.51). Prolonged nasopharyngeal SARS-CoV-2 RNA persistence beyond the acute infection phase was frequent in adults quarantined at home during the first epidemic wave; which was associated with RV/EV co-infection and could enhance intra-household infection transmission. Full article
(This article belongs to the Topic Burden of COVID-19 in Different Countries)
Show Figures

Figure 1

Review
Efficacy of Different Types of Therapy for COVID-19: A Comprehensive Review
Life 2021, 11(8), 753; https://doi.org/10.3390/life11080753 - 27 Jul 2021
Cited by 1
Abstract
A new coronavirus disease (COVID-19) has already affected millions of people in 213 countries. The possibilities of treatment have been reviewed in recent publications but there are many controversial results and conclusions. An analysis of the studies did not reveal a difference in [...] Read more.
A new coronavirus disease (COVID-19) has already affected millions of people in 213 countries. The possibilities of treatment have been reviewed in recent publications but there are many controversial results and conclusions. An analysis of the studies did not reveal a difference in mortality level between people treated with standard therapy, such as antiviral drugs and dexamethasone, and new antiviral drugs/additional immune therapy. However, most studies describe clinical improvement and a decrease in mortality among patients with severe and critical conditions, with the early initiation of additional immune therapy. Possible new targets based on viral life cycles were considered. Unfortunately, the data analysis on the efficacy of different medicine and therapy regimens among patients with COVID-19, showed little success in decreasing the mortality rate in all treatment methods. Some efficacy has been shown with an immunosuppressive therapy in small patient samples, but when a larger number of patients were analyzed the data did not differ significantly from the control groups. Full article
(This article belongs to the Topic Burden of COVID-19 in Different Countries)
Show Figures

Figure 1

Editorial
SARS-CoV-2, CT-Values, and Infectivity—Conclusions to Be Drawn from Side Observations
Viruses 2021, 13(8), 1459; https://doi.org/10.3390/v13081459 - 27 Jul 2021
Abstract
In their recent article published in Viruses, Michel Drancourt and colleagues [...] Full article
(This article belongs to the Topic Burden of COVID-19 in Different Countries)
Show Figures

Figure 1

Article
Seroprevalence of SARS-CoV-2 Binding and Neutralizing Antibodies in Healthcare Workers during the Epidemic Peak in Referral Hospitals and Quarantine Sites: Saudi Arabia
Viruses 2021, 13(7), 1413; https://doi.org/10.3390/v13071413 - 20 Jul 2021
Abstract
Healthcare workers (HCWs) are at high risk for SARS-CoV-2 infection compared to the general population. Here, we aimed to evaluate and characterize the SARS-CoV-2 seropositivity rate in randomly collected samples among HCWs from the largest referral hospitals and quarantine sites during the peak [...] Read more.
Healthcare workers (HCWs) are at high risk for SARS-CoV-2 infection compared to the general population. Here, we aimed to evaluate and characterize the SARS-CoV-2 seropositivity rate in randomly collected samples among HCWs from the largest referral hospitals and quarantine sites during the peak of the COVID-19 epidemic in the city of Jeddah, the second largest city in Saudi Arabia, using a cross-sectional analytic study design. Out of 693 participants recruited from 29 June to 10 August 2020, 223 (32.2%, 95% CI: 28.8–35.8) were found to be confirmed seropositive for SARS-CoV-2 antibodies, and among those 197 (88.3%) had never been diagnosed with COVID-19. Seropositivity was not significantly associated with participants reporting COVID-19 compatible symptoms as most seropositive HCW participants 140 (62.8%) were asymptomatic. The large proportion of asymptomatic SARS-CoV-2 cases detected in our study demands periodic testing as a general hospital policy. Full article
(This article belongs to the Topic Burden of COVID-19 in Different Countries)
Show Figures

Figure 1

Back to TopTop