Coronavirus (COVID-19) Collection
Worldwide vaccine inequality threatens to unleash the next COVID-19 variantOn a warm South African day in mid-November 2021, Dr. Angelique Coetzee examined a 29-year-old man complaining of extreme fatigue and severe headaches. The symptoms seemed more consistent with heat stroke than the sore throat and fever she had noticed in her patients with COVID-19. At the end of the day, after seeing several similar cases test positive for COVID-19, Dr. Coetzee, chair of the South African Medical Association, became convinced that something was amiss. Within a week, investigators determined that her patients were infected with a new variant possessing multiple mutations (McKeever, 2021), B.1.1.529 BA.1 or “Omicron”.
Analysis of the COVID-19 testing parameters and progression of the pandemic at the district level: findings from the ICMR Hundred Million Test (HMT) database during the first wave in IndiaLaboratory parameters, along with other demographic information, can help us better understand the spread of the pandemic in a country. This information can be crucial to formulating and implementing public health policies in future waves of the pandemic.
Personal Protective Measures during the COVID-19 Pandemic in GermanyThe first case of COVID-19 in Germany was reported on January 27, 2020 (Bavarian State Ministry of Health and Care, 2020). The virus SARS-CoV-2 spreads fast, and within the first two months, more than 42,000 cases had been notified (Robert Koch Institute, 2021). Containment of the virus was not only complicated by the fact that it was found to be contagious even before the onset of symptoms but also because some individuals can live through an infection without showing any symptoms and still infect others (Almadhi et al., 2021; Buitrago-Garcia et al., 2020).
Investigation of possible preventable causes of COVID-19 deaths in the Kampala Metropolitan Area, Uganda, 2020–2021The coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic began in Wuhan City, China in December 2019 (World Health Organization, 2020a) and quickly spread globally (World Health Organization, 2020c). In Africa, the first case was registered on February 14, 2020, in Egypt, and as of April 20, 2021, the continent had registered 3.2 million cases and more than 100,000 deaths (World Health Organization, 2020c). Uganda registered its first COVID-19 case on March 21, 2020. Although small numbers of cases occurred from March 2020 to August 2020, the first major wave of COVID-19 in Uganda occurred from August 2020 to December 2020, resulting in approximately 32,000 confirmed cases and 200 deaths.
COVID-19 and Lassa fever in Nigeria: A deadly alliance?COVID-19 has become one of the most dangerous pandemics to cause severe problems for humanity in the past decades. SARS-CoV-2, a virus that causes COVID-19, emanated from China in December 2019, when public health officials alerted the World Health Organization (WHO) about pneumonia of an unknown etiology (WHO, 2021; Li et al., 2020). Subsequently, the disease rapidly spread worldwide. Nigeria faces a potential public health crisis owing to the synergistic epidemic of COVID-19 and other infectious diseases (Sherrard-Smith et al., 2020; Bouba et al., 2021).
COVID-19 Pandemic Causes Increased Clinic Visits with Diagnosis of Tegumentary Leishmaniasis in Brazil in 2020SARS-CoV-2 (severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2), a highly pathogenic β-coronavirus (family Coronaviridae) is the etiologic agent of COVID-19 (Coronavirus Disease 2019), the disease that gave rise to a difficult to control pandemic, especially in Brazil (Candido et al., 2020). Due to the lack of vaccines and drugs to contain the disease and given the high transmissibility of the virus through aerosols and droplets, it became consensual in several countries around the world to take respiratory etiquette measures to reduce interactions between people and reduce the risks of transmission and slow the progression of the pandemic (Szylovec et al., 2020).
The drop in reported invasive pneumococcal disease among adults during the first COVID-19 wave in the Netherlands explained.The bacterium Streptococcus pneumoniae (the pneumococcus) is the leading cause of community-acquired pneumonia and meningitis worldwide (G.B.D. Lower Respiratory Infections Collaborators, 2018; van de Beek et al., 2016). Children under five and adults above 65 are most at risk for pneumococcal infections (van der Poll and Opal, 2009). Mortality among hospitalized patients is 10% to 15%. Lower respiratory tract infections are the primary cause of sepsis (Klein Klouwenberg et al., 2015, Leligdowicz et al., 2014, Vincent et al., 2006) and account for the largest proportion of hospitalizations due to infectious diseases (Zorginstituut Nederland en Zinnige, 2019), even before the COVID-19 pandemic.
Impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on tuberculosis management in SpainOn 31 December 2020, China first reported a group of cases with atypical pneumonia caused by the SARS-CoV-2 (Lu et al., 2020). As of 8 December 2020, more than 68.5 million people were infected with the virus, and >1.5 million have died as a result of it (World Health Organization, 2020). In Spain, to date, >1.5 million people have been diagnosed with COVID-19 infection, and 47 624 people have died from the disease (Spanish Government, 2020). To reduce the risk of transmission, governments have launched urgent measures that include widespread use of facemasks, closure of public spaces and personal mobility restrictions.
Are we ready to deal with a global COVID-19 pandemic? Rethinking countries’ capacity based on the Global Health Security IndexCoronaviruses are a large family of viruses that usually cause mild-to-moderate upper respiratory tract diseases. However, several new coronaviruses have emerged over the past two decades and caused large-scale disease outbreaks (Cui et al., 2019). For example, severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS) was first reported in Asia in 2003 and then quickly spread to 26 countries, resulting in over 8000 cases and 774 deaths (de Wit et al., 2016). In 2012, Middle East respiratory syndrome (MERS) emerged in Saudi Arabia and spread to 27 countries, causing 2494 cases and 858 deaths (de Wit et al., 2016; Oh et al., 2018; WHO, 2020).
SARS-CoV-2 respiratory co-infections: Incidence of viral and bacterial co-pathogensThe coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic caused by severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2), a novel coronavirus, has resulted in the largest mobilization of public health resources and policy in recent memory. At the time of writing this report, the virus has infected 92.3 million people resulting in over 1.98 million deaths globally. The United States, representing 4.25% of the world population, has been disproportionately affected by the pandemic. The total SARS-CoV-2-positive cases in the United States stands at 23.1 million with 384 000 fatalities, which represents 20% of the world tally ( https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov ).
Preliminary findings of COVID-19 infection in health workers in Somalia: A reason for concernSomalia has a long history of war, conflicts, violence and political instability; this has resulted in a fragile, fragmented and weak healthcare system. Aid workers have often been targeted for carrying out life-saving humanitarian work. The country’s capacity to prevent, detect and respond to emerging and expanding health threats such as coronavirus disease-19 (COVID-19) has been substantially lowered. The Global Health Security Index in 2019 was 16.6 out of 100, indicating that the country was unprepared to manage such epidemics (Homepage - GHS Index, n.d.
Comparison of the second and third waves of the COVID-19 pandemic in South Korea: Importance of early public health interventionTo date, South Korea has experienced three waves of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) pandemic since the emergence of severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) in December 2019 (Korea Centres for Disease Control and Prevention, 2020). The first wave (February–April 2020) was an outbreak related to religious groups in a situation when information about the disease was insufficient. Although both the second and third waves started with increasing social activity with poor social distancing, the spread was mitigated successfully by rapid strengthening of social distancing policies during the early stages of the second wave but not during the third wave.
Temporal profile of SARS-CoV-2 viral load in posterior nasopharyngeal samples: Analysis of 944 patients in Apulia, ItalyFrom early 2020 a new Coronavirus disease named COVID-19 has spread worldwide with Italy being one of the most affected countries, albeit with substantial regional differences (IstitutoSuperiorediSanità; WHO). In the Apulia region (southern Italy) approximately 7900 cases of COVID-19 infection have been reported so far, with a peak at the end of April and a substantial decrease from May-June. The rate of hospitalization and number of severe cases also fell during this time (IstitutoSuperiorediSanità).
Effects of COVID-19 on mortality: A 5-year population-based study in OmanCoronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19), caused by severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus-2 (SARS-CoV-2), first emerged in December 2019 in Wuhan, China, and spread rapidly across the world. In Oman, the first imported case was diagnosed on 24 February 2020 (Wahaibi et al., 2020). Until mid-August 2020, there was ongoing community transmission, with a total of 79,701 confirmed cases of SARS-CoV-2 infection and 488 deaths in Oman. The estimated number of infected individuals based on a national sero-survey for the same time period was 507,256, which indicates a case fatality rate (fraction of deaths among infected cases) of 0.1% (Oman News Agency, 2020).
Transmission dynamics of the COVID-19 epidemic in EnglandThe unexpected emergence and outbreak of coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19), caused by severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus-2 (SARS-CoV-2) (Lam et al., 2020; Lu et al., 2020a; Zhou et al., 2020), has caused a tremendous health burden and impact on the world economy. Early cases were reported in Wuhan, China in late December 2019 (Huang et al., 2020a; Li et al., 2020; Wang et al., 2020). Subsequently, geographical spread of the disease was expedited by the return-to-home migration during Chinese New Year, which led to reports of numerous successive outbreaks in other provinces of China (Jia et al., 2020; Kang et al., 2020).
A novel use of telemedicine during the COVID-19 pandemicMalta is an archipelago situated in the middle of the Mediterranean Sea with a population of circa 493,559 people (National Statistics Office, 2018). It provides a free National Health System (NHS) with two main government hospitals, situated on each of the two main islands: Mater Dei Hospital (MDH), located in Malta and Gozo General Hospital (GGH), found on the sister island, Gozo. Both these hospitals house the main emergency departments (ED) for the respective islands. One also finds a state-run primary healthcare system composed of a number of regional health centres.