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13,604 Research products, page 1 of 1,361

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  • Open Access English
    Authors: 
    Brett Plouffe; Tamara Van Hooren; Michelle Barton; Michelle Barton; Nancy Nashid; Erkan Demirkaya; Erkan Demirkaya; Kambiz Norozi; Kambiz Norozi; Kambiz Norozi; +8 more
    Publisher: Frontiers Media S.A.
    Country: Canada

    Renal infarction is a rare finding in children. Associations between SARS-CoV-2 infections and thromboembolic events including renal infarcts have been described in adults. Although a similar association in children has not yet been described with this pandemic, the pediatric literature is still evolving with the recognition of new manifestations including the post-infectious Multisystem Inflammatory Syndrome in Children (MIS-C). We report the rare event of multiple renal infarcts in a 6-year-old boy manifesting several features of MIS-C 9 weeks following a self-limiting febrile illness characteristic of COVID-19. An underlying Factor V Leiden mutation was identified in this child but felt to be insufficient on its own to explain his clinical presentation. As SARS-CoV-2 testing was delayed, the failure to identify viral RNA or antibodies may not exclude the virus' potential role in precipitating the infarct in this host. Given that renal infarcts have been described in adult patients with COVID-19, reporting this perplexing case where SARS-CoV-2 may have played a role, may help identify this potential complication.

  • Open Access
    Authors: 
    Sarah Al-Youha; Waleed Alduaij; Ahmad Al-Serri; Sulaiman Almazeedi; Mohannad Al-Haddad; Mohammad H. Jamal; Andrew W. Shih; Salman Al-Sabah;
    Publisher: Wiley

    Abstract Background ABO blood groups have been linked to susceptibility to infection with certain microorganisms, including coronaviruses. We examined the relationship between blood group and clinical outcomes in individuals infected with severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus‐2 (SARS‐CoV‐2) and compared their blood group distribution with the general population. Methods At the inception of the pandemic, all individuals testing positive for SARS‐CoV‐2 in Kuwait were admitted to one designated coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID‐19) hospital and enrolled in a prospective registry. Patients admitted from February 24 to May 27, 2020, were stratified according to blood group. As a control, blood groups of 3,730,027 anonymized individuals representing almost Kuwait's entire population were obtained from a national database. Results Of 3305 SARS‐CoV‐2–positive patients, 37.1%, 25.5%, 28.9%, and 8.5% were groups O, A, B, and AB, respectively. Univariate analysis revealed no significant differences in severe clinical outcomes or death among the blood groups. However, multivariable analysis demonstrated that group A individuals had higher odds of developing pneumonia compared with non–group A (adjusted odds ratio 1.32, 95% confidence interval 1.02–1.72, p < .036). Compared with the general population, the COVID‐19 cohort had a lower frequency of group O, equivalent frequency of A, and higher frequency of B and AB. No significant difference in the RhD group was found. Conclusion This study supports potential involvement of the ABO blood group system in predisposing to infection with SARS‐CoV‐2 in an unselected population. Examination of the mechanistic link between blood group and COVID‐19 and its implications on controlling the current pandemic is warranted.

  • Open Access
    Authors: 
    Sascha Kiesslich; Amine Kamen;
    Publisher: Elsevier BV
    Project: CIHR

    The Vero cell line is considered the most used continuous cell line for the production of viral vectors and vaccines. Historically, it is the first cell line that was approved by the WHO for the production of human vaccines. Comprehensive experimental data on the production of many viruses using the Vero cell line can be found in the literature. However, the vast majority of these processes is relying on the microcarrier technology. While this system is established for the large-scale manufacturing of viral vaccine, it is still quite complex and labor intensive. Moreover, scale-up remains difficult and is limited by the surface area given by the carriers. To overcome these and other drawbacks and to establish more efficient manufacturing processes, it is a priority to further develop the Vero cell platform by applying novel bioprocess technologies. Especially in times like the current COVID-19 pandemic, advanced and scalable platform technologies could provide more efficient and cost-effective solutions to meet the global vaccine demand. Herein, we review the prevailing literature on Vero cell bioprocess development for the production of viral vectors and vaccines with the aim to assess the recent advances in bioprocess development. We critically underline the need for further research activities and describe bottlenecks to improve the Vero cell platform by taking advantage of recent developments in the cell culture engineering field.

  • Open Access English
    Authors: 
    Aessa Tumi; Hassan A. Khan; Sidra Awan; Kosta Ikonomou; Katija Ali; Kristina Frain; Irfan Ahmed;
    Publisher: Royal College of General Practitioners

    The COVID-19 pandemic has had a significant impact on patient lifestyles with new measures designed to reduce transmission of the virus drastically transforming life as we know it. Public health interventions — alongside advances in medical treatments, vaccine technology, and gene sequencing — have drastically reduced the impact of the pandemic across the world. Yet there has been relatively little focus on the potential role of physical activity (PA) in reducing disease burden during the pandemic. We discuss the latest evidence related to the role of exercise or physical pre-rehabilitation before infection and consider whether this may be an overlooked public health strategy. ### Living with COVID-19: ’Exercise is medicine.’ As we progress through the second year of the pandemic, there has been a renewed focus on adjustments that individuals and society will have to make as we continually adapt to life with COVID-19. Key public health messages regarding the importance of ’ hands, face, space and fresh air ‘ appear prominently on all government briefings but exercise, once famously quoted as being the ‘ miracle cure ’ by the Academy of Medical Royal Colleges, is conspicuously absent.1 Despite the evidence supporting the physical and mental health benefits of exercise at a population level, there remains a …

  • Open Access
    Authors: 
    Kelly Dean Schwartz; Deinera Exner-Cortens; Carly A. McMorris; Erica Makarenko; Paul D. Arnold; Marisa Van Bavel; Sarah Williams; Rachel Canfield;
    Publisher: SAGE Publications
    Project: CIHR

    Students have been multiply impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic: threats to their own and their family’s health, the closure of schools, and pivoting to online learning in March 2020, a long summer of physical distancing, and then the challenge of returning to school in fall 2020. As damaging as the physical health effects of a global pandemic are, much has been speculated about the “second wave” of mental health crises, particularly for school-aged children and adolescents. Yet, few studies have asked students about their experiences during the pandemic. The present study engaged with over two thousand ( N = 2,310; 1,288 female; Mage = 14.5) 12- to 18-year-old Alberta students during their first few weeks of return-to-school in fall 2020. Students completed an online survey that asked about their perceptions of COVID-19, their fall return-to-school experiences (84.9% returned in-person), their self-reported pandemic-related stress, and their behavior, affect, and cognitive functioning in the first few weeks of September. The majority of students (84.9%) returned to school in person. Students reported moderate and equal concern for their health, family confinement, and maintaining social contact. Student stress levels were also above critical thresholds for 25% of the sample, and females and older adolescents (age 15–18 years) generally reported higher stress indicators as compared to males and younger (age 12–14 years) adolescents. Multivariate analysis showed that stress indicators were positively and significantly correlated with self-reported behavioral concerns (i.e., conduct problems, negative affect, and cognitive/inattention), and that stress arousal (e.g., sleep problems, hypervigilance) accounted for significant variance in behavioral concerns. Results are discussed in the context of how schools can provide both universal responses to students during COVID-19 knowing that most students are coping well, while some may require more targeted strategies to address stress arousal and heightened negative affect.

  • Open Access English
    Authors: 
    Rachel P. Rosovsky; Kristen M. Sanfilippo; Tzu-Fei Wang; Sandeep K. Rajan; Surbhi Shah; Karlyn Martin; Fionnuala Ní Áinle; Menno V. Huisman; Beverley J. Hunt; Susan R. Kahn; +4 more
    Country: Netherlands

    Abstract Background Best practice for prevention, diagnosis, and management of venous thromboembolism (VTE) in patients with coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID‐19) is unknown due to limited published data in this population. Objectives We aimed to assess current global practice and experience in management of COVID‐19–associated coagulopathy to identify information to guide prospective and randomized studies. Methods Physicians were queried about their current approach to prophylaxis, diagnosis, and treatment of VTE in patients with COVID‐19 using an online survey tool distributed through multiple international organizations between April 10 and 14, 2020. Results Five hundred fifteen physicians from 41 countries responded. The majority of respondents (78%) recommended prophylactic anticoagulation for all hospitalized patients with COVID‐19, with most recommending use of low‐molecular‐weight heparin or unfractionated heparin. Significant practice variation was found regarding the need for dose escalation of anticoagulation outside the setting of confirmed or suspected VTE. Respondents reported the use of bedside testing when unable to perform standard diagnostic imaging for diagnosis of VTE. Two hundred ninety‐one respondents reported observing thrombotic complications in their patients, with 64% noting that the complication was pulmonary embolism. Of the 44% of respondents who estimated incidence of thrombosis in patients with COVID‐19 in their hospital, estimates ranged widely from 1% to 50%. One hundred seventy‐four respondents noted bleeding complications (34% minor bleeding, 14% clinically relevant nonmajor bleeding, and 12% major bleeding). Conclusion Well‐designed epidemiologic studies are urgently needed to understand the incidence and risk factors of VTE and bleeding complications in patients with COVID‐19. Randomized clinical trials addressing use of anticoagulation are also needed.

  • Open Access
    Authors: 
    Masoomeh Masoomikarimi; Behzad Garmabi; Javad Alizadeh; Erfan Kazemi; Amirhossein Azari Jafari; Seyyedmohammadsadeq Mirmoeeni; Motahareh Dargahi; Niloofar Taheri; Reza Jafari;
    Publisher: Elsevier BV

    COVID-19 is an acute respiratory syndrome caused by SARS-COV-2 which has now become a huge pandemic worldwide. The immunopathogenesis of COVID-19 has been established that increased serum levels of C-reactive protein (CRP), interleukin-6 (IL-6), and reduction of the CD4+ and the CD8+ T lymphocyte populations, are the most reported immunological findings in these patients. High levels of other inflammatory cytokines and chemokines such as IL-2 and IL-8 with an increased number of neutrophils and eosinophils may induce immune abnormalities in patients with COVID-19. There is growing evidence to obtain a deeper understanding of the immunopathogenesis of COVID-19 which will lay the foundation for the development of new potential therapies. However, specific and non-specific immunotherapies such as convalescent plasma (CP) are widely performed to treat patients with severe COVID-19, there is no definitive evidence to suggest the effectiveness of these treatments. Hence, this review aimed to highlight the current and most recent studies to identify the new immunotherapeutics for COVID-19 disease.

  • Open Access
    Authors: 
    Katerina Pavenski;
    Publisher: Georg Thieme Verlag KG

    AbstractAn 84 year old male with a previous history of immune thrombotic thrombocytopenic purpura (iTTP) received the first dose of COVID19 mRNA vaccine (Pfizer-Biontech). Seven days later he was diagnosed with iTTP relapse. He received in-patient treatment with therapeutic plasma exchange, high dose steroids and rituximab and subsequently recovered. This case report highlights the need to monitor patients with iTTP following vaccination.

  • Open Access
    Authors: 
    Aysegul Erman; Sharmistha Mishra; Kali Barrett; Stephen Mac; David Naimark; Beate Sander;
    Publisher: Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory

    AbstractBackgroundAs the transmission of SARS-CoV-2 variants intensifies globally, the burden of COVID-19 on the already strained health systems is becoming increasingly concerning. While there is growing literature on the effects of various variants-of-concern (VOC) on increased transmission, the extent to which VOCs may lead to more severe disease remains debated.MethodsIn the current analysis, we use a population-based propensity-score matched cohort study of all incident laboratory-confirmed COVID-19 cases with VOC testing in Ontario, Canada to estimate healthcare resource use and health outcomes attributable to VOCs introduced to Ontario between January 1 and April 9, 2021, relative to the previously circulating wild-type strain.ResultsWe find that VOCs are associated with a higher odds of hospitalisation (odds ratio [OR], 2.25; 95% confidence interval [CI], 2.10-2.40) and ICU admission (OR, 3.31; 95%CI, 2.84-3.86); as well as with a higher odds of mortality for both the general COVID-19 population (OR 1.75; 1.47-2.09) and hospitalised cases (OR, 1.62; 95%CI, 1.23-2.15).ConclusionTaken together, these findings suggest that health systems may face increased demand for healthcare resources as VOCs predominate worldwide in view of low global vaccination coverage.

  • Open Access
    Authors: 
    Alexander Karaivanov; Shih En Lu; Hitoshi Shigeoka; Cong Chen; Stephanie Pamplona;
    Publisher: Research Square Platform LLC

    We estimate the impact of indoor face mask mandates and other non-pharmaceutical interventions (NPI) on COVID-19 case growth in Canada. Mask mandate introduction was staggered from mid-June to mid-August 2020 in the 34 public health regions in Ontario, Canada's largest province by population. Using this variation, we find that mask mandates are associated with a 22 percent weekly reduction in new COVID-19 cases, relative to the trend in absence of mandate. Province-level data provide corroborating evidence. We control for mobility behaviour using Google geo-location data and for lagged case totals and case growth as information variables. Our analysis of additional survey data shows that mask mandates led to an increase of about 27 percentage points in self-reported mask wearing in public. Counterfactual policy simulations suggest that adopting a nationwide mask mandate in June could have reduced the total number of diagnosed COVID-19 cases in Canada by over 50,000 over the period July-November 2020. Jointly, our results indicate that mandating mask wearing in indoor public places can be a powerful policy tool to slow the spread of COVID-19.

Advanced search in Research products
Research products
arrow_drop_down
Searching FieldsTerms
Any field
arrow_drop_down
includes
arrow_drop_down
Include:
The following results are related to COVID-19. Are you interested to view more results? Visit OpenAIRE - Explore.
13,604 Research products, page 1 of 1,361
  • Open Access English
    Authors: 
    Brett Plouffe; Tamara Van Hooren; Michelle Barton; Michelle Barton; Nancy Nashid; Erkan Demirkaya; Erkan Demirkaya; Kambiz Norozi; Kambiz Norozi; Kambiz Norozi; +8 more
    Publisher: Frontiers Media S.A.
    Country: Canada

    Renal infarction is a rare finding in children. Associations between SARS-CoV-2 infections and thromboembolic events including renal infarcts have been described in adults. Although a similar association in children has not yet been described with this pandemic, the pediatric literature is still evolving with the recognition of new manifestations including the post-infectious Multisystem Inflammatory Syndrome in Children (MIS-C). We report the rare event of multiple renal infarcts in a 6-year-old boy manifesting several features of MIS-C 9 weeks following a self-limiting febrile illness characteristic of COVID-19. An underlying Factor V Leiden mutation was identified in this child but felt to be insufficient on its own to explain his clinical presentation. As SARS-CoV-2 testing was delayed, the failure to identify viral RNA or antibodies may not exclude the virus' potential role in precipitating the infarct in this host. Given that renal infarcts have been described in adult patients with COVID-19, reporting this perplexing case where SARS-CoV-2 may have played a role, may help identify this potential complication.

  • Open Access
    Authors: 
    Sarah Al-Youha; Waleed Alduaij; Ahmad Al-Serri; Sulaiman Almazeedi; Mohannad Al-Haddad; Mohammad H. Jamal; Andrew W. Shih; Salman Al-Sabah;
    Publisher: Wiley

    Abstract Background ABO blood groups have been linked to susceptibility to infection with certain microorganisms, including coronaviruses. We examined the relationship between blood group and clinical outcomes in individuals infected with severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus‐2 (SARS‐CoV‐2) and compared their blood group distribution with the general population. Methods At the inception of the pandemic, all individuals testing positive for SARS‐CoV‐2 in Kuwait were admitted to one designated coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID‐19) hospital and enrolled in a prospective registry. Patients admitted from February 24 to May 27, 2020, were stratified according to blood group. As a control, blood groups of 3,730,027 anonymized individuals representing almost Kuwait's entire population were obtained from a national database. Results Of 3305 SARS‐CoV‐2–positive patients, 37.1%, 25.5%, 28.9%, and 8.5% were groups O, A, B, and AB, respectively. Univariate analysis revealed no significant differences in severe clinical outcomes or death among the blood groups. However, multivariable analysis demonstrated that group A individuals had higher odds of developing pneumonia compared with non–group A (adjusted odds ratio 1.32, 95% confidence interval 1.02–1.72, p < .036). Compared with the general population, the COVID‐19 cohort had a lower frequency of group O, equivalent frequency of A, and higher frequency of B and AB. No significant difference in the RhD group was found. Conclusion This study supports potential involvement of the ABO blood group system in predisposing to infection with SARS‐CoV‐2 in an unselected population. Examination of the mechanistic link between blood group and COVID‐19 and its implications on controlling the current pandemic is warranted.

  • Open Access
    Authors: 
    Sascha Kiesslich; Amine Kamen;
    Publisher: Elsevier BV
    Project: CIHR

    The Vero cell line is considered the most used continuous cell line for the production of viral vectors and vaccines. Historically, it is the first cell line that was approved by the WHO for the production of human vaccines. Comprehensive experimental data on the production of many viruses using the Vero cell line can be found in the literature. However, the vast majority of these processes is relying on the microcarrier technology. While this system is established for the large-scale manufacturing of viral vaccine, it is still quite complex and labor intensive. Moreover, scale-up remains difficult and is limited by the surface area given by the carriers. To overcome these and other drawbacks and to establish more efficient manufacturing processes, it is a priority to further develop the Vero cell platform by applying novel bioprocess technologies. Especially in times like the current COVID-19 pandemic, advanced and scalable platform technologies could provide more efficient and cost-effective solutions to meet the global vaccine demand. Herein, we review the prevailing literature on Vero cell bioprocess development for the production of viral vectors and vaccines with the aim to assess the recent advances in bioprocess development. We critically underline the need for further research activities and describe bottlenecks to improve the Vero cell platform by taking advantage of recent developments in the cell culture engineering field.

  • Open Access English
    Authors: 
    Aessa Tumi; Hassan A. Khan; Sidra Awan; Kosta Ikonomou; Katija Ali; Kristina Frain; Irfan Ahmed;
    Publisher: Royal College of General Practitioners

    The COVID-19 pandemic has had a significant impact on patient lifestyles with new measures designed to reduce transmission of the virus drastically transforming life as we know it. Public health interventions — alongside advances in medical treatments, vaccine technology, and gene sequencing — have drastically reduced the impact of the pandemic across the world. Yet there has been relatively little focus on the potential role of physical activity (PA) in reducing disease burden during the pandemic. We discuss the latest evidence related to the role of exercise or physical pre-rehabilitation before infection and consider whether this may be an overlooked public health strategy. ### Living with COVID-19: ’Exercise is medicine.’ As we progress through the second year of the pandemic, there has been a renewed focus on adjustments that individuals and society will have to make as we continually adapt to life with COVID-19. Key public health messages regarding the importance of ’ hands, face, space and fresh air ‘ appear prominently on all government briefings but exercise, once famously quoted as being the ‘ miracle cure ’ by the Academy of Medical Royal Colleges, is conspicuously absent.1 Despite the evidence supporting the physical and mental health benefits of exercise at a population level, there remains a …

  • Open Access
    Authors: 
    Kelly Dean Schwartz; Deinera Exner-Cortens; Carly A. McMorris; Erica Makarenko; Paul D. Arnold; Marisa Van Bavel; Sarah Williams; Rachel Canfield;
    Publisher: SAGE Publications
    Project: CIHR

    Students have been multiply impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic: threats to their own and their family’s health, the closure of schools, and pivoting to online learning in March 2020, a long summer of physical distancing, and then the challenge of returning to school in fall 2020. As damaging as the physical health effects of a global pandemic are, much has been speculated about the “second wave” of mental health crises, particularly for school-aged children and adolescents. Yet, few studies have asked students about their experiences during the pandemic. The present study engaged with over two thousand ( N = 2,310; 1,288 female; Mage = 14.5) 12- to 18-year-old Alberta students during their first few weeks of return-to-school in fall 2020. Students completed an online survey that asked about their perceptions of COVID-19, their fall return-to-school experiences (84.9% returned in-person), their self-reported pandemic-related stress, and their behavior, affect, and cognitive functioning in the first few weeks of September. The majority of students (84.9%) returned to school in person. Students reported moderate and equal concern for their health, family confinement, and maintaining social contact. Student stress levels were also above critical thresholds for 25% of the sample, and females and older adolescents (age 15–18 years) generally reported higher stress indicators as compared to males and younger (age 12–14 years) adolescents. Multivariate analysis showed that stress indicators were positively and significantly correlated with self-reported behavioral concerns (i.e., conduct problems, negative affect, and cognitive/inattention), and that stress arousal (e.g., sleep problems, hypervigilance) accounted for significant variance in behavioral concerns. Results are discussed in the context of how schools can provide both universal responses to students during COVID-19 knowing that most students are coping well, while some may require more targeted strategies to address stress arousal and heightened negative affect.

  • Open Access English
    Authors: 
    Rachel P. Rosovsky; Kristen M. Sanfilippo; Tzu-Fei Wang; Sandeep K. Rajan; Surbhi Shah; Karlyn Martin; Fionnuala Ní Áinle; Menno V. Huisman; Beverley J. Hunt; Susan R. Kahn; +4 more
    Country: Netherlands

    Abstract Background Best practice for prevention, diagnosis, and management of venous thromboembolism (VTE) in patients with coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID‐19) is unknown due to limited published data in this population. Objectives We aimed to assess current global practice and experience in management of COVID‐19–associated coagulopathy to identify information to guide prospective and randomized studies. Methods Physicians were queried about their current approach to prophylaxis, diagnosis, and treatment of VTE in patients with COVID‐19 using an online survey tool distributed through multiple international organizations between April 10 and 14, 2020. Results Five hundred fifteen physicians from 41 countries responded. The majority of respondents (78%) recommended prophylactic anticoagulation for all hospitalized patients with COVID‐19, with most recommending use of low‐molecular‐weight heparin or unfractionated heparin. Significant practice variation was found regarding the need for dose escalation of anticoagulation outside the setting of confirmed or suspected VTE. Respondents reported the use of bedside testing when unable to perform standard diagnostic imaging for diagnosis of VTE. Two hundred ninety‐one respondents reported observing thrombotic complications in their patients, with 64% noting that the complication was pulmonary embolism. Of the 44% of respondents who estimated incidence of thrombosis in patients with COVID‐19 in their hospital, estimates ranged widely from 1% to 50%. One hundred seventy‐four respondents noted bleeding complications (34% minor bleeding, 14% clinically relevant nonmajor bleeding, and 12% major bleeding). Conclusion Well‐designed epidemiologic studies are urgently needed to understand the incidence and risk factors of VTE and bleeding complications in patients with COVID‐19. Randomized clinical trials addressing use of anticoagulation are also needed.

  • Open Access
    Authors: 
    Masoomeh Masoomikarimi; Behzad Garmabi; Javad Alizadeh; Erfan Kazemi; Amirhossein Azari Jafari; Seyyedmohammadsadeq Mirmoeeni; Motahareh Dargahi; Niloofar Taheri; Reza Jafari;
    Publisher: Elsevier BV

    COVID-19 is an acute respiratory syndrome caused by SARS-COV-2 which has now become a huge pandemic worldwide. The immunopathogenesis of COVID-19 has been established that increased serum levels of C-reactive protein (CRP), interleukin-6 (IL-6), and reduction of the CD4+ and the CD8+ T lymphocyte populations, are the most reported immunological findings in these patients. High levels of other inflammatory cytokines and chemokines such as IL-2 and IL-8 with an increased number of neutrophils and eosinophils may induce immune abnormalities in patients with COVID-19. There is growing evidence to obtain a deeper understanding of the immunopathogenesis of COVID-19 which will lay the foundation for the development of new potential therapies. However, specific and non-specific immunotherapies such as convalescent plasma (CP) are widely performed to treat patients with severe COVID-19, there is no definitive evidence to suggest the effectiveness of these treatments. Hence, this review aimed to highlight the current and most recent studies to identify the new immunotherapeutics for COVID-19 disease.

  • Open Access
    Authors: 
    Katerina Pavenski;
    Publisher: Georg Thieme Verlag KG

    AbstractAn 84 year old male with a previous history of immune thrombotic thrombocytopenic purpura (iTTP) received the first dose of COVID19 mRNA vaccine (Pfizer-Biontech). Seven days later he was diagnosed with iTTP relapse. He received in-patient treatment with therapeutic plasma exchange, high dose steroids and rituximab and subsequently recovered. This case report highlights the need to monitor patients with iTTP following vaccination.

  • Open Access
    Authors: 
    Aysegul Erman; Sharmistha Mishra; Kali Barrett; Stephen Mac; David Naimark; Beate Sander;
    Publisher: Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory

    AbstractBackgroundAs the transmission of SARS-CoV-2 variants intensifies globally, the burden of COVID-19 on the already strained health systems is becoming increasingly concerning. While there is growing literature on the effects of various variants-of-concern (VOC) on increased transmission, the extent to which VOCs may lead to more severe disease remains debated.MethodsIn the current analysis, we use a population-based propensity-score matched cohort study of all incident laboratory-confirmed COVID-19 cases with VOC testing in Ontario, Canada to estimate healthcare resource use and health outcomes attributable to VOCs introduced to Ontario between January 1 and April 9, 2021, relative to the previously circulating wild-type strain.ResultsWe find that VOCs are associated with a higher odds of hospitalisation (odds ratio [OR], 2.25; 95% confidence interval [CI], 2.10-2.40) and ICU admission (OR, 3.31; 95%CI, 2.84-3.86); as well as with a higher odds of mortality for both the general COVID-19 population (OR 1.75; 1.47-2.09) and hospitalised cases (OR, 1.62; 95%CI, 1.23-2.15).ConclusionTaken together, these findings suggest that health systems may face increased demand for healthcare resources as VOCs predominate worldwide in view of low global vaccination coverage.

  • Open Access
    Authors: 
    Alexander Karaivanov; Shih En Lu; Hitoshi Shigeoka; Cong Chen; Stephanie Pamplona;
    Publisher: Research Square Platform LLC

    We estimate the impact of indoor face mask mandates and other non-pharmaceutical interventions (NPI) on COVID-19 case growth in Canada. Mask mandate introduction was staggered from mid-June to mid-August 2020 in the 34 public health regions in Ontario, Canada's largest province by population. Using this variation, we find that mask mandates are associated with a 22 percent weekly reduction in new COVID-19 cases, relative to the trend in absence of mandate. Province-level data provide corroborating evidence. We control for mobility behaviour using Google geo-location data and for lagged case totals and case growth as information variables. Our analysis of additional survey data shows that mask mandates led to an increase of about 27 percentage points in self-reported mask wearing in public. Counterfactual policy simulations suggest that adopting a nationwide mask mandate in June could have reduced the total number of diagnosed COVID-19 cases in Canada by over 50,000 over the period July-November 2020. Jointly, our results indicate that mandating mask wearing in indoor public places can be a powerful policy tool to slow the spread of COVID-19.