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139 Research products, page 1 of 14

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  • Open Access English
    Authors: 
    Nelda Andersone; Giulia Nardelli; Christine Ipsen; Kasper Edwards;
    Publisher: Multidisciplinary Digital Publishing Institute
    Country: Denmark

    Organizations worldwide have shifted to working from home, requiring managers to engage in distance management using information and communication technologies (ICT). Studies show that managers experience high job demands and inadequate guidance during COVID-19; therefore, the transition to distance management raises questions about the increase in managerial job demands and the impact on managers’ well-being. This study aims to explore first-line managers’ perceptions of job demands and available resources during the first year of the pandemic and understand the implications for first-line managers’ well-being. First-line managers face complex and conflicting demands, making them more challenged in their management task than other management levels. We used the job demands–resources model in this qualitative, longitudinal empirical study. The study draws on 49 semi-structured interviews with seven first-line managers from a large pharmaceutical company in Denmark, whom we followed throughout the first year of the COVID-19 pandemic, from May 2020 to May 2021. Our findings suggest that the first-line managers perceived increased emotional and practical demands. While the managers appreciated the initial guidance provided by the organization, they perceived the organizational support as outdated and superficial. As a result, to cope with the uncertainty caused by the pandemic and the shift to distance management, the managers relied on work engagement enablers such as social support. Even though the COVID-19 pandemic portrays unique circumstances in transitioning to distance management that require further exploration outside the COVID-19 context, the insights from this study can assist organizations in developing awareness about transitions to better support first-line management to embrace changes in the future.

  • Open Access English
    Authors: 
    Daniel Vázquez Pombo;
    Country: Denmark

    The COVID-19 pandemic and its countermeasures radically affected the energy sector. Within a matter of days, whole countries were into lockdown causing the largest energy impact of the last decades. This study explores the pandemic and its effects on the isolated power systems of Cape Verde, a small island-based developing state in Africa. Historical data from 2013 to 2021 is combined with ARIMA-based forecasting to estimate a COVID-free scenario. The results show how the country’s electricity demand suffered a 10% drop distributed among the islands proportionally to GDP per capita. The energy mix was unaffected, but the lower demand motivated 6% less emissions. The reliability of the system improved with respect previous years, but the transmission losses increased by 5% due to energy theft caused by the severe economic crisis suffered in the archipelago. In that sense, the impact on revenue and energy sector workers was quite limited. Furthermore, we also studied the effects of the pandemic in other energy related sectors such as water desalination and transport. The recovery started in the third quarter of 2020 as marked by the increased electricity demand, but also with the rapid growth of passengers and goods in the transport sector.

  • Open Access English
    Authors: 
    Rossano Albatici; Luca Zaniboni;
    Countries: Italy, Denmark

    Current literature and guidelines on sustainable design often debate on the advantages of natural ventilation (NV) and mechanical ventilation (MV) on indoor environment and energy consumption. The present systematic review explores the existing literature comparing NV and MV on the indoor comfort and well-being points of view. The findings emphasize that thermo-hygrometric comfort is the main driver of occupants’ ventilation behavior, while ventilation design is mainly led by indoor air quality targets. Moreover, more recent papers (especially after COVID-19 outbreak) emphasize the necessity of a health-based approach, contrasting airborne pathogens transmission. In this sense, MV is more frequently recommended in public spaces, while hybrid ventilation (HV) is often suggested as a solution to both ensure proper indoor conditions and energy savings. The concept of well-being is currently under-explored, as the present literature only refers to comfort. The same happens with topics such as visual, acoustic, and multi-domain comfort, as well as passive techniques such as night cooling, or analysis of specific environments such as healthcare facilities. Current knowledge would benefit from an expansion of future research in these directions. The choice of the best ventilation solution cannot ignore the context, type, and condition of energy efficient buildings, in order to properly take into account occupants’ well-being.

  • Open Access English
    Authors: 
    Lazarus, Jeffrey V.; Romero, Diana; Kopka, Christopher J.; Karim, Salim Abdool; Abu-Raddad, Laith J.; Almeida, Gisele; Baptista-Leite, Ricardo; Barocas, Joshua A.; Barreto, Mauricio L.; Bar-Yam, Yaneer; +190 more
    Countries: Spain, Peru, Denmark, Netherlands

    AbstractDespite notable scientific and medical advances, broader political, socioeconomic and behavioural factors continue to undercut the response to the COVID-19 pandemic1,2. Here we convened, as part of this Delphi study, a diverse, multidisciplinary panel of 386 academic, health, non-governmental organization, government and other experts in COVID-19 response from 112 countries and territories to recommend specific actions to end this persistent global threat to public health. The panel developed a set of 41 consensus statements and 57 recommendations to governments, health systems, industry and other key stakeholders across six domains: communication; health systems; vaccination; prevention; treatment and care; and inequities. In the wake of nearly three years of fragmented global and national responses, it is instructive to note that three of the highest-ranked recommendations call for the adoption of whole-of-society and whole-of-government approaches1, while maintaining proven prevention measures using a vaccines-plus approach2 that employs a range of public health and financial support measures to complement vaccination. Other recommendations with at least 99% combined agreement advise governments and other stakeholders to improve communication, rebuild public trust and engage communities3 in the management of pandemic responses. The findings of the study, which have been further endorsed by 184 organizations globally, include points of unanimous agreement, as well as six recommendations with >5% disagreement, that provide health and social policy actions to address inadequacies in the pandemic response and help to bring this public health threat to an end.

  • Open Access English
    Authors: 
    Frederik Plesner Lyngse; Carsten Thure Kirkeby; Matthew Denwood; Lasse Engbo Christiansen; Kåre Mølbak; Camilla Holten Møller; Robert Leo Skov; Tyra Grove Krause; Morten Rasmussen; Raphael Niklaus Sieber; +9 more
    Country: Denmark

    AbstractSARS coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) continues to evolve and new variants emerge. Using nationwide Danish data, we estimate the transmission dynamics of SARS-CoV-2 Omicron subvariants BA.1 and BA.2 within households. Among 22,678 primary cases, we identified 17,319 secondary infections among 50,588 household contacts during a 1–7 day follow-up. The secondary attack rate (SAR) was 29% and 39% in households infected with Omicron BA.1 and BA.2, respectively. BA.2 was associated with increased susceptibility of infection for unvaccinated household contacts (Odds Ratio (OR) 1.99; 95%–CI 1.72-2.31), fully vaccinated contacts (OR 2.26; 95%–CI 1.95–2.62) and booster-vaccinated contacts (OR 2.65; 95%–CI 2.29–3.08), compared to BA.1. We also found increased infectiousness from unvaccinated primary cases infected with BA.2 compared to BA.1 (OR 2.47; 95%–CI 2.15–2.84), but not for fully vaccinated (OR 0.66; 95%–CI 0.57–0.78) or booster-vaccinated primary cases (OR 0.69; 95%–CI 0.59–0.82). Omicron BA.2 is inherently more transmissible than BA.1. Its immune-evasive properties also reduce the protective effect of vaccination against infection, but do not increase infectiousness of breakthrough infections from vaccinated individuals.

  • Open Access English
    Authors: 
    Lize M. Grobbelaar; Arneaux Kruger; Chantelle Venter; Este M. Burger; Gert J. Laubscher; Tongai G. Maponga; Maritha J. Kotze; Hau C. Kwaan; Joseph B. Miller; Daniel Fulkerson; +12 more
    Country: Denmark

    Abstract Earlier variants of SARS-CoV-2 have been associated with plasma hypercoagulability (as judged by thromboelastography) and an extensive formation of fibrin amyloid microclots, which are considered to contribute to the pathology of the coronavirus 2019 disease (COVID-19). The newer Omicron variants appear to be far more transmissible, but less virulent, even when taking immunity acquired from previous infections or vaccination into account. We here show that while the clotting parameters associated with Omicron variants are significantly raised over those of healthy, matched controls, they are only raised to levels significantly lower than those seen with more severe variants such as Beta and Delta. We also observed that individuals infected with Omicron variants manifested less extensive microclot formation in platelet poor plasma compared to those harbouring the more virulent variants. The measurement of clotting effects between the different variants acts as a kind of ‘internal control’ that demonstrates the relationship between the extent of coagulopathies and the virulence of the variant of interest. This adds to the evidence that microclots play an important role in determining the severity of symptoms observed in COVID-19.

  • Open Access English
    Authors: 
    Frederik Plesner Lyngse; Laust Hvas Mortensen; Matthew J. Denwood; Lasse Engbo Christiansen; Camilla Holten Møller; Robert Leo Skov; Katja Spiess; Anders Fomsgaard; Ria Lassaunière; Morten Rasmussen; +9 more
    Country: Denmark

    AbstractIn late 2021, the Omicron SARS-CoV-2 variant overtook the previously dominant Delta variant, but the extent to which this transition was driven by immune evasion or a change in the inherent transmissibility is currently unclear. We estimate SARS-CoV-2 transmission within Danish households during December 2021. Among 26,675 households (8,568 with the Omicron VOC), we identified 14,140 secondary infections within a 1–7-day follow-up period. The secondary attack rate was 29% and 21% in households infected with Omicron and Delta, respectively. For Omicron, the odds of infection were 1.10 (95%-CI: 1.00-1.21) times higher for unvaccinated, 2.38 (95%-CI: 2.23-2.54) times higher for fully vaccinated and 3.20 (95%-CI: 2.67-3.83) times higher for booster-vaccinated contacts compared to Delta. We conclude that the transition from Delta to Omicron VOC was primarily driven by immune evasiveness and to a lesser extent an inherent increase in the basic transmissibility of the Omicron variant.

  • Open Access English
    Authors: 
    Arneaux Kruger; Mare Vlok; Simone Turner; Chantelle Venter; Gert Jacobus Laubscher; Douglas B. Kell; Etheresia Pretorius;
    Country: Denmark

    Abstract Background Post-acute sequelae of COVID-19 (PASC), also now known as long COVID, has become a major global health and economic burden. Previously, we provided evidence that there is a significant insoluble fibrin amyloid microclot load in the circulation of individuals with long COVID, and that these microclots entrap a substantial number of inflammatory molecules, including those that might prevent clot breakdown. Scientifically, the most challenging aspect of this debilitating condition is that traditional pathology tests such as a serum CRP (C-reactive protein) may not show any significant abnormal inflammatory markers, albeit these tests measure only the soluble inflammatory molecules. Elevated, or abnormal soluble biomarkers such as IL-6, D-Dimer or fibrinogen indicate an increased risk for thrombosis or a host immune response in COVID-19. The absence of biomarkers in standard pathology tests, result in a significant amount of confusion for patients and clinicians, as patients are extremely sick or even bed-ridden but with no regular identifiable reason for their disease. Biomarkers that are currently available cannot detect the molecules present in the microclots we identified and are therefore unable to confirm their presence or the mechanisms that drive their formation. Methods Here we analysed the protein content of double-digested microclots of 99 long COVID patients and 29 healthy controls. The patients suffering from long COVID reported their symptoms through a questionnaire completed by themselves or their attending physician. Results Our long COVID cohort’s symptoms were found to be in line with global findings, where the most prevalent symptoms were constant fatigue (74%,) cognitive impairment (71%) and depression and anxiety (30%). Our most noteworthy findings were a reduced level of plasma Kallikrein compared to our controls, an increased level of platelet factor 4 (PF4) von Willebrand factor (VWF), and a marginally increased level of α-2 antiplasmin (α-2-AP). We also found a significant presence of antibodies entrapped inside these microclots. Conclusion Our results confirm the presence of pro-inflammatory molecules that may also contribute to a failed fibrinolysis phenomenon, which could possibly explain why individuals with long COVID suffer from chronic fatigue, dyspnoea, or cognitive impairment. In addition, significant platelet hyperactivation was noted. Hyperactivation will result in the granular content of platelets being shed into the circulation, including PF4. Overall, our results provide further evidence of both a failed fibrinolytic system in long COVID/PASC and the entrapment of many proteins whose presence might otherwise go unrecorded. These findings might have significant implications for individuals with pre-existing comorbidities, including cardiovascular disease and type 2 diabetes.

  • Open Access English
    Authors: 
    Mathias L. Heltberg; Christian Michelsen; Emil S. Martiny; Lasse Engbo Christensen; Mogens H. Jensen; Tariq Halasa; Troels C. Petersen;
    Country: Denmark

    The modelling of pandemics has become a critical aspect in modern society. Even though artificial intelligence can help the forecast, the implementation of ordinary differential equations which estimate the time development in the number of susceptible, (exposed), infected and recovered (SIR/SEIR) individuals is still important in order to understand the stage of the pandemic. These models are based on simplified assumptions which constitute approximations, but to what extent this are erroneous is not understood since many factors can affect the development. In this paper, we introduce an agent-based model including spatial clustering and heterogeneities in connectivity and infection strength. Based on Danish population data, we estimate how this impacts the early prediction of a pandemic and compare this to the long-term development. Our results show that early phase SEIR model predictions overestimate the peak number of infected and the equilibrium level by at least a factor of two. These results are robust to variations of parameters influencing connection distances and independent of the distribution of infection rates.

  • Open Access English
    Authors: 
    Khanh Bao Tran; Justin J Lang; Kelly Compton; Rixing Xu; Alistair R Acheson; Hannah Jacqueline Henrikson; Jonathan M Kocarnik; Louise Penberthy; Amirali Aali; Qamar Abbas; +319 more
    Publisher: Elsevier
    Countries: Norway, Peru, Denmark, Germany, Netherlands, United Kingdom, Finland, Italy

    Background Understanding the magnitude of cancer burden attributable to potentially modifiable risk factors is crucial for development of effective prevention and mitigation strategies. We analysed results from the Global Burden of Diseases, Injuries, and Risk Factors Study (GBD) 2019 to inform cancer control planning efforts globally. Methods The GBD 2019 comparative risk assessment framework was used to estimate cancer burden attributable to behavioural, environmental and occupational, and metabolic risk factors. A total of 82 risk-outcome pairs were included on the basis of the World Cancer Research Fund criteria. Estimated cancer deaths and disability-adjusted life-years (DALYs) in 2019 and change in these measures between 2010 and 2019 are presented. Findings Globally, in 2019, the risk factors included in this analysis accounted for 4.45 million (95% uncertainty interval 4.01-4.94) deaths and 105 million (95.0-116) DALYs for both sexes combined, representing 44.4% (41.3-48.4) of all cancer deaths and 42.0% (39.1-45.6) of all DALYs. There were 2.88 million (2.60-3.18) risk-attributable cancer deaths in males (50.6% [47.8-54.1] of all male cancer deaths) and 1.58 million (1.36-1.84) risk-attributable cancer deaths in females (36.3% [32.5-41.3] of all female cancer deaths). The leading risk factors at the most detailed level globally for risk-attributable cancer deaths and DALYs in 2019 for both sexes combined were smoking, followed by alcohol use and high BMI. Risk-attributable cancer burden varied by world region and Socio-demographic Index (SDI), with smoking, unsafe sex, and alcohol use being the three leading risk factors for risk-attributable cancer DALYs in low SDI locations in 2019, whereas DALYs in high SDI locations mirrored the top three global risk factor rankings. From 2010 to 2019, global risk-attributable cancer deaths increased by 20.4% (12.6-28.4) and DALYs by 16.8% (8.8-25.0), with the greatest percentage increase in metabolic risks (34.7% [27.9-42.8] and 33.3% [25.8-42.0]). Interpretation The leading risk factors contributing to global cancer burden in 2019 were behavioural, whereas metabolic risk factors saw the largest increases between 2010 and 2019. Reducing exposure to these modifiable risk factors would decrease cancer mortality and DALY rates worldwide, and policies should be tailored appropriately to local cancer risk factor burden. Copyright (C) 2022 The Author(s). Published by Elsevier Ltd. This is an Open Access article under the CC BY 4.0 license.

Advanced search in Research products
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The following results are related to COVID-19. Are you interested to view more results? Visit OpenAIRE - Explore.
139 Research products, page 1 of 14
  • Open Access English
    Authors: 
    Nelda Andersone; Giulia Nardelli; Christine Ipsen; Kasper Edwards;
    Publisher: Multidisciplinary Digital Publishing Institute
    Country: Denmark

    Organizations worldwide have shifted to working from home, requiring managers to engage in distance management using information and communication technologies (ICT). Studies show that managers experience high job demands and inadequate guidance during COVID-19; therefore, the transition to distance management raises questions about the increase in managerial job demands and the impact on managers’ well-being. This study aims to explore first-line managers’ perceptions of job demands and available resources during the first year of the pandemic and understand the implications for first-line managers’ well-being. First-line managers face complex and conflicting demands, making them more challenged in their management task than other management levels. We used the job demands–resources model in this qualitative, longitudinal empirical study. The study draws on 49 semi-structured interviews with seven first-line managers from a large pharmaceutical company in Denmark, whom we followed throughout the first year of the COVID-19 pandemic, from May 2020 to May 2021. Our findings suggest that the first-line managers perceived increased emotional and practical demands. While the managers appreciated the initial guidance provided by the organization, they perceived the organizational support as outdated and superficial. As a result, to cope with the uncertainty caused by the pandemic and the shift to distance management, the managers relied on work engagement enablers such as social support. Even though the COVID-19 pandemic portrays unique circumstances in transitioning to distance management that require further exploration outside the COVID-19 context, the insights from this study can assist organizations in developing awareness about transitions to better support first-line management to embrace changes in the future.

  • Open Access English
    Authors: 
    Daniel Vázquez Pombo;
    Country: Denmark

    The COVID-19 pandemic and its countermeasures radically affected the energy sector. Within a matter of days, whole countries were into lockdown causing the largest energy impact of the last decades. This study explores the pandemic and its effects on the isolated power systems of Cape Verde, a small island-based developing state in Africa. Historical data from 2013 to 2021 is combined with ARIMA-based forecasting to estimate a COVID-free scenario. The results show how the country’s electricity demand suffered a 10% drop distributed among the islands proportionally to GDP per capita. The energy mix was unaffected, but the lower demand motivated 6% less emissions. The reliability of the system improved with respect previous years, but the transmission losses increased by 5% due to energy theft caused by the severe economic crisis suffered in the archipelago. In that sense, the impact on revenue and energy sector workers was quite limited. Furthermore, we also studied the effects of the pandemic in other energy related sectors such as water desalination and transport. The recovery started in the third quarter of 2020 as marked by the increased electricity demand, but also with the rapid growth of passengers and goods in the transport sector.

  • Open Access English
    Authors: 
    Rossano Albatici; Luca Zaniboni;
    Countries: Italy, Denmark

    Current literature and guidelines on sustainable design often debate on the advantages of natural ventilation (NV) and mechanical ventilation (MV) on indoor environment and energy consumption. The present systematic review explores the existing literature comparing NV and MV on the indoor comfort and well-being points of view. The findings emphasize that thermo-hygrometric comfort is the main driver of occupants’ ventilation behavior, while ventilation design is mainly led by indoor air quality targets. Moreover, more recent papers (especially after COVID-19 outbreak) emphasize the necessity of a health-based approach, contrasting airborne pathogens transmission. In this sense, MV is more frequently recommended in public spaces, while hybrid ventilation (HV) is often suggested as a solution to both ensure proper indoor conditions and energy savings. The concept of well-being is currently under-explored, as the present literature only refers to comfort. The same happens with topics such as visual, acoustic, and multi-domain comfort, as well as passive techniques such as night cooling, or analysis of specific environments such as healthcare facilities. Current knowledge would benefit from an expansion of future research in these directions. The choice of the best ventilation solution cannot ignore the context, type, and condition of energy efficient buildings, in order to properly take into account occupants’ well-being.

  • Open Access English
    Authors: 
    Lazarus, Jeffrey V.; Romero, Diana; Kopka, Christopher J.; Karim, Salim Abdool; Abu-Raddad, Laith J.; Almeida, Gisele; Baptista-Leite, Ricardo; Barocas, Joshua A.; Barreto, Mauricio L.; Bar-Yam, Yaneer; +190 more
    Countries: Spain, Peru, Denmark, Netherlands

    AbstractDespite notable scientific and medical advances, broader political, socioeconomic and behavioural factors continue to undercut the response to the COVID-19 pandemic1,2. Here we convened, as part of this Delphi study, a diverse, multidisciplinary panel of 386 academic, health, non-governmental organization, government and other experts in COVID-19 response from 112 countries and territories to recommend specific actions to end this persistent global threat to public health. The panel developed a set of 41 consensus statements and 57 recommendations to governments, health systems, industry and other key stakeholders across six domains: communication; health systems; vaccination; prevention; treatment and care; and inequities. In the wake of nearly three years of fragmented global and national responses, it is instructive to note that three of the highest-ranked recommendations call for the adoption of whole-of-society and whole-of-government approaches1, while maintaining proven prevention measures using a vaccines-plus approach2 that employs a range of public health and financial support measures to complement vaccination. Other recommendations with at least 99% combined agreement advise governments and other stakeholders to improve communication, rebuild public trust and engage communities3 in the management of pandemic responses. The findings of the study, which have been further endorsed by 184 organizations globally, include points of unanimous agreement, as well as six recommendations with >5% disagreement, that provide health and social policy actions to address inadequacies in the pandemic response and help to bring this public health threat to an end.

  • Open Access English
    Authors: 
    Frederik Plesner Lyngse; Carsten Thure Kirkeby; Matthew Denwood; Lasse Engbo Christiansen; Kåre Mølbak; Camilla Holten Møller; Robert Leo Skov; Tyra Grove Krause; Morten Rasmussen; Raphael Niklaus Sieber; +9 more
    Country: Denmark

    AbstractSARS coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) continues to evolve and new variants emerge. Using nationwide Danish data, we estimate the transmission dynamics of SARS-CoV-2 Omicron subvariants BA.1 and BA.2 within households. Among 22,678 primary cases, we identified 17,319 secondary infections among 50,588 household contacts during a 1–7 day follow-up. The secondary attack rate (SAR) was 29% and 39% in households infected with Omicron BA.1 and BA.2, respectively. BA.2 was associated with increased susceptibility of infection for unvaccinated household contacts (Odds Ratio (OR) 1.99; 95%–CI 1.72-2.31), fully vaccinated contacts (OR 2.26; 95%–CI 1.95–2.62) and booster-vaccinated contacts (OR 2.65; 95%–CI 2.29–3.08), compared to BA.1. We also found increased infectiousness from unvaccinated primary cases infected with BA.2 compared to BA.1 (OR 2.47; 95%–CI 2.15–2.84), but not for fully vaccinated (OR 0.66; 95%–CI 0.57–0.78) or booster-vaccinated primary cases (OR 0.69; 95%–CI 0.59–0.82). Omicron BA.2 is inherently more transmissible than BA.1. Its immune-evasive properties also reduce the protective effect of vaccination against infection, but do not increase infectiousness of breakthrough infections from vaccinated individuals.

  • Open Access English
    Authors: 
    Lize M. Grobbelaar; Arneaux Kruger; Chantelle Venter; Este M. Burger; Gert J. Laubscher; Tongai G. Maponga; Maritha J. Kotze; Hau C. Kwaan; Joseph B. Miller; Daniel Fulkerson; +12 more
    Country: Denmark

    Abstract Earlier variants of SARS-CoV-2 have been associated with plasma hypercoagulability (as judged by thromboelastography) and an extensive formation of fibrin amyloid microclots, which are considered to contribute to the pathology of the coronavirus 2019 disease (COVID-19). The newer Omicron variants appear to be far more transmissible, but less virulent, even when taking immunity acquired from previous infections or vaccination into account. We here show that while the clotting parameters associated with Omicron variants are significantly raised over those of healthy, matched controls, they are only raised to levels significantly lower than those seen with more severe variants such as Beta and Delta. We also observed that individuals infected with Omicron variants manifested less extensive microclot formation in platelet poor plasma compared to those harbouring the more virulent variants. The measurement of clotting effects between the different variants acts as a kind of ‘internal control’ that demonstrates the relationship between the extent of coagulopathies and the virulence of the variant of interest. This adds to the evidence that microclots play an important role in determining the severity of symptoms observed in COVID-19.

  • Open Access English
    Authors: 
    Frederik Plesner Lyngse; Laust Hvas Mortensen; Matthew J. Denwood; Lasse Engbo Christiansen; Camilla Holten Møller; Robert Leo Skov; Katja Spiess; Anders Fomsgaard; Ria Lassaunière; Morten Rasmussen; +9 more
    Country: Denmark

    AbstractIn late 2021, the Omicron SARS-CoV-2 variant overtook the previously dominant Delta variant, but the extent to which this transition was driven by immune evasion or a change in the inherent transmissibility is currently unclear. We estimate SARS-CoV-2 transmission within Danish households during December 2021. Among 26,675 households (8,568 with the Omicron VOC), we identified 14,140 secondary infections within a 1–7-day follow-up period. The secondary attack rate was 29% and 21% in households infected with Omicron and Delta, respectively. For Omicron, the odds of infection were 1.10 (95%-CI: 1.00-1.21) times higher for unvaccinated, 2.38 (95%-CI: 2.23-2.54) times higher for fully vaccinated and 3.20 (95%-CI: 2.67-3.83) times higher for booster-vaccinated contacts compared to Delta. We conclude that the transition from Delta to Omicron VOC was primarily driven by immune evasiveness and to a lesser extent an inherent increase in the basic transmissibility of the Omicron variant.

  • Open Access English
    Authors: 
    Arneaux Kruger; Mare Vlok; Simone Turner; Chantelle Venter; Gert Jacobus Laubscher; Douglas B. Kell; Etheresia Pretorius;
    Country: Denmark

    Abstract Background Post-acute sequelae of COVID-19 (PASC), also now known as long COVID, has become a major global health and economic burden. Previously, we provided evidence that there is a significant insoluble fibrin amyloid microclot load in the circulation of individuals with long COVID, and that these microclots entrap a substantial number of inflammatory molecules, including those that might prevent clot breakdown. Scientifically, the most challenging aspect of this debilitating condition is that traditional pathology tests such as a serum CRP (C-reactive protein) may not show any significant abnormal inflammatory markers, albeit these tests measure only the soluble inflammatory molecules. Elevated, or abnormal soluble biomarkers such as IL-6, D-Dimer or fibrinogen indicate an increased risk for thrombosis or a host immune response in COVID-19. The absence of biomarkers in standard pathology tests, result in a significant amount of confusion for patients and clinicians, as patients are extremely sick or even bed-ridden but with no regular identifiable reason for their disease. Biomarkers that are currently available cannot detect the molecules present in the microclots we identified and are therefore unable to confirm their presence or the mechanisms that drive their formation. Methods Here we analysed the protein content of double-digested microclots of 99 long COVID patients and 29 healthy controls. The patients suffering from long COVID reported their symptoms through a questionnaire completed by themselves or their attending physician. Results Our long COVID cohort’s symptoms were found to be in line with global findings, where the most prevalent symptoms were constant fatigue (74%,) cognitive impairment (71%) and depression and anxiety (30%). Our most noteworthy findings were a reduced level of plasma Kallikrein compared to our controls, an increased level of platelet factor 4 (PF4) von Willebrand factor (VWF), and a marginally increased level of α-2 antiplasmin (α-2-AP). We also found a significant presence of antibodies entrapped inside these microclots. Conclusion Our results confirm the presence of pro-inflammatory molecules that may also contribute to a failed fibrinolysis phenomenon, which could possibly explain why individuals with long COVID suffer from chronic fatigue, dyspnoea, or cognitive impairment. In addition, significant platelet hyperactivation was noted. Hyperactivation will result in the granular content of platelets being shed into the circulation, including PF4. Overall, our results provide further evidence of both a failed fibrinolytic system in long COVID/PASC and the entrapment of many proteins whose presence might otherwise go unrecorded. These findings might have significant implications for individuals with pre-existing comorbidities, including cardiovascular disease and type 2 diabetes.

  • Open Access English
    Authors: 
    Mathias L. Heltberg; Christian Michelsen; Emil S. Martiny; Lasse Engbo Christensen; Mogens H. Jensen; Tariq Halasa; Troels C. Petersen;
    Country: Denmark

    The modelling of pandemics has become a critical aspect in modern society. Even though artificial intelligence can help the forecast, the implementation of ordinary differential equations which estimate the time development in the number of susceptible, (exposed), infected and recovered (SIR/SEIR) individuals is still important in order to understand the stage of the pandemic. These models are based on simplified assumptions which constitute approximations, but to what extent this are erroneous is not understood since many factors can affect the development. In this paper, we introduce an agent-based model including spatial clustering and heterogeneities in connectivity and infection strength. Based on Danish population data, we estimate how this impacts the early prediction of a pandemic and compare this to the long-term development. Our results show that early phase SEIR model predictions overestimate the peak number of infected and the equilibrium level by at least a factor of two. These results are robust to variations of parameters influencing connection distances and independent of the distribution of infection rates.

  • Open Access English
    Authors: 
    Khanh Bao Tran; Justin J Lang; Kelly Compton; Rixing Xu; Alistair R Acheson; Hannah Jacqueline Henrikson; Jonathan M Kocarnik; Louise Penberthy; Amirali Aali; Qamar Abbas; +319 more
    Publisher: Elsevier
    Countries: Norway, Peru, Denmark, Germany, Netherlands, United Kingdom, Finland, Italy

    Background Understanding the magnitude of cancer burden attributable to potentially modifiable risk factors is crucial for development of effective prevention and mitigation strategies. We analysed results from the Global Burden of Diseases, Injuries, and Risk Factors Study (GBD) 2019 to inform cancer control planning efforts globally. Methods The GBD 2019 comparative risk assessment framework was used to estimate cancer burden attributable to behavioural, environmental and occupational, and metabolic risk factors. A total of 82 risk-outcome pairs were included on the basis of the World Cancer Research Fund criteria. Estimated cancer deaths and disability-adjusted life-years (DALYs) in 2019 and change in these measures between 2010 and 2019 are presented. Findings Globally, in 2019, the risk factors included in this analysis accounted for 4.45 million (95% uncertainty interval 4.01-4.94) deaths and 105 million (95.0-116) DALYs for both sexes combined, representing 44.4% (41.3-48.4) of all cancer deaths and 42.0% (39.1-45.6) of all DALYs. There were 2.88 million (2.60-3.18) risk-attributable cancer deaths in males (50.6% [47.8-54.1] of all male cancer deaths) and 1.58 million (1.36-1.84) risk-attributable cancer deaths in females (36.3% [32.5-41.3] of all female cancer deaths). The leading risk factors at the most detailed level globally for risk-attributable cancer deaths and DALYs in 2019 for both sexes combined were smoking, followed by alcohol use and high BMI. Risk-attributable cancer burden varied by world region and Socio-demographic Index (SDI), with smoking, unsafe sex, and alcohol use being the three leading risk factors for risk-attributable cancer DALYs in low SDI locations in 2019, whereas DALYs in high SDI locations mirrored the top three global risk factor rankings. From 2010 to 2019, global risk-attributable cancer deaths increased by 20.4% (12.6-28.4) and DALYs by 16.8% (8.8-25.0), with the greatest percentage increase in metabolic risks (34.7% [27.9-42.8] and 33.3% [25.8-42.0]). Interpretation The leading risk factors contributing to global cancer burden in 2019 were behavioural, whereas metabolic risk factors saw the largest increases between 2010 and 2019. Reducing exposure to these modifiable risk factors would decrease cancer mortality and DALY rates worldwide, and policies should be tailored appropriately to local cancer risk factor burden. Copyright (C) 2022 The Author(s). Published by Elsevier Ltd. This is an Open Access article under the CC BY 4.0 license.