Chapter

Lessons Learned and Future Perspectives

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  • Italian Society of Digital Health and Telemedicine
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Abstract

COVID-19 struck the world in early 2020 changing the same perception of reality as we have known it in the last decades. The onset of a novel completely unknown infection presented some challenges no one was ready to deal with. In this very complex scenario, the first step is to understand the enemy in an attempt of finding its soft spots. Then, we have to consider the host and the way the human body responds to the virus, understanding that every human being is unique.

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We report acute antibody responses to SARS-CoV-2 in 285 patients with COVID-19. Within 19 days after symptom onset, 100% of patients tested positive for antiviral immunoglobulin-G (IgG). Seroconversion for IgG and IgM occurred simultaneously or sequentially. Both IgG and IgM titers plateaued within 6 days after seroconversion. Serological testing may be helpful for the diagnosis of suspected patients with negative RT–PCR results and for the identification of asymptomatic infections. A cross-sectional study of hospitalized patients with COVID-19 and a longitudinal follow-up study of patients with COVID-19 suggest that SARS-CoV2-specific IgG or IgM seroconversion occurs within 20 days post symptom onset.
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In the time of COVID-19 epidemic, Italy was found unprepared to manage lockdown patients with chronic diseases, due to limited availability and diffusion of large-scale telemedicine solutions. The scattered distribution and heterogeneity of available tools, the lack of integration with the electronic health record of the national health system, the poor interconnection between telemedicine services operating at different levels, the lack of a real multidisciplinary approach to the patient's management, the heavy privacy regulations, and lack of clear guidelines, together with the lack of reimbursement, all hinder the implementation of effective telemedicine solutions for long-term patients' management. This COVID-19 epidemic should help promote better use and a larger integration of telemedicine services in the armamentarium of health care services. Telemedicine must no longer be considered as an option or add-on to react to an emergency.
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Background An epidemic of Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) began in December 2019 and triggered a Public Health Emergency of International Concern (PHEIC). We aimed to find risk factors for the progression of COVID-19 to help reducing the risk of critical illness and death for clinical help. Methods The data of COVID-19 patients until March 20, 2020 were retrieved from four databases. We statistically analyzed the risk factors of critical/mortal and non-critical COVID-19 patients with meta-analysis. Results Thirteen studies were included in Meta-analysis, including a total number of 3027 patients with SARS-CoV-2 infection. Male, older than 65, and smoking were risk factors for disease progression in patients with COVID-19 (male: OR = 1.76, 95% CI (1.41, 2.18), P < 0.00001; age over 65 years old: OR =6.06, 95% CI(3.98, 9.22), P < 0.00001; current smoking: OR =2.51, 95% CI(1.39, 3.32), P = 0.0006). The proportion of underlying diseases such as hypertension, diabetes, cardiovascular disease, and respiratory disease were statistically significant higher in critical/mortal patients compared to the non-critical patients (diabetes: OR=3.68, 95% CI (2.68, 5.03), P < 0.00001; hypertension: OR = 2.72, 95% CI (1.60,4.64), P = 0.0002; cardiovascular disease: OR = 5.19, 95% CI(3.25, 8.29), P < 0.00001; respiratory disease: OR = 5.15, 95% CI(2.51, 10.57), P < 0.00001). Clinical manifestations such as fever, shortness of breath or dyspnea were associated with the progression of disease [fever: 0R = 0.56, 95% CI (0.38, 0.82), P = 0.003;shortness of breath or dyspnea: 0R=4.16, 95% CI (3.13, 5.53), P < 0.00001]. Laboratory examination such as aspartate amino transferase(AST) > 40U/L, creatinine(Cr) ≥ 133mol/L, hypersensitive cardiac troponin I(hs-cTnI) > 28pg/mL, procalcitonin(PCT) > 0.5ng/mL, lactatede hydrogenase(LDH) > 245U/L, and D-dimer > 0.5mg/L predicted the deterioration of disease while white blood cells(WBC)<4 × 10⁹/L meant a better clinical status[AST > 40U/L:OR=4.00, 95% CI (2.46, 6.52), P < 0.00001; Cr ≥ 133μmol/L: OR = 5.30, 95% CI (2.19, 12.83), P = 0.0002; hs-cTnI > 28 pg/mL: OR = 43.24, 95% CI (9.92, 188.49), P < 0.00001; PCT > 0.5 ng/mL: OR = 43.24, 95% CI (9.92, 188.49), P < 0.00001;LDH > 245U/L: OR = 43.24, 95% CI (9.92, 188.49), P < 0.00001; D-dimer > 0.5mg/L: OR = 43.24, 95% CI (9.92, 188.49), P < 0.00001; WBC < 4 × 10⁹/L: OR = 0.30, 95% CI (0.17, 0.51), P < 0.00001]. Conclusion Male, aged over 65, smoking patients might face a greater risk of developing into the critical or mortal condition and the comorbidities such as hypertension, diabetes, cardiovascular disease, and respiratory diseases could also greatly affect the prognosis of the COVID-19. Clinical manifestation such as fever, shortness of breath or dyspnea and laboratory examination such as WBC, AST, Cr, PCT, LDH, hs-cTnI and D-dimer could imply the progression of COVID-19.
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Background and aims Balanced nutrition which can help in maintaining immunity is essential for prevention and management of viral infections. While data regarding nutrition in coronavirus infection (COVID-19) are not available, in this review, we aimed to evaluated evidence from previous clinical trials that evaluated nutrition-based interventions for viral diseases (with special emphasis on respiratory infections), and summaries our observations. Methods A systematic search strategy was employed using keywords to search the literature in 3 key medical databases: PubMed®, Web of Science® and SciVerse Scopus®. Studies were considered eligible if they were controlled trials in humans, measuring immunological parameters, on viral and respiratory infections. Clinical trials on vitamins, minerals, nutraceuticals and probiotics were included. Results total of 640 records were identified initially and 22 studies were included from other sources. After excluding duplicates and articles that did not meet the inclusion criteria, 43 studies were obtained (vitamins: 13; minerals: 8; nutraceuticals: 18 and probiotics: 4). Among vitamins, A and D showed a potential benefit, especially in deficient populations. Among trace elements, selenium and zinc have also shown favourable immune-modulatory effects in viral respiratory infections. Several nutraceuticals and probiotics may have some role in enhancing immune functions. Micronutrients may be beneficial in nutritionally depleted elderly population. Conclusions We summaries possible benefits of some vitamins, trace elements, nutraceuticals and and probiotics. Nutrition principles based on these data could be useful in possible prevention and management of COVID-19
Article
Background Little is known about the nature and durability of the humoral immune response to infection with severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2). Methods We measured antibodies in serum samples from 30,576 persons in Iceland, using six assays (including two pan-immunoglobulin [pan-Ig] assays), and we determined that the appropriate measure of seropositivity was a positive result with both pan-Ig assays. We tested 2102 samples collected from 1237 persons up to 4 months after diagnosis by a quantitative polymerase-chain-reaction (qPCR) assay. We measured antibodies in 4222 quarantined persons who had been exposed to SARS-CoV-2 and in 23,452 persons not known to have been exposed. Results Of the 1797 persons who had recovered from SARS-CoV-2 infection, 1107 of the 1215 who were tested (91.1%) were seropositive; antiviral antibody titers assayed by two pan-Ig assays increased during 2 months after diagnosis by qPCR and remained on a plateau for the remainder of the study. Of quarantined persons, 2.3% were seropositive; of those with unknown exposure, 0.3% were positive. We estimate that 0.9% of Icelanders were infected with SARS-CoV-2 and that the infection was fatal in 0.3%. We also estimate that 56% of all SARS-CoV-2 infections in Iceland had been diagnosed with qPCR, 14% had occurred in quarantined persons who had not been tested with qPCR (or who had not received a positive result, if tested), and 30% had occurred in persons outside quarantine and not tested with qPCR. Conclusions Our results indicate that antiviral antibodies against SARS-CoV-2 did not decline within 4 months after diagnosis. We estimate that the risk of death from infection was 0.3% and that 44% of persons infected with SARS-CoV-2 in Iceland were not diagnosed by qPCR.
Article
Immediately before the pandemic, 300 enterprise Mayo Clinic physicians and advanced practice providers had performed a minimum of one video telemedicine consult in the preceding year. By July 15, 2020, the number of Mayo Clinic providers performing video telemedicine consults had risen to >6,500, reflecting a 2,000% increase. Through this pandemic, we have witnessed unprecedented growth in telemedicine utilization. The existing telemedicine system has proven to be scalable.
Article
Background: Some people with SARS-CoV-2 infection remain asymptomatic, whilst in others the infection can cause mild to moderate COVID-19 disease and COVID-19 pneumonia, leading some patients to require intensive care support and, in some cases, to death, especially in older adults. Symptoms such as fever or cough, and signs such as oxygen saturation or lung auscultation findings, are the first and most readily available diagnostic information. Such information could be used to either rule out COVID-19 disease, or select patients for further diagnostic testing. Objectives: To assess the diagnostic accuracy of signs and symptoms to determine if a person presenting in primary care or to hospital outpatient settings, such as the emergency department or dedicated COVID-19 clinics, has COVID-19 disease or COVID-19 pneumonia. Search methods: On 27 April 2020, we undertook electronic searches in the Cochrane COVID-19 Study Register and the University of Bern living search database, which is updated daily with published articles from PubMed and Embase and with preprints from medRxiv and bioRxiv. In addition, we checked repositories of COVID-19 publications. We did not apply any language restrictions. Selection criteria: Studies were eligible if they included patients with suspected COVID-19 disease, or if they recruited known cases with COVID-19 disease and controls without COVID-19. Studies were eligible when they recruited patients presenting to primary care or hospital outpatient settings. Studies including patients who contracted SARS-CoV-2 infection while admitted to hospital were not eligible. The minimum eligible sample size of studies was 10 participants. All signs and symptoms were eligible for this review, including individual signs and symptoms or combinations. We accepted a range of reference standards including reverse transcription polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR), clinical expertise, imaging, serology tests and World Health Organization (WHO) or other definitions of COVID-19. Data collection and analysis: Pairs of review authors independently selected all studies, at both title and abstract stage and full-text stage. They resolved any disagreements by discussion with a third review author. Two review authors independently extracted data and resolved disagreements by discussion with a third review author. Two review authors independently assessed risk of bias using the QUADAS-2 checklist. Analyses were descriptive, presenting sensitivity and specificity in paired forest plots, in ROC (receiver operating characteristic) space and in dumbbell plots. We did not attempt meta-analysis due to the small number of studies, heterogeneity across studies and the high risk of bias. Main results: We identified 16 studies including 7706 participants in total. Prevalence of COVID-19 disease varied from 5% to 38% with a median of 17%. There were no studies from primary care settings, although we did find seven studies in outpatient clinics (2172 participants), and four studies in the emergency department (1401 participants). We found data on 27 signs and symptoms, which fall into four different categories: systemic, respiratory, gastrointestinal and cardiovascular. No studies assessed combinations of different signs and symptoms and results were highly variable across studies. Most had very low sensitivity and high specificity; only six symptoms had a sensitivity of at least 50% in at least one study: cough, sore throat, fever, myalgia or arthralgia, fatigue, and headache. Of these, fever, myalgia or arthralgia, fatigue, and headache could be considered red flags (defined as having a positive likelihood ratio of at least 5) for COVID-19 as their specificity was above 90%, meaning that they substantially increase the likelihood of COVID-19 disease when present. Seven studies carried a high risk of bias for selection of participants because inclusion in the studies depended on the applicable testing and referral protocols, which included many of the signs and symptoms under study in this review. Five studies only included participants with pneumonia on imaging, suggesting that this is a highly selected population. In an additional four studies, we were unable to assess the risk for selection bias. These factors make it very difficult to determine the diagnostic properties of these signs and symptoms from the included studies. We also had concerns about the applicability of these results, since most studies included participants who were already admitted to hospital or presenting to hospital settings. This makes these findings less applicable to people presenting to primary care, who may have less severe illness and a lower prevalence of COVID-19 disease. None of the studies included any data on children, and only one focused specifically on older adults. We hope that future updates of this review will be able to provide more information about the diagnostic properties of signs and symptoms in different settings and age groups. Authors' conclusions: The individual signs and symptoms included in this review appear to have very poor diagnostic properties, although this should be interpreted in the context of selection bias and heterogeneity between studies. Based on currently available data, neither absence nor presence of signs or symptoms are accurate enough to rule in or rule out disease. Prospective studies in an unselected population presenting to primary care or hospital outpatient settings, examining combinations of signs and symptoms to evaluate the syndromic presentation of COVID-19 disease, are urgently needed. Results from such studies could inform subsequent management decisions such as self-isolation or selecting patients for further diagnostic testing. We also need data on potentially more specific symptoms such as loss of sense of smell. Studies in older adults are especially important.
Article
Background Severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) which emerged in the city of Wuhan, Hubei Province, China, has spread worldwide and is threatening human life. The detection of SARS-CoV-2 is critical for preventing new outbreaks, curbing disease spread, and managing patients. Currently, a reverse-transcription polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR) assay is used to detect the virus in clinical laboratories. However, although this assay is considered to have high specificity, its sensitivity is reportedly as low as 60–70%. Improved sensitivity is, therefore, urgently required. Methods We used the primers and single-quencher probes recommended by the CDC (N1, N2 and N3) in the USA and the NIID (N1 and N2) in Japan. In addition, we designed double-quencher probes according to the virus sequence provided by the NIID to develop a further assay (termed the YCH assay [N1 and N2]). Using these assays, we conducted RT-PCR with serially diluted DNA positive controls to assess and compare the detection sensitivity of the three assays. Furthermore, 66 nasopharyngeal swabs were tested to determine the diagnostic performances. Results The threshold cycle (Ct) value of the RT-PCR was relatively low for the CDC and YCH assays compared with the NIID assay. Serial dilution assays showed that both the CDC and YCH assays could detect low copy numbers of the DNA positive control. The background fluorescence signal at the baseline was lower for the YCH assay compared with the NIID assay. We assessed the diagnostic performance between single- (NIID) and double-quencher (YCH) probes using 66 nasopharyngeal swabs. When the results of YCH-N2 assay were used as a reference, each assay detected SARS-CoV-2 with positive percent agreements of 56% for NIID-N1, 61% for YCH-N1, and 94% for NIID-N2, and 100% negative percent agreements for NIID-N1, YCH-N1 and NIID-N2. Conclusion Double-quencher probes decreased the background fluorescence and improved the detection sensitivity of RT-PCR for SARS-CoV-2.
Article
Background: Patients hospitalized with coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) frequently require mechanical ventilation and have high mortality rates, but the impact of viral burden on these outcomes is unknown. Methods: We conducted a retrospective cohort study of patients hospitalized with COVID-19 from March 30 to April 30, 2020 at two hospitals in New York City. SARS-CoV-2 viral load was assessed using cycle threshold (Ct) values from a reverse transcription-polymerase chain reaction assay applied to nasopharyngeal swab samples. We compared patient characteristics and outcomes among patients with high, medium, and low admission viral loads and assessed whether viral load was independently associated with risk of intubation and in-hospital mortality. Results: We evaluated 678 patients with COVID-19. Higher viral load was associated with increased age, comorbidities, smoking status, and recent chemotherapy. In-hospital mortality was 35.0% with a high viral load (Ct<25; n=220), 17.6% with a medium viral load (Ct 25-30; n=216), and 6.2% with a low viral load (Ct>30; n=242; P<0.001). The risk of intubation was also higher in patients with a high viral load (29.1%), compared to those with a medium (20.8%) or low viral load (14.9%; P<0.001). High viral load was independently associated with mortality (adjusted odds ratio [aOR] 6.05; 95% confidence interval [CI]: 2.92-12.52; P<0.001) and intubation (aOR 2.73; 95% CI: 1.68-4.44; P<0.001) in multivariate models. Conclusions: Admission SARS-CoV-2 viral load among hospitalized patients with COVID-19 independently correlates with the risk of intubation and in-hospital mortality. Providing this information to clinicians could potentially be used to guide patient care.
Article
This study aimed to determine the presence of SARS-CoV-2 on surfaces frequently touched by COVID-19 patients, and assess the scope of contamination and transmissibility in facilities where the outbreaks occurred. In the course of this epidemiological investigation, a total of 80 environmental specimens were collected from 6 hospitals (68 specimens) and 2 "mass facilities" (6 specimens from a rehabilitation center and 6 specimens from an apartment building complex). Specific reverse transcriptase-polymerase chain reaction targeting of RNA-dependent RNA polymerase, and envelope genes, were used to identify the presence of this novel coronavirus. The 68 specimens from 6 hospitals (A, B, C, D, E, and G), where prior disinfection/cleaning had been performed before environmental sampling, tested negative for SARS-CoV-2. However, 2 out of 12 specimens (16.7%) from 2 "mass facilities" (F and H), where prior disinfection/cleaning had not taken place, were positive for SARS-CoV-2 RNA polymerase, and envelope genes. These results suggest that prompt disinfection and cleaning of potentially contaminated surfaces is an effective infection control measure. By inactivating SARS-CoV-2 with disinfection/cleaning the infectivity and transmission of the virus is blocked. This investigation of environmental sampling may help in the understanding of risk assessment of the COVID-19 outbreak in "mass facilities" and provide guidance in using effective disinfectants on contaminated surfaces.
Article
‘The Mask’ has become a byword and a precious possession universally. Except for its use by the medical fraternity, answers to the common questions-whether it provides enough protection, which type is optimal for the general public and who really needs to don it, remain poorly understood. For a frontline healthcare worker, wearing mask is a necessity as an important person protection equipment, it is perhaps the most-powerful psychological symbol for the general public. Surprisingly, it even undermines all other recommended practices of infection control and breaking the transmission chain of Covid-19, like hand washing, personal hygiene and social distancing. ‘The mask’ has evolved with time and yet there is a need to further improve the design for safety, tolerability and comfort. In this review we present the journey of face mask, originating from the first masks aimed at stopping the bad smell to its industrial use to its all-important place in the medical field. Various types of face masks, their filtration efficiency, reusability and current recommendations for their use are presented.
Article
The current COVID-19 pandemic has resulted in globally constrained supplies for face masks and personal protective equipment (PPE). Production capacity is limited in many countries and the future course of the pandemic will likely continue with shortages for high quality masks and PPE in the foreseeable future. Hence, expectations are that mask reuse, extended wear and similar approaches will enhance the availability of personal protective measures. Repeated thermal disinfection could be an important option and likely easier implemented in some situations, at least on the small scale, than UV illumination, irradiation or hydrogen peroxide vapor exposure. An overview on thermal responses and ongoing filtration performance of multiple face mask types is provided. Most masks have adequate material properties to survive a few cycles (i.e. 30 min disinfection steps) of thermal exposure in the 75 °C regime. Some are more easily affected, as seen by the fusing of plastic liner or warping, given that preferred conditioning temperatures are near the softening point for some of the plastics and fibers used in these masks. Hence adequate temperature control is equally important. As guidance, disinfectants sprayed via dilute solutions maintain a surface presence over extended time at 25 and 37 °C. Some spray-on alcohol-based solutions containing disinfectants were gently applied to the top surface of masks. Neither moderate thermal aging (less than 24 h at 80 and 95 °C) nor gentle application of surface disinfectant sprays resulted in measurable loss of mask filter performance. Subject to bio-medical concurrence (additional checks for virus kill efficiency) and the use of low risk non-toxic disinfectants, such strategies, either individually or combined, by offering additional anti-viral properties or short term refreshing, may complement reuse options of professional masks or the now ubiquitous custom-made face masks with their often unknown filtration effectiveness.
Preprint
Objectives: To evaluate SARS-CoV-2 surface and air contamination during the peak of the COVID-19 pandemic in London. Design: Prospective cross-sectional observational study. Setting: An acute NHS healthcare provider. Participants: All inpatient wards were fully occupied by patients with COVID-19 at the time of sampling. Interventions: Air and surface samples were collected from a range of clinical areas and a public area of the hospital. An active air sampler was used to collect three or four 1.0 m3 air samples in each area. Surface samples were collected by swabbing approximately 25 cm2 of items in the immediate vicinity of each air sample. SARS-CoV-2 was detected by RT-qPCR and viral culture using Vero E6 and Caco2 cells; additionally the limit of detection for culturing SARS-CoV-2 dried onto surfaces was determined. Main outcome measures: SARS-CoV-2 detected by PCR or culture. Results: Viral RNA was detected on 114/218 (52.3%) of surface and 14/31 (38.7%) air samples but no virus was cultured. The proportion of surface samples contaminated with viral RNA varied by item sampled and by clinical area. Viral RNA was detected on surfaces and in air in public areas of the hospital but was more likely to be found in areas immediately occupied by COVID-19 patients (67/105 (63.8%) in areas immediately occupied by COVID-19 patients vs. 29/64 (45.3%) in other areas (odds ratio 0.5, 95% confidence interval 0.2-0.9, p=0.025, Fishers exact test). The PCR Ct value for all surface and air samples (>30) indicated a viral load that would not be culturable. Conclusions: Our findings of extensive viral RNA contamination of surfaces and air across a range of acute healthcare settings in the absence of cultured virus underlines the potential risk from surface and air contamination in managing COVID-19, and the need for effective use of PPE, social distancing, and hand/surface hygiene.
Article
Background A vaccine to protect against COVID-19 is urgently needed. We aimed to assess the safety, tolerability, and immunogenicity of a recombinant adenovirus type-5 (Ad5) vectored COVID-19 vaccine expressing the spike glycoprotein of a severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) strain. Methods We did a dose-escalation, single-centre, open-label, non-randomised, phase 1 trial of an Ad5 vectored COVID-19 vaccine in Wuhan, China. Healthy adults aged between 18 and 60 years were sequentially enrolled and allocated to one of three dose groups (5 × 10¹⁰, 1 × 10¹¹, and 1·5 × 10¹¹ viral particles) to receive an intramuscular injection of vaccine. The primary outcome was adverse events in the 7 days post-vaccination. Safety was assessed over 28 days post-vaccination. Specific antibodies were measured with ELISA, and the neutralising antibody responses induced by vaccination were detected with SARS-CoV-2 virus neutralisation and pseudovirus neutralisation tests. T-cell responses were assessed by enzyme-linked immunospot and flow-cytometry assays. This study is registered with ClinicalTrials.gov, NCT04313127. Findings Between March 16 and March 27, 2020, we screened 195 individuals for eligibility. Of them, 108 participants (51% male, 49% female; mean age 36·3 years) were recruited and received the low dose (n=36), middle dose (n=36), or high dose (n=36) of the vaccine. All enrolled participants were included in the analysis. At least one adverse reaction within the first 7 days after the vaccination was reported in 30 (83%) participants in the low dose group, 30 (83%) participants in the middle dose group, and 27 (75%) participants in the high dose group. The most common injection site adverse reaction was pain, which was reported in 58 (54%) vaccine recipients, and the most commonly reported systematic adverse reactions were fever (50 [46%]), fatigue (47 [44%]), headache (42 [39%]), and muscle pain (18 [17%]. Most adverse reactions that were reported in all dose groups were mild or moderate in severity. No serious adverse event was noted within 28 days post-vaccination. ELISA antibodies and neutralising antibodies increased significantly at day 14, and peaked 28 days post-vaccination. Specific T-cell response peaked at day 14 post-vaccination. Interpretation The Ad5 vectored COVID-19 vaccine is tolerable and immunogenic at 28 days post-vaccination. Humoral responses against SARS-CoV-2 peaked at day 28 post-vaccination in healthy adults, and rapid specific T-cell responses were noted from day 14 post-vaccination. Our findings suggest that the Ad5 vectored COVID-19 vaccine warrants further investigation. Funding National Key R&D Program of China, National Science and Technology Major Project, and CanSino Biologics.
Article
Paul Little and colleagues call for better promotion of simple measures that can help reduce the spread and severity of infection among those living with people who have covid-19. Most people with covid-19 are cared for at home, increasing the likely exposure of household members. Although the evidence is limited, high infection rates among health workers have been attributed to more frequent contact with infected patients, and higher viral load —the size of the infecting dose of virus. This has led to demands for better personal protection equipment (PPE). Less attention, however, has been given to family members and others caring for people with covid-19 in the community. Providing them with the same level of PPE as in hospitals is not practicable, but promotion of simple evidence based interventions may lower the risk of infection transmission and help reduce morbidity and demand on hospitals.
Article
S Since SARS-CoV-2 spreads rapidly around the world, data have been needed on the natural fluctuation of viral load and clinical indicators associated with it. We measured and compared viral loads of SARS-CoV-2 from pharyngeal swab, IgM anti-SARS-CoV-2, CRP and SAA from serum of 114 COVID-19 patients on admission. Positive rates of IgM anti-SARS-CoV-2, CRP and SAA were 80.7%, 36% and 75.4% respectively. Among IgM-positive patients, viral loads showed different trends among cases with different severity, While viral loads of IgM-negative patients tended to increase along with the time after onset. As the worsening of severity, the positive rates of CRP and SAA also showed trends of increase. Different CRP/SAA type showed associations with viral loads in patients in different severity and different time after onset. Combination of the IgM and CRP/SAA with time after onset and severity may give suggestions on the viral load and condition judgment of COVID-19 patients.
Article
Unstructured: Disasters and pandemics pose unique challenges to health care delivery. As healthcare systems are set to be further stretched with the increasing burden of COVID-19, telemedicine, including tele-education may be effective way to rationally allocate medical resources. During the COVID-19 pandemic, practice showed that telemedicine was a feasible, effective way with good acceptability in western China, translating in significant improvement in professional coverage in this underserviced area. The successes of telemedicine in western China may provide a useful reference for other parts of the world.
Article
Functional food is considered to be effective in promoting health and wellbeing. Patients with Type 2 Diabetes Mellitus strongly depend on diet to achieve better glycaemic control and to reduce the burden of the disease. However, adherence to a controlled diet and to proper monitoring of the disease may be challenging for the patients and their family. The use of electronic devices and software together with the implementation of a tailored telemedicine model can help to overcome some of the issues related to the management of this complex disease. To better understand how a telemedicine system can be useful in empowering patients with diabetes so as to enhance the effects of a therapeutic diet, we propose a research protocol as part of the Diabete Calabria 2.0 project, aimed to study a working model in a real-life setting.
Article
While all groups are affected by the COVID-19 pandemic, the elderly, underrepresented minorities, and those with underlying medical conditions are at the greatest risk. The high rate of consumption of diets high in saturated fats, sugars, and refined carbohydrates (collectively called Western diet, WD) worldwide, contribute to the prevalence of obesity and type II diabetes, and could place these populations at an increased risk for severe COVID-19 pathology and mortality. WD consumption activates the innate immune system and impairs adaptive immunity, leading to chronic inflammation and impaired host defense against viruses. Furthermore, peripheral inflammation caused by COVID-19 may have long-term consequences in those that recover, leading to chronic medical conditions such as dementia and neurodegenerative disease, likely through neuroinflammatory mechanisms that can be compounded by an unhealthy diet. Thus, now more than ever, wider access to healthy foods should be a top priority and individuals should be mindful of healthy eating habits to reduce susceptibility to and long-term complications from COVID-19.