174 results found
Lavezzo E, Franchin E, Ciavarella C, et al., 2020, Suppression of a SARS-CoV-2 outbreak in the Italian municipality of Vo'., Nature, Vol: 584, Pages: 425-429, ISSN: 0028-0836
On the 21st of February 2020 a resident of the municipality of Vo', a small town near Padua, died of pneumonia due to SARS-CoV-2 infection1. This was the first COVID-19 death detected in Italy since the emergence of SARS-CoV-2 in the Chinese city of Wuhan, Hubei province2. In response, the regional authorities imposed the lockdown of the whole municipality for 14 days3. We collected information on the demography, clinical presentation, hospitalization, contact network and presence of SARS-CoV-2 infection in nasopharyngeal swabs for 85.9% and 71.5% of the population of Vo' at two consecutive time points. On the first survey, which was conducted around the time the town lockdown started, we found a prevalence of infection of 2.6% (95% confidence interval (CI) 2.1-3.3%). On the second survey, which was conducted at the end of the lockdown, we found a prevalence of 1.2% (95% Confidence Interval (CI) 0.8-1.8%). Notably, 42.5% (95% CI 31.5-54.6%) of the confirmed SARS-CoV-2 infections detected across the two surveys were asymptomatic (i.e. did not have symptoms at the time of swab testing and did not develop symptoms afterwards). The mean serial interval was 7.2 days (95% CI 5.9-9.6). We found no statistically significant difference in the viral load of symptomatic versus asymptomatic infections (p-values 0.62 and 0.74 for E and RdRp genes, respectively, Exact Wilcoxon-Mann-Whitney test). This study sheds new light on the frequency of asymptomatic SARS-CoV-2 infection, their infectivity (as measured by the viral load) and provides new insights into its transmission dynamics and the efficacy of the implemented control measures.
Ward H, Atchison C, Whitaker M, et al., 2020, Antibody prevalence for SARS-CoV-2 in England following first peak of the pandemic: REACT2 study in 100,000 adults, Publisher: bioRxiv
Background England, UK has experienced a large outbreak of SARS-CoV-2 infection. As in USA and elsewhere, disadvantaged communities have been disproportionately affected. Methods National REal-time Assessment of Community Transmission-2 (REACT-2) seroprevalence study using self-administered lateral flow immunoassay (LFIA) test for IgG among a random population sample of 100,000 adults over 18 years in England, 20 June to 13 July 2020. Results Completed questionnaires were available for 109,076 participants, yielding 5,544 IgG positive results and adjusted (for test performance), re-weighted (for sampling) prevalence of 6.0% (95% CI: 5.8, 6.1). Highest prevalence was in London (13.0% [12.3, 13.6]), among people of Black or Asian (mainly South Asian) ethnicity (17.3% [15.8, 19.1] and 11.9% [11.0, 12.8] respectively) and those aged 18-24 years (7.9% [7.3, 8.5]). Care home workers with client-facing roles had adjusted odds ratio of 3.1 (2.5, 3.8) compared with non-essential workers. One third (32.2%, [31.0-33.4]) of antibody positive individuals reported no symptoms. Among symptomatic cases, the majority (78.8%) reported symptoms during the peak of the epidemic in England in March (31.3%) and April (47.5%) 2020. We estimate that 3.36 million (3.21, 3.51) people have been infected with SARS-CoV-2 in England to end June 2020, with an overall infection fatality ratio of 0.90% (0.86, 0.94). Conclusion The pandemic of SARS-CoV-2 infection in England disproportionately affected ethnic minority groups and health and care home workers. The higher risk of infection in these groups may explain, at least in part, their increased risk of hospitalisation and mortality from COVID-19.
Flaxman S, Mishra S, Gandy A, et al., 2020, Estimating the effects of non-pharmaceutical interventions on COVID-19 in Europe, Nature, Vol: 584, Pages: 257-261, ISSN: 0028-0836
Following the emergence of a novel coronavirus1 (SARS-CoV-2) and its spread outside of China, Europe has experienced large epidemics. In response, many European countries have implemented unprecedented non-pharmaceutical interventions such as closure of schools and national lockdowns. We study the impact of major interventions across 11 European countries for the period from the start of COVID-19 until the 4th of May 2020 when lockdowns started to be lifted. Our model calculates backwards from observed deaths to estimate transmission that occurred several weeks prior, allowing for the time lag between infection and death. We use partial pooling of information between countries with both individual and shared effects on the reproduction number. Pooling allows more information to be used, helps overcome data idiosyncrasies, and enables more timely estimates. Our model relies on fixed estimates of some epidemiological parameters such as the infection fatality rate, does not include importation or subnational variation and assumes that changes in the reproduction number are an immediate response to interventions rather than gradual changes in behavior. Amidst the ongoing pandemic, we rely on death data that is incomplete, with systematic biases in reporting, and subject to future consolidation. We estimate that, for all the countries we consider, current interventions have been sufficient to drive the reproduction number Rt below 1 (probability Rt< 1.0 is 99.9%) and achieve epidemic control. We estimate that, across all 11 countries, between 12 and 15 million individuals have been infected with SARS-CoV-2 up to 4th May, representing between 3.2% and 4.0% of the population. Our results show that major non-pharmaceutical interventions and lockdown in particular have had a large effect on reducing transmission. Continued intervention should be considered to keep transmission of SARS-CoV-2 under control.
Riley S, Ainslie KEC, Eales O, et al., 2020, Transient dynamics of SARS-CoV-2 as England exited national lockdown
<jats:p>Control of the COVID-19 pandemic requires a detailed understanding of prevalence of SARS-CoV-2 virus in the population. Case-based surveillance is necessarily biased towards symptomatic individuals and sensitive to varying patterns of reporting in space and time. The real-time assessment of community transmission antigen study (REACT-1) is designed to overcome these limitations by obtaining prevalence data based on a nose and throat swab RT-PCR test among a representative community-based sample in England, including asymptomatic individuals. Here, we describe results comparing rounds 1 and 2 carried out during May and mid June / early July 2020 respectively across 315 lower tier local authority areas. In round 1 we found 159 positive samples from 120,620 tested swabs while round 2 there were 123 positive samples from 159,199 tested swabs, indicating a downwards trend in prevalence from 0.13% (95% CI, 0.11%, 0.15%) to 0.077% (0.065%, 0.092%), a halving time of 38 (28, 58) days, and an R of 0.89 (0.86, 0.93). The proportion of swab-positive participants who were asymptomatic at the time of sampling increased from 69% (61%, 76%) in round 1 to 81% (73%, 87%) in round 2. Although health care and care home workers were infected far more frequently than other workers in round 1, the odds were markedly reduced in round 2. Age patterns of infection changed between rounds, with a reduction by a factor of five in prevalence in 18 to 24 year olds. Our data were suggestive of increased risk of infection in Black and Asian (mainly South Asian) ethnicities. Using regional and detailed case location data, we detected increased infection intensity in and near London. Under multiple sensitivity analyses, our results were robust to the possibility of false positives. At the end of the initial lockdown in England, we found continued decline in prevalence and a shift in the pattern of infection by age and occupation. Community-based sampling, including asymptomatic individ
Haw DJ, Read JM, Pung RM, et al., Strong spatial embedding of social networks generates non-standard epidemic dynamics independent of degree distribution and clustering, Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of USA, ISSN: 0027-8424
Some directly transmitted human pathogens such as influenza and measles generate sustained exponential growth in incidence, and have a high peak incidence consistent with the rapid depletion of susceptible individuals. Many do not. While a prolonged exponential phase typically arises in traditional disease-dynamic models,current quantitative descriptions of non-standard epidemic profiles are either abstract, phenomenological or rely on highly skewed off-spring distributions in network models. Here, we create large socio-spatial networks to represent contact behaviour using human population density data, a previously developed fitting algorithm, and gravity-like mobility kernels. We define a basic reproductive number R0 for this system analogous to that used for compartmental mod-els. Controlling for R0, we then explore networks with a household-workplace structure in which between-household contacts can be formed with varying degrees of spatial correlation, determined by a single parameter from the gravity-like kernel. By varying this single parameter and simulating epidemic spread, we are able to identify how more frequent local movement can lead to strong spatial cor-relation and thus induce sub-exponential outbreak dynamics with lower, later epidemic peaks. Also, the ratio of peak height to finalsize was much smaller when movement was highly spatially correlated. We investigate the topological properties of our networks via a generalized clustering coefficient that extends beyond immediate neighbourhoods, identifying very strong correlations between 4th order clustering and non-standard epidemic dynamics. Our results motivate the joint observation of incidence and socio-spatial human behaviour during epidemics that exhibit non-standard incidence pat-terns.
Kwok K-O, Chan E, Chung P-H, et al., 2020, Prevalence and associated factors for carriage of Enterobacteriaceae producing ESBLs or carbapenemase and methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus in Hong Kong community, JOURNAL OF INFECTION, Vol: 81, Pages: 242-247, ISSN: 0163-4453
Riley S, Ainslie KEC, Eales O, et al., 2020, Community prevalence of SARS-CoV-2 virus in England during May 2020: REACT study
<jats:p>BackgroundEngland has experienced one of the highest rates of confirmed COVID-19 mortality in the world. SARS-CoV-2 virus has circulated in hospitals, care homes and the community since January 2020. Our current epidemiological knowledge is largely informed by clinical cases with far less understanding of community transmission. MethodsThe REal-time Assessment of Community Transmission (REACT) study is a nationally representative prevalence survey of SARS-CoV-2 virus swab-positivity in the community in England. We recruited participants regardless of symptom status.ResultsWe found 159 positives from 120,610 swabs giving an average prevalence of 0.13% (95% CI: 0.11%,0.15%) from 1st May to 1st June 2020. We showed decreasing prevalence with a halving time of 8.6 (6.2, 13.6) days, implying an overall reproduction number R of 0.57 (0.45, 0.72). Adults aged 18 to 24 yrs had the highest swab-positivity rates, while those >64 yrs had the lowest. Of the 126 participants who tested positive with known symptom status in the week prior to their swab, 39 reported symptoms while 87 did not, giving an estimate that 69% (61%,76%) of people were symptom-free for the 7 days prior testing positive in our community sample. Symptoms strongly associated with swab-positivity were: nausea and/or vomiting, diarrhoea, blocked nose, loss of smell, loss of taste, headache, chills and severe fatigue. Recent contact with a known COVID-19 case was associated with odds of 24 (16, 38) for swab-positivity. Compared with non-key workers, odds of swab-positivity were 7.7 (2.4, 25) among care home (long-term care facilities) workers and 5.2 (2.9, 9.3) among health care workers. However, some of the excess risk associated with key worker status was explained by recent contact with COVID-19 cases. We found no strong evidence for geographical variability in positive swab results. Conclusion Our results provide a reliable baseline against which the impact of subsequent relaxation of
Yang B, Lessler J, Zhu H, et al., 2020, Life course exposures continually shape antibody profiles and risk of seroconversion to influenza., PLoS Pathog, Vol: 16
Complex exposure histories and immune mediated interactions between influenza strains contribute to the life course of human immunity to influenza. Antibody profiles can be generated by characterizing immune responses to multiple antigenically variant strains, but how these profiles vary across individuals and determine future responses is unclear. We used hemagglutination inhibition titers from 21 H3N2 strains to construct 777 paired antibody profiles from people aged 2 to 86, and developed novel metrics to capture features of these profiles. Total antibody titer per potential influenza exposure increases in early life, then decreases in middle age. Increased titers to one or more strains were seen in 97.8% of participants during a roughly four-year interval, suggesting widespread influenza exposure. While titer changes were seen to all strains, recently circulating strains exhibited the greatest titer rise. Higher pre-existing, homologous titers at baseline reduced the risk of seroconversion to recent strains. After adjusting for homologous titer, we also found an increased frequency of seroconversion against recent strains among those with higher immunity to older previously exposed strains. Including immunity to previously exposures also improved the deviance explained by the models. Our results suggest that a comprehensive quantitative description of immunity encompassing past exposures could lead to improved correlates of risk of influenza infection.
Okell LC, Verity R, Watson OJ, et al., 2020, Have deaths from COVID-19 in Europe plateaued due to herd immunity?, LANCET, Vol: 395, Pages: E110-E111, ISSN: 0140-6736
Minter A, Hoschler K, Jagne YJ, et al., 2020, Estimation of seasonal influenza attack rates and antibody dynamics in children using cross-sectional serological data., J Infect Dis
Directly measuring evidence of influenza infections is difficult, especially in low surveillance settings such as sub-Saharan Africa. Using a Bayesian model, we estimated unobserved infection times and underlying antibody responses to influenza A/H3N2 using cross-sectional serum antibody responses to four strains in children aged 24-60 months. Among the 242 individuals, we estimated a variable seasonal attack rate and found that most children had at least one infection before two years of age. Our results are consistent with previously published high attack rates in children. The modelling approach highlights how cross-sectional serological data can be used to estimate epidemiological dynamics.
Bhatia S, Imai N, Cuomo-Dannenburg G, et al., 2020, Estimating the number of undetected COVID-19 cases among travellers from mainland China, Publisher: F1000 Research Ltd
Background: Since the start of the COVID-19 epidemic in late 2019, there have been more than 152 affected regions and countries with over 110,000 confirmed cases outside mainland China.Methods: We analysed COVID-19 cases among travellers from mainland China to different regions and countries, comparing the region- and country-specific rates of detected and confirmed cases per flight volume to estimate the relative sensitivity of surveillance in different regions and countries.Results: Although travel restrictions from Wuhan City and other cities across China may have reduced the absolute number of travellers to and from China, we estimated that more than two thirds (70%, 95% CI: 54% - 80%, compared to Singapore; 75%, 95% CI: 66% - 82%, compared to multiple countries) of cases exported from mainland China have remained undetected.Conclusions: These undetected cases potentially resulted in multiple chains of human-to-human transmission outside mainland China.
Nouvellet P, Bhatia S, Cori A, et al., 2020, Report 26: Reduction in mobility and COVID-19 transmission
In response to the COVID-19 pandemic, countries have sought to control transmission of SARS-CoV-2by restricting population movement through social distancing interventions, reducing the number ofcontacts.Mobility data represent an important proxy measure of social distancing. Here, we develop aframework to infer the relationship between mobility and the key measure of population-level diseasetransmission, the reproduction number (R). The framework is applied to 53 countries with sustainedSARS-CoV-2 transmission based on two distinct country-specific automated measures of humanmobility, Apple and Google mobility data.For both datasets, the relationship between mobility and transmission was consistent within andacross countries and explained more than 85% of the variance in the observed variation intransmissibility. We quantified country-specific mobility thresholds defined as the reduction inmobility necessary to expect a decline in new infections (R<1).While social contacts were sufficiently reduced in France, Spain and the United Kingdom to controlCOVID-19 as of the 10th of May, we find that enhanced control measures are still warranted for themajority of countries. We found encouraging early evidence of some decoupling of transmission andmobility in 10 countries, a key indicator of successful easing of social-distancing restrictions.Easing social-distancing restrictions should be considered very carefully, as small increases in contactrates are likely to risk resurgence even where COVID-19 is apparently under control. Overall, strongpopulation-wide social-distancing measures are effective to control COVID-19; however gradualeasing of restrictions must be accompanied by alternative interventions, such as efficient contacttracing, to ensure control.
Verity R, Okell LC, Dorigatti I, et al., 2020, Estimates of the severity of coronavirus disease 2019: a model-based analysis., Lancet Infectious Diseases, Vol: 20, Pages: 669-677, ISSN: 1473-3099
BACKGROUND: In the face of rapidly changing data, a range of case fatality ratio estimates for coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) have been produced that differ substantially in magnitude. We aimed to provide robust estimates, accounting for censoring and ascertainment biases. METHODS: We collected individual-case data for patients who died from COVID-19 in Hubei, mainland China (reported by national and provincial health commissions to Feb 8, 2020), and for cases outside of mainland China (from government or ministry of health websites and media reports for 37 countries, as well as Hong Kong and Macau, until Feb 25, 2020). These individual-case data were used to estimate the time between onset of symptoms and outcome (death or discharge from hospital). We next obtained age-stratified estimates of the case fatality ratio by relating the aggregate distribution of cases to the observed cumulative deaths in China, assuming a constant attack rate by age and adjusting for demography and age-based and location-based under-ascertainment. We also estimated the case fatality ratio from individual line-list data on 1334 cases identified outside of mainland China. Using data on the prevalence of PCR-confirmed cases in international residents repatriated from China, we obtained age-stratified estimates of the infection fatality ratio. Furthermore, data on age-stratified severity in a subset of 3665 cases from China were used to estimate the proportion of infected individuals who are likely to require hospitalisation. FINDINGS: Using data on 24 deaths that occurred in mainland China and 165 recoveries outside of China, we estimated the mean duration from onset of symptoms to death to be 17·8 days (95% credible interval [CrI] 16·9-19·2) and to hospital discharge to be 24·7 days (22·9-28·1). In all laboratory confirmed and clinically diagnosed cases from mainland China (n=70 117), we estimated a crude case fatality ratio (adjusted for cen
Jeffrey B, Walters C, Ainslie K, et al., 2020, Report 24: Mobility data from mobile phones suggests that initial compliance with COVID-19 social distancing interventions was high and geographically consistent across the UK, 24
Since early March 2020, the COVID-19 epidemic across the United Kingdom has led to a range of socialdistancing policies, which have resulted in reduced mobility across different regions. Crowd level dataon mobile phone usage can be used as a proxy for actual population mobility patterns and provide away of quantifying the impact of social distancing measures on changes in mobility. Here, we use twomobile phone-based datasets (anonymised and aggregated crowd level data from O2 and from theFacebook app on mobile phones) to assess changes in average mobility, both overall and broken downinto high and low population density areas, and changes in the distribution of journey lengths. Weshow that there was a substantial overall reduction in mobility with the most rapid decline on the 24thMarch 2020, the day after the Prime Minister’s announcement of an enforced lockdown. Thereduction in mobility was highly synchronized across the UK. Although mobility has remained low since26th March 2020, we detect a gradual increase since that time. We also show that the two differentdatasets produce similar trends, albeit with some location-specific differences. We see slightly largerreductions in average mobility in high-density areas than in low-density areas, with greater variationin mobility in the high-density areas: some high-density areas eliminated almost all mobility. We areonly able to observe populations living in locations where sufficient number of people use Facebookor a device connected to the relevant provider’s network such that no individual is identifiable. Theseanalyses form a baseline with which to monitor changes in behaviour in the UK as social distancing iseased.
Dighe A, Cattarino L, Cuomo-Dannenburg G, et al., 2020, Report 25: Response to COVID-19 in South Korea and implications for lifting stringent interventions, 25
While South Korea experienced a sharp growth in COVID-19 cases early in the global pandemic, it has since rapidly reduced rates of infection and now maintains low numbers of daily new cases. Despite using less stringent “lockdown” measures than other affected countries, strong social distancing measures have been advised in high incidence areas and a 38% national decrease in movement occurred voluntarily between February 24th - March 1st. Suspected and confirmed cases were isolated quickly even during the rapid expansion of the epidemic and identification of the Shincheonji cluster. South Korea swiftly scaled up testing capacity and was able to maintain case-based interventions throughout. However, individual case-based contact tracing, not associated with a specific cluster, was a relatively minor aspect of their control program, with cluster investigations accounting for a far higher proportion of cases: the underlying epidemic was driven by a series of linked clusters, with 48% of all cases in the Shincheonji cluster and 20% in other clusters. Case-based contacts currently account for only 11% of total cases. The high volume of testing and low number of deaths suggests that South Korea experienced a small epidemic of infections relative to other countries. Therefore, caution is needed in attempting to duplicate the South Korean response in settings with larger more generalized epidemics. Finding, testing and isolating cases that are linked to clusters may be more difficult in such settings.
Unwin H, Mishra S, Bradley VC, et al., 2020, Report 23: State-level tracking of COVID-19 in the United States
our estimates show that the percentage of individuals that have been infected is 4.1% [3.7%-4.5%], with widevariation between states. For all states, even for the worst affected states, we estimate that less than a quarter of thepopulation has been infected; in New York, for example, we estimate that 16.6% [12.8%-21.6%] of individuals have beeninfected to date. Our attack rates for New York are in line with those from recent serological studies  broadly supportingour choice of infection fatality rate.There is variation in the initial reproduction number, which is likely due to a range of factors; we find a strong associationbetween the initial reproduction number with both population density (measured at the state level) and the chronologicaldate when 10 cumulative deaths occurred (a crude estimate of the date of locally sustained transmission).Our estimates suggest that the epidemic is not under control in much of the US: as of 17 May 2020 the reproductionnumber is above the critical threshold (1.0) in 24 [95% CI: 20-30] states. Higher reproduction numbers are geographicallyclustered in the South and Midwest, where epidemics are still developing, while we estimate lower reproduction numbersin states that have already suffered high COVID-19 mortality (such as the Northeast). These estimates suggest that cautionmust be taken in loosening current restrictions if effective additional measures are not put in place.We predict that increased mobility following relaxation of social distancing will lead to resurgence of transmission, keepingall else constant. We predict that deaths over the next two-month period could exceed current cumulative deathsby greater than two-fold, if the relationship between mobility and transmission remains unchanged. Our results suggestthat factors modulating transmission such as rapid testing, contact tracing and behavioural precautions are crucial to offsetthe rise of transmission associated with loosening of social distancing. Overall, we
Mellan T, Hoeltgebaum H, Mishra S, et al., 2020, Report 21: Estimating COVID-19 cases and reproduction number in Brazil
Brazil is an epicentre for COVID-19 in Latin America. In this report we describe the Brazilian epidemicusing three epidemiological measures: the number of infections, the number of deaths and the reproduction number. Our modelling framework requires sufficient death data to estimate trends, and wetherefore limit our analysis to 16 states that have experienced a total of more than fifty deaths. Thedistribution of deaths among states is highly heterogeneous, with 5 states—São Paulo, Rio de Janeiro,Ceará, Pernambuco and Amazonas—accounting for 81% of deaths reported to date. In these states, weestimate that the percentage of people that have been infected with SARS-CoV-2 ranges from 3.3% (95%CI: 2.8%-3.7%) in São Paulo to 10.6% (95% CI: 8.8%-12.1%) in Amazonas. The reproduction number (ameasure of transmission intensity) at the start of the epidemic meant that an infected individual wouldinfect three or four others on average. Following non-pharmaceutical interventions such as school closures and decreases in population mobility, we show that the reproduction number has dropped substantially in each state. However, for all 16 states we study, we estimate with high confidence that thereproduction number remains above 1. A reproduction number above 1 means that the epidemic isnot yet controlled and will continue to grow. These trends are in stark contrast to other major COVID19 epidemics in Europe and Asia where enforced lockdowns have successfully driven the reproductionnumber below 1. While the Brazilian epidemic is still relatively nascent on a national scale, our resultssuggest that further action is needed to limit spread and prevent health system overload.
Hay JA, Minter A, Ainslie KEC, et al., 2020, An open source tool to infer epidemiological and immunological dynamics from serological data: serosolver, PLOS COMPUTATIONAL BIOLOGY, Vol: 16, ISSN: 1553-734X
Ainslie KEC, Walters CE, Fu H, et al., 2020, Evidence of initial success for China exiting COVID-19 social distancing policy after achieving containment [version 1; peer review: 2 approved], Wellcome Open Res, Vol: 5, ISSN: 2398-502X
Background: The COVID-19 epidemic was declared a Global Pandemic by WHO on 11 March 2020. By 24 March 2020, over 440,000 cases and almost 20,000 deaths had been reported worldwide. In response to the fast-growing epidemic, which began in the Chinese city of Wuhan, Hubei, China imposed strict social distancing in Wuhan on 23 January 2020 followed closely by similar measures in other provinces. These interventions have impacted economic productivity in China, and the ability of the Chinese economy to resume without restarting the epidemic was not clear. Methods: Using daily reported cases from mainland China and Hong Kong SAR, we estimated transmissibility over time and compared it to daily within-city movement, as a proxy for economic activity. Results: Initially, within-city movement and transmission were very strongly correlated in the five mainland provinces most affected by the epidemic and Beijing. However, that correlation decreased rapidly after the initial sharp fall in transmissibility. In general, towards the end of the study period, the correlation was no longer apparent, despite substantial increases in within-city movement. A similar analysis for Hong Kong shows that intermediate levels of local activity were maintained while avoiding a large outbreak. At the very end of the study period, when China began to experience the re-introduction of a small number of cases from Europe and the United States, there is an apparent up-tick in transmission. Conclusions: Although these results do not preclude future substantial increases in incidence, they suggest that after very intense social distancing (which resulted in containment), China successfully exited its lockdown to some degree. Elsewhere, movement data are being used as proxies for economic activity to assess the impact of interventions. The results presented here illustrate how the eventual decorrelation between transmission and movement is likely a key feature of successful COVID-19 exit strategies.
Arinaminpathy N, Riley S, Barclay W, et al., 2020, Population implications of the deployment of novel universal vaccines against epidemic and pandemic influenza, Journal of the Royal Society Interface, ISSN: 1742-5662
Biggerstaff M, Dahlgren FS, Fitzner J, et al., 2020, Coordinating the real-time use of global influenza activity data for better public health planning, Influenza and Other Respiratory Viruses, Vol: 14, Pages: 105-110, ISSN: 1750-2640
Health planners from global to local levels must anticipate year-to-year andweek-to-week variation in seasonal influenza activity when planning for andresponding to epidemics to mitigate their impact. To help with this, countries routinelycollect incidence of mild and severe respiratory illness and virologic data oncirculating subtypes and use this data for situational awareness, burden of diseaseestimates and severity assessments. Advanced analytics and modelling areincreasingly used to aid planning and response activities by describing key featuresof influenza activity for a given location and generating forecasts that can betranslated to useful actions such as enhanced risk communications, and informingclinical supply chains. Here, we describe the formation of the Influenza IncidenceAnalytics Group (IIAG),a coordinated global effort to apply advanced analytics andmodelling to public influenza data, both epidemiological and virologic, in real-time andthus provide additional insights to countries who provide routine surveillance data toWHO. Our objectives are to systematically increase the value of data to healthplanners by applying advanced analytics and forecasting and for results to beimmediately reproducible and deployable using an open repository of data and code.We expect the resources we develop and the associated community to provide anattractive option for the open analysis of key epidemiological data during seasonalepidemics and the early stages of an influenza pandemic.
Jeffrey B, Walters CE, Ainslie KEC, et al., 2020, Anonymised and aggregated crowd level mobility data from mobile phones suggests that initial compliance with covid-19 social distancing interventions was high and geographically consistent across the UK, Wellcome Open Research, Vol: 5, Pages: 1-10
© 2020 Jeffrey B et al. Background: Since early March 2020, the COVID-19 epidemic across the United Kingdom has led to a range of social distancing policies, which have resulted in reduced mobility across different regions. Crowd level data on mobile phone usage can be used as a proxy for actual population mobility patterns and provide a way of quantifying the impact of social distancing measures on changes in mobility. Methods: Here, we use two mobile phone-based datasets (anonymised and aggregated crowd level data from O2 and from the Facebook app on mobile phones) to assess changes in average mobility, both overall and broken down into high and low population density areas, and changes in the distribution of journey lengths. Results: We show that there was a substantial overall reduction in mobility, with the most rapid decline on the 24th March 2020, the day after the Prime Minister's announcement of an enforced lockdown. The reduction in mobility was highly synchronized across the UK. Although mobility has remained low since 26th March 2020, we detect a gradual increase since that time. We also show that the two different datasets produce similar trends, albeit with some location-specific differences. We see slightly larger reductions in average mobility in high-density areas than in low-density areas, with greater variation in mobility in the high-density areas: some high-density areas eliminated almost all mobility. Conclusions: These analyses form a baseline from which to observe changes in behaviour in the UK as social distancing is eased and inform policy towards the future control of SARS-CoV-2 in the UK. This is an open access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.
Pepin KM, Hopken MW, Shriner SA, et al., 2019, Improving risk assessment of the emergence of novel influenza A viruses by incorporating environmental surveillance, PHILOSOPHICAL TRANSACTIONS OF THE ROYAL SOCIETY B-BIOLOGICAL SCIENCES, Vol: 374, ISSN: 0962-8436
Hay JA, Laurie K, White M, et al., 2019, Characterising antibody kinetics from multiple influenza infection and vaccination events in ferrets, PLOS COMPUTATIONAL BIOLOGY, Vol: 15
Rivers C, Chretien J-P, Riley S, et al., 2019, Using "outbreak science" to strengthen the use of models during epidemics, NATURE COMMUNICATIONS, Vol: 10, ISSN: 2041-1723
Ben-Nun M, Riley P, Turtle J, et al., 2019, Forecasting national and regional influenza-like illness for the USA, PLOS COMPUTATIONAL BIOLOGY, Vol: 15, ISSN: 1553-734X
Suwannahitatorn P, Webster J, Riley S, et al., 2019, Uncooked fish consumption among those at risk of Opisthorchis viverrini infection in central Thailand, PLoS ONE, Vol: 14, Pages: 1-13, ISSN: 1932-6203
In contrast to northern and northeastern Thailand, central Thailand was believed not to be endemic for Opisthorchis viverrini (OV). Fieldwork conducted in a rural area of central Thailand revealed that the prevalence and incidence were relatively high compared with regional average data. We hypothesized that the behavioural-psycho-social background of the study population might play an important role in the high burden of the infection. As a result, a qualitative study was conducted to highlight potential social determinants of the infection dynamics to gain greater understanding of the risk behaviours and their contexts. A qualitative study using focus group discussion and in-depth interviews was conducted in Na-ngam Village, Chachoengsao Province from 2012–14. Framework analysis was used to explore associations between infection and thematic content. Social influence showed a strong impact on infection dynamics of OV infection. Our results revealed that Koi pla (chopped raw fish salad) remains a popular dish in the community, as the dish itself represents northeastern culture. The cultural norm had been transferred from ancestors to their descendants. Some elders complained that discontinuing the consumption of Koi pla went against old traditions with respect to cultural norms and socialization. In contrast, modern education teaches about hygiene including OV infection risks, and accordingly teenagers and young adults were reported to modify their lifestyles including their eating habits. Children are a potential key to pass knowledge to their parents and school-based education programs can serve as a practical hub for knowledge dissemination. However, health education alone might not lead to behavioural change in other age groups. Therefore, more efforts are needed to support the transformation.
Kwok KO, Tang A, Wei VWI, et al., 2019, Epidemic models of contact tracing: systematic review of transmission studies of severe acute respiratory syndrome and Middle East respiratory syndrome, Computational and Structural Biotechnology Journal, Vol: 17, Pages: 186-194, ISSN: 2001-0370
The emergence and reemergence of coronavirus epidemics sparked renewed concerns from global epidemiology researchers and public health administrators. Mathematical models that represented how contact tracing and follow-up may control Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS) and Middle East Respiratory Syndrome (MERS) transmissions were developed for evaluating different infection control interventions, estimating likely number of infections as well as facilitating understanding of their likely epidemiology. We reviewed mathematical models for contact tracing and follow-up control measures of SARS and MERS transmission. Model characteristics, epidemiological parameters and intervention parameters used in the mathematical models from seven studies were summarized. A major concern identified in future epidemics is whether public health administrators can collect all the required data for building epidemiological models in a short period of time during the early phase of an outbreak. Also, currently available models do not explicitly model constrained resources. We urge for closed-loop communication between public health administrators and modelling researchers to come up with guidelines to delineate the collection of the required data in the midst of an outbreak and the inclusion of additional logistical details in future similar models.
McGowan CJ, Biggerstaff M, Johansson M, et al., 2019, Collaborative efforts to forecast seasonal influenza in the United States, 2015-2016., Sci Rep, Vol: 9
Since 2013, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has hosted an annual influenza season forecasting challenge. The 2015-2016 challenge consisted of weekly probabilistic forecasts of multiple targets, including fourteen models submitted by eleven teams. Forecast skill was evaluated using a modified logarithmic score. We averaged submitted forecasts into a mean ensemble model and compared them against predictions based on historical trends. Forecast skill was highest for seasonal peak intensity and short-term forecasts, while forecast skill for timing of season onset and peak week was generally low. Higher forecast skill was associated with team participation in previous influenza forecasting challenges and utilization of ensemble forecasting techniques. The mean ensemble consistently performed well and outperformed historical trend predictions. CDC and contributing teams will continue to advance influenza forecasting and work to improve the accuracy and reliability of forecasts to facilitate increased incorporation into public health response efforts.
Haw DJ, Cummings DAT, Lessler J, et al., 2019, Differential mobility and local variation in infection attack rate, PLOS COMPUTATIONAL BIOLOGY, Vol: 15
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