(searched for: pmid:32299330)
BMJ Open, Volume 11; https://doi.org/10.1136/bmjopen-2021-049876
Objective To quantify the number of SARS-CoV-2 infections in secondary schools after their reopening in May 2020. Design Repeated SARS-CoV-2 seroprevalence study after the reopening of schools and 4 months later. Setting Secondary school in Dresden, Germany. Participants 1538 students grades 8–12 and 507 teachers from 13 schools. Interventions Serial blood sampling and SARS-CoV-2 IgG antibody assessment. Primary and secondary outcome measure Seroprevalence of SARS-CoV-2 antibodies in study population. Number of undetected cases. Results 1538 students and 507 teachers were initially enrolled, and 1334 students and 445 teachers completed both study visits. The seroprevalence for SARS-CoV-2 antibodies was 0.6% in May/June and the same in September/October. Even in schools with reported COVID-19 cases before the lockdown of 13 March, no clusters could be identified. Of 12 persons with positive serology five had a known history of confirmed COVID-19; 23 out of 24 participants with a household history of COVID-91 were seronegative. Conclusions Schools do not play a crucial role in driving the SARS-CoV-2 pandemic in a low-prevalence setting. Transmission in families occurs very infrequently, and the number of unreported cases is low in this age group. These observations do not support school closures as a strategy fighting the pandemic in a low-prevalence setting. Trial registration number DRKS00022455.
Frontiers in Pediatrics, Volume 9; https://doi.org/10.3389/fped.2021.668484
Since its appearance in Wuhan in mid-December 2019, acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) related 19 coronavirus disease (COVID-19) has spread dramatically worldwide. It soon became apparent that the incidence of pediatric COVID-19 was much lower than the adult form. Morbidity in children is characterized by a variable clinical presentation and course. Symptoms are similar to those of other acute respiratory viral infections, the upper airways being more affected than the lower airways. Thus far, over 90% of children who tested positive for the virus presented mild or moderate symptoms and signs. Most children were asymptomatic, and only a few cases were severe, unlike in the adult population. Deaths have been rare and occurred mainly in children with underlying morbidity. Factors as reduced angiotensin-converting enzyme receptor expression, increased activation of the interferon-related innate immune response, and trained immunity have been implicated in the relative resistance to COVID-19 in children, however the underlying pathogenesis and mechanism of action remain to be established. While at the pandemic outbreak, mild respiratory manifestations were the most frequently described symptoms in children, subsequent reports suggested that the clinical course of COVID-19 is more complex than initially thought. Thanks to the experience acquired in adults, the diagnosis of pediatric SARS-CoV-2 infection has improved with time. Data on the treatment of children are sparse, however, several antiviral trials are ongoing. The purpose of this narrative review is to summarize current understanding of pediatric SARS-CoV-2 infection and provide more accurate information for healthcare workers and improve the care of patients.
PLOS ONE, Volume 16; https://doi.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0248336
Early reports indicate that the social determinants of health are implicated in COVID-19 incidence and outcomes. To inform the ongoing response to the pandemic, we conducted a rapid review of peer-reviewed studies to examine the social determinants of COVID-19. We searched Ovid MEDLINE, Embase, PsycINFO, CINAHL and Cochrane Central Register of Controlled Trials from December 1, 2019 to April 27, 2020. We also searched the bibliographies of included studies, COVID-19 evidence repositories and living evidence maps, and consulted with expert colleagues internationally. We included studies identified through these supplementary sources up to June 25, 2020. We included English-language peer-reviewed quantitative studies that used primary data to describe the social determinants of COVID-19 incidence, clinical presentation, health service use and outcomes in adults with a confirmed or presumptive diagnosis of COVID-19. Two reviewers extracted data and conducted quality assessment, confirmed by a third reviewer. Forty-two studies met inclusion criteria. The strongest evidence was from three large observational studies that found associations between race or ethnicity and socioeconomic deprivation and increased likelihood of COVID-19 incidence and subsequent hospitalization. Limited evidence was available on other key determinants, including occupation, educational attainment, housing status and food security. Assessing associations between sociodemographic factors and COVID-19 was limited by small samples, descriptive study designs, and the timeframe of our search. Systematic reviews of literature published subsequently are required to fully understand the magnitude of any effects and predictive utility of sociodemographic factors related to COVID-19 incidence and outcomes. PROSPERO: CRD4202017813.
BMJ Paediatrics Open, Volume 5; https://doi.org/10.1136/bmjpo-2021-001036
Objective To quantify the number of undetected SARS-CoV-2 infections in educational settings. Design Serial SARS-CoV-2 seroprevalence study before and during the second wave of the COVID-19 pandemic. Setting Secondary school in Dresden, Germany. Participants Grade 8–12 students and their teachers were invited to participate in serial blood sampling and SARS-CoV-2 IgG antibody assessment. Main outcome measure Seroprevalence of SARS-CoV-2 antibodies in study population. Results 247 students and 55 teachers participated in the initial study visit and 197 students and 40 teachers completed follow-up. Seroprevalence increased from 1.7% (0.3–3.3) to 6.8% (3.8–10.1) during the study period mirroring the increase of officially reported SARS-CoV-2 infections during this time. The ratio of undetected to detected SARS-CoV-2 infections ranged from 0.25 to 0.33. Conclusions We could not find evidence of relevant silent, asymptomatic spread of SARS-CoV-2 in schools neither in a low prevalence setting nor during the second wave of the pandemic, making it unlikely that educational settings play a crucial role in driving the SARS-CoV-2 pandemic. Trial registration number DRKS00022455.
Journal of Medical Internet Research, Volume 22; https://doi.org/10.2196/19791
Background The ongoing pandemic has placed an unprecedented strain on global society, health care, governments, and mass media. Public dissemination of government policies, medical interventions, and misinformation has been remarkably rapid and largely unregulated during the COVID-19 pandemic, resulting in increased misinterpretations, miscommunication, and public panic. Being the first full-scale global pandemic of the digital age, COVID-19 has presented novel challenges pertinent to government advice, the spread of news and misinformation, and the trade-off between the accessibility of science and the premature public use of unproven medical interventions. Objective This study aims to assess the use of internet search terms relating to COVID-19 information and misinformation during the global pandemic, identify which were most used in six affected countries, investigate any temporal trends and the likely propagators of key search terms, and determine any correlation between the per capita cases and deaths with the adoption of these search terms in each of the six countries. Methods This study uses relative search volume data extracted from Google Trends for search terms linked to the COVID-19 pandemic alongside per capita case and mortality data extracted from the European Open Data Portal to identify the temporal dynamics of the spread of news and misinformation during the global pandemic in six affected countries (Australia, Germany, Italy, Spain, the United Kingdom, and the United States). A correlation analysis was carried out to ascertain any correlation between the temporal trends of search term use and the rise of per capita mortality and disease cases. Results Of the selected search terms, most were searched immediately following promotion by governments, public figures, or viral circulation of information, but also in relation to the publication of scientific resources, which were sometimes misinterpreted before further dissemination. Strong correlations were identified between the volume of these COVID-19–related search terms (overall mean Spearman rho 0.753, SD 0.158), and per capita mortality (mean per capita deaths Spearman rho 0.690, SD 0.168) and cases (mean per capita cases Spearman rho 0.800, SD 0.112). Conclusions These findings illustrate the increased rate and volume of the public consumption of novel information during a global health care crisis. The positive correlation between mortality and online searching, particularly in countries with lower COVID-19 testing rates, may demonstrate the imperative to safeguard official communications and dispel misinformation in these countries. Online news, government briefings, and social media provide a powerful tool for the dissemination of important information to the public during pandemics, but their misuse and the presentation of misrepresented medical information should be monitored, minimized, and addressed to safeguard public safety. Ultimately, governments, public health authorities, and scientists have a moral imperative to safeguard the truth and maintain an accessible discourse with the public to limit fear.