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COVID, Volume 1, Issue 3 (November 2021) – 10 articles

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21 pages, 2185 KiB  
Article
Knowledge, Attitude and Perception towards COVID-19 Pandemic among Veterinary Professionals and Impacts: A Cross-Sectional Nationwide-Based Survey
COVID 2021, 1(3), 645-665; https://doi.org/10.3390/covid1030053 - 22 Nov 2021
Viewed by 2191
Abstract
This study evaluated the knowledge, attitude and perception (KAP) towards COVID-19 pandemic control among veterinarians in Nigeria. A nation-wide web-based cross-sectional survey was conducted. Information on KAP towards the COVID-19 pandemic was gathered (April 23 and May 31, 2020) and multivariate logistic regression [...] Read more.
This study evaluated the knowledge, attitude and perception (KAP) towards COVID-19 pandemic control among veterinarians in Nigeria. A nation-wide web-based cross-sectional survey was conducted. Information on KAP towards the COVID-19 pandemic was gathered (April 23 and May 31, 2020) and multivariate logistic regression was performed to identify associated factors. A total of 368 veterinarians participated in the study. The majority of respondents were males (72.8%), between the ages of 30–39 years (39.7%). Generally, respondents displayed a good level of knowledge about COVID-19 (72.4% ± 9.9%, range 44.1–91.2%), while the general attitude level was poor (65.4% ± 10.8, range 35.3–94.1%). Various determinants for good attitude among respondents were: if they were above 60 years old (aOR = 4.49, 95% CI: 1.379–14.594, p = 0.013), possessed postgraduate qualification (aOR = 1.63, 95 CI: 1.045–2.553, p = 0.031), worked over 30 years post DVM (aOR = 5.63, 95% CI: 1.966–16.100, p = 0.001), had household members between five and 10 (aOR = 1.73, 95% CI: 1.130–2.641, p = 0.012), and if respondents’ residence was on total lockdown (aOR = 1.66, 95% CI: 1.070–2.590, p = 0.024). The pandemic had moderate impacts on social, financial and physical status of the participants. Stricter policy measures and educational programs should be implemented to keep veterinarians and the populace informed about the best practices recommended for COVID-19 management. Full article
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23 pages, 1308 KiB  
Brief Report
Modelling and Prediction of the Spread of COVID-19 in Cameroon and Assessing the Governmental Measures (March–September 2020)
COVID 2021, 1(3), 622-644; https://doi.org/10.3390/covid1030052 - 18 Nov 2021
Cited by 5 | Viewed by 2696
Abstract
COVID-19 is an acute respiratory illness in humans caused by a coronavirus, capable of producing severe symptoms and, in some cases, death, especially in older people and those with underlying health conditions. It was originally identified in China in 2019 and became a [...] Read more.
COVID-19 is an acute respiratory illness in humans caused by a coronavirus, capable of producing severe symptoms and, in some cases, death, especially in older people and those with underlying health conditions. It was originally identified in China in 2019 and became a pandemic in 2020. On 6 March 2020, Cameroon recorded its first cases of infection with COVID-19. The Government of Cameroon (GOC) took 13 barrier measures on 18 March 2020. On 1 May 2020, 19 new measures were adopted, easing restrictions and encouraging economic activity. On 1 June, schools and universities were reopened, after which massive screening began to take place throughout the country. In this study, we have modelled the COVID-19 epidemic in Cameroon in order to assess the governmental measures of response and predict the behaviour of epidemic As a result of these measures, the pandemic evolved in three phases. The first phase began on 18 March and ended on 15 May 2020. During this phase, the actual curve of cumulative positive cases based on field data closely fit the theoretical curve resulting from mathematical modelling. In the beginning of May, we predicted that nearly 3000 positive cases would be declared by mid-May 2020. The actual data confirmed these predictions: there were 2954 cases as of 15 May 2020. The second phase, beyond mid-May 2020, encompasses the period when the GOC’s relaxation of measures takes effect. This phase was marked by an acceleration of the cumulative number of positive cases starting in the third week of May, postponing the expected peak by two weeks. Under Phase 2 conditions, the onset of the peak will occur in early June and extend through the first two weeks of June. However, a third phase occurs in the first week of June, with the reopening of schools and universities combined with massive screening; the peak is therefore expected in the second week of June (around 15 June). The GOC should, at this stage, strengthen its response plan by tripling the current coverage capacity to regain the first phase convergence conditions associated with the first 13 measures. The pandemic will begin its descent in the month of august, but COVID-19 will remain endemic for at least one year. Full article
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14 pages, 685 KiB  
Review
SARS-CoV-2 Targets and COVID-19 Vaccines
COVID 2021, 1(3), 608-621; https://doi.org/10.3390/covid1030051 - 17 Nov 2021
Cited by 3 | Viewed by 3636
Abstract
Coronavirus disease-2019 (COVID-19) vaccines are being used across the globe to reduce the risk of developing COVID-19, stop the transmission of severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus-2 (SARS-CoV-2), and end the pandemic. To address this, a massive global effort is underway for development of [...] Read more.
Coronavirus disease-2019 (COVID-19) vaccines are being used across the globe to reduce the risk of developing COVID-19, stop the transmission of severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus-2 (SARS-CoV-2), and end the pandemic. To address this, a massive global effort is underway for development of COVID-19 vaccines. As of September 2021, the World Health Organization (WHO) has documented 331 COVID-19 vaccine candidates, and 107 are in clinical evaluation, with 8 in Phase IV and 30 in Phase III clinical trials (WHO; COVID-19 vaccine tracker). At least 13 different vaccines are being issued for emergency use authorization. Specifically, the goal is to produce protective immunity to SARS-CoV-2 infection by stimulating an immune response to either the whole virus, viral protein, or nucleic acid products. The spike (S) proteins of SARS-CoV-2 that give the characteristic “corona” appearance of this family of viruses has emerged as an effective target for vaccines. Other viral candidates that are being developed also aim to produce immunity for COVID-19. In this review, we describe the different vaccine platforms, target candidates for vaccines, and their progress in COVID-19 vaccine development. This is critical since newly discovered SARS-CoV-2 variants of interest require understanding of how vaccines may provide the most effective long-term protection against infection. Full article
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6 pages, 865 KiB  
Brief Report
Prevention of Airborne Transmission of SARS-CoV-2 by UV-C Illumination of Airflow
COVID 2021, 1(3), 602-607; https://doi.org/10.3390/covid1030050 - 12 Nov 2021
Cited by 4 | Viewed by 2172
Abstract
SARS-CoV-2 is frequently transmitted by aerosol, and the sterilization of the virus in airflows has numerous potential applications. We evaluated a UV-C illuminator similar to what might be incorporated into tubing of a mechanical ventilator for its ability to block transmission of the [...] Read more.
SARS-CoV-2 is frequently transmitted by aerosol, and the sterilization of the virus in airflows has numerous potential applications. We evaluated a UV-C illuminator similar to what might be incorporated into tubing of a mechanical ventilator for its ability to block transmission of the airborne virus from infected to naïve hamsters. Hamsters protected by the UV system were consistently protected from infection, whereas non-protected hamsters uniformly became infected and displayed virus shedding and high burdens of virus in respiratory tissues. The efficiency and speed with which the virus in flowing air was inactivated using this system suggests several applications for mitigating transmission of this virus. Full article
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12 pages, 1066 KiB  
Article
The Effect of Movement Control Order for Various Population Mobility Phases during COVID-19 in Malaysia
COVID 2021, 1(3), 590-601; https://doi.org/10.3390/covid1030049 - 10 Nov 2021
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 4860
Abstract
Background: COVID-19 was declared a pandemic by the World Health Organization on 11 March 2020. From the beginning of the pandemic, there was no effective pharmaceutical intervention to halt or hold up the spread of this novel disease. Therefore, most countries, including Malaysia, [...] Read more.
Background: COVID-19 was declared a pandemic by the World Health Organization on 11 March 2020. From the beginning of the pandemic, there was no effective pharmaceutical intervention to halt or hold up the spread of this novel disease. Therefore, most countries, including Malaysia, resorted to break the chain of transmission by restricting population mobility through the implementation of the Movement Control Order (MCO). We aim to determine the population mobility trend across the various phases of the MCO during the COVID-19 pandemic in Malaysia by studying the confirmed COVID-19 cases with the Google mobility data. Methodology: The average mobility percentage changes in Retail and Recreation, Grocery and Pharmacy, Parks, Transit Stations, and Workplaces were the components studied in relation to the various MCO phases and daily COVID-19 confirmed cases. The percentage difference was calculated by subtracting the average percentage changes for each MCO phases from the pre-MCO level. Additionally, the percentage difference was also calculated for inter-MCO phases as well. Results: The average mobility percentage changes reduced most drastically during the MCO phases across all the mobility components as compared to the other phases. The average mobility percentage changes in comparison to the pre-MCO levels across Retail and Recreation, Grocery and Pharmacy, Parks, Transit Stations, and Workplaces was −45.8%, −10.6%, −27.7%, −60%, and −34.3%, respectively. In addition, the average mobility percentage changes increased the most during CMCO as compared to MCO. Discussions: Malaysia implemented multiple measures to contain the COVID-19 pandemic since January 2020, culminating in the execution of the MCO. Though doubts on the effectiveness of the MCO were raised at the early stage of its implementation as mass movements persisted, strict enforcement and improved awareness of the impacts of COVID-19 brought significant improvement in compliance, which has been deemed the main reason behind the decrease in new COVID-19 cases since mid-April of 2020. Conclusion: Based on the downtrends of new and active COVID-19 cases, it can be concluded that the MCO has been effective, provided that compliance to the MCO is maintained. This study could serve to a certain degree to governments and policy makers as a tool to consider the relaxation of the lockdown conditions. Full article
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15 pages, 797 KiB  
Review
Safe Return to Work for Domestic Workers in the Time of COVID-19
COVID 2021, 1(3), 575-589; https://doi.org/10.3390/covid1030048 - 05 Nov 2021
Viewed by 3476
Abstract
Domestic workers including housecleaners, nannies, and caregivers are facing a challenging time in the era of COVID-19 exposure. Many domestic workers have lost their jobs worldwide. As businesses and organizations have started to reopen in full capacity, domestic workers are unsure of their [...] Read more.
Domestic workers including housecleaners, nannies, and caregivers are facing a challenging time in the era of COVID-19 exposure. Many domestic workers have lost their jobs worldwide. As businesses and organizations have started to reopen in full capacity, domestic workers are unsure of their future and whether they will be rehired by their employers. They have less protections from labor laws unlike other occupations and usually their employers/agencies do not provide training on safe practices for working in a home setting. There are gaps in understanding safety and health issues associated with precarious work for domestic workers. This review article has searched the literature on safe strategies for domestic workers to eliminate exposure and provides helpful suggestions for domestic workers to safely return to work. Employers or house owners can have a proper reopening plan when considering hiring or rehiring domestic workers. Domestics working in a home environment should use best practices to protect themselves and others from infectious diseases. Having open communication between employers and their domestic workers can go a long way. Implementing and following an effective working plan for both employers and their domestic workers will provide a path towards minimization of hazard and control of infectious diseases like COVID-19. Full article
(This article belongs to the Topic Burden of COVID-19 in Different Countries)
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20 pages, 3301 KiB  
Article
Self and Nonself Short Constituent Sequences of Amino Acids in the SARS-CoV-2 Proteome for Vaccine Development
COVID 2021, 1(3), 555-574; https://doi.org/10.3390/covid1030047 - 05 Nov 2021
Cited by 3 | Viewed by 2570
Abstract
Current SARS-CoV-2 vaccines take advantage of the viral spike protein required for infection in humans. Considering that spike proteins may contain both “self” and “nonself” sequences (sequences that exist in the human proteome and those that do not, respectively), nonself sequences are likely [...] Read more.
Current SARS-CoV-2 vaccines take advantage of the viral spike protein required for infection in humans. Considering that spike proteins may contain both “self” and “nonself” sequences (sequences that exist in the human proteome and those that do not, respectively), nonself sequences are likely to be better candidate epitopes than self sequences for vaccines to efficiently eliminate pathogenic proteins and to reduce the potential long-term risks of autoimmune diseases. This viewpoint is likely important when one considers that various autoantibodies are produced in COVID-19 patients. Here, we comprehensively identified self and nonself short constituent sequences (SCSs) of 5 amino acid residues in the proteome of SARS-CoV-2. Self and nonself SCSs comprised 91.2% and 8.8% of the SARS-CoV-2 proteome, respectively. We identified potentially important nonself SCS clusters in the receptor-binding domain of the spike protein that overlap with previously identified epitopes of neutralizing antibodies. These nonself SCS clusters may serve as functional epitopes for effective, safe, and long-term vaccines against SARS-CoV-2 infection. Additionally, analyses of self/nonself status changes in mutants revealed that the SARS-CoV-2 proteome may be evolving to mimic the human proteome. Further SCS-based proteome analyses may provide useful information to predict epidemiological dynamics of the current COVID-19 pandemic. Full article
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9 pages, 5927 KiB  
Brief Report
Comparison of SARS-CoV-2 Antigen Tests in Asymptomatic Testing of Passengers at German Airports under Time Constraints: Application of Three Different Antigen Test Formats
COVID 2021, 1(3), 546-554; https://doi.org/10.3390/covid1030046 - 04 Nov 2021
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 3161
Abstract
People infected asymptomatically with SARS-CoV-2 can spread the virus very efficiently. To break infection chains, massive testing efforts are underway. While the value of RT-PCR in asymptomatic patients is established, point-of-care (POC) antigen tests against SARS-CoV-2 are considered inferior to RT-PCR in terms [...] Read more.
People infected asymptomatically with SARS-CoV-2 can spread the virus very efficiently. To break infection chains, massive testing efforts are underway. While the value of RT-PCR in asymptomatic patients is established, point-of-care (POC) antigen tests against SARS-CoV-2 are considered inferior to RT-PCR in terms of sensitivity and specificity but have demonstrated utility, mostly in symptomatic patients. We compared the performance of three different antigen tests with colorimetric (Roche), fluorometric (Quidel Sofia 2), and instrument-based chemiluminescent (Fujirebio Lumipulse® G) readout. Sensitivities for Roche, Quidel, and Fujirebio were 62.5%, 90.9%, 97.5% (≤ct 26); 43.8%, 90.9%, 95.1% (≤ct 30); and 4.3%, 0.0%, 57.6% (˃ct 30), respectively. The two assays with increased sensitivity were employed to screen > 35,000 passengers at German airports under time constraints. Under real-world conditions, the rate of false positives was low: 0.15% (Quidel) and 0.06% for the instrument based Fujirebio assay. Our study exemplifies that antigen tests with enhanced detection methods have an acceptable sensitivity of >90% in samples containing SARS-CoV-2 RNA that are considered to be infectious. Therefore, our results support the view of the WHO that discourages the use of antigen assays with a sensitivity of “only” 80% for screening travelers. Full article
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18 pages, 5862 KiB  
Article
Evolution Scenarios and Mitigation Strategies for COVID-19 in Peru, from the Complexity Approach and Agent-Based Modeling
COVID 2021, 1(3), 528-545; https://doi.org/10.3390/covid1030045 - 01 Nov 2021
Cited by 3 | Viewed by 2406
Abstract
The COVID-19 pandemic in Peru began during March 2020, generating a multidimensional crisis that has claimed 198,621 lives as of 8 September 2021. This study presents the simulation of multiple agents showing the emerging dynamics of the interaction and influence of a subset [...] Read more.
The COVID-19 pandemic in Peru began during March 2020, generating a multidimensional crisis that has claimed 198,621 lives as of 8 September 2021. This study presents the simulation of multiple agents showing the emerging dynamics of the interaction and influence of a subset of biological and social factors in the development of the COVID-19 pandemic in Peru. The model is implemented in NetLogo to simulate different hypothetical scenarios that approximate the real behavior of the interaction between the virus, humans and their environment, adjusting demographic, medical, social, and institutional parameters associated with the evolution and spread of the virus. Four scenarios for the evolution of COVID-19 in Peru are investigated, with different levels of restriction on population mobility. This makes it possible to understand the country’s situation, the complex dynamics of the pandemic and simulate in a multidimensional context the non-linear effect of explanatory variables on the evolution of COVID-19. Social isolation is the measure that has the greatest impact on the behavior of the spread of the virus and, therefore, the one that most helps to prevent and slow down the spread of the infection. Full article
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10 pages, 1745 KiB  
Article
Screening of a Small Number of Italian COVID-19 Syndrome Survivors by Means of the Fatigue Assessment Scale: Long COVID Prevalence and the Role of Gender
COVID 2021, 1(3), 518-527; https://doi.org/10.3390/covid1030044 - 29 Oct 2021
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 2755
Abstract
Months after healing, a number of COVID-19 syndrome survivors are affected by both psychological and physical limitations. They are mainly troubled with long-term fatigue, which is a crucial aspect of Long Covid syndrome. This paper aims to investigate the level and persistency of [...] Read more.
Months after healing, a number of COVID-19 syndrome survivors are affected by both psychological and physical limitations. They are mainly troubled with long-term fatigue, which is a crucial aspect of Long Covid syndrome. This paper aims to investigate the level and persistency of fatigue among COVID-19 survivors from the first wave of the pandemic in Western Liguria and to elucidate the role of gender, age, and lifestyle. It also provides data to the scientific community to help drawing a consistent picture of Long Covid syndrome. The patients were requested to fill a Fatigue Assessment Questionnaire twice: (i) a few weeks after discharge from hospital or home confinement and (ii) a few months later. Statistical analysis was carried out on the global scores and on the score for every single item of the questionnaire. The outcome of the two questionnaires were analyzed separately and compared. Females are more affected by fatigue than males. This results holds for both physical and mental fatigue. All the males’ fatigue scores were reduced at the second control, while 40% of females worsened it. Home-confined patients showed a higher fatigue score at the first check. In the initial stages of the recovery, patients are more affected by physical, rather than mental, fatigue. This is worth of further investigation as well as the reasons leading to a higher initial fatigue score for home cared patients. Full article
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