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Epidemiologia, Volume 2, Issue 1 (March 2021) – 11 articles

Cover Story (view full-size image): An investigation of the distribution and age of eight retrovirus species that infect African and Asian monkeys showed that the oldest of them have likely migrated with their hosts to Asia during the late Miocene, when higher global temperatures allowed simian out-of-Africa expansions. In contrast, younger viruses, such as simian immunodeficiency virus (SIV), are restricted to Africa, probably due to the disappearance of primates in the bridging area between the continents when the climate became cooler and drier in later times. View this paper
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Review
How the Heart Was Involved in COVID-19 during the First Pandemic Phase: A Review
Epidemiologia 2021, 2(1), 124-139; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/epidemiologia2010011 - 22 Mar 2021
Viewed by 594
Abstract
Coronavirus disease (COVID-19) was first observed in Wuhan, Hubei Province (China) in December 2019, resulting in an acute respiratory syndrome. Only later was COVID-19 considered a public health emergency of international concern and, on 11 March 2020, the WHO classified it as pandemic. [...] Read more.
Coronavirus disease (COVID-19) was first observed in Wuhan, Hubei Province (China) in December 2019, resulting in an acute respiratory syndrome. Only later was COVID-19 considered a public health emergency of international concern and, on 11 March 2020, the WHO classified it as pandemic. Despite being a respiratory virus, the clinical manifestations are also characterized by cardiological involvement, especially in patients suffering from previous comorbidities such as hypertension and diabetes mellitus, its complications being potentially serious or fatal. Despite the efforts made by the scientific community to identify pathophysiological mechanisms, they still remain unclear. A fundamental role is played by the angiotensin 2 converting enzyme, known for its effects at the cardiovascular level and for its involvement in COVID-19 pathogenesis. The goal of this paper was to highlight the mechanisms and knowledge related to cardiovascular involvement during the first pandemic phase, as well as to emphasize the main cardiological complications in infected patients. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Evolving COVID-19 Epidemiology and Dynamics)
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Article
Key Findings from the European Men-Who-Have-Sex-With-Men Internet Survey in Greece
Epidemiologia 2021, 2(1), 114-123; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/epidemiologia2010010 - 17 Mar 2021
Viewed by 445
Abstract
The European Men-Who-Have-Sex-With-Men Internet Survey (EMIS-2017) is an international survey for men who have sex with men (MSM) designed to measure the level and distribution of four dimensions: (a) sexual health outcomes, (b) risk and precaution behaviors, (c) health promotion needs, and (d) [...] Read more.
The European Men-Who-Have-Sex-With-Men Internet Survey (EMIS-2017) is an international survey for men who have sex with men (MSM) designed to measure the level and distribution of four dimensions: (a) sexual health outcomes, (b) risk and precaution behaviors, (c) health promotion needs, and (d) coverage/uptake of interventions. The aim of the current work is to provide an overview of key demographics and findings for MSM in Greece covering the abovementioned dimensions of EMIS-2017, especially regarding HIV. Overall, 2909 men met the inclusion criteria for the analysis. The participants’ age ranged between 15 and 74 years old (median 35 years). According to the descriptive analysis, 14.4% of the participants reported moderate and 8.9% severe anxiety and depression. The self-reported HIV prevalence was 11%. A high number of participants had non-steady male partners (74%, n = 2153). The number of non-steady intercourse partners in the last 12 months was over two for about 61.5% (n = 1321) of the participants. A very small number of participants had ever tried to get pre-exposure prophylaxis (PrEP) (2.2%, n = 63), and 41.2% of the participants (n = 1199) were unaware of PrEP. About half of the participants (51.6%, n = 1501) did not know that vaccination against both hepatitis A and B viruses is recommended for MSM. The results of EMIS-2017 identify important needs and can help policy making and prevention planning. Full article
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Article
Assessing Early Heterogeneity in Doubling Times of the COVID-19 Epidemic across Prefectures in Mainland China, January–February, 2020
Epidemiologia 2021, 2(1), 95-113; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/epidemiologia2010009 - 11 Mar 2021
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 530
Abstract
To describe the geographical heterogeneity of COVID-19 across prefectures in mainland China, we estimated doubling times from daily time series of the cumulative case count between 24 January and 24 February 2020. We analyzed the prefecture-level COVID-19 case burden using linear regression models [...] Read more.
To describe the geographical heterogeneity of COVID-19 across prefectures in mainland China, we estimated doubling times from daily time series of the cumulative case count between 24 January and 24 February 2020. We analyzed the prefecture-level COVID-19 case burden using linear regression models and used the local Moran’s I to test for spatial autocorrelation and clustering. Four hundred prefectures (~98% population) had at least one COVID-19 case and 39 prefectures had zero cases by 24 February 2020. Excluding Wuhan and those prefectures where there was only one case or none, 76 (17.3% of 439) prefectures had an arithmetic mean of the epidemic doubling time <2 d. Low-population prefectures had a higher per capita cumulative incidence than high-population prefectures during the study period. An increase in population size was associated with a very small reduction in the mean doubling time (−0.012, 95% CI, −0.017, −0.006) where the cumulative case count doubled ≥3 times. Spatial analysis revealed high case count clusters in Hubei and Heilongjiang and fast epidemic growth in several metropolitan areas by mid-February 2020. Prefectures in Hubei and neighboring provinces and several metropolitan areas in coastal and northeastern China experienced rapid growth with cumulative case count doubling multiple times with a small mean doubling time. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Evolving COVID-19 Epidemiology and Dynamics)
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Article
Quantifying Media Effects, Its Content, and Role in Promoting Community Awareness of Chikungunya Epidemic in Bangladesh
Epidemiologia 2021, 2(1), 84-94; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/epidemiologia2010008 - 05 Mar 2021
Viewed by 558
Abstract
Background: Chikungunya is a vector-borne disease, mostly present in tropical and subtropical regions. The virus is spread by Ae. aegypti and Ae. albopictus mosquitos and symptoms include high fever to severe joint pain. Dhaka, Bangladesh, suffered an outbreak of chikungunya in 2017 lasting [...] Read more.
Background: Chikungunya is a vector-borne disease, mostly present in tropical and subtropical regions. The virus is spread by Ae. aegypti and Ae. albopictus mosquitos and symptoms include high fever to severe joint pain. Dhaka, Bangladesh, suffered an outbreak of chikungunya in 2017 lasting from April to September. With the goal of reducing cases, social media was at the forefront during this outbreak and educated the public about symptoms, prevention, and control of the virus. Popular web-based sources such as the top dailies in Bangladesh, local news outlets, and Facebook spread awareness of the outbreak. Objective: This study sought to investigate the role of social and mainstream media during the chikungunya epidemic. The study objective was to determine if social media can improve awareness of and practice associated with reducing cases of chikungunya. Methods: We collected chikungunya-related information circulated from the top nine television channels in Dhaka, Bangladesh, airing from 1st April–20th August 2017. All the news published in the top six dailies in Bangladesh were also compiled. The 50 most viewed chikungunya-related Bengali videos were manually coded and analyzed. Other social media outlets, such as Facebook, were also analyzed to determine the number of chikungunya-related posts and responses to these posts. Results: Our study showed that media outlets were associated with reducing cases of chikungunya, indicating that media has the potential to impact future outbreaks of these alpha viruses. Each media outlet (e.g., web, television) had an impact on the human response to an individual’s healthcare during this outbreak. Conclusions: To prevent future outbreaks of chikungunya, media outlets and social media can be used to educate the public regarding prevention strategies such as encouraging safe travel, removing stagnant water sources, and assisting with tracking cases globally to determine where future outbreaks may occur. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Arbovirus Infection)
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Article
The Effect of Face Mask Use on COVID-19 Models
Epidemiologia 2021, 2(1), 75-83; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/epidemiologia2010007 - 26 Feb 2021
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 597
Abstract
We begin with a simple model for the COVID-19 epidemic and add face mask usages and testing and quarantine of infectives. We estimate the effect on the reproduction number and discuss the question of whether the epidemic can be controlled by increased use [...] Read more.
We begin with a simple model for the COVID-19 epidemic and add face mask usages and testing and quarantine of infectives. We estimate the effect on the reproduction number and discuss the question of whether the epidemic can be controlled by increased use of face masks. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Evolving COVID-19 Epidemiology and Dynamics)
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Article
Relationship between the Number of Deaths Due to Renal Failure and Air Temperature Parameters in Hokkaido and Okinawa Prefectures, Japan
Epidemiologia 2021, 2(1), 68-74; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/epidemiologia2010006 - 04 Feb 2021
Viewed by 850
Abstract
Background: The aim of the present study was to investigate the relationship between the number of deaths due to renal failure and air temperature parameters in Hokkaido (the northernmost region) and Okinawa (the southernmost region) prefectures, Japan. Methods: Monthly data on [...] Read more.
Background: The aim of the present study was to investigate the relationship between the number of deaths due to renal failure and air temperature parameters in Hokkaido (the northernmost region) and Okinawa (the southernmost region) prefectures, Japan. Methods: Monthly data on the number of deaths due to renal failure between January 2008 and December 2016 and annual population data were collected from the Hokkaido and Okinawa official prefecture websites. Air temperature parameters were obtained from the Japan Meteorological Agency. The relationship between the number of deaths due to renal failure and air temperature parameters was evaluated by an ecological study. Results: The number of deaths due to renal failure (per 100,000 people/month) in Hokkaido and Okinawa were 2.28 ± 0.30 and 1.17 ± 0.31. In Hokkaido, the number of deaths due to renal failure negatively correlated with air temperature parameters in both sexes. The number of deaths due to renal failure was significantly higher in January than from June to September in all subjects. However, in Okinawa, no significant difference was observed among months. Conclusions: The present results suggest that the relationship between the number of deaths due to renal failure and air temperature parameters differs between Hokkaido and Okinawa. Full article
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Review
Contemporary Distribution, Estimated Age, and Prehistoric Migrations of Old World Monkey Retroviruses
Epidemiologia 2021, 2(1), 46-67; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/epidemiologia2010005 - 03 Feb 2021
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 526
Abstract
Old World monkeys (OWM), simians inhabiting Africa and Asia, are currently affected by at least four infectious retroviruses, namely, simian foamy virus (SFV), simian immunodeficiency virus (SIV), simian T-lymphotropic virus (STLV), and simian type D retrovirus (SRV). OWM also show chromosomal evidence of [...] Read more.
Old World monkeys (OWM), simians inhabiting Africa and Asia, are currently affected by at least four infectious retroviruses, namely, simian foamy virus (SFV), simian immunodeficiency virus (SIV), simian T-lymphotropic virus (STLV), and simian type D retrovirus (SRV). OWM also show chromosomal evidence of having been infected in the past with four more retroviral species, baboon endogenous virus (BaEV), Papio cynocephalus endogenous virus (PcEV), simian endogenous retrovirus (SERV), and Rhesus endogenous retrovirus-K (RhERV-K/SERV-K1). For some of the viruses, transmission to other primates still occurs, resulting, for instance, in the HIV pandemic. Retroviruses are intimately connected with their host as they are normally spread by close contact. In this review, an attempt to reconstruct the distribution and history of OWM retroviruses will be made. A literature overview of the species infected by any of the eight retroviruses as well as an age estimation of the pathogens will be given. In addition, primate genomes from databases have been re-analyzed for the presence of endogenous retrovirus integrations. Results suggest that some of the oldest retroviruses, SERV and PcEV, have travelled with their hosts to Asia during the Miocene, when a higher global temperature allowed simian expansions. In contrast, younger viruses, such as SIV and SRV, probably due to the lack of a primate continuum between the continents in later times, have been restricted to Africa and Asia, respectively. Full article
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Article
Trends of Online Search of COVID-19 Related Terms in Cyprus
Epidemiologia 2021, 2(1), 36-45; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/epidemiologia2010004 - 20 Jan 2021
Viewed by 1049
Abstract
Knowledge of trends in web searches provides useful information for various purposes, including responses to public health emergencies. This work aims to analyze the popularity of internet search queries for Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) and COVID-19 symptoms in Cyprus. Query data for the [...] Read more.
Knowledge of trends in web searches provides useful information for various purposes, including responses to public health emergencies. This work aims to analyze the popularity of internet search queries for Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) and COVID-19 symptoms in Cyprus. Query data for the term Coronavirus were retrieved from Google Trends website between 19 January and 30 June 2020. The study focused on Cyprus and the four most populated cities: Nicosia, Limassol, Larnaca, and Paphos. COVID-19 symptoms including fever, cough, sore throat, shortness of breath, and myalgia were considered in the analysis. Daily and weekly search volumes were described, and their correlation with the evolution of the COVID-19 pandemic and important announcements or events were examined. Three periods of interest peaks were identified in Cyprus. The highest interest in COVID-19-related terms was found in the city of Paphos. The most popular symptoms were fever and cough, and the symptom with the highest increase in popularity was myalgia. At the beginning of the pandemic, the search volume of COVID-19 grew substantially when governments, major organizations, and high-profile figures, globally and locally, made important announcements regarding COVID-19. Health authorities in Cyprus and elsewhere could benefit from constantly monitoring the online interest of the population in order to get timely information that could be used in public health planning and response. Full article
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Article
The Effect of Patient Factors and Cotreatments on the Magnitude of Potassium Lowering with Insulin–Glucose Treatment in Patients with Hyperkalemia
Epidemiologia 2021, 2(1), 27-35; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/epidemiologia2010003 - 11 Jan 2021
Viewed by 538
Abstract
The management of hyperkalemia with insulin–glucose/dextrose treatment (IDT) may be influenced by patient factors and cotreatments. We aimed to determine the magnitude of potassium lowering by IDT while considering patient factors and cotreatments. We observed the change in serum potassium in 410 patients [...] Read more.
The management of hyperkalemia with insulin–glucose/dextrose treatment (IDT) may be influenced by patient factors and cotreatments. We aimed to determine the magnitude of potassium lowering by IDT while considering patient factors and cotreatments. We observed the change in serum potassium in 410 patients with a mean serum potassium of 6.6 mmol/L (SD, 0.6 mmol/L) treated with IDT at three major metropolitan hospitals. Mean potassium lowering was 1.4 mmol/L (SD, 0.8 mmol/L) and 53% achieved normokalemia. Cotreatment with sodium polystyrene sulfonate, salbutamol, or sodium bicarbonate occurred in 64%, 12%, and 10% of patients, respectively. In multiple linear regression analysis, cotreatment with sodium polystyrene sulfonate or sodium bicarbonate was not associated with any significant reduction in serum potassium beyond that achieved by IDT, within the initial 6 h of treatment. We observed an additional lowering of serum potassium with salbutamol of 0.3 mmol/L (95% CI: 0.1 to 0.6 mmol/L; p = 0.009) but the clinical significance was unclear as the proportion of patients achieving normokalemia was not affected by cotreatment within the initial 6 h after IDT. We also found evidence that the potassium-lowering effect of IDT was dependent on the pre-treatment serum potassium. For every 1 mmol/L increase in pre-treatment serum potassium over 6.0 mmol/L, there was an associated 0.7 mmol/L increase in the potassium-lowering effect of IDT, on average, which was independent of any cotreatment. There was no significant impact of acute kidney injury or chronic kidney disease status on the efficacy of IDT. Full article
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Article
Management of Diabetes Mellitus in Refugee and Migrant Patients in a Primary Healthcare Setting in Greece: A Pilot Intervention
Epidemiologia 2021, 2(1), 14-26; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/epidemiologia2010002 - 04 Jan 2021
Viewed by 633
Abstract
Over the past years there is a substantial wave of migrants and refugees all over the world. Europe accepts approximately one-third of the international migrant population with Greece, in particular, having received large numbers of refugees and migrants by land and sea since [...] Read more.
Over the past years there is a substantial wave of migrants and refugees all over the world. Europe accepts approximately one-third of the international migrant population with Greece, in particular, having received large numbers of refugees and migrants by land and sea since the beginning of the civil war in Syria. Diabetes, a non-communicable disease, is a global health problem, affecting people in developing countries, refugees and migrants, and its basic treatment tool includes self-management and education. In this pilot study, we organized educational, interactive group sessions for diabetic refugees, based on culture, health, and nutritional needs according to a questionnaire developed for the study. The sessions were weekly, for two months, in the context of primary healthcare, organized by a dietitian. Nine individuals completed the sessions, five of nine were diagnosed in Greece and seven of nine needed diabetes education. Their waist circumference was above normal and they were all cooking at home. Their nutritional habits improved by attending the sessions and the interaction helped their social integration. They all found the sessions useful, and felt more self-confident regarding diabetes control and healthier. Full article
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Article
COVID-19 Epidemic in Bangladesh among Rural and Urban Residents: An Online Cross-Sectional Survey of Knowledge, Attitudes, and Practices
Epidemiologia 2021, 2(1), 1-13; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/epidemiologia2010001 - 22 Dec 2020
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 1033
Abstract
As other nations around the world, Bangladesh is facing enormous challenges with the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) epidemic. To design a prevention and control strategy for this new infectious disease, it is essential to first understand people’s knowledge, attitudes, and practices (KAP) regarding COVID-19. [...] Read more.
As other nations around the world, Bangladesh is facing enormous challenges with the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) epidemic. To design a prevention and control strategy for this new infectious disease, it is essential to first understand people’s knowledge, attitudes, and practices (KAP) regarding COVID-19. This study sought to determine KAP among rural and urban residents as well as predictors of preventive practices associated with COVID-19 in Bangladesh. A social media-based (Facebook) cross-sectional survey was conducted to explore these variables among Bangladeshi adults. Of 1520 respondents who completed the questionnaire, low level of good or sufficient knowledge of COVID-19 (70.8%) and practices associated with COVID-19 (73.8%) were found. Despite the low level of knowledge and practices, respondents’ attitude (78.9%) towards COVID-19 was relatively high. Results suggest that compared to urban, rural residents are at a particularly high risk of COVID-19 because they were found to have significantly lower knowledge (p = 0.001) and practice levels (p = 0.002) than were urban residents. Multivariable logistic regression analysis identified gender, education, knowledge of COVID-19 transmission, signs and symptoms, and sources of information as factors significantly associated with preventive practices against COVID-19. Further attention and effort should be directed toward increasing both knowledge and practices targeting the general population in Bangladesh, particularly the rural and less educated residents. Findings from this study provide baseline data that can be used to promote integrated awareness of and effective health education programs about COVID-19 prevention and control strategies in Bangladesh, and similar COVID-19 endemic countries. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Evolving COVID-19 Epidemiology and Dynamics)
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