April 12, 2021

Clinical Reports

  • Characteristics and Outcomes of US Children and Adolescents With Multisystem Inflammatory Syndrome in Children (MIS-C) Compared With Severe Acute COVID-19
    This study was designed to compare clinical characteristics and outcomes of children and adolescents with MIS-C vs those with severe coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19). Case series of 1116 patients aged younger than 21 years hospitalized between March 15 and October 31, 2020, at 66 US hospitals in 31 states. Final date of follow-up was January 5, 2021. Patients with MIS-C had fever, inflammation, multisystem involvement, and positive severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) reverse transcriptase-polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR) or antibody test results or recent exposure with no alternate diagnosis. Patients with COVID-19 had positive RT-PCR test results and severe organ system involvement. Of 1116 patients (median age, 9.7 years; 45% female), 539 (48%) were diagnosed with MIS-C and 577 (52%) with COVID-19. Compared with patients with COVID-19, patients with MIS-C were more likely to be 6 to 12 years old (40.8% vs 19.4%; absolute risk difference [RD], 21.4% [95% CI, 16.1%-26.7%]; aRR, 1.51 [95% CI, 1.33-1.72] vs 0-5 years) and non-Hispanic Black (32.3% vs 21.5%; RD, 10.8% [95% CI, 5.6%-16.0%]; aRR, 1.43 [95% CI, 1.17-1.76] vs White). Compared with patients with COVID-19, patients with MIS-C were more likely to have cardiorespiratory involvement (56.0% vs 8.8%; RD, 47.2% [95% CI, 42.4%-52.0%]; aRR, 2.99 [95% CI, 2.55-3.50] vs respiratory involvement), cardiovascular without respiratory involvement (10.6% vs 2.9%; RD, 7.7% [95% CI, 4.7%-10.6%]; aRR, 2.49 [95% CI, 2.05-3.02] vs respiratory involvement), and mucocutaneous without cardiorespiratory involvement (7.1% vs 2.3%; RD, 4.8% [95% CI, 2.3%-7.3%]; aRR, 2.29 [95% CI, 1.84-2.85] vs respiratory involvement). Patients with MIS-C had higher neutrophil to lymphocyte ratio (median, 6.4 vs 2.7, P < .001), higher C-reactive protein level (median, 152 mg/L vs 33 mg/L; P < .001), and lower platelet count (<150 ×103 cells/μL [212/523 {41%} vs 84/486 {17%}, P < .001]). A total of 398 patients (73.8%) with MIS-C and 253 (43.8%) with COVID-19 were admitted to the intensive care unit, and 10 (1.9%) with MIS-C and 8 (1.4%) with COVID-19 died during hospitalization. Among patients with MIS-C with reduced left ventricular systolic function (172/503, 34.2%) and coronary artery aneurysm (57/424, 13.4%), an estimated 91.0% (95% CI, 86.0%-94.7%) and 79.1% (95% CI, 67.1%-89.1%), respectively, normalized within 30 days. This case series of patients with MIS-C and with COVID-19 identified patterns of clinical presentation and organ system involvement. These patterns may help differentiate between MIS-C and COVID-19.

  • Post-covid syndrome in individuals admitted to hospital with covid-19: retrospective cohort study
    The objective of this retrospective cohort study was to quantify rates of organ specific dysfunction in individuals with covid-19 after discharge from hospital compared with a matched control group from the general population. Participants 47 780 individuals (mean age 65, 55% men) in hospital with covid-19 and discharged alive by 31 August 2020, exactly matched to controls from a pool of about 50 million people in England for personal and clinical characteristics from 10 years of electronic health records. Main outcome measures were rates of hospital readmission (or any admission for controls), all cause mortality, and diagnoses of respiratory, cardiovascular, metabolic, kidney, and liver diseases until 30 September 2020. Variations in rate ratios by age, sex, and ethnicity. Over a mean follow-up of 140 days, nearly a third of individuals who were discharged from hospital after acute covid-19 were readmitted (14 060 of 47 780) and more than 1 in 10 (5875) died after discharge, with these events occurring at rates four and eight times greater, respectively, than in the matched control group. Rates of respiratory disease (P<0.001), diabetes (P<0.001), and cardiovascular disease (P<0.001) were also significantly raised in patients with covid-19, with 770 (95% confidence interval 758 to 783), 127 (122 to 132), and 126 (121 to 131) diagnoses per 1000 person years, respectively. Rate ratios were greater for individuals aged less than 70 than for those aged 70 or older, and in ethnic minority groups compared with the white population, with the largest differences seen for respiratory disease (10.5 (95% confidence interval 9.7 to 11.4) for age less than 70 years v 4.6 (4.3 to 4.8) for age ≥70, and 11.4 (9.8 to 13.3) for non-white v 5.2 (5.0 to 5.5) for white individuals). Authors conclude that Individuals discharged from hospital after covid-19 had increased rates of multiorgan dysfunction compared with the expected risk in the general population. The increase in risk was not confined to the elderly and was not uniform across ethnicities. The diagnosis, treatment, and prevention of post-covid syndrome requires integrated rather than organ or disease specific approaches, and urgent research is needed to establish the risk factors.

  • Six-month Neurological and Psychiatric Outcomes in 236,379 Survivors of COVID-19
    Neurological and psychiatric sequelae of COVID-19 have been reported, but there are limited data on incidence rates and relative risks. Using retrospective cohort studies and time-to-event analysis, authors estimated the incidence of ICD-10 diagnoses in the 6 months after a confirmed diagnosis of COVID-19: intracranial haemorrhage; ischaemic stroke; Parkinsonism; Guillain-Barré syndrome; nerve/nerve root/plexus disorders; myoneural/muscle disease; encephalitis; dementia; mood, anxiety, and psychotic disorders; substance misuse; and insomnia. Data were obtained from the TriNetX electronic health records network (over 81 million patients). Authors compared incidences with those in propensity score-matched cohorts of patients with influenza or other respiratory infections using a Cox model. Authors investigated the effect on incidence estimates of COVID-19 severity, as proxied by hospitalization and encephalopathy (including delirium and related disorders).  236,379 patients survived a confirmed diagnosis of COVID-19. Among them, the estimated incidence of neurological or psychiatric sequelae at 6 months was 33.6%, with 12.8% receiving their first such diagnosis. Most diagnostic categories were commoner after COVID-19 than after influenza or other respiratory infections (hazard ratios from 1.21 to 5.28), including stroke, intracranial haemorrhage, dementia, and psychotic disorders. Findings were equivocal for Parkinsonism and Guillain-Barré syndrome. Amongst COVID-19 cases, incidences and hazard ratios for most disorders were higher in patients who had been hospitalized, and markedly so in those who had experienced encephalopathy. Results were robust to sensitivity analyses, including comparisons against an additional four index health events. The study provides evidence for substantial neurological and psychiatric morbidity following COVID-19 infection. Risks were greatest in, but not limited to, those who had severe COVID-19. The information can help in service planning and identification of research priorities.

Diagnostics

  • Systematic review with meta-analysis of the accuracy of diagnostic tests for COVID-19
    The objective of this review is to collate the evidence on the accuracy parameters of all available diagnostic methods for detecting SARS-CoV-2. A systematic review with meta-analysis was performed. Searches were conducted in Pubmed and Scopus (April 2020). Studies reporting data on sensitivity or specificity of diagnostic tests for COVID-19 using any human biological sample were included. Sixteen studies were evaluated. Meta-analysis showed that computed tomography has high sensitivity (91.9% [89.8%-93.7%]), but low specificity (25.1% [21.0%-29.5%]). The combination of IgM and IgG anti- bodies demonstrated promising results for both parameters (84.5% [82.2%-86.6%]; 91.6% [86.0%-95.4%], respectively). For RT-PCR tests, rectal stools/swab, urine, and plasma were less sensitive while sputum (97.2% [90.3%-99.7%]) presented higher sensitivity for detecting the virus. RT-PCR remains the gold standard for the diagnosis of COVID-19 in sputum samples. However, the combination of different diagnostic tests is highly recommended to achieve adequate sensitivity and specificity.

Epidemiology

  • SARS-CoV-2 Infection Among Health Care Workers Despite the Use of Surgical Masks and Physical Distancing—the Role of Airborne Transmission
    Severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) is transmitted mainly via respiratory droplets. A key question in the coronavirus disease 2019 pandemic is whether SARS-CoV-2 could be transmitted via the airborne route as well. Authors report SARS-CoV-2 nosocomial infections despite using surgical masks and physical distancing. This report may provide possible evidence for airborne transmission of SARS-CoV-2.
    Editorial note: Authors of this report use the term ‘airborne’ to refer to small respiratory droplets that can travel long distances, up to 130 meters. The use of this term in isolation may be confusing because all respiratory droplets, no matter what their size, are airborne for at least a short period of time.

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