- Codetections of Other Respiratory Viruses Among Children Hospitalized With COVID-19
During March 2020 to February 2022, the US coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19)-Associated Hospitalization Surveillance Network (COVID-NET) identified 4372 children hospitalized with SARS-CoV-2 infection admitted primarily for fever, respiratory illness, or presumed COVID-19. Researchers compared demographics, clinical features, and outcomes between those with and without codetections who had any non-SARS-CoV-2 virus testing. Among a subgroup of 1670 children with complete additional viral testing, researchers described the association between presence of codetections and severe respiratory illness using age-stratified multivariable logistic regression models. Among 4372 children hospitalized, 62% had non-SARS-CoV-2 respiratory virus testing, of which 21% had a codetection. Children with codetections were more likely to be <5 years old (yo), receive increased oxygen support, or be admitted to the ICU (P< .001). Among children <5 yo, having any viral codetection (<2 yo: adjusted odds ratio [aOR] 2.1 [95% confidence interval [CI] 1.5–3.0]; 2–4 yo: aOR 1.9 [95% CI 1.2–3.1]) or rhinovirus/enterovirus codetection (<2 yo: aOR 2.4 [95% CI 1.6–3.7]; 2-4: aOR 2.4 [95% CI 1.2–4.6]) was significantly associated with severe illness. Among children <2 yo, respiratory syncytial virus (RSV) codetections were also significantly associated with severe illness (aOR 1.9 [95% CI 1.3–2.9]). No significant associations were seen among children ≥5 yo. Respiratory virus codetections, including RSV and rhinovirus/enterovirus, may increase illness severity among children <5 yo hospitalized with SARS-CoV-2 infection.
- Early and Increased Influenza Activity Among Children — Tennessee, 2022–23 Influenza Season
In Tennessee, the 2022–23 influenza season has been marked by early and intense activity, particularly affecting children, with higher rates of pediatric influenza-associated hospitalizations than have been reported in recent influenza seasons. As the influenza season continues, it is important for all persons, especially those at higher risk for severe disease, to protect themselves from influenza. To prevent influenza and severe influenza complications, all persons aged ≥6 months should get vaccinated, avoid contact with ill persons, and take influenza antivirals if recommended and prescribed.
- SARS-CoV-2 variant-related abnormalities detected by prenatal MRI
For this prospective case–control study, two obstetric centers consecutively referred pregnant women for prenatal MRI after confirmed SARS-CoV-2 infection. Thirty-eight prenatal MRI examinations were included after confirmed infection with SARS-CoV-2 and matched 1:1 with 38 control cases with respect to sex, MRI field strength, and gestational age (average deviation 1.76 ± 1.65, median 1.5 days). Where available, the pathohistological examination and vaccination status of the placenta was included in the analysis. In prenatal MRI, the shape and thickness of the placenta, possible lobulation, and vascular lesions were quantified. Fetuses were scanned for organ or brain abnormalities. Of the 38 included cases after SARS-CoV-2 infection, 20/38 (52.6%) were infected with pre-Omicron variants and 18/38 (47.4%) with Omicron. Prenatal MRIs were performed on an average of 83 days (±42.9, median 80) days after the first positive PCR test. Both pre-Omicron (P= .008) and Omicron (P = .016) groups showed abnormalities in form of a globular placenta compared to control cases. In addition, placentas in the pre-Omicron group were significantly thickened (6.35, 95% CI .02–12.65, P = .048), and showed significantly more frequent lobules (P = .046), and hemorrhages (P = .002). Fetal growth restriction (FGR) was observed in 25% (n = 5/20, P = .017) in the pre-Omicron group. SARS-CoV-2 infections in pregnancy can lead to placental lesions based on vascular events, which can be well visualized on prenatal MRI. Pre-Omicron variants cause greater damage than Omicron sub-lineages in this regard.
- COVID-19 vaccines versus pediatric hospitalization
Vaccine effectiveness of BNT162b2 and CoronaVac against COVID-19-associated hospitalization and moderate-to-severe disease due to SARS-CoV-2 Omicron BA.2 is studied from the 1.36 million doses administered to 766,601 of 953,400 children aged 3-11 years and adolescents aged 12-18 years in Hong Kong as of April 2022. These vaccines confer substantial protection.
- Persistent COVID-19 Symptoms at 6 Months After Onset and the Role of Vaccination Before or After SARS-CoV-2 Infection
In this cohort study, more severe acute illness, a higher Charlson Comorbidity Index score, and being unvaccinated were associated with a higher risk of reporting COVID-19 symptoms lasting 28 days or more. Participants with COVID-19 were more likely to seek medical care for diabetes, pulmonary, neurological, and mental health–related illness for at least 6 months after onset compared with their pre-COVID baseline health care use patterns. These findings may inform the risk-benefit ratio of COVID-19 vaccination policy.
- Effects of Dexamethasone Use on Viral Clearance Among Patients with COVID-19: A Multicenter Cohort Study
Among the 239 enrolled patients, 54.4% (130 patients) had early viral clearance. A multivariate logistic regression analysis identified that dexamethasone use and day 1 Ct values were independent factors associated with late viral clearance. Patients with mild-moderate severity and who received dexamethasone therapy had a longer time to viral clearance than those who did not receive dexamethasone (17.2 ± 1.8 days vs 12.3 ± 1.1 days, P = 0.018). Patients with severe-critical severity had a similar duration from symptom onset to Ct value ≥30, regardless of dexamethasone therapy (18.3 ± 0.9 days vs 16.7 ± 4.7 days, P = 0.626).The study revealed that dexamethasone therapy and Ct values are independent predictors of late viral clearance. Patients with severe disease course due to older age, increased number of comorbidities, and worse clinical outcomes experienced delayed viral clearance.
- Impact of vaccination on postacute sequelae of SARS CoV-2 infection in patients with rheumatic diseases
Researchers prospectively enrolled patients with SARD from a large healthcare system who survived acute infection to complete surveys. The symptom-free duration and the odds of PASC (any symptom lasting ≥28 or 90 days) were evaluated using restricted mean survival time and multivariable logistic regression, respectively, among those with and without breakthrough infection (≥14 days after initial vaccine series). Among 280 patients (11% unvaccinated; 48% partially vaccinated; 41% fully vaccinated), the mean age was 53 years, 80% were female and 82% were white. The most common SARDs were inflammatory arthritis (59%) and connective tissue disease (24%). Those with breakthrough infection had more upper respiratory symptoms, and those with non-breakthrough infection had more anosmia, dysgeusia and joint pain. Compared with those with non-breakthrough COVID-19 infection (n=164), those with breakthrough infection (n=116) had significantly more symptom-free days over the follow-up period (+21.4 days, 95% CI 0.95 to 41.91; p=0.04) and lower odds of PASC at 28 and 90 days (adjusted OR, aOR 0.49, 95% CI 0.29 to 0.83 and aOR 0.10, 95% CI 0.04 to 0.22, respectively). Vaccinated patients with SARDs were less likely to experience PASC compared with those not fully vaccinated. While we cannot rule out the possibility that findings may be due to intrinsic differences in PASC risk from different SARS-CoV-2 variants, these findings support the benefits of vaccination for patients with SARDs and suggest that the immune response to acute infection is important in the pathogenesis of PASC in patients with SARDs.
- Protective effectiveness of previous SARS-CoV-2 infection and hybrid immunity against the omicron variant and severe disease
11 studies reporting the protective effectiveness of previous SARS-CoV-2 infection and 15 studies reporting the protective effectiveness of hybrid immunity were included. For previous infection, there were 97 estimates (27 with a moderate risk of bias and 70 with a serious risk of bias). The effectiveness of previous infection against hospital admission or severe disease was 74·6% (95% CI 63·1–83·5) at 12 months. The effectiveness of previous infection against reinfection waned to 24·7% (95% CI 16·4–35·5) at 12 months. For hybrid immunity, there were 153 estimates (78 with a moderate risk of bias and 75 with a serious risk of bias). The effectiveness of hybrid immunity against hospital admission or severe disease was 97·4% (95% CI 91·4–99·2) at 12 months with primary series vaccination and 95·3% (81·9–98·9) at 6 months with the first booster vaccination after the most recent infection or vaccination. Against reinfection, the effectiveness of hybrid immunity following primary series vaccination waned to 41·8% (95% CI 31·5–52·8) at 12 months, while the effectiveness of hybrid immunity following first booster vaccination waned to 46·5% (36·0–57·3) at 6 months. All estimates of protection waned within months against reinfection but remained high and sustained for hospital admission or severe disease. Individuals with hybrid immunity had the highest magnitude and durability of protection, and as a result might be able to extend the period before booster vaccinations are needed compared to individuals who have never been infected.