CASE REPORT | doi:10.20944/preprints202004.0531.v1
Online: 30 April 2020 (13:49:58 CEST)
Severe outbreaks of infectious disease occur throughout the world with some reaching the level of an international pandemic: Coronavirus (COVID-19) is the most recent to do so. As such pandemics cause extensive loss of lives, hamper industrial operations, and cause economic losses in both developing and developed countries, it is critical to establish common standards of accuracy in the determination and reporting of cases. In particular, there are current concerns that countries are hiding or incorrectly reporting cases of COVID-19. In this paper, we set out a mechanism for using Zipf's law to establish the accuracy of international reporting of COVID-19 cases via a determination of whether an individual country's COVID-19 reporting follows a power-law for confirmed, recovered, and death cases. We observe that the probability of Zipf's law (P-values) for COVID-19 confirmed cases show that Uzbekistan has the highest P-value of 0.940, followed by Belize (0.929), and Qatar (0.897). For COVID-19 recovered cases, Iraq had the highest P-value of 0.901, followed by New Zealand (0.888), and Austria (0.884). Furthermore, for COVID-19 death cases, Bosnia and Herzegovina had the highest P-value of 0.874, followed by Lithuania (0.843), and Morocco (0.825). China, where the COVID-19 pandemic began, is a significant outlier in recording P-values lower than 0.1 for the confirmed, recovered, and death cases. This raises important questions, not only for China but also any country whose data exhibits P-values below this threshold. The main application of this work is to serve as an early warning for the World Health Organization (WHO) and other health regulatory bodies to perform more investigations in countries where COVID-19 datasets deviate significantly from Zipf's law. To this end, we also provide a tool for illustrating Zipf's law P-values on a global map in order to report anomalies.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202202.0137.v1
Subject: Public Health And Healthcare, Public Health And Health Services Keywords: Government; Hospitalization; Pandemics; Public policy; Transportation.
Online: 9 February 2022 (11:04:11 CET)
To effectively combat the COVID-19 pandemic, the state government of Bahia, Brazil, has distributed intensive and non-intensive care units along the nine regions that divide the state of Bahia, such that COVID-19 patients could be easily hospitalized in health care units located at the same regions where they live. However, the observed hospitalizations networks for COVID-19 patients shows that a considerable number of COVID-19 patients had to travel beyond their region of residence to be hospitalized. Hence, this study indicates that the current distribution of health care units in Bahia, Brazil, is not sufficient to effectively reduce the distances traveled by COVID-19 patients requiring hospitalization. We believe that such unnecessary travels to distant hospitals may put the sick patients as well as healthy people involved in the transportation process in risk, further delaying the stabilization of the COVID-19 pandemic in each region of the state of Bahia.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202303.0111.v1
Subject: Medicine And Pharmacology, Epidemiology And Infectious Diseases Keywords: COVID-19; Protection Measures; Observational Study; Pandemics
Online: 6 March 2023 (15:36:27 CET)
Preventive behavior is one of the main strategies to contain the spread of the coronavirus, understand the factors that influence adherence or hesitation to protective measures and the way the population behaves during a health crisis is of great importance. Aim: To analyze the factors associated with adherence to protection measures against Covid-19 in Brazil. Method: cross-sectional study, survey type online, between the period of August 2020 and February 2021. The population included in the study were Brazilians, aged 18 years or older. Non-probabilistic sampling was used to obtain the sample. The data was stored on the "Redcap" platform and analyzed in a descriptive and inferential approach. Results: The sample consisted of 1,516 people, women adopted 10% more protective measures than men, people with higher education level and higher income, within the age group between 40-59 years, were those who most adhered to the measures imposed by health agencies. Carrier of Asthma, Diabetes Mellitus, Systemic Arterial Hypertension, Obesity and smoking were factors that increased the adherence of protective measures in the fight against COVID-19. Conclusion: Being female, aged between 40 and 59 years, higher education, smoking, not having a religion, having health insurance, and being a carrier of chronic diseases were associated with greater adherence to protective measures against COVID-19.
Subject: Medicine And Pharmacology, Epidemiology And Infectious Diseases Keywords: COVID-19; face masks; epidemiology; coronavirus; pandemics
Online: 12 April 2020 (08:41:58 CEST)
The current Coronavirus Disease 19 (COVID-19) pandemic, caused by the SARS-CoV-2 virus, is unprecedented in recent history and threatens the lives and livelihoods of billions worldwide. The rapid spread and lack of modern parallels have left governments, health agencies, and the public racing to understand how to best mitigate and ultimately suppress the pandemic, but we are still working to understand the strengths and weaknesses of various interventions at our disposal. Few issues have been as contentious as the public use of face masks to control the pandemic’s spread. There is ongoing debate about their effectiveness, but an increasing body of evidence suggests that masks could be a useful in preventing the spread of coronavirus, leading several governments and health agencies to review and revise their policies. Here, we review the theory and evidence behind use of masks. The theory behind masks is that they prevent the spread of viral particles by infected persons, and inhalation of viral particles by uninfected persons. Even assuming masks are not 100% effective in preventing infection, they may reduce severity of infection by reducing viral dosing. Laboratory studies suggest masks may be effective in stopping both exhalation and inhalation of viral particles. However, real-world studies provided limited evidence for the use of masks in controlling influenza transmission and highlight potential problems associated with their misuse, such as poor compliance or improper use. Evidence for efficacy of face masks against the first SARS virus, SARS-CoV-1, implies that they may be effective against the current outbreak of SARS-Cov-2 virus. This is important as mathematical modeling suggests that even small reductions of in transmission rates can make a large difference over time, potentially slowing the pace of viral pandemics and limiting their spread. Perhaps the strongest argument for the use of masks is that countries with early adoption of masks have tended to see flatter pandemic curves, even without strict nationwide lockdowns. There is little evidence that respirators are more effective than surgical masks, but this may be due to misuse or poor compliance. Studies suggest some non-medical masks perform on par with medical masks. Improvised masks are less effective than medical masks, but may provide better protection than nothing at all. While many governments now encourage the use of improvised face coverings, more will need to be known about material, design, and who needs to wear masks, and when, to ensure effectiveness. Proper use of masks will also be important; if masks are used improperly or infrequently they may provide limited protection. It is important that public health policy makers consider the debate and the potential of masks as part of multi-faceted coronavirus control strategies.
REVIEW | doi:10.20944/preprints202305.1206.v1
Subject: Public Health And Healthcare, Public Health And Health Services Keywords: Pandemics; Immunization Programs; Poliovirus; Pakistan; World Health Organization
Online: 17 May 2023 (07:58:04 CEST)
Poliomyelitis, commonly known as “polio” is a paralytic and perilous disease caused by the poliovirus. Due to its highly contagious nature, the virus was a challenge to the world in the late 1980s. . Since 1988 the collective work of the Global Polio Eradication Initiative (GPEI), Centre for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), and World Health Organization (WHO) through immunizations, communication awareness, and monitoring have helped the world exonerate polio. The mission of polio-free Pakistan was herculean and had confronted enormous challenges in different ways but came out with positive results. In 2019, with only two remaining polio-endemic countries, Pakistan and Afghanistan, GPEI launched an “Endgame strategy 2019-2023” which aims to eradicate polio globally, with a targeted focus, especially on polio-endemic countries, the plan emphasizes the early detection of polio cases for complete eradication and to restrict the spread of polio. Pakistan has achieved a milestone in combating polio despite having a web of factors that have thwarted Pakistan’s polio eradication efforts, but this is not the end, the struggle continues until we really get an internationally verified certification of Polio free nation, for this WHO has designed a multidisciplinary strategy 2022-2026 to really end this polio for once and for all.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202202.0233.v1
Subject: Computer Science And Mathematics, Computer Science Keywords: AI; disease surveillance; pandemics; global public health; ethics
Online: 18 February 2022 (10:36:04 CET)
Infectious diseases, as COVID-19 is proving, pose a global health threat in an interconnected world. In the last 20 years, resistant infectious diseases such as SARS, MERS, H1N1, Ebola, Zika and now COVID-19 have been impacting global health defences, and aggressively flourishing within the rise of global travel, urbanization, climate change and ecological degradation. In parallel, this extraordinary episode in global human health highlights the potential for artificial intelligence (AI)-enabled disease surveillance to collect and analyse vast amounts of unstructured and real-time data to inform epidemiological and public health emergency responses. The uses of AI in these dynamic environments are increasingly complex, challenging the potential for human autonomous decisions. In this context, our study of qualitative perspectives will consider a responsible AI framework to explore its potential application to disease surveillance in a global health context. Thus far, there is a gap in the literature in considering these multiple and interconnected levels of disease surveillance and emergency health management through the lens of a responsible AI framework.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202006.0096.v1
Subject: Medicine And Pharmacology, Epidemiology And Infectious Diseases Keywords: Social Distancing; Pandemics; COVID-19; Digital Healthcare; UHC
Online: 7 June 2020 (15:08:44 CEST)
COVID-19 has been a major issue in most countries throughout the world with 213 countries being affected till date due to the disease. The pandemic has raised concerns over the healthcare facilities available in various countries and question the government decisions made during this period of outbreak. Despite having the best healthcare facilities several countries across Europe and America have found it difficult to contain the disease outbreak questioning the available solutions to contain an area. This paper focuses on presenting information on solutions available to control outbreaks in order to prevent another pandemic occurring in the future. The paper also highlights the strategies and plans implemented by various governments who have been successful in combatting the disease with minimum damage. By using available resources such as technology, scientific innovation and digitalized healthcare this paper focuses on providing solutions which are already available to be utilized in the right manner.
REVIEW | doi:10.20944/preprints202308.1596.v1
Subject: Medicine And Pharmacology, Clinical Medicine Keywords: vaccines; vaccination refusal; anti-vaccination movement; travel medicine; pandemics
Online: 23 August 2023 (07:45:31 CEST)
Vaccines are an important tool of preventive medicine. Organized vaccination programs have saved numerous people from serious infectious diseases. Surprisingly, there is a considerable portion of the population who oppose vaccinations. In particular, the existence of anti-vaccination perceptions among travelers to countries with endemic diseases is a major public health concern. Although hesitancy towards vaccinations is not a novel phenomenon, it came back to the forefront during the fight against the COVID-19 pandemic. This review explored the etiology of anti-vaccination beliefs among travelers and drew conclusions about their impact on public health and society in general. For this purpose, a purposeful search for data on the causative factors of vaccine hesitancy and their impact on people’s health was conducted. A descriptive analysis of the findings and conclusions about possible implications in health policy and clinical practice are presented. Fear of side effects, lack of credence in the necessity of vaccines, and mistrust of medical authorities are important causative factors. Their interplay shapes hesitancy towards vaccines. However, anti-vaccination beliefs can also be an aspect of a more general unconventional stance of life. Health care professionals and organizations must be ready to tackle vaccine hesitancy by making the necessary interventions. Correcting misconceptions about vaccinations is a prerequisite for ensuring personal and public health, especially in the context of a pandemic or epidemic. Moreover, ensuring the efficacy and safety of vaccines, especially in cases of modern technology applications, is a fundamental factor in addressing people’s concerns about vaccines. For this purpose, medical authorities and organizations must provide accurate and clear information on vaccines so as to eliminate misinformation. Furthermore, clinicians should cultivate their communication skills in order to convey the appropriate messages to prospective recipients of vaccinations.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202010.0178.v1
Subject: Social Sciences, Psychology Keywords: COVID-19; pandemics; quarantine; psychological distress; cross-sectional studies
Online: 8 October 2020 (13:14:13 CEST)
Mass crises are disruptive to people's mental health. The study aimed to explore mental distress during COVID-19 quarantine in a sample of university workers in Brazil. The survey included sets of questions about demographics, health, and support, an open question about major concerns, and the Clinical Outcome Routine Evaluation (CORE-OM), a measure of mental distress. 407 professionals participated in the study: mean age of 40 years (SD = 11.2), mostly female (67.8%), married (64.8%) and fulfilling social distancing to avoid COVID-19 infection (99%). Using the Consensual Qualitative Research for simple qualitative data (CQR-M) the main areas of concern were grouped into six domains, as follows: Work, Health, Isolation, Personal life and routine, Social environment, and Future. Many responses were multiple. They form categories indicating specific concerns within these domains. Quantitative data were analyzed by identifying the simple effects of potential predictors of mental distress. The results indicated medium effects of help with household chores, psychiatric treatment, age and physical exercise. Having someone available to listen was the only variable with a large effect in reducing mental suffering. The hybrid approach showed that the psychological experience during the pandemic is quite multifaceted and complex pointing new clues for public mental health.
REVIEW | doi:10.20944/preprints202010.0041.v1
Subject: Medicine And Pharmacology, Pulmonary And Respiratory Medicine Keywords: Coronavirus, SARS-CoV-2, Pandemics, Molecular biology, Immunity, Pathology
Online: 2 October 2020 (13:24:16 CEST)
In humans, coronaviruses can cause infections of the respiratory system, with damage of varying severity depending on the virus examined: ranging from mild or moderate upper respiratory tract diseases, such as the common cold, to pneumonia, severe acute respiratory syndrome, kidney failure and even death. Human coronaviruses known to date, common throughout the world, are seven. The most common - and least harmful - ones were discovered in the 1960s and cause a common cold. Others, more dangerous, were identified in the early 2000s and cause more severe respiratory tract infections. Among these the SARS-CoV, isolated in 2003 and responsible for the Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (the so-called SARS), which appeared in China in November 2002, the Coronavirus 2012 (2012-nCoV) cause of the Middle Eastern Respiratory Syndrome from Coronavirus (MERS), which exploded in June 2012 in Saudi Arabia, and actually SARS-CoV-2. On December 31, 2019, a new Coronavirus strain was reported in Wuhan, China, identified as a new Coronavirus beta strain ß-CoV from Group 2B, with a genetic similarity of approximately 70% to SARS-CoV, the virus responsible. of SARS. In the first half of February, the International Committee on Taxonomy of Viruses (ICTV), in charge of the designation and naming of the viruses (i.e., species, genus, family, etc.), thus definitively named the new coronavirus as SARS-CoV-2. This article highlights the main knowledge we have about the biomolecular and pathophysiologic mechanisms of SARS-CoV-2.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202007.0248.v1
Subject: Business, Economics And Management, Econometrics And Statistics Keywords: long memory; persistence; structural change; pandemics; growth; and unemployment
Online: 12 July 2020 (08:26:52 CEST)
This paper studies long economic series to assess the long-lasting effects of pandemics. We analyze if periods of time that cover pandemics have a change in trend and persistence in growth, and in level and persistence in unemployment. We find that there is an upward trend in the persistence level of growth across the centuries. In particular, shocks originated by pandemics in recent times seem to have permanent effect in growth. Moreover, our results show that the unemployment rate increases and it becomes more persistent after a pandemic. In this regard, our findings support the design and implementation of counter-cyclical policies to soften the shock of the pandemic.
Subject: Medicine And Pharmacology, Dentistry And Oral Surgery Keywords: COVID-19; pandemics; pediatric dentistry; oral health prevention; coronavirus
Online: 16 May 2020 (18:11:49 CEST)
During the period of health emergency linked to the current COVID-19 pandemic, the management of children's oral health presents specific problems related to the infectious spread of the disease. These problems must be faced on the one hand by acting on the oral health prevention methods, and on the other by implementing specific protocols relating both to the conditions of oral pathologies that normally do not represent an emergency, and to those clinical situations that fall into the category of pediatric dental emergencies. In this perspective, in addition to defining rigorous and highly effective infection control protocols in the dental settings, it is of fundamental importance to work on remote communication and education aimed at maintaining the oral health of the children. This article, after an analysis of the risk factors from COVID-19 associated with pediatric dental treatment, presents a series of considerations on potential oral prevention strategies and on the management of emergency and non-emergency dental procedures in a context of disease transmission control, proposing new approaches and models of treatment based also on remote interaction techniques which will then retain their usefulness even at the end of the current emergency period.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202304.0861.v1
Subject: Medicine And Pharmacology, Epidemiology And Infectious Diseases Keywords: COVID-19; healthcare workers; pandemics; SARS-CoV-2; vaccination coverage
Online: 24 April 2023 (13:51:21 CEST)
(1) Background: The prevalence of SARS-CoV-2 infection among healthcare workers (HCWs) in Poland is not exactly known. This study aims to present secondary epidemiological data identifying the scale of the spread of novel coronavirus infection in selected professional groups of HCWs in Poland. (2) Methods: The secondary epidemiological data included both the number of infections and the number and percentages of deaths in individual occupational groups, which occurred throughout the observation period, both in the country and in individual voivodeships. (3) Results: The prevalence of SARS-CoV-2 infections among HCWs was 16.48%. The highest percentage of infected concerned laboratory scientists (21.62%) and paramedics (18%). The highest frequency of infections among HCWs occurred in the province of Zachodnio-Pomorskie (18.9%). Due to COVID-19, 558 healthcare workers died during the analysed period, mostly nurses (n=236) and doctors (n=200). The results regarding the vaccination coverage of HCWs against COVID-19 indicate the highest percentage of vaccinated were among doctors (83.63%) and the smallest among physiotherapists (38.2%). (4) Conclusions: In general, the percentage of infections was high in Poland during the pandemic (16.48%). Significant territorial differences were observed in the frequency of infections, deaths, and percentage of vaccinated workers in individual voivodeships.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202303.0311.v1
Subject: Business, Economics And Management, Economics Keywords: risks; COVID-19 pandemics; Russian economy, financial stimulation, risk management.
Online: 17 March 2023 (01:44:15 CET)
The research objects are the tax and budgetary policies of the Russian Federation. In this research, financial (budgetary) risks are understood as a decrease in the balance of the state (national) budget resulting from a reduction in revenues or an increase in expenditures. This research considers production in the main sectors of the economy as a key factor of financial risk in the COVID-19 pandemic. The research aims to analyze the main directions of the budgetary and tax policy of the Russian Federation aiming at supporting the economy and the population during the spread of COVID-19, which is especially relevant in connection with the expected recession in a number of sectors of the economy and a decrease in the level of employment and, accordingly, the well-being of citizens. In these conditions, it is necessary to adjust the budgetary and tax policy to preserve the state’s social obligations and expand social and economic support for businesses and citizens to smooth out the negative consequences of the impact of restrictive measures. The authors applied systemic and institutional approaches and statistical methods. The main results of the research reflect the need to (1) implement support measures (tax and budgetary incentives) for small and medium-sized enterprises, on which the crisis provoked by the COVID-19 pandemic has had the most destructive impact, and (2) to expand the volume of budgetary financing of social programs for financial risk management of the Russian economy during the COVID-19 pandemics.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202210.0268.v1
Subject: Social Sciences, Sociology Keywords: Wavelets; Quality of life index; Pandemics, Social media; Mathematical models.
Online: 19 October 2022 (05:37:25 CEST)
In the present paper, we investigate the impact of the timescale factor on the quality of life index behavior on specific time intervals characterized by the presence of socio-economic, political, and/or health severe movements such as pandemics and crises. We essentially aim to show that effectively the quality of life measuring based on a single index in the existing studies may be described more adequately by a variable index due to the social, political, economic, and also healthy environment. The variability discovered is expressed by the existence and the estimation of a multi-index instead of a single one relatively to many factors. Our focus is mainly on the effect of the COVID-19 pandemic on the quality of life. Our model is applied empirically to a sample corresponding to Saudi Arabia as a case of study during the period from January 1990 to December 2021 as the main period affected by the COVID-19 pandemic. The sample is based on social media conversations and texts discussing and describing the satisfaction with the quality of life. The study confirms effectively that the role of the timescale factor is more described when considering a multi-index rather than measurement on the whole time interval.
REVIEW | doi:10.20944/preprints202207.0200.v1
Subject: Biology And Life Sciences, Animal Science, Veterinary Science And Zoology Keywords: microRNAs; Precision livestock science; animal welfare; livestock health; biomarkers; biosensor; pandemics
Online: 13 July 2022 (13:12:32 CEST)
Early disease detection in livestock allows for target treatment decreasing antibiotics use and allow advancements in precision veterinary medicine. MicroRNA (miRNA) -driven signaling cascades play a crucial role in the context of farm animal disease diagnostics and prediction, and their proper understanding remains a challenge. In livestock farm animals, only a small number of miRNAs have been fully validated with respect to disease conditions and physiological or behavioral traits. Low abundance of miRNAs in blood and bodily fluids, along with a small number of nucleotides, makes detection and discrimination tedious and challenging task in. miRNAs usually are homologous, owing to which detection specificity becomes next to impossible when screening for multiple miRNAs in the same analyte sample. Hence, a concurrent, multiplexing, approach becomes crucial for the development of on-farm point-of-care based detection systems. Comprehensive screening methods demand broad dynamic range and enhanced specificity. For on-farm handheld platform development, the ability to screen for multiple varieties of miRNA is essential. In this review paper, I provide an overview of the recent developments of miRNA sensing and the current bottlenecks in the realization of the sensors for detecting miRNAS as target analyte for various livestock disease detection applications. Due to the nascent stages of this research, the possibilities of exploiting miRNAs as a biomarker opens up ways to move from reactive to predictive possibilities in diseases detection in the modern digital livestock farming.
Subject: Biology And Life Sciences, Virology Keywords: pandemics; contagious diseases; human race extinction; viruses; microbiome; COVID-19; blindness
Online: 14 April 2021 (17:53:49 CEST)
The recent SARS-CoV-2 pandemic, which is causing COVID 19 disease, has taught us unexpected lessons about the dangers of human extinction through highly contagious and lethal diseases. As the COVID 19 pandemic is now being controlled by various isolation measures, therapeutics and vaccines, it became clear that our current lifestyle and societal functions may not be sustainable in the long term. We now have to start thinking and planning on how to face the next dangerous pandemic, not just overcoming the one that is upon us now. Is there any evidence that even worse pandemics could strike us in the near future and threaten the existence of the human race? The answer is unequivocally yes. It is not necessary to get infected by viruses of bats, pangolins and other exotic animals that live in remote forests in order to be in danger. Creditable scientific evidence indicates that the human gut microbiota harbor billions of viruses which are capable of affecting the function of vital human organs such as the immune system, lung, brain, liver, kidney, heart etc. It is possible that the development of pathogenic variants in the gut can lead to contagious viruses which can cause pandemics, leading to destruction of vital organs, causing death or various debilitating diseases such as blindness, respiratory, liver, heart and kidney failures. These diseases could result n the complete shutdown of our civilization and probably the extinction of human race. In this essay, I will first provide a few independent pieces of scientific facts and then combine this information to come up with some (but certainly not all) hypothetical scenarios that could cause human race misery, even extinction. I hope that these scary scenarios will trigger preventative measures that could reverse or delay the projected adverse outcomes.
REVIEW | doi:10.20944/preprints202102.0432.v1
Subject: Medicine And Pharmacology, Immunology And Allergy Keywords: COVID-19; SARS-CoV-2; Infectious disease; Pandemics; Epidemics; Biomedical Research
Online: 19 February 2021 (10:03:47 CET)
It is known for decades that viruses from the Coronoviridae family can adapt to human-to-human transmission. In 2020, SARS-CoV-2 caused a global pandemic of unprecedented scale imposing the loss of millions of human lives and being at the heart of a global economic crisis. Thus, we overviewed key research advances generated from the identification of the etiological agent to a better understanding of its origin, evolution and factors underlying global spread. Furthermore, we analyze the scientific productivity using the PubMed database. We found that the total number of publications increased more than 8% in 2020 when compared with 2019 or the average publications per year in the previous quinquennial. Remarkably, 86,638 publications related with COVID-19 and SARS-CoV-2 were published in 2020. Furthermore, there was also an increase in 2020 of publications in other major infectious diseases, such as AIDS, tuberculosis, or malaria. This success is likely the result from the vigorous, international, collaborative, and multidisciplinary response by the research community. During 2020 it was demonstrated, that with adequate support, it is possible to boost the rate of scientific progress in infectious diseases. Sustained investment in science will be key to address existing and future pandemics as the human population increases.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202012.0367.v1
Subject: Social Sciences, Psychology Keywords: Psychosocial impact; anxiety; Covid-19 stressors; policies; public health emergencies; pandemics
Online: 15 December 2020 (10:17:13 CET)
Purpose: A novel coronavirus, SARS-CoV-2 was identified as the cause of COVID-19 eventually led to the declaration of Public health emergency of international concern and a pandemic by WHO due to its exponential global spread. Present study was conducted to investigate the impact of second wave of pandemic on mental wellbeing and social behaviors among university students of Pakistan during this crucial period of COVID-19 infection. Methods: A cross-sectional analytical study was designed to evaluate the psychosocial impact during the current COVID-19 outbreak among the students of The Islamia University of Bahawalpur, Pakistan. Snowball sampling or chain referral sampling procedure was adopted to recruit the participants in the study. Verbal informed consent was taken from all participants before recruitment in the study irrespective of their gender, age and socioeconomic status. Results: Mental health of university students during COVID-19 epidemic was affected to a varying degree revealing that 26.66% were recorded to have mild, 27.15% moderate and 17.04% suffering from severe anxiety out of total 1029 students. Students who were residing in urban areas with parents and having a steady family income were negatively associated and found protective factors against anxiety. However, having a relative or an acquaintance infected with COVID-19 was an independent risk factor for experienced anxiety. Positively associated factors with the level of anxiety symptoms included economic stressors, effects on daily-life, and academic delays whereas social support was negatively correlated with anxiety in COVID-19 related stressors. Conclusion: Public health emergencies and such pandemic are exerting serious psychological impacts on university students. It is recommended that the higher authorities should plan better policies to reduce this impact for the provision of high quality and timely crisis-oriented psychological services to university students.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202004.0047.v1
Subject: Engineering, Civil Engineering Keywords: sustainable development; system resilience; resilient and sustainable infrastructure; pandemics; COVID-19
Online: 6 April 2020 (10:14:50 CEST)
Humanity’s social and economic development has been challenged by a range of adversities over the millennia that have caused widespread and unimaginable suffering. At the same time, these challenges have forced humans to evolve more wisely, overcoming adversity through creativity and leading to advancements in science and technology, medicine, ethics and legal systems, and socio-political systems. The dynamics of risks and opportunities caused by COVID-19, in the built, cyber, social and economic environments, present opportunities for deepening our understanding of resilient and sustainable development and infrastructure. This article reflects on five lessons that COVID-19 is teaching us about what it means to develop sustainably through the lens of transportation: (1) sustainable development planning and analytical frameworks must be comprehensive, for long-term sustainability; (2) multi-modal transportation is a superior vision for sustainable development than any one particular mode; (3) tele-activities are part of an effective infrastructure sustainability strategy; (4) economic capital is critically important to sustainable development even when it is not a critical existential threat, and, (5) effective social capital is essential in global disaster resistance and recovery, and can and must be leveraged between fast-moving and slow-moving disasters. Resilient and sustainable infrastructure will continue to be critical to addressing evolving natural and man-made hazards in the 21st Century.
REVIEW | doi:10.20944/preprints202104.0193.v2
Subject: Biology And Life Sciences, Virology Keywords: SARS-CoV-2; HIV; zoonotic viruses; COVID-19 and AIDS pandemics; viral entry
Online: 8 April 2021 (10:51:11 CEST)
SARS-CoV-2 and HIV are zoonotic viruses that rapidly reached pandemic scale causing global losses and fear. The COVID-19 and AIDS pandemics ignited massive efforts worldwide to develop antiviral strategies and characterize viral architectures, biological and immunological properties, and clinical outcomes. Although both viruses have a comparable appearance as enveloped viruses with positive-stranded RNA and envelope spikes mediating cellular entry, the entry process, downstream biological and immunological pathways, clinical outcomes, and disease courses are strikingly different. This review provides a systemic comparison of both viruses’ structural and functional characteristics delineating their distinct strategies for efficient spread.
Subject: Public Health And Healthcare, Health Policy And Services Keywords: COVID-19 infection; immunity; risk of COVID-19 infection; pandemics; outbreaks; voluntary infection
Online: 13 May 2020 (05:53:07 CEST)
Draconian defensive measures have been implemented to combat the COVID-19 pandemic outbreak. These important measures constitute a vital current priority but do little to increase communal immunity and avoid future outbreaks. A longer-term exit strategy for a sustainable return to normalcy has yet to be identified. The development of vaccines or effective therapeutics could largely solve the problem, but their timely development cannot be guaranteed. In this setting, and under the expected societal isolation fatigue from extended social distancing, we here propose the idea that at some point after the outbreak’s peak, hospitals, in addition to providing care for infected people who need it, could also be involved in the development of a controlled exit strategy designed to avoid future outbreaks. We postulate that controlled voluntary deliberate infection in a hospital setting and under continuous and close medical observation may offer a safer alternative compared to random en-masse exposure. We discuss potential risks and benefits, highlighting the need for careful consideration of the associated critical ethical issues.
COMMUNICATION | doi:10.20944/preprints201804.0045.v1
Subject: Medicine And Pharmacology, Other Keywords: evidence; poverty; health, financing; allocation; integrated; participation partnership; responsibility; infectious diseases; pandemics; Africa
Online: 4 April 2018 (05:33:16 CEST)
Quality evidence-based decisions and strategies are critical and valuable tools in strengthening health systems policies, strategic priorities action plans and comprehensive care delivery management. Our finding showed that there is scarcity of local/national and internal effective evidence-based and management strategies for informed decision making based on the disease or health epidemics nature, extend, ecological and geo-location of pandemics and epidemics crises burden and impacts. Evidence-based programs or projects are crucial in evolving pandemics and/or (Ebola, meningitis, Cholera and influenza) epidemics persistent morbidity and mortality/ case fatality reduction or prevention; as well as on poverty and inequity alleviation within the vulnerable population and citizenry over time. This paper assesses implications of evidence-based on health systems surveillance and monitoring systems, preparedness and emergency response gaps and needs in improving care delivery uptake and usefulness, coverage and effectiveness in Africa. Furthermore, the article advocates for quality, access to and uptake of knowledge-based policy-decision making and practice improvements in building efficient and standardized surveillance, preparedness and response approaches. Also, in enriching data sharing and inclusiveness through understanding the links between poverty, poor health and inequited related emerging infectious diseases epidemics in Africa. Leveraging on cumulative lessons learnt experiences and innovations in integrating participatory knowledge-based policies and approaches is paramount in fostering vulnerable population awareness and engagement, skills empowerment collaborative productivity and sustainable healthy solutions and measures. Strengthening new partnerships, alliances, and networks requires collaborative and quality evidence policy decisions, appropriate and reliable monitoring and evaluation systems approaches and strategies in improving local preparedness and emergency response capabilities against future emerging infectious diseases epidemics and fast-tracking poverty alleviation knowledge-based livelihoods and health solutions for impact. Furthermore, integrated, participative partnerships and collaborative responsibilities, cost effective and reliable evidence health financing and budget allocation, and targeted capacity development aiming at reducing and averting the burden of poverty related emerging threats and epidemics preparedness and response programs in African countries.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202309.1561.v1
Subject: Medicine And Pharmacology, Epidemiology And Infectious Diseases Keywords: antibiotics; multidrug resistance; meropenem; vancomycin; ceftriaxone; pandemics; COVID-19; Candida auris; Oman; viral infections
Online: 22 September 2023 (11:44:59 CEST)
Antimicrobial resistance (AMR), a serious global public health challenge, may have accelerated development during the COVID-19 pandemic because antibiotics were prescribed for COVID-19. This study aimed to assess antibiotics use before and during the pandemic and correlate the results with the rate of resistant microorganisms detected in hospitalized patients during the study period. This single centre study looked retrospectively at four years of data (2018–2021) from Royal Hospital, Muscat, Oman. The consumption rate was presented as the antibiotic consumption index, the ratio of defined daily dose (DDD) per 100 bed-days. Analyses were performed using the nonparametric test for trend across the study period. Correlation between antibiotic consumption indexes and the isolated microorganisms in the four-year study period was performed using Spearman’s rank correlation coefficient. We compared data from the pre-COVID-19 to the COVID-19 period. Though more patients were admitted pre-COVID-19 (132,828 versus 119,191 during COVID-19) more antibiotics were consumed during the pandemic; vancomycin and ceftriaxone had higher consumption during than before the pandemic (p-values 0.001 and 0.036, respectively). Vancomycin-resistant Enterococcus (VRE) and Candida. auris were detected more during the COVID-19 period with p-values of 0.026 and 0.004, respectively. Carbapenem-resistant Enterobacterales (CRE), vancomycin resistant Enterococcus spp., and C. auris were detected more often during the pandemic with p-values of 0.011, 0.002, and 0.03, respectively. Significant positive correlations between antibiotic consumption and drug resistant isolates were noted. This study confirms that the overuse of antibiotics triggers the development of bacterial resistance; our results emphasize the importance of antibiotic control.
REVIEW | doi:10.20944/preprints202106.0204.v1
Subject: Public Health And Healthcare, Public, Environmental And Occupational Health Keywords: One Health; Planetary Health; Pandemics; Ecology; Evolution; Environment; Climate change; Biodiversity loss; Emergence; Pathogen
Online: 8 June 2021 (09:34:57 CEST)
The implementation of One Health/EcoHealth/Planetary Health approaches has been identified as key (i) to address the strong interconnections between risk for pandemics, climate change and biodiversity loss, and (ii) to develop and implement solutions to these interlinked crises. As a response to the multiple calls of scientists in that direction, we have put forward seven long term research questions regarding COVID-19 and emerging infectious diseases (EIDs) that are based on an effective integration of environmental, ecological, evolutionary, and social sciences to better anticipate and mitigate EIDs. Research needs cover the social-ecology of infectious disease agents, their evolution, the determinants of susceptibility of humans and animals to infections, and the human and ecological factors accelerating infectious disease emergence. For comprehensive investigation, they include the development of nature-based solutions to interlinked global planetary crises, addressing ethical and philosophical questions regarding the relationship of humans to nature and regarding transformative changes to safeguard the environment and human health. In support of this research, we propose the implementation of innovative multidisciplinary facilities embedded in social-ecosystems locally: the “ecological health observatories” and the “living laboratories”. This work has been carried out in the frame of the EC project HERA (www.HERAresearchEU.eu) that aims to set the priorities for an environment, climate and health research agenda in the EU by adopting a systemic approach in the face of global environmental change.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202007.0083.v1
Subject: Business, Economics And Management, Finance Keywords: COVID-19 and Stock Market; Pakistan Stock Market and Pandemic; Financial Markets and Pandemics
Online: 5 July 2020 (15:23:36 CEST)
The objective of this study is to determine the impact of COVID-19 on the performance of Pakistani Stock Market. This study uses the data of COVID-19 related positive cases, fatalities, recovers and the closing prices of PSX 100 index of the first half of 2020. The findings of the study suggest that only COVID-19 recoveries are influencing the performance of the index and the daily positive cases and fatalities are insignificantly related to the performance. Further studies can be performed by incorporating other variables such as economic growth, interest rate and inflation rate along with the COVID-19 related variables at a cross-country level.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202102.0518.v1
Subject: Business, Economics And Management, Accounting And Taxation Keywords: smart cities; health crisis; COVID-19; pandemics; intelligent ecosystems; connected intelligence; environmental sustainability; climate change
Online: 23 February 2021 (14:18:15 CET)
Fundamental principles of modern cities and urban planning are challenged during the COVID-19 pandemic, such as the advantages of large city size, high density, mass transport, free use of public space, unrestricted individual mobility in cities. These principles shaped the development of cities and metropolitan areas for more than a century, but currently, there are signs that they have turned from advantage to liability. Cities Public authorities and private organisations responded to the COVID-19 crisis with a variety of policies and business practices. These countermeasures codify a valuable experience and can offer lessons about how cities can tackle another grand challenge, this of climate change. Do the measures taken during the COVID-19 crisis represent a temporal adjustment to the current health crisis? Or do they open new ways towards a new type of urban development more effective in times of environmental and health crises? We address these questions through literature review and three case studies that review policies and practices for the transformation of city ecosystems mostly affected by the COVID-19 pandemic: (a) the central business district, (b) the transport ecosystem, and (c) the tourism-hospitality ecosystem. We assess whether the measures implemented in these ecosystems shape new policy and planning models for higher readiness of cities towards grand challenges. And how, based on this experience, cities should be organized to tackle the grand challenge of environmental sustainability and climate change.
Subject: Public Health And Healthcare, Health Policy And Services Keywords: Mitigation; Risk Reduction; Global Catastrophic Biological Risk; Epidemics; Disease X; Literature Review; Pandemics; Value of Information; Existential Risk
Online: 28 February 2020 (12:32:33 CET)
There are potentially promising mitigation activities for epidemic and pandemic scenarios that are not currently the subject of significant research effort. Large epidemics and pandemics pose risks that are important to mitigate, even if the likelihood of the events is low and uncertain. While some efforts are the subject of extensive funding and consideration, other approaches are neglected. Here, we consider such neglected interventions which could significantly reduce the impact of such an epidemic or large-scale pandemic. These are identified via a narrative literature review of extant literature reviews and overviews of mitigations in epidemic and pandemic situations, followed by consideration of the economic value of information of further study of heretofore neglected interventions and approaches.Based on that analysis, we considered several classes of mitigations, and conducted more exploratory reviews of each. Those discussed include mitigations for (1) reducing transmission, such as personal protective equipment and encouraging improved hygiene, (2) reducing exposure by changing norms and targeted changes for high-risk or critical professions and activities, (3) reducing impact for those infected, and (4) increasing large scale resilience using disaster and infrastructure continuity planning.Some proposed mitigations are found to be of low marginal value. Other mitigations are likely to be valuable, but the concepts or applications are underdeveloped. In those cases, further research, resources, or preparation are valuable for mitigating both routine and extreme disease outbreak events. Still more areas of research are identified as having uncertain value based on specific but resolvable uncertainties. In both of the latter cases, there is no guarantee that mitigations identified as worthy of further consideration will be valuable, but the argument for further research is clear.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202102.0021.v1
Subject: Biology And Life Sciences, Biochemistry And Molecular Biology Keywords: excess winter mortality; influenza; latitude; gender; age; respiratory conditions; spatiotemporal effects; female; male; pandemics; seasons; ethnic groups; respiration disorders; coinfection
Online: 1 February 2021 (12:16:39 CET)
(1) Background: To investigate the dynamic issues behind international variation in EWM. (2) A rolling EWM calculation is used to reveal seasonal changes in the EWM calculation and is especially relevant nearer to the equator. (3) Results: In addition to latitude country specific factors determine EWM. Females generally show higher EWM mainly due to respiratory conditions. The EWM for respiratory conditions in England and Wales ranges from 44% to 83% which is about double the all-cause mortality equivalent. Age has a profound effect on EWM with a peak in puberty and then increasing EWM at old age. The gap between male and female EWM seems to act as a diagnostic tool reflecting the infectious/metrological mix in each winter. Additional difference due to ethnicity are also observed. An EWM equivalent calculation for sickness absence demonstrates how additional health-related variables can be linked to EWM. (4) Conclusions: EWM does not reach a peak at the same time each year, especially so in the tropics. Countries midway between the equator and the poles show highest EWM. Differences between the genders are highly significant and seem to vary according to the mix of variables active each winter. Pandemic influenza does not elevate EWM, although seasonal influenza plays a part each winter.
Subject: Computer Science And Mathematics, Applied Mathematics Keywords: time series; forecasting; neural networks; data preprocessing; training and control samples; coronavirus pandemics; Deductor Studio; data cleaning; partial processing; spectral processing; autocorrelation; sliding windows.
Online: 30 March 2021 (14:16:28 CEST)
For analysis tasks, time counts are of interest — values recorded at some, usually equidistant, points in time. The calculation can be performed at various intervals: after a minute, an hour, a day, a week, a month, or a year, depending on how much detail the process should be analyzed. In time series analysis problems, we deal with discrete-time, when each observation of a parameter forms a time frame. The same can be said about the behavior of Covid-19 over time.In this paper, we solve the problem of predicting Covid-19 diseases in the world using neural networks. This approach is useful when it is necessary to overcome difficulties related to non-stationarity, incompleteness, unknown distribution of data, or when statistical methods are not completely satisfactory. The problem of forecasting is solved with the help of the analytical platform Deductor Studio, developed by specialists of the company Intersoft Lab of the Russian Federation. When solving this problem, appropriate methods were used to clean the data from noise and anomalies, which ensured the quality of building a predictive model and obtaining forecast values for tens of days ahead. The principle of time series forecasting was also demonstrated: import, seasonal detection, cleaning, smoothing, building a predictive model, and predicting Covid-19 diseases in the world using neural technologies for 30 days ahead.