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Selenium (Se) is a micronutrient essential for human health. Sub-optimal Se status is common, occurring in a significant proportion of the population across the world including parts of Europe and China. Human and animal studies have shown that Se status is a key determinant of the host response to viral infections. In this review, we address the question whether Se intake is a factor in determining the severity of response to COVID-19. Emphasis is placed on epidemiological and animal studies which suggest that Se affects host response to RNA viruses and on the molecular mechanisms by which Se and selenoproteins modulate the inter-linked redox homeostasis, stress response and inflammatory response. Together these studies indicate that Se status is an important factor in determining the host response to viral infections. Therefore, we conclude that Se status is likely to influence human response to the SARS-CoV-2 infection and that Se status is one (of several) risk factors which may impact on the outcome of SARS-CoV-2 infection, particularly in populations where Se intake is sub-optimal or low. We suggest the use of appropriate markers to assess the Se status of COVID-19 patients and possible supplementation may be beneficial in limiting the severity of symptoms, especially in countries where Se status is regarded as sub-optimal.
Social distancing policies are key in curtailing COVID-19 infection spread, but their effectiveness is heavily contingent on public understanding and collective adherence. We sought to study public perception of social distancing through organic, large-scale discussion on Twitter.
Retrospective cross-sectional study.
Between March 27 and April 10, 2020, we retrieved English-only tweets matching two trending social distancing hashtags, #socialdistancing and #stayathome. We analyzed the tweets using natural language processing and machine learning models, conducting a sentiment analysis to identify emotions and polarity. We evaluated subjectivity of tweets and estimated frequency of discussion of social distancing rules. We then identified clusters of discussion using topic modeling and associated sentiments.
We studied a sample of 574,903 tweets. For both hashtags, polarity was positive (mean, 0.148; SD, 0.290); only 15% of tweets had negative polarity. Tweets were more likely to be objective (median, 0.40; IQR, 0 to 0.6) with approximately 30% of tweets labeled as completely objective (labeled as 0 in range from 0 to 1). Approximately half (50.4%) of tweets primarily expressed joy and one-fifth expressed fear and surprise. Each correlated well with topic clusters identified by frequency including leisure and community support (i.e., joy), concerns about food insecurity and quarantine effects (i.e., fear), and unpredictability of COVID and its implications (i.e., surprise).
The positive sentiment, preponderance of objective tweets, and topics supporting coping mechanisms led us to believe that Twitter users generally supported social distancing in the early stages of their implementation.
Obesity is a risk factor for severe complications and death from the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19). Public health efforts to control the pandemic may alter health behaviors related to weight gain, inflammation, and poor cardiometabolic health, exacerbating the prevalence of obesity, poor immune health, and chronic diseases. We reviewed how the pandemic adversely influences many of these behaviors, specifically physical activity, sedentary behaviors, sleep, and dietary intakes, and provided individual level strategies that may be used to mitigate them. At the community level and higher, public health and health care professionals need to advocate for intervention strategies and policy changes that address these behaviors, such as increasing nutrition assistance programs and creating designated areas for recreation and active transportation, to reduce disparities among vulnerable populations. The long-lasting impact of the pandemic on health behaviors, and the possibility of a second COVID-19 wave, emphasize the need for creative and evolving, multi-level approaches to assist individuals in adapting their health behaviors to prevent both chronic and infectious diseases.
Healthcare workers (HCWs) have a theoretically increased risk of contracting SARS-CoV-2 given their occupational exposure. We tested 2167 HCWs in a London Acute Integrated Care Organisation for antibodies to SARS-CoV-2 in May and June 2020 to evaluate seroprevalence. We found a seropositivity rate of 31.6% among HCWs.
The implementation effect of the 24-hour Supervise-Correct-Improve (SCI) supervision model was investigated in COVID-19 isolation ward in putting on and taking off process of personal protective equipment. As shown in results, the error rate of taking off process was significantly reduced (P < 0.001) by applying the 24h “SCI” mode. Staffs over 40 years old and workers were more likely to make mistakes. Through uninterrupted supervision and protection, application of this mode is proved to be effective.
Facemask use may promote face touching. We recorded patients with possible COVID-19 awaiting evaluation in an ambulatory clinic. Patients with a facemask touched their face 11.41 times on average and ranged up to 80 times. Mask use should be accompanied by hand hygiene and reminders not to touch one’s face.
Prolonged survival of SARS-CoV-2 on environmental surfaces and personal protective equipment may lead to these surfaces transmitting disease to others. This article reports the effectiveness of a pulsed xenon ultraviolet disinfection system in reducing the load of SARS-CoV-2 on hard surfaces and N95 respirators.
Chamber slides and N95 respirator material were directly inoculated with SARS-CoV-2 and exposed to different durations of pulsed xenon ultraviolet disinfection.
For hard surfaces, disinfection for 1, 2, and 5 minutes resulted in 3·53 Log10, >4·54 Log10, and >4·12 Log10 reductions in viral load, respectively. For N95 respirators, disinfection for 5 minutes resulted in >4·79 Log10 reduction in viral load. We found that pulsed xenon ultraviolet significantly reduces SARS-CoV-2 on hard surfaces and N95 respirators.
With the potential to rapidly disinfectant environmental surfaces and N95 respirators, pulsed xenon ultraviolet devices are a promising technology for the reduction of environmental and personal protective equipment bioburden and to enhance both healthcare worker and patient safety by reducing the risk of exposure to SARS-CoV-2.
As the Coronavirus disease 2019 continues to circulate, testing strategies are of the utmost importance. Given national shortages of testing supplies, personal protective equipment, and other hospital resources, diagnostic stewardship is necessary to aid in resource management. We report the low utility of serial testing in a low prevalence setting.