Tag: pandemia

Covid-19 in Africa: the little we know and the lot we ignore

Publication date: 18/06/2020 – E&P Code: repo.epiprev.it/1827
Authors: Sandro Colombo1, Rino Scuccato1, Antonello Fadda1, Amélia Jossai Cumbi1

Abstract: Covid-19 has stirred up an information deluge that challenges our capacity to absorb and make sense of data. In this unrelenting flow of information, Africa has been largely off the radar, escaping the attention of the scientific literature and the media. International agencies have been the exception: despite the still low numbers of cases and deaths, they have voiced concerns, often in catastrophic terms, on the health, economic and social impacts of Covid-19 in African countries. These concerns contrast sharply with the optimistic view that Africa may be spared the worst consequences of the pandemic.
This paper provides a snapshot of a crisis in evolution: its features could change as new data become available and our understanding improves. The paper examines the epidemic trends, the health impact, the containment measures and their possible side effects. Africa has a long experience of responding to epidemics: relevant lessons learned are outlined. The picture of the epidemic and its narrative are heterogenous, given the differing vulnerabilities of African countries and the diverse contexts within their borders. The paper, therefore, singles out selected countries as illustrative of specific situations and advocates for a transnational and subnational approach to future analyses.
The virus has shown a strong capacity to adapt; therefore, a response strategy, in order to be effective, needs to be flexible and able to adapt to changes. The paper concludes with the recommendation that affected communities should be engaged in the response, to maintain or build trust. A lesson from the Ebola outbreak of a few years ago was that epidemiologists and community leaders learned, after initial difficulties, how to dialogue and work together.

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Modulation of COVID19 Epidemiology by UV-B and -A Photons from the Sun

Publication date: 08/06/2020 – E&P Code: repo.epiprev.it/1746
Authors: Fabrizio Nicastro1, Giorgia Sironi2, Elio Antonello2, Andrea Bianco2, Mara Biasin3, John R. Brucato4, Ilaria Ermolli1, Giovanni Pareschi2, Marta Salvati5, Paolo Tozzi4, Daria Trabattoni3, Mario Clerici6

Abstract: It is well known that 200-290 nm ultraviolet photons (hereinafter UV-C radiation) photo-chemically interacts with DNA and RNA and are endowed with germicidal properties that are also effective on viruses (1-8). Fortunately, Solar UV-C photons of this wavelength are filtered out by the Ozone layer of the upper Atmosphere, at around 35 km (9). Softer UV photons from the Sun with wavelengths in the range 290-320 nm (UV-B) and 320-400 nm (UV-A), however, do reach the Earth’s surface. The effect of these photons on Single- and Double-Stranded RNA/DNA viruses (9-12) and the possible role they play on the seasonality of epidemics (13), are nevertheless little studied and highly debated in alternative or complementarity to other environmental causes (14-20). Notably though, the effects of both direct and indirect radiation from the Sun needs to be considered in order to completely explain the effects of UV radiations in life processes (with e.g. the UV virucidal effect enhanced in combination to the concomitant process of water droplets depletion because of Solar heat). Herein we present a number of concurring circumstantial evidence suggesting that the evolution and strength of the recent Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS-Cov-2) pandemics (21, 22), might be have been modulated by the intensity of UV-B and UV-A Solar radiation hitting different regions of Earth during the diffusion of the outbreak between January and May 2020. Out findings, if confirmed by more in depth data analysis and modeling of the epidemics, which includes Solar modulation, could help in designing the social behaviors to be adopted depending on season and environmental conditions.

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Pandemie e sostenibilità ambientale

Publication date: 26/05/2020 – E&P Code: repo.epiprev.it/1682
Authors: Celestino Panizza1

Abstract: Mentre gli impatti delle attività agricole sull’uso del suolo sono, per alcuni aspetti, relativamente ben caratterizzati (ad esempio, la contabilità delle emissioni di carbonio e la perdita di biodiversità), meno consolidati sono i potenziali impatti sulla salute umana. In questo ambito le ricerche riguardano gli effetti dell’esposizione a pesticidi, prodotti chimici e metalli pesanti.
L’emergenza Coronavirus (Covid-19) richiama l’attenzione alle interazioni tra cambiamento ambientale e insorgenza di malattie infettive.
Gli ecosistemi possono svolgere un ruolo importante nella regolazione delle malattie mantenendo le dinamiche naturali delle malattie nelle comunità faunistiche e riducendo la probabilità di contatto e trasmissione di agenti patogeni tra esseri umani, bestiame e fauna selvatica.
Per affrontare le pandemie come per le malattie non trasmissibili è necessaria una visione che risale alle cause prime dei fenomeni e una visione sistemica, integrata, dei processi in atto. Per raggiungere gli obiettivi di sostenibilità ambientale, ricercatori e decisori dovrebbero prendere in considerazione le interconnessioni dell’emergenza della malattia e il loro impatto sociale più ampio. Sono necessarie politiche ambientali che promuovano la pianificazione sostenibile dell’uso del suolo.

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Predicted effects of stopping COVID-19 lockdown on Italian hospital demand

Publication date: 22/04/2020 – E&P Code: repo.epiprev.it/1312
Authors: Jordy Bollon1, Matteo Paganini2, Consuelo Rubina3, Nello De Vita1, Rosanna Vaschetto1, Luca Ragazzoni1,2, Francesco Della Corte1,2, Francesco Barone-Adesi1,2

Abstract: Objective: Italy has been one of the first countries to implement mitigation measures to curb the COVID-19 pandemic. There is now a debate on when such measures should be loosened. Our aim was to forecast the Italian hospital demand for COVID-19 during the following months, assuming different approaches in reducing the restrictions currently in place.

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