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The novel coronavirus infection (coronavirus disease-2019 (COVID-19)) emerged from Wuhan in the Hubei Province of China in late 2019. Millions of people were infected with COVID-19 pandemic due to the long incubation period of the virus inside the human body and the dearth of available treatments or vaccines. High transmission rates created havoc, which highlighted the urgent need for effective interventions to stop the spread and clinical impact of the virus on patients and populations. Previous research on severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus (SARS-CoV) provides information on vaccination strategies that could inform how governments approach the elimination of this novel coronavirus. Numerous efforts have been made to develop vaccines against Middle East respiratory syndrome (MERS) and SARS. The spike glycoprotein or S protein is the critical target for most of the drugs and vaccines against coronavirus. The virus uses the spike (S) protein for entering the host cell, by interacting
with the receptor called angiotensin converting enzyme-2 (ACE2). Various vaccine platforms are available such as nucleic acid vaccine, protein-based vaccines, virus-vectored vaccines and live or attenuated vaccines, with each having their advantages and disadvantages. This review focuses on the overview of different vaccine candidates used, those currently in development, and the challenges encountered while developing effective vaccines.
SARS-CoV-2; Vaccine development; Clinical trials.
The objective behind this article is to better characterize spatial distribution of animal rabies in Morocco through qualitative risk assessment framework. In Morocco, the occurrence of the disease is neither clearly distributed nor complete. Therefore, risk assessment methods become strongly recommended to cope with distorted geographic patterns.
Based on data collection set from 168 counties, qualitative changes on spatial epidemiology of rabies were analysed by mapMCDA tool covering a period from 2004 to 2017 and including information on determinants of the geographic distribution of animal rabies in Morocco defined in previous work.
To validate the risk assessment model, the results were compared to rabies cases reported during the study period. The clustering of the rabies risk estimates is decisive and highly reliable. A significant alignment was shown between the very high and high-risk estimates.
This study is the first attempt that has been made for using MapMCDA for rabies. For a normative process aiming to avoid subjectivity related to expert-opinions, authors suggest conducting initially a statistical multiple component analysis that will provide quantified estimates of risk factors. It would be an advisable decision-making tool that helps to design oriented surveillance and allows better referral of actions to control the disease.
Animal rabies; Canine rabies; Spatial epidemiology; Qualitative risk assessment; MapMCDA; Veterinary science; Public health; Morocco.
The coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic has negatively affected the education sector globally. This has resulted in learning institutions adopting e-learning techniques. E-learning implementation in higher education continues to gain prominence in both developed and developing countries. Most universities are exploring different ways of using information and
communications technology (ICT). However, ICT remains a challenge more especially for students who come from rural areas.
This study was aimed at exploring the factors that affect access to e-learning among rural-based pharmacy students in Zambia.
A qualitative case study was conducted among ten (10) purposively sampled pharmacy students at the University of Zambia. The study participants were from the Manying, a district of North-Western Province, the Sinda district of Eastern Province, the Nalolo district of Western Province, the Chipili district of Luapula Province and the Mbala district of Northern Province. Semistructured interviews were used to collect data from the respondents. Data were analyzed using the framework analysis. The sociodemographic characteristics indicate that ten (10) respondents were drawn from Zambia’s five (5) provinces. Six qualitative themes were generated these included devices used for e-learning; the effectiveness of the devices; student performance; internet connectivity; and electrification of the houses. Key findings suggest that the most commonly used device was a smartphone, which posed challenges to effective learner participation in e-learning. Poor internet connectivity, non-electrification of students’ houses, electricity outages, and costs-associated with internet use negatively affected students in accessing online learning and could adversely affect their academic activities and performance.
The COVID-19 pandemic has negatively affected access to e-learning among rural pharmacy students in Zambia. The implications of the challenges faced by the rural pharmacy students are that their academic activities and performance were negatively affected. Therefore, this posed a threat to the rights to universal access to education of the rural students who were mostly venerable.
Academic performance; COVID-19; Coronavirus disease; E-Learning; Online learning; Pandemic; Pharmacy students.
Bystanders are an integral part of an emergency scene. Their presence on site makes them the immediate potential responders, who can provide life-saving assistance as well as various rescue actions. Research has shown that bystanders are willing to and are capable of helping, especially (but not limited to) when a leader emerges, as the help is rooted in a collective action. In this article, we suggest a new framework for understanding the effectiveness of bystanders help, based on the evolving social process between bystanders and first responders. As we show, the transition from no help, at the very first moment right after the emergency has occurred, to an effective coordinated response where first responders and bystanders act together, goes through engagement of bystanders. Further, first responders should acknowledge the social organization of bystanders, utilize and leverage it in order to optimize their efforts. This framework has important insights for policy makers when managing emergency and disaster situations with limited resources.
Bystanders; First responders; Mass casualty incident; Help; Emergency; Cardio-pulmonary resuscitation (CPR).
Recently a lot of attention has been focused on fast-tracking repurposed drugs for the treatment of a novel coronavirus; severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2), the causative agent leading to the devastating coronavirus disease-2019 (Covid-19). One of the first and most well-known examples is hydroxychloroquine (HCQ), which has been used for years as a treatment for malaria, rheumatoid arthritis and lupus. HCQ was rolled out as a miracle treatment for Covid-19, which was inexpensive, effective and causing few side-effects. However, its effectiveness in treating Covid-19 has recently been questioned leaving doctors and patients confused and desperate. Here the proposed mechanisms of action of HCQ are discussed and compared with an inexpensive, safe and effective alternative, which is derived from natural, healthy amniotic fluid.
Covid-19; SARS-CoV-2; Amniotic fluid; CytoSomes.
Sirtuin 1 (SIRT1) inhibitors can reduce replication of many viruses with certain characteristics similar to those of coronaviruses, while the p53 protein is another important factor in the down-regulation of viral growth. Tenovin is a class of small molecules that inhibit Sirtuin 1 and 2, in addition to activating the p53 protein, by means of regulating the interactions used by coronaviruses as a self-defense mechanism. By blocking virus growth and continuous replication, with already tested antiviral medicines, the promise of coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) eradication exists.
COVID-19; Coronavirus replication; SIRT1 inhibitors; p53; Tenovin.
letter to the editor
Malaria is endemic to many African countries and geographies and remains the leading cause of morbidity and mortality on the continent. Ongoing efforts by health authorities to reverse the scale of malaria are often faced to the challenges of drug resistance often generated by therapeutic abuses relating to self-medication, sub-therapeutic under dosages and poor storage and handling of drugs throughout the pharmacy supply chain system.
Malaria; Covid-19; Morbidity and mortality; Abuse antimalarial; Drug resistance.
This cartographic and analytical study, using the social network analysis method, aims to characterize sheep mobility from breeders producing lambs in the Middle Atlas Mountains to the fattening centers, passing through livestock markets in order to describe the exchange network, to identify the main mobility hubs and to secure the production of fattening lambs by improving the efficiency of the epidemiological surveillance system for “peste des petits ruminants” (PPR) in lambs producers of the Middle Atlas in Morocco.
Descriptive cross-sectional study within the framework of active epidemiological surveillance. It was carried out at a regional level, for mapping the movements of sheep and to analyze the network of exchange relating to this species by the Social Network Analysis (SNA) method in the middle atlas massif and in the zone of sheep fatteners to guide epidemiological surveillance efforts. A total of 807 breeders producing lambs, sheep fatteners and traders were surveyed, including 54 fatteners in fattening workshops (sampling fraction of 48.6%), 150 breeders and traders in livestock markets of Middle Atlas and 603 producing lamb breeders of this massif (sampling fraction at the massif level of 6.64%).
The study revealed a very strong commercial relationship between middle Atlas breeders and fattening zone breeders whose longrange outflows mainly converge towards urban consumption centers. The major strategic livestock markets of the middle Atlas proved to be key points in the articulation of the flows, as was the commune gathering the fatteners. Centrality indicators were used to identify the main trade hubs that contribute to the spread of diseases and to quantify their importance in the influence of sheep movement, while network cohesion parameters have shown that network is vulnerable to the spread of epidemics.
The results of this survey revealed the main commercial hubs at the Middle Atlas level and at the level of the province of fatteners, which represent a great risk of spreading sheep diseases over long distances rather quickly in event of an epizootic, but also representing the ability to control the spread through the control of the movement of animals at their level.
Ovine network; Epizotic of (Peste des Petits Ruminants); Mapping; Social network analysis; Hub; Betweenness; Degree; Strong component; Cutpoint.
On 27th March 2019, the Hagadera Refugee Camp reported an outbreak of acute watery diarrhea. An investigation was initiated to confirm the causative organism and define the epidemiology of the outbreak to support evidence-based control measures.
A suspected case was a resident of Hagadera Refugee Camp or the surrounding community with a sudden onset of acute watery diarrhea and vomiting between March 27 and September 16, 2019. A probable case was defined as a suspected case with a positive rapid test for Vibrio cholerae; a confirmed case was a probable case with a positive stool culture for V. cholerae. We conducted a systematic case finding by visiting health facilities and villages. We reviewed patient records to identify suspected cholera casepatients. We conducted a descriptive epidemiologic study, examining the distribution of the cases. We computed the attack rates by age, sex, and residence. The case fatality rate was calculated as the ratio of the total number of suspected cholera death to the total number of cholera case-patients. We conducted targeted interventions including spraying, handwashing demonstration, distribution of soaps health education and promotion.
We identified 667 suspected cholera cases between March and September 2019 of these, 38% (253/667) had a positive rapid diagnostic test for V. cholerae; 6% (43) were negative and 56%(371) rapid diagnostic test (RDT) were not conducted. Out of the 94 rectal swabs for culture, 71% (64/94) were confirmed to be V. cholera O1 serotype Inaba. The epidemic curve exhibited a continuous common-source outbreak with several peaks. The mean age of the case-patients was 15-years (range: 0.2-70-years). Both males and female had an attack rate of 9/10000 respectively. The highest attack rate was in ≥30-years (14 per 10,000).
This was a continuous common source cholera outbreak caused by V. cholerae 01 serotype Inaba. We recommended strengthening the surveillance system improving early detection and effective response.
Cholera; Outbreak; Kenya; Garissa; Protracted; Hagadera; Epidemiological; Descriptive.
RDT: Rapid diagnostic test; WHO: World Health Organization; CTC: Cholera Treatment Centre; AWD: Acute watery diarrhea; TCBS: Citrate bile salt sucrose; CFR: Case fatality rate; OCV: Oral cholera vaccine; IRC: International Rescue Committee; UNHCR: United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees.
Associate ProfessorDepartment of Public Health Shantou University No. 22 Xinling Road Shantou, China
Lecturer School of Public Health University of California Berkeley, CA, USA
Professor of Epidemiology University of Pittsburgh Graduate School of Public Health 130 DeSoto Street, A526 Crabtree Hall Pittsburgh, PA 15261, USA