COVID-19

COVID-19

This is where I list all of my COVID-19 work

COVID-19 transmission and control strategies

The COVID-19 pandemic is an example of the potential impact from emerging zoonotic infectious diseases. During the early stages of the pandemic I supported CMMID at LSHTM with their data management pipeline and was a member of the COVID-19 working group. As case numbers in the UK increased after the summer I reduced my role in the epidemiological and modelling work to increase the amount of time I could contribute to the clinical response.

COVID-19 and the association with smoking

Since March 2020 I have also been involved in a project investigating the association of smoking and SARS-CoV-2 infection, and COVID-19 severity and mortality. This work has been led by Olga Perski and colleagues at UCL-Tobacco and Alcohol Research Group.

Current and former smoking is associated with worse outcomes and increased rates of hospitalisation from respiratory infections such as Respiratory Synciatial Virus, Influenza viruses and bacterial infections. Because of this there was an early concern about how the pandemic caused by SARS-CoV-2 may interact with smoking.

Early data released from healthcare services in China in the early parts of 2020 suggested that smoking was not a significant risk factor for COVID-19 disease. Whether this was a true effect or reflected poor recording or reporting was unclear. We began to synthesise the published and pre-print literature to investigate the specific association of smoking and COVID-19. This was initially performed as a report for the Royal College of Physicians, London and was expanded following a request from Public Health England.

Quit for COVID

Figure 1: Quit for COVID

Other work

Another group that were potentially at greater risk of adverse outcomes from COVID-19 infection were individuals suffering with Sickle Cell Disease. We wrote a commentary piece to draw attention to this group of individuals who are more prevalent in sub-Saharan countries in Africa that also suffer from a further burden of often under-developed healthcare infrastructure (Dexter et al. 2020)

Along with colleagues from the PANDORA network we tried to identify the countries that could be at greatest risk of importation of cases early in the epidemic based off flight data (Haider et al. 2020)

Dexter, Daniel, David Simons, Charles Kiyaga, Nathan Kapata, Francine Ntoumi, Richard Kock, and Alimuddin Zumla. 2020. “Mitigating the Effect of the COVID-19 Pandemic on Sickle Cell Disease Services in African Countries.” The Lancet Haematology 7 (6): e430–32. https://doi.org/10.1016/S2352-3026(20)30122-8.
Haider, Najmul, Alexei Yavlinsky, David Simons, Abdinasir Yusuf Osman, Francine Ntoumi, Alimuddin Zumla, and Richard Kock. 2020. “Passengers’ Destinations from China: Low Risk of Novel Coronavirus (2019-nCoV) Transmission into Africa and South America.” Epidemiology & Infection 148. https://doi.org/10.1017/S0950268820000424.

References

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