Transmission dynamics, border entry screening, and school holidays during the 2009 influenza A (H1N1) pandemic, China.
ABSTRACT: Pandemic influenza A (H1N1) 2009 virus spread rapidly around the world in 2009. We used multiple data sources from surveillance systems and specific investigations to characterize the transmission patterns of this virus in China during May-November 2009 and analyze the effectiveness of border entry screening and holiday-related school closures on transmission. In China, age distribution and transmission dynamic characteristics were similar to those in Northern Hemisphere temperate countries. The epidemic was focused in children, with an effective reproduction number of ≈1.2-1.3. The 8 days of national holidays in October reduced the effective reproduction number by 37% (95% credible interval 28%-45%) and increased underreporting by ≈20%-30%. Border entry screening detected at most 37% of international travel-related cases, with most (89%) persons identified as having fever at time of entry. These findings suggest that border entry screening was unlikely to have delayed spread in China by >4 days.
Project description:After the WHO issued the global alert for 2009 pandemic influenza A (H1N1), many national health agencies began to screen travelers on entry in airports, ports and border crossings to try to delay local transmission.We reviewed entry screening policies adopted by different nations and ascertained dates of official report of the first laboratory-confirmed imported H1N1 case and the first laboratory-confirmed untraceable or 'local' H1N1 case.Implementation of entry screening policies was associated with on average additional 7-12 day delays in local transmission compared to nations that did not implement entry screening, with lower bounds of 95% confidence intervals consistent with no additional delays and upper bounds extending to 20-30 day additional delays.Entry screening may lead to short-term delays in local transmission of a novel strain of influenza virus. The resources required for implementation should be balanced against the expected benefits of entry screening.
Project description:The ongoing pandemic of SARS-CoV-2 presents novel challenges and opportunities for the use of phylogenetics to understand and control its spread. Here, we analyze the emergence of SARS-CoV-2 in Russia in March and April 2020. Combining phylogeographic analysis with travel history data, we estimate that the sampled viral diversity has originated from at least 67 closely timed introductions into Russia, mostly in late February to early March. All but one of these introductions were not from China, suggesting that border closure with China has helped delay establishment of SARS-CoV-2 in Russia. These introductions resulted in at least 9 distinct Russian lineages corresponding to domestic transmission. A notable transmission cluster corresponded to a nosocomial outbreak at the Vreden hospital in Saint Petersburg; phylodynamic analysis of this cluster reveals multiple (2-3) introductions each giving rise to a large number of cases, with a high initial effective reproduction number of 3.0 [1.9, 4.3].
Project description:BACKGROUND:Hong Kong (HK) is a densely populated city near the epicentre of the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) outbreak. Stringent border control together with aggressive case finding, contact tracing, social distancing and quarantine measures were implemented to halt the importation and spread of the virus. METHODS:We performed an epidemiological study using government information covering the first 100 confirmed cases to examine the epidemic curve, incidence, clusters, reproduction number (Rt), incubation period and time to containment. RESULTS:A total of 93 of the 100 cases were HK residents (6 infected in Mainland China, 10 on the Diamond Princess Cruise). Seven were visitors infected in Mainland China before entering HK. The majority (76%) were aged ?45?years, and the incidence increased with age (P?<?0.001). Escalation of border control measures correlated with a decrease in the proportion (62.5% to 0%) of cases imported from Mainland China, and a reduction in Rt (1.07 to 0.75). The median incubation period was 4.2?days [95% confidence interval (CI), 4.0-4.5; 5th and 95th percentiles: 1.3 and 14.0). Most clusters with identifiable epidemiological links were households involving 2-4 people. Three medium-spreading events were identified: two from New Year gatherings (6-11 people), and another from environmental contamination of a worship hall (12 people). Despite intensified contact tracing, containment was delayed in 78.9% of cases (mean?=?5.96?days, range?=?0-24?days). An unusual transmission in a multi-storey building via faulty toilet plumbing was suspected with >100 residents evacuated overnight. Our analysis indicated that faulty plumbing was unlikely to be the source of this transmission. CONCLUSIONS:Timely stringent containment policies minimized the importation and transmission of COVID-19 in HK.
Project description:Background: In December 2019, an outbreak of coronavirus disease (later named as COVID-19) was identified in Wuhan, China and, later on, detected in other parts of China. Our aim is to evaluate the effectiveness of the evolution of interventions and self-protection measures, estimate the risk of partial lifting control measures and predict the epidemic trend of the virus in the mainland of China excluding Hubei province based on the published data and a novel mathematical model.
Methods: A novel COVID-19 transmission dynamic model incorporating the intervention measures implemented in China is proposed. COVID-19 daily data of the mainland of China excluding Hubei province, including the cumulative confirmed cases, the cumulative deaths, newly confirmed cases and the cumulative recovered cases between 20 January and 3 March 2020, were archived from the National Health Commission of China (NHCC). We parameterize the model by using the Markov Chain Monte Carlo (MCMC) method and estimate the control reproduction number (Rc), as well as the effective daily reproduction ratio- Re(t), of the disease transmission in the mainland of China excluding Hubei province.
Results: The estimation outcomes indicate that Rc is 3.36 (95% CI: 3.20-3.64) and Re(t) has dropped below 1 since 31 January 2020, which implies that the containment strategies implemented by the Chinese government in the mainland of China are indeed effective and magnificently suppressed COVID-19 transmission. Moreover, our results show that relieving personal protection too early may lead to a prolonged disease transmission period and more people would be infected, and may even cause a second wave of epidemic or outbreaks. By calculating the effective reproduction ratio, we prove that the contact rate should be kept at least less than 30% of the normal level by April, 2020.
Conclusions: To ensure the pandemic ending rapidly, it is necessary to maintain the current integrated restrict interventions and self-protection measures, including travel restriction, quarantine of entry, contact tracing followed by quarantine and isolation and reduction of contact, like wearing masks, keeping social distance, etc. People should be fully aware of the real-time epidemic situation and keep sufficient personal protection until April. If all the above conditions are met, the outbreak is expected to be ended by April in the mainland of China apart from Hubei province.
Project description:Dehong prefecture, Yunnan province on China's southwestern border was the gateway of the country's AIDS epidemic. Studies on HIV-1 molecular epidemiology will provide key information on virus transmission dynamics and help to inform HIV prevention strategies. HIV-1 infected youths (age 16-25 years) diagnosed in the continuous 3 months in 2009 to 2012 were enrolled. By means of phylogenetic and statistical analyses, It was showed that two thirds (133/205) of youths in Dehong, of which 74.1% were infected sexually, were infected by uncharacterized recombinant HIV-1 strains. Among them about 59.4% (79/131) were unique recombinant forms (URFs) and 40.6% (54/131) formed 11 transmission clusters, termed potential circulating recombinant forms (pCRFs). The emergence of recombinants was statistically significant related with people of low education, residents outside the capital city of Dehong and being Myanmar residents. It was the first report with ongoing HIV-1 recombinant strains in a sexually driven epidemic area in China. Great efforts should be put on reducing multiple risk exposures behavior in local young people, containing the spread of pCRFs to other regions, and preventing the URFs from evolving into future CRFs. Collaborative prevention across border is needed to better control the local AIDS epidemic.
Project description:OBJECTIVES:In this paper, we aimed to investigate the evolving debate over border closure in Korea during the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic, to address the main themes associated with border closure, and to discuss the factors that need to be considered when making such decisions. METHODS:We collated and reviewed previously conducted review studies on border closures during infectious disease outbreaks to derive relevant themes and factors. RESULTS:According to our systematic review on border closures and travel restrictions, the effects of such containment efforts are limited. We suggest considering the following factors when determining whether to impose border closure measures: (1) disease characteristics, (2) timeliness of implementation, (3) transmission delay and the basic reproduction number, (4) globalization and pandemics, and (5) social and economic costs. CONCLUSIONS:Our assessment indicates that the effects of border closures are at best temporary and limited. Alternative measures must be contemplated and implemented to suppress the spread of COVID-19 in particular and infectious diseases more broadly.
Project description:<h4>Background</h4>In Myanmar, civil unrest and the establishment of internally displaced person (IDP) settlements along the Myanmar-China border have impacted malaria transmission.<h4>Methods</h4>Microsatellite markers were used to examine source-sink dynamics for Plasmodium vivax between IDP settlements and surrounding villages in the border region. Genotypic structure and diversity were compared across the 3 years following the establishment of IDP settlements, to infer demographic history. We investigated whether human migration and landscape heterogeneity contributed to P. vivax transmission.<h4>Results</h4>P. vivax from IDP settlements and local communities consistently exhibited high genetic diversity within populations but low polyclonality within individuals. No apparent genetic structure was observed among populations and years. P. vivax genotypes in China were similar to those in Myanmar, and parasite introduction was unidirectional. Landscape factors, including distance, elevation, and land cover, do not appear to impede parasite gene flow.<h4>Conclusions</h4>The admixture of P. vivax genotypes suggested that parasite gene flow via human movement contributes to the spread of malaria both locally in Myanmar and across the international border. Our genetic findings highlight the presence of large P. vivax gene reservoirs that can sustain transmission. Thus, it is important to reinforce and improve existing control efforts along border areas.
Project description:BACKGROUND: The China-Myanmar border is a particularly interesting region that has very high prevalence of and considerable diversity of HIV-1 recombinants. Due to the transient nature of their work, long-distance truck drivers (LDTDs) have a comparatively high potential to become infected with HIV-1 and further spread virus to other individuals in the area they travel within. In this study, we hypothesized that Burmese LDTDs crossing the China-Myanmar border frequently may potentially be involved in the cross-border transmission of HIV, and contribute to the extremely high prevalence of HIV-1 inter-subtype recombinants in this border region. METHODS: A molecular epidemiology study was conducted among 105 Burmese LDTDs between 2008 and 2010. HIV-1 genetic fragments including p17, pol, vif-vpr, vpr-env, and C2V3 were amplified and sequenced. The subtype characterization and HIV-1 transmission were determined by both phylogenetic and phylogeographic analyses. RESULTS: Diverse forms of HIV-1, including subtypes CRF01_AE (41.9%), C (8.6%), B (4.8%), CRF02_AG (1.0%), and inter-subtype recombinants (33.3%), as well as dual infection (10.5%), were detected among the tested LDTDs. Phylogeographic analyses based on pure subtype revealed that 77.8% Burmese LDTDs acquired HIV-1 infection in Yunnan, and the others in Myanmar. Both the C-related and CRF01_AE-related recombinants from these LDTDs appeared to have close genetic relationship with those from IDUs in Myanmar and Dehong. CONCLUSIONS: Burmese LDTDs may contribute to HIV-1 transmission along the China-Myanmar border. The results may provide some new perspective for understanding the on-going generation and prevalence of HIV-1 recombinants in the border region.
Project description:OBJECTIVES:The novel coronavirus (SARS-CoV-2) originating from Wuhan spread rapidly throughout China. While its origin remains uncertain, accumulating evidence links a wet market with the early spread of SARS-CoV-2 in Wuhan. Similarly, the influence of the marketplace on the early transmission dynamics is yet to be investigated. METHODS:Using the daily series of COVID-19 incidence, stratified according to contact history with the market, we have conducted quantitative modeling analyses to estimate the reproduction numbers (R) for market-to-human and human-to-human transmission, the reporting probability, and the early effects of public health interventions. RESULTS:We estimated R at 0.24 (95% CrI: 0.01-1.38) for market-to-human transmission and 2.37 (95% CrI: 2.08-2.71) for human-to-human transmission during the early spread in China (2019-2020). Moreover, we estimated that the reporting rate for cases stemming from market-to-human transmission was 2-34 fold higher than that for cases stemming from human-to-human transmission, suggesting that contact history with the wet market played a key role in identifying COVID-19 cases. CONCLUSIONS:Our R estimate tied to market-to-human transmission had substantial uncertainty, but it was significantly lower compared with the reproduction number driving human-to-human transmission. Our results also suggest that asymptomatic and subclinical infections constitute a substantial component of the COVID-19 morbidity burden.
Project description:In North America, the raccoon-associated variant of rabies virus (RRV) is of special concern, given its relatively rapid spread throughout the eastern USA and its potential public health impact due to high raccoon host densities in urban areas. Northward expansion of this epizootic included an outbreak in the Canadian province of Quebec in 2006-2009 due to trans-border spread from the State of Vermont. To inform a more proactive approach to future control efforts, this study uses phylogenetic analyses to explore the role of geography and alternative carnivore hosts in the dynamics of RRV spread within Vermont. Specifically, we sought to examine whether striped skunks, a species frequently infected by RRV, could be part of the maintenance host community. Whole genome sequencing of 160 RRV samples from Vermont and neighbouring US states were used for fine-scale phylogeographic analyses. Results, together with the complete surveillance record of raccoon rabies since its entry into Vermont in 1994, document incursions by two distinct viral lineages and identify topographical features of the landscape which have significantly influenced viral spread, resulting in a complex distribution pattern of viral variants throughout the state. Results of phylogenetic cluster analysis and discrete state reconstruction contained some evidence of skunk-to-skunk and skunk-to-raccoon transmission but overall failed to support a role for skunks as alternative maintenance hosts.