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[en] We hope that the suggestions for conducting IAEA nutrition studies during the COVID-19 pandemic that we have put together in response to related questions from project counterparts will be useful. The newsletter also includes reflections from a researcher at our Collaborating Centre in Bangalore, India, on stalled research activities due to COVID-19. Don’t miss the UNSCN contribution on the impact of COVID-19 on food systems and food environments including useful links to available resources. Check also the news on our other activities, new publications and success stories
[en] As we all start out on the road to what is now referred to as the 'new normal' - a world that will have to get on with life in the shadow of Covid-19 for some time to come-what better opportunity to take stock of how we have been caring for ourselves and our environment and to think about what we could do better.
[en] When the global pandemic began in early 2020, the IAEA immediately recognized the need for guidance and information related to COVID-19 and how to continue essential radiation medicine services, such as nuclear medicine, radiology and radiotherapy, as well as radiation protection and the production of radioisotopes, during the pandemic and the unique conditions it presents. Quickly joining the global information exchange, the IAEA launched in March 2020 a series of multilingual webinars involving renowned experts and health professionals, which, as of June 2020, had received almost 10 000 live views. Held in collaboration with various organizations , the webinars have focused on the COVID-19 pandemic in relation to: operations of nuclear medicine departments; radiology in the fight against the disease; preparedness of radiotherapy departments; protocols and dose optimization for computed tomography (CT) scans of the chest for the COVID-19 disease; medical radioisotopes and radiopharmaceutical supply chains; sterilizing personal protective equipment with irradiation; reverse transcription–polymerase chain reaction for detecting the COVID-19 virus; radiation protection for health workers; and effective technical services for monitoring individuals.
[en] One of the more widely advocated solutions for slowing down the spread of COVID-19 has been automated contact tracing. Since proximity data can be collected by personal mobile devices, the natural proposal has been to use this for automated contact tracing providing a major gain over a manual implementation. In this work, we study the characteristics of voluntary and automated contact tracing and its effectiveness for mapping the spread of a pandemic due to the spread of SARS-CoV-2. We highlight the infrastructure and social structures required for automated contact tracing to work. We display the vulnerabilities of the strategy to inadequate sampling of the population, which results in the inability to sufficiently determine significant contact with infected individuals. Of crucial importance will be the participation of a significant fraction of the population for which we derive a minimum threshold. We conclude that relying largely on automated contact tracing without population-wide participation to contain the spread of the SARS-CoV-2 pandemic can be counterproductive and allow the pandemic to spread unchecked. The simultaneous implementation of various mitigation methods along with automated contact tracing is necessary for reaching an optimal solution to contain the pandemic.
[en] Lung ultrasound is a well-defined diagnostic modality in the point of care emergency medicine concept. In the context of the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic, the lung ultrasound assumed an essential role in this disease, with a valid correlation of the imaging results with computed tomography. Recognize how the diagnostic possibilities of ultrasound in the approach of COVID-19 and its differential diagnoses are fundamental. (author)
[en] In the current pandemic, caused by infection with severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2, ultrasound has played a fundamental role in patients who develop the resulting disease, designated coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19). In this study we present ultrasound images of the lungs of neonates with a suspected or confirmed diagnosis of COVID-19, distinguishing between the changes related to COVID-19 and those unrelated to the disease. Ultrasound examinations were performed by a pediatric sonographer. A total of 27 neonates were evaluated. Among those who presented no respiratory symptoms, some tested negative for COVID-19 and others tested positive. All of those who were pulmonary symptomatic, negative for COVID-19 presented transient tachypnea of the newborn and respiratory distress syndrome. Lung ultrasound images obtained in COVID-19-negative neonates showed, in some cases, a normal pattern (with A lines, few B lines, a thin, linear pleural line, and no pleural effusion), whereas in others showed coalescent B lines and areas of opacity. In two of the COVID-19-positive neonates, lung ultrasound examination showed several coalescent B lines, pleural thickening, and areas of opacity. Lung ultrasound in the neonatal period appears to be applicable within the context of the current pandemic, allowing efficient evaluation of COVID-19-related changes in neonates, as well as of pathologies inherent to the neonatal period. (author)
[en] Objective To observe the rates of repeated computed tomographic scans (CTs) in a cohort of patients with coronavirus disease-2019 (COVID-19) and to assess the validity of repeat CTs. Methods: Each CT was recorded, and the validity of the repeated CTs was assessed. Results: The 394 patients underwent a total of 1493 CTs. Of the 394 patients, 260 received at least one non-value-added CT. Both the total number of CTs (median, 4; inter-quartile range (IQR), 3-5) and non-value-added CTs (median, 1; IQR, 0-1) per patient were strongly related to the disease duration (R2 = 0.566 for total CTs, R2 = 0.432 for non-value-added CTs, p < 0.001). The proportion of non-value-added CTs was potentially higher after 3 weeks from symptom onset (>35%). Conclusions: There was a high rate of repeat CTs for the COVID-19 patients, and the proportion of non-value-added CTs increased with disease duration. Follow-up CT should be avoided without clinical decline. Advances in Knowledge: As COVID-19 is impacting health care systems across the globe, we believe in our findings that serial chest CT imaging has limited clinical utility in basically stable COVID-19 patients, will help relieve some of this burden. (authors)