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Despite the considerable advances in the last years, the health information systems for health surveillance still need to overcome some critical issues so that epidemic detection can be performed in real time. For instance, despite the efforts of the Brazilian Ministry of Health (MoH) to make COVID-19 data available during the pandemic, delays due to data entry and data availability posed an additional threat to disease monitoring. Here, we propose a complementary approach by using electronic medical records (EMRs) data collected in real time to generate a system to enable insights from the local health surveillance system personnel. As a proof of concept, we assessed data from São Caetano do Sul City (SCS), São Paulo, Brazil. We used the “fever” term as a sentinel event. Regular expression techniques were applied to detect febrile diseases. Other specific terms such as “malaria,” “dengue,” “Zika,” or any infectious disease were included in the dictionary and mapped to “fever.” Additionally, after “tokenizing,” we assessed the frequencies of most mentioned terms when fever was also mentioned in the patient complaint. The findings allowed us to detect the overlapping outbreaks of both COVID-19 Omicron BA.1 subvariant and Influenza A virus, which were confirmed by our team by analyzing data from private laboratories and another COVID-19 public monitoring system. Timely information generated from EMRs will be a very important tool to the decision-making process as well as research in epidemiology. Quality and security on the data produced is of paramount importance to allow the use by health surveillance systems.
To determine risk factors for the development of long coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) in healthcare personnel (HCP).
We conducted a case–control study among HCP who had confirmed symptomatic COVID-19 working in a Brazilian healthcare system between March 1, 2020, and July 15, 2022. Cases were defined as those having long COVID according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention definition. Controls were defined as HCP who had documented COVID-19 but did not develop long COVID. Multiple logistic regression was used to assess the association between exposure variables and long COVID during 180 days of follow-up.
Of 7,051 HCP diagnosed with COVID-19, 1,933 (27.4%) who developed long COVID were compared to 5,118 (72.6%) who did not. The majority of those with long COVID (51.8%) had 3 or more symptoms. Factors associated with the development of long COVID were female sex (OR, 1.21; 95% CI, 1.05–1.39), age (OR, 1.01; 95% CI, 1.00–1.02), and 2 or more SARS-CoV-2 infections (OR, 1.27; 95% CI, 1.07–1.50). Those infected with the SARS-CoV-2 δ (delta) variant (OR, 0.30; 95% CI, 0.17–0.50) or the SARS-CoV-2 o (omicron) variant (OR, 0.49; 95% CI, 0.30–0.78), and those receiving 4 COVID-19 vaccine doses prior to infection (OR, 0.05; 95% CI, 0.01–0.19) were significantly less likely to develop long COVID.
Long COVID can be prevalent among HCP. Acquiring >1 SARS-CoV-2 infection was a major risk factor for long COVID, while maintenance of immunity via vaccination was highly protective.
Molecular mimicry between streptococcal and human proteins has been proposed as the triggering factor leading to autoimmunity in rheumatic fever (RF) and rheumatic heart disease (RHD). This article summarises studies on genetic susceptibility markers involved in the development of RF/RHD. It also focuses on the molecular mimicry in RHD mediated by the responses of B and T cells of peripheral blood, and T cells infiltrating heart lesions, against streptococcal antigens and human tissue proteins. The molecular basis of T-cell recognition is assessed through the definition of heart-crossreactive antigens. The production of cytokines from peripheral and heart-infiltrating mononuclear cells suggests that T helper 1 (Th1)-type cytokines are the mediators of RHD heart lesions. An insufficiency of interleukin 4 (IL-4)-producing cells in the valvular tissue might contribute to the maintenance and progression of valve lesions.
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