• Individual Hurricane Preparedness During the COVID-19 Pandemic: Insights for Risk Communication and Emergency Management Policies

      Botzen, W.J.W.; Mol, Jantsje M.; Robinson, Peter John; Zhang, Juan; Czajkowski, Jeffrey (2020-01-01)
      Climate change adaptation strategies should anticipate that the 2020 situation which resembles an above average hurricane season coinciding with a pandemic may occur more frequently in the future. This study draws lessons on how individual hurricane preparedness is influenced by a pandemic, which turns out to be a combination of perceptions of flood and pandemic risks that have opposite effects on preparedness behavior. We conducted three waves of surveys during 2019-2020 to monitor hurricane preparedness activities in flood-prone coastal areas in Florida, including a survey of 600 respondents in early June 2020 to obtain insights into households’ risk perceptions and preparedness for this hurricane season under COVID-19. The results show that this hurricane season is dominated by concerns over COVID-19 which influences people’s evacuation intentions. Whereas hotel costs were the main obstacle to evacuating during Hurricane Dorian in 2019, the main evacuation obstacle identified in the 2020 hurricane season is COVID-19. Our statistical analyses that investigates the factors influencing evacuation intentions consistently show that older individuals are less likely to evacuate voluntarily, because they are concerned about becoming infected by COVID-19. We discuss the implications of our findings for adaptation policies that aim to improve hurricane preparedness in situations of a pandemic, such as risk communication and emergency management policies.
    • A Statistical Approach to Batched Prevalence Testing for Coronavirus

      Berger, William; Dabrowski, Konrad; Robinson, Jake; Sales, Adam (2020-03-30)
      As cases of novel coronavirus mount, the ability to conduct expeditious prevalence testing becomes paramount. A statistical approach to batched prevalence testing offers a more rapid and efficient means of monitoring at-risk populations.
    • COVID-19 Q&A for Philadelphia Workers

      The Sheller Center for Social Justice (Temple University) (2020-04-10)
    • Mathematical Modeling Study of the 2020 CoVID-19 Outbreak in the United States

      Sinha, Durgesh; Klahn, Nicholas; 0000-0001-7749-3710 (2020-04-12)
      A mathematical model was developed for the currently evolving COVID-19 outbreak. Data analysis and model fitting using Latin Hypercube Sampling partial Correlation Coefficient Method was used to determine the model’s parameters and basic reproduction numbers. The infectivity values from symptomatic infectious people was 0.118461389 (95% CI [0.1136278, 0.12329497]), asymptomatic transmission was 0.100111427 (95% CI [0.1000297, 0.10019314]), and quarantined transmission was 0.057337278 (95% CI [0.0504738, 0.0642008]). The United states reached its peak basic reproduction number on March 10th where R0=58, but it has since lowered to 1.47 as of April 5th. Also, those in quarantine had contributed the most to the basic reproduction number, with asymptomatic people being second, and regular symptomatic people contributing the least. Our simulations showed that the United States has reached its peak occurred on April 11, 2020 with a total 461,700 number of cases and it will reach on June 12, 2020 where the confirmed case count would reach 1.439 million. As for the longevity of the virus, our prediction shows that it could be under preventive measure within two years by February 10, 2022, would be 14,130.
    • Mobilization and Preparation of a Large Urban Academic Center During the COVID-19 Pandemic

      Chowdhury, Junad M.; Patel, Maulin; Zheng, Matthew; Abramian, Osheen; Criner, Gerard J. (2020-04-21)
    • COVID-19 Deaths: Are We Sure It Is Pneumonia? Please, Autopsy, Autopsy, Autopsy!

      Pomara, Cristoforo; Li Volti, Giovanni; Cappello, Francesco; 0000-0001-9288-1148 (2020-04-26)
      The current outbreak of COVID-19 severe respiratory disease, which started in Wuhan, China, is an ongoing challenge, and a major threat to public health that requires surveillance, prompt diagnosis, and research efforts to understand this emergent pathogen and to develop an effective response. Due to the scientific community’s efforts, there is an increasing body of published studies describing the virus’ biology, its transmission and diagnosis, its clinical features, its radiological findings, and the development of candidate therapeutics and vaccines. Despite the decline in postmortem examination rate, autopsy remains the gold standard to determine why and how death happens. Defining the pathophysiology of death is not only limited to forensic considerations; it may also provide useful clinical and epidemiologic insights. Selective approaches to postmortem diagnosis, such as limited postmortem sampling over full autopsy, can also be useful in the control of disease outbreaks and provide valuable knowledge for managing appropriate control measures. In this scenario, we strongly recommend performing full autopsies on patients who died with suspected or confirmed COVID-19 infection, particularly in the presence of several comorbidities. Only by working with a complete set of histological samples obtained through autopsy can one ascertain the exact cause(s) of death, optimize clinical management, and assist clinicians in pointing out a timely and effective treatment to reduce mortality. Death can teach us not only about the disease, it might also help with its prevention and, above all, treatment.
    • Mathematical model and simulations of COVID-19 2020 outbreak in New York: Predictions and implications for control measures

      Sinha, Durgesh; Tan, Peiwen; 0000-0001-7749-3710 (2020-05-01)
      The outbreak of the novel coronavirus has resulted in significant morbidity and mortality in the affected 210 countries with 2.4 million people infected and over 163 thousand deaths. The COVID-19 spike protein is effective at binding to human cells, but this COVID-19 backbone differed substantially from other, already known coronaviruses and mostly resembled viruses found in bats and pangolins. To help predict possible dynamics of COVID-19 as well as ways to contain it, this paper develops a mathematical model for the disease, which includes two different infectious routes. The model’s predictions are fitted to data from the outbreak in New York State from the first reported case from March 01, 2020 to April 19, 2020. The containment time and the severity of the outbreaks depend crucially on the contact coefficients and the isolation rate constant. When randomness is added to the model coefficients, the simulations show that the model is sensitive to the scaled contact rate among people and to the isolation rate. The model is analyzed using stability theory for ordinary differential equations and indicates that when using only isolation for control and advising self-recovery, the endemic steady state is locally stable and attractive. After reaching the peak of COVID-19 on April 14, 2020, new infections by the virus would slow down, particularly from the beginning of May at New York State if people keep the isolation. Numerical simulations with parameters estimated from New York State illustrate the analytical results and the model behavior, which may have important implications for the disease containment in other cities. Indeed, the model highlights the importance of isolation of infected individuals and advising self-recovery may be used to assess other control measures. The model is general and may be used to analyze outbreaks in other states of the United States and other countries.
    • Mathematical Modeling to Estimate the Reproductive Number and the Outbreak Size of COVID-19: The case of India and the World

      Sinha, Durgesh; 0000-0001-7749-3710 (2020-05-04)
      Coronavirus disease (COVID-19) has become a global pandemic with more than 218,000 deaths in 211 different countries around the world. Severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) is the virus responsible for this deadliest disease. This paper describes a mathematical model for India, a country with the second highest population in the world with an extremely high population density of about 464 people per km2. This disease has multiphasic actions and reaction mode and our model SEIAQIm is based on six compartmental groups in the form of susceptible, exposed, infectious, asymptomatic, quarantine, and recovered immune factions. Latin Hypercube Sampling Partial Rank Correlation Coefficient method was used for the data analysis and model fitting. According to our model, India would reach its basic reproduction number R0=0.97 on May 14, 2020 with a total number of 73,800 estimated cases. Further, this study also equates the world's situation using the same model system and predicts by May 7, 2020 with a total number of 3,772,000 estimated confirmed cases. Moreover, the current mathematical model highlights the importance of social distancing as an effective method of containing spread of COVID-19.
    • Cast Face Shield Process & User Manual

      TUCAT (Temple University) (2020-05-05)
    • Elite Athletes and COVID-19 Lockdown: Future Health Concerns for an Entire Sector

      Center for Biotechnology, Sbarro Institute for Cancer Research and Molecular Medicine (Temple University) (2020-05-07)
      In this editorial, we focused our attention on elite athletes during the COVID-19 lockdown. A high level of physical fitness is required by elite athletes irrespective of the specific type of sport. Generally speaking, elite athletes avoid long periods of rest during and at the end of the competitive season. Normally, elite athletes stop training or reduce training volume and intensity for a period that ranges from two weeks to a maximum of four weeks.
    • Homemade Face Shield Assembly Guide

      TUCAT (Temple University) (2020-05-07)
    • 3D Printed Face Shield & Assembly Guide

      TUCAT (Temple University) (2020-05-07)
    • Coronavirus Outbreak in Italy: Physiological Benefits of Home-Based Exercise During Pandemic

      Center for Biotechnology, Sbarro Institute for Cancer Research and Molecular Medicine (Temple University) (2020-05-07)
      The Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic has forced the hardest-hit populations, like Italians, to radically change their daily habits, starting with social distancing, strict preventive measures, and self-isolation. These precautions also apply to sport-related facilities and activities. The difficulty to practice physical activity during this dramatic moment in time adds to the risks associated with sedentary habits, due to staying all the time at home. Here, the importance and the benefits of maintaining exercise routine, even at home, are emphasized in order to avoid the consequences of inactivity.
    • Sampling bias and incorrect rooting make phylogenetic network tracing of SARS-COV-2 infections unreliable

      Mavian, Carla; Pond, Sergei; Marini, Simone; Magalis, Brittany Rife; Vandamme, Anne-Mieke; Dellicour, Simon; Scarpino, Samuel V.; Houldcroft, Charlotte; Villabona-Arenas, Julian; Paisie, Taylor K.; Trovão, Nídia S.; Boucher, Christina; Zhang, Yun; Scheuermann, Richard H.; Gascuel, Olivier; Lam, Tommy Tsan-Yuk; Suchard, Marc A.; Abecasis, Ana; Wilkinson, Eduan; de Oliveira, Tulio; Bento, Ana I.; Schmidt, Heiko A.; Martin, Darren; Hadfield, James; Faria, Nuno; Grubaugh, Nathan D.; Neher, Richard A.; Baele, Guy; Lemey, Philippe; Stadler, Tanja; Albert, Jan; Crandall, Keith A.; Leitner, Thomas; Stamatakis, Alexandros; Prosperi, Mattia; Salemi, Marco; 0000-0003-4817-4029 (2020-05-07)
    • Coronaviruses and the Chemical Senses: Past, Present, and Future

      Pellegrino, Robert; Cooper, Keiland W.; Di Pizio, Antonella; Joseph, Paule V.; Bhutani, Surabhi; Parma, Valentina; 0000-0003-0276-7072 (2020-05-14)
      A wealth of rapidly evolving reports suggests that olfaction and taste disturbances may be manifestations of the novel COVID-19 pandemic. While otolaryngological societies worldwide have started to consider chemosensory evaluation as a screening tool for COVID-19 infection, the true nature of the relationship between the changes in chemosensory ability and COVID-19 is unclear. Our goal with this review is to provide a brief overview of published and archived literature, as well as the anecdotal reports and social trends related to this topic up to April 29, 2020. We also aim to draw parallels between the clinical/chemosensory symptomology reported in association to past coronavirus pandemics (such as SARS and MERS) and the novel COVID-19. This review also highlights current evidence on persistent chemosensory disturbances after the infection has resolved. Overall, our analysis pinpoints the need for further studies: (1) to better quantify olfaction and taste disturbances associated with SARS-CoV-2 infection, compared to those of other viral and respiratory infections, (2) to understand the relation between smell, taste, and chemesthesis disturbances in COVID-19, and (3) to understand how persistent are these disturbances after the infection has resolved.
    • Abortion Opportunism

      Rebouché, Rachel (2020-05-18)
      Eleven states have tried to suspend abortion care in response to COVID-19. State officials claim that they will preserve medical supplies, hospital space, and health care capacity by classifyingabortion as an elective, non-essential surgery that must be delayed. Advocacy groups representing abortion providers sued in several states to enjoin these bans. What has emerged is a fight that ignores medical evidence and threatens to exacerbate the current public health emergency. The Executive Order issued in Texas offers an apt example. Though abortion may be available in Texas for the time being, opinions from the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit provide a troubling roadmap for suspending constitutional rights as a health emergency measure.
    • More than just smell - COVID-19 is associated with severe impairment of smell, taste, and chemesthesis

      Parma, Valentina; Ohla, Kathrin; Veldhuizen, Maria G.; Nim, Masha Y.; Kelly, Christine E.; Global Consortium for Chemosensory Research; Reed, Danielle R.; Hummel, Thomas; Munger, Steven; Hayes, John E.; 0000-0003-0276-7072 (2020-05-24)
      Recent anecdotal and scientific reports have provided evidence of a link between COVID-19 and chemosensory impairments such as anosmia. However, these reports have downplayed or failed to distinguish potential effects on taste, ignored chemesthesis, generally lacked quantitative measurements, were mostly restricted to data from single countries. Here, we report the development, implementation and initial results of a multi-lingual, international questionnaire to assess self-reported quantity and quality of perception in three distinct chemosensory modalities (smell, taste, and chemesthesis) before and during COVID-19. In the first 11 days after questionnaire launch, 4039 participants (2913 women, 1118 men, 8 other, ages 19-79) reported a COVID-19 diagnosis either via laboratory tests or clinical assessment. Importantly, smell, taste and chemesthetic function were each significantly reduced compared to their status before the disease. Difference scores (maximum possible change+/-100) revealed a mean reduction of smell (-79.7+/- 28.7, mean+/- SD), taste (-69.0+/- 32.6), and chemesthetic (-37.3+/- 36.2) function during COVID-19. Qualitative changes in olfactory ability (parosmia and phantosmia) were relatively rare and correlated with smell loss. Importantly, perceived nasal obstruction did not account for smell loss. Furthermore, chemosensory impairments were similar between participants in the laboratory test and clinical assessment groups. These results show that COVID-19-associated chemosensory impairment is not limited to smell, but also affects taste and chemesthesis. The multimodal impact of COVID-19 and lack of perceived nasal obstruction suggest that SARS-CoV-2 infection may disrupt sensory-neural mechanisms.
    • Physical Activity Levels and Related Energy Expenditure during COVID-19 Quarantine among the Sicilian Active Population: A Cross-Sectional Online Survey Study

      Center for Biotechnology, Sbarro Institute for Cancer Research and Molecular Medicine (Temple University) (2020-05-26)
      Background: During the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic, the Italian government has adopted containment measures to control the virus’s spread, including limitations to the practice of physical activity (PA). The aim of this study was to estimate the levels of PA, expressed as energy expenditure (MET–minute/week), among the physically active Sicilian population before and during the last seven days of the COVID-19 quarantine. Furthermore, the relation between this parameter and specific demographic and anthropometric variables was analyzed. Methods: 802 Sicilian physically active participants (mean age: 32.27 ± 12.81 years; BMI: 23.44 ± 3.33 kg/m2) were included in the study and grouped based on gender, age and BMI. An adapted version of the International Physical Activity Questionnaire—short form (IPAQ-SF) was administered to the participants through an online survey. The Wilcoxon signed-rank test and the Kruskal-Wallis rank-sum test were used for statistical analyses. Results: As expected, we observed a significant decrease of the total weekly energy expenditure during the COVID-19 quarantine (p < 0.001). A significant variation in the MET–min/wk in the before quarantine condition (p = 0.046) and in the difference between before and during quarantine (p = 0.009) was found for males and females. The male group decreased the PA level more than the female one. Moreover, a significant difference in the MET–min/wk was found among groups distributions of BMI (p < 0.001, during quarantine) and of age (p < 0.001, both before and during quarantine). In particular, the highest and the lowest levels of PA were reported by the young and the elderly, respectively, both before and during quarantine. Finally, the overweight group showed the lowest level of PA during quarantine. Conclusion: Based on our outcomes, we can determine that the current quarantine has negatively affected the practice of PA, with greater impacts among males and overweight subjects. In regards to different age groups, the young, young adults and adults were more affected than senior adults and the elderly.