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Year : 2020  |  Volume : 47  |  Issue : 1  |  Page : 55-56

Adoption of the population-based sero-epidemiological protocol to effectively respond to the coronavirus disease 2019 pandemic


1 Member of the Medical Education Unit and Institute Research Council, Department of Community Medicine, Shri Sathya Sai Medical College and Research Institute, Sri Balaji Vidyapeeth – Deemed to be University, Ammapettai, Nellikuppam, Chengalpaet, Tamil Nadu, India
2 Department of Community Medicine, Shri Sathya Sai Medical College and Research Institute, Sri Balaji Vidyapeeth – Deemed to be University, Ammapettai, Nellikuppam, Chengalpaet, Tamil Nadu, India

Date of Submission20-Apr-2020
Date of Acceptance13-May-2020
Date of Web Publication23-Jun-2020

Correspondence Address:
Dr. Saurabh RamBihariLal Shrivastava
Department of Community Medicine, Shri Sathya Sai Medical College and Research Institute, Sri Balaji Vidyapeeth (SBV) – Deemed to be University, Tiruporur - Guduvancherry Main Road, Ammapettai, Nellikuppam, Chengalpaet District - 603 108, Tamil Nadu
India
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None


DOI: 10.4103/jss.JSS_30_20

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  Abstract 


The ongoing Coronavirus Disease-2019 (COVID-19) outbreak has been declared as a pandemic and has created a global public health concern. The primary reason due to which COVID-19 outbreak became a public health emergency of international concern was its novel nature. In order to enhance our understanding about the novel infection, five epidemiological protocols have been already developed and the World Health Organization has designed another protocol to conduct investigations pertaining to the disease on the basis of the population and age-stratification. It is expected that this protocol will aid in knowing about the magnitude of the infection in the community, age-specific incidence, infection attack rate, case fatality ratio, ratio of severe disease, detection of high-risk population groups, and the proportion of people having an asymptomatic infection. In conclusion, the adoption of the recently formulated epidemiological protocol by the nation's public health authorities will be a significant step in shaping the battle of mankind against the COVID-19 disease. The protocol will enable the standardized collection of information and thus will help us in understanding crucial clinical, virological and epidemiological attributes of the novel infection.

Keywords: COVID-19 pandemic, epidemiology, protocol, world health organization


How to cite this article:
Shrivastava SR, Shrivastava PS. Adoption of the population-based sero-epidemiological protocol to effectively respond to the coronavirus disease 2019 pandemic. J Sci Soc 2020;47:55-6

How to cite this URL:
Shrivastava SR, Shrivastava PS. Adoption of the population-based sero-epidemiological protocol to effectively respond to the coronavirus disease 2019 pandemic. J Sci Soc [serial online] 2020 [cited 2020 Jul 7];47:55-6. Available from: http://www.jscisociety.com/text.asp?2020/47/1/55/287487




  Introduction Top


The ongoing coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) outbreak has been declared as a pandemic and has created a global public health concern, especially considering the pace with which the disease has been spreading across nations, within nations, and the rising trend of disease-specific mortality. Till date, a total of 2,241,778 cases have been reported, of which 152,551 people have lost their lives due to the development of disease-related complications, with a case fatality rate of 6.8%.[1] The European region and the American region are the most affected with the novel infection, accounting for 50% and 36.6% of the global caseload, respectively.[1] All these estimates suggest that a lot of things are yet to be done to contain the infection, and we have to be really aggressive and coordinated in our emergency response.

Uncertainty about COVID-19

The primary reason due to which COVID-19 outbreak became a public health emergency of international concern was its novel nature, as the virus was first isolated and there was no conclusive evidence available about the predominant modes of disease transmission, epidemiological attributes, clinical spectrum, virological indices, and sero-epidemiological aspects of the disease.[2],[3] In fact, the identification of the fact that the disease gets transmitted by close contact (and thus social distancing should be advocated) or that the death rates are quite common in the elderly and those with preexisting diseases, significantly changed the way the disease was approached earlier.[2],[3],[4] It is all due to the results of various epidemiological studies, which have elucidated various details, but still many attributes of the infection (viz., the role of asymptomatic or subclinical infections in transmission and serotypes of virus) are not known.[3],[4]

Epidemiological protocols

In order to enhance our understanding about the novel infection, five epidemiological protocols have been developed based on the inputs from the earlier investigation protocols for similar outbreaks in the past.[4] In fact, 13 nations across the world have adopted one of the protocols in their settings to investigate the disease in a standardized and comprehensive manner.[5]

Sero-epidemiological protocol

The World Health Organization has designed another protocol to conduct investigations pertaining to the disease on the basis of the population and age stratification.[1] It is expected that this protocol will aid in knowing about the magnitude of the infection by measuring the levels of antibodies in the community, age-specific incidence, infection attack rate, case fatality ratio, ratio of severe disease, detection of high-risk population groups, and the proportion of people having an asymptomatic or subclinical infection.[1],[5]

The protocol comprises three subsections, namely details about the data collector, details about the interviewed person (with special emphasis on their contact details and history of contact with a suspect or confirmed case), and history about symptoms (such as fever, cough, and dyspnea), and also has guidelines for the collection of appropriate laboratory samples.[5] In addition, it has been inquired that whether the presence of these symptoms necessitated medical care or hospitalization or absence from work or school. Considering that a standard template will be followed for data collection, it will enable prompt aggregation and sharing of the data globally. However, there is a provision of introducing some form of flexibility in the form based on the local settings, available resources, and cultural factors. In short, the protocol will prove to be an important tool for the health authorities to plan their strategies and to forecast the models of disease trends with the help of the generated quality evidence.[1],[4],[5]


  Conclusion Top


In conclusion, the adoption of the recently formulated epidemiological protocol by the nation's public health authorities will be a significant step in shaping the battle of humankind against the COVID-19 disease. The protocol will enable the standardized collection of information and thus will help us in understanding crucial clinical, virological, and epidemiological attributes of the novel infection.

Financial support and sponsorship

Nil.

Conflicts of interest

There are no conflicts of interest.



 
  References Top

1.
World Health Organization. Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) Situation Report – 90; 2020. Available from: https://www.who.int/docs/default-source/coronaviruse/situation-reports/20200419-sitrep-90-covid-19.pdf? sfvrsn=551d47fd_4. [Last accessed on 2020 Apr 20].  Back to cited text no. 1
    
2.
Korean Society of Infectious Diseases, Korean Society of Pediatric Infectious Diseases, Korean Society of Epidemiology, Korean Society for Antimicrobial Therapy, Korean Society for Healthcare-associated Infection Control and Prevention, Korea Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Report on the epidemiological features of coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) outbreak in the republic of Korea from January 19 to March 2, 2020. J Korean Med Sci 2020;35:e112.  Back to cited text no. 2
    
3.
Ryu S, Chun BC; Korean Society of Epidemiology 2019-nCoV Task Force Team. An interim review of the epidemiological characteristics of 2019 novel coronavirus. Epidemiol Health 2020;42:e2020006.  Back to cited text no. 3
    
4.
World Health Organization. Protocol for Assessment of Potential Risk Factors for 2019-Novel Coronavirus (2019-nCoV) Infection among Health care Workers in a Health Care Setting. Geneva: WHO press; 2020. p. 3-5.  Back to cited text no. 4
    
5.
World Health Organization. Population-Based Age-Stratified Seroepidemiological Investigation Protocol for COVID-19 Virus Infection. Geneva: WHO press; 2020. p. 1-6.  Back to cited text no. 5
    




 

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