Browsing by Subject "COVID-19"

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  • Dara, Dahat (Helsingin yliopisto, 2021)
    COVID-19-pandemian myötä vuotta 2020 on varjostanut epävarmuus ja pelko, mikä on havaittavissa sekä perinteisessä että sosiaalisessa mediassa käytävässä keskustelussa. Sosiaalisen median käytössä korostuu eri kanavien rooli sekä tiedon lähteenä että käyttäjien omien näkemysten ilmaisemisen välineenä. Lisäksi sosiaalisessa mediassa korostuu käyttäjien välinen vuorovaikutus. Sosiaalisen median käyttäminen terveyteen liittyvän tiedon lähteenä voi kuitenkin olla ongelmallista, erityisesti jos tieto erkaantuu tieteellisesti todistetusta faktasta. Sosiaalisessa mediassa esiintyvän diskurssin tarkasteleminen voi kuitenkin laajentaa ymmärrystämme käyttäjien suhtautumisesta ja asenteista uhkaavien infektiosairauksien vaaroihin sekä leviämisen estämiseen liittyviin toimenpiteisiin. Tämän tutkimuksen osalta COVID-19-pandemiaa lähestytään kasvomaskien käyttöön liittyvän diskurssin tarkastelulla suhtautumisen näkökulmasta. Analyysissa sovelletaan Martinin ja Whiten suhtautumisen teoriaa (Appraisal theory), jonka avulla voidaan havainnoida puhujien asennoitumista kasvomaskien käyttöön tarkastelemalla kielessä ilmenevää evaluaatiota. Teorian viitekehys koostuu kolmesta järjestelmästä: asennoituminen (attitude), sitoutuminen (engagement) ja asteittaisuus (graduation). Tämä tutkimus on rajattu asennoitumisen järjestelmään, joka jakautuu edelleen kolmeen alajärjestelmään: tunteiden ilmaisuun (affect), toiminnan arvosteluun (judgement) sekä esineiden ja asioiden arvottamiseen (appreciation). Suhtautumisen teoriassa kieli mielletään systeemis-funktionaalisesta kieliteoriasta lainaten merkitysten viestittämisen järjestelmänä, jossa evaluaatio toteutuu puhujan valitessa lukuisien mahdollisten merkitysten välillä. Tutkimuksen aineistona käytetään yhdysvaltalaisessa Washington Post -lehdessä julkaistua kasvomaskien oikeaoppiseen käyttöön ohjeistavan uutisartikkelin kommenttiosiota. Kommenttiosio koostuu yhteensä 137 kommentista, joista 114 sisältää kasvomaskien käyttöön liittyvää asennoitumista. Näissä 114 kommentissa ilmenee asennoitumista yhteensä 147 kertaa. Kommenttien analysoinnissa sovelletaan kvalitatiivista analyysia, jonka avulla kommenteista ensin täsmennetään asennoitumisen esiintymät. Tämän jälkeen analyysissa määritellään tarkemmin mitä kasvomaskeihin liittyvää aspektia arvioidaan, mikä on asennoitumisen polariteetti ja mihin arviointi sijoittuu asennoitumisen alajärjestelmissä. Tulokset osoittavat, että kasvomaskeihin liittyvässä diskurssissa korostuu ihmistoiminnan arvostelu, mikä ilmenee kasvomaskien käyttämättä jättämisen kielteisenä arvosteluna. Myös kasvomaskien sääntöihin sekä sääntöjen toteutumiseen ja valvontaan liittyvät epäjohdonmukaisuudet saavat osakseen kielteistä arvottamista. Tuloksissa ilmenee myös negatiivista asennoitumista poliittisia johtajia ja instituutioita kohtaan sekä näkyvää poliittista vastakkainasettelua, jossa kasvomaskien käyttämättömyys mielletään oikeistolaisen ideologian seuraukseksi. Tulokset viittaavat siihen, että kasvomaskeihin suhtaudutaan myönteisesti ja niiden tärkeys sairauden leviämisen estämiseksi tiedostetaan.
  • Hakala, Lenakreetta (Helsingin yliopisto, 2022)
    Tämä työ käsitellään salaliittoteorioiden vaikutusta. Tutkielma tarkastelee nuorten käsityksiä koronapandemiaan liittyvistä salaliittoteorioista ja sitä kautta tulkitsee salaliittoteorioille altistumisen vaikutusta nuoriin. Tutkielman aineistonkeruumenetelmänä oli kyselytutkimus, joka teetettiin sähköisellä kyselylomakkeella. Kyselylomakkeella selvitettiin nuorten käsityksiä kuuden eri teeman alle asettuvista sosiaalisesta mediasta poimituista salaliittoteorioista. Teemoina olivat koronapandemian synty, pandemian suunnitelmallisuus, 5G-verkko, Yhdysvaltojen vaalit, johtava eliitti ja koronarokote. Kyselylomakkeeseen vastasi yhteensä 23 helsinkiläisen lukion opiskelijaa. Näiden 23 vastaajan vastaukset muodostavat tutkielman aineiston. Tutkielmassa salaliittoteoriat käsitetään persuasiivisen viestinnän, eli suostuttelun muodoksi, jonka myötä teoreettinen viitekehys muodostui persuasiivisen viestinnän sekä alalla sovellettujen teorioiden, kognitiivisen dissonanssin ja vahvistusvinouman ympärille. Aineisto analysoitiin teoriaohjaavan sisällönanalyysin menetelmällä esitettyjä teorioita joustavasti apuna käyttäen. Tässä tutkielmassa kognitiivisen dissonanssin ilmentyminen ymmärretään salaliittoteorioiden hylkäämiseen johtavana prosessina, kun taas vahvistusvinouman ymmärretään olevan salaliittoteorioiden omaksumiseen johtava prosessi. Tutkielman merkittävimpänä tuloksena voidaan pitää vastausta tutkimuskysymyksiin, joiden pyrkimyksenä oli selvittä salaliittoteorioille altistumisen vaikutusta nuoriin. Aineiston analyysin avulla selvitettiin, minkälaisia käsityksiä nuoret liittävät koronapandemian salaliittoteorioihin. Tätä kautta pystyttiin tekemään johtopäätöksiä siitä, kuinka teoriat vaikuttavat nuoriin. Saatujen tulosten perusteella enemmistö nuorista liitti esitettyihin salaliittoteorioihin kielteisiä ja salaliittoteoriat kieltäviä käsityksiä. Tämän pohjalta tutkielma esittää, että sosiaalisessa mediassa levinneillä pandemiaa koskevilla salaliittoteorioilla ei ole juuri ollut vaikutusta tutkimukseen osallistuneisiin nuoriin. Tutkielman tulosta tukee ja selittää myös kognitiivisen dissonanssin välittyminen nuorten käsityksissä. Enemmistö vastauksista edusti kognitiiviselle dissonanssille ominaisia piirteitä, jonka katsotaan tässä tutkielmassa olevan vaikuttava tekijä salaliittoteorioiden hylkäämisessä.
  • Ahonen, Talvikki; Mikkola, Sini; Kallatsa, Laura; Metso, Pekka (2022)
    This article addresses eucharistic and communal transformations of two local Finnish churches, the Evangelical Lutheran Church of Finland (ELCF) and the Orthodox Church of Finland (ocF), amid the coven-19 pandemic and precautions. We analyze how eucharistic practices have transformed in the ELCF and the OCF and the ways these transformations are reflected in the experiences of both parishioners and pastors. The data consist of four questionnaires (N = 739) collected from Lutheran and Orthodox believers and Lutheran vicars during the pandemic. Our results indicate that the significance of belonging was emphasized during the time of social distancing. While among those in the ELCF, experiences of belonging were manifested in terms of Eucharist, among those in the OCR, belonging was most often reflected in relation to liturgical community. The differences in eucharistic theologies of the OCF and the ELCF have perhaps become more visible in exceptional circumstances.
  • Pietarinen, Petra; Suomela, Jarkko (2021)
    Juuri koronaepidemian alkaessa 58-vuotias nainen otti yhteyttä terveysasemalle. Hän kertoi, että ääni särkyy lyhyenkin puhumisen aikana ja samalla alkaa yskittää.
  • Jalkanen, Pinja; Pasternack, Arja; Maljanen, Sari; Melen, Krister; Kolehmainen, Pekka; Huttunen, Moona; Lundberg, Rickard; Tripathi, Lav; Khan, Hira; Ritvos, Mikael A.; Naves, Rauno; Haveri, Anu; Österlund, Pamela; Kuivanen, Suvi; Jääskeläinen, Anne J.; Kurkela, Satu; Lappalainen, Maija; Rantasärkkä, Kaisa; Vuorinen, Tytti; Hytönen, Jukka; Waris, Matti; Tauriainen, Sisko; Ritvos, Olli; Kakkola, Laura; Julkunen, Ilkka (2021)
    Background. Primary diagnosis of severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) infection is based on detection of virus RNA in nasopharyngeal swab samples. In addition, analysis of humoral immunity against SARS-CoV-2 has an important role in viral diagnostics and seroprevalence estimates. Methods. We developed and optimized an enzyme immunoassays (EIA) using SARS-CoV-2 nucleoprotein (N), Si and receptor binding domain (RBD) of the viral spike protein, and N proteins from SARS, Middle East respiratory syndrome (MERS), and 4 low-pathogenic human CoVs. Neutralizing antibody activity was compared with SARS-CoV-2 IgG, IgA, and IgM EIA results. Results. The sensitivity of EIA for detecting immune response in COVID-19 patients (n = 101) was 77% in the acute phase and 100% in the convalescent phase of SARS-CoV-2 infection when N and RBD were used as antigens in IgG and IgA specific EIAs. SARS-CoV-2 infection significantly increased humoral immune responses against the 229E and NL63 N proteins. Si and RBD-based EIA results had a strong correlation with microneutralization test results. Conclusions. The data indicate a combination of SARS-CoV-2 Si or RBD and N proteins and analysis of IgG and IgA immunoglobulin classes in sera provide an excellent basis for specific and sensitive serological diagnostics of COVID-19.
  • Bohk-Ewald, Christina; Dudel, Christian; Myrskylä, Mikko (2020)
    Background Understanding how widely COVID-19 has spread is critical information for monitoring the pandemic. The actual number of infections potentially exceeds the number of confirmed cases. Development We develop a demographic scaling model to estimate COVID-19 infections, based on minimal data requirements: COVID-19-related deaths, infection fatality rates (IFRs), and life tables. As many countries lack IFR estimates, we scale them from a reference country based on remaining lifetime to better match the context in a target population with respect to age structure, health conditions and medical services. We introduce formulas to account for bias in input data and provide a heuristic to assess whether local seroprevalence estimates are representative for the total population. Application Across 10 countries with most reported COVID-19 deaths as of 23 July 2020, the number of infections is estimated to be three [95% prediction interval: 2–8] times the number of confirmed cases. Cross-country variation is high. The estimated number of infections is 5.3 million for the USA, 1.8 million for the UK, 1.4 million for France, and 0.4 million for Peru, or more than one, six, seven and more than one times the number of confirmed cases, respectively. Our central prevalence estimates for entire countries are markedly lower than most others based on local seroprevalence studies. Conclusions The national infection estimates indicate that the pandemic is far more widespread than the numbers of confirmed cases suggest. Some local seroprevalence estimates largely deviate from their corresponding national mean and are unlikely to be representative for the total population.
  • Sokhi, Ranjeet S.; Singh, Vikas; Querol, Xavier; Finardi, Sandro; Targino, Admir Creso; Andrade, Maria de Fatima; Pavlovic, Radenko; Garland, Rebecca M.; Massague, Jordi; Kong, Shaofei; Baklanov, Alexander; Ren, Lu; Tarasova, Oksana; Carmichael, Greg; Peuch, Vincent-Henri; Anand, Vrinda; Arbilla, Graciela; Badali, Kaitlin; Beig, Gufran; Carlos Belalcazar, Luis; Bolignano, Andrea; Brimblecombe, Peter; Camacho, Patricia; Casallas, Alejandro; Charland, Jean-Pierre; Choi, Jason; Chourdakis, Eleftherios; Coll, Isabelle; Collins, Marty; Cyrys, Josef; da Silva, Cleyton Martins; Di Giosa, Alessandro Domenico; Di Leo, Anna; Ferro, Camilo; Gavidia-Calderon, Mario; Gayen, Amiya; Ginzburg, Alexander; Godefroy, Fabrice; Alexandra Gonzalez, Yuri; Guevara-Luna, Marco; Haque, Sk Mafizul; Havenga, Henno; Herod, Dennis; Horrak, Urmas; Hussein, Tareq; Ibarra, Sergio; Jaimes, Monica; Kaasik, Marko; Kousa, Anu; Kukkonen, Jaakko; Kulmala, Markku; Kuula, Joel; Petäjä, Tuukka (2021)
    This global study, which has been coordinated by the World Meteorological Organization Global Atmospheric Watch (WMO/GAW) programme, aims to understand the behaviour of key air pollutant species during the COVID-19 pandemic period of exceptionally low emissions across the globe. We investigated the effects of the differences in both emissions and regional and local meteorology in 2020 compared with the period 2015-2019. By adopting a globally consistent approach, this comprehensive observational analysis focuses on changes in air quality in and around cities across the globe for the following air pollutants PM2.5, PM10, PMC (coarse fraction of PM), NO2, SO2, NOx, CO, O-3 and the total gaseous oxidant (O-X = NO2 + O-3) during the pre-lockdown, partial lockdown, full lockdown and two relaxation periods spanning from January to September 2020. The analysis is based on in situ ground-based air quality observations at over 540 traffic, background and rural stations, from 63 cities and covering 25 countries over seven geographical regions of the world. Anomalies in the air pollutant concentrations (increases or decreases during 2020 periods compared to equivalent 2015-2019 periods) were calculated and the possible effects of meteorological conditions were analysed by computing anomalies from ERA5 reanalyses and local observations for these periods. We observed a positive correlation between the reductions in NO2 and NOx concentrations and peoples' mobility for most cities. A correlation between PMC and mobility changes was also seen for some Asian and South American cities. A clear signal was not observed for other pollutants, suggesting that sources besides vehicular emissions also substantially contributed to the change in air quality. As a global and regional overview of the changes in ambient concentrations of key air quality species, we observed decreases of up to about 70% in mean NO2 and between 30% and 40% in mean PM2.5 concentrations over 2020 full lockdown compared to the same period in 2015-2019. However, PM2.5 exhibited complex signals, even within the same region, with increases in some Spanish cities, attributed mainly to the long-range transport of African dust and/or biomass burning (corroborated with the analysis of NO2/CO ratio). Some Chinese cities showed similar increases in PM2.5 during the lockdown periods, but in this case, it was likely due to secondary PM formation. Changes in O-3 concentrations were highly heterogeneous, with no overall change or small increases (as in the case of Europe), and positive anomalies of 25% and 30% in East Asia and South America, respectively, with Colombia showing the largest positive anomaly of similar to 70%. The SO2 anomalies were negative for 2020 compared to 2015-2019 (between similar to 25 to 60%) for all regions. For CO, negative anomalies were observed for all regions with the largest decrease for South America of up to similar to 40%. The NO2/CO ratio indicated that specific sites (such as those in Spanish cities) were affected by biomass burning plumes, which outweighed the NO2 decrease due to the general reduction in mobility (ratio of similar to 60%). Analysis of the total oxidant (OX = NO2 + O-3) showed that primary NO2 emissions at urban locations were greater than the O-3 production, whereas at background sites, O-X was mostly driven by the regional contributions rather than local NO2 and O-3 concentrations. The present study clearly highlights the importance of meteorology and episodic contributions (e.g., from dust, domestic, agricultural biomass burning and crop fertilizing) when analysing air quality in and around cities even during large emissions reductions. There is still the need to better understand how the chemical responses of secondary pollutants to emission change under complex meteorological conditions, along with climate change and socio-economic drivers may affect future air quality. The implications for regional and global policies are also significant, as our study clearly indicates that PM2.5 concentrations would not likely meet the World Health Organization guidelines in many parts of the world, despite the drastic reductions in mobility. Consequently, revisions of air quality regulation (e.g., the Gothenburg Protocol) with more ambitious targets that are specific to the different regions of the world may well be required.
  • Solastie, Anna; Virta, Camilla; Haveri, Anu; Ekström, Nina; Kantele, Anu; Miettinen, Simo; Lempainen, Johanna; Jalkanen, Pinja; Kakkola, Laura; Dub, Timothee; Julkunen, Ilkka; Melin, Merit (2021)
    Validation and standardization of accurate serological assays are crucial for the surveillance of the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic and population immunity. We describe the analytical and clinical performance of an in-house fluorescent multiplex immunoassay (FMIA) for simultaneous quantification of antibodies against the severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) nucleoprotein and spike glycoprotein. Furthermore, we calibrated IgG-FMIA against World Health Organization (WHO) International Standard and compared FMIA results to an in-house enzyme immunoassay (EIA) and a microneutralization test (MNT). We also compared the MNT results of two laboratories. IgG-FMIA displayed 100% specificity and sensitivity for samples collected 13 to 150 days post-onset of symptoms (DPO). For IgA- and IgM-FMIA, 100% specificity and sensitivity were obtained for a shorter time window (13 to 36 and 13 to 28 DPO for IgA- and IgM-FMIA, respectively). FMIA and EIA results displayed moderate to strong correlation, but FMIA was overall more specific and sensitive. IgG-FMIA identified 100% of samples with neutralizing antibodies (NAbs). Anti-spike IgG concentrations correlated strongly (r = 0.77 to 0.84, P < 2.2 x 10(-16)) with NAb titers, and the two laboratories' NAb titers displayed a very strong correlation (r = 0.95, P< 2.2 x 10(-16)). Our results indicate good correlation and concordance of antibody concentrations measured with different types of in-house SARS-CoV-2 antibody assays. Calibration against the WHO international standard did not, however, improve the comparability of FMIA and EIA results. IMPORTANCE SARS-CoV-2 serological assays with excellent clinical performance are essential for reliable estimation of the persistence of immunity after infection or vaccination. In this paper we present a thoroughly validated SARS-CoV-2 serological assay with excellent clinical performance and good comparability to neutralizing antibody titers. Neutralization tests are still considered the gold standard for SARS-CoV-2 serological assays, but our assay can identify samples with neutralizing antibodies with 100% sensitivity and 96% specificity without the need for laborious and slow biosafety level 3 (BSL-3) facility-requiring analyses.
  • Parekh, Utsav; Chariot, Patrick; Dang, Catherine; Stray-Pedersen, Arne; Druid, Henrik; Sajantila, Antti (2020)
    The COVID-19 pandemic has forced forensic practitioners to consider how we perform our normal duties, especially when those duties involve humans. The potential for contracting the virus from working in close contact with living sufferers is high, and we have yet to fully determine the risk of infection from the deceased. In an attempt to support the community, the Journal of Forensic & Legal Medicine has drawn together three articles which underline the importance of continued forensic medical practice during the pandemic and highlight some factors to consider in a Roadmap towards safe practice. Our Roadmap has intentionally taken an international perspective and supports other work we have published in the Journal on our collective response to the COVID-19 crisis.
  • Al-Sa'd, Mohammad; Kiranyaz, Serkan; Ahmad, Iftikhar; Sundell, Christian; Vakkuri, Matti; Gabbouj, Moncef (2022)
    Social distancing is crucial to restrain the spread of diseases such as COVID-19, but complete adherence to safety guidelines is not guaranteed. Monitoring social distancing through mass surveillance is paramount to develop appropriate mitigation plans and exit strategies. Nevertheless, it is a labor-intensive task that is prone to human error and tainted with plausible breaches of privacy. This paper presents a privacy-preserving adaptive social distance estimation and crowd monitoring solution for camera surveillance systems. We develop a novel person localization strategy through pose estimation, build a privacy-preserving adaptive smoothing and tracking model to mitigate occlusions and noisy/missing measurements, compute inter-personal distances in the real-world coordinates, detect social distance infractions, and identify overcrowded regions in a scene. Performance evaluation is carried out by testing the system's ability in person detection, localization, density estimation, anomaly recognition, and high-risk areas identification. We compare the proposed system to the latest techniques and examine the performance gain delivered by the localization and smoothing/tracking algorithms. Experimental results indicate a considerable improvement, across different metrics, when utilizing the developed system. In addition, they show its potential and functionality for applications other than social distancing.
  • Nguyen, Ngoc Anh (Helsingin yliopisto, 2019)
    Immunophenotyping by flow cytometry (FC) is an established practice to identify immune cells and their cellular changes at the single-cell level. Since preserving the structural integrity of cellular epitopes is vital for immunophenotyping, samples should be processed shortly after being collected. However, the requirements of complex facilities and trained personnel for flow cytometry make it challenging to handle samples immediately. Fixation and cryopreservation extend sample shelf life and allow analysing longitudinal samples simultaneously while minimizing technical variation. Nevertheless, usage of whole blood cryopreservation in flow cytometry is limited due to challenges in preserving epitope structures during fixation and detecting dim antigens. This thesis investigates the performances of four commercial whole blood cryopreserving kits; 1) Cytodelics, 2) Stable-Lyse V2 and Stable-Store V2 (SLSS-V2), 3) Proteomic stabiliser (PROT-1), and 4) Transfix. Peripheral blood samples were processed with these stabilising buffers immediately after the collection and cryopreserved until further analysis by flow cytometry. Here, we measured the stability of major immune lineages, T cell subpopulations, and activated neutrophil profiles in samples treated with these commercial whole blood stabilisers. Our flow cytometry data showed that PROT-1, Transfix and Cytodelics maintained the distribution of major leukocyte subsets – granulocytes, T cells, natural killer cells and B cells, comparable to unpreserved samples despite the attenuation of fluorescence intensities. Moreover, these three stabilisers also preserved phenotypes of activated neutrophils upon stimulation with N-Formylmethionyl-leucyl-phenylalanine and Lipopolysaccharides. The upregulation of adhesion molecules (CD11b), Fc receptors (CD16) and granule proteins (CD66b) as well as the shedding of surface L-selectin (CD62L) on activated neutrophils was conserved most efficiently in PROT-1, followed by Cytodelics. On the other hand, none of the stabilisers provided a reliable detection of CCR7 for accurate quantification of T cell subpopulations. COVID-19 is caused by a highly transmissible and pathogenic coronavirus, so-called severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-COV-2). To test the potential of whole blood cryopreservation kits for flow cytometry in COVID-19 research, we studied the detectability of major leukocyte lineages and granulocyte subsets in longitudinal patient samples processed with Cytodelics. High dimensional analysis with Uniform Manifold Approximation and Projection (UMAP) and Self-Organising Maps (FlowSOM) clustering revealed remarkable stability of CD3, CD15, and CD14 expression in samples stored with Cytodelics. It allowed the detection of lymphopenia and emergency granulopoiesis often found during the acute phase of severe SARS-COV-2 infection. Nonetheless, we could not determine signatures of granulocyte subsets, notably suppressive neutrophils, during the acute and convalescent phases of COVID-19. Variable detection of lowly expressed markers and diminished fluorescence intensities in Cytodelics - preserved samples might have hindered the analysis. In conclusion, this study demonstrates that PROT-1, Transfix, and Cytodelics enabled reliable detection of highly expressed leukocyte markers, whereas SLSS-V2 preservation resulted in the most inaccurate identification of studied markers. Notably, our results show that Cytodelics can be applied in COVID-19 studies to immunophenotype major immune lineages by flow cytometry. Nevertheless, more optimisation is needed for less abundant or fixation-sensitive epitopes to enhance the efficacy of whole blood cryopreservation for flow cytometry.
  • Renner, Andreas; Lamminmäki, Satu; Ilmarinen, Taru; Khawaja, Tamim; Paajanen, Juuso (2021)
    In patients with acute epiglottitis, the possibility of COVID-19 should be ruled out. Repeated nasofiberoscopy examinations or a tracheostomy, which may produce infectious aerosols, may be required.
  • Savilahti, Emma M.; Lintula, Sakari; Häkkinen, Laura; Marttunen, Mauri; Granö, Niklas (2021)
    Background The COVID-19-pandemic and especially the physical distancing measures drastically changed the conditions for providing outpatient care in adolescent psychiatry. Methods We investigated the outpatient services of adolescent psychiatry in the Helsinki University Hospital (HUH) from 1/1/2015 until 12/31/2020. We retrieved data from the in-house data software on the number of visits in total and categorized as in-person or remote visits, and analysed the data on a weekly basis. We further analysed these variables grouped according to the psychiatric diagnoses coded for visits. Data on the number of patients and on referrals from other health care providers were available on a monthly basis. We investigated the data descriptively and with a time-series analysis comparing the pre-pandemic period to the period of the COVID-19 pandemic. Results The total number of visits decreased slightly at the early stage of the COVID-19 pandemic in Spring 2020. Remote visits sharply increased starting in 3/2020 and remained at a high level compared with previous years. In-person visits decreased in Spring 2020, but gradually increased afterwards. The number of patients transiently fell in Spring 2020. Conclusions Rapid switch to remote visits in outpatient care of adolescent psychiatry made it possible to avoid a drastic drop in the number of visits despite the physical distancing measures during the COVID-19 pandemic.
  • Salmela-Aro, Katariina; Upadyaya, Katja; Vinni-Laakso, Janica; Hietajärvi, Lauri (2021)
    This longitudinal study examined school engagement and burnout profiles among early and middle adolescents before and during COVID-19, and within-class latent change and stability in students' socio-emotional skills the profiles. The longitudinal data were collected in fall 2019 and 2020 from 1381 5th to 6th, and 1374 7th to 8th grade students. Using repeated measures latent profile analyses based on school engagement and burnout we identified five study well-being change profiles in both samples showing structural similarity: normative (53% sample 1; 69% sample 2), moderate-decreasing (4%; 5%), high-decreasing (17%; 10%), low-increasing (6%;7%) and moderate-increasing (20%; 10%) groups. The groups with increasing study well-being showed simultaneous increase in intrapersonal socio-emotional competencies but showed less changes in interpersonal outcomes.
  • Häkkinen, Hanni (Helsingin yliopisto, 2022)
    Turvalliset ja tehokkaat rokotukset ovat avainasemassa SARS-CoV-2 koronaviruspandemian pandemian hallinnassa. Tässä kaupallisista toimijoista riippumattomassa verrattiin terveydenhuollon työntekijöille annettujen rokoteannosten (valmisteina BNT162b2, mRNA-1273 ja ChAdOx1) haittavaikutuksia Helsingin yliopistollisessa sairaalassa. Tutkittavat (n = 203) saivat rokotteet ja täyttivät kyselylomakkeita 12/2020–12/2021. Haittavaikutukset luokiteltiin kolmeen luokkaan sen mukaan, miten ne vaikuttivat päivittäisiin toimintoihin: luokka 1 kuvaa oireettomuutta tai lieviä haittavaikutuksia ilman vaikutusta päivittäistoimintoihin, luokka 2 kohtalaisia haittavaikutuksia, jotka rajoittavat päivittäistoimintoja, ja luokka 3 vaikeita haittavaikutuksia, jotka estävät tavanomaiset päivittäistoiminnot. Ensimmäisen annoksen jälkeen 77.2%, toisen 79.6% ja kolmannen 80.6% raportoi haittavaikutuksia, joista yleisimpinä pistokohdan kipu, uupumus, sairaudentunne ja lihaskivut. Lisäksi raportoitiin pahoinvointia ja viluntunnetta. Vakavia haittavaikutuksia esiintyi ainoastaan ensimmäisen ChAdOx1 annoksen jälkeen: kaksi tromboottista trombosytopeniaa sekä yksi anafylaktinen reaktio. Tutkimuksemme varmisti aiempien tutkimusten tulokset haittavaikutusten lievyydestä: jokaisen annoksen jälkeen suurimmalla osalla haittavaikutukset arvioitiin luokkaan 1. Niiden osuus, joilla haittavaikutukset rajoittivat tavanomaisia päivittäistoimintoja, oli suurempi kolmannen kuin ensimmäisen ja toisen annoksen jälkeen, mikä korostaa tarvetta informoida tutkittavia etukäteen mahdollisista haitoista. Kolmannen annoksen jälkeen haittavaikutusten määrä ja niiden vaikutus päivittäistoimintoihin oli suurempi mRNA-1273- kuin BNT162b2-rokotteen saaneilla, mahdollisesti mRNA-1273-valmisteen korkean antigeenipitoisuuden vuoksi. Myöhemmissä analyyseissä pyritään selvittämään liittyvätkö vaikeammat haittavaikutusreaktiot ennestään koholla oleviin vasta-ainetasoihin vai liittyykö voimakkaisiin haittavaikutuksiin myös voimakkaampi immuunivaste.
  • Lahelma, Mari; Oksanen, Lotta; Rantanen, Noora; Sinkkonen, Saku; Aarnisalo, Antti; Geneid, Ahmed; Sanmark, Enni (2022)
    Objective To assess whether aerosol generation occurs during otologic surgery, to define which instruments are aerosol generating, and to identify factors that enhance safety in protection against airborne pathogens, such as severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2. Study Design An observational prospective study on aerosol measurements during otologic operations recorded between August and December 2020. Setting Aerosol generation was measured with an Optical Particle Sizer as part of otologic operations with anesthesia. Particles with a size range of 0.3 to 10 mu m were quantified. Aerosol generation was measured during otologic operations to analyze aerosols during drilling in transcanal and transmastoid operations and when using the following instruments: bipolar electrocautery, laser, suction, and cold instruments. Coughing is known to produce significant concentration of aerosols and is commonly used as a reference for high-risk aerosol generation. Thus, the operating room background concentration and coughing were chosen as reference values. Patients Thirteen otologic operations were included. The average drilling time per surgery was 27.00 minutes (range, 2.00-71.80 min). Intervention Different rotation speeds during drilling and other instruments were used. Main Outcome Measures Aerosol concentrations during operations were recorded and compared with background and cough aerosol concentrations. Results Total aerosol concentrations during drilling were significantly higher than background (p < 0.0001, d = 2.02) or coughing (p < 0.0001, d = 0.50). A higher drilling rotation speed was associated with higher particle concentration (p = 0.037, eta(2) = 0.01). Aerosol generation during bipolar electrocautery, drilling, and laser was significantly higher than with cold instruments or suction (p < 0.0001, eta(2) = 0.04). Conclusion High aerosol generation is observed during otologic surgery when drill, laser, or bipolar electrocautery is used. Aerosol generation can be reduced by using cold instruments instead of electric and keeping the suction on during aerosol-generating procedures. If drilling is required, lower rotation speeds are recommended. These measures may help reduce the spread of airborne pathogens during otologic surgery.
  • Corona Cooking Survey Study Grp; De Backer, Charlotte; Vainio, Annukka; Niva, Mari; Salmivaara, Laura; Mäkelä, Johanna; Torkkeli, Kaisa (2021)
    Objectives: To examine changes in planning, selecting, and preparing healthy foods in relation to personal factors (time, money, stress) and social distancing policies during the COVID-19 crisis. Methods: Using cross-sectional online surveys collected in 38 countries worldwide in April-June 2020 (N = 37,207, Mage 36.7 SD 14.8, 77% women), we compared changes in food literacy behaviors to changes in personal factors and social distancing policies, using hierarchical multiple regression analyses controlling for sociodemographic variables. Results: Increases in planning (4.7 SD 1.3, 4.9 SD 1.3), selecting (3.6 SD 1.7, 3.7 SD 1.7), and preparing (4.6 SD 1.2, 4.7 SD 1.3) healthy foods were found for women and men, and positively related to perceived time availability and stay-at-home policies. Psychological distress was a barrier for women, and an enabler for men. Financial stress was a barrier and enabler depending on various sociodemographic variables (all p <0.01). Conclusion: Stay-at-home policies and feelings of having more time during COVID-19 seem to have improved food literacy. Stress and other social distancing policies relate to food literacy in more complex ways, highlighting the necessity of a health equity lens.
  • Mukka, Milla; Pesälä, Samuli; Hammer, Charlotte; Mustonen, Pekka; Jormanainen, Vesa; Pelttari, Hanna; Kaila, Minna; Helve, Otto (2021)
    Background: The COVID-19 pandemic has prevailed over a year, and log and register data on coronavirus have been utilized to establish models for detecting the pandemic. However, many sources contain unreliable health information on COVID-19 and its symptoms, and platforms cannot characterize the users performing searches. Prior studies have assessed symptom searches from general search engines (Google/Google Trends). Little is known about how modeling log data on smell/taste disorders and coronavirus from the dedicated internet databases used by citizens and health care professionals (HCPs) could enhance disease surveillance. Our material and method provide a novel approach to analyze web-based information seeking to detect infectious disease outbreaks. Objective: The aim of this study was (1) to assess whether citizens' and professionals' searches for smell/taste disorders and coronavirus relate to epidemiological data on COVID-19 cases, and (2) to test our negative binomial regression modeling (ie, whether the inclusion of the case count could improve the model). Methods: We collected weekly log data on searches related to COVID-19 (smell/taste disorders, coronavirus) between December 30, 2019, and November 30, 2020 (49 weeks). Two major medical internet databases in Finland were used: Health Library (HL), a free portal aimed at citizens, and Physician's Database (PD), a database widely used among HCPs. Log data from databases were combined with register data on the numbers of COVID-19 cases reported in the Finnish National Infectious Diseases Register. We used negative binomial regression modeling to assess whether the case numbers could explain some of the dynamics of searches when plotting database logs. Results: We found that coronavirus searches drastically increased in HL (0 to 744,113) and PD (4 to 5375) prior to the first wave of COVID-19 cases between December 2019 and March 2020. Searches for smell disorders in HL doubled from the end of December 2019 to the end of March 2020 (2148 to 4195), and searches for taste disorders in HL increased from mid-May to the end of November (0 to 1980). Case numbers were significantly associated with smell disorders (P<.001) and taste disorders (P<.001) in HL, and with coronavirus searches (P<.001) in PD. We could not identify any other associations between case numbers and searches in either database. Conclusions: Novel infodemiological approaches could be used in analyzing database logs. Modeling log data from web-based sources was seen to improve the model only occasionally. However, search behaviors among citizens and professionals could be used as a supplementary source of information for infectious disease surveillance. Further research is needed to apply statistical models to log data of the dedicated medical databases.
  • Bajc, Marika; Hedeer, Fredrik; Lindqvist, Ari; Trägårdh, Elin (2021)
    V/P SPECT from 4 consecutive patients with COVID-19 suggests that ventilation and perfusion images may be applied to diagnose or exclude pulmonary embolism, verify nonsegmental diversion of perfusion from the ventilated areas (dead space ventilation) that may represent inflammation of the pulmonary vasculature, detect the reversed mismatch of poor ventilation and better preserved perfusion (shunt perfusion) in bilateral pulmonary inflammation and indicate redistribution of lung perfusion (antigravitational hyperperfusion) due to cardiac congestion. V/P mismatch and reversed mismatch may be extensive enough to diminish dramatically preserved matching ventilation/perfusion and to induce severe hypoxemia in COVID-19.
  • Holmberg, Ville; Salmi, Heli; Kattainen, Salla; Ollgren, Jukka; Kantele, Anu; Pynnönen, Juulia; Järvinen, Asko; Forsblom, Erik; Silén, Suvi; Kivivuori, Sanna Maria; Meretoja, Atte; Hästbacka, Johanna (2022)
    Objectives: Motivated by reports of increased risk of coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) in ethnic minorities of high-income countries, we explored whether patients with a foreign first language are at an increased risk of COVID-19 infections, more serious presentations, or worse outcomes. Methods: In a retrospective observational population-based quality registry study covering a population of 1.7 million, we studied the incidence of severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV2), admissions to specialist healthcare and the intensive care unit (ICU), and all-cause case fatality in different language groups between 27th February and 3rd August 2020 in Southern Finland. A first language other than Finnish, Swedish or Sami served as a surrogate marker for a foreign ethnic background. Results: In total, 124 240 individuals were tested, and among the 118 300 (95%) whose first language could be determined, 4005 (3.4%) were COVID-19-positive, 623 (0.5%) were admitted to specialized hospitals, and 147 (0.1%) were admitted to the ICU; 254 (0.2%) died. Those with a foreign first language had lower testing rates (348, 95%CI 340-355 versus 758, 95%CI 753-762 per 10 000, p < 0.0001), higher incidence (36, 95%CI 33-38 versus 22, 95%CI 21-23 per 10 000, p < 0.0001), and higher positivity rates (103, 95%CI 96-109 versus 29, 95%CI 28-30 per 1000, p < 0.0001). There was no significant difference in ICU admissions, disease severity at ICU admission, or ICU outcomes. Case fatality by 90 days was 7.7% in domestic cases and 1.2% in those with a foreign first language, explained by demographics (age-and sex adjusted HR 0.49, 95%CI 0.21-1.15). Conclusions: The population with a foreign first language was at an increased risk for testing positive for SARS-CoV-2, but when hospitalized they had outcomes similar to those in the native, domestic language population. This suggests that special attention should be paid to the prevention and control of infectious diseases among language minorities. (C) 2021 The Authors. Published by Elsevier Ltd on behalf of European Society of Clinical Microbiology and Infectious Diseases.