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Epidemiology of SARS-CoV2 in Qatar’s primary care population aged 10 years and above

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posted on 2022-11-22, 21:17 authored by Mohamed Ahmed Syed, Ahmed Sameer Al Nuaimi, Hamda Abdulla A/Qotba, Gheyath K. Nasrallah, Asmaa A. Althani, Hadi M. Yassine, Abduljaleel Abdullatif Zainel, Hanan Khudadad, Tamara Marji, Shajitha Thekke Veettil, Hadeel T. Al-Jighefee, Salma Younes, Farah Shurrab, Duaa W. Al-Sadeq, Al Anoud Saleh AlFehaidi, Ameena Ibrahim Yfakhroo, Meshal Abdulla AlMesaifri, Hanan Al Mujalli, Samya Ahmad Al Abdulla, Mohamed Ghaith Al Kuwari, Faruk Mohammed Azad, Badria Ali Mohamed Al Malki, Mariam Ali Abdulmalik

Background

There is an urgent need to elucidate the epidemiology of the Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome Coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV2) and characterize its potential impact. Investing in characterising the SARS-CoV2 will help plan and improve the response to the pandemic. Furthermore, it will help identify the most efficient ways of managing the pandemic, avoiding public health policies and interventions that may be unduly restrictive of normal activity or unnecessarily costly. This paper describes the design and reports findings of a population based epidemiological study undertaken to characterise SARS-CoV2 in Qatar using limited resources in a timely manner.

Methods

Asymptomatic individuals ≥10 years registered with Qatar’s publicly funded primary health provider were eligible. A stratified random sampling technique was utilized to identify the study sample. Participants were invited to an appointment where they completed a questionnaire and provided samples for polymerase chain reaction and Immunoglobulin M and G immunoassay tests. Data collected were analyzed to calculate point and period prevalence by sociodemographic, lifestyle and clinical characteristics.

Results

Of 18,918 individuals invited for the study, 2084 participated (response rate 10.8%). The overall point prevalence and period prevalence were estimated to be 1.6% (95% CI 1.1–2.2) and 14.6% (95% CI 13.1–16.2) respectively. Period prevalence of SARS-CoV2 infection was not considerably different across age groups (9.7–19.8%). It was higher in males compared to females (16.2 and 12.7% respectively). A significant variation was observed by nationality (7.1 to 22.2%) and municipalities (6.9–35.3%).

Conclusions

The study provides an example of a methodologically robust approach that can be undertaken in a timely manner with limited resources. It reports much-needed epidemiological data about the spread of SARS-CoV2. Given the low prevalence rates, majority of the population in Qatar remains susceptible. Enhanced surveillance must continue to be in place, particularly due to the large number of asymptomatic cases observed. Robust contact tracing and social distancing measures are key to prevent future outbreaks.

Other Information

Published in: BMC Infectious Diseases
License: https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0
See article on publisher's website: http://dx.doi.org/10.1186/s12879-021-06251-z

History

Language

  • English

Publisher

Springer Science and Business Media LLC

Publication Year

  • 2021

Institution affiliated with

  • Primary Health Care Corporation

Methodology

Asymptomatic individuals ≥10 years registered with Qatar’s publicly funded primary health provider were eligible. A stratified random sampling technique was utilized to identify the study sample. Participants were invited to an appointment where they completed a questionnaire and provided samples for polymerase chain reaction and Immunoglobulin M and G immunoassay tests. Data collected were analyzed to calculate point and period prevalence by sociodemographic, lifestyle and clinical characteristics.

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