Deep Learning Technology: Sebastian Arnold, Betty van Aken, Paul Grundmann, Felix A. Gers and Alexander Löser. Learning Contextualized Document Representations for Healthcare Answer Retrieval. The Web Conference 2020 (WWW'20)
Funded by The Federal Ministry for Economic Affairs and Energy; Grant: 01MD19013D, Smart-MD Project, Digital Technologies
In cases of viral pneumonia where influenza A or B are thought to be causative agents, patients who are seen within 48 hours of symptom onset may benefit from treatment with oseltamivir or zanamivir. Respiratory syncytial virus (RSV) has no direct acting treatments, but ribavirin in indicated for severe cases. Herpes simplex virus and varicella-zoster virus infections are usually treated with aciclovir, whilst ganciclovir is used to treat cytomegalovirus. There is no known efficacious treatment for pneumonia caused by SARS coronavirus, MERS coronavirus, adenovirus, hantavirus, or parainfluenza. Care is largely supportive.
Antibiotics are given to treat any bacterial infection present. Cough suppressants are used if the cough is not productive. NSAIDs are often given to reduce fever and upper respiratory inflammation. Prevention is by vaccinating for canine adenovirus, distemper, parainfluenza, and "Bordetella". In kennels, the best prevention is to keep all the cages disinfected. In some cases, such as "doggie daycares" or nontraditional playcare-type boarding environments, it is usually not a cleaning or disinfecting issue, but rather an airborne issue, as the dogs are in contact with each other's saliva and breath. Although most kennels require proof of vaccination, the vaccination is not a fail-safe preventative. Just like human influenza, even after receiving the vaccination, a dog can still contract mutated strains or less severe cases.
No specific treatment is available, but antibiotics can be used to prevent secondary infections.
Vaccines are available (ATCvet codes: for the inactivated vaccine, for the live vaccine; plus various combinations).
Biosecurity protocols including adequate isolation, disinfection are important in controlling the spread of the disease.
Antibiotics are ineffective, as SARS is a viral disease. Treatment of SARS is largely supportive with antipyretics, supplemental oxygen and mechanical ventilation as needed.
People with SARS must be isolated, preferably in negative pressure rooms, with complete barrier nursing precautions taken for any necessary contact with these patients.
Some of the more serious damage caused by SARS may be due to the body's own immune system reacting in what is known as cytokine storm.
As of 2017, there is no cure or protective vaccine for SARS that has been shown to be both safe and effective in humans. The identification and development of novel vaccines and medicines to treat SARS is a priority for governments and public health agencies around the world. MassBiologics, a non-profit organization engaged in the discovery, development and manufacturing of biologic therapies, is cooperating with researchers at NIH and the CDC developed a monoclonal antibody therapy that demonstrated efficacy in animal models.
To increase their effectiveness, vaccines should be administered as soon as possible after a dog enters a high-risk area, such as a shelter. 10 to 14 days are required for partial immunity to develop. Administration of B. bronchiseptica and canine-parainfluenza vaccines may then be continued routinely, especially during outbreaks of kennel cough. There are several methods of administration, including parenteral and intranasal. However, the intranasal method has been recommended when exposure is imminent, due to a more rapid and localized protection. Several intranasal vaccines have been developed that contain canine adenovirus in addition to B bronchiseptica and canine-parainfluenza virus antigens. Studies have thus far not been able to determine which formula of vaccination is the most efficient. Adverse effects of vaccinations are mild, but the most common effect observed up to 30 days after administration is nasal discharge. Vaccinations are not always effective. In one study it was found that 43.3% of all dogs in the study population with respiratory disease had in fact been vaccinated.
There is no vaccine for SARS to date. Isolation and quarantine remain the most effective means to prevent the spread of SARS. Other preventative measures include:
- Disinfection of surfaces for fomites
- Wearing a surgical mask
- Avoiding contact with bodily fluids
- Washing the personal items of someone with SARS in hot, soapy water (eating utensils, dishes, bedding, etc.)
- Keeping children with symptoms home from school
Many public health interventions were taken to help control the spread of the disease; which is mainly spread through respiratory droplets in the air. These interventions included earlier detection of the disease, isolation of people who are infected, droplet and contact precautions, and the use of personal protective equipment (PPE); including masks and isolation gowns. A screening process was also put in place at airports to monitor air travel to and from affected countries. Although no cases have been identified since 2004, the CDC is still working to make federal and local rapid response guidelines and recommendations in the event of a reappearance of the virus.
Lesions of paravaccinia virus will clear up with little to no scaring after 4 to 8 weeks. An antibiotic may be prescribed by a physician to help prevent bacterial infection of the lesion area. In rare cases, surgical removal of the lesions can be done to help increase rate of healing, and help minimize risk of bacterial or fungal infection. Upon healing, no long term side effects have been reported.
Neither the combination of antivirals and interferons (ribavirin + interferon alfa-2a or interferon alfa-2b) nor corticosteroids improved outcomes.
When rhesus macaques were given interferon-α2b and ribavirin and exposed to MERS, they developed less pneumonia than control animals. Five critically ill people with MERS in Saudi Arabia with ARDS and on ventilators were given interferon-α2b and ribavirin but all ended up dying of the disease. The treatment was started late in their disease (a mean of 19 days after hospital admission) and they had already failed trials of steroids so it remains to be seen whether it may have benefit earlier in the course of disease. Another proposed therapy is inhibition of viral protease or kinase enzymes. Researchers are investigating a number of ways to combat the outbreak of Middle East respiratory syndrome coronavirus, including using interferon, chloroquine, chlorpromazine, loperamide, and lopinavir, as well as other agents such as mycophenolic acid and camostat.
The most commonly available antiviral drugs for treating FIP are either feline recombinant interferon omega (Virbagen Omega, Virbac) or human interferon. Since the action of interferon is species-specific, feline interferon is more efficacious than human interferon.
An experimental antiviral drug called GC 376 was used in a field trial of 20 cats: 7 cats went into remission, 13 cats responded initially but relapsed and were euthanazed. This drug is not yet commercially available: watch the University of California Davis website for progress updates.
The best prevention against viral pneumonia is vaccination against influenza, adenovirus, chickenpox, herpes zoster, measles, and rubella.
As of April 2020, there is no specific treatment for COVID-19. Research is, however, ongoing. For symptoms, some medical professionals recommend paracetamol (acetaminophen) over ibuprofen for first-line use. The WHO does not oppose the use of non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) such as ibuprofen for symptoms, and the FDA says currently there is no evidence that NSAIDs worsen COVID-19 symptoms.
While theoretical concerns have been raised about ACE inhibitors and angiotensin receptor blockers, as of 19 March 2020, these are not sufficient to justify stopping these medications. Steroids, such as methylprednisolone, are not recommended unless the disease is complicated by acute respiratory distress syndrome.
Medications to prevent blood clotting have been suggested for treatment, and anticoagulant therapy with low molecular weight heparin appears to be associated with better outcomes in severe COVID‐19 showing signs of coagulopathy (elevated D-dimer).
The go-to immunosuppressive drug in FIP is prednisolone.
An experimental polyprenyl immunostimulant (PI) is manufactured by Sass and Sass and tested by Dr. Al Legendre, who described survival over 1 year in three cats diagnosed with FIP and treated with the medicine. In a subsequent field study of 60 cats with non-effusive FIP treated with PI, 52 cats (87%) died before 200 days, but eight cats survived over 200 days from the start of PI treatment for and four of those survived beyond 300 days. There are anecdotal reports on the internet of cats surviving even longer.
Treatments that may help with symptoms include simple pain medication and medications for fevers such as ibuprofen and acetaminophen (paracetamol). It, however, is not clear if acetaminophen helps with symptoms. It is not known if over the counter cough medications are effective for treating an acute cough. Cough medicines are not recommended for use in children due to a lack of evidence supporting effectiveness and the potential for harm. In 2009, Canada restricted the use of over-the-counter cough and cold medication in children six years and under due to concerns regarding risks and unproven benefits. The misuse of dextromethorphan (an over-the-counter cough medicine) has led to its ban in a number of countries. Intranasal corticosteroids have not been found to be useful.
In adults short term use of nasal decongestants may have a small benefit. Antihistamines may improve symptoms in the first day or two; however, there is no longer-term benefit and they have adverse effects such as drowsiness. Other decongestants such as pseudoephedrine appear effective in adults. Ipratropium nasal spray may reduce the symptoms of a runny nose but has little effect on stuffiness. The safety and effectiveness of nasal decongestant use in children is unclear.
Due to lack of studies, it is not known whether increased fluid intake improves symptoms or shortens respiratory illness, and there is a similar lack of data for the use of heated humidified air. One study has found chest vapor rub to provide some relief of nocturnal cough, congestion, and sleep difficulty.
Research into potential treatments started in January 2020, and several antiviral drugs are in clinical trials. Remdesivir appears to be the most promising. Although new medications may take until 2021 to develop, several of the medications being tested are already approved for other uses or are already in advanced testing. Antiviral medication may be tried in people with severe disease. The WHO recommended volunteers take part in trials of the effectiveness and safety of potential treatments.
The FDA has granted temporary authorisation to convalescent plasma as an experimental treatment in cases where the person's life is seriously or immediately threatened. It has not undergone the clinical studies needed to show it is safe and effective for the disease.
No medications or herbal remedies have been conclusively demonstrated to shorten the duration of infection. Treatment thus comprises symptomatic relief. Getting plenty of rest, drinking fluids to maintain hydration, and gargling with warm salt water are reasonable conservative measures. Much of the benefit from treatment is, however, attributed to the placebo effect.
The mainstay of eradication is the identification and removal of persistently infected animals. Re-infection is then prevented by vaccination and high levels of biosecurity, supported by continuing surveillance. PIs act as viral reservoirs and are the principal source of viral infection but transiently infected animals and contaminated fomites also play a significant role in transmission.
Leading the way in BVD eradication, almost 20 years ago, were the Scandinavian countries. Despite different conditions at the start of the projects in terms of legal support, and regardless of initial prevalence of herds with PI animals, it took all countries approximately 10 years to reach their final stages.
Once proven that BVD eradication could be achieved in a cost efficient way, a number of regional programmes followed in Europe, some of which have developed into national schemes.
Vaccination is an essential part of both control and eradication. While BVD virus is still circulating within the national herd, breeding cattle are at risk of producing PI neonates and the economic consequences of BVD are still relevant. Once eradication has been achieved, unvaccinated animals will represent a naïve and susceptible herd. Infection from imported animals or contaminated fomites brought into the farm, or via transiently infected in-contacts will have devastating consequences.
Modern vaccination programmes aim not only to provide a high level of protection from clinical disease for the dam, but, crucially, to protect against viraemia and prevent the production of PIs. While the immune mechanisms involved are the same, the level of immune protection required for foetal protection is much higher than for prevention of clinical disease.
While challenge studies indicate that killed, as well as live, vaccines prevent foetal infection under experimental conditions, the efficacy of vaccines under field conditions has been questioned. The birth of PI calves into vaccinated herds suggests that killed vaccines do not stand up to the challenge presented by the viral load excreted by a PI in the field.
Treatment of bronchiolitis is usually focused on the symptoms instead of the infection itself since the infection will run its course and complications are typically from the symptoms themselves. Without active treatment half of cases will go away in 13 days and 90% in three weeks.
Measures for which the evidence is unclear include nebulized epinephrine, nasal suctioning, and nebulized hypertonic saline. Treatments which the evidence does not support include salbutamol, steroids, antibiotics, antivirals, chest physiotherapy, and cool mist.
Paravaccinia virus originates from livestock infected with bovine papular stomatitis. When a human makes physical contact with the livestock's muzzle, udders, or an infected area, the area of contact will become infected. Livestock may not show symptoms of bovine papular stomatitis and still be infected and contagious. Paravaccinia can enter the body though all pathways including: skin contact by mechanical means, through the respiratory tract, or orally. Oral or respiratory contraction may be more likely to cause systemic symptoms such as lesions across the whole body
A person who has not previously been infected with paravaccinia virus should avoid contact with infected livestock to prevent contraction of disease. There is no commercially available vaccination for cattle or humans against paravaccinia. However, following infection, immunization has been noted in humans, making re-infection difficult. Unlike other pox viruses, there is no record of contracting paravaccinia virus from another human. Further, cattle only show a short immunization after initial infection, providing opportunity to continue to infect more livestock and new human hosts.
Currently other medications do not yet have evidence to support their use. Ribavirin is an antiviral drug which does not appear to be effective for bronchiolitis. Antibiotics are often given in case of a bacterial infection complicating bronchiolitis, but have no effect on the underlying viral infection. Corticosteroids have no proven benefit in bronchiolitis treatment and are not advised. DNAse has not been found to be effective.
While the mechanism of spread of MERS-CoV is currently not known, based on experience with prior coronaviruses, such as SARS, the WHO currently recommends that all individuals coming into contact with MERS suspects should (in addition to standard precautions):
- Wear a medical mask
- Wear eye protection (i.e. goggles or a face shield)
- Wear a clean, non sterile, long sleeved gown; and gloves (some procedures may require sterile gloves)
- Perform hand hygiene before and after contact with the person and his or her surroundings and immediately after removal of personal protective equipment (PPE)
For procedures which carry a risk of aerosolization, such as intubation, the WHO recommends that care providers also:
- Wear a particulate respirator and, when putting on a disposable particulate respirator, always check the seal
- Wear eye protection (i.e. goggles or a face shield)
- Wear a clean, non-sterile, long-sleeved gown and gloves (some of these procedures require sterile gloves)
- Wear an impermeable apron for some procedures with expected high fluid volumes that might penetrate the gown
- Perform procedures in an adequately ventilated room; i.e. minimum of 6 to 12 air changes per hour in facilities with a mechanically ventilated room and at least 60 liters/second/patient in facilities with natural ventilation
- Limit the number of persons present in the room to the absolute minimum required for the person’s care and support
- Perform hand hygiene before and after contact with the person and his or her surroundings and after PPE removal.
The duration of infectivity is also unknown so it is unclear how long people must be isolated, but current recommendations are for 24 hours after resolution of symptoms. In the SARS outbreak the virus was not cultured from people after the resolution of their symptoms.
It is believed that the existing SARS research may provide a useful template for developing vaccines and therapeutics against a MERS-CoV infection. Vaccine candidates are currently awaiting clinical trials.
Avian infectious bronchitis (IB) is an acute and highly contagious respiratory disease of chickens. The disease is caused by avian infectious bronchitis virus (IBV), a coronavirus, and characterized by respiratory signs including gasping, coughing, sneezing, tracheal rales, and nasal discharge. In young chickens, severe respiratory distress may occur. In layers, respiratory distress, nephritis, decrease in egg production, and loss of internal (watery egg white) and external (fragile, soft, irregular or rough shells, shell-less) egg quality are reported.
Severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) is the virus strain that causes coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19), a respiratory illness. It is colloquially known as the coronavirus, and was previously referred to by its provisional name 2019 novel coronavirus (2019-nCoV). SARS-CoV-2 is a positive-sense single-stranded RNA virus. It is contagious in humans, and the World Health Organization (WHO) has designated the ongoing pandemic of COVID-19 a Public Health Emergency of International Concern. Because the strain was first discovered in Wuhan, China, it is sometimes referred to as "Wuhan virus" or "Wuhan coronavirus". Since the WHO discourages the use of names based on locations such as MERS, and to avoid confusion with the disease SARS, it sometimes refers to SARS-CoV-2 as "the COVID-19 virus" in public health communications. The general public frequently calls both SARS-CoV-2 and the disease it causes "coronavirus", but scientists typically use more precise terminology.
Taxonomically, SARS-CoV-2 is a strain of Severe acute respiratory syndrome-related coronavirus (SARSr-CoV). It is believed to have zoonotic origins and has close genetic similarity to bat coronaviruses, suggesting it emerged from a bat-borne virus. An intermediate animal reservoir such as a pangolin is also thought to be involved in its introduction to humans. The virus shows little genetic diversity, indicating that the spillover event introducing SARS-CoV-2 to humans is likely to have occurred in late 2019.
Epidemiological studies estimate each infection results in 1.4 to 3.9 new ones when no members of the community are immune and no preventive measures taken. The virus is primarily spread between people through close contact and via respiratory droplets produced from coughs or sneezes. It mainly enters human cells by binding to the receptor angiotensin converting enzyme 2 (ACE2).
Antibiotics do not help the many lower respiratory infections which are caused by parasites or viruses. While acute bronchitis often does not require antibiotic therapy, antibiotics can be given to patients with acute exacerbations of chronic bronchitis. The indications for treatment are increased dyspnoea, and an increase in the volume or purulence of the sputum. The treatment of bacterial pneumonia is selected by considering the age of the patient, the severity of the illness and the presence of underlying disease. Amoxicillin and doxycycline are suitable for many of the lower respiratory tract infections seen in general practice.
Neuraminidase inhibitors may be used to treat viral pneumonia caused by influenza viruses (influenza A and influenza B). No specific antiviral medications are recommended for other types of community acquired viral pneumonias including SARS coronavirus, adenovirus, hantavirus, and parainfluenza virus. Influenza A may be treated with rimantadine or amantadine, while influenza A or B may be treated with oseltamivir, zanamivir or peramivir. These are of most benefit if they are started within 48 hours of the onset of symptoms. Many strains of H5N1 influenza A, also known as avian influenza or "bird flu", have shown resistance to rimantadine and amantadine. The use of antibiotics in viral pneumonia is recommended by some experts, as it is impossible to rule out a complicating bacterial infection. The British Thoracic Society recommends that antibiotics be withheld in those with mild disease. The use of corticosteroids is controversial.