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
Lower respiratory tract infections place a considerable strain on the health budget and are generally more serious than upper respiratory infections.
Lower respiratory infectious disease is the fifth-leading cause of death and the combined leading infectious cause of death, being responsible for 2·74 million deaths worldwide. This is generally similar to estimates in the 2010 Global Burden of Disease study.
This total only accounts for "Streptococcus pneumoniae" and "Haemophilus Influenzae" infections and does not account for atypical or nosocomial causes of lower respiratory disease, therefore underestimating total disease burden.
Viral pneumonia occurs in about 200 million people a year which includes about 100 million children and 100 million adults.
Bronchiolitis typically affects infants and children younger than two years, principally during the fall and winter . Bronchiolitis hospitalization has a peak incidence between two and six months of age and remains a significant cause of respiratory disease during the first two years of life. It is a leading cause of hospitalization in infants and young children.
Adenovirus can cause severe necrotizing pneumonia in which all or part of a lung has increased translucency radiographically, which is called Swyer-James Syndrome. Severe adenovirus pneumonia also may result in bronchiolitis obliterans, a subacute inflammatory process in which the small airways are replaced by scar tissue, resulting in a reduction in lung volume and lung compliance.
Common causes of viral pneumonia are:
- "Influenza virus" A and B
- "Respiratory syncytial virus" (RSV)
- "Human parainfluenza viruses" (in children)
Rarer viruses that commonly result in pneumonia include:
- "Adenoviruses" (in military recruits)
- "Severe acute respiratory syndrome virus" (SARS coronavirus)
- "Middle East respiratory syndrome virus" (MERS coronavirus)
Viruses that primarily cause other diseases, but sometimes cause pneumonia include:
- "Herpes simplex virus" (HSV), mainly in newborns or young children
- "Varicella-zoster virus" (VZV)
- "Measles virus"
- "Rubella virus"
- "Cytomegalovirus" (CMV), mainly in people with immune system problems
- "Smallpox virus"
- "dengue virus"
The most commonly identified agents in children are "respiratory syncytial virus", "rhinovirus", "human metapneumovirus", "human bocavirus", and "parainfluenza viruses".
When comparing the bacterial-caused atypical pneumonias with these caused by real viruses (excluding bacteria that were wrongly considered as viruses), the term "atypical pneumonia" almost always implies a bacterial cause and is contrasted with viral pneumonia.
Known viral causes of atypical pneumonia include respiratory syncytial virus (RSV), influenza A and B, parainfluenza, adenovirus, severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS)
Mycoplasma is found more often in younger than in older people.
Older people are more often infected by Legionella.
Dogs will typically recover from kennel cough within a few weeks. However, secondary infections could lead to complications that could do more harm than the disease itself. Several opportunistic invaders have been recovered from the respiratory tracts of dogs with kennel cough, including Streptococcus, Pasteurella, Pseudomonas, and various coliforms. These bacteria have the potential to cause pneumonia or sepsis, which drastically increase the severity of the disease. These complications are evident in thoracic radiographic examinations. Findings will be mild in animals affected only by kennel cough, while those with complications may have evidence of segmental atelectasis and other severe side effects.
Several studies found that healthcare-associated pneumonia is the second most common type of pneumonia, occurring less commonly than community-acquired pneumonia but more frequently than hospital-acquired pneumonia and ventilator-associated pneumonia. In a recent observational study, the rates for CAP, HCAP and HAP were 60%, 25% and 15% respectively. Patients with HCAP are older and more commonly have simultaneous health problems (such as previous stroke, heart failure and diabetes).
The number of residents in long term care facilities is expected to rise dramatically over the next 30 years. These older adults are known to develop pneumonia 10 times more than their community-dwelling peers, and hospital admittance rates are 30 times higher.
Viral infections such as canine parainfluenza or canine coronavirus are only shed for roughly 1 week following recovery; however, respiratory infections involving "Bordetella bronchiseptica" can be transmissible for several weeks longer. While there was early evidence to suggest that "B. bronchiseptica" could be shed for many months post-infection, a more recent report places detectable nasal and pharyngeal levels of "B. bronchiseptica" in 45.6% of all clinically healthy dogs. This has potentially expanded the vector from currently or recently infected dogs to half the dog population as carriers. To put the relative levels of shedding bacteria into perspective, a study analyzing the shedding kinetics of "B. bronchiseptica" presents the highest levels of bacterial shedding one week post-exposure, with an order of magnitude decrease in shedding observed every week. This projection places negligible levels of shedding to be expected 6 weeks post-exposure (or ~5 weeks post-onset of symptoms). Dogs which had been administered intranasal vaccine 4 weeks prior to virulent "B. bronchiseptica" challenge displayed little to no bacterial shedding within 3 weeks of exposure to the virulent strain.
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.
CAP is common worldwide, and a major cause of death in all age groups. In children, most deaths (over two million a year) occur in newborn period. According to a World Health Organization estimate, one in three newborn deaths are from pneumonia. Mortality decreases with age until late adulthood, with the elderly at risk for CAP and its associated mortality.
More CAP cases occur during the winter than at other times of the year. CAP is more common in males than females, and more common in black people than Caucasians. Patients with underlying illnesses (such as Alzheimer's disease, cystic fibrosis, COPD, tobacco smoking, alcoholism or immune-system problems) have an increased risk of developing pneumonia.
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.
Some details about how the disease is spread are still being determined. The WHO and the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) say it is primarily spread during close contact and by small droplets produced when people cough, sneeze or talk; with close contact being within approximately 1–3 m (3–10 ft). Both sputum and saliva can carry large viral loads. Loud talking releases more droplets than normal talking. A study in Singapore found that an uncovered cough can lead to droplets travelling up to 4.5 meters (15 feet). An article published in March 2020 argued that advice on droplet distance might be based on 1930s research which ignored the effects of warm moist outbreath surrounding the droplets and that an uncovered cough or sneeze can travel up to 8.2 metres (27 feet).
Respiratory droplets may also be produced while breathing out, including when talking. Though the virus is not generally airborne, the National Academy of Science has suggested that bioaerosol transmission may be possible and air collectors positioned in the hallway outside of people's rooms yielded samples positive for viral RNA. The droplets can land in the mouths or noses of people who are nearby or possibly be inhaled into the lungs. Some medical procedures such as intubation and cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) may cause respiratory secretions to be aerosolised and thus result in airborne spread. Initial studies suggested a doubling time of the number of infected persons of 6–7 days and a basic reproduction number (R0) of 2.2–2.7, but a study to be published on April 07, 2020 calculated a much higher median R0 value of 5.7.
It may also spread when one touches a contaminated surface, known as fomite transmission, and then touches one's eyes, nose or mouth. While there are concerns it may spread via feces, this risk is believed to be low.
The virus is most contagious when people are symptomatic; while spread may be possible before symptoms emerge, the risk is low. The European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control (ECDC) says while it is not entirely clear how easily the disease spreads, one person generally infects two to three others.
The virus survives for hours to days on surfaces. Specifically, the virus was found to be detectable for one day on cardboard, for up to three days on plastic (polypropylene) and stainless steel (AISI 304), and for up to four hours on 99% copper. This, however, varies depending on the humidity and temperature. Surfaces may be decontaminated with a number of solutions (with one minute of exposure to the product achieving a 4 or more log reduction (99.99% reduction)), including 78–95% ethanol (alcohol used in spirits), 70–100% 2-propanol (isopropyl alcohol), the combination of 45% 2-propanol with 30% 1-propanol, 0.21% sodium hypochlorite (bleach), 0.5% hydrogen peroxide, or 0.23–7.5% povidone-iodine. Soap and detergent are also effective if correctly used; soap products degrade the virus' fatty protective layer, deactivating it, as well as freeing them from skin and other surfaces. Other solutions, such as benzalkonium chloride and chlorhexidine gluconate (a surgical disinfectant), are less effective.
In a Hong Kong study, saliva samples were taken a median of two days after the start of hospitalization. In five of six patients, the first sample showed the highest viral load, and the sixth patient showed the highest viral load on the second day tested.
The term usually refers to acute viral bronchiolitis, a common disease in infancy. This is most commonly caused by respiratory syncytial virus (RSV, also known as human pneumovirus). Other viruses which may cause this illness include metapneumovirus, influenza, parainfluenza, coronavirus, adenovirus, and rhinovirus.
Children born prematurely (less than 35 weeks), with a low birth weight or who have from congenital heart disease may have higher rates of bronchiolitis and are more likely to require hospital admission. There is evidence that breastfeeding provides some protection against bronchiolitis.
Safe and effective adenovirus vaccines were developed for adenovirus serotypes 4 and 7, but were available only for preventing ARD among US military recruits, and production stopped in 1996. Strict attention to good infection-control practices is effective for stopping transmission in hospitals of adenovirus-associated disease, such as epidemic keratoconjunctivitis. Maintaining adequate levels of chlorination is necessary for preventing swimming pool-associated outbreaks of adenovirus conjunctivitis.
VAP occurring early after intubation typically involves fewer resistant organisms and is thus associated with a more favorable outcome. Because respiratory failure requiring mechanical ventilation is itself associated with a high mortality, determination of the exact contribution of VAP to mortality has been difficult. As of 2006, estimates range from 33% to 50% death in patients who develop VAP. Mortality is more likely when VAP is associated with certain microorganisms ("Pseudomonas", "Acinetobacter"), blood stream infections, and ineffective initial antibiotics. VAP is especially common in people who have acute respiratory distress syndrome (ARDS).
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.
Among the factors contributing to contracting HAP are mechanical ventilation (ventilator-associated pneumonia), old age, decreased filtration of inspired air, intrinsic respiratory, neurologic, or other disease states that result in respiratory tract obstruction, trauma, (abdominal) surgery, medications, diminished lung volumes, or decreased clearance of secretions may diminish the defenses of the lung. Also, poor hand-washing and inadequate disinfection of respiratory devices cause cross-infection and are important factors.
Most cases of COVID-19 are not severe enough to require mechanical ventilation or alternatives, but a percentage of cases are. The type of respiratory support for individuals with COVID-19 related respiratory failure is being actively studied for people in hospital, with some evidence that intubation can be avoided with a high flow nasal cannula or bi-level positive airway pressure. Whether either of these two leads to the same benefit for people who are critically ill is not known. Some doctors prefer staying with invasive mechanical ventilation when available because this technique limits the spread of aerosol particles compared to a high flow nasal cannula.
Severe cases are most common in older adults (those older than 60 years, and especially those older than 80 years). Many developed countries do not have enough hospital beds per capita, which limits a health system's capacity to handle a sudden spike in the number of COVID-19 cases severe enough to require hospitalisation. This limited capacity is a significant driver behind calls to "flatten the curve"—to lower the speed at which new cases occur and thus keep the number of persons sick at any one time lower. One study in China found 5% were admitted to intensive care units, 2.3% needed mechanical support of ventilation, and 1.4% died. In China, approximately 30% of people in hospital with COVID-19 are eventually admitted to ICU.
Bacteria are the most common cause of community-acquired pneumonia (CAP), with "Streptococcus pneumoniae" isolated in nearly 50% of cases. Other commonly isolated bacteria include "Haemophilus influenzae" in 20%, "Chlamydophila pneumoniae" in 13%, and "Mycoplasma pneumoniae" in 3% of cases; "Staphylococcus aureus"; "Moraxella catarrhalis"; "Legionella pneumophila" and Gram-negative bacilli. A number of drug-resistant versions of the above infections are becoming more common, including drug-resistant "Streptococcus pneumoniae" (DRSP) and methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA).
The spreading of organisms is facilitated when risk factors are present. Alcoholism is associated with "Streptococcus pneumoniae", anaerobic organisms, and "Mycobacterium tuberculosis"; smoking facilitates the effects of "Streptococcus pneumoniae", "Haemophilus influenzae", "Moraxella catarrhalis", and "Legionella pneumophila". Exposure to birds is associated with "Chlamydia psittaci"; farm animals with "Coxiella burnetti"; aspiration of stomach contents with anaerobic organisms; and cystic fibrosis with "Pseudomonas aeruginosa" and "Staphylococcus aureus". "Streptococcus pneumoniae" is more common in the winter, and should be suspected in persons aspirating a large amount of anaerobic organisms.
CAP may be prevented by treating underlying illnesses increasing its risk, by smoking cessation and vaccination of children and adults. Vaccination against "haemophilus influenzae" and "streptococcus pneumoniae" in the first year of life has reduced their role in childhood CAP. A vaccine against "streptococcus pneumoniae", available for adults, is recommended for healthy individuals over 65 and all adults with COPD, heart failure, diabetes mellitus, cirrhosis, alcoholism, cerebrospinal fluid leaks or who have had a splenectomy. Re-vaccination may be required after five or ten years.
Patients who are vaccinated against "streptococcus pneumoniae", health professionals, nursing-home residents and pregnant women should be vaccinated annually against influenza. During an outbreak, drugs such as amantadine, rimantadine, zanamivir and oseltamivir have been demonstrated to prevent influenza.
Community-acquired pneumonia (CAP) is acquired in the community, outside of health care facilities. Compared with health care–associated pneumonia, it is less likely to involve multidrug-resistant bacteria. Although the latter are no longer rare in CAP, they are still less likely.
Between 8 and 28% of patients receiving mechanical ventilation are affected by VAP. VAP can develop at any time during ventilation, but occurs most often in the first week of mechanical ventilation. There is some evidence for gender differences in the course of VAP: men have been found to get VAP more often, but women are more likely to die after contracting VAP.