Publications by authors named "Janice Borg"

4 Publications

  • Page 1 of 1

The first wave of COVID-19 in Malta; a national cross-sectional study.

PLoS One 2020 15;15(10):e0239389. Epub 2020 Oct 15.

Department of Infectious Diseases, Mater Dei Hospital, Msida, Malta.

Introduction: The COVID-19 pandemic has posed major challenges to all aspects of healthcare. Malta's population density, large proportion of elderly and high prevalence of diabetes and obesity put the country at risk of uncontrolled viral transmission and high mortality. Despite this, Malta achieved low mortality rates compared to figures overseas. The aim of this paper is to identify key factors that contributed to these favorable outcomes.

Methods: This is a retrospective, observational, nationwide study which evaluates outcomes of patients during the first wave of the pandemic in Malta, from the 7th of March to the 24th of April 2020. Data was collected on demographics and mode of transmission. Hospitalization rates to Malta's main general hospital, Mater Dei Hospital, length of in-hospital stay, intensive care unit admissions and 30-day mortality were also analyzed.

Results: There were 447 confirmed cases in total; 19.5% imported, 74.2% related to community transmission and 6.3% nosocomially transmitted. Ninety-three patients (20.8%) were hospitalized, of which 4 were children. Patients with moderate-severe disease received hydroxychloroquine and azithromycin, in line with evidence available at the time. A total of 4 deaths were recorded, resulting in an all-cause mortality of 0.89%. Importantly, all admitted patients with moderate-severe disease survived to 30-day follow up.

Conclusion: Effective public health interventions, widespread testing, remote surveillance of patients in the community and a low threshold for admission are likely to have contributed to these favorable outcomes. Hospital infection control measures were key in preventing significant nosocomial spread. These concepts can potentially be applied to stem future outbreaks of viral diseases. Patients with moderate-severe disease had excellent outcomes with no deaths reported at 30-day follow up.
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October 2020

Treatment of renal AA-Amyloidosis associated with human immunodeficiency virus infection: a case report.

CEN Case Rep 2021 02 5;10(1):88-93. Epub 2020 Sep 5.

Infectious Diseases Unit, Mater Dei Hospital, Triq Dun Karm, Msida, MSD 2090, Malta.

We present a case of a young adult male who was treated successfully for renal AA-amyloidosis secondary to human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) infection using highly active anti-retroviral therapy (HAART). He presented with lobar pneumonia, acute kidney injury, nephrotic syndrome and newly diagnosed HIV infection and was initiated on HARRT and haemodialysis. Kidney biopsy was consistent with amyloid deposition of the AA-type. His clinical condition improved gradually and after 10 months of therapy, he regained sufficient excretory function to become dialysis independent. Two years later, he remained well, with a recovered CD4 count and a glomerular filtration rate of 63 mL/min/1.73 m. Patients with renal AA-amyloidosis typically present with slowly progressive chronic kidney disease, often leading to end-stage kidney disease within months. To our knowledge, this is the first reported case of biopsy proven renal AA-amyloidosis in a newly diagnosed HIV positive patient to present with acute kidney injury leading to dialysis dependence over a period of 2 weeks, which was successfully treated using HAART.
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February 2021

Adult-onset Still's disease in a 73-year-old Maltese man.

BMJ Case Rep 2020 Aug 27;13(8). Epub 2020 Aug 27.

Department of Rheumatology, Mater Dei Hospital, Msida, Malta.

Adult-onset Still's disease (AOSD) is a rare autoinflammatory condition diagnosed by Yamaguchi criteria. We report an atypical presentation of a 73-year-old man, who was admitted with fever, sore throat and pleurisy that were unresponsive to three courses of antibiotics. Fever persisted in a quotidian pattern and the typical salmon-coloured rash consistent with AOSD appeared at 4 weeks from symptoms onset. These features in addition to neutrophilia and hyperferritinaemia in the absence of concurrent infectious and neoplastic causes satisfied Yamaguchi criteria for a diagnosis of AOSD. Epstein-Barr antigen was initially detected at moderate titre levels, but was undetectable after 1 week. Complete resolution of symptoms was reported on initiation of steroid treatment. A relationship between disease onset and viral syndromes has been documented to occur and few similar cases preceded by Epstein-Barr virus detection have been reported.
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August 2020

Haemoptysis following shallow breath-hold diving in a cannabis user.

BMJ Case Rep 2020 Jun 9;13(6). Epub 2020 Jun 9.

Respiratory, Mater Dei Hospital, Msida, Malta.

We report the first case of a healthy 24-year-old male with a 6-year history of regular cannabis use, who presented with haemoptysis after a shallow 3 m breath-hold dive. Blood investigations showed mild neutrophilia. CT thorax revealed focal ground-glass changes in the superior segment of the lower lobe. With a suspicion of pneumonia, oral antibiotics were initiated to poor effect. Through bronchoscopic visualisation and lavage, a diagnosis of diffuse alveolar haemorrhage was established. The clinical course was benign with resolution of symptoms and changes on CT thorax within 6 weeks of stopping marijuana use. Since all other causes of haemoptysis were excluded, pathophysiology was attributed to cannabis-induced lung parenchymal damage, exacerbated by a shallow breath-hold dive. To ensure appropriate management, a clinician should therefore have a high index of suspicion for drug use and other factors known to cause chronic lung damage in whom other causes of diffuse alveolar haemorrhage are excluded.
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June 2020