Publications by authors named "Maria-Alessandra Zammit"

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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http://journals.plos.org/plosone/article?id=10.1371/journal.pone.0239389PLOS
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7561161PMC
October 2020

Complications of measles: a case series.

BMJ Case Rep 2020 Feb 17;13(2). Epub 2020 Feb 17.

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

Measles, which was once thought to be a disappearing viral infection due to effective vaccination, has been re-emerging globally, with increasing cases in adolescents and adults. This has been attributed to anti-vaccination campaigning in the early 21st century, which has resulted in a drop in overall herd immunity. In this case series we report three patients with complications secondary to measles who presented to a hospital in Malta in 2019. Through this series, we discuss the range of possible complications caused by the measles virus, ranging from mild viraemic symptoms to multiorgan involvement which could possibly lead to high-dependency care and may even be fatal. We also highlight recent global statistics which reflect the exponential increase in the incidence of measles, with a special focus on Europe. It is emphasised that vaccine education and compliance with the two-dose measles vaccine should be implemented worldwide.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1136/bcr-2019-232408DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7206919PMC
February 2020

Influenza A: another cause of SIADH?

BMJ Case Rep 2018 Oct 17;2018. Epub 2018 Oct 17.

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

The syndrome of inappropriate antidiuretic hormone (SIADH) secretion is a frequent cause of hyponatraemia. It is a dilutional hyponatraemia secondary to impaired urinary dilution in the absence of renal disease or any identifiable non-osmotic stimulus known to induce antidiuretic hormone secretion. SIADH can arise secondary to various respiratory tract infections; however, the association between SIADH and influenza A infection is described in only a few cases in the literature. The authors present a case report of influenza A that may have caused a profound SIADH-related hyponatraemia.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1136/bcr-2018-226154DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6254460PMC
October 2018

Multifocal necrotising fasciitis and septic shock complicating varicella infection in an adult.

BMJ Case Rep 2013 Oct 15;2013. Epub 2013 Oct 15.

University of Malta, Msida, Malta.

A 35-year-old woman with a 3-day history of chickenpox, presented to the hospital in septic shock and with multifocal, non-adjacent lesions of necrotising fasciitis. Necrotising fasciitis is a rare yet life-threatening complication of chickenpox. Blood cultures and wound swabs confirmed the presence of Streptococcus pyogenes. The initial emergency management included oxygen, aggressive fluid resuscitation and antimicrobial therapy. Once the patient was stabilised, surgical management ensued. This included debridement and eventual grafting of the necrotic skin lesions. Intensive management and follow-up for 8 weeks were required before the patient was deemed fit for discharge.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1136/bcr-2013-201984DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3822241PMC
October 2013