Publications by authors named "Tonio V Piscopo"

3 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


Postgrad Med J 2007 Feb;83(976):649-57

St Luke's Hospital, Guardamangia Hill, Guardamangia, MSD 09, Malta.

Epidemiology, disease patterns, immunology, diagnosis, treatment and control measures of leishmaniasis are described. Various issues relating to leishmaniasis are highlighted: the relative lack of importance given to this disease compared with other infections, climate change and its possible impact on extension of endemicity of this infection, and new diagnostic tests which are improving diagnosis, especially in resource poor areas. Other important aspects discussed include the potential for newer oral therapy to change the way this disease is managed; Leishmania-HIV coinfection and groups at risk; and development of an effective vaccine.
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February 2007

Serum creatine phosphokinase monitoring in patients infected with HIV.

Int J STD AIDS 2006 Jan;17(1):61-2

Worcestershire HIV Clinic, Worcestershire Acute Hospitals NHS Trust, Worcestershire Royal Hospital, Charles Hastings Way, Worcester WR5 1DD, UK.

Creatine phosphokinase (CPK) estimations are done routinely in some HIV clinics, irrespective of patient symptoms. We studied patients attending the Worcestershire HIV clinic between 1987 and 2001 to identify whether routine elevations in serum levels of CPK in patients with HIV were associated with clinical features of muscle disease (CFMD), and whether such elevations influenced patient management. There was no association between CFMD and a rise in CPK. Major rises of CPK >400 IU/L were significantly associated with CFMD. No individual had a persistent CPK rise >200 IU/L without CFMD. In the great majority of cases, there was no change in management consequent to enzyme rises. In patients with HIV infection and no CFMD, the chance of finding a major and persistent CPK rise is low. This study does not support the practice of routine monitoring of CPK in asymptomatic patients attending HIV clinics.
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January 2006