Journal Encyclopedia - Peer-Reviewed Content
Simple Formulae, Deep Learning and Elaborate Modeling for the Covid-19 Pandemic

Predictive modelling of infectious diseases is very important in planning public health policies, particularly during outbreaks. This work reviews the forecasting and mechanistic models published earlier. It is emphasized that researchers’ forecasting models exhibit, for large t, algebraic behavior, as opposed to the exponential behavior of the classical logistic-type models used usually in epidemics. Remarkably, a newly introduced mechanistic model also exhibits, for large t, algebraic behavior in contrast to the usual Susceptible-Exposed-Infectious-Removed (SEIR) models, which exhibit exponential behavior. The unexpected success of researchers’ simple forecasting models provides a strong support for the validity of this novel mechanistic model. It is also shown that the mathematical tools used for the analysis of the first wave may also be useful for the analysis of subsequent waves of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Dental Patients’ Perspective on COVID-19: A Systematic Review

The COVID-19 epidemic has changed patients’ approach to dental treatments. While dentists worldwide have shown an excellent level of adaptability to face the new challenges presented by the unprecedented situation due to the rapid spread of COVID-19, dental patients have witnessed a sudden suspension of elective treatments and a slow resumption of dental care activities after several national lockdowns. In addition, the general climate of anxiety and fear due to the high COVID-19 risk and the high level of mortality has influenced the perception and attitudes of people towards dental activity, inducing many dental patients to avoid appointments to the dentist if not highly urgent. We present an overview of the current state of knowledge about dental patients’ perception, perspective, attitude, and expectations towards a full resumption of regular dental treatments.

Anxiety, Depression, and Other Emotional Disorders during the COVID-19 Pandemic: A Narrative Review of the Risk Factors and Risk Groups

The COVID-19 pandemic has affected many aspects of our lives, including mental health. Identifying risk factors and risk groups associated with anxiety, depression, and other emotional disorders for reasons related to the COVID-19 pandemic is highly relevant. This narrative review aims to summarize the evidence to date on risk factors for emotional disorders during the COVID-19 pandemic in order to identify the risk groups of people in need of early psychiatric and psychological assistance, point out the controversial data on the influence of risk factors on emotional disorders in COVID-19, and finally offer recommendations for alleviating symptoms of anxiety, depression, and other emotional disorders in such people. According to the current literature, being under the age of 40, being female, having contact with a COVID-infected person, and watching the news about COVID-19 for more than 3 h a day all increase the likelihood of anxiety, depression, and sleep disturbances. Healthcare workers, particularly nurses, working in the COVID-19 hot zone suffer more from sleep disorders, anxiety, and depression. It is also noted that people with a previous psychiatric history, in addition to increased risks of anxiety and depression, have an increased risk of relapse during the COVID-19 pandemic. The same is true for people who have had episodes of substance abuse in the past. Aside from socioeconomic factors, the mental wellbeing of those who have had COVID-19 is also impacted by biological factors (using anti-COVID-19 drugs, COVID-19-associated immunothrombosis and venous thromboembolism, interferon-gamma-related cytokine storm, etc.), resulting in a wide range of acute and long-term cognitive disorders. During the restricted resource time, the aforementioned risk groups should be prioritized for prevention, early identification, and proper treatment of potential emotional disorders. The risk factors that were found in this narrative review, as well as how they interact and change over time, will help understand why some studies of at-risk groups do not agree with each other, justify new preventive measures, and strengthen existing programs to keep people’s mental health in check during this pandemic and other emergencies.

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