Predicted Impact of COVID-19 on Neglected Tropical Disease Programs and the Opportunity for Innovation

Toor, J and Adams, E R and Aliee, M and Amoah, B and Anderson, R M and Ayabina, D and Bailey, R and Basáñez, M G and Blok, D J and Blumberg, S and Borlase, A and Rivera, R C and Castaño, M S and Chitnis, N and Coffeng, L E and Crump, R E and Das, A and Davis, C N and Davis, E L and Deiner, M S and Diggle, P J and Fronterre, C and Giardina, F and Giorgi, E and Graham, M and Hamley, J I D and Huang, C I and Kura, K and Lietman, T M and Lucas, T C D and Malizia, V and Medley, G F and Meeyai, A and Michael, E and Porco, T C and Prada, J M and Rock, K S and Le Rutte, E A and Smith, M E and Spencer, S E F and Stolk, W A and Touloupou, P and Vasconcelos, A and Vegvari, C and de Vlas, S J and Walker, M and Hollingsworth, T D (2020) Predicted Impact of COVID-19 on Neglected Tropical Disease Programs and the Opportunity for Innovation. Clinical Infectious Diseases. ISSN 1537-6591

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Abstract

Abstract Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, many key neglected tropical disease (NTD) activities have been postponed. This hindrance comes at a time when the NTDs are progressing towards their ambitious goals for 2030. Mathematical modelling on several NTDs, namely gambiense sleeping sickness, lymphatic filariasis, onchocerciasis, schistosomiasis, soil-transmitted helminthiases (STH), trachoma, and visceral leishmaniasis, shows that the impact of this disruption will vary across the diseases. Programs face a risk of resurgence, which will be fastest in high-transmission areas. Furthermore, of the mass drug administration diseases, schistosomiasis, STH, and trachoma are likely to encounter faster resurgence. The case-finding diseases (gambiense sleeping sickness and visceral leishmaniasis) are likely to have fewer cases being detected but may face an increasing underlying rate of new infections. However, once programs are able to resume, there are ways to mitigate the impact and accelerate progress towards the 2030 goals.

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