There is a lower prevalence of SARS-CoV-2 infection among people with CF compared with those in the general population as well as a lower rate of hospitalization, according to results published in the Journal of Cystic Fibrosis.
A multicenter, retrospective cohort study was conducted to evaluate the following: (1) the prevalence of COVID-19 infection in pwCF in New York; (2) the clinical characteristics, disease management, and outcomes associated with COVID-19 in pwCF; (3) the delays encountered in routine outpatient CF care; and (4) the effect of COVID-19 on the mental health of pwCF during the first COVID-19 wave.
The researchers hypothesized that the prevalence of COVID-19 would be lower in pwCF than in the general NY population, based on their observation of cases of COVID-19 within their centers and early international data. The investigation included pwCF in NY between March 1, 2020, and August 31, 2020, at 6 adult and 6 pediatric CF Centers (ie, Northwell Health, Mount Sinai Beth Israel, New York Medical College, New York Presbyterian-Columbia University Irving Medical Center, New York University Langone Health, and Stony Brook University Hospital).
In all participants, COVID-19 infection was diagnosed with the use of polymerase chain reaction (PCR) or immunoglobulin G (IgG) antibody positivity during the study period. The testing approach that was used and the timing were based on clinical indication and patient accessibility. In some of the centers, in-person clinic visits ceased by March 13, 2020, resuming as early as May 15, 2020, or as late as July 28, 2020, while telehealth visits were implemented.
During the first wave of the pandemic, those patients suspected of having COVID-19 underwent PCR testing. Most of the PCR tests were administered at urgent care centers or makeshift swabbing sites during the initial wave of the pandemic. By May 2020, antibody testing became available in New York and was carried out prior to the availability of vaccination in December 2020, thus eliminating the possibility of immunity from vaccination.