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Implications of the COVID-19 pandemic in eliminating trachoma as a public health problem.

Abstract

If the pandemic can motivate judicious, community-specific implementation of control strategies, global elimination of trachoma as a public health problem could be accelerated.

We identify three distinct scenarios for geographic districts depending on whether the basic reproduction number and the treatment-associated reproduction number are above or below a value of 1. We find that when the basic reproduction number is 1, significant delays can occur. In most districts, 1 y of COVID-related delay can be mitigated by a single extra round of mass drug administration. However, supercritical districts require a new paradigm of infection control because the current strategies will not eliminate disease.

Progress towards elimination of trachoma as a public health problem has been substantial, but the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic has disrupted community-based control efforts.

We use a susceptible-infected model to estimate the impact of delayed distribution of azithromycin treatment on the prevalence of active trachoma.

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