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COVID-19 infectivity profile correction

Viewpoint
Ashcroft P, Huisman JS, Lehtinen S, Bouman JA, Althaus CL, Regoes RR, Bonhoeffer S
Swiss Med Wkly. 2020;150:w20336

Presymptomatic infections are spread over a longer time period before symptom onset than previously thought, which can have significant ramifications for contact tracing efforts.

Examinations and assessments in patients with a newly acquired spinal cord injury – retrospective chart analysis as part of a quality improvement project

Original article
Scheel-Sailer A, Sailer CO, Lampart P, Baumberger M, Berger M, Mueller G, Sigrist-Nix D, Schmitt K, Siepmann T, Pannek J
Swiss Med Wkly. 2020;150:w20291

The data presented here suggest a relevant gap between recommendations and clinical routine for time to some assessments after spinal cord injury. Within the framework of a quality improvement project, the next steps should be to build a national and international consensus on specific time frames for examinations and assessments in patients with a newly acquired spinal cord injury and thereafter, to develop an institutional implementation strategy.

First case of Cryptococcus gattii multilobar pneumonia in Switzerland and associated challenges

Original article
Colucci N, Teasca L, Riat A, Lazarevic V, Van Delden C, Berney T, Toso C, Neofytos D
Swiss Med Wkly. 2020;150:w20306

This case illustrates the potential complications of a cryptococcal infection in immunosuppressed hosts, despite timely diagnosis and appropriate antifungal therapy.

Iron overload associated symptoms and laboratory changes in the Swiss Haemochromatosis Cohort – when a clinician should become attentive

Original article
Kölmel S, Nowak A, Krayenbuehl PA
Swiss Med Wkly. 2020;150:w20294

Elevated ALT levels and metacarpophalangeal arthropathy remained independently associated with elevated ferritin levels in patients with haemochromatosis and should prompt clinicians to consider iron overload in patients with hereditary haemochromatosis.

To test or not to test, and how … copeptin, please advise!

Viewpoint
Rutishauser J
Swiss Med Wkly. 2020;150:w20292

The differential diagnosis of the polyuria-polydipsia syndrome has been notoriously cumbersome, often involving some modified form of the indirect water deprivation test. Furthermore, published vasopressin ranges for the various forms of diabetes insipidus overlap; and reliable assays, tedious and time consuming as they are, never found their way into clinical routine. Now, the introduction of a routine-proof assay for copeptin, the biochemically stable C-terminal glycopeptide segment of the vasopressin prohormone, paved the way out of this stalemate.

Data-driven inference of the reproduction number for COVID-19 before and after interventions for 51 European countries

Original article
Karnakov P, Arampatzis G, Kičić I, Wermelinger F, Wälchli D, Papadimitriou C, Koumoutsakos P
Swiss Med Wkly. 2020;150:w20313

The authors present an online tool for the data-driven inference and quantification of uncertainties for the reproduction number, as well as the time points of interventions for 51 European countries.  The results quantify the rate of the disease’s spread before and after interventions and provide a metric for the effectiveness of non-pharmaceutical interventions in different countries.

A research agenda for digital proximity tracing apps

Viewpoint
von Wyl V, Bonhoeffer S, Bugnion E, Puhan MA, Salathé M, Stadler T, Troncoso C, Vayena E, Low N
Swiss Med Wkly. 2020;150:w20324

It is likely that there is only a limited time window for the optimisation of the proximity tracing app and promotion of substantial population uptake. It will be all the more important that research programmes allow data-driven, evidence-based optimisations, and information for the public about the benefits, harms and costs of proximity tracing apps.

A significant increase in exercise test performance with virtual group motivation: a randomised open-label controlled trial

Original article
Wilzeck VC, Hufschmid J, Bischof L, Hansi C, Nägele MP, Beer JH, Hufschmid U
Swiss Med Wkly. 2020;150:w20287

Patients watching a video of a running group achieved significantly higher maximum exercise levels and longer test durations. This may have implications for the test’s validity. Furthermore, the virtual setting enhanced patient comfort.

Characteristics, predictors and outcomes among 99 patients hospitalised with COVID-19 in a tertiary care centre in Switzerland: an observational analysis

Original article
Gregoriano C, Koch D, Haubitz S, Conen A, Fux CA, Mueller B, Bernasconi L, Hammerer-Lercher A, Oberle M, Burgermeister S, Reiter H, Kutz A, Schuetz P
Swiss Med Wkly. 2020;150:w20316

This analysis provides insights into the first consecutively hospitalised patients with confirmed COVID-19 at a Swiss tertiary care hospital during the initial period of the pandemic. Markers of disease progression such as inflammatory markers, markers for shock and impaired respiratory function provided the most prognostic information regarding severe COVID-19 progression in this sample.

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