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COVID-19 and cardiovascular disease: what have we learned?

Viewpoint
Tessitore E, Meyer P
Swiss Med Wkly. 2020;150:w20452

As of 10 December, 82,127 citations were found in PubMed on COVID-19 and 5285 when “COVID-19 and cardiovascular disease” were used as search words. Many cardiovascular societies have also released statements regarding COVID-19. What have we learned from this incredible scientific excitement?

In the eye of the hurricane: the Swiss COVID-19 pandemic stepwise shutdown approach in organ donation and transplantation

Original article
Immer F, Benden C, Elmer A, Krügel N, Nyfeler S, Nebiker M, Wilhlem M, Hirzel C, National Committee for Organ Donation (CNDO), Medical Committee (CM) and Swisstransplant Infectious Diseases Working Group (STAI)
Swiss Med Wkly. 2020;150:w20447

The Swiss stepwise shutdown approach in organ donation and transplantation helped to maintain a limited national organ procurement and vital organ transplant activity, avoiding a complete nationwide shutdown of organ donation and transplant activity. 

SARS-CoV-2 / COVID-19 in patients on the Swiss national transplant waiting list

Original article
Benden C, Haile S, Kruegel N, Beyeler F, Aubert JD, Binet I, Golshayan D, Hadaya K, Mueller T, Parvex P, Immer F
Swiss Med Wkly. 2020;150:w20451

The impact of coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) on patients listed for solid organ transplantation has not been systematically investigated to date. The authors of this study assessed occurrence and effects of infections with SARS-CoV-2 on patients on the Swiss national waiting list for solid organ transplantation.

Impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on acute coronary syndromes

Original article
Perrin N, Iglesias JF, Rey F, Benzakour L, Cimci M, Noble S, Degrauwe S, Tessitore E, Mach F, Roffi M
Swiss Med Wkly. 2020;150:w20448

Prolonged delays from symptom onset to first medical contact and a decline in overall ACS incidence were observed during the first wave of the COVID-19 pandemic, with a higher threshold to call for help among ACS patients.

Cardiovascular aspects of COVID-19

Review article: Biomedical intelligence
Eberli FR, Kurz D
Swiss Med Wkly. 2020;150:w20417

In this review, findings and debates relating to the diverse aspects of cardiovascular involvement of COVID-19 are summarised and put into perspective. The authors review evidence for the role of the renin-angiotensin-aldosterone system (RAAS), the risk of pre-existing cardiovascular disease in COVID-19 susceptibility and course, and the mechanism of acute and long-term myocardial injury.

Early experimental COVID-19 therapies: associations with length of hospital stay, mortality and related costs

Original article
Vernaz N, Agoritsas T, Calmy A, Gayet-Ageron A, Gold G, Perrier A, Picard F, Prendki V, Reny JL, Samer C, Stirnemann J, Vetter P, Zanella MC, Zekry D, Baggio S
Swiss Med Wkly. 2020;150:w20446

Prescribing experimental therapies for COVID-19 was not associated with a reduced length of hospital stay and might have increased the pressure put on healthcare systems.

The Swiss STAR trial – an evaluation of target groups for sexually transmitted infection screening in the sub-sample of women

Original article
Vernazza PL, Rasi M, Ritzler M, Dost F, Stoffel M, Aebi-Popp K, Hauser CV, Esson C, Lange K, Risch L, Schmidt AJ
Swiss Med Wkly. 2020;150:w20393

HIV and HCV do not appear to pose a major public health problem among female sex workers in Switzerland, whereas vaccination against HBV should be promoted. Female sex workers showed high rates of sexually transmitted infections requiring treatment to reduce transmission to clients and/or steady partners. Female sex workers should be offered low-cost or free STI screening as a public health priority.

The Swiss STAR trial – an evaluation of target groups for sexually transmitted infection screening in the sub-sample of men

Original article
Schmidt AJ, Rasi M, Esson C, Christinet V, Ritzler M, Lung T, Hauser CV, Stöckle M, Jouinot F, Lehner A, Lange K, Konrad T, Vernazza PL
Swiss Med Wkly. 2020;150:w20392

Among men who have sex with men (MSM), but not among other multi-partner men, sexually transmitted infections, mostly asymptomatic, are common. Given the high risk of onward transmission, low-cost or free routine screening of multi-partner MSM is a public health priority.

Optimal allocation of limited test resources for the quantification of COVID-19 infections

Original article
Chatzimanolakis M, Weber P, Arampatzis G, Wälchli D, Kičić I, Karnakov P, Papadimitriou C, Koumoutsakos P
Swiss Med Wkly. 2020;150:w20445

The proposed methodology can lead to vastly less uncertain predictions for the spread of the disease, thus improving estimates of the effective reproduction number and the future number of unreported infections. This information can provide timely and systematic guidance for the effective identification of infectious individuals and for decision-making regarding lockdown measures and the distribution of vaccines.

Early evidence of effectiveness of digital contact tracing for SARS-CoV-2 in Switzerland

Original article
Salathé M, Althaus C, Anderegg N, Antonioli D, Ballouz T, Bugnon E, Čapkun S, Jackson D, Kim SI, Larus J, Low N, Lueks W, Menges D, Moullet C, Payer M, Riou J, Stadler T, Troncoso C, Vayena E, von Wyl V
Swiss Med Wkly. 2020;150:w20457

Digital contact tracing is an effective complementary tool for controlling the spread of SARS-CoV-2. Continued technical improvement and international compatibility can further increase the efficacy, particularly also across country borders.

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