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Maternal mortality in Switzerland 2005–2014

Original article
Perotto L, Zimmermann R, Quack Lötscher KC
Swiss Med Wkly. 2020;150:w20345

The trend of reducing direct maternal mortality as well as lethality after caesarean section continues. Haemorrhage is still the leading cause of direct maternal mortality. Indirect maternal mortality is increasing and specifically suicides need special attention.

Candida auris – recommendations on infection prevention and control measures in Switzerland

Review article: Medical guidelines
Vuichard-Gysin D, Sommerstein R, Martischang R, Harbarth S, Kuster SP, Senn L, Widmer A
Swiss Med Wkly. 2020;150:w20297

Candida auris, a globally emerging pathogen, has been repeatedly introduced into European healthcare settings, leading to large and long-lasting nosocomial outbreaks. The pathogen has already been isolated in Switzerland, requiring clinicians and microbiologists to become alert.

Overweight and obesity in 5- to 6-year-old schoolchildren in Switzerland from 2003 to 2018

Original article
Narvaez LF, Mahler P, Thadikkaran-Salomon L, Jeannot E
Swiss Med Wkly. 2020;150:w20309

The authors present a cross-sectional study, conducted in public schools in Geneva from 2003–2004 to 2017–2018. They observed a stabilisation in the prevalence of overweight and obesity in childhood, which is consistent with results from other Swiss cities, as well as in some other countries worldwide. A relatively marked and statistically significant increase in the prevalence of obesity since 2010 was observed for both sexes in this age group.

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.

Do fathers care about their own immunisation status? The Child-Parent-Immunisation Survey and a review of the literature

Original article
Erb ML, Erlanger TE, Heininger U
Swiss Med Wkly. 2020;150:w20289

This is the first study to analyse the complete immunisation status of fathers of young children. It is often incomplete with potentially missed opportunities for updating vaccinations during recent physician consultations. 

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.

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.

A pitfall in estimating the effective reproductive number Rt for COVID-19

Viewpoint
Petermann M, Wyler D
Swiss Med Wkly. 2020;150:w20307

The effective reproductive number Rt of COVID-19 is determined indirectly from data that are only incompletely known. Approaches based on reconstructing these data by sampling time lags from suitable distributions introduce noise effects that can result in distorted estimates of Rt. This, in turn, may lead to misleading interpretations of the efficacy of the various measures taken to limit COVID-19 transmission.

Social, cultural and experiential patterning of attitudes and behaviour towards assisted suicide in Switzerland: evidence from a national population-based study

Original article
Vilpert S, Bolliger E, Borrat-Besson C, Borasio GD, Maurer J
Swiss Med Wkly. 2020;150:w20275

Switzerland has the longest history of the legal practice of non-physician assisted suicide of any country. Assisted suicide is not very tightly regulated in Switzerland, and almost all assisted suicides are supported by a right-to-die organisation.

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