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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.

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.

Patterns of cross-sectional and predictive physical activity in Swiss adults aged 52+: results from the SAPALDIA cohort

Original article
Aebi NJ, Bringolf-Isler B, Schaffner E, Caviezel S, Imboden M, Probst-Hensch N
Swiss Med Wkly. 2020;150:w20266

The high proportion of sedentary behaviour points to the need of physical activity promotion for the older part of the population in Switzerland. According to our data, behavioural changes in physical activity are possible and sustainable as we can see in the group of participants becoming active and this is essential for health promotion recommendations.

Prevalence of tuberculosis in migrant children in Switzerland and relevance of current screening guidelines

Original article
Boukamel M, Fougère Y, Gehri M, Suris JC, Rochat I, Miletto D, Kyrilli S, Fouriki A, Crisinel PA
Swiss Med Wkly. 2020;150:w20253

Screening migrant children ≥5 years of age for tuberculosis could confer a public health benefit even in the absence of other risk factors. The limit of tuberculin skin test positivity could be raised from ≥5 mm to ≥10 mm to decrease the rate of false-positive results.

Assessing the impact of non-pharmaceutical interventions on SARS-CoV-2 transmission in Switzerland

Original article
Lemaitre JC, Perez-Saez J, Azman AS, Rinaldo A, Fellay J
Swiss Med Wkly. 2020;150:w20295

Current estimates of time-varying R0 in Switzerland well below one are promising. However, as of 24 April 2020, at least 96% of the Swiss population remains susceptible to SARS-CoV-2. These results warrant a cautious relaxation of social distance practices and close monitoring of changes in both the basic and effective reproduction numbers.

High prevalence of severe vitamin D deficiency during the first trimester in pregnant women in Switzerland and its potential contributions to adverse outcomes in the pregnancy

Original article
Christoph P, Challande P, Raio L, Surbek D
Swiss Med Wkly. 2020;150:w20238

The current recommendations of vitamin D supplementation of 600 IU in pregnant women are insufficient, and novel strategies seem mandatory, potentially leading to improved maternal health and benefits to children’s long-term health in Switzerland and worldwide.

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