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Gesundheitswesen ; 82(5): 389-391, 2020 May.
Article in German | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-155364


AIM: The aim of the article is to point out the important role of prevention and reduction of mental stress in the general population and in sensitive groups in the context of the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic. METHODS: This article includes the analysis and evaluation of studies and recommendations from organizations such as the World Health Organization (WHO) that have examined the psychological consequences of epidemics/pandemics on people and their impact on the further course. RESULTS: Fear-related behaviors can adversely affect the course of epidemics. Past outbreaks of infectious diseases (Ebola and Zika virus) have shown that maladaptive behavior, related to increased psychological stress and anxiety, can interfere with the implementation of treatment strategies and actions and can contribute to a further spread. Hereby, strategies for dealing with infectious diseases, that include the suppression of fear, can trigger a vicious circle in which fear and suppression mutually reinforce each other. CONCLUSION: The COVID-19 pandemic poses an immense challenge to governments, health systems and people, with an uncertain outcome, which is associated with a significant burden of mental health in the population. In line with WHO recommendations, national guidelines and preventive measures should include the psychological consequences, the acceptance and normalization of fears and the promotion of resilience in the population in dealing with COVID-19 in order to counteract a further spread.

Betacoronavirus , Coronavirus Infections , Pandemics , Pneumonia, Viral , COVID-19 , Germany , Humans , Mental Health , Public Health , SARS-CoV-2 , Zika Virus , Zika Virus Infection