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1.
Euro Surveill ; 27(22)2022 Jun.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1879391

ABSTRACT

German national surveillance data analysis shows that hospitalisation odds associated with Omicron lineage BA.1 or BA.2 infections are up to 80% lower than with Delta infection, primarily in ≥ 35-year-olds. Hospitalised vaccinated Omicron cases' proportions (2.3% for both lineages) seemed lower than those of the unvaccinated (4.4% for both lineages). Independent of vaccination status, the hospitalisation frequency among cases with Delta seemed nearly threefold higher (8.3%) than with Omicron (3.0% for both lineages), suggesting that Omicron inherently causes less severe disease.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , SARS-CoV-2 , Germany/epidemiology , Humans , SARS-CoV-2/genetics , Severity of Illness Index
2.
Influenza Other Respir Viruses ; 2022 Apr 29.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1822050

ABSTRACT

Based on our national outpatient sentinel surveillance, we have developed a novel approach to determine respiratory syncytial virus (RSV) epidemic seasons in Germany by using RSV positivity rate and its lower limit of 95% confidence interval. This method was evaluated retrospectively on nine RSV seasons, and it is also well-suited to describe off-season circulation of RSV in near real time as observed for seasons 2020/21 and 2021/22 during the COVID-19 pandemic. Prospective application is of crucial importance to enable timely actions for health service delivery and prevention.

3.
EuropePMC;
Preprint in English | EuropePMC | ID: ppcovidwho-327624

ABSTRACT

Objective: With the emergence of coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) countries had to establish COVID-19 surveillance by adapting existing systems, such as the mandatory notification system and syndromic surveillance systems. We estimated COVID-19 hospitalization and ICU burden from existing severe acute respiratory infections (SARI) surveillance and compared it to COVID-19 notification data. Methods: Using data from the ICD-10 based hospital sentinel, we estimated SARI incidence and validated our estimations retrospectively using full population data. We estimated age-specific incidences for COVID-19 hospitalization and ICU for the first three COVID-19 waves in Germany, based on information of SARI cases (COVID-SARI). We compared these estimations to hospitalization and ICU burden of COVID-19 from notification data and described potential underreporting of hospitalizations in notification data. Findings: The estimation of SARI incidence from sentinel data corresponded very well to full population data. The estimated COVID-SARI incidence matched the notified COVID-19 hospitalization incidence in the first wave, but was much higher during the second and the third wave. The proportion of unknown hospitalization status among notified COVID-19 cases was much higher in the later waves compared to the first wave. For all waves, the ICU incidence estimated from COVID-SARI was considerably higher than the results from notification data. Conclusion: The use of SARI sentinel data adds valid and important information for assessing COVID-19 hospitalization and ICU burden, especially in times with high case numbers where notification data may be more incomplete.

4.
J Health Monit ; 5(Suppl 11): 2-19, 2021 Feb.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1687803

ABSTRACT

As of December 31, 2019, initial reports circulated internationally of an unusual cluster of pneumonia of unknown cause in China. By the end of January 2020, the virus affected Germany with the first case confirmed on January 27, 2020. Intensive contact tracing and infection control measures contained the first two clusters in the country. However, the dynamic of the first wave gained momentum as of March, and by mid-June 2020 over 190,000 laboratory-confirmed cases had been reported to the Robert Koch Institute. This article examines these cases as part of a retrospective descriptive analysis focused on disease severity. Most cases (80%) were mild and two thirds of the cases were younger than 60 years (median age: 50 years). Severe cases were primarily reported among men aged 60 or over who had at least one risk factor (particularly cardiovascular disease, diabetes, neurological disorders and/or lung diseases). Cases between the ages of 40 and 59 years had the longest interval between symptom onset and hospitalisation (median: six days) and - if admitted to an intensive care unit (ICU) - also the longest ICU stay (median: eleven days). This analysis provides valuable information about disease severity of COVID-19 and particularly affected groups.

5.
BMC Public Health ; 22(1): 98, 2022 01 14.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1635918

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: During the SARS-CoV-2 pandemic, German early childhood education and care (ECEC) centres organised children's attendance in different ways, they reduced opening hours, provided emergency support for a few children, or closed completely. Further, protection and hygiene measures like fixed children-staff groups, ventilation and surface disinfection were introduced in ECEC centres. To inform or modify public health measures in ECEC, we investigate the occurrence of SARS-CoV-2 infections among children and staff in ECEC centres in light of social determinants (i.e. the socioeconomic status of the children) and recommended structural and hygiene measures. We focus on the question if the relevant factors differ between the 2nd (when no variant of concern (VOC) circulated) and the 3rd wave (when VOC B.1.1.7 (Alpha) predominated). METHODS: Based on panel data from a weekly online survey of ECEC centre managers (calendar week 36/2020 to 22/2021, ongoing) including approx. 8500 centres, we estimate the number of SARS-CoV-2 infections in children and staff using random-effect-within-between (REWB) panel models for count data in the 2nd and 3rd wave. RESULTS: ECEC centres with a high proportion of children with low socioeconomic status (SES) have a higher risk of infections in staff and children. Strict contact restrictions between groups like fixed group assignments for children and fixed staff assignments to groups prevent infections. Both effects tend to be stronger in the 3rd wave. CONCLUSION: ECEC centres with a large proportion of children with a low SES background and lack of using fixed child/staff cohorts experience higher COVID-19 rates. Over the long run, centres should be supported in maintaining recommended measures. Preventive measures such as the vaccination of staff should be prioritised in centres with large proportions of low SES children.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , SARS-CoV-2 , Child , Child, Preschool , Day Care, Medical , Germany/epidemiology , Humans , Pandemics
6.
Front Public Health ; 9: 773850, 2021.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1607729

ABSTRACT

Introduction: Until today, the role of children in the transmission dynamics of SARS-CoV-2 and the development of the COVID-19 pandemic seems to be dynamic and is not finally resolved. The primary aim of this study is to investigate the transmission dynamics of SARS-CoV-2 in child day care centers and connected households as well as transmission-related indicators and clinical symptoms among children and adults. Methods and Analysis: COALA ("Corona outbreak-related examinations in day care centers") is a day care center- and household-based study with a case-ascertained study design. Based on day care centers with at least one reported case of SARS-CoV-2, we include one- to six-year-old children and staff of the affected group in the day care center as well as their respective households. We visit each child's and adult's household. During the home visit we take from each household member a combined mouth and nose swab as well as a saliva sample for analysis of SARS-CoV-2-RNA by real-time reverse transcription polymerase chain reaction (real-time RT-PCR) and a capillary blood sample for a retrospective assessment of an earlier SARS-CoV-2 infection. Furthermore, information on health status, socio-demographics and COVID-19 protective measures are collected via a short telephone interview in the subsequent days. In the following 12 days, household members (or parents for their children) self-collect the same respiratory samples as described above every 3 days and a stool sample for children once. COVID-19 symptoms are documented daily in a symptom diary. Approximately 35 days after testing the index case, every participant who tested positive for SARS-CoV-2 during the study is re-visited at home for another capillary blood sample and a standardized interview. The analysis includes secondary attack rates, by age of primary case, both in the day care center and in households, as well as viral shedding dynamics, including the beginning of shedding relative to symptom onset and viral clearance. Discussion: The results contribute to a better understanding of the epidemiological and virological transmission-related indicators of SARS-CoV-2 among young children, as compared to adults and the interplay between day care and households.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , SARS-CoV-2 , Adult , Child , Child, Preschool , Day Care, Medical , Disease Outbreaks , Germany/epidemiology , Humans , Infant , Pandemics , Retrospective Studies
7.
Bundesgesundheitsblatt Gesundheitsforschung Gesundheitsschutz ; 64(12): 1581-1591, 2021 Dec.
Article in German | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1565361

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: Daycare centers are of substantial sociopolitical and pedagogical relevance; at the same time, the close contact of children in daycare groups among each other and with employees favors the transmission of infections. In the COVID-19 pandemic, questions arose about how infection events occur in daycare centers, what role daycare children play in the pandemic, and what protective and hygienic measures are implemented in daycare centers. From 06/2020 to 12/2021, we conducted the "Corona Day Care Study," in which we address pedagogical and infection epidemiological topics in a joint approach. METHODS: In the study, data are collected from different sources. Official reporting data as well as weekly data from daycare centers in the so-called KiTa Register are continuously evaluated. In addition, SARS-CoV­2 outbreaks in daycare centers are investigated on site by repeated sample collection and interviews. RESULTS: SARS-CoV­2 infection incidence in daycare centers or in daycare-aged children was very dynamic from 03/2020 to 05/2021. In the second and third pandemic waves, the number of SARS-CoV­2 outbreaks in daycare centers rose sharply, accompanied by a substantial increase in daycare and group closures. Most recently, the proportion of affected children in outbreaks increased steadily. However, preliminary examinations of SARS-CoV­2 outbreaks (n = 28) revealed that, on average, only a fraction of daycare contact persons (6.8%) were infected by child index cases. Transmission frequencies differed markedly between the individual daycare centers. DISCUSSION: The combination of regularly collected reporting and survey data as well as outbreak investigations allows a multilayered monitoring and understanding of infection events in daycare centers; its findings could be incorporated into recommendations for public health measures.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Pandemics , Aged , Child , Day Care, Medical , Germany/epidemiology , Humans , Incidence , Pandemics/prevention & control , SARS-CoV-2
8.
2021.
Preprint in English | Other preprints | ID: ppcovidwho-295599

ABSTRACT

Background During the SARS-CoV-2 pandemic, German early childhood education and care (ECEC) centres organised childrens attendance variably (i.e., reduced opening hours, emergency support for few children only or full close-down). Further, protection and hygiene measures like fixed children/staff groups, ventilation and surface disinfection were introduced among ECEC centres. To inform or modify public health measures in ECEC, we investigate the occurrence of SARS-CoV-2 infections among children and staff of ECEC centres in light of social determinants (socioeconomic status of the children) and recommended structural and hygiene measures. We focus on the question if the relevant factors differ between the 2nd (when no variant of concern (VOC) circulated) and the 3rd wave (when VOC B.1.1.7 (Alpha) predominated). Methods Based on panel data from a weekly online survey of ECEC centre managers (calendar week 36/2020 to 22/2021, ongoing) including approx. 8500 centres, we estimate the number of SARS-CoV-2 infections in children and staff using random-effect-within-between (REWB) panel models for count data in the 2nd and 3rd wave. Results Centres with a high proportion of children with low socioeconomic status (SES) have a higher risk of infections in staff and children. Strict contact restrictions between groups like fixed group assignments among children and fixed staff assignments to groups prevent infections. Both effects tend to be stronger in the 3rd wave. Contribution ECEC centres with a large proportion of children from a low SES background and lack of using fixed child/staff cohorts experience higher COVID-19 rates. Centres should be supported in maintaining recommended measures over the long run. Preventive measures such as vaccination of staff should be prioritised in centres with large proportions of low SES children.

9.
BMC Public Health ; 21(1): 2172, 2021 11 26.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1538068

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: Enhancing tuberculosis (TB) prevention and care in a post-COVID-19-pandemic phase will be essential to ensure progress towards global TB elimination. In low-burden countries, asylum seekers constitute an important high-risk group. TB frequently arises post-immigration due to the reactivation of latent TB infection (LTBI). Upon-entry screening for LTBI and TB preventive treatment (TPT) are considered worthwhile if targeted to asylum seekers from high-incidence countries who usually present with higher rates of LTBI. However, there is insufficient knowledge about optimal incidence thresholds above which introduction could be cost-effective. We aimed to estimate, among asylum seekers in Germany, the health impact and costs of upon-entry LTBI screening/TPT introduced at different thresholds of country-of-origin TB incidence. METHODS: We sampled hypothetical cohorts of 30-45 thousand asylum seekers aged 15 to 34 years expected to arrive in Germany in 2022 from cohorts of first-time applicants observed in 2017-2019. We modelled LTBI prevalence as a function of country-of-origin TB incidence fitted to data from observational studies. We then used a probabilistic decision-analytic model to estimate health-system costs and quality-adjusted life years (QALYs) under interferon gamma release assay (IGRA)-based screening for LTBI and rifampicin-based TPT (daily, 4 months). Incremental cost-effectiveness ratios (ICERs) were calculated for scenarios of introducing LTBI screening/TPT at different incidence thresholds. RESULTS: We estimated that among 15- to 34-year-old asylum seekers arriving in Germany in 2022, 17.5% (95% uncertainty interval: 14.2-21.6%) will be latently infected. Introducing LTBI screening/TPT above 250 per 100,000 country-of-origin TB incidence would gain 7.3 (2.7-14.8) QALYs at a cost of €51,000 (€18,000-€114,100) per QALY. Lowering the threshold to ≥200 would cost an incremental €53,300 (€19,100-€122,500) per additional QALY gained relative to the ≥250 threshold scenario; ICERs for the ≥150 and ≥ 100 thresholds were €55,900 (€20,200-€128,200) and €62,000 (€23,200-€142,000), respectively, using the next higher threshold as a reference, and considerably higher at thresholds below 100. CONCLUSIONS: LTBI screening and TPT among 15- to 34-year-old asylum seekers arriving in Germany could produce health benefits at reasonable additional cost (with respect to international benchmarks) if introduced at incidence thresholds ≥100. Empirical trials are needed to investigate the feasibility and effectiveness of this approach.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Latent Tuberculosis , Refugees , Adolescent , Adult , Cost-Benefit Analysis , Humans , Incidence , Latent Tuberculosis/diagnosis , Latent Tuberculosis/drug therapy , Latent Tuberculosis/epidemiology , Mass Screening , SARS-CoV-2 , Tuberculin Test , Young Adult
10.
Bundesgesundheitsblatt Gesundheitsforschung Gesundheitsschutz ; 64(12): 1581-1591, 2021 Dec.
Article in German | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1499408

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: Daycare centers are of substantial sociopolitical and pedagogical relevance; at the same time, the close contact of children in daycare groups among each other and with employees favors the transmission of infections. In the COVID-19 pandemic, questions arose about how infection events occur in daycare centers, what role daycare children play in the pandemic, and what protective and hygienic measures are implemented in daycare centers. From 06/2020 to 12/2021, we conducted the "Corona Day Care Study," in which we address pedagogical and infection epidemiological topics in a joint approach. METHODS: In the study, data are collected from different sources. Official reporting data as well as weekly data from daycare centers in the so-called KiTa Register are continuously evaluated. In addition, SARS-CoV­2 outbreaks in daycare centers are investigated on site by repeated sample collection and interviews. RESULTS: SARS-CoV­2 infection incidence in daycare centers or in daycare-aged children was very dynamic from 03/2020 to 05/2021. In the second and third pandemic waves, the number of SARS-CoV­2 outbreaks in daycare centers rose sharply, accompanied by a substantial increase in daycare and group closures. Most recently, the proportion of affected children in outbreaks increased steadily. However, preliminary examinations of SARS-CoV­2 outbreaks (n = 28) revealed that, on average, only a fraction of daycare contact persons (6.8%) were infected by child index cases. Transmission frequencies differed markedly between the individual daycare centers. DISCUSSION: The combination of regularly collected reporting and survey data as well as outbreak investigations allows a multilayered monitoring and understanding of infection events in daycare centers; its findings could be incorporated into recommendations for public health measures.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Pandemics , Aged , Child , Day Care, Medical , Germany/epidemiology , Humans , Incidence , Pandemics/prevention & control , SARS-CoV-2
11.
Bundesgesundheitsblatt Gesundheitsforschung Gesundheitsschutz ; 64(9): 1093-1106, 2021 Sep.
Article in German | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1349279

ABSTRACT

The first case of coronavirus SARS-CoV­2 infection in Germany was diagnosed on 27 January 2020. To describe the pandemic course in 2020, we regarded four epidemiologically different periods and used data on COVID-19 cases from the mandatory reporting system as well as hospitalized COVID-19 cases with severe acute respiratory infection from the syndromic hospital surveillance.Period 0 covers weeks 5 to 9 of 2020, where mainly sporadic cases of younger age were observed and few regional outbreaks emerged. In total, 167 cases with mostly mild outcomes were reported. Subsequently, the first COVID-19 wave occurred in period 1 (weeks 10 to 20 of 2020) with a total of 175,013 cases throughout Germany. Increasingly, outbreaks in hospitals and nursing homes were registered. Moreover, elderly cases and severe outcomes were observed more frequently. Period 2 (weeks 21 to 39 of 2020) was an interim period with more mild cases, where many cases were younger and often travel-associated. Additionally, larger trans-regional outbreaks in business settings were reported. Among the 111,790 cases, severe outcomes were less frequent than in period 1. In period 3 (week 40 of 2020 to week 8 of 2021), the second COVID-19 wave started and peaked at the end of 2020. With 2,158,013 reported cases and considerably more severe outcomes in all age groups, the second wave was substantially stronger than the first wave.Irrespective of the different periods, more elderly persons and more men were affected by severe outcomes.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Aged , COVID-19/epidemiology , Female , Germany/epidemiology , Humans , Male , Pandemics , Travel
12.
Bundesgesundheitsblatt Gesundheitsforschung Gesundheitsschutz ; 64(9): 1107-1115, 2021 Sep.
Article in German | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1333043

ABSTRACT

The severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus type 2 (SARS-CoV-2) spread worldwide in 2020. By the end of June 2021, over 3.7 million people had been infected in Germany. The spread of the infection, however, is not evenly distributed across all parts of the population. Some groups are at a higher risk for SARS-CoV­2 infections or severe coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) trajectories than others.This narrative review provides an overview of the parts of the population in Germany that are most affected by COVID-19. In addition, risk factors associated with hospitalization or severe courses of COVID-19 are identified.SARS-CoV­2 transmission may occur in various locations and settings. Professional settings, e.g., in the meat-processing industry, but also leisure activities and large public events are particularly affected. In the course of the pandemic, certain comorbidities associated with an increased risk for hospitalization or severe courses of COVID-19 have been identified. These include preexisting pulmonary, cardiovascular, and metabolic diseases. Patients with organ transplants and people with Down syndrome (trisomy 21) have the highest risk for hospitalization after SARS-CoV­2 infection.The identified settings that contribute to the spread of SARS-CoV­2 and the knowledge about vulnerable groups with a higher risk for hospitalization or severe disease trajectories form an important evidence base for the planning of prevention strategies and the fight against the pandemic.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Hospitalization , COVID-19/epidemiology , Germany/epidemiology , Humans , Pandemics , Risk Factors
13.
Euro Surveill ; 26(21)2021 05.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1247780

ABSTRACT

We investigated three SARS-CoV-2 variant B.1.1.7 childcare centre and related household outbreaks. Despite group cohorting, cases occurred in almost all groups, i.e. also among persons without close contact. Children's secondary attack rates (SAR) were similar to adults (childcare centres: 23% vs 30%; p = 0.15; households: 32% vs 39%; p = 0.27); child- and adult-induced household outbreaks also led to similar SAR. With the advent of B.1.1.7, susceptibility and infectiousness of children and adults seem to converge. Public health measures should be revisited accordingly.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , SARS-CoV-2 , Adult , Child , Disease Outbreaks , Germany/epidemiology , Humans
14.
Bundesgesundheitsblatt Gesundheitsforschung Gesundheitsschutz ; 64(4): 435-445, 2021 Apr.
Article in German | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1196566

ABSTRACT

When the emerging novel SARS-CoV­2 virus first appeared in December 2019, neither specific therapeutic options nor vaccinations were available. The role of nonpharmaceutical interventions (NPIs) became of central importance. At the Robert Koch Institute, a multilayer strategy consisting of population-based and individual preventive measures to control the pandemic was developed, which built upon existing influenza pandemic plans as well as generic plans. This paper explains the recommended NPIs and illustrates the pharmaceutical approaches developed in parallel.Among others, general contact bans, providing material for infection prevention and control, ban of events, closing educational institutions, and restricting travel are counted among population-based measures. Additional individual preventive measures are necessary, e.g., keeping a minimum distance, reducing contacts, and wearing a mouth-nose covering as well as quarantine and isolation. Measures within the health system are based on recommendations of the Commission on Hospital Hygiene and Infection Protection (Kommission für Krankenhaushygiene und Infektionsprävention (KRINKO)) and specified and implemented by professional societies. Since November 2020, an antiviral therapy with remdesivir and treatment with the glucocorticoid dexamethasone have been available as pharmaceutical interventions. Monoclonal antibodies are at this time not approved. Therapeutic anticoagulation is recommended.Recommendations are constantly adapted to the increasing knowledge on the pathogen and its means of transmission. A challenge is to strengthen the trust of the population. Many measures have to be applied on an individual basis in order to work together.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Pharmaceutical Preparations , Germany , Humans , Pandemics/prevention & control , Quarantine , SARS-CoV-2
15.
Bundesgesundheitsblatt Gesundheitsforschung Gesundheitsschutz ; 64(4): 395-402, 2021 Apr.
Article in German | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1196564

ABSTRACT

As part of the national influenza pandemic preparedness, surveillance systems have been established in Germany in addition to the mandatory notifications according to the Protection Against Infection Act. The aim of these systems is the description, analysis, and evaluation of the epidemiology of acute respiratory infections (ARIs), the identification of the circulating viruses, and the trend. Since the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic, the systems have been expanded to enable monitoring of infections with SARS-CoV­2.Three systems are presented: GrippeWeb, the primary care sentinel Arbeitsgemeinschaft Influenza with its electronic reporting module SEEDARE, and the ICD-10-based hospital sentinel ICOSARI. With these systems, ARIs can be monitored at the population, outpatient, and inpatient levels. In combination with the monitoring of mortality, these systems provide important information on the frequency of different stages of disease severity in the population. In order to expand the systems to SARS-CoV­2, only a few adjustments were needed.As the case definitions for ARIs were preserved, historical baselines of the systems can still be used for comparison. All systems are structured in such a way that stable and established reference values are available for calculating weekly proportions and rates.This is an important addition to the mandatory reporting system of infectious diseases in Germany, which depends on the particular testing strategy, the number of tests performed, and on specific case definitions, which are adapted as required.The surveillance systems have proven to be feasible and efficient in the COVID-19 pandemic, even when compared internationally.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Respiratory Tract Infections , Germany/epidemiology , Humans , Pandemics/prevention & control , Respiratory Tract Infections/diagnosis , Respiratory Tract Infections/epidemiology , SARS-CoV-2
16.
Bundesgesundheitsblatt Gesundheitsforschung Gesundheitsschutz ; 64(4): 435-445, 2021 Apr.
Article in German | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1159627

ABSTRACT

When the emerging novel SARS-CoV­2 virus first appeared in December 2019, neither specific therapeutic options nor vaccinations were available. The role of nonpharmaceutical interventions (NPIs) became of central importance. At the Robert Koch Institute, a multilayer strategy consisting of population-based and individual preventive measures to control the pandemic was developed, which built upon existing influenza pandemic plans as well as generic plans. This paper explains the recommended NPIs and illustrates the pharmaceutical approaches developed in parallel.Among others, general contact bans, providing material for infection prevention and control, ban of events, closing educational institutions, and restricting travel are counted among population-based measures. Additional individual preventive measures are necessary, e.g., keeping a minimum distance, reducing contacts, and wearing a mouth-nose covering as well as quarantine and isolation. Measures within the health system are based on recommendations of the Commission on Hospital Hygiene and Infection Protection (Kommission für Krankenhaushygiene und Infektionsprävention (KRINKO)) and specified and implemented by professional societies. Since November 2020, an antiviral therapy with remdesivir and treatment with the glucocorticoid dexamethasone have been available as pharmaceutical interventions. Monoclonal antibodies are at this time not approved. Therapeutic anticoagulation is recommended.Recommendations are constantly adapted to the increasing knowledge on the pathogen and its means of transmission. A challenge is to strengthen the trust of the population. Many measures have to be applied on an individual basis in order to work together.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Pharmaceutical Preparations , Germany , Humans , Pandemics/prevention & control , Quarantine , SARS-CoV-2
18.
Euro Surveill ; 25(38)2020 09.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-793083

ABSTRACT

Mitigation of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) pandemic in Germany included school closures in early March 2020. After reopening in April, preventive measures were taken in schools. We analysed national surveillance system data on COVID-19 school outbreaks during different time periods. After reopening, smaller outbreaks (average: 2.2/week) occurred despite low incidence in the general population. School closures might have a detrimental effect on children and should be applied only cautiously and in combination with other measures.


Subject(s)
Coronavirus Infections/prevention & control , Coronavirus Infections/transmission , Coronavirus , Disease Outbreaks/prevention & control , Pandemics/prevention & control , Pneumonia, Viral/prevention & control , Pneumonia, Viral/transmission , Population Surveillance/methods , Quarantine , Adolescent , COVID-19 , Child , Child, Preschool , Coronavirus Infections/epidemiology , Humans , Pneumonia, Viral/epidemiology , Schools , Time Factors
19.
Lancet Infect Dis ; 20(8): 920-928, 2020 08.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-276988

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: In December, 2019, the newly identified severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) emerged in Wuhan, China, causing COVID-19, a respiratory disease presenting with fever, cough, and often pneumonia. WHO has set the strategic objective to interrupt spread of SARS-CoV-2 worldwide. An outbreak in Bavaria, Germany, starting at the end of January, 2020, provided the opportunity to study transmission events, incubation period, and secondary attack rates. METHODS: A case was defined as a person with SARS-CoV-2 infection confirmed by RT-PCR. Case interviews were done to describe timing of onset and nature of symptoms and to identify and classify contacts as high risk (had cumulative face-to-face contact with a confirmed case for ≥15 min, direct contact with secretions or body fluids of a patient with confirmed COVID-19, or, in the case of health-care workers, had worked within 2 m of a patient with confirmed COVID-19 without personal protective equipment) or low risk (all other contacts). High-risk contacts were ordered to stay at home in quarantine for 14 days and were actively followed up and monitored for symptoms, and low-risk contacts were tested upon self-reporting of symptoms. We defined fever and cough as specific symptoms, and defined a prodromal phase as the presence of non-specific symptoms for at least 1 day before the onset of specific symptoms. Whole genome sequencing was used to confirm epidemiological links and clarify transmission events where contact histories were ambiguous; integration with epidemiological data enabled precise reconstruction of exposure events and incubation periods. Secondary attack rates were calculated as the number of cases divided by the number of contacts, using Fisher's exact test for the 95% CIs. FINDINGS: Patient 0 was a Chinese resident who visited Germany for professional reasons. 16 subsequent cases, often with mild and non-specific symptoms, emerged in four transmission generations. Signature mutations in the viral genome occurred upon foundation of generation 2, as well as in one case pertaining to generation 4. The median incubation period was 4·0 days (IQR 2·3-4·3) and the median serial interval was 4·0 days (3·0-5·0). Transmission events were likely to have occurred presymptomatically for one case (possibly five more), at the day of symptom onset for four cases (possibly five more), and the remainder after the day of symptom onset or unknown. One or two cases resulted from contact with a case during the prodromal phase. Secondary attack rates were 75·0% (95% CI 19·0-99·0; three of four people) among members of a household cluster in common isolation, 10·0% (1·2-32·0; two of 20) among household contacts only together until isolation of the patient, and 5·1% (2·6-8·9; 11 of 217) among non-household, high-risk contacts. INTERPRETATION: Although patients in our study presented with predominately mild, non-specific symptoms, infectiousness before or on the day of symptom onset was substantial. Additionally, the incubation period was often very short and false-negative tests occurred. These results suggest that although the outbreak was controlled, successful long-term and global containment of COVID-19 could be difficult to achieve. FUNDING: All authors are employed and all expenses covered by governmental, federal state, or other publicly funded institutions.


Subject(s)
Betacoronavirus/isolation & purification , Communicable Diseases, Imported/transmission , Coronavirus Infections/transmission , Disease Outbreaks , Disease Transmission, Infectious , Pneumonia, Viral/transmission , Travel-Related Illness , Adolescent , Adult , Betacoronavirus/classification , Betacoronavirus/genetics , COVID-19 , Child , Child, Preschool , China , Communicable Diseases, Imported/epidemiology , Communicable Diseases, Imported/pathology , Communicable Diseases, Imported/virology , Coronavirus Infections/epidemiology , Germany/epidemiology , Humans , Interviews as Topic , Middle Aged , Mutation , Pandemics , Pneumonia, Viral/epidemiology , RNA, Viral/genetics , Reverse Transcriptase Polymerase Chain Reaction , Risk Assessment , SARS-CoV-2 , Travel , Young Adult
20.
Euro Surveill ; 25(11)2020 03.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-8667

ABSTRACT

Information on severity of coronavirus disease (COVID-19) (transmissibility, disease seriousness, impact) is crucial for preparation of healthcare sectors. We present a simple approach to assess disease seriousness, creating a reference cohort of pneumonia patients from sentinel hospitals. First comparisons exposed a higher rate of COVID-19 patients requiring ventilation. There were more case fatalities among COVID-19 patients without comorbidities than in the reference cohort. Hospitals should prepare for high utilisation of ventilation and intensive care resources.


Subject(s)
Coronavirus Infections/diagnosis , Coronavirus/isolation & purification , Influenza, Human/diagnosis , Pneumonia, Viral/diagnosis , Aged , Aged, 80 and over , Betacoronavirus , COVID-19 , Coronavirus Infections/epidemiology , Coronavirus Infections/virology , Disease Outbreaks , Female , Hospitalization , Humans , Influenza, Human/epidemiology , Male , Pandemics , Pneumonia, Viral/epidemiology , Pneumonia, Viral/virology , SARS-CoV-2 , Sentinel Surveillance , Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome/virology , Severity of Illness Index
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