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1.
Euro Surveill ; 27(11)2022 03.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1753317

ABSTRACT

BackgroundSARS-CoV-2 infections in preschool and school settings potentially bear occupational risks to educational staff.AimWe aimed to assess the prevalence of SARS-CoV-2 infection in teachers and preschool educators and at identifying factors associated with infection.MethodsWe analysed cross-sectional data derived from 17,448 voluntary, PCR-based screening tests of asymptomatic educational staff in Berlin, Germany, between June and December 2020 using descriptive statistics and a logistic regression model.ResultsParticipants were largely female (73.0%), and median age was 41 years (range: 18-78). Overall, SARS-CoV-2 infection proportion was 1.2% (95% CI: 1.0-1.4). Proportion of positive tests in educational staff largely followed community incidence until the start of the second pandemic wave, when an unsteady plateau was reached. Then, the proportion of positive tests in a (concurrent) population survey was 0.9% (95% CI: 0.6-1.4), 1.2% (95% CI: 0.8-1.8) in teachers and 2.6% (95% CI: 1.6-4.0) in preschool educators. Compared with teachers, increased odds of infection were conferred by being a preschool educator (adjusted odds ratio (aOR): 1.6; 95% CI: 1.3-2.0) and by contact with a SARS-CoV-2 infected individual outside of work (aOR: 3.0; 95% CI: 1.5-5.5). In a step-wise backward selection, the best set of associated factors with SARS-CoV-2 infection involved age, occupation, and calendar week.ConclusionsThese results indicate that preschool educators bear increased odds of SARS-CoV-2 infection compared with teachers. At the same time, the private environment appeared to be a relevant source of SARS-CoV-2 infection for educational staff in 2020.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Adult , Berlin/epidemiology , COVID-19/epidemiology , Child, Preschool , Cross-Sectional Studies , Female , Germany/epidemiology , Humans , SARS-CoV-2
2.
Z Gesundh Wiss ; : 1-5, 2021 Oct 15.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1596241

ABSTRACT

AIM: The goal is to design and, in a next step, establish a scalable, multi-center telemonitoring platform based on existing systems for monitoring COVID-19 patients in home quarantine. In particular, the focus will be on raw data acquisition, integration of sensor data into the hospital system, structured data storage, and interoperability. SUBJECT AND METHODS: Data necessary for monitoring, otherwise provided in various portals, will be continuously queried and integrated into the hospital system via a new interface in this proof-of-concept work. RESULTS: Based on extensive preliminary work at Klinikum rechts der Isar with a structured clinical database, we extend our system's integration of raw data and visualization in dashboards, as well as scientific provision of data from mobile sensors for monitoring patients in home quarantine. CONCLUSION: Based on existing integrated telemonitoring systems supporting semantic and syntactic interoperability, short-term provision of scientific databases is possible. The integration of different mobile sensors into a clinical system for remote monitoring of patients around the clock is still new and to our knowledge unique.

3.
J Med Internet Res ; 23(2): e25283, 2021 02 08.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1573903

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: The COVID-19 outbreak has affected the lives of millions of people by causing a dramatic impact on many health care systems and the global economy. This devastating pandemic has brought together communities across the globe to work on this issue in an unprecedented manner. OBJECTIVE: This case study describes the steps and methods employed in the conduction of a remote online health hackathon centered on challenges posed by the COVID-19 pandemic. It aims to deliver a clear implementation road map for other organizations to follow. METHODS: This 4-day hackathon was conducted in April 2020, based on six COVID-19-related challenges defined by frontline clinicians and researchers from various disciplines. An online survey was structured to assess: (1) individual experience satisfaction, (2) level of interprofessional skills exchange, (3) maturity of the projects realized, and (4) overall quality of the event. At the end of the event, participants were invited to take part in an online survey with 17 (+5 optional) items, including multiple-choice and open-ended questions that assessed their experience regarding the remote nature of the event and their individual project, interprofessional skills exchange, and their confidence in working on a digital health project before and after the hackathon. Mentors, who guided the participants through the event, also provided feedback to the organizers through an online survey. RESULTS: A total of 48 participants and 52 mentors based in 8 different countries participated and developed 14 projects. A total of 75 mentorship video sessions were held. Participants reported increased confidence in starting a digital health venture or a research project after successfully participating in the hackathon, and stated that they were likely to continue working on their projects. Of the participants who provided feedback, 60% (n=18) would not have started their project without this particular hackathon and indicated that the hackathon encouraged and enabled them to progress faster, for example, by building interdisciplinary teams, gaining new insights and feedback provided by their mentors, and creating a functional prototype. CONCLUSIONS: This study provides insights into how online hackathons can contribute to solving the challenges and effects of a pandemic in several regions of the world. The online format fosters team diversity, increases cross-regional collaboration, and can be executed much faster and at lower costs compared to in-person events. Results on preparation, organization, and evaluation of this online hackathon are useful for other institutions and initiatives that are willing to introduce similar event formats in the fight against COVID-19.


Subject(s)
COVID-19/therapy , Delivery of Health Care/organization & administration , Internet , Adult , COVID-19/epidemiology , Humans , SARS-CoV-2/isolation & purification
4.
Zeitschrift fur Gesundheitswissenschaften = Journal of public health ; : 1-5, 2021.
Article in English | EuropePMC | ID: covidwho-1469252

ABSTRACT

<h4>Aim</h4> The goal is to design and, in a next step, establish a scalable, multi-center telemonitoring platform based on existing systems for monitoring COVID-19 patients in home quarantine. In particular, the focus will be on raw data acquisition, integration of sensor data into the hospital system, structured data storage, and interoperability. <h4>Subject and methods</h4> Data necessary for monitoring, otherwise provided in various portals, will be continuously queried and integrated into the hospital system via a new interface in this proof-of-concept work. <h4>Results</h4> Based on extensive preliminary work at Klinikum rechts der Isar with a structured clinical database, we extend our system’s integration of raw data and visualization in dashboards, as well as scientific provision of data from mobile sensors for monitoring patients in home quarantine. <h4>Conclusion</h4> Based on existing integrated telemonitoring systems supporting semantic and syntactic interoperability, short-term provision of scientific databases is possible. The integration of different mobile sensors into a clinical system for remote monitoring of patients around the clock is still new and to our knowledge unique.

5.
Euro Surveill ; 26(34)2021 08.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1417055

ABSTRACT

BackgroundSchool attendance during the COVID-19 pandemic is intensely debated.AimIn November 2020, we assessed SARS-CoV-2 infections and seroreactivity in 24 randomly selected school classes and connected households in Berlin, Germany.MethodsWe collected oro-nasopharyngeal swabs and blood samples, examining SARS-CoV-2 infection and IgG antibodies by RT-PCR and ELISA. Household members self-swabbed. We assessed individual and institutional prevention measures. Classes with SARS-CoV-2 infection and connected households were retested after 1 week.ResultsWe examined 1,119 participants, including 177 primary and 175 secondary school students, 142 staff and 625 household members. SARS-CoV-2 infection occurred in eight classes, affecting each 1-2 individuals. Infection prevalence was 2.7% (95% confidence interval (CI): 1.2-5.0; 9/338), 1.4% (95% CI: 0.2-5.1; 2/140), and 2.3% (95% CI: 1.3-3.8; 14/611) among students, staff and household members. Six of nine infected students were asymptomatic at testing. We detected IgG antibodies in 2.0% (95%CI: 0.8-4.1; 7/347), 1.4% (95% CI: 0.2-5.0; 2/141) and 1.4% (95% CI: 0.6-2.7; 8/576). Prevalence increased with inconsistent facemask-use in school, walking to school, and case-contacts outside school. For three of nine households with infection(s), origin in school seemed possible. After 1 week, no school-related secondary infections appeared in affected classes; the attack rate in connected households was 1.1%.ConclusionSchool attendance under rigorously implemented preventive measures seems reasonable. Balancing risks and benefits of school closures need to consider possible spill-over infection into households. Deeper insight is required into the infection risks due to being a schoolchild vs attending school.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , SARS-CoV-2 , Berlin , Cross-Sectional Studies , Germany/epidemiology , Humans , Pandemics , Schools
6.
Eur J Public Health ; 31(5): 1105-1107, 2021 10 26.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1387873

ABSTRACT

Actual surveys in kindergartens on SARS-CoV-2 infections are rare. At the beginning of the second pandemic wave, we screened 12 randomly selected kindergartens in Berlin, Germany. A total of 720 participants (pre-school children, staff and connected household members) were briefly examined and interviewed, and SARS-CoV-2 infections and anti-SARS-Cov-2 IgG antibodies were assessed. About a quarter of the participants showed common cold-resembling symptoms. However, no SARS-CoV-2 infection was detected, and only one childcare worker showed IgG seroreactivity. Against a backdrop of increased pandemic activity in the community, this cross-sectional study does not suggest that kindergartens are silent transmission reservoirs.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , SARS-CoV-2 , Antibodies, Viral , Berlin , Child , Cross-Sectional Studies , Germany/epidemiology , Humans
7.
Preprint in English | medRxiv | ID: ppmedrxiv-21257452

ABSTRACT

SARS-CoV-2 infections in childcare and school settings potentially bear occupational risks to educational staff. We analyzed data derived from voluntary, PCR-based screening of childcare educators and teachers attending five testing sites in Berlin, Germany, between June and December 2020. Within seven months, 17,491 tests were performed (4,458 educators, 13,033 teachers). Participants were largely female (72.9%), and median age was 41 years. Overall, SARS-CoV-2 infection prevalence was 1.2% (95%CI, 1.1-1.4%). Prevalence in educational staff largely resembled community incidence until the start of the second pandemic wave in mid-September 2020, when an unsteady prevalence plateau was reached. Then, infection prevalence in teachers (1.2% [95%CI, 0.8-1.8%]) did not significantly differ from the population prevalence (0.9% [0.6-1.4%]) but it was increased in educators (2.6% [1.6-4.0%]; aOR, 1.6 [1.3-2.0]). Irrespective of occupation, those that reported contact to a confirmed SARS-CoV-2 case outside of work had increased risk of infection (aOR, 3.0 [95%CI, 1.5-5.5]). In a step-wise backwards selection, the best set of associated factors with SARS-CoV-2 infection involved age, occupation, and calendar week. These results are in line with findings that teachers do not bear an increased risk of SARS-CoV-2 infection, while childcare educators do. Infection control and prevention measures need to be strengthened in child care settings to further reduce respective occupational hazards. At the same time, the private environment appears to be the main source of SARS-CoV-2 infection for educational staff.

8.
Int J Environ Res Public Health ; 18(5)2021 03 08.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1134153

ABSTRACT

Briefly before the first peak of the COVID-19 pandemic in Berlin, Germany, schools closed in mid-March 2020. Following re-opening, schools resumed operation at a reduced level for nine weeks. During this phase, we aimed at assessing, among students and teachers, infection status, symptoms, individual behaviour, and institutional infection prevention measures. Twenty-four primary and secondary school classes, randomly selected across Berlin, were examined. Oro-nasopharyngeal swabs and capillary blood samples were collected to determine SARS-CoV-2 infection (PCR) and specific IgG (ELISA), respectively. Medical history, household characteristics, leisure activities, fear of infection, risk perception, hand hygiene, facemask wearing, and institutional preventive measures were assessed. Descriptive analysis was performed. Among 535 participants (385 students, 150 staff), one teenager was found to be infected with SARS-CoV-2 (0.2%), and seven individuals exhibited specific IgG (1.3%). Compared to pre-pandemic times, screen time (e.g., TV, gaming, social media) increased, and the majority of primary school students reported reduced physical activity (42.2%). Fear of infection and risk perception were relatively low, acceptance of adapted health behaviors was high. In this post-lockdown period of low SARS-CoV-2 incidence in Berlin, individual and school-level infection prevention measures were largely adhered to. Nevertheless, vigilance and continued preventive measures are essential to cope with future pandemic activity.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , SARS-CoV-2 , Adolescent , Berlin , Communicable Disease Control , Cross-Sectional Studies , Germany/epidemiology , Humans , Pandemics , Perception , Schools
9.
Clin Microbiol Infect ; 26(12): 1685.e7-1685.e12, 2020 Dec.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-722869

ABSTRACT

OBJECTIVE: In Berlin, the first public severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) testing site started 1 day after the first case in the city occurred. We describe epidemiological and clinical characteristics and aim at identifying risk factors for SARS-CoV-2 detection during the first 6 weeks of operation. METHODS: Testing followed national recommendations, but was also based on the physician's discretion. We related patient characteristics to SARS-CoV-2 test positivity for exploratory analyses using a cross-sectional, observational study design. RESULTS: Between 3 March and 13 April 2020, 5179 individuals attended the site (median age 34 years; interquartile range 26-47 years). The median time since disease onset was 4 days (interquartile range 2-7 days). Among 4333 persons tested, 333 (7.7%) were positive. Test positivity increased up to 10.3% (96/929) during the first 3 weeks and then declined, paralleling Germany's lock-down and the course of the epidemic in Berlin. Strict adherence to testing guidelines resulted in 10.4% (262/2530) test positivity, compared with 3.9% (71/1803) among individuals tested for other indications. A nightclub was a transmission hotspot; 27.7% (26/94) of one night's visitors were found positive. Smell and/or taste dysfunction indicated coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) with 85.6% specificity (95% CI 82.1%-88.1%). Four per cent (14/333) of those infected were asymptomatic. Risk factors for detection of SARS-CoV-2 infection were recent contact with a positive case (second week after contact, OR 3.42; 95% CI 2.48-4.71), travel to regions of high pandemic activity (e.g. Austria, OR 4.16; 95% CI 2.48-6.99), recent onset of symptoms (second week, OR 3.61; 95% CI 1.87-6.98) and an impaired sense of smell/taste (4.08; 95% CI 2.36-7.03). CONCLUSIONS: In this young population, early-onset presentation of COVID-19 resembled flu-like symptoms, except for smell and/or taste dysfunction. Risk factors for SARS-CoV-2 detection were return from regions with high incidence and contact with confirmed SARS-CoV-2 cases, particularly when tests were administered within the first 2 weeks after contact and/or onset of symptoms.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 Testing/statistics & numerical data , COVID-19/epidemiology , Carrier State/epidemiology , Adult , Berlin/epidemiology , COVID-19/diagnosis , COVID-19/physiopathology , COVID-19 Testing/methods , Carrier State/diagnosis , Carrier State/virology , Cross-Sectional Studies , Female , Humans , Incidence , Male , Mass Screening/statistics & numerical data , Middle Aged , Olfaction Disorders/epidemiology , Olfaction Disorders/virology , Pandemics/statistics & numerical data , Risk Factors , Sensitivity and Specificity , Taste Disorders/epidemiology , Taste Disorders/virology
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