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medrxiv; 2023.
Preprint in English | medRxiv | ID: ppzbmed-10.1101.2022.12.30.22283726


European countries are focusing on testing, isolation, and boosting strategies to counter the 2022/2023 winter surge due to Omicron subvariants. However, widespread pandemic fatigue and limited compliance potentially undermine mitigation efforts. To establish a baseline for interventions, we ran a multicountry survey to assess respondents' willingness to receive booster vaccination and comply with testing and isolation mandates. The vast majority of survey participants (N=4,594) was willing to adhere to testing (>91%) and rapid isolation (>88%) across the three countries. Pronounced differences emerged in the declared senior adherence to booster vaccination (73% in France, 94% in Belgium, 86% in Italy). Next, we inferred the vaccine-induced population immunity profile at the winter start from prior vaccination data, immunity waning, and declared booster uptake. Integrating survey and estimated immunity data in a branching process epidemic spreading model, we evaluated the effectiveness and costs of current protocols in France, Belgium, and Italy to manage the winter wave. Model results estimate that testing and isolation protocols would confer significant benefit in reducing transmission (17-24%) with declared adherence. Achieving a mitigating level similar tothe French protocol, the Belgian protocol would require 30% fewer tests and avoid the long isolation periods of the Italian protocol (average of 6 days vs. 11). A cost barrier to test would significantly decrease adherence in France and Belgium, undermining protocols' effectiveness. Simpler mandates for isolation may increase awareness and actual compliance, reducing testing costs, without compromising mitigation. High booster vaccination uptake remains key for the control of the winter wave.

COVID-19 , Fatigue
researchsquare; 2021.


Background: The knowledge of risk perceptions in primary care could help health authorities to manage epidemics. Methods A European multi-center study was conducted in France, Belgium and Spain to describe the perceptions, the level of anxiety and the feeling of preparedness of primary healthcare physicians towards the COVID-19 infection at the beginning of the pandemic. The factors associated with the feeling of preparedness were studied using multivariate logistic regressions. Results A total of 511 physicians participated to the study. Among them, only 16.3% (n = 82) were highly anxious about the pandemic, 50.6% (n = 254) had the feeling to have a high level of information, 80.5% (n = 409) found the measures taken by the health authorities suitable to limit the spread of COVID-19, and 45.2% (n = 229) felt prepared to face the epidemic. Factors associated with feeling prepared were: being a Spanish practitioner (adjusted OR = 4.34; 95%CI [2.47; 7.80]), being a man (aOR = 2.57, 95%CI [1.69; 3.96]), finding the measures taken by authorities appropriate (aOR = 1.72, 95%CI [1.01; 3.00]) and being highly informed (aOR = 4.82, 95%CI [2.62; 9.19]). Conclusions Regarding the dramatic evolution of the pandemic in Europe in the weeks following the study, it appears that information available at this time and transmitted to the physicians could have given a wrong assessment of the spread and the severity of the disease. It seems essential to better integrate the primary care physicians into the information, training and protection channels. A comparison between countries could help to select the most effective measures in terms of information and communication.

COVID-19 , Anxiety Disorders
medrxiv; 2020.
Preprint in English | medRxiv | ID: ppzbmed-10.1101.2020.08.10.20171744


A novel testing policy was implemented in May in France to systematically screen potential COVID-19 infections and suppress local outbreaks while lifting lockdown restrictions. 20,736 virologically-confirmed cases were reported in mainland France from May 13, 2020 (week 20, end of lockdown) to June 28 (week 26). Accounting for missing data and the delay from symptom onset to confirmation test, this corresponds to 7,258 [95% CI 7,160-7,336] cases with symptom onset during this period, a likely underestimation of the real number. Using age-stratified transmission models parameterized to behavioral data and calibrated to regional hospital admissions, we estimated that 69,115 [58,072-77,449] COVID-19 symptomatic cases occurred, suggesting that 9 out of 10 cases with symptoms were not ascertained. Median detection rate increased from 7% [6-9]% to 31% [28-35]% over time, with regional estimates varying from 11% (Grand Est) to 78% (Normandy) by the end of June. Healthcare-seeking behavior in COVID-19 suspect cases remained low (31%) throughout the period. Model projections for the incidence of symptomatic cases (4.5 [3.9-5.0] per 100,000) were compatible with estimates integrating participatory and virological surveillance data, assuming all suspect cases consulted. Encouraging healthcare-seeking behavior and awareness in suspect cases is critical to improve detection. Substantially more aggressive and efficient testing with easier access is required to act as a pandemic-fighting tool. These elements should be considered in light of the currently observed resurgence of cases in France and other European countries.

psyarxiv; 2020.
Preprint in English | PREPRINT-PSYARXIV | ID:


The recent emergence of the SARS-CoV-2 in China has raised the spectre of a novel, potentially catastrophic pandemic in both scientific and lay communities throughout the world. In this particular context, people have been accused of being excessively pessimistic regarding the future consequences of this emerging health threat. However, consistent with previous research in social psychology, a large survey conducted in Europe in the early stage of the COVID-19 epidemic shows that the majority of respondents was actually overly optimistic about the risk of infection.

Coronavirus Infections , COVID-19 , Catastrophic Illness