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BMC Infect Dis ; 22(1): 208, 2022 Mar 03.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1779610


BACKGROUND: The Public Health Services in the Rotterdam region, the Netherlands, observed a substantial decrease of non-COVID-19 notifiable infectious diseases and institutional outbreaks during the first wave of the COVID-19 epidemic. We describe this change from mid-March to mid-October 2020 by comparing with the pre-COVID-19 situation. METHODS: All cases of notifiable diseases and institutional outbreaks reported to the Public Health Services Rotterdam-Rijnmond between 1st January and mid-October 2020 were included. Seven-day moving averages and cumulative cases were plotted against time and compared to those of 2017-2019. Additionally, Google mobility transit data of the region were plotted, as proxy for social distancing. RESULTS: Respiratory, gastrointestinal, and travel-related notifiable diseases were reported 65% less often during the first wave of the COVID-19 epidemic than in the same weeks in 2017-2019. Reports of institutional outbreaks were also lower after the initially imposed social distancing measures; however, the numbers rebounded when measures were partially lifted. CONCLUSIONS: Interpersonal distancing and hygiene measures imposed nationally against COVID-19 were in place between mid-March and mid-October, which most likely reduced transmission of other infectious diseases, and may thus have resulted in lower notifications of infectious diseases and outbreaks. This phenomenon opens future study options considering the effect of local outbreak control measures on a wide range of non-COVID-19 diseases. Targeted, tailored, appropriate and acceptable hygiene and distancing measures, specifically for vulnerable groups and institutions, should be devised and their effect investigated.

COVID-19 , Communicable Diseases , COVID-19/epidemiology , Communicable Diseases/epidemiology , Humans , Netherlands/epidemiology , SARS-CoV-2 , Travel , Travel-Related Illness
BMJ Open ; 11(8): e046125, 2021 08 26.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1376488


INTRODUCTION: Leprosy, or Hansen's disease, remains a cause of preventable disability. Early detection, treatment and prevention are key to reducing transmission. Post-exposure prophylaxis with single-dose rifampicin (SDR-PEP) reduces the risk of developing leprosy when administered to screened contacts of patients. This has been adopted in the WHO leprosy guidelines. The PEP4LEP study aims to determine the most effective and feasible method of screening people at risk of developing leprosy and administering chemoprophylaxis to contribute to interrupting transmission. METHODS AND ANALYSIS: PEP4LEP is a cluster-randomised implementation trial comparing two interventions of integrated skin screening combined with SDR-PEP distribution to contacts of patients with leprosy in Ethiopia, Mozambique and Tanzania. One intervention is community-based, using skin camps to screen approximately 100 community contacts per leprosy patient, and to administer SDR-PEP when eligible. The other intervention is health centre-based, inviting household contacts of leprosy patients to be screened in a local health centre and subsequently receive SDR-PEP when eligible. The mobile health (mHealth) tool SkinApp will support health workers' capacity in integrated skin screening. The effectiveness of both interventions will be compared by assessing the rate of patients with leprosy detected and case detection delay in months, as well as feasibility in terms of cost-effectiveness and acceptability. ETHICS AND DISSEMINATION: Ethical approval was obtained from the national ethical committees of Ethiopia (MoSHE), Mozambique (CNBS) and Tanzania (NIMR/MoHCDEC). Study results will be published open access in peer-reviewed journals, providing evidence for the implementation of innovative leprosy screening methods and chemoprophylaxis to policymakers. TRIAL REGISTRATION NUMBER: NL7294 (NTR7503).

Leprosy , Ethiopia , Feasibility Studies , Humans , Leprosy/diagnosis , Leprosy/drug therapy , Leprosy/prevention & control , Mozambique , Tanzania
Am J Trop Med Hyg ; 104(2): 436-440, 2020 Dec 02.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-955246


The COVID-19 pandemic has created an unprecedented health crisis and a substantial socioeconomic impact. It also affects tuberculosis (TB) control severely worldwide. Interruptions of many TB control programs because of the COVID-19 pandemic could result in significant setbacks. One of the targets that can be affected is the WHO's End TB Strategy goal to eliminate catastrophic costs of TB-affected households by 2030. Disruptions to TB programs and healthcare services due to COVID-19 could potentially prolong diagnostic delays and worsen TB treatment adherence and outcomes. The economic recession caused by the pandemic could significantly impact household financial capacity because of the reduction of income and the rise in unemployment rates. All of these factors increase the risk of TB incidence and the gravity of economic impact on TB-affected households, and hamper efforts to eliminate catastrophic costs and control TB. Therefore, efforts to eliminate the incidence of TB-affected households facing catastrophic costs will be very challenging. Because financial constraint plays a significant role in TB control, the improvement of health and social protection systems is critical. Even before the pandemic, many TB-high-burden countries (HBCs) lacked robust health and social protection systems. These challenges highlight the substantial need for a more robust engagement of patients and civil society organizations and international support in addressing the consequences of COVID-19 on the control of TB.

COVID-19/economics , Health Care Costs/statistics & numerical data , Tuberculosis/economics , COVID-19/epidemiology , Family Characteristics , Health Care Costs/standards , Health Care Costs/trends , Humans , Incidence , Income , SARS-CoV-2 , Tuberculosis/epidemiology , Tuberculosis/prevention & control