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Preprint Dans Anglais | medRxiv | ID: ppmedrxiv-21266875


To guide evidence-based prevention of COVID-19 in children, we estimated risks of severe outcomes in 820,404 symptomatic paediatric cases reported by 10 EU Member States between August 2020 and October 2021. Case and hospitalisation rates rose as overall transmission increased but severe outcomes were rare: 9,611 (1.2%) were hospitalised, 640 (0.08%) required intensive care and 84 (0.01%) died. Despite increased individual risk (aOR; 95% CI for hospitalisation: 7.3; 3.3 - 16.2, ICU: 8.7; 6.2 - 12.3) in cases with comorbidities such as cancer, diabetes, cardiac or lung disease, most (83.7%) hospitalised children had no reported comorbidity.

Preprint Dans Anglais | medRxiv | ID: ppmedrxiv-21266216


BackgroundThe study objective was to conduct a systematic review to assess the effectiveness of non-pharmaceutical interventions (NPIs) to reduce the transmission of SARS-CoV-2 in Europe during the first wave of the pandemic. MethodsWe searched OVID Medline, EMBASE, and the Cochrane and Campbell Databases for Systematic Reviews published up to April 15th 2021. Focusing on community (meso-level) and society (macro-level) level NPIs, we included all study designs, while a geographic restriction was limited to the EU, UK and European Economic Area (EEA) countries. Using the PICO framework, two reviewers independently extracted data and assessed quality using appropriate quality appraisal tools. A qualitative synthesis was performed, with NPIs grouped initially by a) Physical Distancing measures, b) Case detection and management measures, and c) hygiene measures and subsequently by country. ResultsOf 17,692 studies initially assessed, 45 met all inclusion criteria. Most studies (n=30) had a modelling study design, while 13 were observational, one quasi-experimental and one experimental. Evidence from across the European continent, presented by country, indicates that the implementations of physical distancing measures (i.e., lockdowns/quarantines), preferably earlier in the pandemic, reduce the number of cases and hospitalisation across settings and for which the timing and duration are essential parameters. Case detection and management measures were also identified as effective measures at certain levels of testing and incidence, while hygiene and safety measures complemented the implementation of physical distancing measures. ConclusionsThis literature review represents a comprehensive assessment of the effectiveness of NPIs in Europe up to April 2021. Despite heterogeneity across studies, NPIs, as assessed within the context of this systematic review at the macro and meso level, are effective in reducing SARS-CoV-2 transmission rates and COVID-19 hospitalisation rates and deaths in the European Region and may be applied as response strategies to reduce the burden of COVID-19 in forthcoming waves.

Preprint Dans Anglais | medRxiv | ID: ppmedrxiv-21264932


BackgroundSchool closures have been used as a core Non pharmaceutical intervention during the COVID-19 pandemic, however the role of educational settings in COVID-19 transmission is still unclear. MethodsThis systematic literature review assessed studies published between December 2019 and April 1, 2021 in Medline and Embase, which included studies that assessed educational settings from approximately January 2020 to January 2021. The inclusion criteria were based on the PCC framework (P-Population, C-Concept, C-Context). The study Population was restricted to people 1-17 years old (excluding neonatal transmission), the Concept was to assess child-to-child and child-to-adult transmission, while the Context was to assess specifically educational setting transmission clusters. ResultsFifteen studies met inclusion criteria, ranging from daycare centers to high schools and summer camps, while eight studies assessed the re-opening of schools in the 2020-2021 school year. In principle although there is sufficient evidence that children can both be infected by and transmit SARS-CoV-2 in school settings, the SAR remain relatively low -when NPI measures are implemented in parallel. Moreover, although the evidence was limited there was an indication that younger children may have a lower SAR than adolescents. ConclusionsTransmission in educational settings in 2020 was minimal -when NPI measures were implemented in parallel. However, with an upsurge of cases related to variants of concern, continuous surveillance and assessment of the evidence is warranted to ensure the maximum protection of the health of students and the educational workforce, while also minimising the numerous negative impacts that school closures may have on children. Strengths and limitations of this studyO_LIThis study provides a rapid review of the peer-reviewed literature pertaining to SARS-CoV-2 transmission by children within educational settings. C_LIO_LIThe review reflects the status quo of the previous school years (January 2020 -January 2021) due to the lag time between study implementation, peer review and publication. C_LIO_LIThe included studies represent child-to-child transmission within the context of previous SARS-CoV-2 strains and are not directly applicable to newer variants. C_LI

Preprint Dans Anglais | medRxiv | ID: ppmedrxiv-20227264


Decisions on school closures and on safe schooling during the COVID-19 pandemic should be evidence-based. We conducted a systematic literature review to assess child-to-child and child-to-adult SARS-CoV-2 transmission and to characterise the potential role of school closures on community transmission. 1337 peer-reviewed articles published through August 31, 2020 were screened; 22 were included in this review. The literature appraised provides sufficient evidence that children can both be infected by and transmit SARS-CoV-2 in community, household and school settings. Transmission by children was most frequently documented in household settings, while examples of children as index cases in school settings were rare. Included studies suggested that school closures may help to reduce SARS- CoV-2 transmission, but the societal, economic, and educational impacts of prolonged school closures must be considered. In-school mitigation measures, alongside continuous surveillance and assessment of emerging evidence, will promote the protection and educational attainment of students and support the educational workforce.

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