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1.
International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health ; 18(5):2228, 2021.
Article | WHO COVID | ID: covidwho-1100121

ABSTRACT

Telephone emergency services play an important role in providing low-threshold, anonymous crisis intervention free of cost The current study aims to examine the mental well-being and perceived stress level of counselors as well as the main topics of helpline callers during the COVID-19 pandemic in Austria In the current study, 374 counselors were recruited within the Austrian nationwide organization TelefonSeelsorge during the second wave of COVID-19 infection in Austria The mental well-being (WHO-5) and perceived stress-level (PSS-10) were assessed and counselors were asked about the frequency of different topics thematized by callers and changes compared to pre-pandemic times Compared to a reference group of the Austrian general population, counselors experienced less stress (13 22 vs 16 42) and higher mental well-being (66 26 vs 57 36;p <0 001) The most frequent topics during the second wave of the COVID-19 pandemic in Austria were loneliness and mental health More calls were registered in 2020 compared to 2019 and especially the topics loneliness, mental health, professional activities and relationships were reported to be thematized more often during the COVID-19 pandemic compared to the time before (p <0 001) The results contribute to an understanding of the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on telephone crisis intervention

2.
Pathologe ; 2021.
Article | WHO COVID | ID: covidwho-1098933

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: The COVID-19 pandemic represents a so far unknown challenge for the medical community Autopsies are important for studying this disease, but their safety was challenged at the beginning of the pandemic OBJECTIVES: To determine whether COVID-19 autopsies can be performed under existing legal conditions and which safety standards are required MATERIALS AND METHODS: The autopsy procedure undertaken in five institutions in Germany, Austria, and Switzerland is detailed with respect to legal and safety standards RESULTS: In all institutions the autopsies were performed in technically feasible rooms The personal equipment consisted of functional clothing including a disposable gown and apron, a surgical cap, eye protection, FFP‑3 masks, and two pairs of gloves In four institutions, complete autopsies were performed;in one institution the ultrasound-guided biopsy within the postmortal imaging and biopsy program The latter does not allow the appreciation of gross organ pathology;however, it is able to retrieve standardized biopsies for diagnostic and research purposes Several scientific articles in highly ranked journals resulted from these autopsies and allowed deep insights into organ damage and conclusions to better understand the pathomechanisms Viral RNA was frequently detectable in the COVID-19 deceased, but the issue of infectivity remains unresolved and it is questionable if Ct values are greater than 30 CONCLUSIONS: With appropriate safeguards, autopsies of people who have died from COVID-19 can be performed safely and are highly relevant to medical research

3.
Preprint | medRxiv | ID: ppmedrxiv-21252426

ABSTRACT

Background A large number of studies report COVID-19 symptom frequencies but most studies focus on hospitalized patients. Therefore reported symptom frequencies vary and their applicability to the general population is limited. Here we report COVID-19 symptom frequencies for the general population of a central European country. Methods In a collaboration between the Vienna Social Fund (FSW) and the AI-biotech company Symptoma we report symptom frequencies based on the COVID-19 chatbot of the city government of Vienna and corresponding PCR-test results. Chatbot users answered 13 yes/no questions about symptoms and provided information about age and sex. Subsequently a medically trained professional came to their address to take a sample and PCR results were obtained. Findings Between November 2 and January 5, a total of 3011 persons experiencing flu-like symptoms had a PCR-test by a medical professional at home and completed the chatbot session prior to the test, 816 (27.1%) of them were COVID-19 positive. We compared the symptom frequencies between COVID-19 positive and negative users, and between male and female users. The symptoms (sorted by frequency) of users with positive PCR-test are malaise (81.1%), fatigue (72.9%), headache (64.1%), cough (57.7%), fever (50.7%), sore throat (40.7%), close contact with COVID-19 cases (34.9%), rhinorrhea (31.0%), sneezing (28.4%), dysgeusia (27.1%), hyposmia (26.5%), dyspnea (11.4%) and diarrhea (10.9%). Among these, cough, fever, hyposmia, dysgeusia, malaise, headache, close contact with COVID-19 case and fatigue are significantly (P < 0.01) increased in COVID-19 positive persons while dyspnea, diarrhea and sore throat are significantly (P < 0.01) decreased in COVID-19 positive persons. There was no significant difference for rhinorrhea and sneezing.

4.
Outlines of global transformations: politics, economics, law ; 13(5):94-113, 2020.
Article | WHO COVID | ID: covidwho-1094675

ABSTRACT

The author explores the behavior of the West-European far-right parties under the coronavirus crisis circumstances In the beginning stage of the COVID-19 pandemic in spring 2020 opposition right-wing nationalist parties tried immediately to take advantage of the difficult health situation and of the following social shock and economic problems The actions and the rhetoric of these parties varied depending on the each country specific circumstances: number of pandemic casualties, strictness and effectiveness of measures taken by the government, national characteristic Right-wing nationalist were able to achieve success exactly in those West-European countries, where the society was not enough consolidated For example, Vlaams Belang in Belgium and Brothers of Italy became very popular In front of this national cohesion and unity of society have created a formidable opposition to anti-government right-wing agitation Political campaigns of Scandinavian far-right parties, Alternative for Germany, National Rally and the Freedom Par ty of Austria were almost ineffective The current situation is unprecedented and indefinite All sides of the political process are under tension and they are trying to calculate all possible scenarios for further development of events В статье анализируется поведение западноевропейских ультраправых партий в условиях коронавирусного кризиса Оппозиционные крайне правые националистически настроенные партии уже на начальном этапе пандемии COVID-19, охватившей Европейский Союз весной 2020 года, попытались с выгодой для себя воспользоваться сложившейся критической ситуацией в области здравоохранения и последовавшими за ней социальным шоком и экономическими трудностями Поведение и риторика этих партий варьировались в зависимости от обстоятельств и специфики каждой конкретной страны: количества жертв эпидемии, строгости предпринятых правительством ограничительных мер и их эффективности, национальных особенностей Воспользовавшись кризисом, праворадикальные нацио налисты смогли добиться желаемого успеха именно в тех странах Западной Европы, где общество оказалось недостаточно консолидировано Подтверждением этому стал стремительный рост популярности «Фламандского интереса» в Бельгии, а также «Братьев Италии» Напротив, национальная сплоченность и единство общества дали решительный отпор антиправительственной агитации ультраправых партий Кампании скандинавских ультраправых партий, немецкой «Альтернативы для Германии», французского «Национального объединения», Австрийской партии свободы продемонстрировали свою неэффективность Так или иначе, сложившаяся ситуация в Западной Европе беспрецедентна и неопределенна на фоне затянувшегося коронавирусного кризиса Все стороны политического процесса находятся в напряжении и просчитывают всевозможные сценарии дальнейшего развития событий

5.
Preprint | medRxiv | ID: ppmedrxiv-21252089

ABSTRACT

BackgroundIn early March 2020, a SARS-CoV-2 outbreak in the ski resort Ischgl in Austria initiated the spread of SARS-CoV-2 throughout Austria and Northern Europe. In a cross-sectional study, we found that the seroprevalence in the adult population of Ischgl had reached 45% by the end of April. To answer the question of how long immunity persists and what effect this high-level immunity had on virus transmission, we performed a follow-up study in early November, 2020. MethodsOf the 1259 adults that participated in the baseline study, 801 could be included in the follow-up. The study involved the analysis of binding and neutralizing antibodies and T cell responses. In addition, the incidence of SARS-CoV-2 infections in Ischgl was compared to the incidence in similar municipalities in Tyrol throughout 2020. FindingsFor the 801 individuals that participated in both studies, the seroprevalence declined from 51.4% (95% confidence interval (CI) 47.9 - 54.9) to 45.4% (95% CI 42.0 - 49.0). Median antibody concentrations dropped considerably but antibody avidity increased. T cell responses were analysed in 93 cases, including all 4 formerly seropositive cases that had lost antibodies in all assays, three of which still had detectable T cell memory. In addition, the incidence in the second COVID-19 wave that hit Austria in November 2020, was significantly lower in Ischgl than in comparable municipalities in Tyrol or the rest of Austria. InterpretationThis study has important implications as it shows that although antibodies to SARS-CoV-2 declined, T and B cell memory can be detected for up to 8 months. Complemented by infection prevention measures a level of around 40-45% immunity in Ischgl significantly reduced local virus transmission during the second wave in Austria in November 2020. FundingFunding was provided by the government of Tyrol and the FWF Austrian Science Fund.

6.
Allergo J Int ; : 1-5, 2020 Dec 08.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1086715

ABSTRACT

The population prevalence of insect venom allergy ranges between 3-5%, and it can lead to potentially life-threatening allergic reactions. Patients who have experienced a systemic allergic reaction following an insect sting should be referred to an allergy specialist for diagnosis and treatment. Due to the widespread reduction in outpatient and inpatient care capacities in recent months as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, the various allergy specialized centers in Germany, Austria, and Switzerland have taken different measures to ensure that patients with insect venom allergy will continue to receive optimal allergy care. A recent data analysis from the various centers revealed that there has been a major reduction in newly initiated insect venom immunotherapy (a 48.5% decline from March-June 2019 compared to March-June 2020: data from various centers in Germany, Austria, and Switzerland). The present article proposes defined organizational measures (e.g., telephone and video appointments, rearranging waiting areas and implementing hygiene measures and social distancing rules at stable patient numbers) and medical measures (collaboration with practice-based physicians with regard to primary diagnostics, rapid COVID-19 testing, continuing already-initiated insect venom immunotherapy in the outpatient setting by making use of the maximal permitted injection intervals, prompt initiation of insect venom immunotherapy during the summer season, and, where necessary, using outpatient regimens particularly out of season) for the care of insect venom allergy patients during the COVID-19 pandemic.

7.
Preprint | bioRxiv | ID: ppbiorxiv-432096

ABSTRACT

An early analysis of SARS-CoV-2 deep-sequencing data that combined epidemiological and genetic data to characterize the transmission dynamics of the virus in and beyond Austria concluded that the size of the viruss transmission bottleneck was large - on the order of 1000 virions. We performed new computational analyses using these deep-sequenced samples from Austria. Our analyses included characterization of transmission bottleneck sizes across a range of variant calling thresholds and examination of patterns of shared low-frequency variants between transmission pairs in cases where de novo genetic variation was present in the recipient. From these analyses, among others, we found that SARS-CoV-2 transmission bottlenecks are instead likely to be very tight, on the order of 1-3 virions. These findings have important consequences for understanding how SARS-CoV-2 evolves between hosts and the processes shaping genetic variation observed at the population level.

8.
Preprint | medRxiv | ID: ppmedrxiv-21251551

ABSTRACT

The prevalence and persistence of adaptive immunity responses following a SARS-CoV-2 infection provides insights into potential population immunity. Adaptive immune responses comprise of antibody-based responses as well as T cell responses mainly addressing viruses and virus-infected human cells, respectively. A comprehensive analysis of both types of adaptive immunity is essential to follow population-based SARS-CoV-2-specific immunity. In this study, we assessed SARS-CoV-2-specific immunoglobulin A (IgA) levels, SARS-CoV-2-specific immunoglobulin G (IgG) levels, and SARS-CoV-2-specific T cell activities in patients who recovered from a COVID-19 infection in spring and autumn 2020. Here we observed a robust and stable SARS-CoV-2-specific adaptive immune response in both groups with persisting IgA and IgG levels as well as stable T cell activity. Moreover, there was a positive correlation of a lasting immune response with the severity of disease. Our data give evidence for a persisting adaptive immune memory, which suggest a continuing immunity for more than six months post infection.

9.
Frontiers in psychiatry Frontiers Research Foundation ; 12:596281, 2021.
Article | WHO COVID | ID: covidwho-1081446

ABSTRACT

Background: Particularly during the early and middle stages of the COVID-19 pandemic, a population's compliance with precautionary measures (e g , hygiene rules, smart working, travel restrictions, and quarantine) is paramount in preventing the virus from spreading Objective: The investigation and documentation of different socio-demographic and personality-specific factors in regards to preventative measures and consequent specific health behaviors during the COVID-19 pandemic, based on the Health Belief Model Method: An online survey was conducted on N = 3,006 individuals living in Germany and Austria during the early stages of lockdown The questionnaire consisted of a self-administered section, exploring the dimensions posited in the Health Belief Model: perceived severity, perceived susceptibility, perceived barriers, perceived benefits of health-promoting measures, and engagement in health-promoting behaviors Additionally, the following standardized scales were used to record personality determinants: the Stress Coping Style Questionnaire SVF 78 to evaluate coping and processing strategies in stressful circumstances, the Positive and Negative Affect Schedule (PANAS) to assess the emotional state induced by the coronavirus crisis, the UI-18 scale to diagnose the intolerance of uncertainty, and the State-Trait Anxiety Inventory (STAI) to assess anxiety

10.
Bosn J Basic Med Sci ; 2021 02 12.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1081777

ABSTRACT

This is the first report of molecular and epidemiology findings from Bosnia and Herzegovina related to ongoing SARS-CoV-2 epidemic. Whole Genome Sequence of four samples from COVID-19 outbreaks was done in two laboratories in Bosnia and Herzegovina (Veterinary Faculty Sarajevo and Alea Genetic Center). All four BiH sequences cluster mainly with European ones (Italy, Austria, France, Sweden, Cyprus, England). The constructed phylogenetic tree indicates possible multiple independent introduction events.  The data presented contributes to a better understanding of COVID-19 in the current reemergence of the disease.

11.
Anaesthesist ; 2021.
Article | WHO COVID | ID: covidwho-1077571

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: During the peak of the COVID-19 pandemic in spring 2020, the entire emergency rescue system was confronted with major challenges Starting on 15 March, all tourists were asked to leave the State of Tyrol, Austria The main goal of the efforts was to ensure the usual quality of emergency medical care while reducing the physical contact during emergency interventions on site METHODS: The Austrian Emergency Medical Service is physician-based, meaning that in addition to an ambulance team, an emergency physician (EP) is dispatched to every potential life-threatening emergency call In Tyrol and starting on 17 March 2020, 413 types of emergency call dispatches, which were addressed with an ambulance crew as well as an EP crew before COVID-19, were now dispatched only with an ambulance crew This procedure of dispatching differently as well as the general development of emergency calls during this period were analyzed from 15 March to 15 May 2020 and compared to the data from the same time period from 2017 to 2019 RESULTS: Despite the reduction of the population of around 30% because of absent tourists and foreign students staying in Tyrol, emergency calls with the operational keyword "difficulty in breathing/shortness of breath" rose by 18 7% (1533 vs 1291), while calls due to traffic incidents decreased by 26 4% (2937 vs 2161) Emergency calls with the dispatch of teams with an EP were reduced by 38 5% (1511 vs 2456 3), whereby the NACA scores III and IV were the ones with the significant reduction of 40% each For the reduced dispatchs, the additional dispatch of an EP team by the ambulance team amounted to 14 5%;however, for the keywords "unconscious/fainting" and "convulsions/seizures" the additional dispatch was significantly higher with over 40% each DISCUSSION: There was an overall reduction of emergency calls Considering, that the reduced dispatches would have led to an EP team dispatch the overall emergency doctor dispatches would have been higher than in the years before Our study was not able to find the reasons for this increase Only considering the additional dispatching of EPs, was this reduction in dispatching EP teams highly accurate, except for the symptoms of "unconscious/fainting" and "convulsions/seizures";however, the actual diagnoses that the hospitals or GPs made could not be collected for this study Therefore, it cannot be said for sure that there was equality in the quality of emergency medical care CONCLUSION: It was possible to achieve the primary goal of reducing the physical contact with patients;however, before keeping these reductions of the dispatching order regarding EPs for the routine operation, adaptions in these reductions as well as deeper evaluations under consideration of the data from hospitals and GPs would be necessary Also, different options to reduce physical contact should be evaluated, e g building an EMT-led scout team to evaluate the patient's status while the EP team is waiting outside

12.
International Journal of Advanced Computer Science and Applications ; 12(1):42-49, 2021.
Article | WHO COVID | ID: covidwho-1079841

ABSTRACT

Severe outbreaks of infectious disease occur throughout the world with some reaching the level of international pandemic: Coronavirus (COVID-19) is the most recent to do so In this paper, a mechanism is set out using Zipf’s law to establish the accuracy of international reporting of COVID-19 cases via a determination of whether an individual country’s COVID-19 reporting follows a power-law for confirmed, recovered, and death cases of COVID-19 The probability of Zipf’s law (P-values) for COVID-19 confirmed cases show that Uzbekistan has the highest P-value of 0 940, followed by Belize (0 929), and Qatar (0 897) For COVID-19 recovered cases, Iraq had the highest P-value of 0 901, followed by New Zealand (0 888), and Austria (0 884) Furthermore, for COVID-19 death cases, Bosnia and Herzegovina had the highest P-value of 0 874, followed by Lithuania (0 843), and Morocco (0 825) China, where the COVID-19 pandemic began, is a significant outlier in recording P-values lower than 0 1 for the confirmed, recovered, and death cases This raises important questions, not only for China, but also any country whose data exhibits P-values below this threshold The main application of this work is to serve as an early warning for World HealthOrganization (WHO) and other health regulatory bodies to perform more investigations in countries where COVID-19 datasets deviate significantly from Zipf’s law To this end, this paper provide a tool for illustrating Zipf’s law P-values on a global map in order to convey the geographic distribution of reporting anomalies © 2021, International Journal of Advanced Computer Science and Applications All Rights Reserved

13.
Healthcare ; 9(2):191, 2021.
Article | WHO COVID | ID: covidwho-1077139

ABSTRACT

This study evaluated severe psychological symptoms in the United Kingdom and Austria after four weeks of lockdown due to COVID-19 Two cross-sectional online surveys were performed with representative population samples according to age, gender, region, and education Depressive symptoms were measured with the Patient Health Questionnaire (PHQ-9), anxiety symptoms with the Generalized Anxiety Disorder scale (GAD-7), and insomnia symptoms with the Insomnia Severity Index (ISI) The sample size was N = 1005 for Austria (52% women) and N = 1006 (54% women) for the UK In total, 3 2% of the Austrian sample and 12 1% of the UK sample had severe depressive symptoms (PHQ-9 ≥ 20 points;χ2(1) = 57 24;p <0 001), 6 0% in Austria vs 18 9% in the UK had severe anxiety symptoms (GAD-7 ≥ 15 points;χ2(1) = 76 17;p <0 001), and 2 2% in Austria and 7 3% in the UK had severe insomnia (ISI;≥22 points;χ2(1) = 28 89;p <0 001) The prevalence of severe depressive, anxiety or insomnia symptoms was around three times higher in the UK than in Austria

14.
Biochem Pharmacol ; : 114463, 2021 Feb 10.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1071100

ABSTRACT

Our study aimed to assess the change in the sleep patterns during the Coronavirus lockdown in five regions (Austria/Germany, Ukraine, Greece, Cuba and Brazil), using online surveys, translated in each language. Part of the cohort (age 25-65, well-educated) was collected directly during lockdown, to which retrospective cross-sectional data from and after lockdown (retrospective) questionnaires were added. We investigated sleep times and sleep quality changes from before to during lockdown and found that, during lockdown, participants had (i) worse perceived sleep quality if worried by COVID-19, (ii) a shift of bedtimes to later hours during workdays, and (iii) a sleep loss on free days (resulting from more overall sleep during workdays in non-system relevant jobs), leading to (iv) a marked reduction of social jetlag across all cultures. For further analyses we directly compared system relevant and system irrelevant jobs, because it was assumed that the nature of the lockdown's consequences is dependent upon system relevance. System relevant jobs were found to have earlier wake-up times as well as shorter total sleep times on workdays, leading to higher social jetlag for people in system relevant jobs. Cultural differences revealed a general effect that participants from Greece and Ukraine had later bedtimes (on both work and free days) and wake-up times (on workdays) than Cuba, Brazil and Austria, irrespective of COVID-19 lockdown restrictions.

15.
BMC Public Health ; 21(1): 314, 2021 02 08.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1069557

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: Impacts of the Covid-19 pandemic and its public health measures go beyond physical and mental health and incorporate wider well-being impacts in terms of what people are free to do or be. We explored the impacts of the Covid-19 lockdown and relevant vulnerabilities on capability well-being, mental health and social support in Austria. METHODS: Adult Austrian residents (n = 560) provided responses to a cross-sectional online survey about their experiences during Covid-19 lockdown (15 March-15 April 2020). Instruments measuring capabilities (OxCAP-MH), depression and anxiety (HADS), social support (MSPSS) and mental well-being (WHO-5) were used in association with six pre-defined vulnerabilities using multivariable linear regression. RESULTS: 31% of the participants reported low mental well-being and only 30% of those with a history of mental health treatment received treatment during lockdown. Past mental health treatment had a significant negative effect across all outcome measures with an associated capability well-being score reduction of - 6.54 (95%CI, - 9.26, - 3.82). Direct Covid-19 experience and being 'at risk' due to age and/or physical health conditions were also associated with significant capability deprivations. When adjusted for vulnerabilities, significant capability reductions were observed in association with increased levels of depression (- 1.77) and anxiety (- 1.50), and significantly higher capability levels (+ 3.75) were associated with higher levels of social support. Compared to the cohort average, individual capability impacts varied between - 9% for those reporting past mental health treatment and + 5% for those reporting one score higher on the social support scale. CONCLUSIONS: Our study is the first to assess the capability limiting aspects of lockdown and relevant vulnerabilities alongside their impacts on mental health and social support. The negative capability well-being, mental health and social support impacts of the Covid-19 lockdown were strongest for people with a history of mental health treatment. Future public health policies concerning lockdowns should pay special attention to improve social support levels in order to increase public resilience.


Subject(s)
Anxiety/epidemiology , Depression/epidemiology , Quarantine/psychology , Social Support , Vulnerable Populations/psychology , Adolescent , Adult , Aged , Austria/epidemiology , Cross-Sectional Studies , Female , Humans , Male , Middle Aged , Risk Assessment , Surveys and Questionnaires , Vulnerable Populations/statistics & numerical data , Young Adult
16.
Treatises and Documents, Journal of Ethnic Studies ; - (85):203-222, 2021.
Article | WHO COVID | ID: covidwho-1068334

ABSTRACT

Crucial for the development and survival of minorities and persons belonging to them is that their situation and position are taken into account in the countries' measures and policies and are not aggravated thereby This is particularly relevant in times of crisis, such as the Covid-19 pandemic Social interaction within the minority and the active contact of a national community with its kin-state - currently limited as a result of the measures to contain the coronavirus - are of the utmost importance for all minority national communities Thanks to its organisational capacity, the Slovene national community in Austria was able to properly respond and adjust to the restrictions imposed, but the cancellation of traditional events and closure of bilingual schools raise questions among the community as to how its identity will survive if it cannot be expressed There is concern that these consequences, especially since the epidemic continues unabated in the second wave, are likely to have a long-term impact on ethnic vitality © 2020 Inštitut za narodnostna vprašanja (Ljubljana)

17.
International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health ; 17(21):1-9, 2020.
Article | WHO COVID | ID: covidwho-1067706

ABSTRACT

The outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic has caused changes in the provision of psychotherapy around the world The common format of delivering in-person psychotherapy is replaced by psychotherapy via the Internet to a great extent This study examined how well Austrian psychotherapists feel informed about the use of the Internet in psychotherapy, where additional information needs exist, and which software is used A link to an online survey was sent to all psychotherapists providing a valid email address in the official list of licensed psychotherapists at the start of the COVID-19 lockdown in Austria A total of 1547 people took part in the survey The results show that psychotherapy via the Internet was primarily offered via Skype and Zoom during the COVID-19 pandemic and that the majority of the therapists felt well-informed about psychotherapy via the Internet;however, several therapists stated that they wish to have further information on data protection and security Overall, the study shows that Austrian psychotherapists coped well with the rapid change from the provision of psychotherapy through personal contact to psychotherapy via the Internet Security and data protection aspects of therapy via the Internet should be addressed in training and further education of psychotherapists As this study was conducted online, it might have caused some respondent bias towards a higher participation of psychotherapists with higher preference for new technologies

18.
Journal of Outdoor Recreation and Tourism Vol 31 2020, ArtID 100329 ; 31, 2020.
Article | WHO COVID | ID: covidwho-1065371

ABSTRACT

The paper presents the status quo on climate change impacts on city tourism in Austria describing the impacts by air travel and a short stay on the greenhouse gas emissions and the changing conditions in the city For Austrian cities, depending on location and topography, heavy rainfall events, storms and heat waves in particular could become increasingly relevant in the tourism context For medium-sized and large cities, heat is the most frequently discussed topic in connection with possible adaptation potentials The analysis of challenges shows a strong overlap of adaptation targets in city tourism with adaptation challenges for city planning including connection to the sub-urban surrounding areas to confront climate change impacts Covid-19 pandemic, additionally, offered the opportunity to discuss a new re-start of the city-tourism against the experience during the shutdown period in spring 2020 The paper argues that we can learn from the current health crisis for coping with climate change related extreme events and to increase achievements in climate change mitigation Firstly, the pandemic provides a strong ability to discuss the impact of city tourism due to short-term air travel and options to enhance more climate-friendly options on the other hand Secondly, Covid-19 emphasized the need to reconsider the role of free spaces in metropolitan areas as well as their accessibility Herewith synergies with climate change adaptation are likely when questioning the availability and accessibility of green and blue infrastructure as well as their capacities Challenges including crowding and impacts by over tourism on public free spaces will require joint strategies involving all public and private institutions (including local communities and businesses) responsible for the maintenance of green and blue free spaces Thirdly, the strong interactions between urban and suburban areas became evident once more, which will also be very relevant for city tourism in the future (e g in times of heat waves) Reflection on the transferability of coping with such crowding effects, related to the adaptive behaviour of residents and tourists in times of severe heat waves, might be relevant for both city tourism and summer tourism destinations near metropolitan areas Finally, the Covid-19 crisis encourages discussions on over-tourism in metropolitan destinations in favour of a more balanced approach, in particular in inner city areas and around major sightseeing attractions (PsycInfo Database Record (c) 2021 APA, all rights reserved)

19.
iScience ; 23(10):101639, 2020.
Article | WHO COVID | ID: covidwho-1065232

ABSTRACT

As COVID-19 spreads worldwide, governments have been implementing a wide range of measures to contain it, from movement restrictions to economy-wide shutdowns Understanding their impacts is essential to support better policies for countries still experiencing outbreaks or in case of emergence of subsequent pandemic waves Here we show that the cumulative decline in electricity consumption within the 5 months following the stay-home orders ranges between 3% and 12% in the most affected EU countries and USA states, except Florida, which shows no significant impact Italy, France, Spain, California, Austria, and New York have recovered baseline consumption by the end of July, whereas Great Britain and Germany remain below baseline levels We also show that the relationship between measures stringency and daily decline in electricity consumption is nonlinear These results illustrate the severity of the crisis across countries and can support further research on the effect of specific measures

20.
Atmospheric Pollution Research ; 12(2):84-92, 2021.
Article | WHO COVID | ID: covidwho-1064815

ABSTRACT

Analysis of near-surface measurements at several measuring points in Graz, Austria, reveals the impact of restrictive measures during the COVID-19 pandemic on the emission of atmospheric pollutants We quantify the effects at traffic hotspots, industrial and residential areas Using historical data collected over several years, we are able to account for meteorological and seasonal confounders Our analysis is based on daily means as well as intraday pollution level curves Nitrogen dioxide (NO2) has decreased drastically while the levels of particulate matter PM10 and carbon monoxide (CO) mostly exhibit little change Traffic data shows that the decrease in traffic frequency is parallel to the decline in the levels of NO2 and NO

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