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A sharp decrease in reported non-COVID-19 notifiable infectious diseases during the first wave of the COVID-19 epidemic in the Rotterdam region, the Netherlands: a descriptive study.
van Deursen, Babette; Hagenaars, Margot; Meima, Abraham; van Asten, Liselotte; Richardus, Jan Hendrik; Fanoy, Ewout; Voeten, Helene.
  • van Deursen B; Public Health Service Rotterdam-Rijnmond, Rotterdam, The Netherlands. babettevandeursen@hotmail.com.
  • Hagenaars M; Public Health Service Rotterdam-Rijnmond, Rotterdam, The Netherlands.
  • Meima A; Department of Public Health, Erasmus Medical Center, University Medical Center Rotterdam, Rotterdam, The Netherlands.
  • van Asten L; Public Health Service Rotterdam-Rijnmond, Rotterdam, The Netherlands.
  • Richardus JH; Center for Epidemiology and Surveillance of Infectious Diseases, National Institute for Public Health and the Environment, Bilthoven, The Netherlands.
  • Fanoy E; Public Health Service Rotterdam-Rijnmond, Rotterdam, The Netherlands.
  • Voeten H; Department of Public Health, Erasmus Medical Center, University Medical Center Rotterdam, Rotterdam, The Netherlands.
BMC Infect Dis ; 22(1): 208, 2022 Mar 03.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1779610
ABSTRACT

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.
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Full text: Available Collection: International databases Database: MEDLINE Main subject: Communicable Diseases / COVID-19 Type of study: Experimental Studies / Observational study / Randomized controlled trials Limits: Humans Country/Region as subject: Europa Language: English Journal: BMC Infect Dis Journal subject: Communicable Diseases Year: 2022 Document Type: Article Affiliation country: S12879-022-07209-5

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Full text: Available Collection: International databases Database: MEDLINE Main subject: Communicable Diseases / COVID-19 Type of study: Experimental Studies / Observational study / Randomized controlled trials Limits: Humans Country/Region as subject: Europa Language: English Journal: BMC Infect Dis Journal subject: Communicable Diseases Year: 2022 Document Type: Article Affiliation country: S12879-022-07209-5