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Special COVID-19 issue of Infectious Diseases Research Review
Research Review provides clinical updates, provided by specialists in the field. In this document, the focus is on COVID-19 and there is some interesting information available. If you subscribe to Research Review you will receive regular updates of what is happening in health care.
Nonpharmaceutical interventions to reduce COVID-19 mortality and healthcare demand – Professor Beckert explains “This paper by the Imperial College London was published on the 16th March and gave enough modelling details for governments around the world to change their policies. The authors call COVID-19 the most serious respiratory threat since 1918 H1N1 influenza. With the lack of a vaccine and pharmaceutical treatments, they discuss the social impacts of the strategies to mitigate or suppress the epidemic growth. Their modelling is chilling at times, like estimating 40 million worldwide deaths without intervention (Nature News). Bottom line: intermittent physical distancing with short periods of relaxation is likely to be the most successful strategy for the next 18 months.”
Physical interventions to interrupt or reduce the spread of respiratory viruses – Professor Lutz Beckert suggests “The use of facemasks in public is a topic of intense debate. Their use is influenced by cultural traditions, epidemiology, environmental science and the need to ration the limited resource of PPE. Published during a less pressured time, this Cochrane review was suggesting some efficacy of N95 respirators and simple surgical masks to reduce infections. The authors found no evidence that the more expensive, irritating and uncomfortable N95 respirators were superior to simple surgical masks. The Czech Republic is an example of a European country embracing masks (YouTube). Bottom line: in addition to physical distancing and handwashing, facial masks may reduce the spread of infections.