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2.
Euro Surveill ; 27(31)2022 Aug.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1987414

ABSTRACT

In the Netherlands, the avian influenza outbreak in poultry in 2003 and the Q fever outbreak in dairy goats between 2007 and 2010 had severe consequences for public health. These outbreaks led to the establishment of an integrated human-veterinary risk analysis system for zoonoses, the Zoonoses Structure. The aim of the Zoonoses Structure is to signal, assess and control emerging zoonoses that may pose a risk to animal and/or human health in an integrated One Health approach. The Signalling Forum Zoonoses (SO-Z), the first step of the Zoonoses Structure, is a multidisciplinary committee composed of experts from the medical, veterinary, entomology and wildlife domains. The SO-Z shares relevant signals with professionals and has monthly meetings. Over the past 10 years (June 2011 to December 2021), 390 different signals of various zoonotic pathogens in animal reservoirs and humans have been assessed. Here, we describe the Zoonoses Structure with examples from signals and responses for four zoonotic events in the Netherlands (tularaemia, Brucella canis, West Nile virus, and severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2)). This may serve as an example for other countries on how to collaborate in a One Health approach to signal and control emerging zoonoses.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Communicable Diseases, Emerging , One Health , Animals , Communicable Diseases, Emerging/epidemiology , Humans , Netherlands/epidemiology , SARS-CoV-2 , Zoonoses/epidemiology
3.
Transpl Int ; 35: 10466, 2022.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1979081

ABSTRACT

Recently England and Netherlands have changed their consent system from Opt In to Opt Out. The reflections shared in this paper give insight and may be helpful for other nation considering likewise. Strong support in England for the change in legislation led to Opt Out being introduced without requiring a vote in parliament in 2019. In Netherlands the bill passed by the smallest possible majority in 2018. Both countries implemented a public campaign to raise awareness. In England registration on the Donor Register is voluntary. Registration was required in Netherlands for all residents 18 years and older. For those not already on the register, letters were sent by the Dutch Government to ask individuals to register. If people did not respond they would be legally registered as having "no objection." After implementation of Opt Out in England 42.3% is registered Opt In, 3.6% Opt Out, and 54.1% has no registration. In contrast in Netherlands the whole population is registered with 45% Opt In, 31% Opt Out and 24% "No Objection." It is too soon to draw conclusions about the impact on the consent rate and number of resulting organ donors. However, the first signs are positive.


Subject(s)
Tissue and Organ Procurement , England , Government , Humans , Netherlands , Tissue Donors
4.
Age Ageing ; 51(3)2022 03 01.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1973088

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: as the coronavirus disease of 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic progressed diagnostics and treatment changed. OBJECTIVE: to investigate differences in characteristics, disease presentation and outcomes of older hospitalised COVID-19 patients between the first and second pandemic wave in The Netherlands. METHODS: this was a multicentre retrospective cohort study in 16 hospitals in The Netherlands including patients aged ≥ 70 years, hospitalised for COVID-19 in Spring 2020 (first wave) and Autumn 2020 (second wave). Data included Charlson comorbidity index (CCI), disease severity and Clinical Frailty Scale (CFS). Main outcome was in-hospital mortality. RESULTS: a total of 1,376 patients in the first wave (median age 78 years, 60% male) and 946 patients in the second wave (median age 79 years, 61% male) were included. There was no relevant difference in presence of comorbidity (median CCI 2) or frailty (median CFS 4). Patients in the second wave were admitted earlier in the disease course (median 6 versus 7 symptomatic days; P < 0.001). In-hospital mortality was lower in the second wave (38.1% first wave versus 27.0% second wave; P < 0.001). Mortality risk was 40% lower in the second wave compared with the first wave (95% confidence interval: 28-51%) after adjustment for differences in patient characteristics, comorbidity, symptomatic days until admission, disease severity and frailty. CONCLUSIONS: compared with older patients hospitalised in the first COVID-19 wave, patients in the second wave had lower in-hospital mortality, independent of risk factors for mortality.The better prognosis likely reflects earlier diagnosis, the effect of improvement in treatment and is relevant for future guidelines and treatment decisions.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Pandemics , Aged , COVID-19/epidemiology , COVID-19/therapy , Female , Humans , Male , Netherlands/epidemiology , Retrospective Studies , SARS-CoV-2
5.
Lancet ; 400(10350): 452-461, 2022 08 06.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1972378

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: Patients often report various symptoms after recovery from acute COVID-19. Previous studies on post-COVID-19 condition have not corrected for the prevalence and severity of these common symptoms before COVID-19 and in populations without SARS-CoV-2 infection. We aimed to analyse the nature, prevalence, and severity of long-term symptoms related to COVID-19, while correcting for symptoms present before SARS-CoV-2 infection and controlling for the symptom dynamics in the population without infection. METHODS: This study is based on data collected within Lifelines, a multidisciplinary, prospective, population-based, observational cohort study examining the health and health-related behaviours of people living in the north of the Netherlands. All Lifelines participants aged 18 years or older received invitations to digital COVID-19 questionnaires. Longitudinal dynamics of 23 somatic symptoms surrounding COVID-19 diagnoses (due to SARS-CoV-2 alpha [B.1.1.7] variant or previous variants) were assessed using 24 repeated measurements between March 31, 2020, and Aug 2, 2021. Participants with COVID-19 (a positive SARS-CoV-2 test or a physician's diagnosis of COVID-19) were matched by age, sex, and time to COVID-19-negative controls. We recorded symptom severity before and after COVID-19 in participants with COVID-19 and compared that with matched controls. FINDINGS: 76 422 participants (mean age 53·7 years [SD 12·9], 46 329 [60·8%] were female) completed a total of 883 973 questionnaires. Of these, 4231 (5·5%) participants had COVID-19 and were matched to 8462 controls. Persistent symptoms in COVID-19-positive participants at 90-150 days after COVID-19 compared with before COVID-19 and compared with matched controls included chest pain, difficulties with breathing, pain when breathing, painful muscles, ageusia or anosmia, tingling extremities, lump in throat, feeling hot and cold alternately, heavy arms or legs, and general tiredness. In 12·7% of patients, these symptoms could be attributed to COVID-19, as 381 (21·4%) of 1782 COVID-19-positive participants versus 361 (8·7%) of 4130 COVID-19-negative controls had at least one of these core symptoms substantially increased to at least moderate severity at 90-150 days after COVID-19 diagnosis or matched timepoint. INTERPRETATION: To our knowledge, this is the first study to report the nature and prevalence of post-COVID-19 condition, while correcting for individual symptoms present before COVID-19 and the symptom dynamics in the population without SARS-CoV-2 infection during the pandemic. Further research that distinguishes potential mechanisms driving post-COVID-19-related symptomatology is required. FUNDING: ZonMw; Dutch Ministry of Health, Welfare, and Sport; Dutch Ministry of Economic Affairs; University Medical Center Groningen, University of Groningen; Provinces of Drenthe, Friesland, and Groningen.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Medically Unexplained Symptoms , COVID-19/epidemiology , COVID-19 Testing , Cohort Studies , Female , Humans , Male , Middle Aged , Netherlands/epidemiology , Prospective Studies , SARS-CoV-2
6.
Acta Ophthalmol ; 100 Suppl 268: 3-45, 2022 06.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1968063
7.
Healthc Policy ; 17(SP): 14-26, 2022 Jun.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1955030

ABSTRACT

The outbreak of the COVID-19 crisis severely afflicted the Dutch long-term care sector. To protect vulnerable residents of nursing homes the government took several measures, of which the complete nationwide visitors' ban was the most restrictive. These measures had not only a large impact on residents but they also greatly impacted nursing home personnel. Based on a descriptive review and a few interviews, this paper discusses the measures taken in the Dutch long-term care sector and the challenges healthcare personnel encountered in terms of workload and well-being. It further explores the strategies that were implemented to support personnel to cope with these challenges.


Subject(s)
Health Personnel , Long-Term Care , COVID-19/epidemiology , Humans , Netherlands , Nursing Homes
8.
Int J Public Health ; 67: 1604665, 2022.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1933943

ABSTRACT

Objectives: We assessed the impacts of COVID-19 on multiple life domains across socio-demographic groups in Netherlands. Methods: After the first COVID-19 wave, we distributed online questionnaires among 13,031 participants of the multi-ethnic HELIUS cohort. Questionnaires contained questions on changes in income status, healthy behaviors, mental health, and access to non-COVID-19 health care. We then calculated differences in adjusted proportions of participants that reported negative changes across multiple life domains by migration background, age, sex, education, and occupation. Results: 4,450 individuals (35%) responded, of which 4,294 were included. Older populations and men seemed to be less vulnerable to negative changes in multiple life domains during the COVID-19 pandemic as compared to the pre-pandemic period, while populations with a migration background and lower education/occupation groups seemed to be more vulnerable to negative changes. Conclusion: Not all populations vulnerable to SARS-CoV-2 infection and mortality are also more vulnerable to COVID-19 impacts across multiple other life domains. Targeted interventions are needed in socio-demographic groups that are most impacted by COVID-19 in various life domains to prevent a further increase of their already increased risk of chronic diseases after the pandemic.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Transients and Migrants , COVID-19/epidemiology , Cross-Sectional Studies , Ethnicity , Humans , Male , Netherlands , Pandemics , SARS-CoV-2 , Surveys and Questionnaires
9.
PLoS One ; 17(6): e0268865, 2022.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1933294

ABSTRACT

INTRODUCTION: Several Public Health Services and general practitioners in the Netherlands observed an increase in scabies in the Netherlands. Since individual cases of scabies are not notifiable in the Netherlands, the epidemiological situation is mostly unknown. To investigate the scabies incidence in the Netherlands, we described the epidemiology of scabies between 2011 and 2021. METHODS: Two national data sources were analysed descriptively. One data source obtained incidence data of scabies (per 1,000 persons) of persons consulting in primary care from 2011-2020. The other data source captured the number of prescribed scabicides in the Netherlands from 2011-2021. To describe the correlation between the incidence of diagnoses and the number of dispensations between 2011 and 2020, we calculated a correlation coefficient. RESULTS: The incidence of reported scabies has increased by more than threefold the last decade (2011-2020), mainly affecting adolescents and (young) adults. This was also clearly reflected in the fivefold increase in dispensations of scabicide medication during 2011-2021. The incidence and dispensations were at an all-time high in 2021. We found a strong correlation between the reported incidence and the number of dispensations between 2011 and 2020. CONCLUSIONS: More awareness on early diagnosis, proper treatment and treatment of close contacts is needed.


Subject(s)
Acaricides , General Practitioners , Scabies , Acaricides/therapeutic use , Adolescent , Adult , Humans , Incidence , Netherlands/epidemiology , Referral and Consultation , Scabies/epidemiology
10.
BMC Prim Care ; 23(1): 115, 2022 05 11.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1933081

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: During the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic, people have been confronted with a large amount of information about the virus and the governmental measures against its spreading. However, more than a quarter of individuals have limited health literacy (HL), meaning that they have difficulty finding, understanding, and applying health information. The purpose of this interview study was to investigate how individuals with limited HL acquire information about COVID-19 and governmental measures, what difficulties they experience in understanding and applying it, and what may be needed to overcome these difficulties. We also addressed other problems that they might face as a result of the pandemic. Using our findings, we aimed to make recommendations on the possible role of primary care in informing and supporting patients with limited HL during the pandemic. METHODS: Between June and October 2020, 28 individuals with limited HL were interviewed by phone (age range 20-84). The interviews were semi-structured and focused on the first months of the pandemic in the Netherlands (March/April/May 2020). RESULTS: The participants generally found COVID-19-related information abundant and complicated, and sometimes contradictory. Information provision by their own health care professionals was highly appreciated, especially in the context of chronic illnesses. General health care problems resulting from COVID-19 measures were postponement of regular care and difficulty with digital contacts. CONCLUSIONS: Individuals with limited HL may benefit from provision of COVID-19-related information and support by their own health care providers. This applies in particular to patients with chronic illnesses. Primary care professionals are in the ideal position to take this role.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Health Literacy , Adult , Aged , Aged, 80 and over , COVID-19/epidemiology , Chronic Disease , Humans , Middle Aged , Netherlands/epidemiology , Pandemics , Primary Health Care , Qualitative Research , SARS-CoV-2 , Young Adult
11.
BMC Pregnancy Childbirth ; 21(1): 767, 2021 Nov 12.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1923525

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: The COVID-19 pandemic led to regional or nationwide lockdowns as part of risk mitigation measurements in many countries worldwide. Recent studies suggest an unexpected and unprecedented decrease in preterm births during the initial COVID-19 lockdowns in the first half of 2020. The objective of the current study was to assess the effects of the two months of the initial national COVID-19 lockdown period on the incidence of very and extremely preterm birth in the Netherlands, stratified by either spontaneous or iatrogenic onset of delivery, in both singleton and multiple pregnancies. METHODS: Retrospective cohort study using data from all 10 perinatal centers in the Netherlands on very and extremely preterm births during the initial COVID-19 lockdown from March 15 to May 15, 2020. Incidences of very and extremely preterm birth were calculated using an estimate of the total number of births in the Netherlands in this period. As reference, we used data from the corresponding calendar period in 2015-2018 from the national perinatal registry (Perined). We differentiated between spontaneous versus iatrogenic onset of delivery and between singleton versus multiple pregnancies. RESULTS: The incidence of total preterm birth < 32 weeks in singleton pregnancies was 6.1‰ in the study period in 2020 versus 6.5‰ in the corresponding period in 2015-2018. The decrease in preterm births in singletons was solely due to a significant decrease in iatrogenic preterm births, both < 32 weeks (OR 0.71; 95%CI 0.53 to 0.95) and < 28 weeks (OR 0.53; 95%CI 0.29 to 0.97). For multiple pregnancies, an increase in preterm births < 28 weeks was observed (OR 2.43; 95%CI 1.35 to 4.39). CONCLUSION: This study shows a decrease in iatrogenic preterm births during the initial COVID-19-related lockdown in the Netherlands in singletons. Future studies should focus on the mechanism of action of lockdown measures and reduction of preterm birth and the effects of perinatal outcome.


Subject(s)
COVID-19/prevention & control , Labor, Induced/trends , Premature Birth/epidemiology , Premature Birth/etiology , Female , Health Policy , Humans , Iatrogenic Disease/epidemiology , Incidence , Infant, Extremely Premature , Infant, Newborn , Logistic Models , Netherlands/epidemiology , Pregnancy , Prenatal Care/methods , Prenatal Care/trends , Protective Factors , Retrospective Studies , Risk Factors
12.
Age Ageing ; 51(6)2022 Jun 01.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1908735
13.
Front Immunol ; 13: 821721, 2022.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1902983

ABSTRACT

Many studies already reported on the association between patient characteristics on the severity of COVID-19 disease outcome, but the relation with SARS-CoV-2 antibody levels is less clear. To investigate this in more detail, we performed a retrospective observational study in which we used the IgG antibody response from 11,118 longitudinal antibody measurements of 2,082 unique COVID convalescent plasma donors. COVID-19 symptoms and donor characteristics were obtained by a questionnaire. Antibody responses were modelled using a linear mixed-effects model. Our study confirms that the SARS-CoV-2 antibody response is associated with patient characteristics like body mass index and age. Antibody decay was faster in male than in female donors (average half-life of 62 versus 72 days). Most interestingly, we also found that three symptoms (headache, anosmia, nasal cold) were associated with lower peak IgG, while six other symptoms (dry cough, fatigue, diarrhoea, fever, dyspnoea, muscle weakness) were associated with higher IgG concentrations.


Subject(s)
Age Factors , COVID-19/immunology , COVID-19/therapy , SARS-CoV-2/physiology , Adult , Antibodies, Viral/blood , Antibody Formation , Blood Donors , Body Mass Index , COVID-19/epidemiology , COVID-19/physiopathology , Convalescence , Female , Humans , Immunization, Passive/methods , Immunoglobulin G/blood , Male , Middle Aged , Netherlands/epidemiology , Retrospective Studies
14.
Med Care Res Rev ; 79(4): 549-561, 2022 08.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1902276

ABSTRACT

Hospitals operate in increasingly complex and dynamically uncertain environments. To understand how hospital organizations can cope with such profound uncertainty, this article presents a multiple case study of five hospitals during the COVID-19 crisis in a heavily hit region of the Netherlands. We find that hospitals make adaptations in five key categories, namely: reorganization, decision-making, human resources, material resources, and planning. These adaptations offer insights into the core capabilities needed by hospitals to cope with dynamic uncertainty. Our findings highlight the need for hospitals to become more flexible without sacrificing efficiency. Organizations can accomplish this by building in more sensing and seizing capabilities to be better prepared for and respond to environmental change. Furthermore, transforming capabilities allow organizations to be more resilient and responsive in the face of ongoing uncertainty. We make recommendations on how hospitals can build these capabilities and address the core challenges they face in this pursuit.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Hospitals , Humans , Netherlands , Uncertainty , Workforce
15.
Influenza Other Respir Viruses ; 16(5): 926-936, 2022 Sep.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1901696

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: Little RSV activity was observed during the first expected RSV season since the COVID-19 pandemic. Multiple countries later experienced out-of-season RSV resurgences, yet their association with non-pharmaceutical interventions (NPIs) is unclear. This study aimed to describe the changes in RSV epidemiology during the COVID-19 pandemic and to estimate the association between individual NPIs and the RSV resurgences. METHODS: RSV activity from Week (W)12-2020 to W44-2021 was compared with three pre-pandemic seasons using RSV surveillance data from Brazil, Canada, Chile, France, Israel, Japan, South Africa, South Korea, Taiwan, the Netherlands and the United States. Changes in nine NPIs within 10 weeks before RSV resurgences were described. Associations between NPIs and RSV activity were assessed with linear mixed models. Adherence to NPIs was not taken into account. RESULTS: Average delay of the first RSV season during the COVID-19 pandemic was 39 weeks (range: 13-88 weeks). Although the delay was <40 weeks in six countries, a missed RSV season was observed in Brazil, Chile, Japan, Canada and South Korea. School closures, workplace closures, and stay-at-home requirements were most commonly downgraded before an RSV resurgence. Reopening schools and lifting stay-at-home requirements were associated with increases of 1.31% (p = 0.04) and 2.27% (p = 0.06) in the deviation from expected RSV activity. CONCLUSION: The first RSV season during the COVID-19 pandemic was delayed in the 11 countries included. Reopening of schools was consistently associated with increased RSV activity. As NPIs were often changed concomitantly, the association between RSV activity and school closures may be partly attributed to other NPIs.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Respiratory Syncytial Virus Infections , Respiratory Syncytial Virus, Human , COVID-19/epidemiology , COVID-19/prevention & control , Humans , Netherlands , Pandemics , Respiratory Syncytial Virus Infections/epidemiology , Schools , United States
16.
PLoS One ; 17(3): e0264311, 2022.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1896449

ABSTRACT

INTRODUCTION: The Coronavirus SARS-CoV-2pandemic necessitated several changes in maternity care. We investigated maternity care providers' opinions on the positive and negative effects of these changes and on potential areas of improvement for future maternity care both in times of crisis and in regular maternity care. METHODS: We conducted nineteen semi-structured in-depth interviews with obstetricians, obstetric residents, community-based and hospital-based midwives and obstetric nurses. The interviews were thematically analysed using inductive Thematic analysis. RESULTS: Five themes were generated: '(Dis)proportionate measures', 'A significant impact of COVID-19', 'Differing views on inter-provider cooperation', 'Reluctance to seek help' and 'Lessons learnt'. The Central Organizing Concept was: 'It was tough but necessary'. The majority of participants were positive about most of the measures that were taken and about their proportionality. These measures had a significant impact on maternity care providers, both mentally and on an organizational level. Most hospital-based care providers were positive about professional cooperation and communication, but some community-based midwives indicated that the cooperation between different midwifery care practices was suboptimal. Negative effects mentioned were a higher threshold for women to seek care, less partner involvement and perceived more fear among women and their partners, especially around birth. The most significant positive effect mentioned was increased use of eHealth tools. Recommendations for future care were to consider the necessity of prenatal and postnatal care more critically, to replace some face-to-face visits with eHealth and to provide more individualised care. CONCLUSION: Maternity care providers experienced measures and organizational changes during the first wave of the COVID19-pandemic as tough, but necessary. They believed that a more critical consideration of medically necessary care, increased use of e-health and more individualised care might contribute to making maternity care more sustainable during and after the pandemic.


Subject(s)
COVID-19/epidemiology , Health Personnel/psychology , Maternal Health Services/organization & administration , Adult , COVID-19/virology , Female , Humans , Interviews as Topic , Male , Netherlands/epidemiology , Nurses/psychology , Organizational Innovation , Physicians/psychology , Pregnancy , SARS-CoV-2/isolation & purification , Surveys and Questionnaires
17.
Euro Surveill ; 27(6)2022 02.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1883863

ABSTRACT

The SARS-CoV-2 Omicron variant has a growth advantage over the Delta variant because of higher transmissibility, immune evasion or shorter serial interval. Using S gene target failure (SGTF) as indication for Omicron BA.1, we identified 908 SGTF and 1,621 non-SGTF serial intervals in the same period. Within households, the mean serial interval for SGTF cases was 0.2-0.6 days shorter than for non-SGTF cases. This suggests that the growth advantage of Omicron is partly due to a shorter serial interval.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , SARS-CoV-2 , Humans , Netherlands
19.
Vaccine ; 40(34): 5044-5049, 2022 Aug 12.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1882616

ABSTRACT

INTRODUCTION: Real-world vaccine effectiveness (VE) estimates are essential to identify potential groups at higher risk of break-through infections and to guide policy. We assessed the VE of COVID-19 vaccination against COVID-19 hospitalization, while adjusting and stratifying for patient characteristics. METHODS: We performed a test-negative case-control study in six Dutch hospitals. The study population consisted of adults eligible for COVID-19 vaccination hospitalized between May 1 and June 28, 2021 with respiratory symptoms. Cases were defined as patients who tested positive for SARS-CoV-2 by PCR during the first 48 h of admission or within 14 days prior to hospital admission. Controls were patients tested negative at admission and did not have a positive test during the 2 weeks prior to hospitalization. VE was calculated using multivariable logistic regression, adjusting for calendar week, sex, age, comorbidity and nursing home residency. Subgroup analysis was performed for age, sex and different comorbidities. Secondary endpoints were ICU-admission and mortality. RESULTS: 379 cases and 255 controls were included of whom 157 (18%) were vaccinated prior to admission. Five cases (1%) and 40 controls (16%) were fully vaccinated (VE: 93%; 95% CI: 81 - 98), and 40 cases (11%) and 70 controls (27%) were partially vaccinated (VE: 70%; 95% CI: 50-82). A strongly protective effect of vaccination was found in all comorbidity subgroups. No ICU-admission or mortality were reported among fully vaccinated cases. Of unvaccinated cases, mortality was 10% and 19% was admitted at the ICU. CONCLUSION: COVID-19 vaccination provides a strong protective effect against COVID-19 related hospital admission, in patients with and without comorbidity.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Adult , COVID-19/epidemiology , COVID-19/prevention & control , COVID-19 Vaccines , Case-Control Studies , Hospitalization , Hospitals , Humans , Netherlands/epidemiology , SARS-CoV-2 , Vaccine Efficacy
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