ESCMID weekly news 21.04.2020

21 April 2020: ESCMID Weekly News
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21 April 2020

Dear colleagues,

Please find below the latest edition of ESCMID Weekly News.

With kind regards,
ESCMID Executive Office.


Upcoming ESCMID Webinars on COVID-19

Following the success of the first ESCMID webinar on COVID-19, we are pleased to announce that 5 further webinars are planned for the coming weeks on various specific aspects of COVID-19. The dates and times are planned as follows:

  • COVID-19 and Infection control 1:
    Monday, 27 April 2020, 18:00-20:00 CEST

  • COVID-19 and Infection control 2:
    Thursday, 30 April 2020, 18:00-20:00 CEST

  • COVID-19 and diagnostics:
    Thursday, 7 May 2020, 18:00-20:00 CEST 

  • COVID-19 case presentations:
    Thursday, 14 May 2020, 18:00-20:00 CEST

  • COVID-19 and Public Health:
    Thursday, 31 May 2020, 18:00-20:00 CEST

Follow ESCMID on Twitter or Facebook to stay up to date with the announcement of these webinars.

You can watch a replay of the previous Webinar on the ESCMID E-Academy.

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ESCMID urges support for the WHO

The European Society of Clinical Microbiology and Infectious Diseases (ESCMID), supports the World Health Organization, WHO.

In the current COVID-19 pandemic, the WHO is the key player supporting policy in low- and middle-income countries, providing policy guidelines and expertise, and coordinating the actions all over the world. The WHO is the leading organization creating a forum for collaboration between countries on health issues, for instance developing the International Health Regulations, regulating cross-border issues such as international travel.

Read the full statement on the ESCMID News Website.

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3rd ESCMID teleconference with Affiliated Societies

To help share knowledge on the COVID-19 pandemic, ESCMID is holding a series of teleconferences with representatives of its Affiliated Societies. The 3rd teleconference was held on Tuesday, 14 April 2020, and focused on management of COVID-19 patients.

Participants discussed ongoing clinical trials, in particular the WHO-sponsored Solidarity trial and the INSERM-sponsored Discovery trail. There is a need for more information on participating institutions as well as on the procedure to participate; moreover, participants felt that coordination is needed to know more about national or local clinical trials. Obtaining fast approval of study protocols from local ethics committee is still a limitation in some countries.

A second point of discussion was the compassionate treatment of patients. Some countries are exclusively treating patients enrolled in clinical trials, others have relaxed the regulation to ease the creation of novel studies. The use of anti-inflammatory and antivirals was discussed with caution. The website of the University of Liverpool was mentioned as an excellent source of information.

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ESGLI guidance documents for managing Legionella in water systems during the COVID-19 pandemic

The ESCMID Study Group for Legionella Infections (ESGLI) has issued several guidance documents aimed at ensuring building water systems are kept safe during and following the COVID-19 pandemic. It is essential that appropriate testing of water systems and patients is carried out to protect both patients and staff from unrecognised outbreaks of waterborne infections including those caused by Legionella. There are 3 different guidance documents pertaining to hospitals, nursing and care homes, and other general buildings and how to best manage Legionella in building water systems during this COVID-19 outbreak. You can see them all on the ESGLI website here.

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GARDP Live Webinar:
Inhaled Antimicrobials – 28 April, 17:00 CEST

Don’t miss the next GARDP Live Webinar, where Harm A. W. M. Tiddens will discuss the area of inhaled antimicrobials, and the challenges associated with direct respiratory drug delivery.

The Webinar will take place next Tuesday, 28 April 2020 at 17:00 CEST.

Register on the GARDP Website.

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CMI highlight: Clinical characteristics of non-critically ill patients with novel coronavirus infection (COVID-19) in a Fangcang Hospital

As of 21 March 2020, China had 81,054 confirmed cases in total, 50,005 of which were identified in Wuhan. Of all the confirmed cases, about 20% were seriously and critically ill. From the perspective of treating patients and controlling the source of infection, a completely novel model, the Fangcang hospital, emerged, which mainly received non-seriously ill individuals with positive SARS-CoV-2 RT-PCR tests. In this study, Wang et al. explore the clinical features of 1012 non-critically ill individuals with a positive SARS-CoV-2 RT-PCR, admitted to Dongxihu Fangcang Hospital, which was promptly constructed because of the rapid, exponential increase in COVID-19 patients in Wuhan, China.

The authors found that non-critically ill individuals had different clinical characteristics from critically ill patients. Asymptomatic infections only accounted for a small proportion of individuals infected with SARS-CoV-2, but might be a potential source of infection. It had been reported that asymptomatic individuals could spread the disease to family members, indicating that timely isolation of asymptomatic infected people was important for epidemic prevention and control. Although with a low incidence, diarrhoea in patients with COVID-19 should not be ignored, indicating the possibility of faecal–oral transmission.

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The ESCMID Newsletter is issued on behalf of the European Society of Clinical Microbiology and Infectious Diseases (ESCMID) by the ESCMID Executive Office. It contains announcements of ESCMID-related matters and other information of interest to professionals in the infection field.

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