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COVID-19 epidemic in Switzerland: on the importance of testing, contact tracing and isolation

Salathé, Marcel
Althaus, Christian L
Neher, Richard
Hodcroft, Emma
Fellay, Jacques
Zwahlen, Marcel
Senti, Gabriela
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Published in Swiss Medical Weekly. 2020, vol. 150, w20225
Abstract Switzerland is among the countries with the highest number of coronavirus disease-2019 (COVID-19) cases per capita in the world. There are likely many people with undetected SARS-CoV-2 infection because testing efforts are currently not detecting all infected people, including some with clinical disease compatible with COVID-19. Testing on its own will not stop the spread of SARS-CoV-2. Testing is part of a strategy. The World Health Organization recommends a combination of measures: rapid diagnosis and immediate isolation of cases, rigorous tracking and precautionary self-isolation of close contacts. In this article, we explain why the testing strategy in Switzerland should be strengthened urgently, as a core component of a combination approach to control COVID-19.
Keywords BetacoronavirusCOVID-19Contact TracingCoronavirus Infections/diagnosis/epidemiology/prevention & controlDisease Outbreaks/prevention & controlHumansMass ScreeningPatient IsolationPneumoniaViral/diagnosis/epidemiology/prevention & controlPublic Health SurveillanceQuarantineSARS-CoV-2Switzerland/epidemiology
PMID: 32191813
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Article (Published version) (716 Kb) - public document Free access
Research group Emerging viruses (993)
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SALATHÉ, Marcel et al. COVID-19 epidemic in Switzerland: on the importance of testing, contact tracing and isolation. In: Swiss Medical Weekly, 2020, vol. 150, p. w20225. doi: 10.4414/smw.2020.20225 https://archive-ouverte.unige.ch/unige:150530

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Deposited on : 2021-03-22

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