Tag Archive: Health

Coronavirus: new infections slowing in Switzerland

The number of new recorded Covid-19 cases is slowing in Switzerland. By 8 April 2020 the total number of recorded cases was 23,574 according to Switzerland’s health authority.

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Coronavirus: loss of smell indicates “very high likelihood” of infection

While there is currently no scientifically proven link between anosmia (loss of smell) and Covid-19, more and more experts are saying the symptom is a strong indicator. Gilbert Greub, head of the microbiology department at the CHUV hospital in Lausanne, is one such expert. “Given the widespread Covid-19 epidemic, I think that everyone who has a problem tasting or a problem smelling has a very high likelihood of testing positive and should be tested.

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Coronavirus: deciding who gets a ventilator

By 31 March 2020, there were around 326 Covid-19 patients in intensive care and 228 on ventilators in Switzerland. It is estimated that there are around 750 ventilators across the country. If the health system reaches overload, medical professionals in Switzerland might be forced to make the kinds of difficult decisions being made in neighbouring France and Italy.

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Coronavirus: Swiss test rate now higher than South Korea’s

This morning, Switzerland’s federal government announced the number of Covid-19 tests conducted so far in Switzerland. South Korea, a nation often cited among those with high test rates, now trails Switzerland on the number per capita tests it has conducted.

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Coronavirus: the fallibility of fatality rates

Naturally, many of us would like to know the fatality rate of Covid-19. But at this stage it is guesswork. Here are some of the problems with two of the most popular fatality rates. The most popular calculation involves dividing the number deaths by the number of cases. Epidemiologists call this a naive case fatality rate (CFR). There are two ways to calculate this rate.

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Coronavirus: a test to see if you’ve had it is in the pipeline

Coronavirus testing has been rationed in Switzerland, reserving it for high risk more severe cases, although doctors retain discretion to have anyone tested. It is likely those that have been infected and have recovered will have immunity and no longer be able to act as carriers of the disease.

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Global curbs on medical exports imperil poor nations

Around 50 countries have introduced curbs on exports of medical supplies, including ventilators. This poses a major risk for poor countries, a Swiss study has revealed. The past fortnight has seen nations around the world scrambling for medical supplies and equipment to combat the fast-spreading coronavirus.

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Coronavirus: infection rates in some Swiss cantons now higher than Lombardy

Lombardy, the region in northern Italy where the coronavirus outbreak first took off in Europe, now has fewer per capita cases testing positive for the virus than some Swiss cantons. Recent data from Italy show there were 179 cases per 100,000 in Lombardy. In Ticino, Switzerland’s worst affected canton, there were 329 cases per 100,000. Geneva (231) and Vaud (211) had Switzerland’s next highest rates.

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Swiss hospitals take French coronavirus patients

Three Swiss hospitals have agreed to provide intensive care treatment for six seriously ill coronavirus patients from the neighbouring Alsace region of France. However, experts fear that Switzerland’s health infrastructure will soon be stretched by the rising number of pandemic victims.

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Coronavirus: estimating the death toll in Switzerland

COVID-19 has hit the world fast and we are racing to understand it, while struggling to come to terms with its deadly impact. When trying to estimate the impact, it is tempting to take the current number of deaths and divide it by the number of reported cases. However, the resulting percentage is meaningless.

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‘We will come through this together’

The upheaval caused by the coronavirus, Covid-19, is all around us. And I know many are anxious, worried and confused. That’s absolutely natural. We are facing a health threat unlike any other in our lifetimes. Meanwhile, the virus is spreading, the danger is growing, and our health systems, economies and day-to-day lives are being severely tested.

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Shortage of hospital beds in Ticino as virus toll rises

The Swiss health authorities have raised alarm over the limited care facilities in one of its regions hardest hit by the coronavirus epidemic. “The situation in Ticino is dramatic,” said Daniel Koch of the Federal Office of Public Health at a news conference on Thursday.

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Swiss government announces further restrictions to slow spread of virus

At a press conference at 5pm on 16 March 2020, members of the Federal Council presented a list of further restrictions designed to slow the spread of the Covid-19 virus, that will become active from midnight tonight. A video of the conference can be viewed below.

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Is Ibuprofen dangerous for those infected with the coronavirus?

Ibuprofen belongs to a family of drugs known as non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs. On 14 March 2020, Olivier Véran, France’s health minister Tweeted that taking anti-inflammatory medicine “could be an aggravating factor” for those infected with Covid-19, and recommended paracetamol for those with a fever.

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Coronavirus: Swiss hospitals have around 750 breathing ventilators

One of the biggest challenges during the coronavirus outbreak will be ensuring there are enough qualified staff and equipment to keep the worst affected patients alive. Thierry Fumeaux, head of the Swiss Society of Intensive Medicine, told RTS there are 82 intensive care units (ICU) across Switzerland. These have a combined 850 places, of which 750 are equipped with breathing equipment. It is not clear how many of these places are currently available.

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Coronavirus: an estimate of the real number of infections in Switzerland

Today, according to the Federal Office of Public Health (FOPH), there were 815 confirmed cases in Switzerland. There are obvious challenges to this figure. Possibly the most important is the time lag between infection and a confirmed case.

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Coronavirus: youngest death so far brings Swiss death toll to four

The coronavirus has claimed its fourth victim in Switzerland. A 54 year old man died yesterday in Binningen hospital in the canton of Basel-Landschaft, according to the Federal Office of Public Health (FOPH).

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Coronavirus: too late to close Swiss borders

Switzerland’s government and health officials presented a coronavirus update yesterday. Key elements of the presentation are set out below. The full coronavirus press update can be viewed above in German.

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Coronavirus hits Swiss train passenger numbers

The number of people taking trains in Switzerland has fallen since the outbreak of the coronavirus, resulting in a huge financial hit, Swiss Federal Railways reported on Tuesday.

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Geneva watch fair cancelled over coronavirus fears

The organisers of Watches & Wonders Geneva – the former Salon International de la Haute Horlogerie (SIHH) - have cancelled their annual watch fair due to take place from April 25-29, amid fears over the new coronavirus outbreak.

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