Temporal trends in legionellosis national notification data and the effect of COVID-19, Switzerland, 2000-2020

Fischer, F. B. and Mäusezahl, D. and Wymann, M. N.. (2022) Temporal trends in legionellosis national notification data and the effect of COVID-19, Switzerland, 2000-2020. Int J Hyg Environ Health. in press.

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The notification rate of legionellosis in Switzerland and other European countries has markedly increased over the last 20 years. Here, we investigated the Swiss notification data on legionellosis from 2000 to 2020 in regards of overall time trend, content and data quality. We further explored the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on the reported case numbers using an interrupted time series approach. Between 2000 and 2020, 5980 cases were included in our analysis. The annual crude notification rate for legionellosis cases increased from 1.1/100,000 population (CI: 0.9-1.4) in 2000 to 5.6/100,000 population (CI: 5.1-6.1) in 2020. In recent years, the summer peaks have been more pronounced and some shifted earlier in the year. The highest notification rate was recorded in 2018 with 6.7/100,000 population (CI: 6.2-7.3). The hospitalisation rate for notified cases remained high across all study years (89.9%), while the case fatality rate slightly decreased (from 7.7% to 3.6%). COVID-19 containment measures, such as travel restrictions and/or related behavioural changes, are associated with a temporary decline in cases of 35%. Overall, the quality of the notification data was good. Clinical data were more susceptible to interferences than data from laboratory reporting, which could be observed most clearly in the decline of clinical reports by 4.3 percentage points in 2020. As the case classification for Legionnaires' disease includes pneumonia symptoms, this decline could lead to an underestimation of Legionnaires' disease cases, yet the continuous reporting though the diagnostic laboratories suggested a robust surveillance system for legionellosis in Switzerland.
Faculties and Departments:09 Associated Institutions > Swiss Tropical and Public Health Institute (Swiss TPH)
UniBasel Contributors:Mäusezahl, Daniel and Fischer, Fabienne
Item Type:Article, refereed
Article Subtype:Research Article
Note:Publication type according to Uni Basel Research Database: Journal article
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Last Modified:27 Dec 2022 16:07
Deposited On:27 Dec 2022 16:07

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