Preprint Article Version 2 Preserved in Portico This version is not peer-reviewed

Hospital and Population-Based Evidences for COVID-19 Early Circulation in the East of France

Version 1 : Received: 6 August 2020 / Approved: 8 August 2020 / Online: 8 August 2020 (04:25:20 CEST)
Version 2 : Received: 23 September 2020 / Approved: 23 September 2020 / Online: 23 September 2020 (11:10:15 CEST)

A peer-reviewed article of this Preprint also exists.

Gerbaud, L.; Guiguet-Auclair, C.; Breysse, F.; Odoul, J.; Ouchchane, L.; Peterschmitt, J.; Dezfouli-Desfer, C.; Breton, V. Hospital and Population-Based Evidence for COVID-19 Early Circulation in the East of France. Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2020, 17, 7175. Gerbaud, L.; Guiguet-Auclair, C.; Breysse, F.; Odoul, J.; Ouchchane, L.; Peterschmitt, J.; Dezfouli-Desfer, C.; Breton, V. Hospital and Population-Based Evidence for COVID-19 Early Circulation in the East of France. Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2020, 17, 7175.

Journal reference: Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2020, 17, 7175
DOI: 10.3390/ijerph17197175

Abstract

Background: Understanding SARS-CoV-2 dynamics and transmission is a serious issue. Its propagation needs to be modeled and controlled. The Alsace region in the East of France has been among the first French COVID-19 clusters in 2020. Methods: We confront evidence from three independent and retrospective sources: a population-based survey through internet, an analysis of the medical records from hospital emergency care services, and a review of medical biology laboratory data. We also check the role played in virus propagation by a large religious meeting that gathered over 2,000 participants from all over France mid-February in Mulhouse. Results: Our results suggest that SARS-CoV-2 was circulating several weeks before the first officially recognized case in Alsace on February 26th 2020 and the sanitary alert on March 3rd. The religious gathering seems to have played a role for secondary dissemination of the epidemic in France, but not in creating the local outbreak. Conclusions: Our results illustrate how the integration of data coming from multiple sources could help trigger an early alarm in the context of an emerging disease. Good information data systems, able to produce earlier alerts, could have avoided a general lockdown in France.

Subject Areas

COVID-19; SARS-Cov-2; epidemic surveillance; emerging infectious disease; epidemic threshold

Comments (1)

Comment 1
Received: 23 September 2020
Commenter: Vincent Breton
Commenter's Conflict of Interests: Author
Comment: The paper was revised following peer-review for publication in MDPI IJERPH journal.
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