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#Covid19 lessons #Italy has learned that can be useful for other countries. I am not an expert; this thread is my own summary of what I have learned from Italian scientists, mayors & authorities. My @CBCNews article on the same topic:…
Italy lesson #1 – Don’t wait for the virus to invade your last line of defence -hospitals- when people are already very sick. Health professionals should go out into communities and 'chase' (test, track & treat) the virus before it becomes widespread.
Italy lesson #2 – When sick people need emergency care, direct them to an outside field hospital or physically distant, separate facility. Sick people should not enter regular hospitals. It risks spreading the virus to healthcare workers and other non-infected patients
Italy lesson #3 – The Covid19 pandemic is a public health issue first. Only once public health preventative & containment measures fail does it becomes a clinical emergency and a hospital crisis. Strengthen local public health capacities if you want to reduce Covid19’s impact.
Italy’s lesson #4 – A healthcare system, whether public or private, based primarily on large, efficient hospitals at the expense of decentralized community health services, is far less resilient in an epidemic.
Italy’s lesson #5 – In the absence of widespread testing, it is reasonable to estimate that the number of people who are actually infected is about 10 times the official number of known cases.
Italy’s lesson #6 – When hospitals are overwhelmed, many more people die at home who are not tallied in official Covid19 death count. Based on city death certificates in northern Italy, deaths caused by the virus are at least 4 times higher than the official count.
Italy’s lesson #7 – The virus behaves exactly the same way everywhere in the world, but...
Italy's lesson #7a... Worse outcomes could be influenced by demographics & social customs. Italy has an older population & Italians touch a lot, socialize in big groups, live in intergenerational families.
Italy's lesson #7b Better outcomes are linked to a fast, shared response, like that of Asian countries, where people & governments have internalized past experiences of epidemics (like SARS) & how to respond.
Italy’s lesson #8a Widespread testing is essential to locating & containing contagion, and also to building solid epidemiological studies that can still help other countries & communities not yet devastated by the pandemic.
Italy's lesson #8b These studies will help us figure out more targeted, effective preventive measures needed until a vaccine is found and administered worldwide, months away.
Italy’s lesson #9 – In absence of or with limited testing, targeted measures & studies, the only things that work are: physical separation, social distancing, wearing masks, washing hands, refraining from touching face...
Italy's lesson #10 - Unless you're an essential worker, stay home.
Thank you to all essential workers who are risking their health & lives for the rest of us.
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