The RSV Global Online Mortality Database, abbreviated as RSV GOLD, is the first global registry for young children dying with RSV infection. The RSV GOLD team is part of the RSV Research Group, located in the WKZ and led by Louis Bonten. This team has the vision to combine clinical and basic research to decrease the global burden of RSV infection. The mission of the RSV GOLD team is to improve knowledge of RSV epidemiology and to develop safe and effective therapeutic and preventive interventions.
The aim of RSV Gold is to identify clinical and socioeconomic characteristics of these children. Ultimately, the project strives to combat RSV-associated childhood mortality. As RSV presents a global health problem, a worldwide approach has been adopted. Deaths are shared from countries
all over the world, making the RSV GOLD project a joint effort by collaborators across the globe. The RSV GOLD project is funded by the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation.
Awareness of RSV as a global health problem is lacking. Each day, 700 children die from RSV which makes it the second cause of infant mortality worldwide. The RSV Gold team believes the best way to illustrate the impact of RSV is by putting a face to these numbers. Therefore, the team developed a video entitled “Why we should all know about RSV” about Simone van Wyck, a mother who lost her son due to RSV. This video was recorded in and around the Chris Hani Baragwanath Hospital in Johannesburg, South Africa in February 2019. After its launch, the video appeared a huge success on social media, with more that 100.000 views during the first 24 hrs.
Influenza campaign 2019
In November, at UMC Utrecht an influenza vaccination campaign was held, aimed at increasing the vaccination rate among employees. During this campaign, around 5,000 employees and students received a flu vaccination. This means that the number of employees (excluding external parties) who have obtained a vaccination has increased by approximately 8 percent compared to previous year and that the number of students has even doubled. A great result! Together, employees and students have shown their responsibility for the health of our patients and colleagues.
Rapid diagnostics improves patient flow during the flu season
The introduction of a rapid diagnostic test for respiratory viruses such as the influenza virus reduces the time to diagnose flu from 40 to 4 hours. As a result, isolation measures can be applied in a more targeted manner, as a result of which the flow from the ER department to the nursing wards improves, resulting in fewer capacity issues. In addition, patients can be treated with antiviral medication more targeted and faster. This is what Annelies Riezebos-Brilman says in response to the experiences gained during the past two years with this test at UMC Utrecht.
The virulence of the influenza (flu) virus varies each year, and in the years that many people get the flu we speak of a flu epidemic. For most people this means no more than the well-known "flu feeling" (fever, respiratory infection, fatigue and malaise) that disappears after a few days after which complete recovery takes place. However, in immune-compromised people, vulnerable elderly and newborn babies, the impact of the flu can be severe so that patients need to be admitted via the emergency room (ER). It often happens that during a flu epidemic so many patients are seen at the ER that it becomes overcrowded. As a result, the care of these, but also other patients who need to be seen at the ER, can get compromised.
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