Top 10: December 23

Copy-editor: Rob Camp


Pullano G, Di Domenico L, Sabbatini CE, et al. Underdetection of COVID-19 cases in France threatens epidemic control. Nature 2020, published 21 December. Full-text:

In the first 7 weeks following the end of the French lockdown on 11 May 2020, 90.000 cases (9 out of 10 cases) may not have been ascertained by the national surveillance system. Vittoria Colizza, Giulia Pullano and colleagues suggest that more aggressive, targeted and efficient testing is required to act as a pandemic-fighting tool. They warn that a coherent testing strategy will be again of critical value to avoid a third SARS-CoV-2 wave in the coming months.

See also the NEWS AND VIEWS comment by Shaman J. An estimation of undetected COVID cases in France. Nature 2020, published 21 December. Full-text:


de Gier B, de Oliveira BL, van Gaalen RD, et al. Occupation- and age-associated risk of SARS-CoV-2 test positivity, the Netherlands, June to October 2020. Euro Surveill December 17, 2020;25(50):pii=2001884. Full-text:

This study from the Netherlands found an increased positivity to the COVID test among workers in the hospitality and public transport sectors, but also among driving instructors, hairdressers and estheticians.



Eisenstein M. What’s your risk of catching COVID? These tools help you to find out. Nature 2020, published 21 December. Full-text:

Several apps have been recently launched that claim to predict the chance of infection and illness depending on what people are doing and where they are. In this Technology Feature, Michael Eisenstein takes a closer look.



Mina MJ, Andersen KG. COVID-19 testing: One size does not fit all. Science 2020, published 21 December. Full-text:

A one-sentence abstract by Michael Mina and Kristian Andersen: “To control the pandemic, testing should be considered a public health tool.” Discover the world of SARS-CoV-2 testing one year into the pandemic.


Swaminathan S. The WHO’s chief scientist on a year of loss and learning. Nature 2020, published 17 December. Full-text:

The head of scientific work at the World Health Organization reflects on the agency’s challenges and achievements as it navigates the COVID pandemic.



Jarjour NN, Masopust D, Jameson SC. T cell memory: Understanding COVID-19. Immunity 2020, published 19 December. Full-text:

In this Primer, Nicholas Jarjour, David Masopust and Stephen Jameson explain the fundamental features of T cell memory and their potential relevance for effective immunity to SARS-CoV-2.



Oliver S, Gargano J, Marin M, et al. The Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices’ Interim Recommendation for Use of Moderna COVID-19 Vaccine — United States, December 2020. MMWR Morb Mortal Wkly Rep. ePub: 20 December 2020. DOI:

The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) issued an Emergency Use Authorization (EUA) for the Moderna COVID-19 (mRNA-1273) vaccine. Adverse events that occur in a recipient after receipt of COVID-19 vaccine should be reported to the Vaccine Adverse Events Reporting System (VAERS). FDA requires that vaccination providers report vaccination administration errors, serious adverse events, cases of multisystem inflammatory syndrome, and cases of COVID-19 that result in hospitalization or death after administration of the COVID-19 vaccine under an EUA. Information on how to submit a report to VAERS is available at


Severe COVID

Working group for the surveillance and control of COVID-19 in Spain; Members of the Working group for the surveillance and control of COVID-19 in Spain. The first wave of the COVID-19 pandemic in Spain: characterisation of cases and risk factors for severe outcomes, as at 27 April 2020. Euro Surveill. 2020 Dec;25(50). PubMed: Full-text:

During the first pandemic wave in Spain in spring 2020, males had higher odds ratio (OR) of severe outcomes than females with regard to hospitalization, ICU admission and death. Pneumonia was associated with a 27-fold higher odds of hospitalization. Patients who presented with cardiovascular disease were more likely to have a severe outcome. Older age predicted mortality, with highest odds of death among patients ≥ 80 years (OR: 28.45; 95% CI: 19.85–40.78), compared with patients < 40 years. Looking at predisposing conditions, chronic kidney disease had the highest OR of death.



Radwan E, Radwan A, Radwan W. The role of social media in spreading panic among primary and secondary school students during the COVID-19 pandemic: An online questionnaire study from the Gaza Strip, Palestine. Heliyon 2020, published 21 December. Full-text:

Social media can be a global calamity in times of pandemic. Misinformation, fake news, and rumors spread on social media faster than reliable information – even faster than the virus itself. In this study, Eqbal Radwan, Afnan Radwan and Walaa Radwan (Father and sons? Cousins?) determined how social media affects the spread of panic about COVID-19 among primary and secondary school students in the Gaza Strip, Palestine. You know the answer.

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