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The World Health Organization (WHO) defines neglected tropical diseases (NTDs) as a diverse group of primarily infectious diseases, which disproportionately affect poor and marginalized populations worldwide. In this context, NTDs are responsible for important morbidity and mortality and justify a global response. Moreover, NTDs are relatively neglected by research and development as well as by funding, if compared with the magnitude of the public health problem they represent. This happens even though, unlike other infectious diseases, they can be prevented, controlled and eliminated by targeted public health interventions. NTDs are mainly prevalent in communities from low-income countries in tropical and sub-tropical areas but are also present in upper–middle-income countries, including several in Europe. Here, we provide an update on the most relevant parasitic endemic or imported NTDs in Italy and illustrate the rationale for the establishment of the Italian network on NTDs, an alliance of scientific societies, institutes, foundations, universities and non-profit organizations united to fight NTDs.
We report the events of an Italian top league soccer club that took place in 1 year (from March 2020 to February 2021) at the time of coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic. In early March 2020, just before sport competitions were called off due to the national lockdown in Italy, the team, which included 27 players and 26 staff at the time, faced a COVID-19 outbreak, with 16 confirmed and seven probable cases, including three staff members who had to be hospitalised. In May 2020, at the resumption of the training sessions, a high prevalence of anti-severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) immunoglobulin G positivity (35/53, 66%) was detected among the members of the group. In the following months, sport activities were organised behind closed doors with stringent risk mitigation procedures in place. As of February 2021, only two new cases of SARS-CoV-2 infection were detected within the group, against more than 3500 nasopharyngeal swabs and 1000 serological tests.
We assessed hand hygiene adherence in 2 infectious disease units. In one unit, adherence declined slightly from year 1 (84.2%) to year 4 (71.0%) after a multimodal intervention but remained much higher than before intervention. Adherence dropped in the second unit after a loss of leadership (from 50.7% to 5.7%). Strong leadership presence may improve hand hygiene adherence.
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