“Early warning system”: New dashboard for Covid, influenza & Co.

2023-08-10 09:08:00

The so-called SARI dashboard – SARI stands for “severe acute respiratory infections” – shows how many people have to go to hospital because of such an infectious disease. The data is updated every Tuesday. Health Minister Johannes Rauch speaks of an early warning system for the coming autumn.

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Corona wave after travel wave: “The numbers will increase in autumn”

“Last winter we already saw that not only corona waves, but also respiratory infections in general put a heavy strain on hospitals. The new dashboard is a kind of early warning system for us,” said Rauch in a broadcast. In addition to Covid, the dashboard also provides information about hospital treatments for influenza, RSV and other infections. Together with the corona signals measured in the sewage system, one is now well prepared for autumn, says Rauch, who calls for vaccinations against Covid, influenza, pneumococci and (from autumn) RSV to complete.

Graphics show current infection numbers

The first on the dashboard (https://www.sari-dashboard.at) published data do not yet show any abnormalities. Accordingly, the number of weekly inpatient admissions to hospitals has recently fallen. In calendar week 19 – from May 8th to 14th – 1,115 people were still in the hospital because of respiratory diseases, 56 in the intensive care unit. In calendar week 29 – July 17th to 23rd – only 647 people were still in the normal ward and 35 in the intensive care unit because of severe acute respiratory infections. In the 19th calendar week, 14 percent of hospital stays related to Covid-19. In the 29th calendar week, the corona virus caused only five percent hospital stays. Most hospitalizations involved other respiratory diseases. Influenza and RSV have hardly played a role in the past few weeks.

The (anonymized) new admissions to the intensive care and normal wards are broken down according to the federal state of residence and the age groups of the patients, as well as according to the federal state of the hospitals. However, it does not contain information about the occupancy rate of the hospital system or the number of beds available. This information is the responsibility of the hospital operators in the federal states, it said when asked by the APA in the ministry.

Nevertheless, the chairwoman of the conference of social security institutions, Ingrid Reischl, expects the new system to give an early warning of any hospital overload. The dashboard is operated by the social security system. The data is also made available via the open data portal data.gv.at.

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