Noam Protter, DMD, Yael Arbel, DMD, Tarif Bader, MD, Noam Fink, MD
The COVID-19 pandemic reached the Israel Defense Forces in the beginning of March 2020, and an urgent need to detect cases arose. Within a week, the IDF’s Medical Corps retrofitted its forensic laboratory to perform SARS-CoV-2 rt-PCR tests. Multiple sites were deployed to perform the tests, including a mobile unit that performed them at the bedside of non-ambulatory soldiers. This report will describethe process of this unique effort.
Gabriela Kleinerman, DVM, PhD, Sivan Melloul, DVM, Alon Abramovich, MD, Sagi Gavriel, PhD, Lavie Haim, DVM
Rickettsiosis is an important vector-borne infection of humans in Israel. In the IDF, an average incidence of 3.3 cases per 100,000 soldiers is reported annually (5.5 times higher than in civilians). We applied the "One Health" approach to address a murine typhus case in a reserve soldier who was infected during a field training, for: the purpose of risk assessment and determination of preventative measures for future Rickettsiosis infections. A multidisciplinary team from the IDF Medical Corps evaluated the area and collected ticks and fleas from the vegetation and a Meriones tristami gerbil. Out of the 21 ticks collected, one contained Rickettsia typhi-DNA, making this the first report of a Rhipicephalus sanguineus tick harboring typhus group Rickettsial DNA in Israel. None of the 15 fleas were infected. Due to the low prevalence of Rickettsia infection in the ticks and the fact that they were only found in a small area of the military base, it was decided to carry out training of recruits as planned and not implement pest control. Several measures were taken to prevent the occurrence of new cases of Rickettsiosis, such as: use of insect repellent, examination of the soldiers for presence of tick and flea bites at the end of the training, and antibiotic prophylactic antibiotic if arthropod bites were found.
The multidisciplinary approach used in this study resulted in a valuable exchange of capabilities, necessary for preventive science-based decision making concerning an area which is an important military training site and naturally protected.
Shlomi Ritz, DMD, Galit Almoznino, DMD, MSc MHA, MPH, Lee Slutzky Ritz, MD, Noam Protter, DMD
The outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic caused changes in all aspects of daily life, including adjustments in dental work. The COVID-19 vaccine was rapidly approved, provoking hesitations among the general public as well as dental staff. The aim of this study is to assess the views and beliefs of IDF dental staff regarding COVID-19 and its vaccine
Methods: A questionnaire was sent to all IDF dental staff during the first week of January 2021. 219 participants replied. The questionnaire consisted of both demographic data and Likert scale phrases.
Results: General dental practitioners, dental specialists, dental hygienists, and dental assistants responded. Men were vaccinated at a higher rate than women, this is possibly explained by the finding that women were more concerned about the vaccine’s safety in terms of future fertility. The younger population was more apprehensive about short and long-term effects of the vaccine. Dental assistants and hygienists showed greater concerns regarding the safety of the vaccine and felt that dental activity should be limited to emergency treatment.
Discussion: The main difference in vaccination rates observed between groups can be attributed to concerns about future fertility and age differences. In addition, it may be associated with the responders’ education and exposure to media publications.
Limitations: Responders from the younger age groups, as well as women, consisted mostly of dental assistants and hygienists, which may be a confounding factor.
Conclusions: This study shows a difference in attitudes towards the COVID- 19vaccine and its safety, as well as compliance with vaccination among IDF dental staff. In addition, the study emphasizesthe importance of addressing younger crowds in the proper manner in order toimprove vaccination compliance.