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2.
Am J Infect Control ; 50(4): 465-468, 2022 Apr.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1653966

ABSTRACT

Sporadic clusters of health care-associated COVID-19 infection occurred in a highly vaccinated health care-workers and patient population, over a 3-month period during ongoing community transmission of the B.1.617.2 variant. Enhanced infection-prevention measures and robust surveillance systems, including routine-rostered-testing of all inpatients and staff and usage of N95-respirators in all clinical areas, were insufficient in achieving zero health care-associated transmission. The unvaccinated and immunocompromised remain at-risk and should be prioritized for enhanced surveillance.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , COVID-19/prevention & control , Delivery of Health Care , Disease Outbreaks , Humans , Inpatients , SARS-CoV-2
4.
Int J Infect Dis ; 114: 132-134, 2022 Jan.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1509866

ABSTRACT

Retrospective contact tracing, enabled by the use of automated visitor-management systems and digital contact tracing, together with rapid antigen detection (RAD) for SARS-CoV-2 among visitors staying ≥ 30 minutes, identified COVID-19 cases in < 0.01% (6/72 605) of hospital visitors to a large hospital campus over an 8-week study period. The potential for nosocomial transmission of SARS-CoV-2 from hospital visitors was thus very low, and could be further mitigated by universal mask-wearing among staff and visitors.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , SARS-CoV-2 , Contact Tracing , Hospitals , Humans , Incidence , Retrospective Studies
8.
Blood ; 136(Supplement 1):25-26, 2020.
Article in English | PMC | ID: covidwho-1338960

ABSTRACT

IntroductionAn increasing number of evidence have reported the association of COVID-19 with increased incidence of thrombotic events. High incidences were initially reported in critically ill COVID-19 patients, but subsequently an increased incidence was also noticed in non-critically ill general ward patients. This has led to a universal recommendation of thromboprophylaxis for all COVID-19 patients by ASH and ISTH. As the data on COVID-19 and thrombosis continue to develop and evolve, we examined the data in two aspects. Firstly, other non-SARS-CoV-2 viral respiratory infections have also been reported to be associated with thrombotic events, be it arterial or venous. Thus, we aimed to compare the thrombotic rates between these two groups of patients directly to hopefully ascertain the actual thrombotic tendency in COVID-19 infections. Secondly, global hemostatic assays such as thromboelastogram and clot waveform analysis (CWA) have been used to demonstrate hypercoagulability in COVID-19 patients, albeit in a small group of patients and only in the critically ill. Incorporating these laboratory results into the management of thromboprophylaxis in COVID-19 is an attractive notion but more data and studies are definitely needed. Here, we evaluate the dynamic changes of hemostatic assays in patients with COVID-19 to better understand the overall coagulation profiles of COVID-19 infection.MethodsWe performed a single center, retrospective cohort study. All consecutive patients admitted to our hospital between 15 January and 10 April 2020 that were tested positive for COVID-19 or other non-SARS-CoV-2 respiratory viruses were included in our study. The main coagulation assays studied were prothrombin time and activated partial thromboplastin time and its associated CWA, min1, min2 and max2.FindingsWe included a total of 181 COVID-19 patients and 165 patients with non-SARS-CoV-2 respiratory viral infections. The respiratory viruses were rhinovirus (n=65), influenza A and B (n=46), adenovirus (n=13), human coronavirus 229E/NL63/OC43 (n=15), human enterovirus (n=3), metapneumovirus (n=6), parainfluenza virus 1 to 4 (n=11), respiratory syncytial virus (n=6) and human bocavirus 1 to 4 (n=0). The median age of COVID-19 patients was 37 (interquartile range [IQR], 30.5-51 years) versus 35 (IQR, 29-51.5) in the non-SAR-CoV-2 respiratory viruses group (P=0.12). Comorbidities, assessed by Charlson score, was also not statistically different between both groups (median score 0 (IQR, 0-1) in both groups, P=0.39). Majority of our patients had relatively mild infection as reflected by the low proportions of them requiring oxygen supplementation (11.0% in COVID-19 vs 4.8% in non-SARS-COV-2, P=0.035). COVID-19 patients had longer hospital stay (7 days (IQR, 5.5-13) vs 3 days (IQR, 2-3), P<0.001) and more required ICU support (5.0% vs 1.2%, P=0.04). Mortality rate was low in both groups. We reported two (1.0 event/1000-hospital-days) and one (1.8 event/1000-hospital-day) thrombotic events amongst COVID-19 group and non-SARS-COV-2 group respectively (P=0.63). All were myocardial infarction and occurred in intensive care unit. No venous thrombotic event was noted. There was no significant difference in all the coagulation parameters throughout the course of mild COVID-19 infection (Table 1). However, CWA parameters were significantly higher in severe COVID-19 infection compared with mild disease (min1: 6.48%/s vs 5.05%/s, P<0.001;min2: 0.92%/s2 vs 0.74%/s2, P=0.033), suggesting hypercoagulability in severe COVID-19 infection (Table 2 and Figure 1). We also observed that critically ill COVID-19 patients had higher absolute CWA parameters as compared to non-SARS-CoV-2 patients, albeit in small number of patients (Table 3).ConclusionThe thrombotic rates were low in both groups and did not differ significantly between COVID-19 and Non-SARS-CoV-2 patients. Nonetheless, our analysis of hemostatic parameters demonstrated hypercoagulability in COVID-19 as a dynamic process with the risk highest when the patients are critically ill. These c anges in hemostasis could be detected by CWA. With our findings, we suggest that a more individualized thromboprophylaxis approach, considering clinical and laboratory factors, is probably preferred over universal pharmacological thromboprophylaxis for all hospitalized COVID-19 patients and warrants further research.

9.
Singapore Med J ; 2021 Jun 22.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1280945

ABSTRACT

INTRODUCTION: Healthcare workers (HCWs) are a critical resource in the effort to control the COVID-19 pandemic. They are also a sentinel surveillance population whose clinical status reflects the effectiveness of the hospital's infection prevention measures in the pandemic. METHODS: This was a retrospective cohort study conducted in Singapore General Hospital (SGH), a 1,822-bed tertiary hospital. Participants were all HCWs working in SGH during the study period. HCW protection measures included clinical workflows and personal protective equipment developed and adapted to minimise the risk of severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) transmission. HCW monitoring comprised staff contact logs in high-risk locations, twice-daily temperature monitoring, assessment of HCWs with acute respiratory illnesses (ARIs) in the staff clinic and, in the event of an exposure, extensive contact tracing, detailed risk assessment and risk-based interventions. HCW surveillance utilised monitoring data and ARI presentations and outcomes. RESULTS: In the ten-week period between 6 January 2020 and 16 March 2020, 333 (17.1%) of 1,946 HCWs at risk of occupational COVID-19 presented with ARI. 32 (9.6%) screened negative for SARS-CoV-2 from throat swabs. Five other HCWs developed COVID-19 attributed to non-clinical exposures. From the nine COVID-19 exposure episodes investigated, 189 HCW contacts were identified, of whom 68 (36.2%) were placed on quarantine and remained well. CONCLUSION: Early in an emerging infectious disease outbreak, close monitoring of frontline HCWs is essential in ascertaining the effectiveness of infection prevention measures. HCWs are at risk of community disease acquisition and should be monitored and managed to prevent onward transmission.

10.
Am J Infect Control ; 49(6): 685-689, 2021 06.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1279522

ABSTRACT

OBJECTIVES: Since December 2019, COVID-19 has caused a worldwide pandemic and Singapore has seen escalating cases with community spread. Aggressive contact tracing and identification of suspects has helped to identify local community clusters, surveillance being the key to early intervention. Healthcare workers (HCWs) have contracted COVID-19 infection both at the workplace and community. We aimed to create a prototype staff surveillance system for the detection of acute respiratory infection (ARI) clusters amongst our HCWs and describe its effectiveness. METHODS: A prototypical surveillance system was built on existing electronic health record infrastructure. RESULTS: Over a 10-week period, we investigated 10 ARI clusters amongst 7 departments. One of the ARI clusters was later determined to be related to COVID-19 infection. We demonstrate the feasibility of syndromic surveillance to detect ARI clusters during the COVID-19 outbreak. CONCLUSION: The use of syndromic surveillance to detect ARI clusters amongst HCWs in the COVID-19 pandemic may enable early case detection and prevent onward transmission. It could be an important tool in infection prevention within healthcare institutions.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Pandemics , Disease Outbreaks , Electronic Health Records , Health Personnel , Humans , SARS-CoV-2 , Sentinel Surveillance , Singapore/epidemiology
12.
J Med Virol ; 93(3): 1548-1555, 2021 03.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1196475

ABSTRACT

During this coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic, physicians have the important task of risk stratifying patients who present with acute respiratory illnesses. Clinical presentation of COVID-19, however, can be difficult to distinguish from other respiratory viral infections. Thus, identifying clinical features that are strongly associated with COVID-19 in comparison to other respiratory viruses can aid risk stratification and testing prioritization especially in situations where resources for virological testing and resources for isolation facilities are limited. In our retrospective cohort study comparing the clinical presentation of COVID-19 and other respiratory viral infections, we found that anosmia and dysgeusia were symptoms independently associated with COVID-19 and can be important differentiating symptoms in patients presenting with acute respiratory illness. On the other hand, laboratory abnormalities and radiological findings were not statistically different between the two groups. In comparing outcomes, patients with COVID-19 were more likely to need high dependency or intensive care unit care and had a longer median length of stay. With our findings, we emphasize that epidemiological risk factors and clinical symptoms are more useful than laboratory and radiological abnormalities in differentiating COVID-19 from other respiratory viral infections.


Subject(s)
Anosmia/pathology , COVID-19/diagnosis , COVID-19/pathology , Dysgeusia/pathology , Adult , Ageusia/diagnosis , Ageusia/virology , Anosmia/diagnosis , Anosmia/virology , COVID-19/epidemiology , Critical Care/statistics & numerical data , Dysgeusia/diagnosis , Dysgeusia/virology , Female , Humans , Intensive Care Units/statistics & numerical data , Length of Stay , Male , Middle Aged , Respiration, Artificial/statistics & numerical data , Retrospective Studies , Risk Factors , SARS-CoV-2
16.
Sci Rep ; 11(1): 1793, 2021 01 19.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1065942

ABSTRACT

COVID-19 caused by Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome Coronavirus-2 (SARS-CoV-2) and other respiratory viral (non-CoV-2-RV) infections are associated with thrombotic complications. The differences in prothrombotic potential between SARS-CoV-2 and non-CoV-2-RV have not been well characterised. We compared the thrombotic rates between these two groups of patients directly and further delved into their coagulation profiles. In this single-center, retrospective cohort study, all consecutive COVID-19 and non-CoV-2-RV patients admitted between January 15th and April 10th 2020 were included. Coagulation parameters studied were prothrombin time and activated partial thromboplastin time and its associated clot waveform analysis (CWA) parameter, min1, min2 and max2. In the COVID-19 (n = 181) group there were two (1.0 event/1000-hospital-days) myocardial infarction events while one (1.8 event/1000-hospital-day) was reported in the non-CoV-2-RV (n = 165) group. These events occurred in patients who were severely ill. There were no venous thrombotic events. Coagulation parameters did not differ throughout the course of mild COVID-19. However, CWA parameters were significantly higher in severe COVID-19 compared with mild disease, suggesting hypercoagulability (min1: 6.48%/s vs 5.05%/s, P < 0.001; min2: 0.92%/s2 vs 0.74%/s2, P = 0.033). In conclusion, the thrombotic rates were low and did not differ between COVID-19 and non-CoV-2-RV patients. The hypercoagulability in COVID-19 is a highly dynamic process with the highest risk occurring when patients were most severely ill. Such changes in haemostasis could be detected by CWA. In our population, a more individualized thromboprophylaxis approach, considering clinical and laboratory factors, is preferred over universal pharmacological thromboprophylaxis for all hospitalized COVID-19 patients and such personalized approach warrants further research.


Subject(s)
COVID-19/pathology , Thrombophilia/diagnosis , Virus Diseases/pathology , Adult , COVID-19/complications , COVID-19/virology , Female , Humans , Male , Myocardial Infarction/complications , Myocardial Infarction/diagnosis , Partial Thromboplastin Time , Prothrombin Time , Retrospective Studies , Risk Factors , SARS-CoV-2/isolation & purification , Severity of Illness Index , Thrombophilia/complications , Virus Diseases/complications
17.
Infect Dis Health ; 26(2): 123-131, 2021 05.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1002590

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: During the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, healthcare-associated transmission of respiratory viral infections (RVI) is a concern. To reduce the impact of SARS-CoV-2 and other respiratory viruses on patients and healthcare workers (HCWs) we devised and evaluated a multi-tiered infection control strategy with the goal of preventing nosocomial transmission of SARS-CoV2 and other RVIs across a large healthcare campus. METHODS: From January-June 2020, a multi-tiered infection control strategy was implemented across a healthcare campus in Singapore, comprising the largest acute tertiary hospital as well as four other subspecialty centres, with more than 10,000 HCWs. Drawing on our institution's experience with an outbreak of Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS) in 2003, this strategy included improved patient segregation and distancing, and heightened infection prevention and control (IPC) measures including universal masking. All symptomatic patients were tested for COVID-19 and common RVIs. RESULTS: A total of 16,162 admissions campus-wide were screened; 7.1% (1155/16,162) tested positive for COVID-19. Less than 5% of COVID-19 cases (39/1155) were initially detected outside of isolation wards in multi-bedded cohorted wards. Improved distancing and enhanced IPC measures successfully mitigated onward spread even amongst COVID-19 cases detected outside of isolation. COVID-19 rates amongst HCWs were kept low (0.13%, 17/13,066) and reflected community acquisition rather than nosocomial spread. Rates of healthcare-associated-RVI amongst inpatients fell to zero and this decrease was sustained even after the lifting of visitor restrictions. CONCLUSION: This multi-tiered infection control strategies can be implemented at-scale to successfully mitigate healthcare-associated transmission of respiratory viral pathogens.


Subject(s)
COVID-19/prevention & control , Cross Infection/prevention & control , Respiratory Tract Infections/prevention & control , SARS-CoV-2 , Health Personnel , Humans
20.
Thorax ; 76(5): 512-513, 2021 05.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-961138

ABSTRACT

Hospitalisations for acute exacerbations of COPD (AECOPD) carry significant morbidity and mortality. Respiratory viral infections (RVIs) are the most common cause of AECOPD and are associated with worse clinical outcomes. During the COVID-19 pandemic, public health measures, such as social distancing and universal masking, were originally implemented to reduce transmission of SARS-CoV-2; these public health measures were subsequently also observed to reduce transmission of other common circulating RVIs. In this study, we report a significant and sustained decrease in hospital admissions for all AECOPD as well as RVI-associated AECOPD, which coincided with the introduction of public health measures during the COVID-19 pandemic.


Subject(s)
COVID-19/epidemiology , Hospitalization/trends , Hospitals/statistics & numerical data , Pandemics , Public Health , Humans , Incidence , SARS-CoV-2 , Singapore/epidemiology
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