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1.
SSM Ment Health ; 2: 100124, 2022 Dec.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1867797

ABSTRACT

Moral injuries can occur when perpetrating, failing to prevent, or bearing witness to acts that transgress deeply held moral beliefs and expectations. The COVID-19 crisis highlighted the fact that psychosocial stressors at work, such as high emotional demands, are placing Canadian healthcare workers at risk of moral injuries. Evidence linking psychosocial stressors at work to moral injuries are needed to better predict, prevent and manage moral injuries, as these stressors are frequent and modifiable occupational risk factors. This protocol presents a study aiming to: 1) understand workplace events having the potential to either cause or reduce moral injuries, 2) predict the risk and severity of moral injuries using a disease prevention model, 3) identify biological signatures (biomarkers) associated with psychosocial stressors at work and moral injuries and 4) elaborate preliminary guidelines of organizational practices for frontline healthcare workers to reduce and manage moral injuries. This study is a mixed methods research with three components: qualitative, quantitative and biological. The data collection has been completed and because of the COVID-19 pandemic, it was adjusted to allow for gathering qualitative and quantitative data remotely. Frontline healthcare workers and leaders were included. Through focus groups and individual interviews, and an online questionnaire, events and psychosocial working conditions that may increase the risk of moral injuries will be documented. In addition, blood samples which were collected from a sub-sample of volunteer participants will measure an innovative set of biomarkers associated with vulnerability to stress and mental health. Data analyses are ongoing. We anticipate to identify workplace events that may trigger moral injuries. We expect that potential predictors of moral injury risk occurrence and severity will be identified from psychosocial stressors at work that can be improved by implementing organizational practices. We also expect to observe a different mental health state and biological inflammation signature across workers exposed compared to workers not exposed to psychosocial stressors at work. Based on these future findings, we intend to develop preliminary recommendations of organizational practices for managers. This research will contribute to expand our knowledge of the events in the workplace likely to generate or lessen the impact moral injuries, to build a model for predicting the risk of moral injuries at work, all in the specific context of the COVID-19 health crisis among healthcare workers.

2.
Sci Total Environ ; 825: 154117, 2022 Jun 15.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1805113

ABSTRACT

There is broad consensus that airborne disease transmission continues to be the thematic focus of COVID-19, the complexities and understanding of which continues to complicate our attempts to control this pandemic. Masking used as both personal protection and source reduction predominates our society at present and, other than vaccination, remains the public health measure that will faithfully reduce aerosol transmission and overall disease burden (Gandhi and Marr, 2021). Early in the advent of the COVID-19 pandemic, and especially after preliminary recognition of airborne transmission, there was considerable efforts in the application of computational fluid dynamics (CFD) modeling aerosols as well as risk models calculations, the products of which were detailed in the literature (Morawska et al., 2020; Buonanno et al., 2020a) and even disseminated in media destined for the public. As the respiratory pathway emerged as the dominant exposure pathway for SARSCoV-2 transmission, much of what was promoted from CFD was applied to risk models to estimate community infection and in some cases expected clinical outcome. COVID-19 proved to fit the profile of an obligate respiratory-transmitted pathogen, and the plausibility of using aerosol modeling when silhouetted with emerging COVID-19 epidemiology provided ample evidence for promotion of masking and ventilation optimization as a required public health measure. Masking is often included as a factor in developed risk models and it remains an essentially important part of our response to this airborne threat, and ultimately will agnostically reduce disease burden although efforts to improve ventilation in indoor spaces remain a challenge. Arguably the most important concept in the airborne transmission of infectious agents is the biologically active componentry that comprises the aerosol particle and the functional dynamic nature of particle contents. Specifically, the innate generation, transport, and ultimate deposition/disposition of bioaerosols; the aerosol particles that nearly exclusively harbor bioactive components, including viruses, when disease agents are transmitted through the air.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Aerosols , Humans , Pandemics/prevention & control , SARS-CoV-2 , Ventilation
3.
Eur J Med Res ; 27(1): 50, 2022 Apr 04.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1775349

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: The different clinical manifestations, from none to severe, and the variability in efficacy of SARS-CoV-2 diagnosis by upper respiratory tract testing, make diagnosis of COVID-19 and prevention of transmission especially challenging. In addition, the ways by which the virus can most efficiently transmit still remain unclear. CASE PRESENTATION: We report the case a 48-year-old man who presents primary COVID-19 pneumonia. He was initially admitted for cholecystitis but, upon review of his abdominal CT scan, a segmental zone of ground glass opacity was identified in the right lower lobe. A bronchoalveolar lavage proved positive to SARS-CoV-2 by RT-qPCR, even if he tested negative by oro-nasopharyngeal swab at admission and the day after he underwent bronchoscopy. The near absence of the virus in his saliva 2 days after, combined with a very sharp increase in salivary viral load on the third day, also rule out the possibility of prior viral replication in the upper airway and clearance. In addition, rapidly increasing bilateral alveolar lung infiltrates appeared as the upper respiratory tests begin to detect the virus. CONCLUSIONS: For this patient to have developed primary COVID-19 pneumonia, a contagious aerosol must have traveled to the lower respiratory system. This case gives indirect but compelling evidence that aerosol may spread the virus. It also highlights the limitations of oral and nasal testing methods and the importance of anatomical considerations when studying infections by SARS-CoV-2.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , SARS-CoV-2 , COVID-19 Testing , Humans , Lung , Male , Middle Aged , Saliva
4.
J Infect Dis ; 225(5): 768-776, 2022 03 02.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1722480

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: We determined the burden of severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) in air and on surfaces in rooms of patients hospitalized with coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) and investigated patient characteristics associated with SARS-CoV-2 environmental contamination. METHODS: Nasopharyngeal swabs, surface, and air samples were collected from the rooms of 78 inpatients with COVID-19 at 6 acute care hospitals in Toronto from March to May 2020. Samples were tested for SARS-CoV-2 ribonucleic acid (RNA), cultured to determine potential infectivity, and whole viral genomes were sequenced. Association between patient factors and detection of SARS-CoV-2 RNA in surface samples were investigated. RESULTS: Severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 RNA was detected from surfaces (125 of 474 samples; 42 of 78 patients) and air (3 of 146 samples; 3 of 45 patients); 17% (6 of 36) of surface samples from 3 patients yielded viable virus. Viral sequences from nasopharyngeal and surface samples clustered by patient. Multivariable analysis indicated hypoxia at admission, polymerase chain reaction-positive nasopharyngeal swab (cycle threshold of ≤30) on or after surface sampling date, higher Charlson comorbidity score, and shorter time from onset of illness to sampling date were significantly associated with detection of SARS-CoV-2 RNA in surface samples. CONCLUSIONS: The infrequent recovery of infectious SARS-CoV-2 virus from the environment suggests that the risk to healthcare workers from air and near-patient surfaces in acute care hospital wards is likely limited.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Nasopharynx/virology , SARS-CoV-2/isolation & purification , Adult , Aged , Air Microbiology , COVID-19/epidemiology , COVID-19/prevention & control , COVID-19/transmission , COVID-19 Nucleic Acid Testing , Canada/epidemiology , Environmental Exposure , Health Personnel , Humans , Inpatients , Middle Aged , Pandemics/prevention & control , SARS-CoV-2/genetics
5.
J Infect Dis ; 225(5): 768-776, 2022 03 02.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1545982

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: We determined the burden of severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) in air and on surfaces in rooms of patients hospitalized with coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) and investigated patient characteristics associated with SARS-CoV-2 environmental contamination. METHODS: Nasopharyngeal swabs, surface, and air samples were collected from the rooms of 78 inpatients with COVID-19 at 6 acute care hospitals in Toronto from March to May 2020. Samples were tested for SARS-CoV-2 ribonucleic acid (RNA), cultured to determine potential infectivity, and whole viral genomes were sequenced. Association between patient factors and detection of SARS-CoV-2 RNA in surface samples were investigated. RESULTS: Severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 RNA was detected from surfaces (125 of 474 samples; 42 of 78 patients) and air (3 of 146 samples; 3 of 45 patients); 17% (6 of 36) of surface samples from 3 patients yielded viable virus. Viral sequences from nasopharyngeal and surface samples clustered by patient. Multivariable analysis indicated hypoxia at admission, polymerase chain reaction-positive nasopharyngeal swab (cycle threshold of ≤30) on or after surface sampling date, higher Charlson comorbidity score, and shorter time from onset of illness to sampling date were significantly associated with detection of SARS-CoV-2 RNA in surface samples. CONCLUSIONS: The infrequent recovery of infectious SARS-CoV-2 virus from the environment suggests that the risk to healthcare workers from air and near-patient surfaces in acute care hospital wards is likely limited.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Nasopharynx/virology , SARS-CoV-2/isolation & purification , Adult , Aged , Air Microbiology , COVID-19/epidemiology , COVID-19/prevention & control , COVID-19/transmission , COVID-19 Nucleic Acid Testing , Canada/epidemiology , Environmental Exposure , Health Personnel , Humans , Inpatients , Middle Aged , Pandemics/prevention & control , SARS-CoV-2/genetics
6.
PLoS One ; 16(7): e0253022, 2021.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1308177

ABSTRACT

Influenza and RSV are human viruses responsible for outbreaks in hospitals, long-term care facilities and nursing homes. The present study assessed an air treatment using ozone at two relative humidity conditions (RHs) in order to reduce the infectivity of airborne influenza. Bovine pulmonary surfactant (BPS) and synthetic tracheal mucus (STM) were used as aerosols protectants to better reflect the human aerosol composition. Residual ozone concentration inside the aerosol chamber was also measured. RSV's sensitivity resulted in testing its resistance to aerosolization and sampling processes instead of ozone exposure. The results showed that without supplement and with STM, a reduction in influenza A infectivity of four orders of magnitude was obtained with an exposure to 1.70 ± 0.19 ppm of ozone at 76% RH for 80 min. Consequently, ozone could be considered as a virucidal disinfectant for airborne influenza A. RSV did not withstand the aerosolization and sampling processes required for the use of the experimental setup. Therefore, ozone exposure could not be performed for this virus. Nonetheless, this study provides great insight for the efficacy of ozone as an air treatment for the control of nosocomial influenza A outbreaks.


Subject(s)
Influenza A virus/drug effects , Ozone/pharmacology , Respiratory Syncytial Viruses/drug effects , Virus Inactivation/drug effects , Aerosols , Air Microbiology , Cross Infection/prevention & control , Disinfection/methods , Humans , Influenza, Human/prevention & control , Ozone/administration & dosage , Real-Time Polymerase Chain Reaction , Respiratory Syncytial Virus Infections/prevention & control
7.
Front Public Health ; 9: 643724, 2021.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1221992

ABSTRACT

The SARS-CoV-2 pandemic has created a troublesome issue for employees in biochemistry clinical laboratories due to fears of aerosol generation during sample treatment. This study was designed to assess aerosol production during the pre-analytical procedures for blood and urine samples using a model bacterium. Air sampling and surface swabbing were conducted during four typical procedures. Bacteria were not recovered in any air or surface samples. Other studies have reported low and undetectable SARS-CoV-2 RNA in blood and urine samples, respectively. Therefore, the occupational risk for employees appears to be low in terms of aerosol exposure from processing SARS-CoV-2 patient samples.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Pandemics , Aerosols , Hospitals , Humans , RNA, Viral , SARS-CoV-2
8.
Am J Infect Control ; 49(6): 701-706, 2021 06.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1081407

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: Long-term care facilities (LTCF) are environments particularly favorable to coronavirus disease (SARS-CoV-2) pandemic outbreaks, due to the at-risk population they welcome and the close proximity of residents. Yet, the transmission dynamics of the disease in these establishments remain unclear. METHODS: Air and no-touch surfaces of 31 rooms from 7 LTCFs were sampled and SARS-CoV-2 was quantified by real-time reverse transcription polymerase chain reaction (RT-qPCR). RESULTS: Air samples were negative but viral genomes were recovered from 20 of 62 surface samples at concentrations ranging from 13 to 36,612 genomes/surface. Virus isolation (culture) from surface samples (n = 7) was negative. CONCLUSIONS: The presence of viral RNA on no-touch surfaces is evidence of viral dissemination through air, but the lack of airborne viral particles in air samples suggests that they were not aerosolized in a significant manner during air sampling sessions. The air samples were collected 8 to 30 days after the residents' symptom onset, which could indicate that viruses are aerosolized early in the infection process. Additional research is needed to evaluate viral viability conservation and the potential role of direct contact and aerosols in SARS-CoV-2 transmission in these institutions.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , SARS-CoV-2 , Aerosols , Humans , Long-Term Care , Pandemics
11.
Emerg Microbes Infect ; 9(1): 2597-2605, 2020 Dec.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-933803

ABSTRACT

The worldwide repercussions of COVID-19 sparked important research efforts, yet the detailed contribution of aerosols in the transmission of SARS-CoV-2 has not been elucidated. In an attempt to quantify viral aerosols in the environment of infected patients, we collected 100 air samples in acute care hospital rooms hosting 22 patients over the course of nearly two months using three different air sampling protocols. Quantification by RT-qPCR (ORF1b) led to 11 positive samples from 6 patient rooms (Ct < 40). Viral cultures were negative. No correlation was observed between particular symptoms, length of hospital stay, clinical parameters, and time since symptom onset and the detection of airborne viral RNA. Low detection rates in the hospital rooms may be attributable to the appropriate application of mitigation methods according to the risk control hierarchy, such as increased ventilation to 4.85 air changes per hour to create negative pressure rooms. Our work estimates the mean emission rate of patients and potential airborne concentration in the absence of ventilation. Additional research is needed understand aerosolization events occur, contributing factors, and how best to prevent them.


Subject(s)
Air Microbiology , COVID-19/virology , Hospitals , SARS-CoV-2 , Ventilation , Adult , Aged , Aged, 80 and over , Animals , COVID-19/therapy , Female , Humans , Male , Middle Aged
12.
Clin Microbiol Rev ; 34(1)2020 12 16.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-894823

ABSTRACT

Since the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic, there has been intense debate over SARS-CoV-2's mode of transmission and appropriate personal protective equipment for health care workers in low-risk settings. The objective of this review is to identify and appraise the available evidence (clinical trials and laboratory studies on masks and respirators, epidemiological studies, and air sampling studies), clarify key concepts and necessary conditions for airborne transmission, and shed light on knowledge gaps in the field. We find that, except for aerosol-generating procedures, the overall data in support of airborne transmission-taken in its traditional definition (long-distance and respirable aerosols)-are weak, based predominantly on indirect and experimental rather than clinical or epidemiological evidence. Consequently, we propose a revised and broader definition of "airborne," going beyond the current droplet and aerosol dichotomy and involving short-range inhalable particles, supported by data targeting the nose as the main viral receptor site. This new model better explains clinical observations, especially in the context of close and prolonged contacts between health care workers and patients, and reconciles seemingly contradictory data in the SARS-CoV-2 literature. The model also carries important implications for personal protective equipment and environmental controls, such as ventilation, in health care settings. However, further studies, especially clinical trials, are needed to complete the picture.


Subject(s)
Aerosols/analysis , Coronavirus Infections/prevention & control , Coronavirus Infections/transmission , Infection Control/methods , Pandemics/prevention & control , Particulate Matter/analysis , Personal Protective Equipment/supply & distribution , Pneumonia, Viral/prevention & control , Pneumonia, Viral/transmission , Betacoronavirus , COVID-19 , Cross Infection/prevention & control , Cross Infection/transmission , Health Personnel/statistics & numerical data , Humans , Models, Biological , SARS-CoV-2 , Ventilation
13.
J Infect Public Health ; 13(11): 1601-1610, 2020 Nov.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-693599

ABSTRACT

There is currently an ongoing worldwide pandemic of a novel virus belonging to the family of Coronaviruses (CoVs) which are large, enveloped, plus-stranded RNA viruses. Coronaviruses belong to the order of Nidovirales, family of Coronavirinae and are divided into four genera: alphacoronavirus, betacoronavirus, gammacoronavirus and deltacoronavirus. CoVs cause diseases in a wide variety of birds and mammals and have been found in humans since 1960. To date, seven human CoVs were identified including the alpha-CoVs HCoVs-NL63 and HCoVs-229E and the beta-CoVs HCoVs-OC43, HCoVs-HKU1, the severe acute respiratory syndrome-CoV (SARS-CoV), the Middle East respiratory syndrome-CoV (MERS-CoV) and the novel virus that first appeared in December 2019 in Wuhan, China, and rapidly spread to 213 countries as of the writing this paper. It was officially named severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) by the international committee on taxonomy of viruses (ICTV) and the disease's name is COVID-19 for coronavirus disease 2019. SARS-CoV-2 is very contagious and is capable of spreading from human to human. Infection routes include droplet and contact, and aerosol transmission is currently under investigation. It is associated with a respiratory illness that may cause severe pneumonia and acute respiratory distress syndrome (ARDS). SARS-CoV-2 became an emergency of international concern. As of July 12, 2020, the virus has been responsible for 12,698,995 confirmed cases and 564,924 deaths worldwide and the number is still increasing. Up until now, no specific treatment has yet been proven effective against SARS-CoV-2. Since the beginning of this outbreak, several interesting papers on SARS-CoV-2 and COVID-19 have been published to report on the phylogenetic evolution, epidemiology, pathogenesis, transmission as well as clinical characteristics of COVID-19 and possible treatments agents. This paper is a systematic review of the available literature on SARS-CoV-2. It was performed in accordance with PRISMA (Preferred Reporting Items for Systematic Reviews and Meta-Analyses) and aims to help readers access the latest knowledge surrounding this new infectious disease and to provide a reference for future studies.


Subject(s)
Betacoronavirus/pathogenicity , Coronavirus Infections/epidemiology , Coronavirus Infections/transmission , Global Health , Pneumonia, Viral/epidemiology , Pneumonia, Viral/transmission , Animals , Betacoronavirus/classification , COVID-19 , China/epidemiology , Coronavirus Infections/therapy , Humans , Middle East Respiratory Syndrome Coronavirus , Pandemics , Phylogeny , Pneumonia, Viral/therapy , SARS-CoV-2
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