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1.
Singapore Med J ; 63(2): 61-67, 2022 Feb.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1811330

ABSTRACT

The complete picture regarding transmission modes of severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) is unknown. This review summarises the available evidence on its transmission modes, our preliminary research findings and implications for infection control policy, and outlines future research directions. Environmental contamination has been reported in hospital settings occupied by infected patients, and is higher in the first week of illness. Transmission via environmental surfaces or fomites is likely, but decontamination protocols are effective in minimising this risk. The extent of airborne transmission is also unclear. While several studies have detected SARS-CoV-2 ribonucleic acid in air samples, none has isolated viable virus in culture. Transmission likely lies on a spectrum between droplet and airborne transmission, depending on the patient, disease and environmental factors. Singapore's current personal protective equipment and isolation protocols are sufficient to manage this risk.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , SARS-CoV-2 , Hospitals , Humans , Infection Control/methods , Personal Protective Equipment
2.
Lancet Respir Med ; 2022 Apr 11.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1783871

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: Myopericarditis is a rare complication of vaccination. However, there have been increasing reports of myopericarditis following COVID-19 vaccination, especially among adolescents and young adults. We aimed to characterise the incidence of myopericarditis following COVID-19 vaccination, and compare this with non-COVID-19 vaccination. METHODS: We did a systematic review and meta-analysis, searching four international databases from Jan 1, 1947, to Dec 31, 2021, for studies in English reporting on the incidence of myopericarditis following vaccination (the primary outcome). We included studies reporting on people in the general population who had myopericarditis in temporal relation to receiving vaccines, and excluded studies on a specific subpopulation of patients, non-human studies, and studies in which the number of doses was not reported. Random-effects meta-analyses (DerSimonian and Laird) were conducted, and the intra-study risk of bias (Joanna Briggs Institute checklist) and certainty of evidence (Grading of Recommendations, Assessment, Development and Evaluations approach) were assessed. We analysed the difference in incidence of myopericarditis among subpopulations, stratifying by the type of vaccine (COVID-19 vs non-COVID-19) and age group (adult vs paediatric). Among COVID-19 vaccinations, we examined the effect of the type of vaccine (mRNA or non-mRNA), sex, age, and dose on the incidence of myopericarditis. This study was registered with PROSPERO (CRD42021275477). FINDINGS: The overall incidence of myopericarditis from 22 studies (405 272 721 vaccine doses) was 33·3 cases (95% CI 15·3-72·6) per million vaccine doses, and did not differ significantly between people who received COVID-19 vaccines (18·2 [10·9-30·3], 11 studies [395 361 933 doses], high certainty) and those who received non-COVID-19 vaccines (56·0 [10·7-293·7], 11 studies [9 910 788 doses], moderate certainty, p=0·20). Compared with COVID-19 vaccination, the incidence of myopericarditis was significantly higher following smallpox vaccinations (132·1 [81·3-214·6], p<0·0001) but was not significantly different after influenza vaccinations (1·3 [0·0-884·1], p=0·43) or in studies reporting on various other non-smallpox vaccinations (57·0 [1·1-3036·6], p=0·58). Among people who received COVID-19 vaccines, the incidence of myopericarditis was significantly higher in males (vs females), in people younger than 30 years (vs 30 years or older), after receiving an mRNA vaccine (vs non-mRNA vaccine), and after a second dose of vaccine (vs a first or third dose). INTERPRETATION: The overall risk of myopericarditis after receiving a COVID-19 vaccine is low. However, younger males have an increased incidence of myopericarditis, particularly after receiving mRNA vaccines. Nevertheless, the risks of such rare adverse events should be balanced against the risks of COVID-19 infection (including myopericarditis). FUNDING: None.

3.
Lancet ; 2022 Apr 11.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1783853
4.
J Med Virol ; 94(6): 2460-2470, 2022 Jun.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1748622

ABSTRACT

Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) serology has an evolving role in the diagnosis of severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) infection. However, its use in hospitalized patients with acute respiratory symptoms remains unclear. Hospitalized patients with acute respiratory illness admitted to an isolation ward were recruited. All patients had negative nasopharyngeal swab polymerase chain reaction (PCR) for SARS-CoV-2. Serological studies using four separate assays (cPass: surrogate neutralizing enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay [ELISA]; Elecsys: N-antigen based chemiluminescent assay; SFB: S protein flow-based; epitope peptide-based ELISA) were performed on stored plasma collected from patients during the initial hospital stay, and a convalescent visit 4-12 weeks later. Of the 51 patients studied (aged 54, interquartile range 21-84; 62.7% male), no patients tested positive on the Elecsys or cPass assays. Out of 51 patients, 5 had antibodies detected on B-cell Epitope Assay and 3/51 had antibodies detected on SFB assay. These 8 patients with positive serological test to COVID-19 were more likely to have a high-risk occupation (p = 0.039), bacterial infection (p = 0.028), and neutrophilia (p = 0.013) during their initial hospital admission. Discrepant COVID-19 serological findings were observed among those with recent hospital admissions and bacterial infections. The positive serological findings within our cohort raise important questions about the interpretation of sero-epidemiology during the current pandemic.

6.
EuropePMC; 2020.
Preprint in English | EuropePMC | ID: ppcovidwho-318655

ABSTRACT

Backgroun:d Residents in nursing homes are at risk of high morbidity and mortality due to coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19). We report the first nursing home COVID-19 outbreak in Singapore and its clinical, epidemiological, laboratory and phylogenetic investigations.Methods: Serial point prevalence testing was conducted among the residents and staff following identification of the index case (a symptomatic resident) with SARS-CoV-2 infection. Active contact tracing, screening of close contacts, whole genome sequencing and phylogenetic analysis were conducted to identify the source and extent of the outbreak.Results: Among the 108 residents and 56 healthcare workers (HCW) in the nursing home, 14 (13%) residents and two (3.6%) HCW were diagnosed with COVID-19, with case fatality rate of 28.6% (4/14) among the residents. Five residents were symptomatic (35.7%) and the others were asymptomatic (64.3%) before the point prevalence survey. The genomic virus typing in this nursing home outbreak was lineage B.6 which is rare among other GISAID clades globally but common regionally. Among the family contacts of the two infected healthcare workers, only one member was infected and had recent travel history.Conclusion: The COVID-19 outbreak in a nursing home in Singapore was contained through prompt epidemiological investigations, active case finding and containment, and infection prevention and control measures.Funding Statement: None.Declaration of Interests: The authors declared no conflict of interest.Ethics Approval Statement: Data were collected under the Infectious Disease Act for outbreak investigation and approved by Ministry of Health, Singapore.

7.
Front Med (Lausanne) ; 8: 790177, 2021.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1686494

ABSTRACT

Severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) transmission has resulted in a significant burden among nursing home facilities globally. This prospective observational cohort study aims to define the potential sources of introduction and characteristics of SARS-CoV-2 transmission of the first nursing home facility in Singapore. An epidemiological serial point-prevalence survey of SARS-CoV-2 was conducted among 108 residents and 56 healthcare staff (HCS). In the current study, 14 (13%) residents and two (3.6%) HCS were diagnosed with coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19), with a case fatality rate (CFR) of 28.6% (4/14) among the residents. The median age of the infected residents was 86.5 [interquartile range (IQR) 78.5-88] and 85.7% were women. Five residents were symptomatic (35.7%) and the others were asymptomatic (64.3%). A higher proportion of residents who succumbed to COVID-19 had hypertension than those who recovered. The SARS-CoV-2 whole-genome sequencing showed lineage B.6 which is rare globally but common regionally during the early phase of the pandemic. Household transmission is a potential source of introduction into the nursing home, with at least six epidemiologically linked secondary cases. Male residents were less implicated due to the staff segregation plan by block. Among residents, a higher proportion of the non-survivors were asymptomatic and had hypertension compared with survivors.

11.
Science Communication ; : 10755470211061513, 2021.
Article in English | Sage | ID: covidwho-1556935

ABSTRACT

In early phases of the COVID-19 pandemic in Singapore, Risk Communication and Community Engagement (RCCE) with large, diverse communities of migrant workers living in high-density accommodation was slow to develop. By August 2020, Singapore had reported 55,661 cases of COVID-19, with migrant workers comprising 94.6% of the cases. A system of RCCE among migrant worker communities in Singapore was developed to maximize synergy in RCCE. Proactive stakeholder engagement and participatory approaches with affected communities were key to effective dissemination of scientific information about COVID-19 and its prevention.

12.
Clin Infect Dis ; 73(9): e3136-e3143, 2021 11 02.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1501035

ABSTRACT

Singapore's hospitals had prepared to receive patients infected with severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2), planning various scenarios and levels of surge with a policy of isolating all confirmed cases as inpatients. The National University Hospital adopted a whole of hospital approach to coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) with 3 primary goals: zero hospital-acquired COVID-19, all patients receive timely necessary care, and maintenance of staff morale. These goals to date have been met. A large influx of COVID-19 cases required significant transformation of clinical and operational processes. Isolation room numbers almost tripled and dedicated COVID-19 cohort wards were established, elective care was postponed, and intensive care units were augmented with equipment and manpower. In the wake of the surge, establishing a new normal for hospital care requires maintaining vigilance to detect endemic COVID-19, establishing contingency plans to ramp up in case of another surge, while returning to business as usual.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Hospitals, University , Humans , Inpatients , Intensive Care Units , SARS-CoV-2
13.
BMC Med ; 19(1): 238, 2021 09 17.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1477420
14.
Singapore Med J ; 2021 Oct 03.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1449277
15.
Clin Med (Lond) ; 21(5): e462-e469, 2021 09.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1352933

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: The COVID-19 pandemic represents one of the greatest ever challenges for healthcare. In the UK and beyond, acute medical units (AMUs) are the first point of assessment and care for the majority of medical inpatients. By their design and systems, they inevitably played an important role in the COVID-19 response but to date little has been published on how the COVID-19 pandemic has affected how AMUs have reorganised their resources, processes and structure. METHODS: This retrospective study in August 2020 of 10 AMUs across Europe and Australasia used a standardised questionnaire to investigate existing practice and structure of AMUs, the national context of local hospital experience, changes to practice during the COVID-19 pandemic and views regarding future practice. RESULTS: Changes to AMU structure, process and organisation are described in two contexts: preventing and controlling the spread of COVID-19 and adding value to the patient's acute care journey in the local context. We describe novel practices that have arisen and highlight areas of concern. CONCLUSIONS: The AMUs were able to adapt to meet the demands of acute care delivery during the first wave of the COVID-19 pandemic. Operational planning and prioritisation of resources must be optimised to ensure sustainability of these services for future waves.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Pandemics , Delivery of Health Care , Humans , Pandemics/prevention & control , Retrospective Studies , SARS-CoV-2
16.
Curr Opin Infect Dis ; 34(4): 365-371, 2021 08 01.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1341151

ABSTRACT

PURPOSE OF REVIEW: The coronavirus disease (COVID-19) pandemic has resulted in necessary modifications of infection control policies and practices in acute healthcare facilities globally. This is often accompanied by infrastructure modifications, ward redesignations, as well as healthcare staff redeployments and changes to infection prevention and control (IPC) practices. We review the potential for both negative and positive impacts these major changes can have on nosocomial transmission of multidrug-resistant organisms (MDROs). RECENT FINDINGS: Healthcare facilities around the world have reported outbreaks of MDROs during the COVID-19 pandemic. In contrast some centres have reported a decrease in baseline rates due to a number of possible factors. SUMMARY: While implementing crucial preventive measures for COVID-19, is it important to consider any collateral effects of changes in IPC and antimicrobial stewardship program (ASP) practices. The disruption caused to IPC and ASP practices during the pandemic are likely to see a counter intuitive increase in transmission of MDROs.


Subject(s)
COVID-19/epidemiology , Cross Infection/epidemiology , Cross Infection/etiology , Cross Infection/transmission , Drug Resistance, Microbial , Drug Resistance, Multiple , SARS-CoV-2 , Acute Disease , Anti-Infective Agents/pharmacology , Anti-Infective Agents/therapeutic use , Cross Infection/drug therapy , Disease Outbreaks , Hospitals , Humans , Infection Control/methods , Pandemics , Public Health Surveillance
17.
Int J Infect Dis ; 106: 314-322, 2021 May.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1279607

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: We examined whether existing licensed pharmacotherapies could reduce the spread of coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19). METHODS: An open-label parallel randomized controlled trial was performed among healthy migrant workers quarantined in a large multi-storey dormitory in Singapore. Forty clusters (each defined as individual floors of the dormitory) were randomly assigned to receive a 42-day prophylaxis regimen of either oral hydroxychloroquine (400 mg once, followed by 200 mg/day), oral ivermectin (12 mg once), povidone-iodine throat spray (3 times/day, 270 µg/day), oral zinc (80 mg/day)/vitamin C (500 mg/day) combination, or oral vitamin C, 500 mg/day. The primary outcome was laboratory evidence of SARS-CoV-2 infection as shown by either: (1) a positive serologic test for SARS-CoV-2 antibody on day 42, or (2) a positive PCR test for SARS-CoV-2 at any time between baseline and day 42. RESULTS: A total of 3037 asymptomatic participants (mean age, 33.0 years; all men) who were seronegative to SARS-CoV-2 at baseline were included in the primary analysis. Follow-up was nearly complete (99.6%). Compared with vitamin C, significant absolute risk reductions (%, 98.75% confidence interval) were observed for oral hydroxychloroquine (21%, 2-42%) and povidone-iodine throat spray (24%, 7-39%). No statistically significant differences were observed with oral zinc/vitamin C combination (23%, -5 to +41%) and ivermectin (5%, -10 to +22%). Interruptions due to side effects were highest among participants who received zinc/vitamin C combination (6.9%), followed by vitamin C (4.7%), povidone-iodine (2.0%), and hydroxychloroquine (0.7%). CONCLUSIONS: Chemoprophylaxis with either oral hydroxychloroquine or povidone-iodine throat spray was superior to oral vitamin C in reducing SARS-CoV-2 infection in young and healthy men.


Subject(s)
COVID-19/prevention & control , Hydroxychloroquine/pharmacology , Pharynx , Povidone-Iodine/pharmacology , Adult , Humans , Male , Middle Aged , Time Factors , Treatment Outcome , Young Adult
20.
Lancet ; 397(10268): 22-23, 2021 01 02.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-964621
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