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1.
Elife ; 112022 07 19.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1954754

ABSTRACT

Background: There is ongoing uncertainty regarding transmission chains and the respective roles of healthcare workers (HCWs) and elderly patients in nosocomial outbreaks of severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) in geriatric settings. Methods: We performed a retrospective cohort study including patients with nosocomial coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) in four outbreak-affected wards, and all SARS-CoV-2 RT-PCR positive HCWs from a Swiss university-affiliated geriatric acute-care hospital that admitted both Covid-19 and non-Covid-19 patients during the first pandemic wave in Spring 2020. We combined epidemiological and genetic sequencing data using a Bayesian modelling framework, and reconstructed transmission dynamics of SARS-CoV-2 involving patients and HCWs, to determine who infected whom. We evaluated general transmission patterns according to case type (HCWs working in dedicated Covid-19 cohorting wards: HCWcovid; HCWs working in non-Covid-19 wards where outbreaks occurred: HCWoutbreak; patients with nosocomial Covid-19: patientnoso) by deriving the proportion of infections attributed to each case type across all posterior trees and comparing them to random expectations. Results: During the study period (1 March to 7 May 2020), we included 180 SARS-CoV-2 positive cases: 127 HCWs (91 HCWcovid, 36 HCWoutbreak) and 53 patients. The attack rates ranged from 10% to 19% for patients, and 21% for HCWs. We estimated that 16 importation events occurred with high confidence (4 patients, 12 HCWs) that jointly led to up to 41 secondary cases; in six additional cases (5 HCWs, 1 patient), importation was possible with a posterior probability between 10% and 50%. Most patient-to-patient transmission events involved patients having shared a ward (95.2%, 95% credible interval [CrI] 84.2%-100%), in contrast to those having shared a room (19.7%, 95% CrI 6.7%-33.3%). Transmission events tended to cluster by case type: patientnoso were almost twice as likely to be infected by other patientnoso than expected (observed:expected ratio 2.16, 95% CrI 1.17-4.20, p=0.006); similarly, HCWoutbreak were more than twice as likely to be infected by other HCWoutbreak than expected (2.72, 95% CrI 0.87-9.00, p=0.06). The proportion of infectors being HCWcovid was as expected as random. We found a trend towards a greater proportion of high transmitters (≥2 secondary cases) among HCWoutbreak than patientnoso in the late phases (28.6% vs. 11.8%) of the outbreak, although this was not statistically significant. Conclusions: Most importation events were linked to HCW. Unexpectedly, transmission between HCWcovid was more limited than transmission between patients and HCWoutbreak. This finding highlights gaps in infection control and suggests the possible areas of improvements to limit the extent of nosocomial transmission. Funding: This study was supported by a grant from the Swiss National Science Foundation under the NRP78 funding scheme (Grant no. 4078P0_198363).


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Cross Infection , Aged , Bayes Theorem , COVID-19/epidemiology , Cross Infection/epidemiology , Disease Outbreaks , Genomics , Hospitals , Humans , Retrospective Studies , SARS-CoV-2/genetics
2.
Lancet Digit Health ; 4(8): e573-e583, 2022 08.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1937365

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: Real-time prediction is key to prevention and control of infections associated with health-care settings. Contacts enable spread of many infections, yet most risk prediction frameworks fail to account for their dynamics. We developed, tested, and internationally validated a real-time machine-learning framework, incorporating dynamic patient-contact networks to predict hospital-onset COVID-19 infections (HOCIs) at the individual level. METHODS: We report an international retrospective cohort study of our framework, which extracted patient-contact networks from routine hospital data and combined network-derived variables with clinical and contextual information to predict individual infection risk. We trained and tested the framework on HOCIs using the data from 51 157 hospital inpatients admitted to a UK National Health Service hospital group (Imperial College Healthcare NHS Trust) between April 1, 2020, and April 1, 2021, intersecting the first two COVID-19 surges. We validated the framework using data from a Swiss hospital group (Department of Rehabilitation, Geneva University Hospitals) during a COVID-19 surge (from March 1 to May 31, 2020; 40 057 inpatients) and from the same UK group after COVID-19 surges (from April 2 to Aug 13, 2021; 43 375 inpatients). All inpatients with a bed allocation during the study periods were included in the computation of network-derived and contextual variables. In predicting patient-level HOCI risk, only inpatients spending 3 or more days in hospital during the study period were examined for HOCI acquisition risk. FINDINGS: The framework was highly predictive across test data with all variable types (area under the curve [AUC]-receiver operating characteristic curve [ROC] 0·89 [95% CI 0·88-0·90]) and similarly predictive using only contact-network variables (0·88 [0·86-0·90]). Prediction was reduced when using only hospital contextual (AUC-ROC 0·82 [95% CI 0·80-0·84]) or patient clinical (0·64 [0·62-0·66]) variables. A model with only three variables (ie, network closeness, direct contacts with infectious patients [network derived], and hospital COVID-19 prevalence [hospital contextual]) achieved AUC-ROC 0·85 (95% CI 0·82-0·88). Incorporating contact-network variables improved performance across both validation datasets (AUC-ROC in the Geneva dataset increased from 0·84 [95% CI 0·82-0·86] to 0·88 [0·86-0·90]; AUC-ROC in the UK post-surge dataset increased from 0·49 [0·46-0·52] to 0·68 [0·64-0·70]). INTERPRETATION: Dynamic contact networks are robust predictors of individual patient risk of HOCIs. Their integration in clinical care could enhance individualised infection prevention and early diagnosis of COVID-19 and other nosocomial infections. FUNDING: Medical Research Foundation, WHO, Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council, National Institute for Health Research (NIHR), Swiss National Science Foundation, and German Research Foundation.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Cross Infection , COVID-19/epidemiology , Hospitals , Humans , Retrospective Studies , State Medicine
3.
Intensive Crit Care Nurs ; 70: 103227, 2022 Jun.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1828574

ABSTRACT

Patients in intensive care units (ICUs) are at high risk for healthcare-acquired infections (HAI) due to the high prevalence of invasive procedures and devices, induced immunosuppression, comorbidity, frailty and increased age. Over the past decade we have seen a successful reduction in the incidence of HAI related to invasive procedures and devices. However, the rate of ICU-acquired infections remains high. Within this context, the ongoing emergence of new pathogens, further complicates treatment and threatens patient outcomes. Additionally, the SARS-CoV-2 (COVID-19) pandemic highlighted the challenge that an emerging pathogen provides in adapting prevention measures regarding both the risk of exposure to caregivers and the need to maintain quality of care. ICU nurses hold a special place in the prevention and management of HAI as they are involved in basic hygienic care, steering and implementing quality improvement initiatives, correct microbiological sampling, and aspects antibiotic stewardship. The emergence of more sensitive microbiological techniques and our increased knowledge about interactions between critically ill patients and their microbiota are leading us to rethink how we define HAIs and best strategies to diagnose, treat and prevent these infections in the ICU. This multidisciplinary expert review, focused on the ICU setting, will summarise the recent epidemiology of ICU-HAI, discuss the place of modern microbiological techniques in their diagnosis, review operational and epidemiological definitions and redefine the place of several controversial preventive measures including antimicrobial-impregnated medical devices, chlorhexidine-impregnated washcloths, catheter dressings and chlorhexidine-based mouthwashes. Finally, general guidance is suggested that may reduce HAI incidence and especially outbreaks in ICUs.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Catheter-Related Infections , Cross Infection , Adult , Chlorhexidine , Cross Infection/diagnosis , Cross Infection/epidemiology , Cross Infection/prevention & control , Delivery of Health Care , Humans , Intensive Care Units , SARS-CoV-2
4.
Epidemiol Infect ; 150: e79, 2022 03 21.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1805520

ABSTRACT

Hand hygiene is a simple, low-cost intervention that may lead to substantial population-level effects in suppressing acute respiratory infection epidemics. However, quantification of the efficacy of hand hygiene on respiratory infection in the community is lacking. We searched PubMed for randomised controlled trials on the effect of hand hygiene for reducing acute respiratory infections in the community published before 11 March 2021. We performed a meta-regression analysis using a Bayesian mixed-effects model. A total of 105 publications were identified, out of which six studies reported hand hygiene frequencies. Four studies were performed in household settings and two were in schools. The average number of handwashing events per day ranged from one to eight in the control arms, and four to 17 in the intervention arms. We estimated that a single hand hygiene event is associated with a 3% (80% credible interval (-1% to 7%)) decrease in the daily probability of an acute respiratory infection. Three of these six studies were potentially at high risk of bias because the primary outcome depended on self-reporting of upper respiratory tract symptoms. Well-designed trials with an emphasis on monitoring hand hygiene adherence are needed to confirm these findings.


Subject(s)
Epidemics , Hand Hygiene , Respiratory Tract Infections , Bayes Theorem , Hand Disinfection , Humans , Respiratory Tract Infections/epidemiology , Respiratory Tract Infections/prevention & control
6.
Infect Control Hosp Epidemiol ; : 1-3, 2021 Oct 25.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1751627

ABSTRACT

An examination of all coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) cases and patient movements in Geneva indicated important disease activity within the healthcare system since the beginning of the pandemic. We estimate that 4.3% of all COVID-19 cases were likely acquired within the healthcare system, contributing to 62% of the COVID-19-related deaths.

7.
Antimicrob Resist Infect Control ; 11(1): 51, 2022 03 18.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1753127

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: We investigated the contribution of both occupational and community exposure for severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) infection among employees of a university-affiliated long-term care facility (LTCF), during the 1st pandemic wave in Switzerland (March-June 2020). METHODS: We performed a nested analysis of a seroprevalence study among all volunteering LTCF staff to determine community and nosocomial risk factors for SARS-CoV-2 seropositivity using modified Poison regression. We also combined epidemiological and genetic sequencing data from a coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) outbreak investigation in a LTCF ward to infer transmission dynamics and acquisition routes of SARS-CoV-2, and evaluated strain relatedness using a maximum likelihood phylogenetic tree. RESULTS: Among 285 LTCF employees, 176 participated in the seroprevalence study, of whom 30 (17%) were seropositive for SARS-CoV-2. Most (141/176, 80%) were healthcare workers (HCWs). Risk factors for seropositivity included exposure to a COVID-19 inpatient (adjusted prevalence ratio [aPR] 2.6; 95% CI 0.9-8.1) and community contact with a COVID-19 case (aPR 1.7; 95% CI 0.8-3.5). Among 18 employees included in the outbreak investigation, the outbreak reconstruction suggests 4 likely importation events by HCWs with secondary transmissions to other HCWs and patients. CONCLUSIONS: These two complementary epidemiologic and molecular approaches suggest a substantial contribution of both occupational and community exposures to COVID-19 risk among HCWs in LTCFs. These data may help to better assess the importance of occupational health hazards and related legal implications during the COVID-19 pandemic.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , COVID-19/epidemiology , Humans , Long-Term Care , Nursing Homes , Pandemics , Phylogeny , SARS-CoV-2/genetics , Seroepidemiologic Studies
8.
Int J Environ Res Public Health ; 19(5)2022 03 05.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1732031

ABSTRACT

Personal protective equipment doffing is a complex procedure that needs to be adequately performed to prevent health care worker contamination. During the COVID-19 pandemic, junior health care workers and students of different health care professions who had not been trained to carry out such procedures were often called upon to take care of infected patients. To limit direct contact, distance teaching interventions were used, but different trials found that their impact was rather limited. We therefore designed and carried out a randomized controlled trial assessing the impact of adding a face-to-face intervention using Peyton's four-step approach to a gamified e-learning module. Sixty-five student paramedics participated in this study. The proportion of doffing sequences correctly performed was higher in the blended learning group (33.3% (95%CI 18.0 to 51.8) versus 9.7% (95%CI 2.0 to 25.8), p = 0.03). Moreover, knowledge and skill retention four to eight weeks after the teaching intervention were also higher in this group. Even though this study supports the use of a blended learning approach to teach doffing sequences, the low number of student paramedics able to adequately perform this procedure supports the need for iterative training sessions. Further studies should determine how often such sessions should be carried out.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Personal Protective Equipment , Allied Health Personnel , COVID-19/prevention & control , Electronics , Humans , Pandemics/prevention & control , SARS-CoV-2 , Students
9.
Euro Surveill ; 27(1)2022 01.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1613508

ABSTRACT

BackgroundSince the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic, the disease has frequently been compared with seasonal influenza, but this comparison is based on little empirical data.AimThis study compares in-hospital outcomes for patients with community-acquired COVID-19 and patients with community-acquired influenza in Switzerland.MethodsThis retrospective multi-centre cohort study includes patients > 18 years admitted for COVID-19 or influenza A/B infection determined by RT-PCR. Primary and secondary outcomes were in-hospital mortality and intensive care unit (ICU) admission for patients with COVID-19 or influenza. We used Cox regression (cause-specific and Fine-Gray subdistribution hazard models) to account for time-dependency and competing events with inverse probability weighting to adjust for confounders.ResultsIn 2020, 2,843 patients with COVID-19 from 14 centres were included. Between 2018 and 2020, 1,381 patients with influenza from seven centres were included; 1,722 (61%) of the patients with COVID-19 and 666 (48%) of the patients with influenza were male (p < 0.001). The patients with COVID-19 were younger (median 67 years; interquartile range (IQR): 54-78) than the patients with influenza (median 74 years; IQR: 61-84) (p < 0.001). A larger percentage of patients with COVID-19 (12.8%) than patients with influenza (4.4%) died in hospital (p < 0.001). The final adjusted subdistribution hazard ratio for mortality was 3.01 (95% CI: 2.22-4.09; p < 0.001) for COVID-19 compared with influenza and 2.44 (95% CI: 2.00-3.00, p < 0.001) for ICU admission.ConclusionCommunity-acquired COVID-19 was associated with worse outcomes compared with community-acquired influenza, as the hazards of ICU admission and in-hospital death were about two-fold to three-fold higher.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Influenza, Human , Cohort Studies , Hospital Mortality , Hospitalization , Hospitals , Humans , Influenza, Human/diagnosis , Influenza, Human/epidemiology , Intensive Care Units , Male , Pandemics , Retrospective Studies , SARS-CoV-2 , Switzerland/epidemiology
10.
Crit Care ; 25(1): 403, 2021 11 22.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1528689

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: Evidence about the impact of the pandemic of COVID-19 on the incidence rates of blood cultures contaminations and bloodstream infections in intensive care units (ICUs) remains scant. The objective of this study was to investigate the nationwide epidemiology of positive blood cultures drawn in ICUs during the first two pandemic waves of COVID-19 in Switzerland. METHODS: We analyzed data on positive blood cultures among ICU patients, prospectively collected through a nationwide surveillance system (ANRESIS), from March 30, 2020, to May 31, 2021, a 14-month timeframe that included a first wave of COVID-19, which affected the French and Italian-speaking regions, an interim period (summer 2020) and a second wave that affected the entire country. We used the number of ICU patient-days provided by the Swiss Federal Office of Public Health as denominator to calculate incidence rates of blood culture contaminations and bloodstream infections (ICU-BSI). Incidence rate ratios comparing the interim period with the second wave were determined by segmented Poisson regression models. RESULTS: A total of 1099 blood culture contaminations and 1616 ICU-BSIs were identified in 52 ICUs during the study. Overall, more episodes of blood culture contaminations and ICU-BSI were observed during the pandemic waves, compared to the interim period. The proportions of blood culture contaminations and ICU-BSI were positively associated with the ICU occupancy rate, which was higher during the COVID-19 waves. During the more representative second wave (versus interim period), we observed an increased incidence of blood culture contaminations (IRR 1.57, 95% CI 1.16-2.12) and ICU-BSI (IRR 1.20, 95% CI 1.03-1.39). CONCLUSIONS: An increase in blood culture contaminations and ICU-BSIs was observed during the second COVID-19 pandemic wave, especially in months when the ICU burden of COVID-19 patients was high.


Subject(s)
Blood Culture , COVID-19/epidemiology , Equipment Contamination/statistics & numerical data , Intensive Care Units/statistics & numerical data , Pandemics , Population Surveillance , Sepsis/epidemiology , Female , Humans , Incidence , Male , Middle Aged , Switzerland/epidemiology
11.
EuropePMC; 2021.
Preprint in English | EuropePMC | ID: ppcovidwho-291067

ABSTRACT

Background: Nosocomial outbreaks of severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) are frequent despite implementation of conventional infection control measures. We performed an outbreak investigation using advanced genomic and statistical techniques to reconstruct likely transmission chains and assess the role of healthcare workers (HCWs) in SARS-CoV-2 transmission.<br><br>Methods: We investigated a nosocomial SARS-CoV-2 outbreak in a university-affiliated rehabilitation clinic, involving patients and HCWs, with high coverage of pathogen whole genome sequences (WGS). We estimated the time-varying reproduction number from epidemiological data (Rt) and produced a maximum likelihood phylogeny to assess genetic diversity of the pathogen. We combined genomic and epidemiological data into a Bayesian framework to model directionality of transmission. We performed a case-control study to investigate risk factors for nosocomial SARS-CoV-2 acquisition in patients.<br><br>Findings: The outbreak spanned from March 14 to April 12, 2020 and involved 37 patients (31 with WGS) and 39 employees (31 with WGS) of whom 37 are HCWs. We estimated a peak Rt between 2·2 – 3·6. The phylogenetic tree showed very limited genetic diversity, with 60/62 (96·7%) isolates forming one large cluster of identical genomes. Despite the resulting uncertainty in reconstructed transmission events, our analyses suggest that HCWs (one of whom was the index case) played an essential role in cross-transmission, with a significantly larger fraction of infections (p < 2·2e-16) attributable to HCWs (70·7%) than expected given the number of HCWs cases (46·7%). The excess of transmission from HCWs was larger when considering infection of patients (79·0%;95%CI 78·5% - 79·5%), and especially frail patients (Clinical Frailty Scale > 5: 82·3%;95%CI 81·8% - 83·4%). Furthermore, frail patients were found to be at greater risk for nosocomial COVID-19 than other patients (adjusted OR 6·94;95%CI 2·13 – 22·57).<br><br>Interpretation: This outbreak report highlights the essential role of HCWs in SARS-CoV-2 transmission dynamics in healthcare settings. Limited genetic diversity in pathogen genomes hampered the reconstruction of individual transmission events, resulting in substantial uncertainty in who infected whom. However, our study shows that despite such uncertainty, significant transmission patterns can be observed.<br><br>Funding: This work was supported by a grant from the Swiss National Science Foundation under the NRP78 Covid-19 funding scheme (Grant no. 4078P0_198363).<br><br>Declaration of Interests: All authors have no conflicts of interest to declare.<br><br>Ethics Approval Statement: Outbreak investigations are within the purview of the IPC programme. For additional investigations, the local Ethic Committee approved this study (no. 2020-01330).

12.
JMIR Serious Games ; 9(4): e33003, 2021 Nov 25.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1463407

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: Lassitude and a rather high degree of mistrust toward the authorities can make regular or overly constraining COVID-19 infection prevention and control campaigns inefficient and even counterproductive. Serious games provide an original, engaging, and potentially effective way of disseminating COVID-19 infection prevention and control guidelines. Escape COVID-19 is a serious game for teaching COVID-19 infection prevention and control practices that has previously been validated in a population of nursing home personnel. OBJECTIVE: We aimed to identify factors learned from playing the serious game Escape COVID-19 that facilitate or impede intentions of changing infection prevention and control behavior in a large and heterogeneous Swiss population. METHODS: This fully automated, prospective web-based study, compliant with the Checklist for Reporting Results of Internet E-Surveys (CHERRIES), was conducted in all 3 main language regions of Switzerland. After creating an account on the platform, participants were asked to complete a short demographic questionnaire before accessing the serious game. The only incentive given to the potential participants was a course completion certificate, which participants obtained after completing the postgame questionnaire. The primary outcome was the proportion of participants who reported that they were willing to change their infection prevention and control behavior. Secondary outcomes were the infection prevention and control areas affected by this willingness and the presumed evolution in the use of specific personal protective equipment items. The elements associated with intention to change infection prevention and control behavior, or lack thereof, were also assessed. Other secondary outcomes were the subjective perceptions regarding length, difficulty, meaningfulness, and usefulness of the serious game; impression of engagement and boredom while playing the serious game; and willingness to recommend its use to friends or colleagues. RESULTS: From March 9 to June 9, 2021, a total of 3227 accounts were created on the platform, and 1104 participants (34.2%) completed the postgame questionnaire. Of the 1104 respondents, 509 respondents (46.1%) answered that they intended to change their infection prevention and control behavior after playing the game. Among the respondents who answered that they did not intend to change their behavior, 86.1% (512/595) answered that they already apply these guidelines. Participants who followed the German version were less likely to intend to change their infection prevention and control behavior (odds ratio [OR] 0.48, 95% CI 0.24-0.96; P=.04) and found the game less engaging (P<.001). Conversely, participants aged 53 years or older had stronger intentions of changing infection prevention and control behavior (OR 2.07, 95% CI 1.44-2.97; P<.001). CONCLUSIONS: Escape COVID-19 is a useful tool to enhance correct infection prevention and control measures on a national scale, even after 2 COVID-19 pandemic waves; however, the serious game's impact was affected by language, age category, and previous educational training, and the game should be adapted to enhance its impact on specific populations.

14.
Infect Control Hosp Epidemiol ; 43(3): 326-333, 2022 03.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1199239

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: The dynamics of coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) seroconversion of hospital employees are understudied. We measured the proportion of seroconverted employees and evaluated risk factors for seroconversion during the first pandemic wave. METHODS: In this prospective cohort study, we recruited Geneva University Hospitals employees and sampled them 3 times, every 3 weeks from March 30 to June 12, 2020. We measured the proportion of seroconverted employees and determined prevalence ratios of risk factors for seroconversion using multivariate mixed-effects Poisson regression models. RESULTS: Overall, 3,421 participants (29% of all employees) were included, with 92% follow-up. The proportion of seroconverted employees increased from 4.4% (95% confidence interval [CI], 3.7%-5.1%) at baseline to 8.5% [(95% CI, 7.6%-9.5%) at the last visit. The proportions of seroconverted employees working in COVID-19 geriatrics and rehabilitation (G&R) wards (32.3%) and non-COVID-19 G&R wards (12.3%) were higher compared to office workers (4.9%) at the last visit. Only nursing assistants had a significantly higher risk of seroconversion compared to office workers (11.7% vs 4.9%; P = .006). Significant risk factors for seroconversion included the use of public transportation (adjusted prevalence ratio, 1.59; 95% CI, 1.25-2.03), known community exposure to severe acute respiratory coronavirus virus 2 (2.80; 95% CI, 2.22-3.54), working in a ward with a nosocomial COVID outbreak (2.93; 95% CI, 2.27-3.79), and working in a COVID-19 G&R ward (3.47; 95% CI, 2.45-4.91) or a non-COVID-19 G&R ward (1.96; 95% CI, 1.46-2.63). We observed an association between reported use of respirators and lower risk of seroconversion (0.73; 95% CI, 0.55-0.96). CONCLUSION: Additional preventive measures should be implemented to protect employees in G&R wards. Randomized trials on the protective effect of respirators are urgently needed.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Occupational Exposure , COVID-19/epidemiology , Cohort Studies , Hospitals, University , Humans , Longitudinal Studies , Occupational Exposure/adverse effects , Personnel, Hospital , Prospective Studies , SARS-CoV-2 , Seroconversion , Switzerland
15.
Clin Microbiol Infect ; 2021 Feb 20.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1146230

ABSTRACT

OBJECTIVES: To report a case of severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) reinfection 6 months after the first infection in a young healthy female physician. Both episodes led to mild coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19). METHODS: SARS-CoV-2 infections were detected by real-time reverse transcriptase PCR (RT-PCR) on nasopharyngeal specimens. Reinfection was confirmed by whole-genome sequencing. Kinetics of total anti-S receptor binding domain immunoglobulins (Ig anti-S RBD), anti-nucleoprotein (anti-N) and neutralizing antibodies were determined in serial serum samples retrieved during both infection episodes. Memory B-cell responses were assessed at day 12 after reinfection. RESULTS: Whole-genome sequencing identified two different SARS-CoV-2 genomes both belonging to clade 20A, with only one nonsynonymous mutation in the spike protein and clustered with viruses circulating in Geneva (Switzerland) at the time of each of the corresponding episodes. Seroconversion was documented with low levels of total Ig anti-S RBD and anti-N antibodies at 1 month after the first infection, whereas neutralizing antibodies quickly declined after the first episode and then were boosted by the reinfection, with high titres detectable 4 days after symptom onset. A strong memory B-cell response was detected at day 12 after onset of symptoms during reinfection, indicating that the first episode elicited cellular memory responses. CONCLUSIONS: Rapid decline of neutralizing antibodies may put medical personnel at risk of reinfection, as shown in this case. However, reinfection leads to a significant boosting of previous immune responses. Larger cohorts of reinfected subjects with detailed descriptions of their immune responses are needed to define correlates of protection and their duration after infection.

16.
J Med Internet Res ; 23(3): e27443, 2021 03 25.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1123732

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: Most residents of long-term care facilities (LTCFs) are at high risk of complications and death following SARS-CoV-2 infection. In these facilities, viral transmission can be facilitated by shortages of human and material resources, which can lead to suboptimal application of infection prevention and control (IPC) procedures. To improve the dissemination of COVID-19 IPC guidelines, we developed a serious game called "Escape COVID-19" using Nicholson's RECIPE for meaningful gamification, as engaging serious games have the potential to induce behavioral change. OBJECTIVE: As the probability of executing an action is strongly linked to the intention of performing it, the objective of this study was to determine whether LTCF employees were willing to change their IPC practices after playing "Escape COVID-19." METHODS: This was a web-based, triple-blind, randomized controlled trial, which took place between November 5 and December 4, 2020. The health authorities of Geneva, Switzerland, asked the managers of all LTCFs under their jurisdiction to forward information regarding the study to all their employees, regardless of professional status. Participants were unaware that they would be randomly allocated to one of two different study paths upon registration. In the control group, participants filled in a first questionnaire designed to gather demographic data and assess baseline knowledge before accessing regular online IPC guidelines. They then answered a second questionnaire, which assessed their willingness to change their IPC practices and identified the reasons underlying their decision. They were then granted access to the serious game. Conversely, the serious game group played "Escape COVID-19" after answering the first questionnaire but before answering the second one. This group accessed the control material after answering the second set of questions. There was no time limit. The primary outcome was the proportion of LTCF employees willing to change their IPC practices. Secondary outcomes included the factors underlying participants' decisions, the domains these changes would affect, changes in the use of protective equipment items, and attrition at each stage of the study. RESULTS: A total of 295 answer sets were analyzed. Willingness to change behavior was higher in the serious game group (82% [119/145] versus 56% [84/150]; P<.001), with an odds ratio of 3.86 (95% CI 2.18-6.81; P<.001) after adjusting for professional category and baseline knowledge, using a mixed effects logistic regression model with LTCF as a random effect. For more than two-thirds (142/203) of the participants, the feeling of playing an important role against the epidemic was the most important factor explaining their willingness to change behavior. Most of the participants unwilling to change their behavior answered that they were already applying all the guidelines. CONCLUSIONS: The serious game "Escape COVID-19" was more successful than standard IPC material in convincing LTCF employees to adopt COVID-19-safe IPC behavior. INTERNATIONAL REGISTERED REPORT IDENTIFIER (IRRID): RR2-10.2196/25595.


Subject(s)
COVID-19/prevention & control , COVID-19/transmission , Disease Transmission, Infectious/prevention & control , Infection Control/methods , Long-Term Care/methods , Video Games , COVID-19/epidemiology , Female , Humans , Infection Control/statistics & numerical data , Intention , Internet , Long-Term Care/standards , Male , SARS-CoV-2/isolation & purification
17.
Antimicrob Resist Infect Control ; 9(1): 185, 2020 11 10.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1067275

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: Prehospital professionals such as emergency physicians or paramedics must be able to choose and adequately don and doff personal protective equipment (PPE) in order to avoid COVID-19 infection. Our aim was to evaluate the impact of a gamified e-learning module on adequacy of PPE in student paramedics. METHODS: This was a web-based, randomized 1:1, parallel-group, triple-blind controlled trial. Student paramedics from three Swiss schools were invited to participate. They were informed they would be presented with both an e-learning module and an abridged version of the current regional prehospital COVID-19 guidelines, albeit not in which order. After a set of 22 questions designed to assess baseline knowledge, the control group was shown the guidelines before answering a set of 14 post-intervention questions. The e-learning group was shown the gamified e-learning module right after the guidelines, and before answering post-intervention questions. The primary outcome was the difference in the percentage of adequate choices of PPE before and after the intervention. RESULTS: The participation rate was of 71% (98/138). A total of 90 answer sets was analyzed. Adequate choice of PPE increased significantly both in the control (50% [33;83] vs 25% [25;50], P = .013) and in the e-learning group (67% [50;83] vs 25% [25;50], P = .001) following the intervention. Though the median of the difference was higher in the e-learning group, there was no statistically significant superiority over the control (33% [0;58] vs 17% [- 17;42], P = .087). The e-learning module was of greatest benefit in the subgroup of student paramedics who were actively working in an ambulance company (42% [8;58] vs 25% [- 17;42], P = 0.021). There was no significant effect in student paramedics who were not actively working in an ambulance service (0% [- 25;33] vs 17% [- 8;50], P = .584). CONCLUSIONS: The use of a gamified e-learning module increases the rate of adequate choice of PPE only among student paramedics actively working in an ambulance service. In this subgroup, combining this teaching modality with other interventions might help spare PPE and efficiently protect against COVID-19 infection.


Subject(s)
Betacoronavirus/physiology , Coronavirus Infections/prevention & control , Health Personnel/education , Pandemics/prevention & control , Personal Protective Equipment , Pneumonia, Viral/prevention & control , Adult , Allied Health Personnel/education , Allied Health Personnel/standards , Betacoronavirus/genetics , COVID-19 , Coronavirus Infections/epidemiology , Coronavirus Infections/transmission , Coronavirus Infections/virology , Education, Distance/statistics & numerical data , Europe , Female , Health Personnel/standards , Humans , Infectious Disease Transmission, Patient-to-Professional , Internet , Knowledge , Learning , Male , Personal Protective Equipment/standards , Pneumonia, Viral/epidemiology , Pneumonia, Viral/transmission , Pneumonia, Viral/virology , SARS-CoV-2 , Students/psychology , Young Adult
18.
Antimicrob Resist Infect Control ; 10(1): 7, 2021 01 06.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1060156

ABSTRACT

OBJECTIVES: To compile current published reports on nosocomial outbreaks of severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2), evaluate the role of healthcare workers (HCWs) in transmission, and evaluate outbreak management practices. METHODS: Narrative literature review. SHORT CONCLUSION: The coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic has placed a large burden on hospitals and healthcare providers worldwide, which increases the risk of nosocomial transmission and outbreaks to "non-COVID" patients or residents, who represent the highest-risk population in terms of mortality, as well as HCWs. To date, there are several reports on nosocomial outbreaks of SARS-CoV-2, and although the attack rate is variable, it can be as high as 60%, with high mortality. There is currently little evidence on transmission dynamics, particularly using genomic sequencing, and the role of HCWs in initiating or amplifying nosocomial outbreaks is not elucidated. There has been a paradigm shift in management practices of viral respiratory outbreaks, that includes widespread testing of patients (or residents) and HCWs, including asymptomatic individuals. These expanded testing criteria appear to be crucial in identifying and controlling outbreaks.


Subject(s)
COVID-19/epidemiology , COVID-19/transmission , Cross Infection/epidemiology , Cross Infection/transmission , Disease Outbreaks , Health Personnel , SARS-CoV-2 , COVID-19/prevention & control , COVID-19/virology , Cross Infection/virology , Health Facilities , Hospitalization , Humans , Population Surveillance , Research
19.
Antimicrob Resist Infect Control ; 10(1): 7, 2021 01 06.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1013158

ABSTRACT

OBJECTIVES: To compile current published reports on nosocomial outbreaks of severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2), evaluate the role of healthcare workers (HCWs) in transmission, and evaluate outbreak management practices. METHODS: Narrative literature review. SHORT CONCLUSION: The coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic has placed a large burden on hospitals and healthcare providers worldwide, which increases the risk of nosocomial transmission and outbreaks to "non-COVID" patients or residents, who represent the highest-risk population in terms of mortality, as well as HCWs. To date, there are several reports on nosocomial outbreaks of SARS-CoV-2, and although the attack rate is variable, it can be as high as 60%, with high mortality. There is currently little evidence on transmission dynamics, particularly using genomic sequencing, and the role of HCWs in initiating or amplifying nosocomial outbreaks is not elucidated. There has been a paradigm shift in management practices of viral respiratory outbreaks, that includes widespread testing of patients (or residents) and HCWs, including asymptomatic individuals. These expanded testing criteria appear to be crucial in identifying and controlling outbreaks.


Subject(s)
COVID-19/epidemiology , COVID-19/transmission , Cross Infection/epidemiology , Cross Infection/transmission , Disease Outbreaks , Health Personnel , SARS-CoV-2 , COVID-19/prevention & control , COVID-19/virology , Cross Infection/virology , Health Facilities , Hospitalization , Humans , Population Surveillance , Research
20.
JMIR Serious Games ; 8(4): e24986, 2020 Dec 03.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-993097

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: As many countries fear and even experience the emergence of a second wave of COVID-19, reminding health care workers (HCWs) and other hospital employees of the critical role they play in preventing SARS-CoV-2 transmission is more important than ever. Building and strengthening the intrinsic motivation of HCWs to apply infection prevention and control (IPC) guidelines to avoid contaminating their colleagues, patients, friends, and relatives is a goal that must be energetically pursued. A high rate of nosocomial infections during the first COVID-19 wave was detected by IPC specialists and further cemented their belief in the need for an engaging intervention that could improve compliance with COVID-19 safe behaviors. OBJECTIVE: Our aim was to develop a serious game that would promote IPC practices with a specific focus on COVID-19 among HCWs and other hospital employees. METHODS: The first 3 stages of the SERES framework were used to develop this serious game. A brainswarming session between developers and IPC specialists was used to identify the target audience and acquisition objectives. Nicholson's RECIPE mnemonic (reflection, engagement, choice, information, play, exposition) for meaningful gamification was used to guide the general design. A common and simple terminology was used to suit the broad target audience. The game was tested on various platforms (smartphones, tablets, laptops, desktop computers) by different users during each development loop and before its final release. RESULTS: The game was designed to target all hospital staff who could be in direct contact with patients within the Geneva University Hospitals. In total, 10 acquisition objectives were defined by IPC specialists and implemented into the game according to the principles of meaningful gamification. A simple storyboard was first created using Microsoft PowerPoint and was progressively refined through multiple iteration loops. Articulate Storyline was then used to create two successive versions of the actual game. In the final version, a unique graphic atmosphere was created with help from a professional graphic designer. Feedback mechanisms were used extensively throughout the game to strengthen key IPC messages. CONCLUSIONS: The SERES framework was successfully used to create "Escape COVID-19," a serious game designed to promote safe IPC practices among HCWs and other hospital employees during the COVID-19 pandemic. This game can be obtained free of charge for research and educational purposes. A SCORM (shareable content object reference model) package is available to facilitate results and completion tracking on most current learning management systems.

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