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Ann Intern Med ; 2020 Sep 01.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-738264


BACKGROUND: The role of fecal aerosols in the transmission of severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 has been suspected. OBJECTIVE: To investigate the temporal and spatial distributions of 3 infected families in a high-rise apartment building and examine the associated environment variables to verify the role of fecal aerosols. DESIGN: Epidemiologic survey and quantitative reverse transcriptase polymerase chain reaction analyses on throat swabs from the participants; 237 surface and air samples from 11 of the 83 flats in the building, public areas, and building drainage systems; and tracer gas released into bathrooms as a surrogate for virus-laden aerosols in the drainage system. SETTING: A high-rise apartment building in Guangzhou, China. PARTICIPANTS: 9 infected patients, 193 other residents of the building, and 24 members of the building's management staff. MEASUREMENTS: Locations of infected flats and positive environmental samples, and spread of virus-laden aerosols. RESULTS: 9 infected patients in 3 families were identified. The first family had a history of travel to the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) epicenter Wuhan, whereas the other 2 families had no travel history and a later onset of symptoms. No evidence was found for transmission via the elevator or elsewhere. The families lived in 3 vertically aligned flats connected by drainage pipes in the master bathrooms. Both the observed infections and the locations of positive environmental samples are consistent with the vertical spread of virus-laden aerosols via these stacks and vents. LIMITATION: Inability to determine whether the water seals were dried out in the flats of the infected families. CONCLUSION: On the basis of circumstantial evidence, fecal aerosol transmission may have caused the community outbreak of COVID-19 in this high-rise building. PRIMARY FUNDING SOURCE: Key-Area Research and Development Program of Guangdong Province and the Research Grants Council of Hong Kong.

Emerg Microbes Infect ; 9(1): 1546-1553, 2020 Dec.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-627739


This study aimed to estimate the attack rates, and identify the risk factors of COVID-19 infection. Based on a retrospective cohort study, we investigated 11,580 contacts of COVID-19 cases in Guangdong Province from 10 January to 15 March 2020. All contacts were tested by RT-PCR to detect their infection of SARS-COV-2. Attack rates by characteristics were calculated. Logistic regression was used to estimate the risk factors of infection for COVID-19. A total of 515 of 11,580 contacts were identified to be infected with SARS-COV-2. Compared to young adults aged 20-29 years, the infected risk was higher in children (RR: 2.59, 95%CI: 1.79-3.76), and old people aged 60-69 years (RR: 5.29, 95%CI: 3.76-7.46). Females also had higher infected risk (RR: 1.66, 95%CI: 1.39-2.00). People having close relationship with index cases encountered higher infected risk (RR for spouse: 20.68, 95%CI: 14.28-29.95; RR for non-spouse family members: 9.55, 95%CI: 6.73-13.55; RR for close relatives: 5.90, 95%CI: 4.06-8.59). Moreover, contacts exposed to index case in symptomatic period (RR: 2.15, 95%CI: 1.67-2.79), with critically severe symptoms (RR: 1.61, 95%CI: 1.00-2.57), with symptoms of dizzy (RR: 1.58, 95%CI: 1.08-2.30), myalgia (RR: 1.49, 95%CI: 1.15-1.94), and chill (RR: 1.42, 95%CI: 1.05-1.92) had higher infected risks. Children, old people, females, and family members are susceptible of COVID-19 infection, while index cases in the incubation period had lower contagiousness. Our findings will be helpful for developing targeted prevention and control strategies to combat the worldwide pandemic.

Contact Tracing , Coronavirus Infections/transmission , Pneumonia, Viral/transmission , Adolescent , Adult , Age Factors , Aged , Aged, 80 and over , Child , Child, Preschool , China , Cohort Studies , Disease Susceptibility , Female , Humans , Infant , Infant, Newborn , Male , Middle Aged , Pandemics , Quarantine , Retrospective Studies , Risk Factors , Young Adult