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Infect Control Hosp Epidemiol ; : 1-5, 2022 Apr 27.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1815396


Sporadic clusters of healthcare-associated coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) occurred despite intense rostered routine surveillance and a highly vaccinated healthcare worker (HCW) population, during a community surge of the severe acute respiratory coronavirus virus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) B.1.617.2 δ (delta) variant. Genomic analysis facilitated timely cluster detection and uncovered additional linkages via HCWs moving between clinical areas and among HCWs sharing a common lunch area, enabling early intervention.

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


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.

Am J Infect Control ; 49(4): 469-477, 2021 04.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-907189


BACKGROUND: In the current COVID-19 pandemic, aggressive Infection Prevention and Control (IPC) measures have been adopted to prevent health care-associated transmission of COVID-19. We evaluated the impact of a multimodal IPC strategy originally designed for the containment of COVID-19 on the rates of other hospital-acquired-infections (HAIs). METHODOLOGY: From February-August 2020, a multimodal IPC strategy was implemented across a large health care campus in Singapore, comprising improved segregation of patients with respiratory symptoms, universal masking and heightened adherence to Standard Precautions. The following rates of HAI were compared pre- and postpandemic: health care-associated respiratory-viral-infection (HA-RVI), methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus, and CP-CRE acquisition rates, health care-facility-associated C difficile infections and device-associated HAIs. RESULTS: Enhanced IPC measures introduced to contain COVID-19 had the unintended positive consequence of containing HA-RVI. The cumulative incidence of HA-RVI decreased from 9.69 cases per 10,000 patient-days to 0.83 cases per 10,000 patient-days (incidence-rate-ratio = 0.08; 95% confidence interval [CI] = 0.05-0.13, P< .05). Hospital-wide MRSA acquisition rates declined significantly during the pandemic (incidence-rate-ratio = 0.54, 95% CI = 0.46-0.64, P< .05), together with central-line-associated-bloodstream infection rates (incidence-rate-ratio = 0.24, 95% CI = 0.07-0.57, P< .05); likely due to increased compliance with Standard Precautions. Despite the disruption caused by the pandemic, there was no increase in CP-CRE acquisition, and rates of other HAIs remained stable. CONCLUSIONS: Multimodal IPC strategies can be implemented at scale to successfully mitigate health care-associated transmission of RVIs. Good adherence to personal-protective-equipment and hand hygiene kept other HAI rates stable even during an ongoing pandemic where respiratory infections were prioritized for interventions.

COVID-19/prevention & control , Cross Infection/prevention & control , Infection Control/methods , SARS-CoV-2 , Catheter-Related Infections/prevention & control , Catheterization, Central Venous/adverse effects , Humans , Methicillin-Resistant Staphylococcus aureus , Respiratory Tract Infections/prevention & control , Respiratory Tract Infections/virology , Staphylococcal Infections/microbiology , Staphylococcal Infections/prevention & control , United States