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Am J Infect Control ; 50(10): 1140-1144, 2022 Oct.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1850561


INTRODUCTION: Healthcare-associated viral infections (HAVI) are a common cause of patient harm in the pediatric population. We implemented a HAVI prevention bundle in 2015, which included 6 core elements: caregiver screening, symptom-based isolation, personal protective equipment (PPE), hand hygiene, staff illness procedures, and monitoring of environmental cleanliness. Enhanced bundle elements were introduced at the start of the COVID-19 pandemic, which provided an opportunity to observe the effectiveness of the bundle with optimal adherence to prevention practices, and to measure the impact on respiratory HAVI epidemiology. METHODS: Respiratory HAVIs were confirmed through review of medical records and application of the National Health Safety Network (NHSN) surveillance criteria for upper respiratory infections (URIs) with predetermined incubation periods for unit attribution. Descriptive statistics of the study population were examined, and comparative analyses were performed on demographic and process metrics. Data analysis was conducted using R statistical software. RESULTS: We observed an overall decrease in respiratory HAVI of 68%, with prepandemic rates of 0.19 infections per 1,000 patient significantly decreased to a rate of 0.06 per 1,000 patient days in the pandemic period (P < .01). Rhinovirus made up proportionally more of our respiratory HAVI in the pandemic period (64% vs 53%), with respiratory HAVI secondary only to rhinovirus identified during 8 of 16 months in the pandemic period. Compliance with our HAVI prevention bundle significantly improved during pandemic period. CONCLUSIONS: Enhancement of our HAVI bundle during the COVID-19 pandemic contributed toward significant reduction in nosocomial transmission of respiratory HAVI. Even with prevention practices optimized, respiratory HAVIs secondary to rhinovirus continued to be reported, likely due to the capacity of rhinovirus to evade bundle elements in hospital, and infection prevention efforts at large in the community, leaving vulnerable patients at continued risk.

COVID-19 , Cross Infection , COVID-19/epidemiology , COVID-19/prevention & control , Child , Cross Infection/epidemiology , Cross Infection/prevention & control , Delivery of Health Care , Humans , Pandemics/prevention & control , Rhinovirus
mBio ; : e0378821, 2022 Feb 08.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1673352


The severe acute respiratory coronavirus-2 (SARS-CoV-2) is the cause of the global outbreak of COVID-19. Evidence suggests that the virus is evolving to allow efficient spread through the human population, including vaccinated individuals. Here, we report a study of viral variants from surveillance of the Delaware Valley, including the city of Philadelphia, and variants infecting vaccinated subjects. We sequenced and analyzed complete viral genomes from 2621 surveillance samples from March 2020 to September 2021 and compared them to genome sequences from 159 vaccine breakthroughs. In the early spring of 2020, all detected variants were of the B.1 and closely related lineages. A mixture of lineages followed, notably including B.1.243 followed by B.1.1.7 (alpha), with other lineages present at lower levels. Later isolations were dominated by B.1.617.2 (delta) and other delta lineages; delta was the exclusive variant present by the last time sampled. To investigate whether any variants appeared preferentially in vaccine breakthroughs, we devised a model based on Bayesian autoregressive moving average logistic multinomial regression to allow rigorous comparison. This revealed that B.1.617.2 (delta) showed 3-fold enrichment in vaccine breakthrough cases (odds ratio of 3; 95% credible interval 0.89-11). Viral point substitutions could also be associated with vaccine breakthroughs, notably the N501Y substitution found in the alpha, beta and gamma variants (odds ratio 2.04; 95% credible interval of1.25-3.18). This study thus overviews viral evolution and vaccine breakthroughs in the Delaware Valley and introduces a rigorous statistical approach to interrogating enrichment of breakthrough variants against a changing background. IMPORTANCE SARS-CoV-2 vaccination is highly effective at reducing viral infection, hospitalization and death. However, vaccine breakthrough infections have been widely observed, raising the question of whether particular viral variants or viral mutations are associated with breakthrough. Here, we report analysis of 2621 surveillance isolates from people diagnosed with COVID-19 in the Delaware Valley in southeastern Pennsylvania, allowing rigorous comparison to 159 vaccine breakthrough case specimens. Our best estimate is a 3-fold enrichment for some lineages of delta among breakthroughs, and enrichment of a notable spike substitution, N501Y. We introduce statistical methods that should be widely useful for evaluating vaccine breakthroughs and other viral phenotypes.

Infect Control Hosp Epidemiol ; : 1-3, 2021 May 10.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1284661


Early in the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic, the CDC recommended collection of a lower respiratory tract (LRT) specimen for severe acute respiratory coronavirus virus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) testing in addition to the routinely recommended upper respiratory tract (URT) testing in mechanically ventilated patients. Significant operational challenges were noted at our institution using this approach. In this report, we describe our experience with routine collection of paired URT and LRT sample testing. Our results revealed a high concordance between the 2 sources, and that all children tested for SARS-CoV-2 were appropriately diagnosed with URT testing alone. There was no added benefit to LRT testing. Based on these findings, our institutional approach was therefore adjusted to sample the URT alone for most patients, with LRT sampling reserved for patients with ongoing clinical suspicion for SARS-CoV-2 after a negative URT test.