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1.
American Journal of Infection Control ; JOUR
Article in English | ScienceDirect | ID: covidwho-2085866

ABSTRACT

Background Temporary isolation wards have been introduced to meet demands for airborne-infection-isolation-rooms (AIIRs) during the COVID-19 pandemic. Environmental sampling and outbreak investigation was conducted in temporary isolation wards converted from general wards and/or prefabricated containers, in order to evaluate the ability of such temporary isolation wards to safely manage COVID-19 cases over a period of sustained use. Methods Environmental sampling for SARS-CoV-2 RNA was conducted in temporary isolation ward rooms constructed from pre-fabricated containers (N = 20) or converted from normal-pressure general wards (N = 47). Whole genome sequencing (WGS) was utilized to ascertain health care-associated transmission when clusters were reported amongst HCWs working in isolation areas from July 2020 to December 2021. Results A total of 355 environmental swabs were collected;22.4% (15/67) of patients had at least one positive environmental sample. Patients housed in temporary isolation ward rooms constructed from pre-fabricated containers (adjusted-odds-ratio, aOR = 10.46, 95% CI = 3.89-58.91, P = .008) had greater odds of detectable environmental contamination, with positive environmental samples obtained from the toilet area (60.0%, 12/20) and patient equipment, including electronic devices used for patient communication (8/20, 40.0%). A single HCW cluster was reported amongst staff working in the temporary isolation ward constructed from pre-fabricated containers;however, health care-associated transmission was deemed unlikely based on WGS and/or epidemiological investigations. Conclusion Environmental contamination with SARS-CoV-2 RNA was observed in temporary isolation wards, particularly from the toilet area and smartphones used for patient communication. However, despite intensive surveillance, no healthcare-associated transmission was detected in temporary isolation wards over 18 months of prolonged usage, demonstrating their capacity for sustained use during succeeding pandemic waves.

3.
Infect Control Hosp Epidemiol ; : 1-5, 2022 Apr 27.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1815396

ABSTRACT

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.

4.
EuropePMC; 2021.
Preprint in English | EuropePMC | ID: ppcovidwho-308488

ABSTRACT

Background: The Singapore COVID-19 multi-ministry taskforce commissioned community care facilities (CCFs) as a hospital-sparing strategy amidst rising coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) cases. An exhibition centre was repurposed within ten days as an ad-hoc 3200-bed medical facility (CCF@EXPO) to isolate and treat infected patients amidst concerns of potential COVID-19 transmissions to healthcare staff. This paper deconstructs the implementation of the CCF@EXPO infection prevention and control (IPC) innovation and elicits critical factors which enabled zero transmission of COVID-19 to staff during 100 days of operation using an implementation science framework. Methods: This study employed retrospective analysis using the integrated Promoting Action on Research Implementation in Health Services (i-PARIHS) framework. The CCF@EXPO IPC innovation comprised five key elements: (a) physical environment, (b) work practices, (c) tools and technology, (d) staff training, and (e) audits. Contextual assessment was conducted for baseline and 100 th day of CCF@EXPO operations. Actions taken to improve scores between these timepoints were mapped against the Expert Recommendations for Implementing Change (ERIC) tool to surface key implementation strategies. Results: Positive shifts were observed in all constructs of the i-PARIHS framework, between baseline and 100 th day. The largest shifts were in work practices, tools and technology, and staff training. Key implementation strategies used included: rapid Plan-Do-Study-Act (PDSA) cycles, identifying champions, team building, creating a culture of collaborative learning, multi-disciplinary teamwork, transparency in communications and decision-making, and skillful facilitation. Conclusions: Rapid PDSA cycles anchored by principles to ensure staff safety, was the key approach used in implementation of the CCF@EXPO IPC innovation. Retrospective analysis using the i-PARIHS framework is useful to elicit success factors and to inform preparedness planning of future pandemics.

5.
Singapore Med J ; 2021 Oct 11.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1464031

ABSTRACT

INTRODUCTION: We investigated knowledge, attitudes, and practice (KAP) about COVID-19 and related preventive measures in Singaporeans aged ≥ 60 years. METHODS: This was a population-based, cross-sectional, mixed-methods study (13 May 2020-9 June 2020) of participants aged ≥60 years. Self-reported KAP about ten COVID-19 symptoms and six government-endorsed preventive measures were evaluated. Multivariable regression models identified sociodemographic and health-related factors associated with knowledge, attitudes and practices in our sample. Associations between knowledge/attitude scores, and practice categories were determined using logistic regression. 78 participants were interviewed qualitatively about practice of additional preventive measures and data were analysed thematically. RESULTS: Mean awareness score of the symptoms was 7.2/10. Fever (93.0%) and diarrhoea (33.5%) were the most- and least-known symptoms, respectively. Most knew all six preventive measures (90.4%), perceived them as effective (78.7%), and practiced 'wear a mask' (97.2%). Indians, Malays, and those in smaller housing had poorer mean knowledge of COVID-19 symptoms scores. Older participants had poorer attitudes towards preventive measures. Compared to Chinese, Indians had lower odds of practicing 3/6 recommendations. A one-point increase in knowledge of and attitudes towards preventive measures score had higher odds of always practicing 3/6 and 2/6 measures, respectively. Qualitative interviews revealed use of other preventive measures, e.g. maintaining a healthy lifestyle. CONCLUSION: Elderly Singaporeans displayed high levels of KAP about COVID-19 and related preventive measures, with a positive association between levels of knowledge/attitude, and practice. However, important ethnic and socioeconomic disparities were evident, suggesting key vulnerabilities remain, requiring immediate attention.

6.
Infect Dis Health ; 27(1): 38-48, 2022 Feb.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1458691

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: Large-scale quarantine facilities staffed with non-healthcare workers (NHCW) were instrumental in preventing community spread of COVID-19 (coronavirus disease of 2019). The objective of this study was to determine the effectiveness of a newly developed procedural skills training framework in ensuring personal protective equipment (PPE) compliance of PPE-naïve NHCWs. METHODS: We developed a PPE procedural skills training framework for NHCWs using the Learn, See, Practice, Prove, Do, and Maintain (LSPPDM) framework and international guidelines on PPE for healthcare workers. The NHCWs underwent PPE training using this framework, conducted by a team of Infection Prevention nurses, prior to being stationed within the CCF. Effectiveness of the LSPPDM PPE training framework was assessed using: 1) competency assessment scores for NHCWs, 2) PPE compliance rates from daily audit findings, and, 3) healthcare-associated COVID-19 infection rates of NHCWs. RESULTS: A total of 883 NHCWs had completed the PPE training and demonstrated competency in PPE compliance, fulfilling 100% of the checklist requirements. Mean PPE compliance of all NHCWs during the 11-week study period was noted to be >96%. The post-implementation improvement was statistically significant when the compliance was expressed in 3-days blocks) and in bed management staff (P = < 0.05). None of the 883 NHCWs who underwent PPE training via the LSPPDM framework were diagnosed with healthcare-associated COVID-19 infection. CONCLUSION: An evidence-based skills training framework is effective in PPE training of large numbers of NHCWs, resulting in high compliance of appropriate PPE use and prevention of healthcare-associated COVID-19 infection.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Personal Protective Equipment , Health Personnel , Humans , Pandemics , SARS-CoV-2
8.
Glob Chall ; 5(11): 2100030, 2021 Nov.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1335995

ABSTRACT

To curb the spread of the COVID-19 virus, the use of face masks such as disposable surgical masks and N95 respirators is being encouraged and even enforced in some countries. The widespread use of masks has resulted in global shortages and individuals are reusing them. This calls for proper disinfection of the masks while retaining their protective capability. In this study, the killing efficiency of ultraviolet-C (UV-C) irradiation, dry heat, and steam sterilization against bacteria (Staphylococcus aureus), fungi (Candida albicans), and nonpathogenic virus (Salmonella virus P22) is investigated. UV-C irradiation for 10 min in a commercial UV sterilizer effectively disinfects surgical masks. N95 respirators require dry heat at 100 °C for hours while steam treatment works within 5 min. To address the question on safe reuse of the disinfected masks, their bacteria filtration efficiency, particle filtration efficiency, breathability, and fluid resistance are assessed. These performance factors are unaffected after 5 cycles of steam (10 min per cycle) and 10 cycles of dry heat at 100 °C (40 min per cycle) for N95 respirators, and 10 cycles of UV-C irradiation for surgical masks (10 min per side per cycle). These findings provide insights into formulating the standard procedures for reusing masks without compromising their protective ability.

9.
Singapore Med J ; 2021 Jun 22.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1280945

ABSTRACT

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.

10.
Am J Infect Control ; 49(6): 685-689, 2021 06.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1279522

ABSTRACT

OBJECTIVES: Since December 2019, COVID-19 has caused a worldwide pandemic and Singapore has seen escalating cases with community spread. Aggressive contact tracing and identification of suspects has helped to identify local community clusters, surveillance being the key to early intervention. Healthcare workers (HCWs) have contracted COVID-19 infection both at the workplace and community. We aimed to create a prototype staff surveillance system for the detection of acute respiratory infection (ARI) clusters amongst our HCWs and describe its effectiveness. METHODS: A prototypical surveillance system was built on existing electronic health record infrastructure. RESULTS: Over a 10-week period, we investigated 10 ARI clusters amongst 7 departments. One of the ARI clusters was later determined to be related to COVID-19 infection. We demonstrate the feasibility of syndromic surveillance to detect ARI clusters during the COVID-19 outbreak. CONCLUSION: The use of syndromic surveillance to detect ARI clusters amongst HCWs in the COVID-19 pandemic may enable early case detection and prevent onward transmission. It could be an important tool in infection prevention within healthcare institutions.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Pandemics , Disease Outbreaks , Electronic Health Records , Health Personnel , Humans , SARS-CoV-2 , Sentinel Surveillance , Singapore/epidemiology
11.
J Med Virol ; 93(3): 1548-1555, 2021 03.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1196475

ABSTRACT

During this coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic, physicians have the important task of risk stratifying patients who present with acute respiratory illnesses. Clinical presentation of COVID-19, however, can be difficult to distinguish from other respiratory viral infections. Thus, identifying clinical features that are strongly associated with COVID-19 in comparison to other respiratory viruses can aid risk stratification and testing prioritization especially in situations where resources for virological testing and resources for isolation facilities are limited. In our retrospective cohort study comparing the clinical presentation of COVID-19 and other respiratory viral infections, we found that anosmia and dysgeusia were symptoms independently associated with COVID-19 and can be important differentiating symptoms in patients presenting with acute respiratory illness. On the other hand, laboratory abnormalities and radiological findings were not statistically different between the two groups. In comparing outcomes, patients with COVID-19 were more likely to need high dependency or intensive care unit care and had a longer median length of stay. With our findings, we emphasize that epidemiological risk factors and clinical symptoms are more useful than laboratory and radiological abnormalities in differentiating COVID-19 from other respiratory viral infections.


Subject(s)
Anosmia/pathology , COVID-19/diagnosis , COVID-19/pathology , Dysgeusia/pathology , Adult , Ageusia/diagnosis , Ageusia/virology , Anosmia/diagnosis , Anosmia/virology , COVID-19/epidemiology , Critical Care/statistics & numerical data , Dysgeusia/diagnosis , Dysgeusia/virology , Female , Humans , Intensive Care Units/statistics & numerical data , Length of Stay , Male , Middle Aged , Respiration, Artificial/statistics & numerical data , Retrospective Studies , Risk Factors , SARS-CoV-2
12.
Infect Dis Health ; 26(2): 123-131, 2021 05.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1002590

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: During the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, healthcare-associated transmission of respiratory viral infections (RVI) is a concern. To reduce the impact of SARS-CoV-2 and other respiratory viruses on patients and healthcare workers (HCWs) we devised and evaluated a multi-tiered infection control strategy with the goal of preventing nosocomial transmission of SARS-CoV2 and other RVIs across a large healthcare campus. METHODS: From January-June 2020, a multi-tiered infection control strategy was implemented across a healthcare campus in Singapore, comprising the largest acute tertiary hospital as well as four other subspecialty centres, with more than 10,000 HCWs. Drawing on our institution's experience with an outbreak of Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS) in 2003, this strategy included improved patient segregation and distancing, and heightened infection prevention and control (IPC) measures including universal masking. All symptomatic patients were tested for COVID-19 and common RVIs. RESULTS: A total of 16,162 admissions campus-wide were screened; 7.1% (1155/16,162) tested positive for COVID-19. Less than 5% of COVID-19 cases (39/1155) were initially detected outside of isolation wards in multi-bedded cohorted wards. Improved distancing and enhanced IPC measures successfully mitigated onward spread even amongst COVID-19 cases detected outside of isolation. COVID-19 rates amongst HCWs were kept low (0.13%, 17/13,066) and reflected community acquisition rather than nosocomial spread. Rates of healthcare-associated-RVI amongst inpatients fell to zero and this decrease was sustained even after the lifting of visitor restrictions. CONCLUSION: This multi-tiered infection control strategies can be implemented at-scale to successfully mitigate healthcare-associated transmission of respiratory viral pathogens.


Subject(s)
COVID-19/prevention & control , Cross Infection/prevention & control , Respiratory Tract Infections/prevention & control , SARS-CoV-2 , Health Personnel , Humans
13.
Infection ; 49(2): 305-311, 2021 Apr.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-973708

ABSTRACT

PURPOSE: One of the key approaches to minimize the risk of COVID-19 transmission would be to reduce the titres of SARS-CoV-2 in the saliva of infected COVID-19 patients. This is particularly important in high-risk procedures like dental treatment. The present randomized control trial evaluated the efficacy of three commercial mouth-rinse viz. povidone-iodine (PI), chlorhexidine gluconate (CHX) and cetylpyridinium chloride (CPC), in reducing the salivary SARS-CoV-2 viral load in COVID-19 patients compared with water. METHODS: A total of 36 SARS-CoV-2-positive patients were recruited, of which 16 patients were randomly assigned to four groups-PI group (n = 4), CHX group (n = 6), CPC group (n = 4) and water as control group (n = 2). Saliva samples were collected from all patients at baseline and at 5 min, 3 h and 6 h post-application of mouth-rinses/water. The samples were subjected to SARS-CoV-2 RT-PCR analysis. RESULTS: Comparison of salivary Ct values of patients within each group of PI, CHX, CPC and water at 5 min, 3 h and 6 h time points did not show any significant differences. However, when the Ct value fold change of each of the mouth-rinse group patients were compared with the fold change of water group patients at the respective time points, a significant increase was observed in the CPC group patients at 5 min and 6 h and in the PI group patients at 6 h. CONCLUSION: The effect of decreasing salivary load with CPC and PI mouth-rinsing was observed to be sustained at 6 h time point. Within the limitation of the current study, as number of the samples analyzed, the use of CPC and PI formulated that commercial mouth-rinses may be useful as a pre-procedural rinse to help reduce the transmission of COVID-19. ISRCTN (ISRCTN95933274), 09/09/20, retrospectively registered.


Subject(s)
Anti-Infective Agents, Local/therapeutic use , COVID-19/drug therapy , Mouthwashes/therapeutic use , SARS-CoV-2/drug effects , Saliva/virology , Viral Load/drug effects , Adult , COVID-19/prevention & control , COVID-19/transmission , COVID-19/virology , Cetylpyridinium/analysis , Cetylpyridinium/therapeutic use , Chlorhexidine/analogs & derivatives , Chlorhexidine/analysis , Chlorhexidine/therapeutic use , Female , Humans , Male , Middle Aged , Mouthwashes/chemistry , Povidone-Iodine/analysis , Povidone-Iodine/therapeutic use , Singapore , Treatment Outcome , Young Adult
15.
Am J Infect Control ; 49(4): 469-477, 2021 04.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-907189

ABSTRACT

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.


Subject(s)
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
17.
AJR Am J Roentgenol ; 214(6): 1206-1210, 2020 06.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-823643

ABSTRACT

OBJECTIVE. This article shares the ground operational perspective of how a tertiary hospital radiology department in Singapore is responding to the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) epidemic. This same department was also deeply impacted by the severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS) outbreak in 2003. CONCLUSION. Though similar to SARS, the COVID-19 outbreak has several differences. We share how lessons from 2003 are applied and modified in our ongoing operational response to this evolving novel pathogen.


Subject(s)
Coronavirus Infections/epidemiology , Coronavirus Infections/prevention & control , Epidemics , Infection Control/standards , Pandemics/prevention & control , Pneumonia, Viral/epidemiology , Pneumonia, Viral/prevention & control , Radiology Department, Hospital/organization & administration , Radiology Department, Hospital/standards , Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome/epidemiology , Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome/prevention & control , COVID-19 , Humans , Singapore/epidemiology
18.
Am J Trop Med Hyg ; 103(5): 2005-2011, 2020 11.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-807890

ABSTRACT

During the COVID-19 pandemic, distinguishing dengue from cases of COVID-19 in endemic areas can be difficult. In a tertiary hospital contending with COVID-19 during a dengue epidemic, a triage strategy of routine COVID-19 testing for febrile patients with viral prodromes was used. All febrile patients with viral prodromes and no epidemiologic risk for COVID-19 were first admitted to a designated ward for COVID-19 testing, where enhanced personal protective equipment was used by healthcare workers until COVID-19 was ruled out. From January to May 2020, 11,086 admissions were screened for COVID-19; 868 cases of COVID-19 were diagnosed in our institution, along with 380 cases of dengue. Only 8.5% (943/11,086) of suspected COVID-19 cases were concurrently tested for dengue serology due to a compatible overlapping clinical syndrome, and dengue was established as an alternative diagnosis in 2% (207/10,218) of suspected COVID-19 cases that tested negative. There were eight COVID-19 cases with likely false-positive dengue serology and one probable COVID-19/dengue coinfection. From April to May 2020, 251 admissions presenting as viral prodromes with no respiratory symptoms were screened; of those, 15 cases had COVID-19, and 2/15 had false-positive dengue IgM. Epidemiology investigations showed no healthcare-associated transmission. In a dengue epidemic season coinciding with a COVID-19 pandemic, dengue was established as an alternative diagnosis in a minority of COVID-19 suspects, likely due to early availability of basic diagnostics. Routine screening of patients with viral prodromes during a dual outbreak of COVID-19 and dengue enabled containment of COVID-19 cases masquerading as dengue with false-positive IgM.


Subject(s)
COVID-19/epidemiology , Dengue/epidemiology , Disease Outbreaks , SARS-CoV-2/isolation & purification , Adult , Aged , COVID-19/complications , COVID-19/diagnosis , COVID-19/therapy , COVID-19 Nucleic Acid Testing , Dengue/complications , Dengue/diagnosis , Dengue/drug therapy , Dengue Virus/immunology , Dengue Virus/isolation & purification , Diagnosis, Differential , Female , Humans , Immunoglobulin M/blood , Male , Middle Aged , Oropharynx/virology , RNA, Viral/isolation & purification , SARS-CoV-2/genetics , Singapore/epidemiology , Tertiary Care Centers , Triage/standards
19.
SSRN; 2020.
Preprint | SSRN | ID: ppcovidwho-657

ABSTRACT

Background: Since the outbreak of Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) in Singapore in January 2020, our maternity centre at Singapore General Hospital has devis

20.
Preprint in English | medRxiv | ID: ppmedrxiv-20186494

ABSTRACT

The presence of high SARS-coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) titres in saliva may result in transmission of the virus and increase the risk of COVID-19 infection. This is particularly important as significant amounts of aerosols are generated during dental procedures, posing risk to dental care personnel and patients. Thus, reducing the titres of SARS-CoV-2 in the saliva of infected patients could be one of the key approaches to reduce the risk of COVID-19 transmission during dental procedures. In this randomised control trial, the efficacy of three commercial mouth-rinse viz. povidone-iodine (PI), chlorhexidine gluconate (CHX) and cetylpyridinium chloride (CPC), in reducing the salivary SARS-CoV-2 viral load in COVID-19 positive patients were compared with water. A total of 36 COVID-19 positive patients were recruited, of which 16 patients were randomly assigned to four groups-- PI group (n=4), CHX group (n=6), CPC group (n=4) and water as control group (n=2). Saliva samples were collected from all patients at baseline and at 5 min, 3 h and 6 h post-application of mouth-rinses/water. The samples were subjected to SARS-CoV-2 RT-PCR analysis. The fold change of Ct values were significantly increased in CPC group at 5 minutes and 6 h time points (p<0.05), while it showed significant increase at 6 h time point for PI group (p<0.01). Considering Ct values as an indirect method of arbitrarily quantifying the viral load, it can be postulated that CPC mouth-rinse can decrease the salivary SARS-CoV-2 levels within 5 minutes of use, compared to water rinsing. The effect of decreasing salivary load with CPC and PI mouth-rinsing was observed to be sustained at 6 h time point. Within the limitation of the current study, it can be concluded that use of CPC and PI formulated commercial mouth-rinses, with its sustained effect on reducing salivary SARS-CoV-2 level, may be useful as a pre-procedural rinse to help reduce the transmission of COVID-19.

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