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1.
J Am Med Dir Assoc ; 23(6): 909-916.e2, 2022 06.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1773434

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: Nursing homes (NHs) provide care in a congregate setting for residents at high risk of severe outcomes from SARS-CoV-2 infection. In spring 2020, NHs were implementing new guidance to minimize SARS-CoV-2 spread among residents and staff. OBJECTIVE: To assess whether telephone and video-based infection control assessment and response (TeleICAR) strategies could efficiently assess NH preparedness and help resolve gaps. DESIGN: We incorporated Centers for Disease Control and Prevention COVID-19 guidance for NH into an assessment tool covering 6 domains: visitor restrictions; health care personnel COVID-19 training; resident education, monitoring, screening, and cohorting; personal protective equipment supply; core infection prevention and control (IPC); and communication to public health. We performed TeleICAR consultations on behalf of health departments. Adherence to each element was documented and recommendations provided to the facility. SETTING AND PARTICIPANTS: Health department-referred NHs that agreed to TeleICAR consultation. METHODS: We assessed overall numbers and proportions of NH that had not implemented each infection control element (gap) and proportion of NH that reported making ≥1 change in practice following the assessment. RESULTS: During April 13 to June 12, 2020, we completed TeleICAR consultations in 629 NHs across 19 states. Overall, 524 (83%) had ≥1 implementation gap identified; the median number of gaps was 2 (interquartile range: 1-4). The domains with the greatest number of facilities with gaps were core IPC practices (428/625; 68%) and COVID-19 education, monitoring, screening, and cohorting of residents (291/620; 47%). CONCLUSIONS AND IMPLICATIONS: TeleICAR was an alternative to onsite infection control assessments that enabled public health to efficiently reach NHs across the United States early in the COVID-19 pandemic. Assessments identified widespread gaps in core IPC practices that put residents and staff at risk of infection. TeleICAR is an important strategy that leverages infection control expertise and can be useful in future efforts to improve NH IPC.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Humans , Infection Control , Nursing Homes , Pandemics/prevention & control , SARS-CoV-2 , United States
2.
EuropePMC; 2021.
Preprint in English | EuropePMC | ID: ppcovidwho-316747

ABSTRACT

Wastewater surveillance for SARS-CoV-2 has garnered extensive public attention during the COVID-19 pandemic as a proposed complement to existing disease surveillance systems. Over the past year, environmental microbiology and engineering researchers have advanced methods for detection and quantification of SARS-CoV-2 viral RNA in untreated sewage and demonstrated that the trends in wastewater are correlated with trends in cases reported days to weeks later depending on the location. At the start of the pandemic, the virus was also detected in wastewater in locations prior to known cases. Despite the promise of wastewater surveillance, for these measurements to translate into useful public health tools, it is necessary to bridge the barriers between researchers and the public health responders who will ultimately use the data. Here we describe the key uses, barriers, and applicability of SARS-CoV-2 wastewater surveillance for supporting public health decisions and actions. This perspective was formed from a multidisciplinary group of environmental microbiology, engineering, wastewater, and public health experts, as well as from opinions shared during three focus group discussions with officials from ten state and local public health agencies. The key barriers to use of wastewater surveillance data identified were: (1) As a new data source, most public health agencies are not yet comfortable interpreting wastewater data;(2) Public health agencies want to see SARS-CoV-2 wastewater data in their own communities to gain confidence in its utility;(3) New institutional knowledge and increased capacity is likely needed to sustain wastewater surveillance systems;and (4) The ethics of wastewater surveillance data collection, sharing, and use are not yet established. Overall, while wastewater surveillance to assess community infections is not a new idea, by addressing these barriers, the COVID-19 pandemic may be the initiating event that turns this emerging public health tool into a sustainable nationwide surveillance system.

3.
Clin Infect Dis ; 73(7): 1805-1813, 2021 10 05.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1455252

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: The evidence base for severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus-2 (SARS-CoV-2) is nascent. We sought to characterize SARS-CoV-2 transmission within US households and estimate the household secondary infection rate (SIR) to inform strategies to reduce transmission. METHODS: We recruited patients with laboratory-confirmed SARS-CoV-2 infection and their household contacts in Utah and Wisconsin during 22 March 2020-25 April 2020. We interviewed patients and all household contacts to obtain demographics and medical histories. At the initial household visit, 14 days later, and when a household contact became newly symptomatic, we collected respiratory swabs from patients and household contacts for testing by SARS-CoV-2 real-time reverse-transcription polymerase chain reaction (rRT-PCR) and sera for SARS-CoV-2 antibodies testing by enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA). We estimated SIR and odds ratios (ORs) to assess risk factors for secondary infection, defined by a positive rRT-PCR or ELISA test. RESULTS: Thirty-two (55%) of 58 households secondary infection among household contacts. The SIR was 29% (n = 55/188; 95% confidence interval [CI], 23%-36%) overall, 42% among children (aged <18 years) of the COVID-19 patient and 33% among spouses/partners. Household contacts to COVID-19 patients with immunocompromised conditions and household contacts who themselves had diabetes mellitus had increased odds of infection with ORs 15.9 (95% CI, 2.4-106.9) and 7.1 (95% CI: 1.2-42.5), respectively. CONCLUSIONS: We found substantial evidence of secondary infections among household contacts. People with COVID-19, particularly those with immunocompromising conditions or those with household contacts with diabetes, should take care to promptly self-isolate to prevent household transmission.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , SARS-CoV-2 , Child , Contact Tracing , Family Characteristics , Humans , United States/epidemiology , Wisconsin
4.
Clin Infect Dis ; 73(7): e1841-e1849, 2021 10 05.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1455251

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: Improved understanding of severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) spectrum of disease is essential for clinical and public health interventions. There are limited data on mild or asymptomatic infections, but recognition of these individuals is key as they contribute to viral transmission. We describe the symptom profiles from individuals with mild or asymptomatic SARS-CoV-2 infection. METHODS: From 22 March to 22 April 2020 in Wisconsin and Utah, we enrolled and prospectively observed 198 household contacts exposed to SARS-CoV-2. We collected and tested nasopharyngeal specimens by real-time reverse-transcription polymerase chain reaction (rRT-PCR) 2 or more times during a 14-day period. Contacts completed daily symptom diaries. We characterized symptom profiles on the date of first positive rRT-PCR test and described progression of symptoms over time. RESULTS: We identified 47 contacts, median age 24 (3-75) years, with detectable SARS-CoV-2 by rRT-PCR. The most commonly reported symptoms on the day of first positive rRT-PCR test were upper respiratory (n = 32 [68%]) and neurologic (n = 30 [64%]); fever was not commonly reported (n = 9 [19%]). Eight (17%) individuals were asymptomatic at the date of first positive rRT-PCR collection; 2 (4%) had preceding symptoms that resolved and 6 (13%) subsequently developed symptoms. Children less frequently reported lower respiratory symptoms (21%, 60%, and 69% for <18, 18-49, and ≥50 years of age, respectively; P = .03). CONCLUSIONS: Household contacts with laboratory-confirmed SARS-CoV-2 infection reported mild symptoms. When assessed at a single timepoint, several contacts appeared to have asymptomatic infection; however, over time all developed symptoms. These findings are important to inform infection control, contact tracing, and community mitigation strategies.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , SARS-CoV-2 , Adult , Child , Contact Tracing , Fever , Humans , Prospective Studies , Young Adult
5.
Emerg Infect Dis ; 27(9): 1-8, 2021 09.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1369632

ABSTRACT

Wastewater surveillance for severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) has garnered extensive public attention during the coronavirus disease pandemic as a proposed complement to existing disease surveillance systems. Over the past year, methods for detection and quantification of SARS-CoV-2 viral RNA in untreated sewage have advanced, and concentrations in wastewater have been shown to correlate with trends in reported cases. Despite the promise of wastewater surveillance, for these measurements to translate into useful public health tools, bridging the communication and knowledge gaps between researchers and public health responders is needed. We describe the key uses, barriers, and applicability of SARS-CoV-2 wastewater surveillance for supporting public health decisions and actions, including establishing ethics consideration for monitoring. Although wastewater surveillance to assess community infections is not a new idea, the coronavirus disease pandemic might be the initiating event to make this emerging public health tool a sustainable nationwide surveillance system, provided that these barriers are addressed.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Public Health , Humans , Pandemics , SARS-CoV-2 , Waste Water
6.
Int J Environ Res Public Health ; 18(15)2021 08 02.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1335087

ABSTRACT

SARS-CoV-2 transmission from contaminated surfaces, or fomites, has been a concern during the COVID-19 pandemic. Households have been important sites of transmission throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, but there is limited information on SARS-CoV-2 contamination of surfaces in these settings. We describe environmental detection of SARS-CoV-2 in households of persons with COVID-19 to better characterize the potential risks of fomite transmission. Ten households with ≥1 person with laboratory-confirmed COVID-19 and with ≥2 members total were enrolled in Utah, U.S.A. Nasopharyngeal and anterior nasal swabs were collected from members and tested for the presence of SARS-CoV-2 by RT-PCR. Fifteen surfaces were sampled in each household and tested for presence and viability of SARS-CoV-2. SARS-CoV-2 RNA was detected in 23 (15%) of 150 environmental swab samples, most frequently on nightstands (4/6; 67%), pillows (4/23; 17%), and light switches (3/21; 14%). Viable SARS-CoV-2 was cultured from one sample. All households with SARS-CoV-2-positive surfaces had ≥1 person who first tested positive for SARS-CoV-2 ≤ 6 days prior to environmental sampling. SARS-CoV-2 surface contamination occurred early in the course of infection when respiratory transmission is most likely, notably on surfaces in close, prolonged contact with persons with COVID-19. While fomite transmission might be possible, risk is low.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , SARS-CoV-2 , Fomites , Humans , Pandemics , RNA, Viral
7.
Am J Infect Control ; 49(9): 1186-1188, 2021 09.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1171488

ABSTRACT

Hand drying is the critical, final step of handwashing. A cross-sectional survey of U.S. adults assessed self-reported hand drying practices in public bathrooms and found increased preference for using electric hand dryers, wiping hands on clothing, and shaking hands and decreased preference for using paper towels during the COVID-19 pandemic relative to before. Respondents expressed concerns about contacting SARS-CoV-2 when touching surfaces in public bathrooms which may be influencing self-reported drying method preference.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Pandemics , Adult , Cross-Sectional Studies , Hand Disinfection , Health Knowledge, Attitudes, Practice , Humans , Pandemics/prevention & control , SARS-CoV-2 , Surveys and Questionnaires , Toilet Facilities , United States/epidemiology
8.
Emerg Infect Dis ; 27(2): 352-359, 2021 Feb.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-961594

ABSTRACT

Virus shedding in severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) can occur before onset of symptoms; less is known about symptom progression or infectiousness associated with initiation of viral shedding. We investigated household transmission in 5 households with daily specimen collection for 5 consecutive days starting a median of 4 days after symptom onset in index patients. Seven contacts across 2 households implementing no precautionary measures were infected. Of these 7, 2 tested positive for SARS-CoV-2 by reverse transcription PCR on day 3 of 5. Both had mild, nonspecific symptoms for 1-3 days preceding the first positive test. SARS-CoV-2 was cultured from the fourth-day specimen in 1 patient and from the fourth- and fifth-day specimens in the other. We also describe infection control measures taken in the households that had no transmission. Persons exposed to SARS-CoV-2 should self-isolate, including from household contacts, wear a mask, practice hand hygiene, and seek testing promptly.


Subject(s)
COVID-19/transmission , Disease Transmission, Infectious/statistics & numerical data , Environmental Exposure/statistics & numerical data , SARS-CoV-2/isolation & purification , Virus Shedding , Adolescent , Adult , Child , Disease Transmission, Infectious/prevention & control , Environmental Exposure/prevention & control , Family Characteristics , Female , Humans , Infection Control/methods , Male , Middle Aged , Specimen Handling , Time Factors , Utah
9.
Pediatrics ; 147(1)2021 01.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-839914

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND AND OBJECTIVES: Limited data exist on severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 in children. We described infection rates and symptom profiles among pediatric household contacts of individuals with coronavirus disease 2019. METHODS: We enrolled individuals with coronavirus disease 2019 and their household contacts, assessed daily symptoms prospectively for 14 days, and obtained specimens for severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 real-time reverse transcription polymerase chain reaction and serology testing. Among pediatric contacts (<18 years), we described transmission, assessed the risk factors for infection, and calculated symptom positive and negative predictive values. We compared secondary infection rates and symptoms between pediatric and adult contacts using generalized estimating equations. RESULTS: Among 58 households, 188 contacts were enrolled (120 adults; 68 children). Secondary infection rates for adults (30%) and children (28%) were similar. Among households with potential for transmission from children, child-to-adult transmission may have occurred in 2 of 10 (20%), and child-to-child transmission may have occurred in 1 of 6 (17%). Pediatric case patients most commonly reported headache (79%), sore throat (68%), and rhinorrhea (68%); symptoms had low positive predictive values, except measured fever (100%; 95% confidence interval [CI]: 44% to 100%). Compared with symptomatic adults, children were less likely to report cough (odds ratio [OR]: 0.15; 95% CI: 0.04 to 0.57), loss of taste (OR: 0.21; 95% CI: 0.06 to 0.74), and loss of smell (OR: 0.29; 95% CI: 0.09 to 0.96) and more likely to report sore throat (OR: 3.4; 95% CI: 1.04 to 11.18). CONCLUSIONS: Children and adults had similar secondary infection rates, but children generally had less frequent and severe symptoms. In two states early in the pandemic, we observed possible transmission from children in approximately one-fifth of households with potential to observe such transmission patterns.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 Nucleic Acid Testing/trends , COVID-19/epidemiology , COVID-19/transmission , SARS-CoV-2/isolation & purification , Adolescent , Adult , Aged , COVID-19/diagnosis , Child , Child, Preschool , Cohort Studies , Female , Humans , Infant , Male , Middle Aged , Utah/epidemiology , Wisconsin/epidemiology , Young Adult
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