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1.
EuropePMC; 2022.
Preprint in English | EuropePMC | ID: ppcovidwho-336883

ABSTRACT

Public health indicators typically used for COVID-19 surveillance can be biased or lag changing community transmission patterns. The United States city of Chicago opportunistically investigated whether sentinel surveillance of recently symptomatic individuals receiving outpatient diagnostic testing for SARS-CoV-2 could accurately assess the instantaneous reproductive number R(t) and provide early warning of changes in transmission. Patients tested at community-based diagnostic testing sites between September 2020 and June 2021, and reporting symptom onset within four days preceding their test, formed the sentinel population. R(t) calculated from sentinel cases agreed well with R(t) from other indicators. Retrospectively, trends in sentinel cases did not precede trends in COVID-19 hospital admissions by any identifiable lead time. In deployment, sentinel surveillance held an operational recency advantage of nine days over hospital admissions. The promising performance of opportunistic sentinel surveillance suggests that deliberately designed outpatient sentinel surveillance would provide robust early warning of increasing transmission.

2.
MMWR Morb Mortal Wkly Rep ; 70(35): 1195-1200, 2021 Sep 03.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1412223

ABSTRACT

To prevent transmission of SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes COVID-19, colleges and universities have implemented multiple strategies including testing, isolation, quarantine, contact tracing, masking, and vaccination. In April 2021, the Chicago Department of Public Health (CDPH) was notified of a large cluster of students with COVID-19 at an urban university after spring break. A total of 158 cases of COVID-19 were diagnosed among undergraduate students during March 15-May 3, 2021; the majority (114; 72.2%) lived in on-campus dormitories. CDPH evaluated the role of travel and social connections, as well as the potential impact of SARS-CoV-2 variants, on transmission. Among 140 infected students who were interviewed, 89 (63.6%) reported recent travel outside Chicago during spring break, and 57 (40.7%) reported indoor social exposures. At the time of the outbreak, undergraduate-aged persons were largely ineligible for vaccination in Chicago; only three of the students with COVID-19 (1.9%) were fully vaccinated. Whole genome sequencing (WGS) of 104 specimens revealed multiple distinct SARS-CoV-2 lineages, suggesting several nearly simultaneous introductions. Most specimens (66; 63.5%) were B.1.1.222, a lineage not widely detected in Chicago before or after this outbreak. These results demonstrate the potential for COVID-19 outbreaks on university campuses after widespread student travel during breaks, at the beginning of new school terms, and when students participate in indoor social gatherings. To prevent SARS-CoV-2 transmission, colleges and universities should encourage COVID-19 vaccination; discourage unvaccinated students from travel, including during university breaks; implement serial COVID-19 screening among unvaccinated persons after university breaks; encourage masking; and implement universal serial testing for students based on community transmission levels.


Subject(s)
COVID-19/epidemiology , COVID-19/virology , Disease Outbreaks , SARS-CoV-2/isolation & purification , Students/statistics & numerical data , Universities , COVID-19/prevention & control , COVID-19/transmission , COVID-19 Testing , COVID-19 Vaccines/administration & dosage , Chicago/epidemiology , Female , Humans , Male , Social Interaction , Travel-Related Illness , Young Adult
3.
MMWR Morb Mortal Wkly Rep ; 69(15): 446-450, 2020 Apr 17.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1389842

ABSTRACT

SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19), has spread rapidly around the world since it was first recognized in late 2019. Most early reports of person-to-person SARS-CoV-2 transmission have been among household contacts, where the secondary attack rate has been estimated to exceed 10% (1), in health care facilities (2), and in congregate settings (3). However, widespread community transmission, as is currently being observed in the United States, requires more expansive transmission events between nonhousehold contacts. In February and March 2020, the Chicago Department of Public Health (CDPH) investigated a large, multifamily cluster of COVID-19. Patients with confirmed COVID-19 and their close contacts were interviewed to better understand nonhousehold, community transmission of SARS-CoV-2. This report describes the cluster of 16 cases of confirmed or probable COVID-19, including three deaths, likely resulting from transmission of SARS-CoV-2 at two family gatherings (a funeral and a birthday party). These data support current CDC social distancing recommendations intended to reduce SARS-CoV-2 transmission. U.S residents should follow stay-at-home orders when required by state or local authorities.


Subject(s)
Betacoronavirus/isolation & purification , Community-Acquired Infections/transmission , Coronavirus Infections/diagnosis , Coronavirus Infections/transmission , Pneumonia, Viral/diagnosis , Pneumonia, Viral/transmission , Adolescent , Adult , Aged , Aged, 80 and over , COVID-19 , Chicago/epidemiology , Child , Child, Preschool , Cluster Analysis , Community-Acquired Infections/epidemiology , Community-Acquired Infections/mortality , Coronavirus Infections/epidemiology , Coronavirus Infections/mortality , Family , Humans , Middle Aged , Pandemics , Pneumonia, Viral/epidemiology , Pneumonia, Viral/mortality , SARS-CoV-2 , Young Adult
4.
MMWR Morb Mortal Wkly Rep ; 70(19): 707-711, 2021 May 14.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1227230

ABSTRACT

On May 13, 2020, Chicago established a free community-based testing (CBT) initiative for SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes COVID-19, using reverse transcription-polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR). The initiative focused on demographic groups and geographic areas that were underrepresented in testing by clinical providers and had experienced high COVID-19 incidence, including Hispanic persons and those who have been economically marginalized. To assess the CBT initiative, the Chicago Department of Public Health (CDPH) compared demographic characteristics, economic marginalization, and test positivity between persons tested at CBT sites and persons tested in all other testing settings in Chicago. During May 13-November 14, a total of 253,904 SARS-CoV-2 RT-PCR tests were conducted at CBT sites. Compared with those tested in all other testing settings in Chicago, persons tested at CBT sites were more likely to live in areas that are economically marginalized (38.6% versus 32.0%; p<0.001) and to be Hispanic (50.9% versus 20.7%; p<0.001). The cumulative percentage of positive test results at the CBT sites was higher than that at all other testing settings (11.1% versus 7.1%; p<0.001). These results demonstrate the ability of public health departments to establish community-based testing initiatives that reach communities with less access to testing in other settings and that experience disproportionately higher incidences of COVID-19.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 Testing/statistics & numerical data , COVID-19/diagnosis , Community Health Services/statistics & numerical data , Adolescent , Adult , Aged , COVID-19/epidemiology , COVID-19/ethnology , COVID-19 Testing/economics , Chicago/epidemiology , Child , Child, Preschool , Community Health Services/organization & administration , Female , Health Services Accessibility , Health Status Disparities , Humans , Infant , Infant, Newborn , Male , Middle Aged , Poverty Areas , Young Adult
5.
Public Health Rep ; 136(1): 88-96, 2021.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-894953

ABSTRACT

OBJECTIVES: Widespread global transmission of severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2), the virus causing coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19), continues. Many questions remain about asymptomatic or atypical infections and transmission dynamics. We used comprehensive contact tracing of the first 2 confirmed patients in Illinois with COVID-19 and serologic SARS-CoV-2 antibody testing to determine whether contacts had evidence of undetected COVID-19. METHODS: Contacts were eligible for serologic follow-up if previously tested for COVID-19 during an initial investigation or had greater-risk exposures. Contacts completed a standardized questionnaire during the initial investigation. We classified exposure risk as high, medium, or low based on interactions with 2 index patients and use of personal protective equipment (PPE). Serologic testing used a SARS-CoV-2 spike enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay on serum specimens collected from participants approximately 6 weeks after initial exposure to either index patient. The 2 index patients provided serum specimens throughout their illness. We collected data on demographic, exposure, and epidemiologic characteristics. RESULTS: Of 347 contacts, 110 were eligible for serologic follow-up; 59 (17% of all contacts) enrolled. Of these, 53 (90%) were health care personnel and 6 (10%) were community contacts. Seventeen (29%) reported high-risk exposures, 15 (25%) medium-risk, and 27 (46%) low-risk. No participant had evidence of SARS-CoV-2 antibodies. The 2 index patients had antibodies detected at dilutions >1:6400 within 4 weeks after symptom onset. CONCLUSIONS: In serologic follow-up of the first 2 known patients in Illinois with COVID-19, we found no secondary transmission among tested contacts. Lack of seroconversion among these contacts adds to our understanding of conditions (ie, use of PPE) under which SARS-CoV-2 infections might not result in transmission and demonstrates that SARS-CoV-2 antibody testing is a useful tool to verify epidemiologic findings.


Subject(s)
COVID-19/epidemiology , COVID-19/transmission , Contact Tracing/statistics & numerical data , Health Personnel/statistics & numerical data , Occupational Exposure/statistics & numerical data , COVID-19/immunology , Enzyme-Linked Immunosorbent Assay , Female , Humans , Illinois/epidemiology , Male , Pandemics , Personal Protective Equipment , Risk Assessment , SARS-CoV-2
6.
Lancet ; 395(10230): 1137-1144, 2020 04 04.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-8381

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: Coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) is a disease caused by severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2), first detected in China in December, 2019. In January, 2020, state, local, and federal public health agencies investigated the first case of COVID-19 in Illinois, USA. METHODS: Patients with confirmed COVID-19 were defined as those with a positive SARS-CoV-2 test. Contacts were people with exposure to a patient with COVID-19 on or after the patient's symptom onset date. Contacts underwent active symptom monitoring for 14 days following their last exposure. Contacts who developed fever, cough, or shortness of breath became persons under investigation and were tested for SARS-CoV-2. A convenience sample of 32 asymptomatic health-care personnel contacts were also tested. FINDINGS: Patient 1-a woman in her 60s-returned from China in mid-January, 2020. One week later, she was hospitalised with pneumonia and tested positive for SARS-CoV-2. Her husband (Patient 2) did not travel but had frequent close contact with his wife. He was admitted 8 days later and tested positive for SARS-CoV-2. Overall, 372 contacts of both cases were identified; 347 underwent active symptom monitoring, including 152 community contacts and 195 health-care personnel. Of monitored contacts, 43 became persons under investigation, in addition to Patient 2. These 43 persons under investigation and all 32 asymptomatic health-care personnel tested negative for SARS-CoV-2. INTERPRETATION: Person-to-person transmission of SARS-CoV-2 occurred between two people with prolonged, unprotected exposure while Patient 1 was symptomatic. Despite active symptom monitoring and testing of symptomatic and some asymptomatic contacts, no further transmission was detected. FUNDING: None.


Subject(s)
Betacoronavirus , Coronavirus Infections/diagnosis , Coronavirus Infections/transmission , Pneumonia, Viral/diagnosis , Pneumonia, Viral/transmission , COVID-19 , China , Contact Tracing , Female , Humans , Illinois , Middle Aged , Pandemics , SARS-CoV-2 , Travel
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