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4.
ERJ Open Res ; 7(2)2021 Apr.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1262495

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: Healthcare workers (HCWs) are believed to be at increased risk of severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) infection. It is not known to what extent the natural production of antibodies to SARS-CoV-2 is protective against re-infection. METHODS: A prospective observational study of HCWs in Scotland (UK) from May to September 2020 was performed. The Siemens SARS-CoV-2 total antibody assay was used to establish seroprevalence in this cohort. Controls, matched for age and sex to the general local population, were studied for comparison. New infections (up to 2 December 2020) post antibody testing were recorded to determine whether the presence of SARS-CoV-2 antibodies protects against re-infection. RESULTS: A total of 2063 health and social care workers were recruited for this study. At enrolment, 300 HCWs had a positive antibody test (14.5%). 11 out of 231 control sera tested positive (4.8%). HCWs therefore had an increased likelihood of a positive test (OR 3.4, 95% CI 1.85-6.16; p<0.0001). Dentists were most likely to test positive. 97.3% of patients who had previously tested positive for SARS-CoV-2 by reverse transcriptase (RT)-PCR had positive antibodies. 18.7% had an asymptomatic infection. There were 38 new infections with SARS-CoV-2 in HCWs who were previously antibody negative, and one symptomatic RT-PCR-positive re-infection. The presence of antibodies was therefore associated with an 85% reduced risk of re-infection with SARS-CoV-2 (hazard ratio 0.15, 95% CI 0.06-0.35; p=0.026). CONCLUSION: HCWs were three times more likely to test positive for SARS-CoV-2 than the general population. Almost all infected individuals developed an antibody response, which was 85% effective in protecting against re-infection with SARS-CoV-2.

7.
Math Biosci Eng ; 17(6): 8084-8104, 2020 11 12.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1034694

ABSTRACT

Healthcare associated transmission of viral infections is a major problem that has significant economic costs and can lead to loss of life. Infections with the highly contagious SARS-CoV-2 virus have been shown to have a high prevalence in hospitals around the world. The spread of this virus might be impacted by the density of patients inside hospital bays. To investigate this aspect, in this study we consider a mathematical modelling and computational approach to describe the spread of SARS-CoV-2 among hospitalised patients. We focus on 4-bed bays and 6-bed bays, which are commonly used to accommodate various non-COVID-19 patients in many hospitals across the United Kingdom (UK). We investigate the spread of SARS-CoV-2 infections among patients in non-COVID bays, in the context of various scenarios: placing the initially-exposed individual in different beds, varying the recovery and incubation periods, having symptomatic vs. asymptomatic patients, removing infected individuals from these hospital bays once they are known to be infected, and the role of periodic testing of hospitalised patients. Our results show that 4-bed bays reduce the spread of SARS-CoV-2 compared to 6-bed bays. Moreover, we show that the position of a new (not infected) patient in specific beds in a 6-bed bay might also slow the spread of the disease. Finally, we propose that regular SARS-CoV-2 testing of hospitalised patients would allow appropriate placement of infected patients in specific (COVID-only) hospital bays.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 Testing/methods , COVID-19/transmission , Communicable Diseases/transmission , Cross Infection/transmission , Hospitals , Asymptomatic Infections , Humans , Models, Theoretical , Prevalence , SARS-CoV-2 , United Kingdom/epidemiology
8.
Nat Microbiol ; 6(1): 112-122, 2021 01.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-989837

ABSTRACT

Coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) was first diagnosed in Scotland on 1 March 2020. During the first month of the outbreak, 2,641 cases of COVID-19 led to 1,832 hospital admissions, 207 intensive care admissions and 126 deaths. We aimed to identify the source and number of introductions of severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) into Scotland using a combined phylogenetic and epidemiological approach. Sequencing of 1,314 SARS-CoV-2 viral genomes from available patient samples enabled us to estimate that SARS-CoV-2 was introduced to Scotland on at least 283 occasions during February and March 2020. Epidemiological analysis confirmed that early introductions of SARS-CoV-2 originated from mainland Europe (the majority from Italy and Spain). We identified subsequent early outbreaks in the community, within healthcare facilities and at an international conference. Community transmission occurred after 2 March, 3 weeks before control measures were introduced. Earlier travel restrictions or quarantine measures, both locally and internationally, would have reduced the number of COVID-19 cases in Scotland. The risk of multiple reintroduction events in future waves of infection remains high in the absence of population immunity.


Subject(s)
COVID-19/epidemiology , COVID-19/virology , SARS-CoV-2/genetics , Adult , Aged , Europe/epidemiology , Genome, Viral , High-Throughput Nucleotide Sequencing , Humans , Male , Middle Aged , Molecular Epidemiology , Phylogeny , SARS-CoV-2/isolation & purification , Spain/epidemiology , Travel/statistics & numerical data
9.
Thorax ; 75(12): 1109-1111, 2020 12.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-733133

ABSTRACT

The requirement for health and social care workers to self-isolate when they or their household contacts develop symptoms consistent with severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) infection can lead to critical staff shortages in the context of a pandemic. In this report, we describe the implementation of a drive-through testing service in a single National Health Service region in Scotland. From 17 March 2020 to 11 April 2020, 1890 SARS-CoV-2 reverse transcription PCR assay (RT-PCR) tests were performed. 22% of tests were positive. Allowing the remaining 78% of staff to return to work within 24 hours was estimated to save over 8000 working days during the peak pandemic period.


Subject(s)
Antibodies, Viral/analysis , COVID-19/diagnosis , Health Personnel/statistics & numerical data , Pandemics , SARS-CoV-2/immunology , Social Support , COVID-19/epidemiology , COVID-19/virology , Follow-Up Studies , Humans , Observational Studies as Topic
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