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1.
Clin Infect Dis ; 2022 Jun 20.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1901154

ABSTRACT

The SARS-CoV-2 Omicron variant has been hypothesized to exhibit faster clearance (time from peak viral concentration to clearance of acute infection), decreased sensitivity of antigen tests, and increased immune escape (the ability of the variant to evade immunity conferred by past infection or vaccination) compared to prior variants. These factors necessitate re-evaluation of prevention and control strategies-particularly in high-risk, congregate settings like nursing homes that have been heavily impacted by other COVID-19 variants. We used a simple model representing individual-level viral shedding dynamics to estimate the optimal strategy for testing nursing home healthcare personnel and quantify potential reduction in transmission of COVID-19. This provides a framework for prospectively evaluating testing strategies in emerging variant scenarios when data are limited. We find that case-initiated testing prevents 38% of transmission within a facility if implemented within a day of an index case testing positive, and screening testing strategies could prevent 30-78% of transmission within a facility if implemented daily, depending on test sensitivity.

2.
Sci Rep ; 12(1): 8630, 2022 05 23.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1860389

ABSTRACT

We expanded a published mathematical model of SARS-CoV-2 transmission with complex, age-structured transmission and with laboratory-derived source and wearer protection efficacy estimates for a variety of face masks to estimate their impact on COVID-19 incidence and related mortality in the United States. The model was also improved to allow realistic age-structured transmission with a pre-specified R0 of transmission, and to include more compartments and parameters, e.g. for groups such as detected and undetected asymptomatic infectious cases who mask up at different rates. When masks are used at typically-observed population rates of 80% for those ≥ 65 years and 60% for those < 65 years, face masks are associated with 69% (cloth) to 78% (medical procedure mask) reductions in cumulative COVID-19 infections and 82% (cloth) to 87% (medical procedure mask) reductions in related deaths over a 6-month timeline in the model, assuming a basic reproductive number of 2.5. If cloth or medical procedure masks' source control and wearer protection efficacies are boosted about 30% each to 84% and 60% by cloth over medical procedure masking, fitters, or braces, the COVID-19 basic reproductive number of 2.5 could be reduced to an effective reproductive number ≤ 1.0, and from 6.0 to 2.3 for a variant of concern similar to delta (B.1.617.2). For variants of concern similar to omicron (B.1.1.529) or the sub-lineage BA.2, modeled reductions in effective reproduction number due to similar high quality, high prevalence mask wearing is more modest (to 3.9 and 5.0 from an R0 = 10.0 and 13.0, respectively). None-the-less, the ratio of incident risk for masked vs. non-masked populations still shows a benefit of wearing masks even with the higher R0 variants.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , SARS-CoV-2 , COVID-19/epidemiology , COVID-19/prevention & control , Humans , Masks , Textiles , United States/epidemiology
3.
Vaccine ; 40(23): 3165-3173, 2022 05 20.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1796040

ABSTRACT

As of 2 September 2021, United States nursing homes have reported >675,000 COVID-19 cases and >134,000 deaths according to the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS). More than 205,000,000 persons in the United States had received at least one dose of a COVID-19 vaccine (62% of total population) as of 2 September 2021. We investigate the role of vaccination in controlling future COVID-19 outbreaks. We developed a stochastic, compartmental model of SARS-CoV-2 transmission in a 100-bed nursing home with a staff of 99 healthcare personnel (HCP) in a community of 20,000 people. We parameterized admission and discharge of residents in the model with CMS data, for a within-facility basic reproduction number (R0) of 3.5 and a community R0 of 2.5. The model also included: importation of COVID-19 from the community, isolation of SARS-CoV-2 positive residents, facility-wide adherence to personal protective equipment (PPE) use by HCP, and testing. We systematically varied coverage of mRNA vaccine among residents, HCP, and the community. Simulations were run for 6 months after the second dose in the facility, with results summarized over 1,000 simulations. Expected resident cases decreased as community vaccination increased, with large reductions at high HCP coverage. The probability of a COVID-19 outbreak was lower as well: at HCP vaccination coverage of 60%, probability of an outbreak was below 20% for community coverage of 50% or above. At high coverage, stopping asymptomatic screening and facility-wide testing yielded similar results. Results suggest that high coverage among HCP and in the community can prevent infections in residents. When vaccination is high in nursing homes, but not in their surrounding communities, asymptomatic and facility-wide testing remains necessary to prevent the spread of COVID-19. High adherence to PPE may increase the likelihood of containing future COVID-19 outbreaks if they occur.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Aged , COVID-19/epidemiology , COVID-19/prevention & control , COVID-19 Vaccines , Disease Outbreaks/prevention & control , Humans , Medicare , Nursing Homes , SARS-CoV-2 , United States/epidemiology , Vaccination Coverage , Vaccines, Synthetic , mRNA Vaccines
4.
Clin Infect Dis ; 2022 Jan 29.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1730658

ABSTRACT

Using an agent-based model, we examined the impact of community prevalence, the Delta variant, staff vaccination coverage, and boosters for residents on outbreak dynamics in nursing homes. Increased staff coverage and high booster vaccine effectiveness leads to fewer infections, but cumulative incidence is highly dependent on community transmission.

5.
Clin Infect Dis ; 74(5): 913-917, 2022 03 09.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1708595

ABSTRACT

Modeling complements surveillance data to inform coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) public health decision making and policy development. This includes the use of modeling to improve situational awareness, assess epidemiological characteristics, and inform the evidence base for prevention strategies. To enhance modeling utility in future public health emergencies, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) launched the Infectious Disease Modeling and Analytics Initiative. The initiative objectives are to: (1) strengthen leadership in infectious disease modeling, epidemic forecasting, and advanced analytic work; (2) build and cultivate a community of skilled modeling and analytics practitioners and consumers across CDC; (3) strengthen and support internal and external applied modeling and analytic work; and (4) working with partners, coordinate government-wide advanced data modeling and analytics for infectious diseases. These efforts are critical to help prepare the CDC, the country, and the world to respond effectively to present and future infectious disease threats.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Pandemics , Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, U.S. , Humans , Pandemics/prevention & control , Public Health , SARS-CoV-2 , United States/epidemiology
6.
Clin Infect Dis ; 74(4): 597-603, 2022 03 01.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1705201

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: Nursing home residents and staff were included in the first phase of coronavirus disease 2019 vaccination in the United States. Because the primary trial endpoint was vaccine efficacy (VE) against symptomatic disease, there are limited data on the extent to which vaccines protect against severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) infection and the ability to infect others (infectiousness). Assumptions about VE against infection and infectiousness have implications for changes to infection prevention guidance for vaccinated populations, including testing strategies. METHODS: We use a stochastic agent-based Susceptible-Exposed-Infectious (Asymptomatic/Symptomatic)-Recovered model of a nursing home to simulate SARS-CoV-2 transmission. We model 3 scenarios, varying VE against infection, infectiousness, and symptoms, to understand the expected impact of vaccination in nursing homes, increasing staff vaccination coverage, and different screening testing strategies under each scenario. RESULTS: Increasing vaccination coverage in staff decreases total symptomatic cases in the nursing home (among staff and residents combined) in each VE scenario. In scenarios with 50% and 90% VE against infection and infectiousness, increasing staff coverage reduces symptomatic cases among residents. If vaccination only protects against symptoms, and asymptomatic cases remain infectious, increased staff coverage increases symptomatic cases among residents. However, this is outweighed by the reduction in symptomatic cases among staff. Higher frequency testing-more than once weekly-is needed to reduce total symptomatic cases if the vaccine has lower efficacy against infection and infectiousness, or only protects against symptoms. CONCLUSIONS: Encouraging staff vaccination is not only important for protecting staff, but might also reduce symptomatic cases in residents if a vaccine confers at least some protection against infection or infectiousness.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , COVID-19/prevention & control , Humans , Nursing Homes , SARS-CoV-2 , Skilled Nursing Facilities , United States , Vaccination
7.
Clin Infect Dis ; 74(3): 490-497, 2022 02 11.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1684539

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: Cruise travel contributed to severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) transmission when there were relatively few cases in the United States. By 14 March 2020, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) issued a No Sail Order suspending US cruise operations; the last US passenger ship docked on 16 April. METHODS: We analyzed SARS-CoV-2 outbreaks on cruises in US waters or carrying US citizens and used regression models to compare voyage characteristics. We used compartmental models to simulate the potential impact of 4 interventions (screening for coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) symptoms; viral testing on 2 days and isolation of positive persons; reduction of passengers by 40%, crew by 20%, and reducing port visits to 1) for 7-day and 14-day voyages. RESULTS: During 19 January to 16 April 2020, 89 voyages on 70 ships had known SARS-CoV-2 outbreaks; 16 ships had recurrent outbreaks. There were 1669 reverse transcription polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR)-confirmed SARS-CoV-2 infections and 29 confirmed deaths. Longer voyages were associated with more cases (adjusted incidence rate ratio, 1.10, 95% confidence interval [CI]: 1.03-1.17, P < .003). Mathematical models showed that 7-day voyages had about 70% fewer cases than 14-day voyages. On 7-day voyages, the most effective interventions were reducing the number of individuals onboard (43.3% reduction in total infections) and testing passengers and crew (42% reduction in total infections). All four interventions reduced transmission by 80.1%, but no single intervention or combination eliminated transmission. Results were similar for 14-day voyages. CONCLUSIONS: SARS-CoV-2 outbreaks on cruises were common during January-April 2020. Despite all interventions modeled, cruise travel still poses a significant SARS-CoV-2 transmission risk.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Disease Outbreaks , Humans , Public Health , SARS-CoV-2 , Ships , Travel , United States/epidemiology
8.
Vaccine ; 40(14): 2134-2139, 2022 03 25.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1671285

ABSTRACT

The Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices (ACIP) recommended phased allocation of SARS-CoV-2 vaccines in December 2020. To support the development of this guidance, we used a mathematical model of SARS-CoV-2 transmission to evaluate the relative impact of three vaccine allocation strategies on infections, hospitalizations, and deaths. All three strategies initially prioritized healthcare personnel (HCP) for vaccination. Strategies of subsequently prioritizing adults aged ≥65 years, or a combination of essential workers and adults aged ≥75 years, prevented the most deaths. Meanwhile, prioritizing adults with high-risk medical conditions immediately after HCP prevented the most infections. All three strategies prevented a similar fraction of hospitalizations. While no model is capable of fully capturing the complex social dynamics which shape epidemics, exercises such as this one can be a useful way for policy makers to formalize their assumptions and explore the key features of a problem before making decisions.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 Vaccines , COVID-19 , Adult , Aged , COVID-19/prevention & control , Humans , Immunization , SARS-CoV-2 , United States/epidemiology , Vaccination
9.
MMWR Morb Mortal Wkly Rep ; 70(23): 846-850, 2021 Jun 11.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1389869

ABSTRACT

SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes COVID-19, is constantly mutating, leading to new variants (1). Variants have the potential to affect transmission, disease severity, diagnostics, therapeutics, and natural and vaccine-induced immunity. In November 2020, CDC established national surveillance for SARS-CoV-2 variants using genomic sequencing. As of May 6, 2021, sequences from 177,044 SARS-CoV-2-positive specimens collected during December 20, 2020-May 6, 2021, from 55 U.S. jurisdictions had been generated by or reported to CDC. These included 3,275 sequences for the 2-week period ending January 2, 2021, compared with 25,000 sequences for the 2-week period ending April 24, 2021 (0.1% and 3.1% of reported positive SARS-CoV-2 tests, respectively). Because sequences might be generated by multiple laboratories and sequence availability varies both geographically and over time, CDC developed statistical weighting and variance estimation methods to generate population-based estimates of the proportions of identified variants among SARS-CoV-2 infections circulating nationwide and in each of the 10 U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) geographic regions.* During the 2-week period ending April 24, 2021, the B.1.1.7 and P.1 variants represented an estimated 66.0% and 5.0% of U.S. SARS-CoV-2 infections, respectively, demonstrating the rise to predominance of the B.1.1.7 variant of concern† (VOC) and emergence of the P.1 VOC in the United States. Using SARS-CoV-2 genomic surveillance methods to analyze surveillance data produces timely population-based estimates of the proportions of variants circulating nationally and regionally. Surveillance findings demonstrate the potential for new variants to emerge and become predominant, and the importance of robust genomic surveillance. Along with efforts to characterize the clinical and public health impact of SARS-CoV-2 variants, surveillance can help guide interventions to control the COVID-19 pandemic in the United States.


Subject(s)
COVID-19/virology , SARS-CoV-2/genetics , COVID-19/epidemiology , Epidemiological Monitoring , Humans , SARS-CoV-2/isolation & purification , United States/epidemiology
10.
Clin Infect Dis ; 74(5): 913-917, 2022 03 09.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1338691

ABSTRACT

Modeling complements surveillance data to inform coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) public health decision making and policy development. This includes the use of modeling to improve situational awareness, assess epidemiological characteristics, and inform the evidence base for prevention strategies. To enhance modeling utility in future public health emergencies, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) launched the Infectious Disease Modeling and Analytics Initiative. The initiative objectives are to: (1) strengthen leadership in infectious disease modeling, epidemic forecasting, and advanced analytic work; (2) build and cultivate a community of skilled modeling and analytics practitioners and consumers across CDC; (3) strengthen and support internal and external applied modeling and analytic work; and (4) working with partners, coordinate government-wide advanced data modeling and analytics for infectious diseases. These efforts are critical to help prepare the CDC, the country, and the world to respond effectively to present and future infectious disease threats.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Pandemics , Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, U.S. , Humans , Pandemics/prevention & control , Public Health , SARS-CoV-2 , United States/epidemiology
11.
Clin Infect Dis ; 73(3): e792-e798, 2021 08 02.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1338690

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: Identifying asymptomatic individuals early through serial testing is recommended to control coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) in nursing homes, both in response to an outbreak ("outbreak testing" of residents and healthcare personnel) and in facilities without outbreaks ("nonoutbreak testing" of healthcare personnel). The effectiveness of outbreak testing and isolation with or without nonoutbreak testing was evaluated. METHODS: Using published SARS-CoV-2 transmission parameters, the fraction of SARS-CoV-2 transmissions prevented through serial testing (weekly, every 3 days, or daily) and isolation of asymptomatic persons compared with symptom-based testing and isolation was evaluated through mathematical modeling using a Reed-Frost model to estimate the percentage of cases prevented (ie, "effectiveness") through either outbreak testing alone or outbreak plus nonoutbreak testing. The potential effect of simultaneous decreases (by 10%) in the effectiveness of isolating infected individuals when instituting testing strategies was also evaluated. RESULTS: Modeling suggests that outbreak testing could prevent 54% (weekly testing with 48-hour test turnaround) to 92% (daily testing with immediate results and 50% relative sensitivity) of SARS-CoV-2 infections. Adding nonoutbreak testing could prevent up to an additional 8% of SARS-CoV-2 infections (depending on test frequency and turnaround time). However, added benefits of nonoutbreak testing were mostly negated if accompanied by decreases in infection control practice. CONCLUSIONS: When combined with high-quality infection control practices, outbreak testing could be an effective approach to preventing COVID-19 in nursing homes, particularly if optimized through increased test frequency and use of tests with rapid turnaround.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Disease Outbreaks/prevention & control , Health Personnel , Humans , Nursing Homes , SARS-CoV-2 , United States/epidemiology
12.
Clin Infect Dis ; 74(4): 597-603, 2022 03 01.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1258760

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: Nursing home residents and staff were included in the first phase of coronavirus disease 2019 vaccination in the United States. Because the primary trial endpoint was vaccine efficacy (VE) against symptomatic disease, there are limited data on the extent to which vaccines protect against severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) infection and the ability to infect others (infectiousness). Assumptions about VE against infection and infectiousness have implications for changes to infection prevention guidance for vaccinated populations, including testing strategies. METHODS: We use a stochastic agent-based Susceptible-Exposed-Infectious (Asymptomatic/Symptomatic)-Recovered model of a nursing home to simulate SARS-CoV-2 transmission. We model 3 scenarios, varying VE against infection, infectiousness, and symptoms, to understand the expected impact of vaccination in nursing homes, increasing staff vaccination coverage, and different screening testing strategies under each scenario. RESULTS: Increasing vaccination coverage in staff decreases total symptomatic cases in the nursing home (among staff and residents combined) in each VE scenario. In scenarios with 50% and 90% VE against infection and infectiousness, increasing staff coverage reduces symptomatic cases among residents. If vaccination only protects against symptoms, and asymptomatic cases remain infectious, increased staff coverage increases symptomatic cases among residents. However, this is outweighed by the reduction in symptomatic cases among staff. Higher frequency testing-more than once weekly-is needed to reduce total symptomatic cases if the vaccine has lower efficacy against infection and infectiousness, or only protects against symptoms. CONCLUSIONS: Encouraging staff vaccination is not only important for protecting staff, but might also reduce symptomatic cases in residents if a vaccine confers at least some protection against infection or infectiousness.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , COVID-19/prevention & control , Humans , Nursing Homes , SARS-CoV-2 , Skilled Nursing Facilities , United States , Vaccination
13.
Clin Infect Dis ; 74(3): 490-497, 2022 02 11.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1225625

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: Cruise travel contributed to severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) transmission when there were relatively few cases in the United States. By 14 March 2020, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) issued a No Sail Order suspending US cruise operations; the last US passenger ship docked on 16 April. METHODS: We analyzed SARS-CoV-2 outbreaks on cruises in US waters or carrying US citizens and used regression models to compare voyage characteristics. We used compartmental models to simulate the potential impact of 4 interventions (screening for coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) symptoms; viral testing on 2 days and isolation of positive persons; reduction of passengers by 40%, crew by 20%, and reducing port visits to 1) for 7-day and 14-day voyages. RESULTS: During 19 January to 16 April 2020, 89 voyages on 70 ships had known SARS-CoV-2 outbreaks; 16 ships had recurrent outbreaks. There were 1669 reverse transcription polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR)-confirmed SARS-CoV-2 infections and 29 confirmed deaths. Longer voyages were associated with more cases (adjusted incidence rate ratio, 1.10, 95% confidence interval [CI]: 1.03-1.17, P < .003). Mathematical models showed that 7-day voyages had about 70% fewer cases than 14-day voyages. On 7-day voyages, the most effective interventions were reducing the number of individuals onboard (43.3% reduction in total infections) and testing passengers and crew (42% reduction in total infections). All four interventions reduced transmission by 80.1%, but no single intervention or combination eliminated transmission. Results were similar for 14-day voyages. CONCLUSIONS: SARS-CoV-2 outbreaks on cruises were common during January-April 2020. Despite all interventions modeled, cruise travel still poses a significant SARS-CoV-2 transmission risk.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Disease Outbreaks , Humans , Public Health , SARS-CoV-2 , Ships , Travel , United States/epidemiology
14.
Clin Infect Dis ; 73(3): e792-e798, 2021 08 02.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1075481

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: Identifying asymptomatic individuals early through serial testing is recommended to control coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) in nursing homes, both in response to an outbreak ("outbreak testing" of residents and healthcare personnel) and in facilities without outbreaks ("nonoutbreak testing" of healthcare personnel). The effectiveness of outbreak testing and isolation with or without nonoutbreak testing was evaluated. METHODS: Using published SARS-CoV-2 transmission parameters, the fraction of SARS-CoV-2 transmissions prevented through serial testing (weekly, every 3 days, or daily) and isolation of asymptomatic persons compared with symptom-based testing and isolation was evaluated through mathematical modeling using a Reed-Frost model to estimate the percentage of cases prevented (ie, "effectiveness") through either outbreak testing alone or outbreak plus nonoutbreak testing. The potential effect of simultaneous decreases (by 10%) in the effectiveness of isolating infected individuals when instituting testing strategies was also evaluated. RESULTS: Modeling suggests that outbreak testing could prevent 54% (weekly testing with 48-hour test turnaround) to 92% (daily testing with immediate results and 50% relative sensitivity) of SARS-CoV-2 infections. Adding nonoutbreak testing could prevent up to an additional 8% of SARS-CoV-2 infections (depending on test frequency and turnaround time). However, added benefits of nonoutbreak testing were mostly negated if accompanied by decreases in infection control practice. CONCLUSIONS: When combined with high-quality infection control practices, outbreak testing could be an effective approach to preventing COVID-19 in nursing homes, particularly if optimized through increased test frequency and use of tests with rapid turnaround.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Disease Outbreaks/prevention & control , Health Personnel , Humans , Nursing Homes , SARS-CoV-2 , United States/epidemiology
15.
Pediatrics ; 147(4)2021 04.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1052449

ABSTRACT

OBJECTIVES: In late June 2020, a large outbreak of coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) occurred at a sleep-away youth camp in Georgia, affecting primarily persons ≤21 years. We conducted a retrospective cohort study among campers and staff (attendees) to determine the extent of the outbreak and assess factors contributing to transmission. METHODS: Attendees were interviewed to ascertain demographic characteristics, known exposures to COVID-19 and community exposures, and mitigation measures before, during, and after attending camp. COVID-19 case status was determined for all camp attendees on the basis of severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) test results and reported symptoms. We calculated attack rates and instantaneous reproduction numbers and sequenced SARS-CoV-2 viral genomes from the outbreak. RESULTS: Among 627 attendees, the median age was 15 years (interquartile range: 12-16 years); 56% (351 of 627) of attendees were female. The attack rate was 56% (351 of 627) among all attendees. On the basis of date of illness onset or first positive test result on a specimen collected, 12 case patients were infected before arriving at camp and 339 case patients were camp associated. Among 288 case patients with available symptom information, 45 (16%) were asymptomatic. Despite cohorting, 50% of attendees reported direct contact with people outside their cabin cohort. On the first day of camp session, the instantaneous reproduction number was 10. Viral genomic diversity was low. CONCLUSIONS: Few introductions of SARS-CoV-2 into a youth congregate setting resulted in a large outbreak. Testing strategies should be combined with prearrival quarantine, routine symptom monitoring with appropriate isolation and quarantine, cohorting, social distancing, mask wearing, and enhanced disinfection and hand hygiene. Promotion of mitigation measures among younger populations is needed.


Subject(s)
COVID-19/epidemiology , COVID-19/transmission , Camping , Disease Outbreaks , Adolescent , Adult , Child , Cohort Studies , Female , Georgia/epidemiology , Humans , Male , Middle Aged , Retrospective Studies , Young Adult
16.
MMWR Morb Mortal Wkly Rep ; 70(3): 95-99, 2021 Jan 22.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1040194

ABSTRACT

On December 14, 2020, the United Kingdom reported a SARS-CoV-2 variant of concern (VOC), lineage B.1.1.7, also referred to as VOC 202012/01 or 20I/501Y.V1.* The B.1.1.7 variant is estimated to have emerged in September 2020 and has quickly become the dominant circulating SARS-CoV-2 variant in England (1). B.1.1.7 has been detected in over 30 countries, including the United States. As of January 13, 2021, approximately 76 cases of B.1.1.7 have been detected in 12 U.S. states.† Multiple lines of evidence indicate that B.1.1.7 is more efficiently transmitted than are other SARS-CoV-2 variants (1-3). The modeled trajectory of this variant in the U.S. exhibits rapid growth in early 2021, becoming the predominant variant in March. Increased SARS-CoV-2 transmission might threaten strained health care resources, require extended and more rigorous implementation of public health strategies (4), and increase the percentage of population immunity required for pandemic control. Taking measures to reduce transmission now can lessen the potential impact of B.1.1.7 and allow critical time to increase vaccination coverage. Collectively, enhanced genomic surveillance combined with continued compliance with effective public health measures, including vaccination, physical distancing, use of masks, hand hygiene, and isolation and quarantine, will be essential to limiting the spread of SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19). Strategic testing of persons without symptoms but at higher risk of infection, such as those exposed to SARS-CoV-2 or who have frequent unavoidable contact with the public, provides another opportunity to limit ongoing spread.


Subject(s)
COVID-19/epidemiology , COVID-19/virology , SARS-CoV-2/genetics , COVID-19/transmission , Genome, Viral , Humans , Mutation , United States/epidemiology
17.
JAMA Netw Open ; 4(1): e2035057, 2021 01 04.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1012156

ABSTRACT

Importance: Severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2), the etiology of coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19), is readily transmitted person to person. Optimal control of COVID-19 depends on directing resources and health messaging to mitigation efforts that are most likely to prevent transmission, but the relative importance of such measures has been disputed. Objective: To assess the proportion of SARS-CoV-2 transmissions in the community that likely occur from persons without symptoms. Design, Setting, and Participants: This decision analytical model assessed the relative amount of transmission from presymptomatic, never symptomatic, and symptomatic individuals across a range of scenarios in which the proportion of transmission from people who never develop symptoms (ie, remain asymptomatic) and the infectious period were varied according to published best estimates. For all estimates, data from a meta-analysis was used to set the incubation period at a median of 5 days. The infectious period duration was maintained at 10 days, and peak infectiousness was varied between 3 and 7 days (-2 and +2 days relative to the median incubation period). The overall proportion of SARS-CoV-2 was varied between 0% and 70% to assess a wide range of possible proportions. Main Outcomes and Measures: Level of transmission of SARS-CoV-2 from presymptomatic, never symptomatic, and symptomatic individuals. Results: The baseline assumptions for the model were that peak infectiousness occurred at the median of symptom onset and that 30% of individuals with infection never develop symptoms and are 75% as infectious as those who do develop symptoms. Combined, these baseline assumptions imply that persons with infection who never develop symptoms may account for approximately 24% of all transmission. In this base case, 59% of all transmission came from asymptomatic transmission, comprising 35% from presymptomatic individuals and 24% from individuals who never develop symptoms. Under a broad range of values for each of these assumptions, at least 50% of new SARS-CoV-2 infections was estimated to have originated from exposure to individuals with infection but without symptoms. Conclusions and Relevance: In this decision analytical model of multiple scenarios of proportions of asymptomatic individuals with COVID-19 and infectious periods, transmission from asymptomatic individuals was estimated to account for more than half of all transmissions. In addition to identification and isolation of persons with symptomatic COVID-19, effective control of spread will require reducing the risk of transmission from people with infection who do not have symptoms. These findings suggest that measures such as wearing masks, hand hygiene, social distancing, and strategic testing of people who are not ill will be foundational to slowing the spread of COVID-19 until safe and effective vaccines are available and widely used.


Subject(s)
COVID-19/transmission , Carrier State/transmission , Basic Reproduction Number , COVID-19/epidemiology , Carrier State/epidemiology , Decision Support Techniques , Humans , Infectious Disease Incubation Period , SARS-CoV-2
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