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1.
EuropePMC;
Preprint in English | EuropePMC | ID: ppcovidwho-328374

ABSTRACT

This article was migrated. The article was marked as recommended. The COVID-19 pandemic has presented significant challenges for medical schools. It is critical to ensure final year medical school students are not delayed in their entry to the clinical workforce in times of healthcare crisis. However, proceeding with assessment to determine competency for graduation from medical school, and maintaining performance standards for graduating doctors is an unprecedented challenge under pandemic conditions. This challenge is hitherto uncharted territory for medical schools and there is scant guidance for medical educators. In early March 2020, Duke-National University Singapore Medical School embraced the challenge for ensuring competent final year medical students could complete their final year of studies and graduate on time, to enter the medical workforce in Singapore without delay. This paper provides details of how the final year clinical performance examinations were planned and conducted during the COVID-19 pandemic. The aim of the paper is to provide guidance to other medical schools in similar circumstances who need to plan and make suitable adjustments to clinical skills examinations under current pandemic conditions. The paper illustrates how it is possible to design and implement clinical skills examinations (OSCEs) to ensure the validity and reliability of high-stakes performance assessments whilst protecting the safety of all participants, minimising risk and maintaining defensibility to key stakeholders.

3.
Int J Infect Dis ; 114: 132-134, 2022 Jan.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1509866

ABSTRACT

Retrospective contact tracing, enabled by the use of automated visitor-management systems and digital contact tracing, together with rapid antigen detection (RAD) for SARS-CoV-2 among visitors staying ≥ 30 minutes, identified COVID-19 cases in < 0.01% (6/72 605) of hospital visitors to a large hospital campus over an 8-week study period. The potential for nosocomial transmission of SARS-CoV-2 from hospital visitors was thus very low, and could be further mitigated by universal mask-wearing among staff and visitors.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , SARS-CoV-2 , Contact Tracing , Hospitals , Humans , Incidence , Retrospective Studies
4.
PLoS One ; 16(10): e0258866, 2021.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1480457

ABSTRACT

AIM: The long-term stress, anxiety and job burnout experienced by healthcare workers (HCWs) are important to consider as the novel coronavirus disease (COVID-19) pandemic stresses healthcare systems globally. The primary objective was to examine the changes in the proportion of HCWs reporting stress, anxiety, and job burnout over six months during the peak of the pandemic in Singapore. The secondary objective was to examine the extent that objective job characteristics, HCW-perceived job factors, and HCW personal resources were associated with stress, anxiety, and job burnout. METHOD: A sample of HCWs (doctors, nurses, allied health professionals, administrative and operations staff; N = 2744) was recruited via invitation to participate in an online survey from four tertiary hospitals. Data were gathered between March-August 2020, which included a 2-month lockdown period. HCWs completed monthly web-based self-reported assessments of stress (Perceived Stress Scale-4), anxiety (Generalized Anxiety Disorder-7), and job burnout (Physician Work Life Scale). RESULTS: The majority of the sample consisted of female HCWs (81%) and nurses (60%). Using random-intercept logistic regression models, elevated perceived stress, anxiety and job burnout were reported by 33%, 13%, and 24% of the overall sample at baseline respectively. The proportion of HCWs reporting stress and job burnout increased by approximately 1·0% and 1·2% respectively per month. Anxiety did not significantly increase. Working long hours was associated with higher odds, while teamwork and feeling appreciated at work were associated with lower odds, of stress, anxiety, and job burnout. CONCLUSIONS: Perceived stress and job burnout showed a mild increase over six months, even after exiting the lockdown. Teamwork and feeling appreciated at work were protective and are targets for developing organizational interventions to mitigate expected poor outcomes among frontline HCWs.


Subject(s)
Anxiety , Burnout, Professional , COVID-19 , Health Personnel/psychology , Pandemics , SARS-CoV-2 , Adult , Aged , Anxiety/epidemiology , Anxiety/psychology , Burnout, Professional/epidemiology , Burnout, Professional/etiology , COVID-19/epidemiology , COVID-19/psychology , Female , Humans , Male , Middle Aged , Prospective Studies , Singapore/epidemiology
8.
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
9.
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
10.
N Engl J Med ; 383(5): 452-459, 2020 07 30.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-692294

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: Insufficient vaccine doses and the lack of therapeutic agents for yellow fever put global health at risk, should this virus emerge from sub-Saharan Africa and South America. METHODS: In phase 1a of this clinical trial, we assessed the safety, side-effect profile, and pharmacokinetics of TY014, a fully human IgG1 anti-yellow fever virus monoclonal antibody. In a double-blind, phase 1b clinical trial, we assessed the efficacy of TY014, as compared with placebo, in abrogating viremia related to the administration of live yellow fever vaccine (YF17D-204; Stamaril). The primary safety outcomes were adverse events reported 1 hour after the infusion and throughout the trial. The primary efficacy outcome was the dose of TY014 at which 100% of the participants tested negative for viremia within 48 hours after infusion. RESULTS: A total of 27 healthy participants were enrolled in phase 1a, and 10 participants in phase 1b. During phase 1a, TY014 dose escalation to a maximum of 20 mg per kilogram of body weight occurred in 22 participants. During phases 1a and 1b, adverse events within 1 hour after infusion occurred in 1 of 27 participants who received TY014 and in none of the 10 participants who received placebo. At least one adverse event occurred during the trial in 22 participants who received TY014 and in 8 who received placebo. The mean half-life of TY014 was approximately 12.8 days. At 48 hours after the infusion, none of the 5 participants who received the starting dose of TY014 of 2 mg per kilogram had detectable YF17D-204 viremia; these participants remained aviremic throughout the trial. Viremia was observed at 48 hours after the infusion in 2 of 5 participants who received placebo and at 72 hours in 2 more placebo recipients. Symptoms associated with yellow fever vaccine were less frequent in the TY014 group than in the placebo group. CONCLUSIONS: This phase 1 trial of TY014 did not identify worrisome safety signals and suggested potential clinical benefit, which requires further assessment in a phase 2 trial. (Funded by Tysana; ClinicalTrials.gov number, NCT03776786.).


Subject(s)
Antibodies, Monoclonal, Humanized/administration & dosage , Yellow Fever Vaccine , Yellow Fever/drug therapy , Yellow fever virus/immunology , Adult , Antibodies, Monoclonal, Humanized/adverse effects , Antibodies, Monoclonal, Humanized/pharmacokinetics , Dose-Response Relationship, Drug , Double-Blind Method , Half-Life , Humans , Kaplan-Meier Estimate , Viremia/drug therapy , Yellow Fever/virology , Yellow fever virus/drug effects
11.
Surg Infect (Larchmt) ; 21(9): 760-765, 2020 Nov.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-680792

ABSTRACT

Background: In the ongoing coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic, resuming provision of surgical services poses a challenge given that patients may have acute surgical pathologies with concurrent COVID-19 infection. We utilized a risk-stratified approach to allow for early recognition and isolation of potential COVID-19 infection in surgical patients, ensuring continuity of surgical services during a COVID-19 outbreak. Patients and Methods: Over a four-month period from January to April 2020, surgical patients admitted with concurrent respiratory symptom, infiltrates on chest imaging, or suspicious travel/epidemiologic history were placed in a dedicated ward in which they were tested for severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus-2 (SARS-CoV-2). If emergency operations were necessary prior to the exclusion of COVID-19, patients were managed as per suspected cases of COVID-19, with appropriate precautions and full personal protective equipment (PPE). Results: From January through April 2020, a total of 8,437 patients were admitted to our surgical department; 5.9% (498/8437) required peri-operative testing for SARS-CoV-2. Because testing was in-house with turnaround within 24 hours, only a small number of emergency operations (n = 10) were conducted for suspected COVID-19 cases prior to results; none tested positive. The testing yield was lower in surgical inpatients compared with medical inpatients (odds ratio [OR] = 0.20, 95% confidence interval [CI], 0.12-0.32, p < 0.001). Three operations were conducted in known COVID-19 cases; all healthcare workers (HCWs) used full PPE. A risk-stratified testing strategy picked up previously unsuspected COVID-19 in six cases; 66.7% (4/6) were asymptomatic at presentation. Although 48 HCWs were exposed to these six cases, delayed diagnosis was averted and no evidence of spread to patients or HCWs was detected. Conclusion: A risk-stratified approach allowed for early recognition, testing, and isolation of potential COVID-19 infection in surgical patients, ensuring continuity of surgical services.


Subject(s)
Coronavirus Infections/diagnosis , Coronavirus Infections/physiopathology , Inpatients , Patient Isolation/methods , Pneumonia, Viral/diagnosis , Pneumonia, Viral/physiopathology , Adult , COVID-19 , Disease Outbreaks , Female , Humans , Male , Middle Aged , Pandemics , Personal Protective Equipment , Risk Assessment , Singapore , Surgical Procedures, Operative , Tertiary Care Centers
12.
Acad Radiol ; 27(9): 1193-1203, 2020 09.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-634059

ABSTRACT

Coronavirus disease-19 (COVID-19) is a pathogen that has shown an ability for sustained community transmission. To ensure utmost safety, radiology services will need to adapt to this disease in the coming months and possibly years ahead. This will include learning how to perform radiographs and CT in a safe and sustainable manner. Due to the risk of nosocomial spread of disease, the judicious use and implementation of strict infection protocols is paramount to limit healthcare worker and patient transmission. Between 28 January 2020 and 8 June 2020, our institution performed 12,034 radiographs and 178 CT scans for suspected or confirmed COVID-19 patients. As of 8 June 2020, there have been no documented instances of healthcare staff acquiring COVID-19 during the course of work. In this article, we present the indications and operational considerations used by our institution to safely image patients with suspected or confirmed COVID-19. Alternative practices for imaging radiographs are also discussed.


Subject(s)
Betacoronavirus , Coronavirus Infections , Decontamination , Equipment Safety , Pandemics , Pneumonia, Viral , COVID-19 , Coronavirus Infections/diagnostic imaging , Humans , Occupational Health , Patient Safety , Pneumonia, Viral/diagnostic imaging , Radiography , SARS-CoV-2 , Tomography, X-Ray Computed
13.
Infect Control Hosp Epidemiol ; 41(7): 765-771, 2020 07.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-622776

ABSTRACT

OBJECTIVE: Staff surveillance is crucial during the containment phase of a pandemic to help reduce potential healthcare-associated transmission and sustain good staff morale. During an outbreak of SARS-COV-2 with community transmission, our institution used an integrated strategy for early detection and containment of COVID-19 cases among healthcare workers (HCWs). METHODS: Our strategy comprised 3 key components: (1) enforcing reporting of HCWs with acute respiratory illness (ARI) to our institution's staff clinic for monitoring; (2) conducting ongoing syndromic surveillance to obtain early warning of potential clusters of COVID-19; and (3) outbreak investigation and management. RESULTS: Over a 16-week surveillance period, we detected 14 cases of COVID-19 among HCWs with ARI symptoms. Two of the cases were linked epidemiologically and thus constituted a COVID-19 cluster with intrahospital HCW-HCW transmission; we also detected 1 family cluster and 2 clusters among HCWs who shared accommodation. No transmission to HCWs or patients was detected after containment measures were instituted. Early detection minimized the number of HCWs requiring quarantine, hence preserving continuity of service during an ongoing pandemic. CONCLUSIONS: An integrated surveillance strategy, outbreak management, and encouraging individual responsibility were successful in early detection of clusters of COVID-19 among HCWs. With ongoing local transmission, vigilance must be maintained for intrahospital spread in nonclinical areas where social mingling of HCWs occurs. Because most individuals with COVID-19 have mild symptoms, addressing presenteeism is crucial to minimize potential staff and patient exposure.


Subject(s)
Coronavirus Infections/diagnosis , Coronavirus Infections/prevention & control , Infection Control/methods , Pandemics/prevention & control , Personnel, Hospital , Pneumonia, Viral/diagnosis , Pneumonia, Viral/prevention & control , Population Surveillance , Adult , COVID-19 , Cluster Analysis , Coronavirus Infections/epidemiology , Coronavirus Infections/transmission , Early Diagnosis , Female , Hospitals, General , Humans , Male , Middle Aged , Pneumonia, Viral/epidemiology , Pneumonia, Viral/transmission , Singapore/epidemiology , Symptom Assessment , Young Adult
14.
Am J Infect Control ; 48(9): 1056-1061, 2020 09.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-619967

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: During an ongoing outbreak of COVID-19, unsuspected cases may be housed outside of dedicated isolation wards. AIM: At a Singaporean tertiary hospital, individuals with clinical syndromes compatible with COVID-19 but no epidemiologic risk were placed in cohorted general wards for COVID-19 testing. To mitigate risk, an infection control bundle was implemented comprising infrastructural enhancements, improved personal protective equipment, and social distancing. We assessed the impact on environmental contamination and transmission. METHODS: Upon detection of a case of COVID-19 in the dedicated general ward, patients and health care workers (HCWs) contacts were identified. All patient and staff close-contacts were placed on 14-day phone surveillance and followed up for 28 days; symptomatic contacts were tested. Environmental samples were also obtained. FINDINGS: Over a 3-month period, 28 unsuspected cases of COVID-19 were contained in the dedicated general ward. In 5 of the 28 cases, sampling of the patient's environment yielded SARS-CoV-2; index cases who required supplemental oxygen had higher odds of environmental contamination (P = .01). A total of 253 staff close-contacts and 45 patient close-contacts were identified; only 3 HCWs (1.2%, 3/253) required quarantine. On 28-day follow-up, no patient-to-HCW transmission was documented; only 1 symptomatic patient close-contact tested positive. CONCLUSIONS: Our institution successfully implemented an intervention bundle to mitigate COVID-19 transmission in a multibedded cohorted general ward setting.


Subject(s)
Coronavirus Infections/transmission , Cross Infection/prevention & control , Disease Transmission, Infectious/prevention & control , Patients' Rooms , Pneumonia, Viral/transmission , Quarantine/methods , Adult , Aged , Betacoronavirus , COVID-19 , Contact Tracing , Coronavirus Infections/prevention & control , Female , Humans , Male , Middle Aged , Pandemics/prevention & control , Patient Care Bundles , Patient Isolation , Personal Protective Equipment , Pneumonia, Viral/prevention & control , SARS-CoV-2 , Singapore/epidemiology
15.
J Clin Virol ; 128: 104436, 2020 07.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-305912

ABSTRACT

AIMS: During the ongoing COVID-19 outbreak, co-circulation of other common respiratory viruses can potentially result in co-infections; however, reported rates of co-infections for SARS-CoV-2 vary. We sought to evaluate the prevalence and etiology of all community acquired viral respiratory infections requiring hospitalization during an ongoing COVID-19 outbreak, with a focus on co-infection rates and clinical outcomes. METHODS: Over a 10-week period, all admissions to our institution, the largest tertiary hospital in Singapore, were screened for respiratory symptoms, and COVID-19 as well as a panel of common respiratory viral pathogens were systematically tested for. Information was collated on clinical outcomes, including requirement for mechanical ventilation and in hospital mortality. RESULTS: One-fifth (19.3%, 736/3807) of hospitalized inpatients with respiratory symptoms had a PCR-proven viral respiratory infection; of which 58.5% (431/736) tested positive for SARS-CoV-2 and 42.2% (311/736) tested positive for other common respiratory viruses. The rate of co-infection with SARS-CoV-2 was 1.4% (6/431); all patients with co-infection had mild disease and stayed in communal settings. The in-hospital mortality rate and proportion of COVID-19 patients requiring invasive ventilation was low, at around 1% of patients; these rates were lower than patients with other community-acquired respiratory viruses admitted over the same period (p < 0.01). CONCLUSION: Even amidst an ongoing COVID-19 outbreak, common respiratory viruses still accounted for a substantial proportion of hospitalizations. Coinfections with SARS-CoV-2 were rare, with no observed increase in morbidity or mortality.


Subject(s)
Betacoronavirus/isolation & purification , Coinfection/epidemiology , Community-Acquired Infections/epidemiology , Coronavirus Infections/epidemiology , Disease Outbreaks , Pneumonia, Viral/epidemiology , Respiratory Tract Infections/epidemiology , Virus Diseases/epidemiology , Adult , Betacoronavirus/genetics , COVID-19 , Coinfection/mortality , Coinfection/virology , Community-Acquired Infections/mortality , Community-Acquired Infections/virology , Coronavirus Infections/mortality , Coronavirus Infections/virology , Hospitalization , Humans , Inpatients , Male , Pandemics , Pneumonia, Viral/mortality , Pneumonia, Viral/virology , Respiratory Tract Infections/mortality , Respiratory Tract Infections/virology , SARS-CoV-2 , Singapore/epidemiology , Tertiary Care Centers , Virus Diseases/mortality , Virus Diseases/virology
16.
Infect Control Hosp Epidemiol ; 41(7): 820-825, 2020 Jul.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-196681

ABSTRACT

OBJECTIVES: Patients with COVID-19 may present with respiratory syndromes indistinguishable from those caused by common viruses. Early isolation and containment is challenging. Although screening all patients with respiratory symptoms for COVID-19 has been recommended, the practicality of such an effort has yet to be assessed. METHODS: Over a 6-week period during a SARS-CoV-2 outbreak, our institution introduced a "respiratory surveillance ward" (RSW) to segregate all patients with respiratory symptoms in designated areas, where appropriate personal protective equipment (PPE) could be utilized until SARS-CoV-2 testing was done. Patients could be transferred when SARS-CoV-2 tests were negative on 2 consecutive occasions, 24 hours apart. RESULTS: Over the study period, 1,178 patients were admitted to the RSWs. The mean length-of-stay (LOS) was 1.89 days (SD, 1.23). Among confirmed cases of pneumonia admitted to the RSW, 5 of 310 patients (1.61%) tested positive for SARS-CoV-2. This finding was comparable to the pickup rate from our isolation ward. In total, 126 HCWs were potentially exposed to these cases; however, only 3 (2.38%) required quarantine because most used appropriate PPE. In addition, 13 inpatients overlapped with the index cases during their stay in the RSW; of these 13 exposed inpatients, 1 patient subsequently developed COVID-19 after exposure. No patient-HCW transmission was detected despite intensive surveillance. CONCLUSIONS: Our institution successfully utilized the strategy of an RSW over a 6-week period to contain a cluster of COVID-19 cases and to prevent patient-HCW transmission. However, this method was resource-intensive in terms of testing and bed capacity.


Subject(s)
Coronavirus Infections/transmission , Cross Infection/transmission , Infection Control/methods , Infectious Disease Transmission, Patient-to-Professional/prevention & control , Occupational Diseases/prevention & control , Patient Isolation , Pneumonia, Viral/transmission , Population Surveillance/methods , Adult , Aged , Aged, 80 and over , Betacoronavirus , COVID-19 , Coronavirus Infections/diagnosis , Coronavirus Infections/prevention & control , Cross Infection/diagnosis , Cross Infection/prevention & control , Early Diagnosis , Female , Humans , Length of Stay , Male , Middle Aged , Pandemics/prevention & control , Patients' Rooms/organization & administration , Personal Protective Equipment , Pneumonia/virology , Pneumonia, Viral/diagnosis , Pneumonia, Viral/prevention & control , SARS-CoV-2 , Singapore , Symptom Assessment , Tertiary Care Centers
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