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Open accessJournal ArticleDOI: 10.1136/BMJOPEN-2020-044644

Evaluating the contributions of strategies to prevent SARS-CoV-2 transmission in the healthcare setting: a modelling study.

02 Mar 2021-BMJ Open (BMJ)-Vol. 11, Iss: 3
Abstract: Introduction Since its onset, the COVID-19 pandemic has caused significant morbidity and mortality worldwide, with particularly severe outcomes in healthcare institutions and congregate settings. To mitigate spread, healthcare systems have been cohorting patients to limit contacts between uninfected patients and potentially infected patients or healthcare workers (HCWs). A major challenge in managing the pandemic is the presence of currently asymptomatic/presymptomatic individuals capable of transmitting the virus, who could introduce COVID-19 into uninfected cohorts. The optimal combination of personal protective equipment (PPE), testing and other approaches to prevent these events is unclear, especially in light of ongoing limited resources. Methods Using stochastic simulations with a susceptible-exposed-infected-recovered dynamic model, we quantified and compared the impacts of PPE use, patient and HCWs surveillance testing and subcohorting strategies. Results In the base case without testing or PPE, the healthcare system was rapidly overwhelmed, and became a net contributor to the force of infection. We found that effective use of PPE by both HCWs and patients could prevent this scenario, while random testing of apparently asymptomatic/presymptomatic individuals on a weekly basis was less effective. We also found that even imperfect use of PPE could provide substantial protection by decreasing the force of infection. Importantly, we found that creating smaller patient/HCW-interaction subcohorts can provide additional resilience to outbreak development with limited resources. Conclusion These findings reinforce the importance of ensuring adequate PPE supplies even in the absence of testing and provide support for strict subcohorting regimens to reduce outbreak potential in healthcare institutions.

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Open accessJournal ArticleDOI: 10.1098/RSOS.201895
Qimin Huang1, Anirban Mondal1, Xiaobing Jiang2, Mary Ann Horn1  +6 moreInstitutions (3)
Abstract: Development of strategies for mitigating the severity of COVID-19 is now a top public health priority. We sought to assess strategies for mitigating the COVID-19 outbreak in a hospital setting via the use of non-pharmaceutical interventions. We developed an individual-based model for COVID-19 transmission in a hospital setting. We calibrated the model using data of a COVID-19 outbreak in a hospital unit in Wuhan. The calibrated model was used to simulate different intervention scenarios and estimate the impact of different interventions on outbreak size and workday loss. The use of high-efficacy facial masks was shown to be able to reduce infection cases and workday loss by 80% (90% credible interval (CrI): 73.1-85.7%) and 87% (CrI: 80.0-92.5%), respectively. The use of social distancing alone, through reduced contacts between healthcare workers, had a marginal impact on the outbreak. Our results also indicated that a quarantine policy should be coupled with other interventions to achieve its effect. The effectiveness of all these interventions was shown to increase with their early implementation. Our analysis shows that a COVID-19 outbreak in a hospital's non-COVID-19 unit can be controlled or mitigated by the use of existing non-pharmaceutical measures.

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4 Citations


Open accessPosted ContentDOI: 10.1101/2020.08.22.20179929
Qimin Huang1, Anirban Mondal1, Xiaobing Jiang2, Mary Ann Horn1  +6 moreInstitutions (3)
25 Aug 2020-medRxiv
Abstract: Background: Development of strategies for mitigating the severity of COVID-19 is now a top global public health priority. We sought to assess strategies for mitigating the COVID-19 outbreak in a hospital setting via the use of non-pharmaceutical interventions such as social distancing, self-isolation, tracing and quarantine, wearing facial masks/ personal protective equipment. Methods: We developed an individual-based model for COVID-19 transmission among healthcare workers in a hospital setting. We calibrated the model using data of a COVID-19 outbreak in a hospital unit in Wuhan in a Bayesian framework. The calibrated model was used to simulate different intervention scenarios and estimate the impact of different interventions on outbreak size and workday loss. Results: We estimated that work-related stress increases susceptibility to COVID-19 infection among healthcare workers by 52% (90% Credible Interval (CrI): 16.4% - 93.0%). The use of high efficacy facial masks was shown to be able to reduce infection cases and workday loss by 80% (90% CrI: 73.1% - 85.7%) and 87% (CrI: 80.0% - 92.5%), respectively. The use of social distancing alone, through reduced contacts between healthcare workers, had a marginal impact on the outbreak. A strict quarantine policy with the isolation of symptomatic cases and a high fraction of pre-symptomatic/ asymptomatic cases (via contact tracing or high test rate), could only prolong outbreak duration with minimal impact on the outbreak size. Our results indicated that a quarantine policy should be coupled with other interventions to achieve its effect. The effectiveness of all these interventions was shown to increase with their early implementation. Conclusions: Our analysis shows that a COVID-19 outbreak in a hospital9s non-COVID-19 unit can be controlled or mitigated by the use of existing non-pharmaceutical measures.

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3 Citations


Open accessPosted ContentDOI: 10.1101/2021.02.26.21252327
12 Mar 2021-medRxiv
Abstract: BackgroundEmergence of more transmissible SARS-CoV-2 variants requires more efficient control measures to limit nosocomial transmission and maintain healthcare capacities during pandemic waves. Yet, the relative importance of different strategies is unknown. MethodsWe developed an agent-based model and compared the impact of personal protective equipment (PPE), screening of healthcare workers (HCWs), contact tracing of symptomatic HCWs, and restricting HCWs from working in multiple units (HCW cohorting) on nosocomial SARS-CoV-2 transmission. The model was fit on hospital data from the first wave in the Netherlands (February until August 2020) and assumed that HCWs used 90% effective PPE in COVID-19 wards and self-isolated at home for seven days immediately upon symptom onset. Intervention effects on the effective reproduction number (RE), HCW absenteeism and the proportion of infected individuals among tested individuals (positivity rate) were estimated for a more transmissible variant. ResultsIntroduction of a variant with 56% higher transmissibility increased - all other variables kept constant - RE from 0.4 to 0.65 (+63%) and nosocomial transmissions by 303%, mainly because of more transmissions caused by pre-symptomatic patients and HCWs. Compared to baseline, PPE use in all hospital wards (assuming 90% effectiveness) reduced RE by 85% and absenteeism by 57%. Screening HCWs every three days with perfect test sensitivity reduced RE by 67%, yielding a maximum test positivity rate of 5%. Screening HCWs every three or seven days assuming time-varying test sensitivities reduced RE by 9% and 3%, respectively. Contact tracing reduced RE by at least 32% and achieved higher test positivity rates than screening interventions. HCW cohorting reduced RE by 5%. Sensitivity analyses for 50% and 70% effectiveness of PPE use did not change interpretation. ConclusionsIn response to the emergence of more transmissible SARS-CoV-2 variants, PPE use in all hospital wards might still be most effective in preventing nosocomial transmission. Regular screening and contact tracing of HCWs are also effective interventions, but critically depend on the sensitivity of the diagnostic test used.

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2 Citations


Open accessJournal ArticleDOI: 10.1186/S12916-021-02060-Y
27 Aug 2021-BMC Medicine
Abstract: Emergence of more transmissible SARS-CoV-2 variants requires more efficient control measures to limit nosocomial transmission and maintain healthcare capacities during pandemic waves. Yet the relative importance of different strategies is unknown. We developed an agent-based model and compared the impact of personal protective equipment (PPE), screening of healthcare workers (HCWs), contact tracing of symptomatic HCWs and restricting HCWs from working in multiple units (HCW cohorting) on nosocomial SARS-CoV-2 transmission. The model was fit on hospital data from the first wave in the Netherlands (February until August 2020) and assumed that HCWs used 90% effective PPE in COVID-19 wards and self-isolated at home for 7 days immediately upon symptom onset. Intervention effects on the effective reproduction number (RE), HCW absenteeism and the proportion of infected individuals among tested individuals (positivity rate) were estimated for a more transmissible variant. Introduction of a variant with 56% higher transmissibility increased — all other variables kept constant — RE from 0.4 to 0.65 (+ 63%) and nosocomial transmissions by 303%, mainly because of more transmissions caused by pre-symptomatic patients and HCWs. Compared to baseline, PPE use in all hospital wards (assuming 90% effectiveness) reduced RE by 85% and absenteeism by 57%. Screening HCWs every 3 days with perfect test sensitivity reduced RE by 67%, yielding a maximum test positivity rate of 5%. Screening HCWs every 3 or 7 days assuming time-varying test sensitivities reduced RE by 9% and 3%, respectively. Contact tracing reduced RE by at least 32% and achieved higher test positivity rates than screening interventions. HCW cohorting reduced RE by 5%. Sensitivity analyses show that our findings do not change significantly for 70% PPE effectiveness. For low PPE effectiveness of 50%, PPE use in all wards is less effective than screening every 3 days with perfect sensitivity but still more effective than all other interventions. In response to the emergence of more transmissible SARS-CoV-2 variants, PPE use in all hospital wards might still be most effective in preventing nosocomial transmission. Regular screening and contact tracing of HCWs are also effective interventions but critically depend on the sensitivity of the diagnostic test used.

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1 Citations


Open accessJournal ArticleDOI: 10.3390/IJERPH18157847
Carolyn Ingram1, Vicky Downey1, Mark Roe1, Yanbing Chen1  +11 moreInstitutions (1)
Abstract: Workplaces can be high-risk environments for SARS-CoV-2 outbreaks and subsequent community transmission. Identifying, understanding, and implementing effective workplace SARS-CoV-2 infection prevention and control (IPC) measures is critical to protect workers, their families, and communities. A rapid review and meta-analysis were conducted to synthesize evidence assessing the effectiveness of COVID-19 IPC measures implemented in global workplace settings through April 2021. Medline, Embase, PubMed, and Cochrane Library were searched for studies that quantitatively assessed the effectiveness of workplace COVID-19 IPC measures. The included studies comprised varying empirical designs and occupational settings. Measures of interest included surveillance measures, outbreak investigations, environmental adjustments, personal protective equipment (PPE), changes in work arrangements, and worker education. Sixty-one studies from healthcare, nursing home, meatpacking, manufacturing, and office settings were included, accounting for ~280,000 employees based in Europe, Asia, and North America. Meta-analyses showed that combined IPC measures resulted in lower employee COVID-19 positivity rates (0.2% positivity; 95% CI 0-0.4%) than single measures such as asymptomatic PCR testing (1.7%; 95% CI 0.9-2.9%) and universal masking (24%; 95% CI 3.4-55.5%). Modelling studies showed that combinations of (i) timely and widespread contact tracing and case isolation, (ii) facilitating smaller worker cohorts, and (iii) effective use of PPE can reduce workplace transmission. Comprehensive COVID-19 IPC measures incorporating swift contact tracing and case isolation, PPE, and facility zoning can effectively prevent workplace outbreaks. Masking alone should not be considered sufficient protection from SARS-CoV-2 outbreaks in the workplace.

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1 Citations


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33 results found


Open accessJournal ArticleDOI: 10.1056/NEJMOA2001316
Qun Li1, Xuhua Guan1, Peng Wu2, Xiaoye Wang1  +43 moreInstitutions (6)
Abstract: Background The initial cases of novel coronavirus (2019-nCoV)–infected pneumonia (NCIP) occurred in Wuhan, Hubei Province, China, in December 2019 and January 2020. We analyzed data on the...

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Topics: Coronavirus (54%)

10,234 Citations


Open accessJournal ArticleDOI: 10.1016/S0140-6736(20)30260-9
Joseph T. Wu1, Kathy Leung1, Gabriel M. Leung1Institutions (1)
29 Feb 2020-The Lancet
Abstract: Summary Background Since Dec 31, 2019, the Chinese city of Wuhan has reported an outbreak of atypical pneumonia caused by the 2019 novel coronavirus (2019-nCoV). Cases have been exported to other Chinese cities, as well as internationally, threatening to trigger a global outbreak. Here, we provide an estimate of the size of the epidemic in Wuhan on the basis of the number of cases exported from Wuhan to cities outside mainland China and forecast the extent of the domestic and global public health risks of epidemics, accounting for social and non-pharmaceutical prevention interventions. Methods We used data from Dec 31, 2019, to Jan 28, 2020, on the number of cases exported from Wuhan internationally (known days of symptom onset from Dec 25, 2019, to Jan 19, 2020) to infer the number of infections in Wuhan from Dec 1, 2019, to Jan 25, 2020. Cases exported domestically were then estimated. We forecasted the national and global spread of 2019-nCoV, accounting for the effect of the metropolitan-wide quarantine of Wuhan and surrounding cities, which began Jan 23–24, 2020. We used data on monthly flight bookings from the Official Aviation Guide and data on human mobility across more than 300 prefecture-level cities in mainland China from the Tencent database. Data on confirmed cases were obtained from the reports published by the Chinese Center for Disease Control and Prevention. Serial interval estimates were based on previous studies of severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus (SARS-CoV). A susceptible-exposed-infectious-recovered metapopulation model was used to simulate the epidemics across all major cities in China. The basic reproductive number was estimated using Markov Chain Monte Carlo methods and presented using the resulting posterior mean and 95% credibile interval (CrI). Findings In our baseline scenario, we estimated that the basic reproductive number for 2019-nCoV was 2·68 (95% CrI 2·47–2·86) and that 75 815 individuals (95% CrI 37 304–130 330) have been infected in Wuhan as of Jan 25, 2020. The epidemic doubling time was 6·4 days (95% CrI 5·8–7·1). We estimated that in the baseline scenario, Chongqing, Beijing, Shanghai, Guangzhou, and Shenzhen had imported 461 (95% CrI 227–805), 113 (57–193), 98 (49–168), 111 (56–191), and 80 (40–139) infections from Wuhan, respectively. If the transmissibility of 2019-nCoV were similar everywhere domestically and over time, we inferred that epidemics are already growing exponentially in multiple major cities of China with a lag time behind the Wuhan outbreak of about 1–2 weeks. Interpretation Given that 2019-nCoV is no longer contained within Wuhan, other major Chinese cities are probably sustaining localised outbreaks. Large cities overseas with close transport links to China could also become outbreak epicentres, unless substantial public health interventions at both the population and personal levels are implemented immediately. Independent self-sustaining outbreaks in major cities globally could become inevitable because of substantial exportation of presymptomatic cases and in the absence of large-scale public health interventions. Preparedness plans and mitigation interventions should be readied for quick deployment globally. Funding Health and Medical Research Fund (Hong Kong, China).

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Topics: Population (52%), Mainland China (51%)

3,097 Citations


Open accessJournal ArticleDOI: 10.1038/S41591-020-0869-5
Xi He1, Eric H. Y. Lau2, Peng Wu2, Xilong Deng1  +19 moreInstitutions (2)
15 Apr 2020-Nature Medicine
Abstract: We report temporal patterns of viral shedding in 94 patients with laboratory-confirmed COVID-19 and modeled COVID-19 infectiousness profiles from a separate sample of 77 infector–infectee transmission pairs. We observed the highest viral load in throat swabs at the time of symptom onset, and inferred that infectiousness peaked on or before symptom onset. We estimated that 44% (95% confidence interval, 30–57%) of secondary cases were infected during the index cases’ presymptomatic stage, in settings with substantial household clustering, active case finding and quarantine outside the home. Disease control measures should be adjusted to account for probable substantial presymptomatic transmission. Presymptomatic transmission of SARS-CoV-2 is estimated to account for a substantial proportion of COVID-19 cases.

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Topics: Viral load (51%)

2,928 Citations


Open accessJournal ArticleDOI: 10.1038/NATURE04153
17 Nov 2005-Nature
Abstract: Population-level analyses often use average quantities to describe heterogeneous systems, particularly when variation does not arise from identifiable groups. A prominent example, central to our current understanding of epidemic spread, is the basic reproductive number, R(0), which is defined as the mean number of infections caused by an infected individual in a susceptible population. Population estimates of R(0) can obscure considerable individual variation in infectiousness, as highlighted during the global emergence of severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS) by numerous 'superspreading events' in which certain individuals infected unusually large numbers of secondary cases. For diseases transmitted by non-sexual direct contacts, such as SARS or smallpox, individual variation is difficult to measure empirically, and thus its importance for outbreak dynamics has been unclear. Here we present an integrated theoretical and statistical analysis of the influence of individual variation in infectiousness on disease emergence. Using contact tracing data from eight directly transmitted diseases, we show that the distribution of individual infectiousness around R(0) is often highly skewed. Model predictions accounting for this variation differ sharply from average-based approaches, with disease extinction more likely and outbreaks rarer but more explosive. Using these models, we explore implications for outbreak control, showing that individual-specific control measures outperform population-wide measures. Moreover, the dramatic improvements achieved through targeted control policies emphasize the need to identify predictive correlates of higher infectiousness. Our findings indicate that superspreading is a normal feature of disease spread, and to frame ongoing discussion we propose a rigorous definition for superspreading events and a method to predict their frequency.

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Topics: Susceptible individual (51%), Super-spreader (51%)

1,922 Citations


Open accessJournal ArticleDOI: 10.2807/1560-7917.ES.2020.25.10.2000180
Kenji Mizumoto1, Kenji Mizumoto2, Katsushi Kagaya3, Katsushi Kagaya2  +2 moreInstitutions (4)
12 Mar 2020-Eurosurveillance
Abstract: On 5 February 2020, in Yokohama, Japan, a cruise ship hosting 3,711 people underwent a 2-week quarantine after a former passenger was found with COVID-19 post-disembarking. As at 20 February, 634 persons on board tested positive for the causative virus. We conducted statistical modelling to derive the delay-adjusted asymptomatic proportion of infections, along with the infections' timeline. The estimated asymptomatic proportion was 17.9% (95% credible interval (CrI): 15.5-20.2%). Most infections occurred before the quarantine start.

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1,841 Citations


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