SARS-CoV-2 environmental contamination from hospitalised COVID-19 patients receiving aerosol generating procedures

Winslow, RL, Zhou, J, Windle, EF, Nur, I, Lall, R, Ji, C ORCID: 0000-0003-4919-3299, Millar, JE ORCID: 0000-0002-4853-9377, Dark, P ORCID: 0000-0003-3309-0164, Naisbitt, J, Simonds, A
et al (show 7 more authors) (2021) SARS-CoV-2 environmental contamination from hospitalised COVID-19 patients receiving aerosol generating procedures. medRxiv. 2021.07.04.21259945-.

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<h4>ABSTRACT</h4> <h4>Background</h4> Continuous positive airways pressure (CPAP) and high-flow nasal oxygen (HFNO) are considered ‘aerosol-generating procedures’ (AGPs) in the treatment of COVID-19. We aimed to measure air and surface environmental contamination of SARS-CoV-2 virus when CPAP and HFNO were used, compared with supplemental oxygen, to investigate the potential risks of viral transmission to healthcare workers and patients. <h4>Methods</h4> 30 hospitalised patients with COVID-19 requiring supplemental oxygen, with a fraction of inspired oxygen ≥0.4 to maintain oxygen saturations ≥94%, were prospectively enrolled into an observational environmental sampling study. Participants received either supplemental oxygen, CPAP or HFNO (n=10 in each group). A nasopharyngeal swab, three air and three surface samples were collected from each participant and the clinical environment. RT qPCR analyses were performed for viral and human RNA, and positive/suspected-positive samples were cultured for the presence of biologically viable virus. <h4>Results</h4> Overall 21/30 (70%) of participants tested positive for SARS-CoV-2 RNA in the nasopharynx. In contrast, only 4/90 (4%) and 6/90 (7%) of all air and surface samples tested positive (positive for E and ORF1a) for viral RNA respectively, although there were an additional 10 suspected-positive samples in both air and surfaces samples (positive for E or ORF1a). CPAP/HFNO use or coughing was not associated with significantly more environmental contamination. Only one nasopharyngeal sample was culture positive. <h4>Conclusions</h4> The use of CPAP and HFNO to treat moderate/severe COVID-19 was not associated with significantly higher levels of air or surface viral contamination in the immediate care environment.

Item Type: Article
Uncontrolled Keywords: Vaccine Related, Prevention, Infectious Diseases, Clinical Research, Lung, Emerging Infectious Diseases, Biodefense, Infection, 3 Good Health and Well Being
Divisions: Faculty of Health and Life Sciences
Faculty of Health and Life Sciences > Institute of Infection, Veterinary and Ecological Sciences
Depositing User: Symplectic Admin
Date Deposited: 22 Oct 2021 07:01
Last Modified: 15 Mar 2024 20:59
DOI: 10.1101/2021.07.04.21259945
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