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Publication Detail
Measures to prevent nosocomial transmissions of COVID-19 based on interpersonal contact data
  • Publication Type:
    Journal article
  • Authors:
    Cheng T, Liu J, Liu Y, Zhang X, Gao X
  • Publisher:
    Cambridge University Press (CUP)
  • Publication date:
  • Journal:
    Primary Health Care Research & Development
  • Volume:
  • Article number:
  • Medium:
  • Status:
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  • Keywords:
    COVID-19, SEIR model, control measures, interpersonal contacts, medical staff, nosocomial transmission
  • Notes:
    This is an Open Access article, distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution licence (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/), which permits unrestricted re-use, distribution and reproduction, provided the original article is properly cited.
BACKGROUND: With the global spreading of Coronavirus disease (COVID-19), many primary care medical workers have been infected, particularly in the early stages of this pandemic. Although extensive studies have explored the COVID-19 transmission patterns and (non-) pharmaceutical intervention to protect the general public, limited research has analysed the measures to prevent nosocomial transmission based upon detailed interpersonal contacts between medical staff and patients. AIM: This paper aims to develop and evaluate proactive prevention measures to contain the nosocomial transmission of COVID-19. The specific objectives are (1) to understand the virus transmission via interpersonal contacts among medical staff and patients; (2) to define proactive measures to reduce the risk of infection of medical staff and (3) evaluate the effectiveness of these measures to control the COVID-19 epidemic in hospitals. METHODS: We observed the operation of a typical primary hospital in China to understand the interpersonal contacts among medical staff and patients. We defined effective distance as the indicator for risk of transmission. Then three proactive measures were proposed based upon the observations, including a medical staff rotation system, the establishment of a separate fever clinic and medical staff working alone. Finally, the impacts of these measures are evaluated with a modified Susceptible-Exposure-Infected-Removed model accommodating the situation of hospitals and asymptomatic and latent infection of COVID-19. The case study was conducted with the hospital observed in December 2019 and February 2020. FINDINGS: The implementation of the medical staff rotation system has the most significant impact on containing the epidemic. The establishment of a separate fever clinic and medical staff working alone also benefits from inhibiting the epidemic outbreak. The simulation finds that if effective prevention and control measures are not taken in time, it will lead to a surge of infection cases in all asymptomatic probabilities and incubation periods.
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