Containment of a Large SARS-CoV-2 Outbreak Among Healthcare Workers in a Pediatric Intensive Care Unit.Pediatr Infect Dis J. 2020 11; 39(11):e336-e339.PI
Healthcare workers (HCWs) are particularly exposed SARS-CoV-2 because they are critical in preventing viral transmission and treating COVID-19 patients. Within HCWs, personnel of intensive care units (ICUs) are at the forefront of treating patients with a severe course of COVID-19 infection and therefore represent an extremely vulnerable group. Thus, our objective is to contribute to establish means of infection control protecting HCWs in the frontline of the current pandemic.
An outbreak of SARS-CoV-2 was detected and contained in a pediatric ICU (PICU). The first positive case was identified with a point-of-care diagnostic system on site. Real-time PCR-based testing systems from self-collected nasopharyngeal samples swabs were used to test for viral RNA of SARS-CoV-2 in the follow-up.
PICU within a tertiary university hospital in Germany.
Healthcare workers of the PICU.
Positive HCWs were sent into quarantine. Containment measures were implemented including wearing of surgical-masks, physical distancing and systematic testing.
Among 432 HCWs, 91 (25%) were tested. Forty-five percent reported symptoms corresponding to characteristics of COVID-19. Of those, only 19,5% (8 HCWs) were tested positive for SARS-CoV-2. No infection occurred outside the PICU. After the implementation of containment measures, viral transmission was stopped.
In the present study, a large outbreak within a team of healthcare workers of a PICU, affecting almost one fifth of the entire personnel is documented, along with detailed insights about how the outbreak was contained and how operability of the unit was maintained.