Repeated transmission of SARS-CoV-2 in an overcrowded Irish emergency department elucidated by whole-genome sequencing.
IAQS wants to highlight this interesting article which describes an investigation, using whole-genome sequencing, of the transmission of SARS-CoV-2 on two wards leading back to the Emergency Department (ED). Although the ED had good ventilation and single rooms patients had still acquired Covid-19 infection in the ED leading the authors to conclude that airborne transmission had occurred on more than one occasion.
Full reference of article: Hare D, Meaney C, Powell J et al. (2022) Repeated transmission of SARS-CoV-2 in an overcrowded Irish emergency department elucidated by whole-genome sequencing. Journal of Hospital Infection 126:1-9
The article in bullet points : what you need to know
- Hospital acquired Covid-19 was frequently observed.
- The hospital had seen an unprecedented number of admissions to ED during the third wave of SARS-CoV-2 resulting in the patients waiting in corridors when hospital capacity was exceeded.
- Investigations included the use of whole genome sequencing (WGS) to link the cases to one ED zone.
- The ED was modern with mechanical ventilation and a good number of single rooms but despite this transmission had still occurred.
- Investigations found transmission had occurred between two patients that were 4 metres apart whilst waiting on trolleys in an overcrowded corridor in ED.
- The authors’ suggested transmission was airborne in two linked cases as there had been a two-hour window between one patient leaving a single room and the next patient occupying the room.
- Prevention of SARS-CoV-2 is critical for both patient and staff safety.
- Conclusions cited by the authors stated that cross-transmission of SARS-CoV-2 occurred repeatedly in an overcrowded emergency department.