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SARS-CoV-2 Exposure from Health Care Workers to Infants: Effects and OutcomesFunding None.
Objective This study aimed to evaluate the risk and outcomes of severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) transmission from positive health care workers (HCW) to infants in the neonatal intensive care unit (NICU) and the postnatal ward.
Study Design We conducted a retrospective analysis of infants in NICU and the postnatal ward postexposure to a COVID-19 positive HCW between May 1 and July 31, 2020. HCW had the detection of SARS-CoV-2 after being symptomatic. Infants exposed to these HCW were tested for SARS-CoV-2 and were classified as confirmed positive when test was positive 24 hours after exposure; confirmed negative when test was negative with no escalation of respiratory support provided; and probable if test was negative. However, infant required escalation of respiratory support. Infants were followed at 14 days postexposure then at the end of the study period for admitted infants.
Results A total of 31 infants were exposed to SARS-CoV-2 positive HCWs (42 exposure incidences). The median age at exposure was 21 days. None of the infants was confirmed positive. Nine infants were classified as probable cases of whom five infants with underlying chronic illnesses died, two were discharged home, and two were still admitted. Of the 22 confirmed negative cases, 15 were discharged and were well on follow-up, and 7 were still admitted.
Conclusion No active transmission of infection from infected HCW to admitted infants was identified. Although some infants had respiratory escalation postexposure none were confirmed positive. Adhering to personal protective equipment by HCW or low susceptibility of infants to SARS-CoV-2 infection may explain the lack of transmission.
There are no reported cases of transmission of SARS-CoV-2 infection from infected HCW to infants admitted to the NICU in our study.
Adherence to personnel protective equipment is important to prevent transmission of SARS-CoV-2
When an infant is exposed to a HCW who is positive for SARS-CoV-2 and has escalation of respiratory support, SARS-CoV-2 as a cause should be investigated
This study is under the registry's name, (King Saud University Medical City) registration number (20/0613/IRB) (E-20–5130), and data sharing statement (all available data can be obtained by contacting the corresponding author).
De-identified individual participant data (including data dictionaries) will be made available, in addition to study protocols, the statistical analysis plan, and the informed consent form. The data will be made available upon publication to researchers who provide a methodologically sound proposal for use in achieving the goals of the approved proposal. Proposals should be submitted to ([email protected]), 00966–50–5480202.
L.A.S. conceptualized and designed the study, drafted the initial manuscript, and reviewed and revised the manuscript. A.A.H. and S.A.H. designed the data collection instruments, collected data, performed the initial analyses, and reviewed and revised the manuscript. S.A.H. and P.S.S. conceptualized and designed the study, coordinated and supervised data collection, and critically reviewed the manuscript for important intellectual content. All authors approved the final manuscript as submitted and agree to be accountable for all aspects of the work.
Received: 14 January 2021
Accepted: 08 July 2021
27 August 2021 (online)
© 2021. The Author(s). This is an open access article published by Thieme under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution-NonDerivative-NonCommercial License, permitting copying and reproduction so long as the original work is given appropriate credit. Contents may not be used for commercial purposes, or adapted, remixed, transformed or built upon. (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-nd/4.0/)
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