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Air and Environmental Contamination Caused by COVID-19 Patients: a Multi-Center Study.

Authors
  • Kim, Uh Jin1
  • Lee, Seung Yeob2
  • Lee, Ji Yeon3
  • Lee, Ahrang1
  • Kim, Seung Eun1
  • Choi, Ok Ja4
  • Lee, Ji Suk4
  • Kee, Seung Jung5
  • Jang, Hee Chang6
  • 1 Department of Infectious Diseases, Chonnam National University Medical School, Gwangju, Korea. , (North Korea)
  • 2 Department of Laboratory Medicine, Chonnam National University Medical School, Gwangju, Korea. , (North Korea)
  • 3 Department of Infectious Disease, Keimyung University Dongsan Hospital, Daegu, Korea. , (North Korea)
  • 4 Office for Infection Control, Chonnam National University Hwasun Hospital, Hwasun, Korea. , (North Korea)
  • 5 Department of Laboratory Medicine, Chonnam National University Medical School, Gwangju, Korea. [email protected] , (North Korea)
  • 6 Department of Infectious Diseases, Chonnam National University Medical School, Gwangju, Korea. [email protected] , (North Korea)
Type
Published Article
Journal
Journal of Korean medical science
Publication Date
Sep 21, 2020
Volume
35
Issue
37
Identifiers
DOI: 10.3346/jkms.2020.35.e332
PMID: 32959546
Source
Medline
Keywords
Language
English
License
Unknown

Abstract

The purpose of this study was to determine the extent of air and surface contamination of severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus-2 (SARS-CoV-2) in four health care facilities with hospitalized coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) patients. We investigated air and environmental contamination in the rooms of eight COVID-19 patients in four hospitals. Some patients were in negative-pressure rooms, and others were not. None had undergone aerosol-generating procedures. On days 0, 3, 5, and 7 of hospitalization, the surfaces in the rooms and anterooms were swabbed, and air samples were collected 2 m from the patient and from the anterooms. All 52 air samples were negative for SARS-CoV-2 RNA. Widespread surface contamination of SARS-CoV-2 RNA was observed. In total, 89 of 320 (27%) environmental surface samples were positive for SARS-CoV-2 RNA. Surface contamination of SARS-CoV-2 RNA was common in rooms without surface disinfection and in rooms sprayed with disinfectant twice a day. However, SARS-CoV-2 RNA was not detected in a room cleaned with disinfectant wipes on a regular basis. Our data suggest that remote (> 2 m) airborne transmission of SARS-CoV-2 from hospitalized COVID-19 patients is uncommon when aerosol-generating procedures have not been performed. Surface contamination was widespread, except in a room routinely cleaned with disinfectant wipes. © 2020 The Korean Academy of Medical Sciences.

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