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Genomic epidemiology of COVID-19 in care homes in the east of England.

  • Hamilton, William L
  • Tonkin-Hill, Gerry
  • Smith, Emily R
  • Aggarwal, Dinesh
  • Houldcroft, Charlotte
  • Warne, Ben
  • Meredith, Luke W
  • Hosmillo, Myra
  • Jahun, Aminu
  • Curran, Martin D
  • Parmar, Surendra
  • Caller, Laura G
  • Caddy, Sarah
  • Khokhar, Fahad
  • Yakovleva, Anna
  • Hall, Grant
  • Feltwell, Theresa
  • Pinckert, Malte L
  • Georgana, Iliana
  • Chaudhry, Yasmin
  • And 17 more
Publication Date
Mar 02, 2021
Apollo - University of Cambridge Repository
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COVID-19 poses a major challenge to care homes, as SARS-CoV-2 is readily transmitted and causes disproportionately severe disease in older people. Here, 1,167 residents from 337 care homes were identified from a dataset of 6,600 COVID-19 cases from the East of England. Older age and being a care home resident were associated with increased mortality. SARS-CoV-2 genomes were available for 700 residents from 292 care homes. By integrating genomic and temporal data, 409 viral clusters within the 292 homes were identified, indicating two different patterns - outbreaks among care home residents and independent introductions with limited onward transmission. Approximately 70% of residents in the genomic analysis were admitted to hospital during the study, providing extensive opportunities for transmission between care homes and hospitals. Limiting viral transmission within care homes should be a key target for infection control to reduce COVID-19 mortality in this population.

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