Skip to main page content
Access keys NCBI Homepage MyNCBI Homepage Main Content Main Navigation
. 2020 May 15;1-11.
doi: 10.1017/ice.2020.237. Online ahead of print.

Current Knowledge of COVID-19 and Infection Prevention and Control Strategies in Healthcare Settings: A Global Analysis

Affiliations
Free PMC article

Current Knowledge of COVID-19 and Infection Prevention and Control Strategies in Healthcare Settings: A Global Analysis

M Saiful Islam et al. Infect Control Hosp Epidemiol. .
Free PMC article

Abstract

Objective: In the current absence of a vaccine for COVID-19, public health responses aim to break the chain of infection by focusing on the mode of transmission. We reviewed the current evidence on the transmission dynamics and on pathogenic and clinical features of COVID-19 to critically identify any gaps in the current infection prevention and control (IPC) guidelines.

Methods: In this study, we reviewed global COVID-19 IPC guidelines by organizations such as the World Health Organization (WHO), the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), and the European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control (ECDC). Guidelines from 2 high-income countries (Australia and United Kingdom) and from 1 middle-income country (China) were also reviewed. We searched publications in English on 'PubMed' and Google Scholar. We extracted information related to COVID-19 transmission dynamics, clinical presentations, and exposures that may facilitate transmission. We then compared these findings with the recommended IPC measures.

Results: Nosocomial transmission of SARS-CoV-2 in healthcare settings occurs through droplets, aerosols, and the oral-fecal or fecal-droplet route. However, the IPC guidelines fail to cover all transmission modes, and the recommendations also conflict with each other. Most guidelines recommend surgical masks for healthcare providers during routine care and N95 respirators for aerosol-generating procedures. However, recommendations regarding the type of face mask varied, and the CDC recommends cloth masks when surgical masks are unavailable.

Conclusion: IPC strategies should consider all the possible routes of transmission and should target all patient care activities involving risk of person-to-person transmission. This review may assist international health agencies in updating their guidelines.

Similar articles

See all similar articles

References

    1. Hui DS, Memish ZA, Zumla Z. Severe acute respiratory syndrome vs. the Middle East respiratory syndrome. Curr Opin Pulm Med 2014;20:233–241. - PubMed
    1. Peiris JS, Yuen KY, Osterhaus AD, Stöhr K. The severe acute respiratory syndrome. N Engl J Med 2003;349:2431–2441. - PubMed
    1. Varia M, Wilson S, Sarwal S, et al. Investigation of a nosocomial outbreak of severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS) in Toronto, Canada. CMAJ 2003;169:285–292. - PMC - PubMed
    1. Oh M-D, Park WB, Park SW, et al. Middle East respiratory syndrome: what we learned from the 2015 outbreak in the Republic of Korea. Korean J Intern Med 2018;33:233–246. - PMC - PubMed
    1. Lee N, Hui D, Wu A, et al. A major outbreak of severe acute respiratory syndrome in Hong Kong. N Engl J Med 2003;348:1986–1994. - PubMed
Feedback