Nosocomial Infection Outbreak due to SARS-COV-2 in a Hospital Unit of Particularly Vulnerable Patients

Int J Med Sci. 2021 Mar 19;18(10):2146-2154. doi: 10.7150/ijms.53270. eCollection 2021.


Objectives: To report a COVID-19 outbreak among workers and inpatients at a medical ward for especially vulnerable patients. Methods: Descriptive study of a nosocomial COVID-19 outbreak registered in March-April 2020 at medical ward of onco-hematological patients in an Spanish hospital. Confirmed cases were hospitalized patients, healthcare and non-healthcare workers who tested positive by PCR on a nasopharyngeal swab. Results: Twenty-two COVID-19 cases (12 workers and 10 inpatients) were laboratory-confirmed. Initial cases were a healthcare provider and a visitor who tested positive. The median patients age was 73 years (range 62-88). The main reason of admission was haematological in 8 patients and oncologic in 2. All patients followed an immunosuppressive treatment, 5/10 with high-flow oxygen nebulizations. Five patients presented a moderate/serious evolution, and 5 patients died. The mean workers age was 42.1±10.9. One healthworker required Intensive Care Unit admission, and all of them recovered completely. Conclusions: In the hospital setting, close patients surveillance for SARS-CoV-2 is essential, especially in immunosuppressed patients. Replacing nebulizations or high-flow oxygen therapies, when other equivalent options were available, to reduce dispersion, and controlling ventilation ducts, together with hygiene measures and an active follow-up on inpatients, visitors and workers appear to be important in preventing nosocomial outbreaks.

Keywords: COVID-19; Coronavirus Infections; Disease outbreaks; Health personnel; Infectious Disease Transmission, Professional-to-Patient.; Infectious Disesase Transmission, Patient-to-Professional.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • COVID-19 / epidemiology*
  • COVID-19 / mortality
  • Cross Infection / epidemiology*
  • Disease Outbreaks
  • Female
  • Health Personnel
  • Hematologic Diseases / therapy
  • Hospital Units
  • Humans
  • Immunocompromised Host
  • Infection Control / methods*
  • Inpatients
  • Intensive Care Units
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Nebulizers and Vaporizers
  • Spain