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Tracing Asymptomatic SARS-CoV-2 Carriers Among 3674 Hospital Staff

24 Pages Posted: 12 May 2020

See all articles by Fuling Zhou

Fuling Zhou

Wuhan University - Department of Hematology

Jingfeng Li

Wuhan University - Department of Orthopedics

Mengxin Lu

Wuhan University - Department of Urology; Wuhan University - Center for Evidence-Based and Translational Medicine

Xiaobin Zhu

Wuhan University - Zhongnan Hospital

Chao Hu

Wuhan University - Department of Orthopedics

Xiaoyan Liu

Wuhan University - Department of Hematology

Yunbao Pan

Wuhan University - Department of Laboratory Medicine

Sanyun Wu

Wuhan University - Department of Hematology

Liangjun Chen

Wuhan University - Department of Laboratory Medicine

Yi Wang

Wuhan University - Department of Orthopedics

Yongchang Wei

Wuhan University - Department of Radiation and Medical Oncology

Yirong Li

Wuhan University - Department of Laboratory Medicine

Haibo Xu

Wuhan University - Department of Radiology

Xinghuan Wang

Wuhan University - Department of Urology; Wuhan University - Center for Evidence-Based and Translational Medicine; Wuhan University - Medical Research Institute

Lin Cai

Wuhan University - Department of Orthopedics

More...

Abstract

Background: Asymptomatic carriers were positive for severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) without developing symptoms, which might be a potential source of infection outbreak. Now factories and enterprises in Wuhan are gradually resuming production. The asymptomatic infected population should be paid more attention to reduce the possibility of novel coronavirus disease (COVID-19) second outbreak.

Methods: In our hospital, 3674 hospital staff have received throat swab RT-PCR test, plasma COVID-19 IgM/IgG antibodies test and chest CT examination. We analyzed the correlation between infection rates and gender, age, job position, work place and COVID-19 knowledge training of the staff. After that, all asymptomatic staff were re-examined weekly for 3 weeks.

Findings: In this single-center case series involving 126 hospital staff with abnormal findings, the proportion of asymptomatic infection accounted for 0.76% (28/3674). IgM antibody was detected in 26 cases, and IgG antibody in 73 cases. The lung CT images showed typical findings with ground-glass in 40 cases. Of all staff with abnormal findings, the older they are, the more likely they are to be the staff with abnormal results, regardless of their gender. Of 3674 hospital staff, the positive rate of labor staff is obviously higher than that of health care workers (HCWs) and administrative staff (P <0.05). In the course of participating in the treatment of COVID-19, there was no statistically significant difference in positive rates between high-risk departments and low-risk departments (P >0.05). The positive rate of HCWs who participated in the COVID-19 knowledge training was lower than those did not participate in early training (P <0.01). Importantly, it was found that there was no statistical difference between the titers of IgM antibody of asymptomatic infections and confirmed patients with COVID-19 in recovery period (P >0.05). During 3 weeks follow-up, all asymptomatic patients did not present the development of clinical symptoms or radiographic abnormalities after active intervention in isolation point.

Interpretation: To ensure the safety of resumption of work, institutions should conduct COVID-19 prevention training for staff and screening for asymptomatic patients, and take quarantine measures as soon as possible in areas with high density of population.

Funding Statement: This work was supported by the Key Project for Anti-2019 novel Coronavirus Pneumonia from the Ministry of Science and Technology, China (grant number 2020YFC0845500), and Wuhan Emergency Technology Project of COVID-19 epidemic, China (grant number 2020020201010013).

Declaration of Interests: The authors declare no competing interests.

Ethics Approval Statement: The study was approved by the institutional ethics board at Zhongnan Hospital of Wuhan University (No. 2020074) and all participants signed their consent.

Keywords: SARS-CoV-2; COVID-19; hospital staff; asymptomatic; tracing

Suggested Citation

Zhou, Fuling and Li, Jingfeng and Lu, Mengxin and Lu, Mengxin and Zhu, Xiaobin and Hu, Chao and Liu, Xiaoyan and Pan, Yunbao and Wu, Sanyun and Chen, Liangjun and Wang, Yi and Wei, Yongchang and Li, Yirong and Xu, Haibo and Wang, Xinghuan and Wang, Xinghuan and Cai, Lin, Tracing Asymptomatic SARS-CoV-2 Carriers Among 3674 Hospital Staff (4/19/2020). Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3582765 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.3582765

Fuling Zhou (Contact Author)

Wuhan University - Department of Hematology ( email )

China

Jingfeng Li

Wuhan University - Department of Orthopedics

Wuhan, 430071
China

Mengxin Lu

Wuhan University - Center for Evidence-Based and Translational Medicine

China

Wuhan University - Department of Urology

China

Xiaobin Zhu

Wuhan University - Zhongnan Hospital ( email )

Wuhan
China

Chao Hu

Wuhan University - Department of Orthopedics

Wuhan, 430071
China

Xiaoyan Liu

Wuhan University - Department of Hematology

China

Yunbao Pan

Wuhan University - Department of Laboratory Medicine

Wuhan, 430071
China

Sanyun Wu

Wuhan University - Department of Hematology

China

Liangjun Chen

Wuhan University - Department of Laboratory Medicine

Wuhan, 430071
China

Yi Wang

Wuhan University - Department of Orthopedics

Wuhan, 430071
China

Yongchang Wei

Wuhan University - Department of Radiation and Medical Oncology

Wuhan
China

Yirong Li

Wuhan University - Department of Laboratory Medicine ( email )

Wuhan, 430071
China

Haibo Xu

Wuhan University - Department of Radiology ( email )

China

Xinghuan Wang

Wuhan University - Center for Evidence-Based and Translational Medicine ( email )

China

Wuhan University - Department of Urology ( email )

China

Wuhan University - Medical Research Institute ( email )

Wuhan
China

Lin Cai

Wuhan University - Department of Orthopedics ( email )

Wuhan, 430071
China
+862767813073 (Phone)

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