Current Evidence And Recommendations On Transmission Of Covid-19 Among Healthcare Workers

Current Evidence And Recommendations On Transmission Of Covid-19 Among Healthcare Workers

CMDA Nigeria Expert Opinion Series 1.01
A CMDA Nigeria commentary on emerging issues

COVID-19 Response 01: CURRENT EVIDENCE AND RECOMMENDATIONS ON TRANSMISSION OF COVID-19 AMONG HEALTHCARE WORKERS

Background

Knowledge about the mode of transmission of SARS-CoV-2 is still evolving. So far available evidence shows that SARS-Cov-2 transmission is primarily through respiratory droplets and fomites. However airborne transmission is possible up to three hours after medical procedures that could aerosolize infected fluids.1–3

These medical procedures include “endotracheal  intubation, bronchoscopy,  open  suctioning,  nasal endoscopies, nasal septal cautery, nasogastric intubation, administration  of  nebulized  treatment,  manual  ventilation  before  intubation, turning  the  patient  to  the  prone  position,  disconnecting  the  patient  from  the  ventilator,  non-invasive  positive pressure  ventilation,  tracheostomy, change of tracheostomy tube, suctioning of tracheotomy and endotracheal tubes  and  cardiopulmonary  resuscitation”.3

There is no concrete evidence currently showing airborne transmission is possible outside these scenarios.

Recommendation

Based on evidence, it is advisable that procedures with the potential of producing aerosols as itemized above be done only in situations where there are no alternatives. However, health workers engaging in any procedure that may generate aerosols, must use proper personal protective equipment (PPE) e.g N95 respirator masks, etc.

Staffing schedules should also be adjusted to accommodate the minimum number needed per time. This will help avoid unnecessary exposure to risk.

The above recommendations will be updated as evidence emerges.

While the value of science is appreciated, we firmly believe the progression of the epidemic can be altered at any phase through prayers.

Reference:

  1. van Doremalen N, Bushmaker T, Morris DH, Holbrook MG, Gamble A, Williamson BN, et al. Aerosol and Surface Stability of SARS-CoV-2 as Compared with SARS-CoV-1. N Engl J Med [Internet]. 2020 Mar 17; Available from: https://doi.org/10.1056/NEJMc2004973
  2. Shiu EYC, Leung NHL, Cowling BJ. Controversy around airborne versus droplet transmission of respiratory viruses: Implication for infection prevention. Vol. 32, Current Opinion in Infectious Diseases. 2019. p. 372–9.
  3. World Health Organisation. Modes of transmission of virus causing COVID-19: Implications for IPC precaution recommendations: Scientific brief. Geneva; 2020.

4th April, 2020

This Post Has 3 Comments

  1. Ayegba Ebikwo

    No Dental procedure was mentioned here.

    1. Editor-in-Chief

      Noted with thanks.
      It shall be updated.

  2. Taiwo Kotila

    The rule of thumb should be that procedures that are not to prevent life threatening situations should be put on hold for now.

Comments are closed.