The majority of SARS-CoV-2 transmissions originates from either asymptomatic or presymptomatic individuals. To prevent unnoticed introduction of SARS-CoV-2, many hospitals have implemented universal admission screening during the COVID-19 pandemic. The present study aimed to investigate associations between results of an universal SARS-CoV-2 admission screening and public SARS-CoV-2 incidence. Over a study period of 44 weeks, all patients admitted to a large tertiary care hospital were tested for SARS-CoV-2 by polymerase chain reaction. SARS-CoV-2 positive patients were retrospectively categorized as symptomatic or asymptomatic at admission. Cantonal data were used to calculate weekly incidence rates per 100,000 inhabitants. We used regression models for count data to assess the association of the weekly cantonal incidence rate and the proportion of positive SARS-CoV-2 tests in the canton with (a) the proportion of SARS-CoV-2 positive individuals and (b) the proportion of asymptomatic SARS-CoV-2 infected individuals identified in universal admission screening, respectively. In a 44-week period, a total of 21,508 admission screenings were performed. SARS-CoV-2 PCR was positive in 643 (3.0%) individuals. In 97 (15.0%) individuals, the positive PCR reflected residual viral replication after recent COVID-19, 469 (72.9%) individuals had COVID-19 symptoms and 77 (12.0%) SARS-CoV-2 positive individuals were asymptomatic. Cantonal incidence correlated with the proportion of SARS-CoV-2 positive individuals [rate ratio (RR): 2.03 per 100 point increase of weekly incidence rate, 95%CI 1.92–2.14] and the proportion of asymptomatic SARS-CoV-2 positive individuals (RR: 2.40 per 100 point increase of weekly incidence rate, 95%CI 2.03–2.82). The highest correlation between dynamics in cantonal incidence and results of admission screening was observed at a lag time of one week. Similarly, the proportion of positive SARS-CoV-2 tests in the canton of Zurich correlated with the proportion of SARS-CoV-2 positive individuals (RR: 2.86 per log increase in the proportion of positive SARS-CoV-2 tests in the canton, 95%CI 2.56–3.19) and the proportion of asymptomatic SARS-CoV-2 positive individuals (RR: 6.50 per log increase in the proportion of positive SARS-CoV-2 tests in the canton, 95%CI 3.93–10.75) in admission screening. Around 0.36% of admission screenings were positive in asymptomatic patients. Admission screening results paralleled changes in population incidence with a brief lag.
Fuente: Scientific Reports
Published: 05 May 2023