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Article

COVID-19 Outbreak at a Geriatric Rehabilitation Facility: The Silent Threat of Asymptomatic Patients with High Viral Loads

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Service of Geriatric Medicine and Geriatric Rehabilitation, Lausanne University Hospital and University of Lausanne, 1011 Lausanne, Switzerland
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Service of Hospital Preventive Medicine, Lausanne University Hospital and University of Lausanne, 1011 Lausanne, Switzerland
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Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editors: Jonathan Hewitt and Phyo Kyaw Myint
Geriatrics 2021, 6(4), 95; https://doi.org/10.3390/geriatrics6040095
Received: 31 August 2021 / Revised: 22 September 2021 / Accepted: 24 September 2021 / Published: 30 September 2021
(This article belongs to the Special Issue SARS-CoV-2 Infections in the Elderly—Series 2)
Data about outbreaks of nosocomial COVID-19 disease within geriatric rehabilitation facilities are scarce. In this retrospective case series analysis, we describe such an outbreak, determine the proportion of a-/presymptomatic patients, the median time before symptom onset among presymptomatic patients and investigate whether the viral load differs between patients with and without symptoms. Typical and atypical symptoms were retrieved from the electronic medical records of patients who tested positive for COVID-19 disease during their stay at a 95-bed geriatric rehabilitation facility. The viral load at the time of diagnosis was estimated on cycle threshold values of the rRT-PCR test. Overall, 34 patients (median age, 87 years; range, 66–98; 67% female) tested positive for SARS-CoV-2. During the same period, 19 health care workers were also diagnosed with COVID-19. Among the 27 patients who provided consent, 20 (74%) were symptomatic at the time of testing. Among the remaining seven patients, six developed symptoms after a median of 2 days. A viral load > 106 copies/mL was observed in 20 out of the 27 patients, including five out of the seven initially asymptomatic patients. The rapid transmission of SARS-CoV-2 and the prevalence of initially asymptomatic patients with high viral loads support an extended screening strategy at such facilities. View Full-Text
Keywords: SARS-CoV-2; COVID-19; older persons; nosocomial infections; rehabilitation facility; viral load SARS-CoV-2; COVID-19; older persons; nosocomial infections; rehabilitation facility; viral load
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MDPI and ACS Style

Putallaz, P.; Senn, L.; Bosshard, W.; Büla, C.J. COVID-19 Outbreak at a Geriatric Rehabilitation Facility: The Silent Threat of Asymptomatic Patients with High Viral Loads. Geriatrics 2021, 6, 95. https://doi.org/10.3390/geriatrics6040095

AMA Style

Putallaz P, Senn L, Bosshard W, Büla CJ. COVID-19 Outbreak at a Geriatric Rehabilitation Facility: The Silent Threat of Asymptomatic Patients with High Viral Loads. Geriatrics. 2021; 6(4):95. https://doi.org/10.3390/geriatrics6040095

Chicago/Turabian Style

Putallaz, Pauline, Laurence Senn, Wanda Bosshard, and Christophe J. Büla. 2021. "COVID-19 Outbreak at a Geriatric Rehabilitation Facility: The Silent Threat of Asymptomatic Patients with High Viral Loads" Geriatrics 6, no. 4: 95. https://doi.org/10.3390/geriatrics6040095

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