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Universal Admission Screening for SARS-CoV-2 Infections among Hospitalized Patients, Switzerland, 2020


Scheier, Thomas; Schibli, Adrian; Eich, Geri; Rüegg, Christian; Kube, Frank; Schmid, Adrian; Karrer, Urs; Wolfensberger, Aline; Sax, Hugo; Schreiber, Peter W (2021). Universal Admission Screening for SARS-CoV-2 Infections among Hospitalized Patients, Switzerland, 2020. Emerging Infectious Diseases, 27(2):404-410.

Abstract

Switzerland began a national lockdown on March 16, 2020, in response to the rapid spread of severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2). We assessed the prevalence of SARS-CoV-2 infection among patients admitted to 4 hospitals in the canton of Zurich, Switzerland, in April 2020. These 4 acute care hospitals screened 2,807 patients, including 2,278 (81.2%) who did not have symptoms of coronavirus disease (COVID-19). Overall, 529 (18.8%) persons had >1 symptom of COVID-19, of whom 60 (11.3%) tested positive for SARS-CoV-2. Eight asymptomatic persons (0.4%) also tested positive for SARS-CoV-2. Our findings indicate that screening on the basis of COVID-19 symptoms, regardless of clinical suspicion, can identify most SARS-CoV-2-positive persons in a low-prevalence setting.

Keywords: 2019 novel coronavirus disease; COVID-19; PCR; SARS-CoV-2; Switzerland; asymptomatic transmission; coronavirus; coronavirus disease; diagnosis; emerging infections; epidemiology; respiratory infections; screening; severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2; testing; viruses; zoonoses.

Abstract

Switzerland began a national lockdown on March 16, 2020, in response to the rapid spread of severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2). We assessed the prevalence of SARS-CoV-2 infection among patients admitted to 4 hospitals in the canton of Zurich, Switzerland, in April 2020. These 4 acute care hospitals screened 2,807 patients, including 2,278 (81.2%) who did not have symptoms of coronavirus disease (COVID-19). Overall, 529 (18.8%) persons had >1 symptom of COVID-19, of whom 60 (11.3%) tested positive for SARS-CoV-2. Eight asymptomatic persons (0.4%) also tested positive for SARS-CoV-2. Our findings indicate that screening on the basis of COVID-19 symptoms, regardless of clinical suspicion, can identify most SARS-CoV-2-positive persons in a low-prevalence setting.

Keywords: 2019 novel coronavirus disease; COVID-19; PCR; SARS-CoV-2; Switzerland; asymptomatic transmission; coronavirus; coronavirus disease; diagnosis; emerging infections; epidemiology; respiratory infections; screening; severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2; testing; viruses; zoonoses.

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Additional indexing

Item Type:Journal Article, refereed, original work
Communities & Collections:04 Faculty of Medicine > University Hospital Zurich > Clinic for Infectious Diseases
Dewey Decimal Classification:610 Medicine & health
Scopus Subject Areas:Health Sciences > Epidemiology
Health Sciences > Microbiology (medical)
Health Sciences > Infectious Diseases
Language:English
Date:4 January 2021
Deposited On:14 Oct 2021 06:38
Last Modified:25 Jun 2024 01:45
Publisher:U.S. National Center for Infectious Diseases
ISSN:1080-6040
OA Status:Gold
Free access at:PubMed ID. An embargo period may apply.
Publisher DOI:https://doi.org/10.3201/eid2702.202318
PubMed ID:33395382
  • Content: Published Version
  • Licence: Creative Commons: Attribution 4.0 International (CC BY 4.0)