Environmental contamination risk from asymptomatic SARS-CoV-2 infection

Posted

29th June 2020

Research

There is emerging evidence that contaminated surfaces play a role in the transmission of the SARS-CoV-2 virus that causes COVID-19.

This is in line with the diverse transmission routes of other respiratory viruses such as SARS-CoV-1 and influenza. One of the key features of SARS-CoV-2 is the documented spread from people with asymptomatic and pre-symptomatic infection. A new study has identified contamination with SARS-CoV-2 surrounding patients with asymptomatic infection.

Environmental sampling was performed around 13 patients with laboratory confirmed SARS-CoV-2 infection. 11 patients had mild symptoms, two patients had no symptoms at all. A total of 44 of 112 (39.3%) surface samples were positive for SARS-CoV-2 by RT-PCR, and air samples were negative. Importantly, four surfaces in the room of a patient without symptoms were found to be contaminated with SARS-CoV-2 RNA. The research team did not attempt to culture SARS-CoV-2 from the surfaces, so it is not clear whether the RNA is from viable virus.

This small but important study illustrates the risk of surface contamination from patients with mild and asymptomatic SARS-CoV-2 infection. It also seems likely that staff with asymptomatic infection will also be contaminating their environment, which creates the risk of contact transmission to patients and other staff. These findings reinforce the need for enhanced cleaning and disinfection during the of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Share this article

Tags

Latest News

Company news
Cleaning-Heroes-Landing-Page-Hero-Banner-5.jpg

We're searching for the UK's Clinell Cleaning Hero…

Do you know someone that's gone above and beyond to keep a workpl…

Research
04.02.2021-Vaccine-Questions-2.jpg

Top 5 coronavirus vaccine FAQs answered

In this week's article, GAMA's IPC experts set the record straigh…

Research
Asymptomatic transmission blog.jpg

Is asymptomatic transmission the major driver of t…

In this week's research article, we discuss whether asymptomatic …

Company news
Richard McMahon-Banner-01.jpg

Welcoming our new Chief Quality and Regulatory Off…

We sat down virtually with GAMA Healthcare's new Chief Quality an…

Research
coronavirus

The SARS-CoV-2 variant: a briefing

Recently, it has become clear that a new variant of SARS-CoV-2 (t…

Research
blog-banner-cleaning_2-01.jpg

How to clean your home to prevent the spread of CO…

Due to the new strain of the COVID-19 virus, many of us are facin…

Research
22.12.2020-HSE-Guidance-3.jpg

Creating a COVID-secure workplace: new guidance fr…

Employers need to create a COVID-secure workplace. With some indu…

Research
What you need to know about the UK’s COVID-19 vaccine_2.jpg

What you need to know about the UK’s COVID-19 vacc…

With the UK rolling out the new COVID-19 vaccine, we've put toget…