COVID-19 Hotspots Identified In Hospital Wards

Various surfaces in the hospital are a known cause of nosocomial spread as they can be contaminated with many microbes. A study published in the journal Science of the Total Environment revealed that the COVID-19 spread within healthcare facilities can be monitored rapidly using a loop-mediated isothermal amplification method (LAMP).

The LAMP method brings down the detection time to 45 minutes. In this study, the researchers collected 31 samples from different wards, which also housed COVID-19 patients before daily cleaning. The LAMP kit used the N gene for detection. The researchers added the sample elution into a simple reaction mix preparation instead of RNA extraction. The detection kit integrates the RNA releasing agents, which speeds the overall process. The samples were collected from seven surfaces.

The results showed that over 70% of the surfaces tested were contaminated by COVID-19. The most contaminated samples were from the ECG fingertip followed by the bedrail. Other common sources of contamination were room cupboard and beeper. The correlation between sampling sites was identified and it was concluded that if the bedrail was positive for contamination then most likely the cupboard was likely to be positive as well.

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