First reported nosocomial SARS-CoV-2 outbreak in a hospital-based laundry facility

Miki Goldenfeld, Neta Zuckerman, Sharon Amit, Ilana Tal, Sabrina Hasson, Shiraz Gefen-Halevi, Asaf Biber, Orna Mor, Gili Regev-Yochay

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Nosocomial severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) outbreaks among health care workers have been scarcely reported so far. This report presents the results of an epidemiologic and molecular investigation of a SARS-CoV-2 outbreak among laundromat facility workers in a large tertiary centre in Israel. Following the first three reported cases of SARS-CoV-2 among laundromat workers, all 49 laundromat personnel were screened by qRT-PCR tests using naso- and oropharingeal swabs. Epidemiologic investigations included questionnaires, interviews and observations of the laundromat facility. Eleven viral RNA samples were then sequenced, and a phylogenetic analysis was performed using MEGAX. The integrated investigation defined three genetic clusters and helped identify the index cases and the assumed routes of transmission. It was then deduced that shared commute and public showers played a role in SARS-CoV-2 transmission in this outbreak, in addition to improper PPE use and social gatherings (such as social eating and drinking). In this study, we present an integrated epidemiologic and molecular investigation may help detect the routes of SARS-CoV-2 transmission, emphasising such routes that are less frequently discussed. Our work reinforces the notion that person-to-person transmission is more likely to cause infections than environmental contamination (e.g. from handling dirty laundry).

Original languageEnglish
Article number002016
JournalEpidemiology and Infection
Volume150
DOIs
StatePublished - 15 Sep 2022

Keywords

  • COVID-19
  • SARS-CoV-2
  • epidemiological investigation
  • health care workers
  • laundromat facility
  • next-generation sequencing

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