Objectives: Healthcare workers (HCWs), especially those working on the front line, are considered to be at high risk of nosocomial acquisition of the severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2), the virus that causes coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19). Little is known about the effectiveness of the recommended protective methods as few reports have described spread of the disease in hospital settings among this high-risk population . We describe the hospital-based transmission of SARS-CoV-2 related to non-invasive ventilation (NIV) in one of the main tertiary care hospitals in Oman .
Methods: All exposed patients and HCWs from Royal Hospital were screened, quarantined, and underwent telephone interviews to stratify their risk factors, clinical symptoms, and exposure risk assessment .
Results: A total of 46 HCWs and patients tested positive for SARS-CoV-2 after exposure to an index case who received 48 hours of NIV before diagnosing COVID-19 infection . Over half of the exposed (56.5% ; n = 26) were nurses , 26.1% (n = 12) were patients, and 15.2% (n = 7) were doctors . None of the HCWs required hospitalization . Sore throat, fever, and myalgia were the most common symptoms .
Conclusions: NIV poses a significant risk for SARS-CoV-2 transmission within hospital settings if appropriate infection control measures are not taken.
Index: COVID-19, Coronavirus, Health Personnel, Infection Control, Non-invasive Ventilation, Oman, Risk Assessment, SARS-CoV-2