Sunday , November 29 2020

Schools may need general testing to prevent broadcasts …

Researchers at Simon Fraser University in Canada have warned that even small differences in an individual’s contribution, environment, and activity in transmitting coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) with severe acute respiratory syndrome within a school produce very different results for transmission cluster lead sizes.

SARS-CoV-2 is the virus that is causing the current 2019 coronavirus disease (COVID-19) pandemic, which continues to sweep the planet and pose a significant threat to global public health and the economy.

A group study of the group also found that none of the mitigation measures taken to control the spread of the virus were effective in preventing large clusters of infection when the symptomatic person was positive.

Study authors Paul Tupper and Caroline Colijn say the only measure that appears to be effective in achieving this prevention is rapid general on-site monitoring.

According to the researchers, the results may also apply to other environments where people spend long hours with the same group of 20-30 people, such as in the workplace.

Paper is available from the server medRxiv *when the article is peer reviewed.

Cluster sizes in schools in Quebec with exposure on or before 1 October 2020. Content only shows those with at least two cases; The main graph shows all exposures. Most of the exposures did not lead to recognized clusters. 33% of exposures resulted in at least one other recognized case and 20% in at least two other recognized cases.

School closures as part of control measures

As part of efforts to combat the COVID-19 pandemic, many countries have implemented extensive intervention measures, including school closures. However, there is considerable uncertainty about the role of children and schools in the transmission of SARS-CoV-2.

Studies in the early stages of a pandemic showed that children are unlikely to be very contagious.

However, increasing evidence suggests that children and adolescents may acquire and transmit SARS-CoV-2 in the school environment and that infections may occur in large clusters.

Schools have once again opened up isolation measures

Given the detrimental and costly effects of school closures, many countries have begun to open schools and ensure that control measures are in place.

Several mitigation methods are used to limit the spread of viruses at school and to the wider community.

Understanding how much and how the broadcast takes place in the classroom is important so that the costs of opening and closing schools can be accurately weighed and the most effective measures identified.

“If we want to maintain open schools, large school transfer clusters must be prevented, even though they are expected to be rare,” the researchers said.

What did the researchers do?

Tupper and Colijn used a stochastic individual model that allowed them to take into account different findings on cluster sizes and control measures.

The group considered two reasons for the heterogeneity of spread: variation in infectivity from person to person and variation in how a particular activity or environment may affect the rate of infection.

The researchers also looked at the possibility of symptomatic or asymptomatic transfer and transfer outside a specific contact group by mixing with people outside the group or by aerosol transfer.

The mission was based on British Columbia elementary and high schools after the schools reopened in September 2020.

What did the study find out?

None of the measures taken on a single symptomatic test for infection effectively prevented large infection clusters, even if all students in the class were independent after the individual detected a positive one.

According to the researchers, the results highlight three main ways in which spread can be prevented.

One approach would be to reduce community transmission to ensure that exposure is rare and that the risk of being brought to school is minimized. Another approach would be to test for infection, not only to prevent the transfer of the original cluster, but also to prevent new ones.

According to the authors, regular testing for everyone, whether or not they have symptoms, is more effective than just testing people with symptoms.

“Rapid, regular general monitoring is much better at preventing large clusters from testing for symptoms, even if the entire class is tested soon after,” they write.

Finally, steps must be taken to manage the potential impact of the environment on fluctuations in transmission speeds. Information could be collected on classroom size and organization, ventilation, and number of students. This information is further linked to, for example, cluster size follow-up studies.

The results also apply to other settings

According to the researchers, although this study focused on the classroom, the model used here could be applied to other environments where people spend several hours a day together in groups of about 20-30 people and in close contact with their subgroup.

“The model and conclusions may well represent many jobs,” the team suggests.

* Important note

medRxiv publishes preliminary scientific reports that have not been peer reviewed and should therefore not be considered conclusive, guide clinical practice / health-related behavior or should be considered as established data.

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