3 years ago

Extensive severe fever with thrombocytopenia syndrome virus contamination in surrounding environment in patient’ rooms

Severe fever with thrombocytopenia syndrome (SFTS) is an emerging tick-borne disease in Korea and China. Although there is previous evidence of person-to-person transmission via direct contact with body fluids, the role of environmental contamination by SFTS virus (SFTSV) in healthcare settings has not been established. We therefore investigated the contamination of the healthcare environment by SFTSV. Methods We investigated the possible contamination of hospital air and surfaces with SFTSV transmission by collecting air and swabbing environmental surface samples in 2 hospitals treating 6 SFTS patients between March and September 2017. The samples were tested using real-time reverse-transcriptase polymerase chain reaction for SFTS M and S segments. Results Of 6 SFTS patients, 4 received mechanical ventilation and 3 died. Five rooms were occupied by those using mechanical ventilation or total plasma exchange therapy in isolation rooms without negative pressure and 1 room was occupied by a patient bedridden due to SFTS. SFTSV was detected in 14 (21%) of 67 swab-samples. Five of 24 swab samples were obtained from fomites including stethoscopes, and 9 of 43 were obtained from fixed structures including doorknobs and bed guardrails. Some samples from fixed structures such as television monitors and sink tables were obtained in areas remote from the patients. SFTSV RNA was not detected in 5 air samples from 3 patients’ rooms. Conclusions Our data suggest that SFTSV contamination was extensive in surrounding environments in SFTS patients’ rooms. Therefore, more strict isolation methods and disinfecting procedures should be considered in managing SFTS patients.

Publisher URL: www.sciencedirect.com/science

DOI: S1198743X18300569

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