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Prevalence of SARS-CoV-2 Infection Among Asymptomatic Health Care Workers in the Greater Houston, Texas, Area

Educational Objective
To understand the prevalence of SARS-CoV-2 infection among asymptomatic health care workers
1 Credit CME

Asymptomatic severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) infection continues to be a major public health concern.1 Health care workers (HCWs) are at higher risk of infection and can become inadvertent vehicles of transmission.2 Therefore, Houston Methodist initiated a coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) surveillance program among asymptomatic HCWs and expanded to asymptomatic community residents. We report prevalence of SARS-CoV-2 among the first group tested.

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Article Information

Accepted for Publication: June 23, 2020.

Published: July 27, 2020. doi:10.1001/jamanetworkopen.2020.16451

Open Access: This is an open access article distributed under the terms of the CC-BY License. © 2020 Vahidy FS et al. JAMA Network Open.

Corresponding Author: Roberta L. Schwartz, PhD, Houston Methodist Academic Institute, 6670 Bertner Ave, Houston, TX 77030 (rlschwartz@houstonmethodist.org).

Author Contributions: Drs Vahidy and Schwartz had full access to all of the data in the study and take responsibility for the integrity of the data and the accuracy of the data analysis.

Concept and design: Vahidy, Boom, Drews, Finkelstein, Schwartz.

Acquisition, analysis, or interpretation of data: Vahidy, Bernard, Drews, Christensen, Finkelstein, Schwartz.

Drafting of the manuscript: Vahidy, Bernard.

Critical revision of the manuscript for important intellectual content: Bernard, Boom, Drews, Christensen, Finkelstein, Schwartz.

Statistical analysis: Vahidy.

Obtained funding: Boom.

Administrative, technical, or material support: Bernard, Boom, Christensen, Schwartz.

Supervision: Boom, Drews, Schwartz.

Conflict of Interest Disclosures: None reported.

Additional Contributions: H. Dirk Sostman, MD; Bita A. Kash, PhD, MBA; and Robert A. Phillips, MD, PhD (Houston Methodist Academic Institute and Weil Cornell Medicine), provided leadership and overall supervision and guidance during all phases of this project, including design, operationalization, analysis, and writing. Firas Zabaneh, MBA (Houston Methodist), led project operationalization and infection control across the hospital system. Kimberly Greer, PhD (Houston Methodist Academic Institute), assisted with scientific writing. None of these individuals were compensated for their contributions.

References
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Gandhi  M , Yokoe  DS , Havlir  DV .  Asymptomatic transmission, the Achilles’ heel of current strategies to control COVID-19.   N Engl J Med. 2020;382(22):2158-2160. doi:10.1056/NEJMe2009758PubMedGoogle ScholarCrossref
2.
Kimball  A , Hatfield  KM , Arons  M ,  et al; Public Health—Seattle and King County; CDC COVID-19 Investigation Team.  Asymptomatic and presymptomatic SARS-CoV-2 infections in residents of a long-term care skilled nursing facility—King County, Washington, March 2020.   MMWR Morb Mortal Wkly Rep. 2020;69(13):377-381. doi:10.15585/mmwr.mm6913e1PubMedGoogle ScholarCrossref
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Day  M .  COVID-19: four fifths of cases are asymptomatic, China figures indicate.   BMJ. 2020;369:m1375. doi:10.1136/bmj.m1375%JPubMedGoogle ScholarCrossref
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Guan  WJ , Ni  ZY , Hu  Y ,  et al; China Medical Treatment Expert Group for Covid-19.  Clinical characteristics of coronavirus disease 2019 in China.   N Engl J Med. 2020;382(18):1708-1720. doi:10.1056/NEJMoa2002032PubMedGoogle ScholarCrossref
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World Health Organization. Coronavirus disease (COVID-19) situation report—84. Updated April 13, 2020. Accessed June 30, 2020. https://www.who.int/docs/default-source/coronaviruse/situation-reports/20200413-sitrep-84-covid-19.pdf?sfvrsn=44f511ab_2
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Wilder-Smith  A , Teleman  MD , Heng  BH , Earnest  A , Ling  AE , Leo  YS .  Asymptomatic SARS coronavirus infection among healthcare workers, Singapore.   Emerg Infect Dis. 2005;11(7):1142-1145. doi:10.3201/eid1107.041165PubMedGoogle ScholarCrossref
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