Risk Factors, Epidemiological and Clinical Outcome of Close Contacts of COVID-19 Cases in a Tertiary Hospital in Southern India LC34-LC37
Additional Professor, Department of Community Medicine Government Medical College,
Thrissur, Kerala, India.
Introduction: The knowledge of epidemiologic characteristics and transmission dynamics of a novel pathogen, such as Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome Coronavirus-2 (SARS-CoV-2) among close contacts can help in planning and development of effective control policies in different parts of the world.
Aim: To assess the epidemiological and clinical outcome of close contacts of Coronavirus Disease (COVID-2019) cases admitted in a tertiary COVID hospital and to assess the role of risk factors in predicting the epidemiological outcome of these contacts.
Materials and Methods: The current retrospective cohort study was conducted among 1286 close contacts of COVID-19 patients admitted to Government Medical College, Thrissur, Kerala. The data collection was done by a semi-structured telephonic interview by the contact tracing team. The questions included the type of exposure to the index case, symptoms if any, date of last exposure with COVID-19 positive patients, and final COVID-19 status of the contact at the end of 14 days. The association of risk factors of COVID-19 positivity was done using binary logistic regression.
Results: Proportion of close contacts of COVID-19 who developed the disease was 24.2% (21.87-26.52%). The mean incubation period was found to be 4.22 days (C.I-3.71-4.65). The serial interval mean was found to be 5.24 days (C.I 4.764-5.716). The proportion of household contacts of COVID-19 cases who developed the disease was found to be 26% (C.I-23%-29%). The majority (52.4%) of infections among contacts were asymptomatic. Most common symptom among the COVID-19 positive was fever (32.8%) followed by cough (16.1%). The most common risk factors of infection among primary close contacts were sharing the same room (adjusted odds ratio-2.394) and common use of fomites (adjusted odds ratio-1.953) while use of a mask was found to be protective (adjusted odds ratio-0.570). Significant factors associated with the type of contact with infection were workplace-related contact (adjusted odds ratio-6.629), household contact (adjusted odds ratio-4.856), and travel-related contact (adjusted odds ratio-2.899).
Conclusion: The study concludes important risk factors of transmission among close contacts of COVID-19 as being in a household, workplace and travel related contact where the use of mask was found to be protective. The study also concludes that most of the COVID-19 infections in close contacts are asymptomatic.