Journal: MMWR. Morbidity and mortality weekly report
On March 16, 2020, the day that national social distancing guidelines were released (1), the Arkansas Department of Health (ADH) was notified of two cases of coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) from a rural county of approximately 25,000 persons; these cases were the first identified in this county. The two cases occurred in a husband and wife; the husband is the pastor at a local church (church A). The couple (the index cases) attended church-related events during March 6-8, and developed nonspecific respiratory symptoms and fever on March 10 (wife) and 11 (husband). Before his symptoms had developed, the husband attended a Bible study group on March 11. Including the index cases, 35 confirmed COVID-19 cases occurred among 92 (38%) persons who attended events held at church A during March 6-11; three patients died. The age-specific attack rates among persons aged ≤18 years, 19-64 years, and ≥65 years were 6.3%, 59.4%, and 50.0%, respectively. During contact tracing, at least 26 additional persons with confirmed COVID-19 cases were identified among community members who reported contact with church A attendees and likely were infected by them; one of the additional persons was hospitalized and subsequently died. This outbreak highlights the potential for widespread transmission of SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes COVID-19, both at group gatherings during church events and within the broader community. These findings underscore the opportunity for faith-based organizations to prevent COVID-19 by following local authorities' guidance and the U.S. Government’s Guidelines: Opening Up America Again (2) regarding modification of activities to prevent virus transmission during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Large indoor gatherings pose a high risk for transmission of SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19), and have the potential to be super-spreading events (1,2). Such events are associated with explosive growth, followed by sustained transmission (3). During August 7-September 14, 2020, the Maine Center for Disease Control and Prevention (MeCDC) investigated a COVID-19 outbreak linked to a wedding reception attended by 55 persons in a rural Maine town. In addition to the community outbreak, secondary and tertiary transmission led to outbreaks at a long-term care facility 100 miles away and at a correctional facility approximately 200 miles away. Overall, 177 COVID-19 cases were epidemiologically linked to the event, including seven hospitalizations and seven deaths (four in hospitalized persons). Investigation revealed noncompliance with CDC’s recommended mitigation measures. To reduce transmission, persons should avoid large gatherings, practice physical distancing, wear masks, stay home when ill, and self-quarantine after exposure to a person with confirmed SARS-CoV-2 infection. Persons can work with local health officials to increase COVID-19 awareness and determine the best policies for organizing social events to prevent outbreaks in their communities.
Wearing masks is a CDC-recommended* approach to reduce the spread of SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19), by reducing the spread of respiratory droplets into the air when a person coughs, sneezes, or talks and by reducing the inhalation of these droplets by the wearer. On July 2, 2020, the governor of Kansas issued an executive order† (state mandate), effective July 3, requiring masks or other face coverings in public spaces. CDC and the Kansas Department of Health and Environment analyzed trends in county-level COVID-19 incidence before (June 1-July 2) and after (July 3-August 23) the governor’s executive order among counties that ultimately had a mask mandate in place and those that did not. As of August 11, 24 of Kansas’s 105 counties did not opt out of the state mandate§ or adopted their own mask mandate shortly before or after the state mandate was issued; 81 counties opted out of the state mandate, as permitted by state law, and did not adopt their own mask mandate. After the governor’s executive order, COVID-19 incidence (calculated as the 7-day rolling average number of new daily cases per 100,000 population) decreased (mean decrease of 0.08 cases per 100,000 per day; net decrease of 6%) among counties with a mask mandate (mandated counties) but continued to increase (mean increase of 0.11 cases per 100,000 per day; net increase of 100%) among counties without a mask mandate (nonmandated counties). The decrease in cases among mandated counties and the continued increase in cases in nonmandated counties adds to the evidence supporting the importance of wearing masks and implementing policies requiring their use to mitigate the spread of SARS-CoV-2 (1-6). Community-level mitigation strategies emphasizing wearing masks, maintaining physical distance, staying at home when ill, and enhancing hygiene practices can help reduce transmission of SARS-CoV-2.
Presymptomatic transmission of SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19), might pose challenges for disease control. The first case of COVID-19 in Singapore was detected on January 23, 2020, and by March 16, a total of 243 cases had been confirmed, including 157 locally acquired cases. Clinical and epidemiologic findings of all COVID-19 cases in Singapore through March 16 were reviewed to determine whether presymptomatic transmission might have occurred. Presymptomatic transmission was defined as the transmission of SARS-CoV-2 from an infected person (source patient) to a secondary patient before the source patient developed symptoms, as ascertained by exposure and symptom onset dates, with no evidence that the secondary patient had been exposed to anyone else with COVID-19. Seven COVID-19 epidemiologic clusters in which presymptomatic transmission likely occurred were identified, and 10 such cases within these clusters accounted for 6.4% of the 157 locally acquired cases. In the four clusters for which the date of exposure could be determined, presymptomatic transmission occurred 1-3 days before symptom onset in the presymptomatic source patient. To account for the possibility of presymptomatic transmission, officials developing contact tracing protocols should strongly consider including a period before symptom onset. Evidence of presymptomatic transmission of SARS-CoV-2 underscores the critical role social distancing, including avoidance of congregate settings, plays in controlling the COVID-19 pandemic.
As of April 2, 2020, the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic has resulted in >890,000 cases and >45,000 deaths worldwide, including 239,279 cases and 5,443 deaths in the United States (1,2). In the United States, 22% of the population is made up of infants, children, and adolescents aged <18 years (children) (3). Data from China suggest that pediatric COVID-19 cases might be less severe than cases in adults and that children might experience different symptoms than do adults (4,5); however, disease characteristics among pediatric patients in the United States have not been described. Data from 149,760 laboratory-confirmed COVID-19 cases in the United States occurring during February 12-April 2, 2020 were analyzed. Among 149,082 (99.6%) reported cases for which age was known, 2,572 (1.7%) were among children aged <18 years. Data were available for a small proportion of patients on many important variables, including symptoms (9.4%), underlying conditions (13%), and hospitalization status (33%). Among those with available information, 73% of pediatric patients had symptoms of fever, cough, or shortness of breath compared with 93% of adults aged 18-64 years during the same period; 5.7% of all pediatric patients, or 20% of those for whom hospitalization status was known, were hospitalized, lower than the percentages hospitalized among all adults aged 18-64 years (10%) or those with known hospitalization status (33%). Three deaths were reported among the pediatric cases included in this analysis. These data support previous findings that children with COVID-19 might not have reported fever or cough as often as do adults (4). Whereas most COVID-19 cases in children are not severe, serious COVID-19 illness resulting in hospitalization still occurs in this age group. Social distancing and everyday preventive behaviors remain important for all age groups as patients with less serious illness and those without symptoms likely play an important role in disease transmission (6,7).
The coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic resulted in 5,817,385 reported cases and 362,705 deaths worldwide through May, 30, 2020,† including 1,761,503 aggregated reported cases and 103,700 deaths in the United States.§ Previous analyses during February-early April 2020 indicated that age ≥65 years and underlying health conditions were associated with a higher risk for severe outcomes, which were less common among children aged <18 years (1-3). This report describes demographic characteristics, underlying health conditions, symptoms, and outcomes among 1,320,488 laboratory-confirmed COVID-19 cases individually reported to CDC during January 22-May 30, 2020. Cumulative incidence, 403.6 cases per 100,000 persons,¶ was similar among males (401.1) and females (406.0) and highest among persons aged ≥80 years (902.0). Among 599,636 (45%) cases with known information, 33% of persons were Hispanic or Latino of any race (Hispanic), 22% were non-Hispanic black (black), and 1.3% were non-Hispanic American Indian or Alaska Native (AI/AN). Among 287,320 (22%) cases with sufficient data on underlying health conditions, the most common were cardiovascular disease (32%), diabetes (30%), and chronic lung disease (18%). Overall, 184,673 (14%) patients were hospitalized, 29,837 (2%) were admitted to an intensive care unit (ICU), and 71,116 (5%) died. Hospitalizations were six times higher among patients with a reported underlying condition (45.4%) than those without reported underlying conditions (7.6%). Deaths were 12 times higher among patients with reported underlying conditions (19.5%) compared with those without reported underlying conditions (1.6%). The COVID-19 pandemic continues to be severe, particularly in certain population groups. These preliminary findings underscore the need to build on current efforts to collect and analyze case data, especially among those with underlying health conditions. These data are used to monitor trends in COVID-19 illness, identify and respond to localized incidence increase, and inform policies and practices designed to reduce transmission in the United States.
On March 11, 2020, the World Health Organization declared Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) a pandemic (1). As of March 28, 2020, a total of 571,678 confirmed COVID-19 cases and 26,494 deaths have been reported worldwide (2). Reports from China and Italy suggest that risk factors for severe disease include older age and the presence of at least one of several underlying health conditions (3,4). U.S. older adults, including those aged ≥65 years and particularly those aged ≥85 years, also appear to be at higher risk for severe COVID-19-associated outcomes; however, data describing underlying health conditions among U.S. COVID-19 patients have not yet been reported (5). As of March 28, 2020, U.S. states and territories have reported 122,653 U.S. COVID-19 cases to CDC, including 7,162 (5.8%) for whom data on underlying health conditions and other known risk factors for severe outcomes from respiratory infections were reported. Among these 7,162 cases, 2,692 (37.6%) patients had one or more underlying health condition or risk factor, and 4,470 (62.4%) had none of these conditions reported. The percentage of COVID-19 patients with at least one underlying health condition or risk factor was higher among those requiring intensive care unit (ICU) admission (358 of 457, 78%) and those requiring hospitalization without ICU admission (732 of 1,037, 71%) than that among those who were not hospitalized (1,388 of 5,143, 27%). The most commonly reported conditions were diabetes mellitus, chronic lung disease, and cardiovascular disease. These preliminary findings suggest that in the United States, persons with underlying health conditions or other recognized risk factors for severe outcomes from respiratory infections appear to be at a higher risk for severe disease from COVID-19 than are persons without these conditions.
Most reported cases of coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) in children aged <18 years appear to be asymptomatic or mild (1). Less is known about severe COVID-19 illness requiring hospitalization in children. During March 1-July 25, 2020, 576 pediatric COVID-19 cases were reported to the COVID-19-Associated Hospitalization Surveillance Network (COVID-NET), a population-based surveillance system that collects data on laboratory-confirmed COVID-19-associated hospitalizations in 14 states (2,3). Based on these data, the cumulative COVID-19-associated hospitalization rate among children aged <18 years during March 1-July 25, 2020, was 8.0 per 100,000 population, with the highest rate among children aged <2 years (24.8). During March 21-July 25, weekly hospitalization rates steadily increased among children (from 0.1 to 0.4 per 100,000, with a weekly high of 0.7 per 100,000). Overall, Hispanic or Latino (Hispanic) and non-Hispanic black (black) children had higher cumulative rates of COVID-19-associated hospitalizations (16.4 and 10.5 per 100,000, respectively) than did non-Hispanic white (white) children (2.1). Among 208 (36.1%) hospitalized children with complete medical chart reviews, 69 (33.2%) were admitted to an intensive care unit (ICU); 12 of 207 (5.8%) required invasive mechanical ventilation, and one patient died during hospitalization. Although the cumulative rate of pediatric COVID-19-associated hospitalization remains low (8.0 per 100,000 population) compared with that among adults (164.5),* weekly rates increased during the surveillance period, and one in three hospitalized children were admitted to the ICU, similar to the proportion among adults. Continued tracking of SARS-CoV-2 infections among children is important to characterize morbidity and mortality. Reinforcement of prevention efforts is essential in congregate settings that serve children, including childcare centers and schools.
As of April 9, 2020, the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic had resulted in 1,521,252 cases and 92,798 deaths worldwide, including 459,165 cases and 16,570 deaths in the United States (1,2). Health care personnel (HCP) are essential workers defined as paid and unpaid persons serving in health care settings who have the potential for direct or indirect exposure to patients or infectious materials (3). During February 12-April 9, among 315,531 COVID-19 cases reported to CDC using a standardized form, 49,370 (16%) included data on whether the patient was a health care worker in the United States; including 9,282 (19%) who were identified as HCP. Among HCP patients with data available, the median age was 42 years (interquartile range [IQR] = 32-54 years), 6,603 (73%) were female, and 1,779 (38%) reported at least one underlying health condition. Among HCP patients with data on health care, household, and community exposures, 780 (55%) reported contact with a COVID-19 patient only in health care settings. Although 4,336 (92%) HCP patients reported having at least one symptom among fever, cough, or shortness of breath, the remaining 8% did not report any of these symptoms. Most HCP with COVID-19 (6,760, 90%) were not hospitalized; however, severe outcomes, including 27 deaths, occurred across all age groups; deaths most frequently occurred in HCP aged ≥65 years. These preliminary findings highlight that whether HCP acquire infection at work or in the community, it is necessary to protect the health and safety of this essential national workforce.
Since SARS-CoV-2, the novel coronavirus that causes coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19), was first detected in December 2019 (1), approximately 1.3 million cases have been reported worldwide (2), including approximately 330,000 in the United States (3). To conduct population-based surveillance for laboratory-confirmed COVID-19-associated hospitalizations in the United States, the COVID-19-Associated Hospitalization Surveillance Network (COVID-NET) was created using the existing infrastructure of the Influenza Hospitalization Surveillance Network (FluSurv-NET) (4) and the Respiratory Syncytial Virus Hospitalization Surveillance Network (RSV-NET). This report presents age-stratified COVID-19-associated hospitalization rates for patients admitted during March 1-28, 2020, and clinical data on patients admitted during March 1-30, 2020, the first month of U.S. surveillance. Among 1,482 patients hospitalized with COVID-19, 74.5% were aged ≥50 years, and 54.4% were male. The hospitalization rate among patients identified through COVID-NET during this 4-week period was 4.6 per 100,000 population. Rates were highest (13.8) among adults aged ≥65 years. Among 178 (12%) adult patients with data on underlying conditions as of March 30, 2020, 89.3% had one or more underlying conditions; the most common were hypertension (49.7%), obesity (48.3%), chronic lung disease (34.6%), diabetes mellitus (28.3%), and cardiovascular disease (27.8%). These findings suggest that older adults have elevated rates of COVID-19-associated hospitalization and the majority of persons hospitalized with COVID-19 have underlying medical conditions. These findings underscore the importance of preventive measures (e.g., social distancing, respiratory hygiene, and wearing face coverings in public settings where social distancing measures are difficult to maintain)† to protect older adults and persons with underlying medical conditions, as well as the general public. In addition, older adults and persons with serious underlying medical conditions should avoid contact with persons who are ill and immediately contact their health care provider(s) if they have symptoms consistent with COVID-19 (https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/symptoms-testing/symptoms.html) (5). Ongoing monitoring of hospitalization rates, clinical characteristics, and outcomes of hospitalized patients will be important to better understand the evolving epidemiology of COVID-19 in the United States and the clinical spectrum of disease, and to help guide planning and prioritization of health care system resources.