Prevention

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A thorough discussion of SARS-CoV-2 prevention will be presented in the 5th edition of COVID Reference by Stefano Lazzari. In the meantime, please find this outline with key topics and references. At present, based on the current understanding of SARS-COV-2 transmission presented in Chapter 2, several prevention measures can be considered at the personal, institutional, community and societal levels:

  1. Personal infection prevention measures
  • Hand hygiene (washing or disinfecting)
  • Practice good respiratory hygiene/cough etiquette.
  • Use of face masks
  • Physical and social distancing. Avoid crowded places
  • Speak quietly, don’t shout (or sing)!
  • Strengthen overall personal health and immunity
  • Household hygiene
  • Self-quarantine at home
  • Physical distancing
  • Use chemoprophylaxis (not yet available)

 

  1. Preventive measures at community and social levels
  • Mandatory face masks
  • Ban mass gatherings (sports events, discos, crowded bars, religious celebrations etc.)
  • Localized and nationwide lockdowns
  • Travel bans/border closures
  • Widespread testing, intensive contact tracing (with or without smartphone apps)
  • Quarantine and isolation of suspected or confirmed cases
  • Environmental hygiene and disinfection
  • Vaccinate for seasonal influenza and for COVID-19 (not yet available)

 

  1. Preventive measures at institutional level
  • Hospitals
  • Nursing facilities
  • Long-term Care Institutions
  • Workplaces
  • Schools
  • Prisons
  • Homeless shelters

Prevention at the personal level

Good respiratory hygiene/cough etiquette.

Hand Hygiene

Face masks

Physical/Social distancing and avoiding crowded conditions

Speak quietly, don’t shout (or sing)!

Household hygiene

  • Radhika Gharpure; Candis M. Hunter; Amy H. Schnall; Catherine E. Barrett; Amy E. Kirby; Jasen Kunz; Kirsten Berling; Jeffrey W. Mercante; Jennifer L. Murphy; Amanda G. Garcia-Williams. Knowledge and Practices Regarding Safe Household Cleaning and Disinfection for COVID-19 Prevention — United States, MMWR Morb Mortal Wkly Rep. May 2020 Early Release, June 5, 2020/9. Full-text: https://www.cdc.gov/mmwr/volumes/69/wr/mm6923e2.htm
  • Chang A, Schnall AH, Law R, et al. Cleaning and Disinfectant Chemical Exposures and Temporal Associations with COVID-19 – National Poison Data System, United States, January 1, 2020-March 31, 2020. MMWR Morb Mortal Wkly Rep. 2020 Apr 24;69(16):496-498. PubMed: https://pubmed.gov/32324720. Full-text: https://doi.org/10.15585/mmwr.mm6916e1
  • Chin AWH, Chu JTS, Perera MRA, et al. Stability of SARS-CoV-2 in different environmental conditions. Lancet 2020: April 02, 2020. Full-text: https://doi.org/10.1016/S2666-5247(20)30003-3

Chemoprophylaxis

Post-exposure prophylaxis (PEP) with antiviral drugs after documented exposure can reduce the risk of infection. In the future, SARS-CoV-2-PEP could be used to reduce viral shedding in suspected cases and as a prophylactic treatment of contacts.

Prevention at the community/societal levels

Mandatory face masks

Ban on mass gatherings

Localized and nationwide Lockdowns

Travel bans/border closures

Test. Treat. Track.

Tracking apps

Quarantine and isolation of suspected or confirmed cases

Environmental hygiene and disinfection

Vaccinate for seasonal influenza and for COVID-19 (not yet available)

Prevention at the institutional level

Hospitals and other health care settings

Nursing facilities

Long-term Care Institutions

Workplaces

Schools

Prisons

Homeless shelters