Institut für Hygiene und Mikrobiologie

    How to control a COVID-19 outbreak in a nursing home?


    Manuel Krone, Annette Noffz, Elisabeth Richter, Ulrich Vogel, Michael Schwab, Control of a COVID-19 outbreak in a nursing home by general screening and cohort isolation in Germany, March to May 2020. Eurosurveillance 2021;26(1):pii=2001365. https://doi.org/10.2807/1560-7917.ES.2021.26.1.2001365

    Bild: Number of newly diagnosed COVID-19 cases among nursing home residents and staff by test result date, Wuerzburg, Germany, 8 March–4 May 2020 (n = 160 residents, n = 135 staff). Source: Krone et al., Eurosurveillance 2021;26(1)

    COVID-19 outbreaks are still a major problem for nursing facilities. These outbreaks are responsible for nearly half of the COVID-19-related deaths in Germany. Researchers from the IHM have together with a major local nursing home provider analyzed the course of a COVID-19 outbreak in a 174-bed nursing home and how it could be stopped by a combined intervention of repeated general screening and cohort isolation together with supporting infection control measures.

    A universal screening revealed that despite their average age of 86 years one third of the SARS-CoV-2 infected residents have not shown any symptoms. The described intervention can be taken as a blueprint for the handling of current outbreaks and have in many instances be adopted in international guidelines.

    32-yr old Manuel Krone is the corresponding author of the study. He is currently completing his training as a medical microbiologist.