ECDC issues COVID-19 guidance for hospital preparedness as virus jumps multiple borders

  • ECDC
  • ECDC
  • 27 Feb 2020

  • curated by Liz Scherer
  • Clinical Essentials
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Takeaway

  • As COVID-19 spreads in Italy and new cases are reported in the EU/EAC, the ECDC has released a hospital checklist to ensure preparedness for patient management.
  • The ECDC has also updated the EU COVID-19 case definition.
  • The CDC warns about the need to prepare for a US pandemic and community spread. 
  • No currently approved treatment is available, but US-based Moderna Therapeutics has developed and shipped a mRNA-123 COVID-19 vaccine to NIH.
    • A phase 1 clinical trial is slated for early April.

Why this matters

  • Take travel history at all general clinical visits.
  • Ensure familiarity with ECDC management strategy for suspected or confirmed COVID-19 cases.

Key points

  • Cases are rapidly spreading in Italy and other EU/EAC countries and the UK, but patient "zero" has not been identified.
  • Health care personnel and clinicians with possible exposure should self-monitor for respiratory signs/symptoms to 14 days from exposure date.
  • ECDC urges hospitals to:
    • Establish a core management team comprising hospital infection-control staff and infectious disease, ICU, and emergency room experts (with backups).
    • Assign key internal, external contacts (with backups) to handle other clinical/nonclinical essentials.
    • Procure, buffer, and stock necessary supplies.
  • Create patient-placement procedures (e.g., triage, first contact, prioritization, isolation, moving patients within facilities, visitor access).