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SARS-CoV-2: Frequent Hospital Transmission

Current studies from England are showing that the risk of being infected with SARS-CoV-2 is high in healthcare facilities. One of the studies shows that the mortality rate of COVID-19 patients who become infected in hospital is lower than in patients admitted to hospital who had already contracted COVID-19.

According to the National Health Service England (NHS), currently 17.6% of COVID-19 infections in England are most likely due to infection in healthcare facilities. In the North West of England the rate is up to 25% and it is rising further in other parts of the country. Healthcare-associated COVID-19 infection in hospitals is defined by the NHS as being present when the diagnosis is made 7 days after admission. [1]

These figures are supported by a study conducted by King’s College London. According to the survey, at least 12.5% of COVID-19 hospital patients became infected with the coronavirus during their stay in hospital. The majority of the affected patients had been in hospital for a long time already. In the study, an infection was defined as acquired in hospital if it occurred 15 days after patient was admitted. [2]

Importance of timely clinical treatment

The King’s College study also compared the treatment outcomes of COVID-19 patients infected outside of hospital with those who had contracted the infection in hospital. The result: Taking into account age, pre-existing health conditions and the severity of the infection, those who became infected in hospital were less likely to die than comparable patients who became infected outside of hospital. [2]

The researchers suspect that the better outcomes for patients infected with coronavirus in hospital can be attributed to closer monitoring, faster diagnosis and timely clinical treatment. According to experts, the results also suggested that patients who became infected in hospital recovered better than patients who had already been hospitalized with a COVID-19 infection due to the rapid clinical treatment they received. [2]


1.Heneghan C, Howdon D, Oke J, Jefferson T The Ongoing Problem of UK Hospital Acquired Infections
October 30, 2020, (Letzter Zugriff am 03.11.2020).

2. Carter et al. (2020) Nosocomial COVID-19 infection: examining the risk of mortality. The COPE-Nosocomial study (COVID in Older People). Journal of Hospital Infection. DOI: 10.1016/j.jhin.2020.07.013.

More articles:
„Hygiene in context with Corona“
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