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The role of severe respiratory coronavirus virus 2 (SARS-CoV-2)–laden aerosols in the transmission of coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) remains uncertain. Discordant findings of SARS-CoV-2 RNA in air samples were noted in early reports.
Sampling of air close to 6 asymptomatic and symptomatic COVID-19 patients with and without surgical masks was performed with sampling devices using sterile gelatin filters. Frequently touched environmental surfaces near 21 patients were swabbed before daily environmental disinfection. The correlation between the viral loads of patients’ clinical samples and environmental samples was analyzed.
All air samples were negative for SARS-CoV-2 RNA in the 6 patients singly isolated inside airborne infection isolation rooms (AIIRs) with 12 air changes per hour. Of 377 environmental samples near 21 patients, 19 (5.0%) were positive by reverse-transcription polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR) assay, with a median viral load of 9.2 × 102 copies/mL (range, 1.1 × 102 to 9.4 × 104 copies/mL). The contamination rate was highest on patients’ mobile phones (6 of 77, 7.8%), followed by bed rails (4 of 74, 5.4%) and toilet door handles (4 of 76, 5.3%). We detected a significant correlation between viral load ranges in clinical samples and positivity rate of environmental samples (P < .001).
SARS-CoV-2 RNA was not detectable by air samplers, which suggests that the airborne route is not the predominant mode of transmission of SARS-CoV-2. Wearing a surgical mask, appropriate hand hygiene, and thorough environmental disinfection are sufficient infection control measures for COVID-19 patients isolated singly in AIIRs. However, this conclusion may not apply during aerosol-generating procedures or in cohort wards with large numbers of COVID-19 patients.
In our previous study, the prevalence of childhood masked hypertension was 11%. This study aims to assess the left ventricular mass index of persistent masked hypertension and determine the factors of elevated left ventricular mass index in Hong Kong Chinese adolescents from a community cohort.
Community prospective cohort study, follow-up of a case-control study in community.
Patients with masked hypertension at baseline were invited to recheck ambulatory blood pressure for the persistence of masked hypertension.
A total of 144 out of 165 patients with masked hypertension in the 2011/2012 ambulatory blood pressure survey consented to participate in the study. In all, 48 patients were found to have persistent masked hypertension by ambulatory blood pressure rechecking and were matched with normotensive controls by sex, age, and body height. The left ventricular mass (117.3±39.9 g versus 87.0±28.2 g versus 102.0±28.2 g) and left ventricular mass index (30.1±8.4 g/m2.7 versus 23.9±6.3 g/m2.7 versus 25.1±5.7 g/m2.7) were significantly higher in the persistent masked hypertension group (p<0.0001) compared with the patients without persistent masked hypertension and controls. In multivariate linear regression analysis, left ventricular mass index was found to be higher in male gender (β=4.874, p<0.0001) and the patients with persistent masked hypertension (β=2.796, p=0.003). In addition, left ventricular mass index was positively associated with body mass index z-score (β=3.045, p<0.0001) and low-density lipoprotein cholesterol concentration (β=1.634, p=0.015).
Persistent masked hypertension in adolescents is associated with elevated left ventricular mass index.
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