Alliance for Pandemic Preparedness

November 18, 2020

Remote Household Observation for Non-Influenza Respiratory Viral Illness



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Self-collection of swabs was feasible and frequently detected respiratory viruses in a community study, including early detection of circulating SARS-CoV2. Self-collection of nasal swabs (n=678) from households in Seattle (n=303) prior to the COVID-19 pandemic and during the early pandemic period (November 2019 to April 2020) found that 35% of swabs tested positive for one or more non-influenza respiratory viruses. Four cases of SARS-CoV-2 were detected in 3 households. Collection and processing of the swabs did not require direct contact between participants and study personnel. The authors conclude that this study demonstrates the feasibility of home-based, longitudinal monitoring of respiratory viral illness in households, which may be an important component of surveillance for respiratory viral infections during the COVID-19 pandemic. 

Emanuels et al. (Nov 17, 2020). Remote Household Observation for Non-Influenza Respiratory Viral Illness. Clinical Infectious Diseases.