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COVID in care homes

Watch Dr Maria Krutikov talk about the VIVALDI study, which explores how the COVID-19 pandemic has affected care homes.

In this video Dr Maria Krutikov discusses the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic within care homes.

COVID-19 has impacted millions of lives, however, care homes have been very badly affected within England. 25% of all COVID-19 deaths have occurred within care homes since the start of the pandemic. The disproportionate risk towards those in care homes indicates the need for surveillance, prevention and information about the SARS-CoV-2 virus in this setting.

The large risk towards residents and staff in care homes is unknown but likely to be multifactorial. Residents are often elderly and frail which has shown to be a particular factor that increases the risk of COVID-19. Regular surveillance of staff and residents was implemented but only 4 months into the pandemic. Other issues involve viral exposure of new admissions into the care homes and isolating infected patients which is extremely challenging within this setting. Studies and data collection rarely include care home residents due to challenges with logistics and consent.

These factors emphasise the importance of understanding the impact of COVID-19 in care homes. In June 2020 the VIVALDI study was set up which recruited staff and patients from 350 care homes from around England to investigate COVID-19 seroprevalence, immunity and duration in care homes. It consists of multiple blood tests, results of frequent PCR testing of throat and nose swabs and the collection of epidemiological data from each care home and will finish in 2022. This study hopes to produce data in an under-represented area of research which will provide understanding of transmission and preventative measures in care homes that will inform national policy for controlling COVID-19 and other infectious diseases within care homes.

To find out more check out the VIVALDI study website.

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Infection Prevention for Vulnerable Patients

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