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Screening of SARS-CoV-2 among homeless people, asylum-seekers and other people living in precarious conditions in Marseille, France, March–April 2020

Abstract : Background: Surveillance of severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) infection among sheltered homeless and other vulnerable people might provide the information needed to prevent its spread within accommodation centres. Methods: Data were obtained from 698 participants in different accommodation centres (411 homeless individuals, 77 asylum-seekers, 58 other people living in precarious conditions and 152 employees working in these accommodation centres) who completed questionnaires and had nasal samples collected between 26 March and 17 April 2020. SARS-CoV-2 carriage was assessed by quantitative PCR. Results: We found a high acceptance rate (78.9%) for testing. Overall, 49 people (7.0%) were positive for SARS-CoV-2, including 37 homeless individuals (of 411, 9.0%) and 12 employees (of 152, 7.9%). SARS-CoV-2 positivity correlated with symptoms, although 51% of patients who tested positive did not report respiratory symptoms or fever. Among homeless people, being young (18-34 years) (odds ratio 3.83, 95% confidence interval 1.47-10.0, p = 0.006) and being housed in one specific shelter (odds ratio 9.13, 95% confidence interval 4.09-20.37, p < 0.001) were independent factors associated with SARS-CoV-2 positivity (rates of 11.4% and 20.6%, respectively). Discussion: Symptom screening alone is insufficient to prevent SARS-CoV-2 transmission in vulnerable sheltered people. Systematic testing should be promoted.
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https://hal-amu.archives-ouvertes.fr/hal-03245839
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Submitted on : Wednesday, June 2, 2021 - 9:31:05 AM
Last modification on : Tuesday, October 19, 2021 - 10:50:59 PM
Long-term archiving on: : Friday, September 3, 2021 - 6:26:58 PM

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Tran Ly, Nhu Nguyen, Van Hoang, Ndiaw Goumballa, Meriem Louni, et al.. Screening of SARS-CoV-2 among homeless people, asylum-seekers and other people living in precarious conditions in Marseille, France, March–April 2020. International Journal of Infectious Diseases, Elsevier, 2021, 105, pp.1 - 6. ⟨10.1016/j.ijid.2021.02.026⟩. ⟨hal-03245839⟩

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