What effect might border screening have on preventing importation of COVID-19 compared with other infections? considering the additional effect of post-arrival isolation

Declan Bays*, Emma Bennett, Thomas Finnie

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

We recently described a simple model through which we assessed what effect subjecting travellers to a single on-arrival test might have on reducing risk of importing disease cases during simulated outbreaks of coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19), influenza, severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS) and Ebola. We build upon this work to allow for the additional requirement that inbound travellers also undergo a period of self-isolation upon arrival, where upon completion the traveller is again tested for signs of infection prior to admission across the border. Prior results indicated that a single on-arrival test has the potential to detect 9% of travellers infected with COVID-19, compared to 35%, 10% and 3% for travellers infected with influenza, SARS and Ebola, respectively. Our extended model shows that testing administered after a 2-day isolation period could detect up to 41%, 97%, 44% and 15% of COVID-19, influenza, SARS and Ebola infected travellers, respectively. Longer self-isolation periods increase detection rates further, with an 8-day self-isolation period suggesting detection rates of up to 94%, 100%, 98% and 62% for travellers infected with COVID-19, influenza, SARS and Ebola, respectively. These results therefore suggest that testing arrivals after an enforced period of self-isolation may present a reasonable method of protecting against case importation during international outbreaks.

Original languageEnglish
Article numbere159
JournalEpidemiology and Infection
Volume150
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 11 Aug 2022

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2022 Cambridge University Press. All rights reserved.

Keywords

  • COVID-19
  • Ebola
  • influenza
  • modelling
  • screening programme

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