Preparing dental schools to refunction safely during the COVID-19 pandemic: an infection prevention and control perspective

  • Helena C Maltezou Directorate of Research, Studies and Documentation, National Public Health Organization, Athens, Greece
  • Maria Tseroni Directorate of Research, Studies and Documentation, National Public Health Organization, Athens, Greece
  • Rengina Vorou Directorate of Research, Studies and Documentation, National Public Health Organization, Athens, Greece
  • Anastasia Koutsolioutsou Department of Environmental Health, Directory of Epidemiology and Prevention of Non Communicable Diseases and Injuries, National Public Health Organization, Athens, Greece
  • Maria Antoniadou School of Dentistry, National and Kapodistrian University of Athens, Athens, Greece
  • Ioannis Tzoutzas School of Dentistry, National and Kapodistrian University of Athens, Athens, Greece
  • Vassilios Panis School of Dentistry, National and Kapodistrian University of Athens, Athens, Greece
  • Fotios Tzermpos School of Dentistry, National and Kapodistrian University of Athens, Athens, Greece
  • Phoebus Madianos School of Dentistry, National and Kapodistrian University of Athens, Athens, Greece
Keywords: SARS-CoV-2, COVID-19, aerosol, dentists, healthcare personnel, students

Abstract

In late 2019 a novel coronavirus named severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) emerged in China and spread throughout the world over a short period of time causing a pandemic of a respiratory disease named coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19). SARS-CoV-2 is easily transmitted from person to person through respiratory droplets and direct contact. The scarce available data indicate that dental healthcare personnel are at increased risk for acquisition of infection. Following the lockdown lifting, dental schools should be prepared to refunction safely and provide essential educational and healthcare services while protecting their students, patients, and personnel. The generation of aerosols in dental practice, in association with the high-transmissibility of SARS-CoV-2 through aerosol-generation procedures, the simultaneous provision of dental services to patients in the same areas, and the fact that asymptomatic and pre-symptomatic infected persons may transmit the virus, render the implementation of specific infection prevention and control measures imperative for dental schools. Herein we review the few evidence-based data available to guide infection prevention and control measures for COVID-19 in dental schools.

Published
2021-01-31
How to Cite
1.
Maltezou HC, Tseroni M, Vorou R, Koutsolioutsou A, Antoniadou M, Tzoutzas I, Panis V, Tzermpos F, Madianos P (2021) Preparing dental schools to refunction safely during the COVID-19 pandemic: an infection prevention and control perspective. J Infect Dev Ctries 15:22-31. doi: 10.3855/jidc.14336
Section
Coronavirus Pandemic