High attack rate in a Tong Lau house outbreak of COVID-19 with subdivided units in Hong Kong

Research output: Journal Publications and Reviews (RGC: 21, 22, 62)21_Publication in refereed journalpeer-review

1 Scopus Citations
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Author(s)

  • Qun Wang
  • David Christopher Lung
  • Pak-To Chan
  • Wei Jia
  • Chung-Hin Dung
  • And 15 others
  • Te Miao
  • Jianxiang Huang
  • Wenzhao Chen
  • Zixuan Wang
  • Kai-Ming Leung
  • Pengcheng Xu
  • Zhang Lin
  • Daniel Wong
  • Herman Tse
  • Sally Cheuk Ying Wong
  • Garnet Kwan-Yue Choi
  • Kelvin Kai-Wang To
  • Vincent Chi-Chung Cheng
  • Kwok-Yung Yuen
  • Yuguo Li

Detail(s)

Original languageEnglish
Article number20210063
Journal / PublicationInterface Focus
Volume12
Issue number2
Online published11 Feb 2022
Publication statusPublished - 6 Apr 2022
Externally publishedYes

Link(s)

Abstract

Poor housing conditions are known to be associated with infectious diseases such as high Coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) incidences. Transmission causes of severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) in poor housing conditions can be complex. An understanding of the exact mechanism of transmission can help to pinpoint contributing environmental issues. Here, we investigated a Hong Kong COVID-19 outbreak in early 2021 in four traditional Tong Lau houses with subdivided units. There are more than 80 subdivided units of less than 20 m2 floor area each on average. With a total of 34 confirmed COVID-19 cases, the outbreak had an attack rate of 25.4%, being one of the highest attack rates observed in Hong Kong, and ranked among the highest attack rates in reported outbreaks internationally. Tracer gas leakage and decay measurements were performed in the drainage system and in the subdivided units to determine the transport of infectious aerosols by the owner-modified sophisticated wastewater drainage pipe networks and the poor ventilation conditions in some subdivided units. The results show that the outbreak was probably due to multiple transmission routes, i.e. by the drainage pipe spread of stack aerosols, which is enhanced by poor ventilation in the subdivided units.

Research Area(s)

  • building ventilation, COVID-19, drainage system, poor housing, SARS-CoV-2

Citation Format(s)

High attack rate in a Tong Lau house outbreak of COVID-19 with subdivided units in Hong Kong. / Wang, Qun; Lung, David Christopher; Chan, Pak-To; Jia, Wei; Dung, Chung-Hin; Miao, Te; Huang, Jianxiang; Chen, Wenzhao; Wang, Zixuan; Leung, Kai-Ming; Xu, Pengcheng; Lin, Zhang; Wong, Daniel; Tse, Herman; Ying Wong, Sally Cheuk; Choi, Garnet Kwan-Yue; To, Kelvin Kai-Wang; Cheng, Vincent Chi-Chung; Yuen, Kwok-Yung; Li, Yuguo.

In: Interface Focus, Vol. 12, No. 2, 20210063, 06.04.2022.

Research output: Journal Publications and Reviews (RGC: 21, 22, 62)21_Publication in refereed journalpeer-review

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