Frequent occurrence of sars-cov-2 transmission among non-close contacts exposed to covid-19 patients

Jiwon Jung, Jungmin Lee, Eunju Kim, Songhee Namgung, Younjin Kim, Mina Yun, Young Ju Lim, Eun Ok Kim, Seongman Bae, Mi Na Kim, Sun Mi Lee, Man Seong Park, Sung Han Kim

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Citations (Scopus)


Severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) transmission among non-close contacts is not infrequent. We evaluated the proportion and circumstances of individuals to whom SARS-CoV-2 was transmitted without close contact with the index patient in a nosocomial outbreak in a tertiary care hospital in Korea. From March 2020 to March 2021, there were 36 secondary cases from 14 SARS-CoV-2 infected individuals. Of the 36 secondary cases, 26 (72%) had been classified as close contact and the remaining 10 (28%) were classified as non-close contact. Of the 10 non-close contact, 4 had short conversations with both individuals masked, 4 shared a space without any conversation with both masked, and the remaining 2 entered the space after the index had left. At least one quarter of SARS-CoV-2 transmissions occurred among non-close contacts. The definition of close contact for SARS-CoV-2 exposure based on the mode of droplet transmission should be revised to reflect the airborne nature of SARS-CoV-2 transmission

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1-6
Number of pages6
JournalJournal of Korean medical science
Issue number33
Publication statusPublished - 2021 Aug


  • Close Contact
  • Contact Tracing
  • COVID-19
  • SARS-CoV-2

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Medicine(all)


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