16 July, 2021

Novel respiratory viruses in the context of mass-gathering events: A systematic review to inform event planning from a health perspective

Background: Mass-gathering events (MGEs) occur regularly throughout the world. As people congregate at MGEs, there is an increased risk of transmission of communicable diseases. Novel respiratory viruses, such as Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome Coronavirus-1 (SARS-CoV-1), Influenza A Virus Subtype H1N1 Strain 2009 (H1N1pdm09), Middle East Respiratory Syndrome Coronavirus (MERS-CoV), and Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome Coronavirus-2 (SARS-CoV-2), or Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19), may require specific infection prevention and control strategies to minimize the risk of transmission when planning MGEs. This literature review aimed to identify and analyze papers relating to novel respiratory viruses with pandemic potential and to inform MGE planning.

Method: This paper used a systematic literature review method. Various health care databases were searched using keywords relating to MGEs and novel respiratory viruses. Information was extracted from identified papers into various tables for analysis. The analysis identified infection prevention and control strategies used at MGEs to inform planning before, during, and following events.

Results: In total, 27 papers met the criteria for inclusion. No papers were identified regarding SARS-CoV-1, while the remainder reported on H1N1pdm09 (n = 9), MERS-CoV (n = 15), and SARS-CoV-2 (n = 3). Various before, during, and after event mitigation strategies were identified that can be implemented for future events.

Conclusions: This literature review provided an overview of the novel respiratory virus epidemiology at MGEs alongside related public health mitigation strategies that have been implemented at these events. This paper also discusses the health security of event participants and host communities in the context of cancelling, postponing, and modifying events due to a novel respiratory virus. In particular, ways to recommence events incorporating various mitigation strategies are outlined.

Ranse J
, Beckwith D, Khan A, Yezli S, Hertelendy A, Hutton A, Zimmerman PA. (2021). Novel respiratory viruses in the context of mass gathering events: A systematic review to inform event planning from a health perspective. Prehospital and Disaster Medicine. [in-press]


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