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Transmission of SARS-CoV-2 associated with cruise ship travel: protocol for a systematic review (Version 1)

By Elena Cecilia Rosca, Carl Heneghan, Elizabeth A Spencer, Jon Brassey, Annette Pluddemann, Igho Onakpoya, David H Evans, John M Conly, Tom Jefferson

Posted 14 Oct 2021
medRxiv DOI: 10.1101/2021.10.11.21264724

Background: Maritime and river travel, including cruise ships, have been implicated with spreading viruses through infected passengers and crew. Given the novelty of the SARS-CoV-2 infection, early cruise ship travel transmission models of spread are based on what is known of the dynamics of other respiratory viral infections. Our objective is to provide a rapid summary and evaluation of relevant data on SARS-CoV-2 transmission aboard cruise ships, report policy implications, and highlight research gaps requiring attention. Methods: We will search LitCovid, medRxiv, Google Scholar, and the WHO Covid-19 database using COVID-19, SARS-CoV-2, transmission, and cruise ship appropriate synonyms. We will also search the reference lists of included studies for additional relevant studies. We will include studies reporting onboard SARS-CoV-2 transmission from passengers and/or crew to passengers and/or crew. We will consider any potential transmission mode. We will assess study quality based on five criteria and report important findings. The outcome will consist of the onboard cruise ships transmission of SARS-CoV-2. We will provide a narrative summary of the data and report the outcomes, including quantitative estimates where feasible and relevant. Where possible, compatible datasets may be pooled for meta-analysis. Expected results: We will present the evidence in three distinct packages: study description, methodological quality assessment and data extracted. We will summarize the evidence and will draw conclusions as to the quality of the evidence.

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