September 24, 2020

COVID-19 in healthcare workers

By: Judy Mathias

Editor's Note

This meta-analysis by researchers in Switzerland and Columbia finds that healthcare workers (HCWs) exhibit a high prevalence of COVID-19 infection, with a significant proportion of them being asymptomatic carriers. This favors silent transmission in clinical and community settings.

The meta-analysis comprised 97 studies published in 2020, and 230,398 HCWs across 24 countries.

Sponsored Message

Among the findings:

  • The estimated prevalence of COVID-19 infection was 11% in those screened for infection and 7% in those screened for antibodies.
  • The most frequently COVID-19 affected personnel were nurses (48%), followed by physicians (25%), and other HCWs (23%).
  • Most COVID-19-positive medical personnel were working in regular/nonsurgical/non-COVID-19 wards during screening (43%), followed by 24% in the OR, 16% in the ED, 9% in the ICU, and 29% in other locations.
  • Anosmia (loss of taste and smell), fever, and myalgia were identified as the only symptoms associated with HCW COVID-19 positivity.
  • Of the COVID-19-positive personnel, 40% did not show symptoms at time of diagnosis, 5% developed severe clinical complications, and 0.5% died.

The researchers concluded that universal screening for all exposed HCWs regardless of symptoms should be the standard strategy.


Sign Up For OR a.m.
Sign up for the free OR a.m. eLetter to get news like this in your inbox every morning!

OR Manager Jobs
Live chat by BoldChat