The workplace is a ‘major cause’ of COVID-19 among healthcare professionals
The workplace is a ‘major cause’ of COVID-19 among healthcare professionals

The workplace is a ‘major cause’ of COVID-19 among healthcare professionals

April 16, 2022

2 min read


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Healthcare professionals with COVID-19 were more likely to report exposure to SARS-CoV-2 in the workplace than in their household or community, especially during periods of high transmission in the community, CDC researchers found.

In a press release, Rachael M. Billock, PhD, an epidemiologist for the CDC and the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH), said the study showed that exposure in the workplace is “a major cause of infections” among health professionals.


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Billock RM, et al. Am J Infect Control. 2022; doi: 10.1016 / j.ajic.2022.01.007 0196-6553.



Billock noted that previous reports suggested that healthcare professionals were more likely to be exposed to SARS-CoV-2 away from work because those living in areas with a higher incidence of the disease were more likely to receive COVID-19 .

Rachel Billock

“NIOSH felt it was important to conduct this study to better understand exposure settings among healthcare professionals in the United States and the known association between prevalence in society and prevalence among health care professionals, ā€¯Billock told Healio.

Billock and colleagues assessed health care exposures in the United States between March 2020 and March 2021 using national COVID-19 surveillance data, and adjusted the prevalence ratio for cases identified prior to the start of COVID-19 vaccination programs.

Overall, the study found that among 83,775 healthcare professionals with COVID-19 who had one or more exposures, 52% reported health exposures, 30.8% reported household exposures, and 25.6% reported exposures in the community.

An adjusted analysis showed that health professionals were more likely to report health exposures (aPR = 1.31; 95% CI, 1.26-1.36) and less likely to report household and / or community exposures (aPR = 0, 73; 95% CI, 0.7) -0.76) below the highest societal incidence levels compared to the lowest societal incidence levels.

“Many healthcare professionals with COVID-19 were exposed at workespecially during periods of high prevalence in the community, “Billock said, adding that approximately two-thirds of healthcare professionals with COVID-19 who reported on-the-job exposure and specific types of exposure reported exposures to patients with COVID-19.

“A similar proportion reported exposures to colleagues with COVID-19, with many healthcare professionals reporting both types of exposures,” Billock said. “These findings underscore the importance of infection prevention and control measures targeted at all potential pathways of infection in healthcare workplaces, including transmission from colleague to colleague.”

References:

Billock RM, et al. Am J Infect Control. 2022; doi: 10.1016 / j.ajic.2022.01.007.

Data from a new CDC study reveals key trends in U.S. healthcare professionals’ COVID-19 exposure. https://apic.org/news/data-from-new-cdc-study-reveal-key-trends-in-us-healthcare-personnel-covod-19-exposures. Published April 14, 2022. Opened April 14, 2022.

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