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Estimating Coronavirus Disease 2019 Infection Risk in Health Care Workers

Educational Objective
To understand COVID-19 Infection Risk in Health Care Workers
1 Credit CME

Coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) due to severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) has been posing a public health threat since early 2020. Pandemic transmission of SARS-CoV-2 has already caused more than 3.1 million infections and 224 000 deaths globally over a period of 4 months. The overwhelming number of individuals who are infected not only leads to widespread community lockdowns, but also paralyzes health care systems and puts health care workers (HCWs) at potential risk. Although cases of HCWs who are infected owing to community or nosocomial acquisition of SARS-CoV-2 have been receiving unparalleled attention in social media and are increasingly reported in many parts of the world, as of yet there have been few scientific reports specifically looking into this aspect. The studies by Kluytmans-van den Bergh et el1 and Lai et al2 report on SARS-CoV-2 infection rates of HCWs in 2 countries. Kluytmans-van den Bergh at el1 described a group of HCWs with predominantly community acquisition of SARS-CoV-2 in the Netherlands,1 whereas Lai et al2 presented another group of HCWs with predominantly nosocomial acquisition of SARS-CoV-2 in Wuhan, China, where cases of COVID-19 were first reported.

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Article Information

Published: May 21, 2020. doi:10.1001/jamanetworkopen.2020.9687

Open Access: This is an open access article distributed under the terms of the CC-BY License. © 2020 Cheng VC-C et al. JAMA Network Open.

Corresponding Author: Vincent Chi-Chung Cheng, MD, Department of Microbiology, Queen Mary Hospital, 102 Pok Fu Lam Rd, Hong Kong Special Administrative Region, China (vcccheng@hku.hk).

Conflict of Interest Disclosures: None reported.

References
1.
Kluytmans-van den Bergh  MFQ , Buiting  AGM , Pas  SD ,  et al.  Prevalence and clinical presentation of health care workers with symptoms of coronavirus disease 2019 in 2 Dutch hospitals during an early phase of the pandemic.   JAMA Netw Open. 2020;3(5):e209673. doi:10.1001/jamanetworkopen.2020.9673 Google Scholar
2.
Lai  X , Wang  M , Qin  C ,  et al.  Coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-2019) infection among health care workers and implications for prevention measures in a tertiary hospital in Wuhan, China.   JAMA Netw Open. 2020;3(5):e209666. doi:10.1001/jamanetworkopen.2020.9666Google Scholar
3.
Booth  TF , Kournikakis  B , Bastien  N ,  et al.  Detection of airborne severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS) coronavirus and environmental contamination in SARS outbreak units.   J Infect Dis. 2005;191(9):1472-1477. doi:10.1086/429634 PubMedGoogle ScholarCrossref
4.
Guan  WJ , Ni  ZY , Hu  Y ,  et al; China Medical Treatment Expert Group for Covid-19.  Clinical characteristics of coronavirus disease 2019 in China.   N Engl J Med. 2020;382(18):1708-1720. doi:10.1056/NEJMoa2002032PubMedGoogle ScholarCrossref
5.
Liu  Y , Yan  LM , Wan  L ,  et al.  Viral dynamics in mild and severe cases of COVID-19.   Lancet Infect Dis. 2020;S1473-3099(20):30232. doi:10.1016/S1473-3099(20)30232-2PubMedGoogle Scholar
6.
Tartari  E , Saris  K , Kenters  N ,  et al; on behalf of the International Society of Antimicrobial Chemotherapy Infection and Prevention Control (ISAC-IPC) Working Group.  Not sick enough to worry: “influenza-like” symptoms and work-related behavior among healthcare workers and other professionals: results of a global survey.   PLOS ONE. Published online May 13, 2020. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0232168Google Scholar
7.
Cheng  VCC , Wong  SC , Chen  JHK ,  et al.  Escalating infection control response to the rapidly evolving epidemiology of the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) due to SARS-CoV-2 in Hong Kong.   Infect Control Hosp Epidemiol. 2020;41(5):493‐498. doi:10.1017/ice.2020.58PubMedGoogle ScholarCrossref
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