Contact risks for COVID-19 transmission to healthcare personnel – News-Medical. Net

In a recent research letter published in the  Emerging Infectious Diseases   journal, researchers analyzed the contact risks for severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) spread to medical professionals in an infection outbreak in a hospital ward.

Study: Identifying Contact Risks for SARS-CoV-2 Transmission to Healthcare Workers during Outbreak on COVID-19 Ward. Image Credit: Evgenia.B/Shutterstock
Study: Identifying Contact Risks for SARS-CoV-2 Transmission in order to Healthcare Workers during Outbreak on COVID-19 Ward. Image Credit: Evgenia. B/Shutterstock


In one prior investigation, Rudberg AS et al . discovered that healthcare workers (HCWs) who had coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) patient interaction had higher SARS-CoV-2 seroprevalence than those without COVID-19 patient contact.

On the particular other hand, a previous study by Braun KM et ing . found that medical personnel were more likely to contract SARS-CoV-2 from someone outside the hospital or coworkers than through COVID-19 patients. Hence, there exists a discrepancy regarding COVID-19 get in touch with risks with regard to HCWs.

About the study

In the current research, the investigators estimated the probability of various SARS-CoV-2 exposures among medical professionals during a COVID-19 outbreak in a 26-bedded medical center ward inside Switzerland with 50 HCWs from October to November 2020. The trial period coincided along with the peak of the particular second SARS-CoV-2 wave in Switzerland.

Unfortunately, throughout the 43-day outbreak term, phylogenetical or epidemiological reconstruction of SARS-CoV-2 transmission networks was not possible. Alternatively, the team employed statistical modeling to evaluate and contrast co-staffs and SARS-CoV-2 patients as probable sources of COVID-19 across HCWs.  

The particular researchers explored three potential risk variables as exposure routes regarding healthcare personnel. The assumed risk factors were working shifts in the infectious timeframe of co workers later discovered SARS-CoV-2-positive plus attending infectious COVID-19 individuals, differentiated simply by whether using isolation precaution measures (IPMs) or standard precaution measures (SPMs) while engaging with contagious SARS-CoV-2 patients.  

The scientists defined that a person along with COVID-19 was contagious from 48 hours before the particular onset of symptoms, or even from the time of a positive test if they were asymptomatic, until around two weeks or two days after the resolution of symptoms, whichever came later. HCWs were tested if they displayed COVID-19 signs or during a staff assessment on day 31 of the SARS-CoV-2 break out.  

The authors determined exposure risk scores intended for a specific day and interaction type under the particular assumption that COVID-19 tranny happened 2 to 10 days before the onset associated with symptoms or a positive test. They included all times HCW worked during the SARS-CoV-2 outbreak except HCW workdays following COVID-19 recovery.

The experts calculated hazard ratios leveraging exposure risk ratings as predictors. Besides, they used time-updated multivariable and univariable Cox proportional-hazards models with time to SARS-CoV-2 infection as the particular outcome. In addition, the team conducted a sensitivity evaluation to get absence or even presence on the ward.

The particular Zurich Cantonal Ethics Commission exempted formal ethical review since the particular current assessments were elemental of an outbreak examination. Further, the 12 SARS-CoV-2-positive sufferers within the hospital ward had been included in 1, 118-patient study examining the incidence of nosocomial COVID-19 in a tertiary care facility.


The team discovered that 38% of HCWs had SARS-CoV-2 infection in the analysis period. IPM was utilized for 11 of the particular 12 COVID-19 patients upon the ward, and SPM was adopted for seven patients till a SARS-CoV-2 diagnosis was made; one patient has been diagnosed only post-discharge. Supporting the findings of prior studies, multivariable and univariable models showed that COVID-19 within HCWs serving around the ward has been linked in order to shifts completed with coworkers later found out to be COVID-19-positive.

The particular study results indicated no clear link between COVID-19 among HCWs and making use of IPM when in touch with patients. This finding might be explained by extensive training, widely accessible personal protective equipment, and regular safety procedures when dealing with COVID-19 patients. SARS-CoV-2 infection was linked to SPM use when managing COVID-19 individuals, but just in the univariable model, suggesting a possible danger.

Nevertheless, the scientists could only assume whether the current discovery associated with elevated risk was due to the particular SPM concept or how it was executed. They mentioned that IPM might add additional levels of safety not just through its enhanced protective components but also by making HCWs more aware of the increased need to take precautions.

The likelihood of SARS-CoV-2 transmission increased when keep contact had been considered, including but not restricted to social work contacts. HCWs were required in order to maintain the safe distance, wear masks, and sanitize shared surfaces, although the authors believe that 100% compliance was always improbable. Additionally , it was unknown if interpersonal interactions between coworkers before and after work may favor SARS-CoV-2 transmission.


Overall, the team found that while operating shifts along with COVID-19  pre-symptomatic healthcare colleagues did raise the probability associated with COVID-19 among health experts, interacting with isolated SARS-CoV-2 patients did not. The present work provides a lot more proof of the SARS-CoV-2 infection likelihood for HCWs engaged with infectious sufferers and co-staffs using SPM. The study results emphasize exactly how crucial it is to select protecting gear appropriately and strictly adhere to safety procedures like IPM plus SPM.  

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