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"Three times risk for frontline healthcare workers"

Frontline healthcare workers with adequate personal protective equipment (PPE) have a three-fold increased risk of a positive SARS-CoV-2 test, compared with the public.

Those with inadequate PPE had a further increase in risk, while healthcare workers from Black, Asian and minority ethnic (BAME) backgrounds are more likely to test positive.

Using the COVID Symptom Tracker App, researchers from King’s College London and Harvard looked at data from 2,035,395 individuals and 99,795 front-line healthcare workers in the UK and US.

The prevalence of SARS-CoV-2 was 2747 cases per 100,000 front-line healthcare workers, compared with 242 cases per 100,000 people in the general community.

A little over 20% of front-line healthcare workers reported at least one symptom associated with SARS-CoV-2 infection compared with 14.4% of the general population.

BAME healthcare workers were at an especially high risk of SARS-CoV-2 infection, with at least a five-fold increased risk of infection compared with the non-Hispanic white general community.

Researchers say their study shows the importance of adequate availability and use of PPE and the crucial need for additional strategies to protect healthcare workers, such as correct application and removal of PPE and avoiding reuse, which was linked to increased risk.  

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Image Credit | Getty

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