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Year : 2021  |  Volume : 9  |  Issue : 3  |  Page : 93-98

Risk of SARS-CoV-2 infection among healthcare workers in a tertiary care center

Department of Microbiology, Rajarajeswari Medical College and Hospital, Bangalore, Karnataka 560074, India

Correspondence Address:
Kirtilaxmi Benachinmardi
Department of Microbiology, Rajarajeswari Medical College and Hospital, Bangalore, Karnataka 560074
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/dypj.dypj_53_21

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Purpose: Healthcare workers (HCWs) are at higher risk of acquiring SARS-CoV-2, the causative agent of current pandemic COVID-19. Being frontline workers and most essential resource of healthcare systems, it is important to identify infection in them early. Hence, this study was conducted to assess the risk of HCWs in acquiring SARS-CoV-2 infection. Materials and Methods: This prospective study was conducted at a tertiary healthcare center for a duration of 6 months. All the HCWs, involved in Covid-19 patient care, were enrolled in the study. A total number of 792 HCWs were screened for COVID-19 by using real-time reverse transcriptase–polymerase chain reaction (rRT–PCR). Data on age, sex, and occupational categories were also analyzed. Results: There were a total of 792 HCWs involved in Covid-19 patient care. Doctors were 350 (44%), nursing staff 230 (29%), cleaning staff 130 (17%), and supporting staff 82 (10%). Female staff (66%) outnumbered male staff (34%). Among 792 HCWs, 35 (4.42%) were positive for SARS-CoV-2 by RT–PCR. The highest positivity rate was seen in supporting staff (18.30%), followed by cleaning staff (3.84%), doctors (3.14%), and lowest in nurses (1.74%). Out of the 35 positive cases, clinical symptoms were seen in only 18 patients. Majority of the patients (53%) were asymptomatic. Conclusion: Although HCWs are at a higher risk of acquiring SARS-CoV-2 infection as an occupational hazard, the chances of acquiring infection in the community cannot be ruled out. All the HCWs in the hospital setting should be screened periodically, even if they are asymptomatic.

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