The World Health Organization announced that more than 1.4 million COVID-19 infections are accounted for by healthcare workers, at least 10 percent of all cases.
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 frontline health-care workers in the United Kingdom and US.
Front-line healthcare workers in the United States and Britain were more than three times as likely to report a positive COVID-19 test during the first few weeks of the pandemic, an analysis published Friday by The Lancet Public Health found.
Participant wellness was gauged at the outset of the study, with prompts on individual symptoms and whether or not they had been tested for COVID-19-and what the results were.
Data collected from a smartphone app showed investigators that confirmed coronavirus 2019 (COVID-19) was more than ten-fold reported among every 100,000 healthcare workers than the general population. From Mar 24 to April 23, positive coronavirus tests were identified in 5,545 app users.
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The European Union (EU) has also been aggressive in obtaining shots, well before anyone knows whether they will work. Among these are two vaccines made by United States drug companies Moderna and Pfizer.
Even with adequate PPE, the risk of getting COVID-19 was nearly 2.4 times greater for those caring for suspected COVID-19 patients - and around five times greater for those caring for people with confirmed COVID-19 - compared with those who were not exposed to COVID-19 patients, the researchers said.
They discovered more than 2,700 cases of Covid-19 per 100,000 health care workers compared to simply over 240 cases per 100,000 amongst the basic population.
"Our study provides a more accurate assessment of the magnitude of the increased risk of infection among healthcare workers compared to the broader community", said Dr. Andrew Chang, lead author of the study and director of cancer epidemiology at Massachusetts General Hospital. As a result of the discovery, specialists are now requesting sufficient availability and use of PPE, in addition to further plans to help defend workers on the frontline.
The research suggests that healthcare systems should ensure the adequate availability of PPE and develop additional strategies to protect health workers from COVID-19, particularly those of black, Asian and minority ethnicity.
The researchers concluded that there is still an increased risk of infection despite wearing PPE.
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Researchers highlight the value of adequate availability and use of PPE, as well as the essential need for more plans to protect workers on the frontline.
"Many countries, including the U.S., continue to face vexing shortages of PPE", Chang stated. He added the study also suggests systemic racism is linked to inequalities when it comes to PPE access, adding that this is likely a contributory factor to the unequal infection risk among frontline medical workers belonging to the minority. The authors stated the outcomes of a comparable study now may be various.
Black, Asian, and other minority HCWs were also at elevated risk of infection (aHR, 21.88; 95% CI, 17.78 to 26.94) compared with their white peers (aHR, 12.58; 95% CI, 11.42 to 13.86).
At the time of data collection, most healthcare facilities responding to greater rates of COVID-19 cases were also burdened with PPE shortages, investigators noted.
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