Document Type : Original Article

Authors

1 Department of Microbiology, University College of Medical Sciences and Guru Teg Bahadur Hospital, New Delhi-110095, India

2 Department of Medicine, University College of Medical Sciences and Guru Teg Bahadur Hospital, New Delhi-110095, India

3 State TB Officer, RNTCP, New Delhi-110011, India

Abstract

Background: In December 2019, in the city of Wuhan, China; a new coronavirus emerged, that had not been previously identified in humans.
Objectives: Since infected health care workers (HCWs) may be responsible for secondary transmission to patients, their contacts and finally community, it becomes crucial to characterize the infection risk among them.
Methods: The participants were HCWs having suspicion of COVID-19 infection and reporting to the Fever Clinic preferring diagnosis of possible COVID-19 by Truenat. The participants were enrolled through a self-reporting COVID-19 Risk Assessment form. Oropharyngeal swab specimen was collected and subjected to Truenat testing that works on the principle of Real Time Reverse Transcription Polymerase Chain Reaction (RT PCR) based on Taqman chemistry.
Results: 60% of our HCWs comprised of doctors. 83% reported either the presence of BCG scar or gave history of BCG immunization at birth. Maximum number of HCWs (29.16%) took Hydroxychloroquine prophylaxis for 4 weeks. 74% of the HCWs affirmed the use of personal protective equipment at the time of exposure. The commonest mode of infection reported was exposure from COVID-19 patients. Fever was the most common reported symptom. Truenat was positive in 9 of 100 HCWs who got tested, giving an infection rate of 9%. Being asymptomatic or symptomatic at the time of testing was found to be significantly associated with the positivity by Truenat.
Conclusion: The study provide further insights into the burden of COVID-19 infection among HCWs, the epidemiology and guides us to evaluate and further plan our preventive measures and management strategies.

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