TUESDAY, Sept. 1, 2020 (HealthDay Information) — A brand new examine of 13 U.S. medical facilities finds that 6% of employees examined optimistic for prior an infection with the new coronavirus, with virtually half (44%) having no thought they’d ever contracted SARS-CoV-2.
Within the examine, blood antibody testing of greater than 3,200 medical doctors, nurses and different hospital employees was performed between early April and mid-June. About 1 in 16 of the assessments got here up optimistic, researchers discovered, and 29% of these optimistic outcomes arose in individuals who mentioned they’d had no signs suggestive of COVID-19.
An infection charges amongst employees additionally different extensively between hospitals, starting from simply 0.8% at one middle to greater than 31% at one other. In accordance with the examine creator, that probably displays the extent of coronavirus circulating within the metropolis every hospital served.
One factor was clear, nonetheless: Use of masks, robes, gloves and different protecting gear by employees saved an infection charges down. And when hospitals confronted shortages of private protecting tools (PPE), COVID-19 infections rose.
“The next share of individuals who reported a PPE scarcity had detectable SARS-CoV-2 antibodies [9%] than did those that didn’t report a PPE scarcity [6%],” reported researchers led by Dr. Wesley Self of Vanderbilt College Medical Heart in Nashville, Tenn. About 12% of the employees interviewed within the examine mentioned they’d already encountered some type of PPE scarcity at their medical middle.
One emergency doctor engaged on the frontlines of the pandemic agreed that prevention is essential.
“Having an enough provide of PPE is significant with the intention to mitigate the elevated threat that every one well being care staff face on the frontlines,” defined Dr. Robert Glatter, who practices at Lenox Hill Hospital in New York Metropolis.
“This represents one of many main ongoing challenges that has confronted hospitals and medical facilities because the pandemic continues,” he mentioned.
Frequent testing of frontline well being care staff can also be essential to curbing outbreaks early on as a result of “a excessive proportion of personnel with antibodies didn’t suspect that that they had been beforehand contaminated,” Self’s group mentioned.
“What’s necessary is that well being care staff do not change into a reservoir for asymptomatic unfold of an infection throughout the hospital setting or locally,” Glatter mentioned. “Because of this, we should spend money on frequent testing of such very important staff.”
The brand new examine was printed Aug. 31 in Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report, a journal of the U.S. Facilities for Illness Management and Prevention.