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Table of Contents
SHORT COMMUNICATION
Year : 2020  |  Volume : 4  |  Issue : 4  |  Page : 130-131

Coronavirus disease-2019 infection among health-care professionals: predisposing factors and preventive strategies


1 Member of the Medical Education Unit and Institute Research Council, Department of Community Medicine, Shri Sathya Sai Medical College and Research Institute, Sri Balaji Vidyapeeth – Deemed to be University, Ammapettai, Nellikuppam, Chengalpet District, Tamil Nadu, India
2 Department of Community Medicine, Shri Sathya Sai Medical College and Research Institute, Sri Balaji Vidyapeeth – Deemed to be University, Ammapettai, Nellikuppam, Chengalpet District, Tamil Nadu, India

Date of Submission08-May-2020
Date of Decision14-May-2020
Date of Acceptance22-May-2020
Date of Web Publication9-Oct-2020

Correspondence Address:
Dr. Saurabh RamBihariLal Shrivastava
Professor, Department of Community Medicine, Shri Sathya Sai Medical College and Research Institute, Sri Balaji Vidyapeeth (SBV) – Deemed to be University, Tiruporur - Guduvancherry Main Road, Ammapettai, Nellikuppam, Chengalpet District- 603108, Tamil Nadu
India
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None


DOI: 10.4103/MTSM.MTSM_13_20

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  Abstract 


The Corona Virus Disease-2019 (COVID-19) infection has been reported among all, regardless of their region, nation, ethnicity, religion, age-group, gender, socioeconomic class and work profile. Against this novel viral infection, the health care workers are the only group of professionals who are working right from the day one, when the first case was reported and nothing was known about the infection. It is extremely important to protect health care professionals from infection both in the hospital and community settings. A wide range of factors has been attributed to the acquisition of infection among health workers in hospital settings. In conclusion, the role of health care professionals in the containment of the COVID-19 pandemic is of utmost importance and thus it is crucial to get more epidemiological insights about the infection and thus ensure their safety and well-being in the workplace.

Keywords: COVID-19 pandemic, health care professionals, world health organization


How to cite this article:
Shrivastava SR, Shrivastava PS. Coronavirus disease-2019 infection among health-care professionals: predisposing factors and preventive strategies. Matrix Sci Med 2020;4:130-1

How to cite this URL:
Shrivastava SR, Shrivastava PS. Coronavirus disease-2019 infection among health-care professionals: predisposing factors and preventive strategies. Matrix Sci Med [serial online] 2020 [cited 2020 Oct 21];4:130-1. Available from: https://www.matrixscimed.org/text.asp?2020/4/4/130/297628




  Introduction Top


The coronavirusdisease2019 (COVID19) infection has been reported among all, regardless of their region, nation, ethnicity, religion, agegroup, gender, socioeconomic class, and work profile, and this makes the ongoing pandemic as a difficult opponent for the mankind, especially in the absence of a vaccine or a potent drug.[1] On the global scale, a total of 3,672,238 cases of the disease has been reported, of which 254,045 people have lost their lives, whereas thousands of them are still fighting with the disease during their illness phase.[1] Overall, the European region and the American region are the most affected, and the epicenter of the disease is no longer in China.[1]

Healthcare professionals and COVID-19

Against this novel viral infection, the healthcare professionals are the only group of professionals who are working right from the day 1, when the first case was reported and nothing was known about the infection.[2] Even after 3 months of the emergence of the outbreak, a lot of attributes pertaining to the disease are still not known, but the healthcare professionals worldwide have compromised their safety to ensure that other infected people can live and not act as a source of infection for others. These healthcare professionals apart from extending critical care to the suspected or confirmed cases plays a crucial role in the strengthening and implementation of the infection prevention and control measures in hospital settings, so that the incidence of nosocomial infections can be significantly minimized.[1],[2]

The recent findings released suggested that a total of 22,073 healthcare professionals has been diagnosed with the disease across 52 nations, but it is quite obvious that these estimates don't even reflect the half estimates, as the disease has been reported till date in 215 nations and territories.[1] Indirectly, this justifies the need to strengthen the surveillance system and ensure that the infections reported among different types of healthcare professionals can be separately reported across all nations to get a precise estimate about the overall magnitude of the infection. Further, there have been some studies which have tried to gain insights into the infection pattern among health professionals, treatment outcomes, and the potential predisposing factors which have significantly enhanced the probability to acquire the infection.[1],[2],[3]

Predisposing factors

Even though, most of the infections among health professionals have been mild in nature, it is crucial to note that some of them have eventually lost their lives due to the diseaserelated complications.[1] There is no doubt that we have to contain the disease in all settings, but it is extremely important to protect healthcare professionals from infection both in the hospital and community settings.[1],[4] A wide range of factors has been attributed toward the acquisition of infection among health professionals in hospital settings, namely delayed detection of disease among patients, being employed in highrisk wings of the hospital, prolonged working hours, inadequate adherence to the infection prevention and control measures, untrained staff, and shortage or improper use of personal protective equipment.[2],[4]

Preventive strategies

In order to prevent the emergence or transmission in healthcare establishments, the health professionals should strongly adhere to contact and droplet precautionary measures, airborne precautions in procedures involving aerosol generation, consistent and appropriate usage of personal protective equipment, adherence to hand hygiene and other infection prevention and control measures has been recommended.[1],[2],[5] Further, these measures should be coupled with administrative, engineering, and environmental measures to significantly reduce the risk of infection among health professionals.[5] In addition, a risk assessment tool has been designed for those health professionals who are exposed to the risk of infection, and a protocol to identify the risk factors responsible for augmenting the infection among them.[3] Moreover, it is essential to extend psychosocial support, maintain an adequate staff, allocate duties in rotation, create awareness about the disease, provide them with adequate supply of protective equipment, motivate them to report the development of symptoms, and refrain from workplace till symptoms subside.[1],[3]

Conclusion

In conclusion, the role of healthcare professionals in the containment of the COVID19 pandemic is of utmost importance, and thus, it is crucial to get more epidemiological insights about the infection and thus ensure their safety and wellbeing in the workplace.

Financial support and sponsorship

Nil.

Conflicts of interest

There are no conflicts of interest.



 
  References Top

1.
World Health Organization. Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) Situation Report – 108; 2020. Available from: https://www.who.int/docs/default-sou rce/coronaviruse/situati on-reports/20200507covid-19-sitr ep-108.pdf?sfvrsn=44cc8ed8_2. [Last acc essed on 2020 May 08].  Back to cited text no. 1
    
2.
Liu M, He P, Liu HG, Wang XJ, Li FJ, Chen S, et al. Clinical characteristics of 30 medical workers infected with new coronavirus pneumonia. Zhonghua Jie He He Hu Xi Za Zhi 2020;43:209-14.  Back to cited text no. 2
    
3.
Lai J, Ma S, Wang Y, Cai Z, Hu J, Wei N, et al. Factors associated with mental health outcomes among health care workers exposed to coronavirus disease 2019. JAMA Netw Open 2020;3:e203976.  Back to cited text no. 3
    
4.
World Health Organization. Risk Assessment and Management of Exposure of Health Care Workers in the Context of COVID-19 – Interim Guidance. Geneva: World Health Organization press; 2020. p. 1-6.  Back to cited text no. 4
    
5.
World Health Organization. 2019 Novel Coronavirus (2019-nCoV): Strategic Preparedness and Response Plan. Geneva: World Health Organization press; 2020. p. 1-20.  Back to cited text no. 5
    




 

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