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Year : 2022  |  Volume : 13  |  Issue : 1  |  Page : 108

Incidence and source of COVID-19 infection among health care workers in a tertiary hospital in South India—A prospective cohort study

1 Department of Community Medicine, Saveetha Medical College and Hospital, Chennai, Tamil Nadu, India
2 Department of Community Medicine, Sree Balaji Medical College and Hospital, Chennai, Tamil Nadu, India
3 Department of Microbiology, Saveetha Medical College and Hospital, Thandalam, Chennai, Tamil Nadu, India

Correspondence Address:
V M Anantha Eashwar
158/6 Washer Varadappa Street, New Washermanpet – 81, Chennai, Tamil Nadu
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/ijpvm.IJPVM_687_20

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Background: Data for COVID-19 incidence and the source of infection among health care workers (HCWs) in Indian population are limited. The main objective of the study was to assess the incidence of COVID-19 infection and identify the source of infection among the HCWs in a tertiary teaching hospital. Methods: A prospective cohort study was conducted among the 2134 HCWs recruited by purposive sampling from a tertiary teaching hospital from May to August 2020 (4-month period—123 days). Over the 4-month period, all the HCWs who had symptoms or those were close contacts of COVID positive patients were traced and tested using validated COVID diagnostic test (reverse transcription–polymerase chain reaction [RT–PCR] test). A semi-structured questionnaire was used to interview each positive HCW to identify the source of exposure of the infection. Results: Incidence proportion was 9.3% among HCWs and was two times higher among males compared to females. Hazard ratio was found to be higher among males and HCWs working in the non-COVID areas. Test positivity rate was found to highest (around 57.8%) among those aged less than 30 years. The most common source of infection was infected HCW colleagues (40.9%) followed by exposure to patients in non-COVID areas (27.3%). Only 5.1% of total infection was found in HCWs who had worked in COVID zones. Conclusions: People working in non-COVID areas, those using shared workplace, dining halls, and staff hostels, must follow strict COVID protocols by using appropriate Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) and following social distancing measures.

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