Back to Journals » Journal of Multidisciplinary Healthcare » Volume 13

Prevalence of the SARS-CoV-2 Infection Among Post-Quarantine Healthcare Workers

Authors Alshahrani MS, Alnimr A, Alnassri S, Alfarag S, Aljehani Y, Alabdali M

Received 2 September 2020

Accepted for publication 29 October 2020

Published 15 December 2020 Volume 2020:13 Pages 1927—1936

DOI https://doi.org/10.2147/JMDH.S279469

Checked for plagiarism Yes

Review by Single anonymous peer review

Peer reviewer comments 3

Editor who approved publication: Dr Scott Fraser


Mohammed S Alshahrani,1 Amani Alnimr,2,3 Samia Alnassri,3 Sukyana Alfarag,4 Yasser Aljehani,5 Majed Alabdali6

1Emergency and Critical Care Department, King Fahad Hospital of the University – Imam Abdulrahman Bin Faisal University, Dammam, Kingdom of Saudi Arabia; 2Department of Microbiology, College of Medicine, Imam Abdulrahman Bin Faisal University, Dammam, Kingdom of Saudi Arabia; 3Department of Infection Control, King Fahad Hospital of the University, Dammam, Kingdom of Saudi Arabia; 4Emergency Department, King Fahad Hospital of the University – Imam Abdulrahman Bin Faisal University, Dammam, Kingdom of Saudi Arabia; 5Department of Surgery, King Fahad Hospital of the University – Imam Abdulrahman Bin Faisal University, Dammam, Kingdom of Saudi Arabia; 6Department of Neurology, King Fahad Hospital of the University – Imam Abdulrahman Bin Faisal University, Dammam, Kingdom of Saudi Arabia

Correspondence: Mohammed S Alshahrani
Emergency and Critical Care Departments, King Fahad Hospital of the University – Imam Abdulrahman Bin Faisal University, Dammam 31952, Kingdom of Saudi Arabia
Tel +966-556-966663
Email msshahrani@iau.edu.sa

Background: Coronavirus disease 2019 is an emerging highly communicable disease. Nosocomial transmission needs to be prevented through the implementation of stringent screening and infection control measures.
Objective: The objective of the study is to estimate the prevalence of severe acute respiratory syndrome– coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) infection among health care workers (HCWs) post quarantine period.
Methods: This is a prospective, observational study conducted at a teaching University hospital in Alkhobar, Saudi Arabia, during the period between May 1 and June 15, 2020. All (HCWs) joining work back from the quarantine areas had a real-time polymerase chain reaction (qRT-PCR) test for SARS-CoV-2. The demographic and clinical data from the staff were collected.
Results: Of the 301 HCWs screened, 18 (6%) had positive PCR. The age means of the positive cases was 32.9 Y ± 8.7 compared to 33.8 Y ± 7.0 in the negatively tested group (p value = 0.90). Of the 18 PCR-positive HCWs, 7 (38.9%) were male. Majority of those who tested positive were trainees (8.2%) followed by nurses (5.1%). In PCR-positive group, a clear epidemiological exposure was found in 4/18 cases (22.2%). Male gender and residency in specific districts were observed more in the positive cases (p value = 0.01 and 0.0001, respectively). In regards to symptoms, most of the positive PCR tested HCWs (n=12, 66.7%) remained asymptomatic. Most prevalent initial symptoms were gastrointestinal symptoms (diarrhea, abdominal pain) in six HCWs representing 33.3%. No significant difference was noted in co-morbidities reported by both groups.
Conclusion: Health care workers tested post-quarantine period were found to be at risk of SARS-CoV-2 infection despite very minimal or no known risks of exposure, where most of them were asymptomatic. This potentially carries risk of nosocomial transmission inside healthcare facilities. Implanting policies for routine post-quarantine screening for HCWs is recommended.

Keywords: COVID‐19, asymptomatic HCW, quarantine, PCR, SARS-CoV-2, screening

Creative Commons License This work is published and licensed by Dove Medical Press Limited. The full terms of this license are available at https://www.dovepress.com/terms.php and incorporate the Creative Commons Attribution - Non Commercial (unported, v3.0) License. By accessing the work you hereby accept the Terms. Non-commercial uses of the work are permitted without any further permission from Dove Medical Press Limited, provided the work is properly attributed. For permission for commercial use of this work, please see paragraphs 4.2 and 5 of our Terms.

Download Article [PDF]  View Full Text [HTML][Machine readable]