Around 9000 US health care workers contracted COVID-19: CDC Report

The Centre for Disease Control and Prevention released a report on Tuesday. According to the report, as of last week, more than 9,000 health care workers across the U.S. contracted COVID-19 and at least 27 died.

The CDC report holds importance in the current context. It adds to the rising concern for the health and safety of hospital staff. They are working on the front line of the pandemic. In some cases, these health care workers work without the needed protective equipment.

Between Feb.12 and April 9, a total of 9,282 health care personnel confirmed with the disease caused by the new coronavirus. Around 55% reported that they came in contact with COVID-19 patients within the health care setting.

For the workers who provided personal information, about 73% were women and 42 was the median age of those infected. Of the total, only 8 – 10% of the infected health care patients were hospitalized. Around 90% of them were not hospitalized. Among the hospitalized ones, up to 5% were admitted to intensive care. As per the reports 27 patients have died. 10 of them were 65 years old or older.

Because of uneven reporting across the country, the CDC conceded the report’s findings underestimate the number of cases among health care workers. Some states have reported only 3% of COVID-19 patients were health care personnel. However, the number was closer to 11% in those with more complete reporting.

An emergency physician at Lenox Hill Hospital, New York City, Dr. Robert Glatter states that the health care worker information was only available for 16% of the reported cases. He further added that health care providers who were asymptomatic or had mild symptoms were less likely to be tested, or even reported. However, as per him, the study still offers important takeaway lessons.

The report concludes that it is critical to make every possible effort for health care personnel. It is important to ensure the health and safety of this essential national workforce of approximately 18 million health care personnel. It covers both at work and in the community.

The report adds that improving surveillance through routine reporting of occupation and industry will benefit HCP. In addition, it will also benefit all workers during the COVID-19 pandemic.