COVID-19 in Health Care Workers – A Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis

The American Journal of Emergency Medicine
20 Nov, 2020 ,

Ankit Kumar Sahu et.al. conducted a study to to know the proportion of health care workers who are COVID 19 positive, as well as the severity and mortality among them. The researchers concluded that Health care workers who are COVID-19 positive constituted a significant proportion of all COVID-19 patients; but the severity and mortality were lower among them.

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Background and objectives

It is essential to know the proportion of health care workers (HCW) who are COVID 19 positive, as well as the severity and mortality among them.

Methods

This systematic review was performed according to the Preferred Reporting Items for Systematic review and meta-analysis. Databases including PubMed, EMBASE and Web of Science were searched from December-31, 2019 to April-23, 2020. The search was limited to the studies that reported the data on the number of COVID-19 positive healthcare workers, among the COVID-19 positive patients. Case reports, duplicate publications, reviews, and family-based studies were excluded. The methodological quality of studies was assessed by the Appraisal tool for Cross-Sectional Studies (AXIS) tool.

Results

In this systematic review and meta-analysis, we pooled eleven studies to investigate the above factors. The overall proportion of HCW who were SARS-CoV-2 positive among all COVID-19 patients was 10.1% (95%CI: 5.3–14.9). This proportion varied according to the country of study i.e. China (7 studies) - 4.2%, 95%CI:2.4–6.0; United States (3 studies) – 17.8%, 95%CI:7.5–28.0; and Italy (1 study) – 9.0%, 95%CI:8.6–9.4. The incidence of severe or critical disease in HCW (9.9%, 95%CI:0.8–18.9) was significantly lower (p < 0.001) than the incidence of severe or critical disease in all COVID-19 positive patients (29.4%, 95%CI:18.6–40.2). Similarly, the mortality among HCW (0.3%, 95%CI:0.2–0.4) was also significantly lower (p < 0.001) as compared to that of all patients (2.3%, 95%CI:2.2–2.4).