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Doctors make up 5.2% of recent HCWs Covid cases

By Mindo - 09th Oct 2020

20/3/20 ***NO REPRO FEE*** The swab test. These photographs were taken at the testing centre at Croke Park. A number of HSE staff feature in these photographs. Please note that this is not a real test and does not feature members of the public, the photographs were posed for illustrative and educational purposes only. Many people will need testing for Covid-19 over the coming months and a number of locations nationally are being used as testing centres. Croke Park is a testing centre in north Dublin. About testing: If you develop symptoms you will need to self-isolate and phone your GP. The people in your household need to restrict their movements. Do not go to a GP surgery, pharmacy or hospital, the GP will assess you over the phone. If they think you need to be tested for coronavirus, they will arrange a test. Waiting for a test doesn’t change how you manage your symptoms or interactions with other people. If you are waiting on a test to see if you have Covid 19 or you have been tested and are waiting for the results you need to stay home and self-isolate to prevent you spreading any potential infection to others. For factual, trusted advice and information on Covid-19, go to Pic: Marc O’Sullivan

Doctors made up 5.2 per cent of the Covid-19 cases among healthcare workers (HCWs) notified to the Health Protection Surveillance Centre (HPSC) during the second half of September, according to recent data from the centre.

Females HCWs account for nearly three quarters of the total number of HCWs who have got Covid-19 since the beginning of the pandemic (74.2 per cent).

According to the HPSC, there were 233 HCWs notified to the computerised infectious disease reporting (CIDR) system in the 14-day period between 15 September and 28 September.

Over half of these HCWs, 125 (53.6 per cent)  are reported as residing in Dublin. A total of 12 doctors were registered as having Covid-19, which was 5.2 per cent of the total number of HCWs Covid-19 for this period during the second half of last month.

Nurses made up the highest number of HCWs with 63 cases during this period, which is 27 per cent of the total during this period.

There was a total of 36,217 Covid-19 cases reported as of 28 September; of this number,  9,225 were  healthcare workers (HCWs).  

This figure represents just over a quarter of the total (25.5 per cent).

The total number of deaths of HCWs during the pandemic is eight, with the HPSC noting that this comprised “seven confirmed and one probable Covid-19 case.”

Some 332 HCWs have been hospitalised with Covid-19 since the beginning of the outbreak, according to the HPSC figures.

Of the total number of HCWs who have got Covid-19, just under three quarters (74.2 per cent) were female.

“The proportion of females is disproportionately high among HCWs Covid-19 cases compared to non-HCW Covid-19 cases (48.5 per cent),” according to the HPSC.

“[This is]most likely due to some HCW specialities e.g. nursing, being female dominated.” 

Also, this month the PRECISE study begins which will look at rates of previous Covid -19 infections in healthcare workers in St James’s Hospital, Dublin and University Hospital Galway.

“It will help the health services to broadly estimate the number of healthcare workers that may have some degree of immunity to Covid-19 infection and those that are still at risk of contracting the virus,” Dr Lorraine Doherty, HSE National Clinical Director for Health Protection said of the study.

“It will identify the proportion of healthcare staff who have the antibodies present but were asymptomatic and therefore possible unaware of their exposure to the virus.  All of the information gained from this study will ultimately help the health services prepare for increasing number of cases.”

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