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Int J Environ Res Public Health ; 18(20)2021 10 17.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1470872


BACKGROUND: Close patient contact is an essential component of clinical dental education, which can expose students and faculty to risk of COVID-19 and its sequelae. METHODS: The study was a cross-sectional survey conducted among faculty and clinical students at an academic dental hospital in Al Madinah western Saudi Arabia. An online questionnaire was distributed to collect data on prevalence, risk factors, clinical manifestations, and long-term health and socioeconomic complications of COVID-19 infection. RESULTS: Prevalence of COVID-19 was 19.6% among a total of 316 students and faculty. Participants cited family and friends as the primary source of infection (40.3%). Among cross-infection control practices, they cited failure to practice distancing as the primary reason for infection transmission (61.3%). The disease was symptomatic in 85.5% of infected personnel. Most frequently reported clinical manifestations were: fever, cough, malaise, and diarrhoea (74.1%, 56.5%, 40.3%, 32.3%, respectively). A proportion of 37.1% of infected personnel stated that they had long COVID-19, and 58.3% of infected students reported deteriorated academic achievement. CONCLUSIONS: One in five of clinical dental students and their faculty had COVID-19. Most cases were symptomatic, and a large proportion developed long COVID or adverse socioeconomic consequences. Regardless of the severity of symptoms encountered during the acute stage of COVID-19 infection, all infected dental healthcare personnel should be followed, especially those who report long COVID. Continuous follow-up and assistance for infected students may be warranted to mitigate the potential academic and mental drawbacks caused by the pandemic. Dental schools should adopt clear policies regarding COVID-19 transmission and prevention and should implement them in their infection-control education and training.

COVID-19 , COVID-19/complications , Cross-Sectional Studies , Hospitals , Humans , Personnel, Hospital , SARS-CoV-2 , Saudi Arabia/epidemiology