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Prehosp Disaster Med ; 36(2): 131-134, 2021 Apr.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1164739


BACKGROUND: Although first responders (FRs) represent a high-risk group for exposure, little information is available regarding their risk of coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) infection. The purpose of the current study was to determine the serological prevalence of past COVID-19 infection in a cohort of municipal law enforcement (LE) and firefighters (FFs). METHODS: Descriptive analysis of a de-identified data reporting Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome Coronavirus-2 (SARS-CoV-2) immunoglobulin G (IgG), or COR2G, serology results for municipal FRs. As part of the serology process, FRs were surveyed for COVID-19-like symptoms since February 2020 and asked to report any prior COVID-19 nasal swab testing. Descriptive statistics and two-sided Chi Square tests with Yates correction were used to compare groups. RESULTS: Of 318 FRs, 225 (80.2%) underwent serology testing (LE: 163/207 [78.7%]; FF: 92/111 [82.9%]). The prevalence of positive serology for all FRs tested was 3/255 (1.2%). Two LE (1.2%) and one FF (1.1%) had positive serology (P = 1.0). Two hundred and twenty-four FRs responded to a survey regarding prior symptoms and testing. Fifty-eight (25.9%) FRs (44 LE; 14 FFs) reported the presence of COVID-19-like symptoms. Of these, only nine (15.5%) received reverse transcriptase - polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR) testing; none were positive. Two of the three FRs with positive serology reported no COVID-19-like symptoms and none of these responders had received prior nasal RT-PCR swabs. The overall community positive RT-PCR rate was 0.36%, representing a three-fold higher rate of positive seroprevalence amongst FRs compared with the general population (P = .07). CONCLUSIONS: Amongst a cohort of municipal FRs with low community COVID-19 prevalence, the seroprevalence of SARS-CoV-19 IgG Ab was three-fold greater than the general community. Two-thirds of positive FRs reported a lack of symptoms. Only 15.5% of FRs with COVID-19-like symptoms received RT-PCR testing. In addition to workplace control measures, increased testing availability to FRs is critical in limiting infection spread and ensuring response capability.

Antibodies, Viral/blood , COVID-19/blood , COVID-19/epidemiology , Emergency Responders , Immunoglobulin G/blood , Pneumonia, Viral/blood , Pneumonia, Viral/epidemiology , Adult , COVID-19 Testing , Female , Humans , Male , Minnesota/epidemiology , Pneumonia, Viral/virology , SARS-CoV-2 , Seroepidemiologic Studies