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Am J Otolaryngol ; 43(5): 103579, 2022.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-2068644


INTRODUCTION: Hearing loss is one of the self-reported symptoms of Long COVID patients, however data from objective and subjective audiological tests demonstrating diminished hearing in Long COVID patients has not been published. MATERIALS AND METHODS: Respondents of a large Long COVID online survey were invited to the ENT-department for an otologic exam. The participants were split into three groups based on their history of SARS-CoV-2 infection and persistence of symptoms. Respondents with a history of a SARS-CoV-2 infection were allocated to the Long COVID group, if they reported persistent symptoms and to the Ex COVID group, if they had regained their previous level of health. Participants without a history of SARS-CoV-2 infection made up the No COVID control group. In total, 295 ears were examined with otoscopy, tympanograms, pure tone audiometry and otoacoustic emissions. Ears with known preexisting hearing loss or status post ear surgery, as well as those with abnormal otoscopic findings, non-type A tympanograms or negative Rinne test were excluded. RESULTS: Compared to the No COVID and Ex COVID groups, we did not find a clinically significant difference in either hearing thresholds or frequency specific TEOAEs. However, at 500 Hz the data from the left ear, but not the right ear showed a significantly better threshold in the Ex COVID group, compared to Long COVID and No COVID groups. Any of the other tested frequencies between 500 Hz and 8 kHz were not significantly different between the different groups. There was a significantly lower frequency-specific signal-to-noise-ratio of the TEOAEs in the Long COVID compared to the No COVID group at 2.8 kHz. At all other frequencies, there were no significant differences between the three groups in the TEOAE signal-to-noise-ratio. CONCLUSION: This study detected no evidence of persistent cochlear damage months after SARS-CoV-2 infection in a large cohort of Long COVID patients, as well as those fully recovered.

COVID-19 , Hearing Loss, Sensorineural , Adult , Audiometry, Pure-Tone , Auditory Threshold , COVID-19/complications , Hearing Loss, Sensorineural/diagnosis , Humans , Otoacoustic Emissions, Spontaneous , SARS-CoV-2
J Hosp Infect ; 121: 82-90, 2022 Mar.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1578228


BACKGROUND: Influenza infections acquired in hospital show increased mortality, especially in elderly patients with risk factors. Nevertheless, vaccination rates are low among both high-risk patients and healthcare workers (HCWs). AIM: To more effectively prevent influenza infections in the hospital during the influenza season, a strict mouth-nose protection (MNP) requirement was introduced for all staff throughout the shift on the affected wards as an intervention and its effect on nosocomial infection rates was studied. METHODS: The present data were obtained in a retrospective, monocentric analysis over a period of four consecutive influenza seasons from 2015 to 2019. MNP for all staff during the whole shift as an intervention was introduced in 2017 and for the following seasons if at least three influenza patients were in the ward at the same time. Data from hospitalized influenza patients before and after intervention were compared with regard to nosocomial incidences and mortality. FINDINGS: In the years with strict mandatory MNP (2017-2019), the nosocomial influenza incidence fell nearly 50% (odds ratio: 0.40; 95% confidence interval: 0.28-0.56; P < 0.001) accompanied by a significant reduction in nosocomial mortality by 85% (0.15; 0.02-0.70; P = 0.007). The infectious pressure indicated by influenza incidences and patient-days at risk were comparable before and after intervention, as was the low rate of vaccine uptake by nurses. CONCLUSION: Mandatory MNP for HCWs effectively protects patients from nosocomial influenza infections and mortality.

Cross Infection , Influenza Vaccines , Influenza, Human , Aged , Cross Infection/epidemiology , Cross Infection/prevention & control , Health Personnel , Hospitals , Humans , Influenza, Human/epidemiology , Influenza, Human/prevention & control , Personnel, Hospital , Policy , Retrospective Studies , Seasons , Vaccination
Med Klin Intensivmed Notfmed ; 115(Suppl 3): 139-145, 2020 Dec.
Article in German | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-986484


BACKGROUND: Healthcare workers are a high-risk population for SARS-CoV­2 infection. For capacity planning of healthcare providers and to optimize protection of healthcare workers (HCW) in SARS-CoV­2 pandemics, it is essential to know the risk of infection and potential immunity status of staff dealing with COVID-19 patients. MATERIALS AND METHODS: We examined seropravalence of SARS-CoV­2 IgM/IgG antibodies (AB) in HCW of a region with the highest rate of infection (1570/100,000) during COVID-19 pandemic in Germany, 4 months after its start. Employees of a nonmedical company (MU) served as control group. Demographic data, medical history and working situation were recorded. RESULTS: A total of 1838 HCW and 986 MU volunteered to participate. Seroprevalence for SARS-CoV­2 in HCW was 15.1% and 3.7% in MU. Among HCWs, nurses had a seropositivity of 20.0%, ICU personnel 20.3%, housekeepers 19.3%, physicians 12.0%, medical services (e.g., radiology, physiotherapy) 11.3%, administration 7.1% and technical services 6%. Symptoms typical for COVID-19 were not experienced by 10% of seropositive HCWs. CONCLUSION: Seroprevalence of SARS-CoV­2 antibodies in HCW of a region heavily affected by COVID-19 is with 15.1% significantly higher than in a control group of nonmedical staff with 3.7%. Infection rate in HCW was higher in staff with close contact to infected patients. Seropositivity in ICU personnel is higher than in other clinical professions. The occupational risk for housekeepers seems to be underestimated.

COVID-19 , SARS-CoV-2 , Germany , Humans , Intensive Care Units , Pandemics , Seroepidemiologic Studies