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Int J Environ Res Public Health ; 19(4)2022 Feb 19.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1705755


Healthcare workers (HCWs) are playing a vital role in the current SARS-CoV-2 pandemic. This study investigated how infection spreads within three local hospitals and an associated fire brigade in Germany by testing employees for the presence of SARS-CoV-2 IgG antibodies over one year. The three observational periods corresponded to the initial three pandemic waves: first wave: June-September 2020, second wave: October 2020-January 2021, and third wave: February-June 2021. We analysed 3285 serum samples of 1842 employees, which represents 65.7% of all employees. Altogether, 13.2% employees were seropositive: 194/1411 HCWs (13.7%) and 49/431 non-HCWs (11.4%) with a clear increase of seroprevalence from the first (1.1%) to the second (13.2%) and third (29.3%) pandemic wave. HCWs presumably had an additional occupational risk for infection in the second and third wave due to an increase of infection pressure with more COVID-19 patients treated, showing possible weak points in the recommended infection prevention strategy.

COVID-19 , SARS-CoV-2 , Antibodies, Viral , COVID-19/epidemiology , Cross-Sectional Studies , Germany/epidemiology , Health Personnel , Hospitals , Humans , Secondary Care , Seroepidemiologic Studies
Int J Hyg Environ Health ; 235: 113771, 2021 06.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1240386


PURPOSE: The objective of the ongoing study was to investigate how SARS-CoV-2 infection spread within two hospitals in North Rhine-Westphalia, Germany by testing the employees working in high-risk, intermediate-risk and low-risk-areas for the presence of SARS-CoV-2 IgG antibodies. Presented intermediate results evaluate the first infection period until the end of September 2020. METHODS: The study "COVID-19: Hotspot hospital?- Seroprevalence of SARS-CoV-2 antibodies in hospital employees in a secondary care hospital network in Germany " is a prospective, single centre observational cohort study conducted at the St. Vincenz Hospital Datteln with 316 beds. The presented data include one other hospital: St. Laurentius Stift Waltrop, Germany with 172 beds. RESULTS: Between June 2020 and September 2020 we analyzed serum samples of 907 employees which represents 62.1% of all employees. Thirteen employees (1.4%), respectively 13/696 healthcare workers (HCWs) (1.9%) had detectable SARS-CoV-2 IgG antibodies. Among them, 4 (30.8%) were aware of COVID-19 exposure, and 5 (38.5%) reported clinical symptoms. HCWs working in high-risk areas had a seroprevalence rate of 1.6% (1/64), HCWs working in intermediate-risk area 1.7% (11/632) and 0.5% employees (1/211) in low-risk areas with no contact to patients were seropositive. CONCLUSION: Even if we treated COVID-19 positive patients, we found no clear evidence that infection was transmitted to HCWs in contact to these patients. As knowledge about SARS-CoV-2 transmission evolves, the concept of infection prevention must be continuously reviewed and adapted as needed to keep hospitals a safe place.

COVID-19/epidemiology , Health Personnel/statistics & numerical data , SARS-CoV-2/immunology , Secondary Care Centers/statistics & numerical data , Adolescent , Adult , Antibodies, Viral/blood , COVID-19/diagnosis , COVID-19/prevention & control , Disease Hotspot , Female , Germany/epidemiology , Humans , Immunoglobulin G/blood , Longitudinal Studies , Male , Prospective Studies , Risk Factors , SARS-CoV-2/isolation & purification , Seroepidemiologic Studies , Young Adult