Risks of becoming infected with SARS-CoV-2 for medical personnel in a large industrial city during the pandemic: comparative assessment

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S.S. Smirnova1,2, I.А. Egorov1, N.N. Zhuikov1, L.G. Vyatkina3, А.N. Kharitonov3, А.V. Semenov1,4, О.V. Morova2,5


1Yekaterinburg Research Institute of Viral Infections, State Research Center of Virology and Biotechnology "Vector", Federal Service for Surveillance on Consumer Rights Protection and Human Well-being, 23 Letnyaya Str., Ekaterinburg, 620030, Russian Federation
2Ural State Medical University, 3 Repina Str., Ekaterinburg, 620028, Russian Federation
3The Center for Public Health and Medical Prevention, 78A/2 8 Marta Str., Ekaterinburg, 620144, Russian Federation
4Institute of Natural Sciences and Mathematics of the Ural Federal University named after the First President of Russia B.N. Yeltsin, 19 Mira Str., Ekaterinburg, 620002, Russian Federation
5The Center for Hygiene and Epidemiology in Sverdlovsk Region, 3 Otdelnii lane, Ekaterinburg, 620078, Russian Federation


The COVID-19 pandemic has produced its effects on functioning of all the state institutions, the public healthcare system being a peculiar one among them. Medical personnel have become an unprotected population group that was actively involved into the epidemic process. Results produced by several studies indicate that relative risks to become infected with COVID-19 are by up to 11.6 times higher for medical personnel than in population at large. A share of medical personnel among patients with COVID-19 varies in different countries, from 4.2 % in China to 17.8 % in the USA. According to official statistics, in 2020 a share of medical personnel who became infected with COVID-19 in in-hospital foci amounted to 68.6 % in the RF regions located in the Urals and Siberian Federal Districts.

High epidemic potential of the virus and intensive mass contacts between medical personnel and their patients make for rapid SARS-CoV-2 spread and infection among them. It is vital to examine all the range of risk factors that cause SARS-CoV-2 infection among medical personnel.
The present study involved using “The map of epidemiological investigation focused on the incidence of the new coronavirus infection (COVID-19) in medical personnel”. The map was located on Google Cloud Platform. Overall, 613 medical workers from different medical organizations took part in the research. We applied sociological, epidemiological and statistical research techniques.

We established that work in an infectious diseases hospital increased a relative risk of SARS-CoV-2 infection by 1.8 times (RR = 1.78; 95 % CI [1.65–1.93]). The total risk of SARS-CoV-2 infection was insignificant for workers employed at a medical organization that provided scheduled medical assistance to population (RR = 1.02; 95 % CI [1.00–1.04]). However, certain factors created elevated risks of infection. Any contacts with COVID-19 patients who were close relatives, friends or neighbors were established to be significant (RR = 1.13; 95 % CI [1.04–1.228]).

The research results should be used when organizing work procedures and anti-epidemic activities in infectious diseases hospitals and medical organizations providing scheduled assistance to population. The focus should be on providing medical personnel with personal protective equipment as well as on calculating relevant duration of a work shift relying on the risk-based approach.

pandemic, COVID-19, SARS-COV-2, medical personnel, risk factors of infection, risk-based approach
Smirnova S.S., Egorov I.А., Zhuikov N.N., Vyatkina L.G., Kharitonov А.N., Semenov А.V., Morova О.V. Risks of becoming infected with SARS-CoV-2 for medical personnel in a large industrial city during the pandemic: comparative assessment. Health Risk Analysis, 2022, no. 2, pp. 139–150. DOI: 10.21668/health.risk/2022.2.13.eng
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