Observational Study
Copyright ©The Author(s) 2023. Published by Baishideng Publishing Group Inc. All rights reserved.
World J Virol. Mar 25, 2023; 12(2): 122-131
Published online Mar 25, 2023. doi: 10.5501/wjv.v12.i2.122
Demographic and risk characteristics of healthcare workers infected with SARS-CoV-2 from two tertiary care hospitals in the United Arab Emirates
Prashant Nasa, Payal Modi, Gladys Setubal, Aswini Puspha, Surjya Upadhyay, Syed Habib Talal
Prashant Nasa, Syed Habib Talal, Critical Care Medicine, NMC Specialty Hospital, Dubai 7832, United Arab Emirates
Prashant Nasa, Department of Internal Medicine, College of Medicine and Health Sciences, Al Ain 15551, United Arab Emirates
Payal Modi, Department of Microbiology, NMC Royal Hospital, Dubai Investment Park, Dubai 7832, United Arab Emirates
Gladys Setubal, Prevention and Control of Infection, NMC Specialty Hospital, Dubai 7832, Dubai, United Arab Emirates
Aswini Puspha, Prevention and Control of Infection, NMC Royal Hospital, Dubai Investment Park, Dubai 7832, United Arab Emirates
Surjya Upadhyay, Department of Anaesthesiology, NMC Royal Hospital, Dubai Investment Park, Dubai 7832, United Arab Emirates
Author contributions: Nasa P, Modi P, Sebutel G, Upadhyay S participated in the acquisition, analysis, and interpretation of the data; Nasa P drafted the initial manuscript; Syed T, Modi P, Sebutel G, Puspha A, Upadhyay S revised the article critically for important intellectual content.
Institutional review board statement: The study was approved by the scientific and ethical committee of the NMC Healthcare and the Dubai Scientific Research Ethics Committee (Approval No. DSREC/09/2020_32).
Informed consent statement: All involved participants of the cross-sectional survey gave their informed consent (written) prior to study inclusion.
Conflict-of-interest statement: There are no conflicts of interest to report.
Data sharing statement: No additional data are available.
STROBE statement: The authors have read the STROBE Statement—checklist of items, and the manuscript was prepared and revised according to the STROBE Statement—checklist of items.
Open-Access: This article is an open-access article that was selected by an in-house editor and fully peer-reviewed by external reviewers. It is distributed in accordance with the Creative Commons Attribution NonCommercial (CC BY-NC 4.0) license, which permits others to distribute, remix, adapt, build upon this work non-commercially, and license their derivative works on different terms, provided the original work is properly cited and the use is non-commercial. See: https://creativecommons.org/Licenses/by-nc/4.0/
Corresponding author: Prashant Nasa, MD, Chief Doctor, Critical Care Medicine, NMC Specialty Hospital, Al Nahda 2, Amman Street, Dubai 7832, United Arab Emirates. dr.prashantnasa@hotmail.com
Received: January 4, 2023
Peer-review started: January 4, 2023
First decision: January 17, 2023
Revised: January 23, 2023
Accepted: February 22, 2023
Article in press: February 22, 2023
Published online: March 25, 2023
Research background

There is paucity of the research on the transmission dynamics of severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) among the healthcare workers (HCWs) and their co-workers and household. The current study conducted a retrospective analysis of the infected HCWs to analyze the socio-demographic risk factors and characteristics of SARS-CoV-2 transmission among HCWs and their social contacts.

Research motivation

HCWs are vulnerable to SARS-CoV-2 infection during their work, and the potential risk of transmission of SARS-CoV-2 infection from the household and co-workers of HCWs is unclear. This study provides valuable insights for workforce management and helps formulate strategies to mitigate the risk of exposure to the HCWs.

Research objectives

The current study evaluated the risk factors of SARS-CoV-2 infection among HCWs and explored the potential of transmission of SARS-CoV-2 among the household and co-workers of infected HCWs.

Research methods

The health records of all infected HCWs between March 2020 and August 2021 were analysed. The information on the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) vaccination, household and co-workers of the infected HCWs was collected through a cross-sectional survey.

Research results

The cross-sectional analysis of health records of 346 reverse transcriptase polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR)-positive HCWs showed that the risk of infection was significantly higher among frontline HCWs. Being male was a significant risk factor for SARS-CoV-2 infection. Among infected frontline staff, a significantly higher proportion were male, and were staying with their families in rented accommodation. COVID-19 vaccination was effective in reducing the infection rate among HCWs.

Research conclusions

Working at the frontline and being male are the significant risk factors for SARS-CoV-2 infection among the HCWs. COVID-19 vaccination is effective in reducing the infection rate among HCWs.

Research perspectives

Future research should explore the role of community transmission of SARS-CoV-2 in the infection of HCWs.