Impact of the SARS-CoV-2 pandemic on health workers in Colombia, 2020

  • Occupational and environmental health
  • Healthcare related infections
  • Vaccine preventable diseases
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In December 2019, the circulation of a new coronavirus (SARS-CoV-2) was identified as the causative agent of a severe acute respiratory disease (COVID-19) in Wuhan, China, which spread rapidly to the world. The World Health Organization declared a pandemic in March 2020. The first case in Colombia was detected in March 2020. Transmission in health workers is frequent and is associated with close and direct contact with patients. This study aims to characterize the behavior of SARS-COV-2 in health workers in Colombia.

Retrospective, descriptive study of the surveillance of COVID-19 in health workers between March and September 2020. A case definition was established as a health worker with a positive PCR for SARS-CoV-2. Through a standardized field research form, demographic information, signs, symptoms, contacts and sources of infection were collected, classified into four categories: associated with hospital, established by contact with a patient or work colleague with failures in the use of measures of protection; indeterminate, where the contagion could not be determined; Community or imported source. Clusters were established in hospitals from a case with a hospital transmission source. A descriptive analysis was made.

A total of 9,071 developed COVID-19, which represented 1.3% of the national total. 97.7% presented mild symptoms and of these, 7.9% were asymptomatic. It was identified that 67.9% associated went to the provision of the service, 17.0% undetermined source and 15.2% community. Nursing technicians, physician and nurses were the most affected. The fatality was 0.7%. 756 health institutions with hospital clusters and weaknesses in infection control were identified.

There is a high level of involvement of health personnel with a source associated with the provision of the service, which shows the need to strengthen control measures.

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