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Healthcare Workers Face Increased Risks During the Pandemic

8 Feb 2024 8:22 AM | Deborah Hodges (Administrator)

Healthcare workers have been at an increased risk for SARS-CoV-2 infection and mental distress such as anxiety and depression during the pandemic, according to new research. [Medscape]

In an analysis of administrative health records for about 3000 healthcare workers in Alberta, Canada, the workers were as much as twice as likely to become infected with SARS-CoV-2 compared with the overall population. The risk for infection was higher among healthcare workers in the first two waves of the pandemic and again during the fifth wave.

"Previous publications, including ours, suggested that the main problem was in the early weeks and months of the pandemic, but this paper shows that it continued until the later stages," senior author Nicola Cherry, MD, an occupational epidemiologist at the University of Alberta in Edmonton, Canada, told Medscape Medical News.

Wave Upon Wave

In the current study, the investigators sought to compare the risk for SARS-CoV-2 infection and mental distress among healthcare workers and among community referents (CRs). They examined the following waves of the COVID-19 pandemic:
  • Wave 1: From March to June 2020 (4 months)
  • Wave 2: From July 2020 to February 2021 (8 months)
  • Wave 3: From March to June 2021 (4 months)
  • Wave 4: From July to October 2021 (4 months)
  • Wave 5 (Omicron): From November 2021 to March 2022 (5 months)



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