Int J Med Sci 2021; 18(6):1492-1501. doi:10.7150/ijms.54257 This issue
1. Department of Radiology, Union Hospital, Tongji Medical College, Huazhong University of Science and Technology, Wuhan 430022, China.
2. Hubei Province Key Laboratory of Molecular Imaging, Wuhan 430022, China.
3. Department of Orthopaedics, Union Hospital, Tongji Medical College, Huazhong University of Science and Technology, Wuhan 430022, China.
4. Department of Respiratory and Critical Care Medicine, Union Hospital, Tongji Medical College, Huazhong University of Science and Technology, Wuhan 430022, China.
5. Department of Radiology, Michigan Medicine, University of Michigan, Michigan, The United States of America.
* These authors contributed equally in this work.
Objectives: As of 11 Feb 2020, a total of 1,716 medical staff infected with laboratory-confirmed the severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-Cov-2) in China had been reported. The predominant cause of the infection among medical staff remains unclear. We sought to explore the epidemiological, clinical characteristics and prognosis of infected medical staff.
Methods: Medical staff who infected with SARS-Cov-2 and admitted to Union Hospital, Wuhan between 16 Jan to 25 Feb, 2020 were included in this single-centered, retrospective study. Data were compared by occupation and analyzed with the Kaplan-Meier and Cox regression methods.
Results: A total of 101 medical staff (32 males and 69 females; median age: 33) were included in this study and 74.3% were nurses. A small proportion of the cohort had contact with specimens (3%) as well as patients infected with SARS-Cov-2 in fever clinics (15%) and isolation wards (3%). 80% of medical staff showed abnormal IL-6 levels and 33% had lymphocytopenia. Chest CT mainly manifested as bilateral (62%), septal/subpleural (77%) and groundglass opacities (48%). The major differences between doctors and nurses manifested in laboratory indicators. As of the last observed date, no patient was transferred to intensive care unit or died. Fever (HR=0.57; 95% CI 0.36-0.90) and IL-6 levels greater than 2.9 pg/ml (HR=0.50; 95% CI 0.30-0.86) were unfavorable factors for discharge.
Conclusions: Our findings suggested that the infection of medical staff mainly occurred at the early stages of SARS-CoV-2 epidemic in Wuhan, and only a small proportion of infection had an exact mode. Meanwhile, medical staff infected with COVID-19 have relatively milder symptoms and favorable clinical course than ordinary patients, which may be partly due to their medical expertise, younger age and less underlying diseases. The potential risk factors of fever and IL-6 levels greater than 2.9 pg/ml could help to identify medical staff with poor prognosis at an early stage.
Keywords: COVID-19, Medical staff, Infectious disease, Epidemiology, Clinical features, Computerized tomography.