New research has observed the numbers of healthcare workers and frontline workers who have been diagnosed with COVID19 during the initial months of the pandemic. Experts have found that as compared to other healthcare people, nurses are at higher risk of contracting the virus. The new analysis has been done by the US Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) on hospitalized patients. This study has been conducted in the wake of surging new cases across many states. Experts have said that around six percent of patients who have been admitted to the hospitals from March to May are healthcare workers. More than a third of them have been nurses or nursing assistants. Around 27 percent of these hospitalized healthcare workers have been kept in intensive care and four percent of them have lost their lives due to COVID19.
The research has observed nearly 6760 hospital admissions across 13 states such as New York, Ohio, California, and Tennessee. Experts have said that healthcare workers are at higher risk of severe COVID19 disease. Therefore, there is a need for constant infection prevention and control in healthcare facilities. Authorities need to ramp up community mitigation efforts as well to reduce the spread of the virus, said the experts. Since the pandemic has hit the US, healthcare employees have been complaining of a shortage of personal protective equipment. Although, health authorities have been trying to abate the shortage, however, surging cases of COVID19 in certain areas have exhausted the supply. Healthcare workers have been vocal about the danger they are exposed to without adequate supplies and protection. Michelle Mahon, the assistant director of nursing practice at National Nurses United has said that the findings of the report are not surprising. According to her, nearly 2000 healthcare workers have died so far due to COVID19.
Ms. Mahon has said that healthcare workers need to be tested more frequently so they can get treatment on time. She has said that this way we can control the transmission of the virus. With uneven supplies, some facilities are not prepared for rapidly increasing cases. The CDC study has shown that around three-quarters of the health workers who have been hospitalized are obese, which is a high-risk factor for severe COVID19 disease. Several individuals are more vulnerable to the virus due to their underlying conditions such as diabetes and high blood pressure. Most of these hospitalized health workers have been directly in touch with COVID19 patients in hospitals, homes, or schools. The study has not been able to identify where these healthcare employees have contracted the virus. However, the analysis has noted that nurses are more susceptible to the virus because they work as frontline workers.