Asymptomatic SARS-CoV-2 infection among healthcare workers in a non-COVID-19 Teaching University Hospital

  • Ahmed Mukhtar Department of Anesthesia, Faculty of Medicine, Cairo University, Cairo, Egypt.
  • Mostafa Afishawy Infectious Diseases Consultants and Academic Researchers of Egypt (IDCARE), Cairo, Egypt. https://orcid.org/0000-0002-9153-3237
  • Engy Alkhatib Department of Clinical and Chemical Pathology, Faculty of Medicine, Cairo University, Cairo, Egypt. https://orcid.org/0000-0003-1716-4899
  • Moushira Hosny Department of Clinical and Chemical Pathology, Faculty of Medicine, Cairo University, Cairo, Egypt.
  • Mohamed Yousef Department of Anesthesia, Faculty of Medicine, Cairo University, Cairo, Egypt. https://orcid.org/0000-0002-0641-092X
  • Amal Amal Elsayed Department of Clinical and Chemical Pathology, Faculty of Medicine, Cairo University, Cairo, Egypt.
  • Marwa Rashad Salem | mr80002000@kasralainy.edu.eg Department of Public Health and Community Medicine, Faculty of Medicine, Cairo University, Cairo, Egypt. https://orcid.org/0000-0002-5474-3147
  • Doaa Ghaith Department of Clinical and Chemical Pathology, Faculty of Medicine, Cairo University, Cairo, Egypt.

Abstract

Background: During the COVID-19 pandemic, most of the published reports on COVID-19 emphasized that health care workers (HCWs) get infected more than the general population representing one of the most vulnerable groups. However, that the real percentage of HCWs infected by SARS-CoV-2 in Egypt remains unknown. The researchers conducted the current study to assess seroprevalence of SARS-CoV-2 IgG among HCWs working in a hospital with no SARS-CoV-2 patients, and to identify the potential factors associated with SARS-CoV-2 IgG seropositivity.
Design and Methods: The current study is a cross-sectional study carried out among 455 HCWs at Cairo University Hospital. The researchers administered a questionnaire shortly before the SARS-CoV-2 rapid test is performed using closed-ended question format to obtain information on demographic data of the study participants including age, sex, specialty, clinical information including questions about medical conditions, and. history of previous exposure with a confirmed or suspected case of COVID-19, and history of COVID-19- compatible symptoms during the previous 14 days (cough, sore throat, runny nose, fatigue, shortness of breath, fever, headache, vomiting, diarrhea, anosmia, ageusia, and chills).
Results: We screened 455 HCWs for SARS-CoV-2 antibodies, 31.4% were in the high-risk group, and 68.6% in the low-risk group. The overall IgG seroprevalence was 36 (7.9%) (95% CI 5.8 to 10.8). The IgG seroprevalence was significantly higher in low-risk group 11% (35/312) versus high-risk group 0.7% (1/143), p<0.001.
Conclusions: Low seropositivity rates for SARS-CoV-2 among HCWs is suggestive of lack of immunity and we are still far from herd immunity.

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References

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Published
2021-04-02
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Original Articles
Keywords:
COVID-19, seroprevalence, IgG, asymptomatic, health care workers
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How to Cite
Mukhtar, A., Afishawy, M., Alkhatib, E., Hosny, M., Yousef , M., Amal Elsayed, A., Salem, M. R., & Ghaith, D. (2021). Asymptomatic SARS-CoV-2 infection among healthcare workers in a non-COVID-19 Teaching University Hospital . Journal of Public Health Research. https://doi.org/10.4081/jphr.2021.2102