SARS-CoV-2 epidemiological surveillance of healthcare professionals working in an inpatient rehabilitation facility

Carlo Tomino, Dolores Limongi, Paola Checconi, Cecilia Ambrosi, Lucia Gatta, Laura Vitiello, Carla Prezioso, Stefania Proietti, Federica Marcolongo, Neda Soltan Pour, Anna Teresa Palamara, Stefano Bonassi (+1 others)
2022 Pneumologia (Bucharest, Romania)  
Background: Healthcare Workers (HCW) represent one of the most vulnerable subject groups to be infected by severe acute respiratory syndrome Coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2). Aims: Between March 2020 and May 2020, we decided to implement a surveillance programme for HCW that aimed to (1) strengthen the safety of the employees; (2) estimate the punctual prevalence of SARS-CoV-2 infection in asymptomatic operators; (3) use the results to train personnel and to strengthen surveillance for applying and
more » ... lidating preventive strategies; and (4) compare the observed prevalence and the infection characteristics with a real-life (RL) sample from non-healthcare settings. Methods: A nasopharyngeal (NP) swab in HCW, representative of all mansions, and RL subjects was performed after informed consent signing (T0), then after 6 d ± 24 h (T1) and after 12 d ± 24 h (T2). The presence of SARS-CoV-2 mRNA was tested by commercially available real-time PCR. Results: A total of 219 HCW and 100 RL subjects were enrolled; and among all the subjects, only 1 HCW resulted positive at the swab testing throughout the study period. The positive subject was an asymptomatic nurse without any comorbidities or risk factors. Conclusions: Our experience supports the utility of implementing dedicated surveillance programmes for the HCW. The efficiency in keeping low the number of the infection, maintaining the psychological well-being of the personnel and the availability of a tool which in case of infection may allow the early identification of clusters are critical issues which encourage the planning and implementation of such programmes NIH clinicaltrials.gov (NCT04913701).
doi:10.2478/pneum-2022-0004 fatcat:ycbvho6njfgtbp5vjxdb4n3paq