TUESDAY, Sept. 1, 2020 (HealthDay Information) — A brand new research of 13 U.S. medical facilities finds that 6% of employees examined constructive for prior an infection with the new coronavirus, with nearly half (44%) having no thought they’d ever contracted SARS-CoV-2.

Within the research, blood antibody testing of greater than 3,200 docs, nurses and different hospital employees was carried out between early April and mid-June. About 1 in 16 of the checks got here up constructive, researchers discovered, and 29% of these constructive outcomes arose in individuals who mentioned they’d had no signs suggestive of COVID-19.

An infection charges amongst employees additionally diversified extensively between hospitals, starting from simply 0.8% at one middle to greater than 31% at one other. In keeping with the research writer, that possible displays the extent of coronavirus circulating within the metropolis every hospital served.

One factor was clear, nevertheless: Use of masks, robes, gloves and different protecting gear by employees stored an infection charges down. And when hospitals confronted shortages of private protecting tools (PPE), COVID-19 infections rose.

“The next share of individuals who reported a PPE scarcity had detectable SARS-CoV-2 antibodies [9%] than did those that didn’t report a PPE scarcity [6%],” reported researchers led by Dr. Wesley Self of Vanderbilt College Medical Heart in Nashville, Tenn. About 12% of the employees interviewed within the research mentioned they’d already encountered some type of PPE scarcity at their medical middle.

One emergency doctor engaged on the frontlines of the pandemic agreed that prevention is vital.

“Having an ample provide of PPE is important so as to mitigate the elevated threat that each one well being care employees face on the frontlines,” defined Dr. Robert Glatter, who practices at Lenox Hill Hospital in New York Metropolis.

“This represents one of many main ongoing challenges that has confronted hospitals and medical facilities because the pandemic continues,” he mentioned.

Frequent testing of frontline well being care employees can be essential to curbing outbreaks early on as a result of “a excessive proportion of personnel with antibodies didn’t suspect that they’d been beforehand contaminated,” Self’s group mentioned.

“What’s vital is that well being care employees do not turn out to be a reservoir for asymptomatic unfold of an infection inside the hospital setting or locally,” Glatter mentioned. “Because of this, we should spend money on frequent testing of such very important employees.”

The brand new research was printed Aug. 31 in Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report, a journal of the U.S. Facilities for Illness Management and Prevention.