The number healthcare workers who’ve contracted Coronavirus in the U.S. rises daily.On April 9th, the CDC Reported over 9,000 Healthcare workers contracted Coronavirus.
Despite protective clothing and masks, doctors, nurses, and other health workers appear to be at higher risk of infection than most people, and may also be more likely to contract a very serious illness.
Experts say the amount of virus they have been exposed to is an important part of the explanation. Once the virus has entered the body, it invades the cells and makes copies of itself. These copies accumulate in the coming days, so the patient has more viruses inside.
A higher “viral load,” as this virus concentration is called, means that the severity of any disease is likely to be worse and the patient is more contagious. Doctors and nurses are often in very close contact with highly infected people who carry many viruses in their bodies, which means that they are exposed to very high doses of the virus.
According to the World Health Organization (WHO), a patient operated at a hospital in Wuhan, China, infected 14 health workers even before the fever started.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reported Tuesday that 9,282 medical professionals had contracted coronavirus in the United States on April 9 and that 27 had died from it.
The agency warned that the numbers were likely higher than reported due to inconsistencies in data collection and lack of information during the epidemic. “This is probably an understatement,” the report said, because the professional status of the patients was only available for 16% of the cases reported in the United States to C.D.C.
Health workers are among the most vulnerable groups during the pandemic due to their proximity to infected patients, a situation made worse by the fact that some have worked with inadequate protective equipment and clothing due to shortages. The report indicates that some health professionals with mild or asymptomatic cases may not have had any tests.
The 9,282 reported cases of infected healthcare workers represent only 3% of the total number of cases reported to the C.D.C. using a standardized form during the period from February 12 to April 9. The agency said that of the states that most fully reported on the employment status of those who tested positive for HIV, the number of infected healthcare workers had increased to 11%.
The report also indicated that the number of health professionals who test positive and die from Covid-19 is likely to increase as more cases occur in health centers.
“It is essential to do everything possible to ensure the health and safety of this vital national workforce of approximately 18 million people, at work and in the community,” the report said. “Surveillance is necessary to monitor the impact of diseases associated with Covid-19 and to better inform the implementation of infection prevention and control measures.”
The Office of the Inspector General of the United States Department of Health and Human Services said hospitals in the country were experiencing a shortage of personal protective equipment and that “fear and uncertainty weighed on staff, both professional and personal”