Actual Number of COVID-19 Cases Could be 3x What is Reported
More than 9,000 U.S. health care workers−nearly three-quarters of whom are women− have become infected with coronaviruscoronavirus co·ro·na·vi·rus : any of a family (Coronaviridae) of single-stranded RNA viruses that have a lipid envelope studded with club-shaped projections, infect birds and many mammals including humans, and include the causative agents of MERS, SARS, and COVID-19, according to data released by the Centers for Disease Control & Prevention (CDC).
The number of health care workers who have tested positive for coronavirus, the virusvirus vi·rus | \ ˈvī-rəs : a disease-causing agent that is too tiny to be seen by the ordinary microscope, that may be a living organism or may be a very special kind of protein molecule, and that can only multiply when inside the cell of an organism causing COVID-19COVID-19 \ ˈkō-vid-nīn-ˈtēn : a mild to severe respiratory illness that is caused by a coronavirus (Severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 of the genus Betacoronavirus), is transmitted chiefly by contact with infectious material (such as respiratory droplets), and is characterized especially by fever, cough, and shortness of breath and may progress to pneumonia and respiratory failure. disease, is probably far higher than the reported tally of 9,300 infected U.S. health workers, the CDC study says. The majority who tested positive (55%) think they were exposed while at work. The median age was 42 years, and 73% were female, reflecting these distributions among the health care personnel (HCP) workforce. About 90% did not require hospitalization.
The assessment of front-line health care workers is based on preliminary data captured in a standardized form used to report coronavirus exposure to the CDC. It likely undercounts the number of infected health care workers by 3x since states and federal agencies are not uniformly reporting that data. In addition, HCP with mild or asymptomatic infections might also have been less likely to be tested, and thus less likely to be reported, the researchers wrote.
Just 16% of the forms collected between February 12 and April 9 included data on whether the patient was a health care worker. Most of the people tested in the overall data set (84%) did not say whether they were a health care worker or not.
Of the 315,000 forms, 9,282 (19%) were identified as HPC.
The CDC researchers write that ensuring infectioninfection in·fec·tion | \ in-ˈfek-shən a : the state produced by the establishment of one or more pathogenic agents (such as a bacteria, protozoans, or viruses) in or on the body of a suitable host b : a disease resulting from infection control measures are strictly adhered to including making personal protective equipment (PPE) such as gowns, N95N95 mask a NIOSH-certified, negative pressure, particulate respirator with a filter as an integral part of the facepiece or with the entire facepiece composed of the filtering medium. They differ from other respiratorsbecause the filtering media itself is the mask. Negative pressure means that the flow of air through the filter is achieved via inhalation. This type of respirator is commonly used for protection against bioaerosols and dusts. respirators, eye protection and gloves is critical in caring for COVID-19 patients.
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