Journal article
Prevalence of the SARS-COV2 Infection among post quarantine healthcare workers

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Publication Details
Author list: Alshahrani M, Alnimr A, Al-Nassri S, Al-Jehani Y, Alabdali M
Publisher: Dove Medical Press
Publication year: 2020
Journal: Journal of Multidisciplinary Healthcare
Journal acronym: JMDH
Volume number: 2020
Issue number: 13
Start page: 1927
End page: 1936
Number of pages: 10
ISSN: 1178-2390
Web of Science ID:
PubMed ID:
Scopus ID:
eISSN: 1178-2390


Coronavirus disease 2019 is an emerging highly communicable
disease. Nosocomial transmission needs to be prevented through the
implementation of stringent screening and infection control measures.


The objective of the study is to estimate the prevalence of
severe acute respiratory syndrome– coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) infection among
health care workers (HCWs) post quarantine period.


This is a prospective, observational study conducted at a
teaching University hospital in Alkhobar, Saudi Arabia, during the period
between May 1 and June 15, 2020. All (HCWs) joining work back from the
quarantine areas had a real-time polymerase chain reaction (qRT-PCR) test for
SARS-CoV-2. The demographic and clinical data from the staff were collected.


Of the 301 HCWs screened, 18 (6%) had positive PCR. The age
means of the positive cases was 32.9 Y ± 8.7 compared to 33.8 Y ± 7.0 in the
negatively tested group (p value = 0.90). Of the 18 PCR-positive HCWs, 7
(38.9%) were male. Majority of those who tested positive were trainees (8.2%)
followed by nurses (5.1%). In PCR-positive group, a clear epidemiological
exposure was found in 4/18 cases (22.2%). Male gender and residency in specific
districts were observed more in the positive cases (p value = 0.01 and 0.0001,
respectively). In regards to symptoms, most of the positive PCR tested HCWs
(n=12, 66.7%) remained asymptomatic. Most prevalent initial symptoms were
gastrointestinal symptoms (diarrhea, abdominal pain) in six HCWs representing
33.3%. No significant difference was noted in co-morbidities reported by both


Health care workers tested post-quarantine period were found
to be at risk of SARS-CoV-2 infection despite very minimal or no known risks of
exposure, where most of them were asymptomatic. This potentially carries risk
of nosocomial transmission inside healthcare facilities. Implanting policies
for routine post-quarantine screening for HCWs is recommended.

Keywords: COVID‐19, asymptomatic HCW, quarantine, PCR,
SARS-CoV-2, screening

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Last updated on 2021-19-10 at 09:11