MERS-CoV infection among healthcare workers and risk factors for death: Retrospective analysis of all laboratory-confirmed cases reported to WHO from 2012 to 2 June 2018
Elkholy, AA, Infectious Hazard Management Unit, Department of Health Emergencies, World Health Organization Regional Office for the Eastern Mediterranean, Cairo, Egyp
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BACKGROUND: Approximately half of the reported laboratory-confirmed infections of Middle East respiratory syndrome coronavirus (MERS-CoV) have occurred in healthcare settings, and healthcare workers constitute over one third of all secondary infections. This study aimed to describe secondary cases of MERS-CoV infection among healthcare workers and to identify risk factors for death. METHODS: A retrospective analysis was conducted on epidemiological data of laboratory-confirmed MERS-CoV cases reported to the World Health Organization from September 2012 to 2 June 2018. We compared all secondary cases among healthcare workers with secondary cases among non-healthcare workers. Multivariable logistic regression identified risk factors for death. RESULTS: Of the 2223 laboratory-confirmed MERS-CoV cases reported to WHO, 415 were healthcare workers and 1783 were non-healthcare workers. Compared with non-healthcare workers cases, healthcare workers cases were younger (P < 0.001), more likely to be female (P < 0.001), non-nationals (P < 0.001) and asymptomatic (P < 0.001), and have fewer comorbidities (P < 0.001) and higher rates of survival (P < 0.001). Year of infection (2013-2018) and having no comorbidities were independent protective factors against death among secondary healthcare workers cases. CONCLUSION: Being able to protect healthcare workers from high threat respiratory pathogens, such as MERS-CoV is important for being able to reduce secondary transmission of MERS-CoV in healthcare-associated outbreaks. By extension, reducing infection in healthcare workers improves continuity of care for all patients within healthcare facilities. Copyright © 2020 The Authors. Published by Elsevier Ltd.. All rights reserved.