Large proportion of NHS workers may have already had COVID-19

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A big proportion of UK healthcare workers may already have been contaminated with Covid-19, in keeping with new analysis led by the University of East Anglia in collaboration with University College London.

In May, Public Health England added a brand new loss of style or odor (anosmia) to the record of signs for Covid-19.

Research revealed immediately in The Lancet Microbe finds a excessive prevalence of anosmia circumstances amongst between mid-February and mid-April.

Senior creator Prof Carl Philpott, from UEA’s Norwich Medical School, mentioned: “Smell loss as a of Covid-19 is especially necessary for as a result of they’re on the frontline of pandemic—and at excessive danger of each contracting and spreading the virus.

“In many circumstances may be the one symptom of Covid-19, or accompanied by delicate signs.

“We wanted to find out how widespread smell loss has been among healthcare workers.”

The analysis group distributed questionnaires to workers at London’s Barts Health NHS Trust—one of the most important NHS trusts within the UK.

The questionnaire was accomplished by 262 healthcare workers within the week April 17-23. At this time, anosmia was not but listed as an official symptom and covid-19 testing amongst NHS workers was nonetheless restricted to these displaying signs of a brand new steady cough and/or a excessive temperature (>37.8°C) as per nationwide steering.

Nevertheless, 73 (27.9 per cent) of the contributors had been examined for Covid-19, with 56 of these (76.7 per cent) confirmed constructive.

In line with Public Health England steering on the time of the research, workers who solely had anosmia as a symptom wouldn’t have been required to isolate or be eligible for testing. Like different trusts, workers testing for Covid-19 at Barts Health has been obtainable since late March 2020. Loss of odor was included as a symptom in nationwide steering since May 18 2020 and any workers with that symptom are required to have a check

and self-isolate for seven days.

Prof Philpot mentioned: “The actually attention-grabbing factor that we discovered was that 168 of the contributors—practically two thirds—mentioned that they had misplaced their sense of odor or style in some unspecified time in the future between mid-February and mid-April.

“We additionally discovered a robust affiliation between odor loss and the constructive Covid-19 check outcomes, with those that had misplaced their sense of odor being virtually 5 instances extra prone to check constructive.

“This means that a big proportion of healthcare workers may have already been contaminated with Covid-19, with solely delicate signs.

“We performed this analysis at Barts Health, nonetheless we might count on to see related outcomes from different NHS trusts too.

“Cases like this probably went undiagnosed on the time as a result of of an absence of consciousness about odor loss as a symptom.

“This is admittedly necessary as a result of healthcare professionals are on the frontline of the pandemic and are at excessive danger of each contracting and spreading coronavirus.

“There is a need for awareness and early recognition of anosmia as a means to identify, urgently test and isolate affected healthcare workers in order to prevent further spread of disease,” he added.

Rupert Pearse, scientific director for analysis and growth at Barts Health NHS Trust mentioned: “We’re delighted to play a central function in supporting key analysis research which assist us higher perceive Covid-19. We know that NHS trusts that perform analysis ship higher high quality affected person care and we’re one of the main contributors to scientific analysis throughout the NHS.

“Our staff have also volunteered to participate in a variety of important projects too and we are pleased to be able to support studies that focus on our healthcare workers.”

The research additionally concerned a follow-up survey in May, by which 47 per cent of respondents reported that their sense of odor and style had fully recovered. An extra 42 per cent mentioned they had partially recovered their sense of and style, however simply over 7 per cent nonetheless suffered anosmia.

The survey has additionally been operating in two Norfolk hospitals and in two hospitals within the North West with the responses of over 1,000 healthcare workers because of be revealed quickly.

‘Anosmia/hyposmia in workers with a SARS-CoV-2 an infection’ is revealed in The Lancet Microbe on August 6, 2020.


Use loss of taste and smell as key screening tool for COVID-19, researchers urge


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Large proportion of NHS workers may have already had COVID-19 (2020, August 6)
retrieved 6 August 2020
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