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SARS-CoV-2 infection among healthcare workers in Türkiye: A systematic review and meta-analysis
1Pulmonary Diseases, Ankara Gölbaşı State Hospital, Ankara, Türkiye
Eurasian Journal of Pulmonology 2023; 25(2): 67-79 DOI: 10.14744/ejp.2023.1001
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BACKGROUND AND AIM: The pandemic caused by severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) is still ongoing, despite it has been three years since the first case was diagnosed in China in 2019. Healthcare workers (HCWs) are at the frontline in the fight against the virus, making them more susceptible to contacting the disease. This review aims to describe the clinical outcomes and risk factors for SARS-CoV-2 infection among HCWs in Türkiye before the vaccination campaign started in the country.

METHODS: Relevant studies conducted from December 2019 to January 13, 2021, were included. A literature search spanning from April 25, 2022 to May 29, 2022, was conducted in six databases. A random-effect model or fixed-effect model was used for meta-analysis. Publication bias was assessed with Egger’s test. A total of 19 studies were included.

RESULTS: The total number of HCWs diagnosed with SARS-CoV-2 infection was 2,367, with a mean age of 35.238 (95% CI 33.878, 36.598). The proportion of females was 63% (95% CI 58.5, 67.2). The estimated pooled prevalence of SARSCoV-2 infection was 9.3% (95% CI 6.2, 13.6) by polymerase chain reaction (PCR) for the first two months and 3.1% (95% CI 2.3, 4.1) by antibody test for the third and fourth month of the pandemic. The proportion of infected HCWs was 17.0% (95% CI 14.5, 19.9) between the fourth and eighth months and 19.0% (95% CI 17.3, 20.8) at the eighth month of the pandemic by antibody test. The rate of hospitalization was 10% (95% CI 5.5, 17.5). The most prevalent symptom was myalgia with a rate of 41.2% (95% CI 29.7, 53.8). Hypertension was the most prevalent comorbidity with a rate of 5.9% (95% CI 3.2, 10.8). Inappropriate use of personal protective equiment (PPE) and more contact with patients were among the risk factors.

CONCLUSIONS: The results of this study showed that the rate of infected HCWs had increased exponentially from the beginning until the eighth month of the pandemic and was much higher compared to the general population in our country.