Positive rate of serum SARS-CoV immunoglobulin G antibody among healthcare workers

Fu-Der Wang, Yin-Yin Chen, Yuan-Ming Lee, Yu-Jiun Chan, Te-Li Chen, Jia-Fong Lue, Cheng-Yi Liu, Chen-Hsen Lee
Scandinavian Journal of Infectious Diseases 2007, 39 (2): 152-6
We evaluated the positive rate for severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS) -CoV IgG antibody among Taiwanese healthcare workers (HCWs). A retrospective cohort research was performed in 2 teaching hospitals and 2 non-teaching hospitals. SARS-CoV IgG antibodies were checked and a structured questionnaire was prepared. A total of 2512 sets of questionnaires was distributed with a return rate of 87.5% (2197 sets). 882 of the respondents had contact with SARS patients. Among 2197 subjects studied, a total of 9 subjects (0.4%) displayed positive findings for SARS-CoV IgG antibody. The relative risk (RR) of contracting SARS for HCWs in the emergency room (ER) was estimated to be 25.94 times greater than the corresponding risk for those HCWs who worked in the ordinary ward (95% CI 7.07-95.14, p<0.001). If we estimated the HCWs who came into contact with SARS patients, the RR for positive serum IgG antibody titer among HCWs from the ER was significantly greater than it was for those working in the ordinary ward (RR 9.45, 95% CI 2.58-34.64, p=0.001). In conclusion, HCWs from the ER faced a relatively high risk for potential infection by the SARS virus when caring for patients who had not been diagnosed with SARS.

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