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Persistent post-covid symptoms in healthcare workers.

  • Gaber, T A-Z K1
  • Ashish, A1
  • Unsworth, A1
  • 1 Wrightington, Wigan and Leigh NHS Trust, Wigan, UK.
Published Article
Occupational Medicine
Oxford University Press
Publication Date
Apr 08, 2021
DOI: 10.1093/occmed/kqab043
PMID: 33830208


Recent reports suggest a higher incidence of COVID-19 infections among healthcare workers (HCW). However, information about the long-term complications affecting this population is lacking. Investigation of long-term impact of COVID-19 in HCW. Seropositivity for SARS-CoV-2 antibodies was evaluated for the majority of HCW in an English teaching hospital 2 months following the peak of COVID-19 first wave. A questionnaire investigating the long-term complications was sent through global e-mail to HCW 4 months following the peak of the wave enquiring about the persistent health issues still affecting them at that point. Out of 3759 subjects tested for SARS-CoV-2 antibodies, 932 were positive (24%). Forty-five per cent of 138 HCW responding to the questionnaire reported persistent symptoms with 32% struggling to cope 3-4 months following the peak of the wave. Moderate-to-severe fatigue stood out as the most disabling symptom (39%) but mild-to-moderate shortness of breath, anxiety and sleep disturbance were almost universal in the subjects still struggling with symptoms. Only 16% consulted their general practitioner (GP) about their symptoms with only 2% taking sick leave after recovering from the acute illness. Our data suggest that about a third of HCW who responded to the survey were still struggling to cope with the symptoms of what is now known as long covid several months after the acute COVID-19 infections. The overwhelming majority of this group seem to be reluctant to neither seek medical advice nor take sick leave. © The Author(s) 2021. Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of the Society of Occupational Medicine. All rights reserved. For Permissions, please email: [email protected]

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