Background: Healthcare Workers (HCW) represent one of the most vulnerable subject groups to be infected by severe acute respiratory syndrome Coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2).

Aims: Between March 2020 and May 2020, we decided to implement a surveillance programme for HCW that aimed to (1) strengthen the safety of the employees; (2) estimate the punctual prevalence of SARS-CoV-2 infection in asymptomatic operators; (3) use the results to train personnel and to strengthen surveillance for applying and validating preventive strategies; and (4) compare the observed prevalence and the infection characteristics with a real-life (RL) sample from non-healthcare settings.

Methods: A nasopharyngeal (NP) swab in HCW, representative of all mansions, and RL subjects was performed after informed consent signing (T0), then after 6 d ± 24 h (T1) and after 12 d ± 24 h (T2). The presence of SARS-CoV-2 mRNA was tested by commercially available real-time PCR.

Results: A total of 219 HCW and 100 RL subjects were enrolled; and among all the subjects, only 1 HCW resulted positive at the swab testing throughout the study period. The positive subject was an asymptomatic nurse without any comorbidities or risk factors.

Conclusions: Our experience supports the utility of implementing dedicated surveillance programmes for the HCW. The efficiency in keeping low the number of the infection, maintaining the psychological well-being of the personnel and the availability of a tool which in case of infection may allow the early identification of clusters are critical issues which encourage the planning and implementation of such programmes NIH (NCT04913701).

Publication timeframe:
1 time per year
Journal Subjects:
Medicine, Clinical Medicine, other, Internal Medicine, Pneumology