27 Apr 2021
International journal of infectious diseases : IJID : official publication of the International Society for Infectious Diseases
OBJECTIVE: Determining the seroprevalence of severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) in health care workers (HCWs) based on risk of exposure to COVID-19 patients. METHODS: SARS-CoV-2 seroprevalence cross-sectional study in risk-stratified HCWs randomly selected from 3 main district hospitals in Oman. RESULTS: 1,078 HCWs included with an overall SARS-CoV-2 seroprevalence of 21%. The seropositivity in low, variable, and high risk groups were 29%, 18%, and 17%, respectively (P-value <0.001). The study found higher positivity in males [crude odds ratio (COR) 1.71, 95% confidence interval (CI) 1.28-2.3], and workers residing in high prevalence areas (COR 2.09, 95% CI 1.42-3.07). Compared to doctors, workers from supporting services, administration and nurses were more likely to have positive SARS-CoV-2 antibodies (COR 9.81, 95% CI 5.26-18.27; 2.37, 95% CI 1.23-4.58; 2.08 95% CI 1.14-3.81). The overall rate of previously undetected infection was 12% with higher values in low-risk HCWs. High district prevalence is a driving factor for seropositivity in the low-risk group [adjusted odds ratio (AOR) 2.36 (95% CI 1.0-5.59)]. CONCLUSION: The low risk supporting services workers can drive SARS-CoV-2 transmission in hospitals. More attention and innovation within this opportunity will enhance the safety of health care during epidemics/pandemics.