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A third of NHS staff in two hospital units were infected with coronavirus without showing symptoms, study finds

A new study has highlighted the number of NHS staff who can be infected with coronavirus but be completely unaware they are a risk to their colleagues and patients.

The research by doctors at University College London Hospitals (UCLH) found a third of staff working in two maternity departments at UCLH and St George’s Hospital tested positive for the virus but had no symptoms.

Overall, one in six staff who had not previously been diagnosed with the virus were tested for COVID-19 antibodies and were found to be positive for infection.

Prof Keith Neal, emeritus professor of epidemiology of infectious diseases at the University of Nottingham, who was not involved in the research, said: “Asymptomatic healthcare workers with COVID-19 pose a risk of spreading the virus depending on the personal protective equipment in use. We know many cases were acquired in hospital.

“Regular testing of healthcare workers is clearly warranted.”

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Source: The Independent, 12 August 2020


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