The Frontline War: A Case-control study of risk factors for COVID-19 among health care workers

Cynthia Amrutha Sukumar, Nandakrishna Bolanthakodi, Aarthi Venkatramanan, Ravishankar Nagraj, Sudha Vidyasagar

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Purpose: The global pandemic of COVID-19 has infected several people worldwide. World Health Organization(WHO) has reported that an alarming number of health care workers (HCWs) have been affected and have also succumbed to this disease. Though health infrastructure can be boosted in a short period, the number of HCWs cannot. Hence understanding the risk factors that the HCWs are exposed to and strategically protecting them is of paramount importance. Methods: A case-control retrospective study was carried out on 116 HCWs at a tertiary care hospital treating COVID-19 patients in South India. We attempted to investigate and stratify the specific risk factors for COVID-19 transmission among HCWs. Data was collected regarding their exposure to COVID-19 patients, infection control precautions used, possible breaches in the protocol, and details of Hydroxychloroquine (HCQ) prophylaxis. Results: The demographics were equally distributed among the cases and controls. Exposure to surgical procedures on suspected/positive COVID patients was also found to affect contracting the COVID-19 illness. HCWs who wore face shields instead of eye goggles along with the use of scrubs and hospital gowns were found to have a lesser incidence of COVID-19 illness. Conclusion: This study helped us understand the varied risk factors that health care workers are exposed to while treating COVID-19 patients. It helped us contextualize and strategize our infection control practices to prevent further morbidity and mortality due to COVID-19.

Original languageEnglish
Article number1298
Publication statusPublished - 2023

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology(all)
  • Immunology and Microbiology(all)
  • Pharmacology, Toxicology and Pharmaceutics(all)


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