Recommended precaution procedures protect healthcare workers from Crimean-Congo hemorrhagic fever virus
AuthorGozel, Mustafa Gokhan
Oztop, Atifet Yasemin
MetadataShow full item record
Objectives: The Crimean-Congo hemorrhagic fever (CCHF) virus can spread from person to person and may cause nosocomial outbreaks among healthcare workers (HCWs). The US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention have recommended the use of personal protective equipment (PPE). We investigated the compliance of HCWs with PPE usage during the follow-up of patients, and also the number of risky contacts that occurred between patients and HCWs. We also aimed to determine the seroprevalence of CCHF virus in HCWs. Methods: This study was conducted at Cumhuriyet University Education and Research Hospital, a medical center located in a highly endemic area for CCHF where a total of 1284 confirmed CCHF patients were followed-up between 2002 and 2012. All HCWs who were at risk of CCHF virus contact and infection were included in the study. The compliance of the HCWs with PPE usage and the number of contacts that had occurred were recorded. HCW serum samples were analyzed for CCHF virus IgM and IgG by ELISA. Results: The total rates of PPE usage were 93.7% for gowns, 77.4% for gloves, and 38.9% for masks; the highest compliance was detected in the infectious diseases ward: 100%, 88.6%, and 82.9%, respectively. A total of four HCWs had a history of high-risk contact with contaminated material (two percutaneous exposure and two mucosal contacts), but the number of low-risk contacts was quite high. The total seroprevalence rate was only 0.53%. Conclusions: Although the HCWs at our medical center have dealt with an extremely high number of CCHF patients during the last decade, the total seropositivity for CCHFV IgG was only 0.53%. This low rate may be a result of high compliance with PPE usage and also regular education programs. (C) 2013 International Society for Infectious Diseases. Published by Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.