As we draw nearer to the end of this year, the global struggle with the coronavirus pandemic however has only just begun. Now new UK study shows evidence that suggests doctors and nurses may have contracted the coronavirus but continued to treat cancer patients which implies that they could have passed on the infection to weak or patients who already had weaker immune systems.
The study researched 434 workers in hospitals to find antibody prevalence in UK staff that works for cancer wards during the coronavirus pandemic. The study found surprisingly that doctors and nurses responsible for treating cancer in patients have reported a higher number of coronavirus antibodies.
This suggests that these healthcare workers might have contracted the coronavirus while they were still tied to their duties at the hospital but due to the nature of needs, continued to treat cancer patients.
MedRxiv has published the study which is a portal for preliminary reports that have yet to be peer-reviewed.
The study in question was carried out by a group of ten researchers from the UK, the most carried out the study at Cambridge University Hospitals.
Among the 434 subjects of the study, 60 % were those that were only nurses, 20 % were doctors and around 10 % were radiographers while the rest included administrators.
The study aimed to discern the level of safety patients can experience when In the hands of the department of oncology staff during the coronavirus pandemic. The study only further emphasized the importance of the staff to be checked for coronavirus when they are in close contact with cancer patients.
The study suggests routine testing for coronavirus antibodies and antigens will benefit the staff of such departments to limit the dangers such patients they treat are exposed to. Even if most of the staff does not show visible symptoms for the coronavirus they may still pose risk as asymptomatic sufferers are also able to spread the lethal virus.
For a patient whose immune system is already on the weaker side that might mean life or death.
According to the study, doctors and nurses served a bigger part of the data for the most likelihood of having coronavirus antibodies compared to both radiographers and administrators.
Among the participants at least 82% were female with a median age of about forty years.
The participants of the study went through 2 tests, one was a swab test for antigens and the other was a blood test for antibodies. The two days have a gap of 28 days between them.
The tests showed that about 21% of the nurses on the study and 17% of the doctors had evidence of antibodies in their bodies compared to 13.6% administrators and just 9% radiographers.
Overall among all those partaking in the study who were confirmed for antibodies, only 38% had symptoms previously that suggested an infection for coronavirus, the study claims. This suggests that a routine test for such essential healthcare workers should very well be a norm since they are in such close contact with vulnerable patients who may not survive the lethal infection if they do catch it.