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Frontiers of Medicine

Front. Med.    2020, Vol. 14 Issue (2) : 229-231
Protecting healthcare personnel from 2019-nCoV infection risks: lessons and suggestions
Zhiruo Zhang1, Shelan Liu2, Mi Xiang1, Shijian Li3, Dahai Zhao4, Chaolin Huang5, Saijuan Chen6()
1. School of Public Health, Shanghai Jiao Tong University School of Medicine, Shanghai 200025, China
2. Department of Infectious Diseases, Zhejiang Provincial Centre for Disease Control and Prevention, Hangzhou 310000, China
3. Department of Public Health, SUNY College at Old Westbury, Old Westbury, NY 11568, USA
4. School of International and Public Affairs, Shanghai Jiao Tong University, Shanghai 200025, China
5. Department of Infectious Diseases, Jinyintan Hospital, Wuhan 430030, China
6. Key Laboratory of Medical Genomics, Shanghai Institute of Hematology, National Research Center for Translational Medicine, Ruijin Hospital Affiliated to Shanghai Jiao Tong University School of Medicine, Shanghai 200025, China
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The outbreak of a novel coronavirus disease (COVID-19, caused by the 2019-nCoV infection) in December 2019 is one of the most severe public health emergencies since the founding of People’s Republic of China in 1949. Healthcare personnel (HCP) nationwide are facing heavy workloads and high risk of infection, especially those who care for patients in Hubei Province. Sadly, as of February 20, 2020, over two thousand COVID-19 cases are confirmed among HCP from 476 hospitals nationwide, with nearly 90% of them from Hubei Province. Based on literature search and interviews with some HCP working at Wuhan, capital city of Hubei, we have summarized some of the effective measures taken to reduce infection among HCP, and also made suggestions for improving occupational safety during an infectious disease outbreak. The experience and lessons learned should be a valuable asset for international health community to contain the ongoing COVID-19 epidemic around the world.

Keywords healthcare personnel      COVID-19      infectious diseases     
Corresponding Authors: Saijuan Chen   
Just Accepted Date: 05 March 2020   Online First Date: 20 March 2020    Issue Date: 09 May 2020
 Cite this article:   
Zhiruo Zhang,Shelan Liu,Mi Xiang, et al. Protecting healthcare personnel from 2019-nCoV infection risks: lessons and suggestions[J]. Front. Med., 2020, 14(2): 229-231.
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Zhiruo Zhang
Shelan Liu
Mi Xiang
Shijian Li
Dahai Zhao
Chaolin Huang
Saijuan Chen
Date Confirmed cases from Hubei, n (%) Confirmed cases nationwide
December 18–31, 2019 0 (0%) 0
January 1–10, 2020 19 (95%) 20
January 11–20, 2020 281 (91%) 310
January 21–31, 2020 906 (87%) 1036
February 1–11, 2020 268 (83%) 322
February 12–20, 2020 335 (91%) 367
Total 1809 (88%) 2055
Tab.1  The number of health care workers who have been infected with 2019-nCoV from December 18, 2019 to February 20, 2020
Fig.1  Chaolin Huang, Department of Infectious Diseases, Jinyintan Hospital, Wuhan. Overworked, Dr. Huang was hospitalized for 2019-nCoV infection on January 23, and was discharged on February 17, 2020 after intensive treatment.
1 National Health Commission of the People’s Republic of China. The latest situation of novel coronavirus pneumonia. March 1, 2020. (in Chinese) (accessed March 2, 2020)
2 WHO. Report of the WHO-China Joint Mission on Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19). 2020. (accessed February 28, 2020)
3 National Health Commission of the People’s Republic of China. Notification for further strengthening the protection of health personnel during 2019-nCoV outbreak. February 19, 2020. (in Chinese) (accessed February 19, 2020)
4 The State Council. Press Conference of the Joint Prevention and Control Mechanism of the State Council. February 20, 2020. (in Chinese) (accessed February 20, 2020)
5 Information Office of Hubei Provincial People’s Government. Press Conference on Prevention and Control of New Coronavirus Infected Pneumonia. February 22, 2020. (in Chinese) (accessed February 23, 2020)
6 D Chang, H Xu, A Rebaza, L Sharma, CS Dela Cruz. Protecting health-care workers from subclinical coronavirus infection. Lancet Respir Med 2020; 8(3): e13 pmid: 32061333
7 XH Wang, ZY Pan, ZS Cheng. Association between 2019-nCoV transmission and N95 respirator use. medRxiv 2020; doi: 10.1101/2020.02.18.20021881
8 Novel Coronavirus Pneumonia Emergency Response Epidemiology Team. The epidemiological characteristics of an outbreak of 2019 novel coronavirus diseases (COVID-19) in China. Chin J Epidemiol (Zhonghua Liu Xing Bing Xue Za Zhi) 2020; 41(2): 145–151 (in Chinese)
pmid: 32064853
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