Healthcare workers “over-represented” in coronavirus infections

Some 17% of all working age people confirmed with Covid-19 work in the healthcare sector.

Doctor puts on PPE / Credit: iStock

Healthcare workers in Finland are “slightly over-represented” among working age people confirmed with coronavirus.

According to the Finnish Institute for Health and Welfare THL 7.4% of all working age people work in health services – but 17% of all working age people confirmed with coronavirus work in health care professions.

“The higher share is probably due to the fact that, in the early stages of the epidemic, testing focused not only on tourists but also in particular on health professionals. Currently, all those with mild symptoms are tested on a low threshold” says Taneli Puumalainen, THL’s Chief Physician.

So far no healthcare workers with confirmed coronavirus have died from their symtpoms.

Of all the health sector staff who caught coronavirus, 56% were in close contact at work with patients who tested positive. However that doesn’t necessarily mean they were infected by a patient because protective equipment was most likely used during worker-patient interactions, says THL.

In other parts of the world, the share of healthcare workers confirmed with coronavirus varies widely.

In Spain they account for 20% and in Italy 10%. The figures reported by authorities in China are 3.8% and in the USA 3%.

As of Monday there have been 7,001 confirmed cases of coronavirus in Finland, an increase of 20 from the day before, and no new deaths reported. The death toll currently stands at 323.

The number of people being treated in hospital continues to fall, as does the number of patients needing intensive care treatment.