Low prevalence of subclinical severe acute respiratory syndrome-associated coronavirus infection among hospital healthcare workers in Hong Kong

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We recruited 688 hospital healthcare workers who cared for patients with severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS) and did not develop the disease in the Hong Kong outbreak in 2003. A questionnaire survey was conducted and serum samples were collected for SARS-associated coronavirus (SARS-CoV) antibody. The high-risk procedures performed and the types of unprotected exposures were recorded for analysis. Only 1 asymptomatic nurse had positive serological test. The result demonstrates the low rate of subclinical SARS-CoV infection in hospital healthcare workers and that the infection control practice against SARS in Hong Kong's hospitals during the outbreak was highly effective.

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