Natural history of COVID-19 infection in healthcare workers in Northern Italy

J Hosp Infect. 2020 Sep 24;S0195-6701(20)30447-3. doi: 10.1016/j.jhin.2020.08.027. Online ahead of print.


Currently, 14 days after clinical recovery is considered the adequate time-frame for quarantined individuals infected by COVID-19, but no data have been reported in healthcare workers. In our population of 142 healthcare workers infected by COVID-19, the mean time for viral clearance was 31.8 days. Asymptomatic subjects cleared the virus earlier than symptomatic (22 vs 34,2 days, p<0.0001); the presence of fever at the time of diagnosis was associated with a longer time to viral clearance (RR 11.45, 95% CI 8.66-14.25, p<0.0001). These findings may have a significant impact on healthcare strategies for the future management of the COVID-19 pandemic.