Infectious disease outbreaks frequently cause illness and death among Healthcare Workers (HCWs). We compare strategies from recent, past and ongoing outbreak measures used to protect HCWs, including those facing additional challenges such as racial disparities, violence and stigmatization. Outbreaks and pandemics superimposed on countries with preexisting crises have also affected emergency response to these viral outbreaks. Strategies to protect HCWs include adherence to recommended infection prevention and control measures; new technology such as rapid point-of-care tests and remote monitoring; adopting national public health preparedness plans to ensure the supply and allocation of PPE, staff, and testing supplies; occupational health and mental health support services. Lessons learned from recent pandemics should be used by Infection Prevention and Control and Occupational Health staff to refine preparedness plans to protect HCWs better.
Keywords: COVID-19; Ebola; epidemics; healthcare; occupational diseases; pandemic; workers.
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