Apr 14, 2020 - Health

CDC: Up to 20% of U.S. coronavirus cases found in health care workers

An illustration of a woman wearing a mask and using a smartphone and a health care worker as well as an image of the coronavirus
Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

The coronavirus pandemic is hitting doctors, nurses and other health care personnel in the U.S., with 10–20% infected, a new analysis from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention shows.

Why it matters: Medical workers are on the front lines, consistently coming in close contact with coronavirus patients. Due to supply shortages, these workers also may not have gloves or face masks to adequately protect themselves.

By the numbers: The data, out Tuesday, zoomed in on about 49,000 people who tested positive for the coronavirus and specified whether they worked in health care.

  • About 9,300, or 19%, were medical professionals, including 27 who were confirmed dead.
  • Health care professionals were also hospitalized less than the overall population of people researched. About 10% of the health care workers were hospitalized with symptoms, compared to 21–31% of overall cases.
  • Some states were better at reporting if their cases were medical personnel than others, making data limited for researchers.

Go deeper: Health care workers vs. coronavirus

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