COVID-19 in Malaysia: exposure assessment and prevention practices among healthcare workers at a teaching hospital

  • Nor Azila Muhammad Azami UKM Medical Molecular Biology Institute, Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia https://orcid.org/0000-0001-7724-6023
  • Nor Azian Abdul Murad UKM Medical Molecular Biology Institute, Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia
  • Azmawati Mohammed Nawi Department of Public Health, Faculty of Medicine, Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia
  • Sharifah Azura Salleh Department of Microbiology and Medical Immunology, Faculty of Medicine, Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia
  • Petrick Periyasamy Hospital Canselor Tuanku Muhriz, Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia
  • Najma Kori Hospital Canselor Tuanku Muhriz, Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia
  • Mohd Rohaizat Hasan Department of Public Health, Faculty of Medicine, Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia
  • Norfazilah Ahmad Department of Public Health, Faculty of Medicine, Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia
  • Anita Sulong Department of Microbiology and Medical Immunology, Faculty of Medicine, Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia
  • Hanita Othman Hospital Canselor Tuanku Muhriz, Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia
  • Tuti Ningseh Mohd Don Faculty of Dentistry, Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia
  • Nurul Syakima Ab Mutalib UKM Medical Molecular Biology Institute, Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia
  • Ezanee Azlina Mohamad Hanif UKM Medical Molecular Biology Institute, Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia
  • Siti Aishah Sulaiman UKM Medical Molecular Biology Institute, Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia
  • Nurul Syeefa' Zulkiflee Hospital Serdang, Selangor, Malaysia
  • Abdul Rashid Abdul Kader Staff Polyclinic, Hospital Canselor Tuanku Muhriz, Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia
  • Abdul Halim Abdul Gafor Hospital Canselor Tuanku Muhriz, Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia
  • Hanafiah Haruna Rashid Hospital Canselor Tuanku Muhriz, Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia
  • Rahman Jamal UKM Medical Molecular Biology Institute, Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia
Keywords: COVID-19, healthcare workers, teaching hospital, Infection control, SARS-CoV-2, exposure assessment

Abstract

Introduction: During the second wave of the coronavirus disease 19 (COVID-19) pandemic, Malaysia reported several COVID-19 clusters related to healthcare workers. Thus, addressing and understanding the risk of exposure in healthcare workers is important to prevent future infection and reduce secondary COVID-19 transmission within the healthcare settings. In this study, we aim to assess exposure and prevention practices against COVID-19 among healthcare workers at the Hospital Canselor Tuanku Muhriz, a university teaching hospital based in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia.

Methodology: A total of 571 healthcare workers at COVID-19 and non-COVID-19 wards as well as the emergency department and laboratory staff at COVID-19 testing labs were recruited. The presence of novel human coronavirus (SARS-CoV-2) and IgM/IgG antibodies were confirmed in all healthcare workers. The healthcare workers responded to an online Google Forms questionnaire that evaluates demographic information and comorbidities, exposure and adherence to infection prevention and control measures against COVID-19. Descriptive analysis was performed using Statistical Package for the Social Sciences 24.0.

Results: Three healthcare workers (0.5%) tested positive for SAR-CoV-2, while the remaining 568 (99.5%) were negative. All were negative for IgM and IgG antibodies during recruitment (day 1) and follow-up (day 15). More than 90% of the healthcare workers followed infection prevention and control practices recommendations regardless of whether they have been exposed to occupational risk for COVID-19.

Conclusions: The healthcare workers’ high level of adherence to infection prevention practices at this hospital helped reduce and minimize their occupational exposure to COVID-19.

Published
2021-12-31
How to Cite
1.
Muhammad AzamiNA, Abdul MuradNA, Mohammed NawiA, Salleh SA, PeriyasamyP, Kori N, Hasan MR, Ahmad N, SulongA, Othman H, Mohd DonTN, Ab MutalibNS, Mohamad HanifEA, Sulaiman SA, Zulkiflee NS, Abdul KaderAR, Abdul GaforAH, Rashid HH, Jamal R (2021) COVID-19 in Malaysia: exposure assessment and prevention practices among healthcare workers at a teaching hospital. J Infect Dev Ctries 15:1816-1824. doi: 10.3855/jidc.15277
Section
Coronavirus Pandemic