SARS Transmission among Hospital Workers in Hong Kong
Despite infection control measures, breakthrough transmission of severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS) occurred for many hospital workers in Hong Kong. We conducted a case-control study of 72 hospital workers with SARS and 144 matched controls. Inconsistent use of goggles, gowns, gloves, and caps was associated with a higher risk for SARS infection (unadjusted odds ratio 2.42 to 20.54, p < 0.05). The likelihood of SARS infection was strongly associated with the amount of personal protection equipment perceived to be inadequate, having <2 hours of infection control training, and not understanding infection control procedures. No significant differences existed between the case and control groups in the proportion of workers who performed high-risk procedures, reported minor protection equipment problems, or had social contact with SARS-infected persons. Perceived inadequacy of personal protection equipment supply, infection control training <2 hours, and inconsistent use of personal protection equipment when in contact with SARS patients were significant independent risk factors for SARS infection.