12 May 2020

In Eurosurveillance RIHS researcher Alma Tostmann and colleagues from the Radboudumc COVID-19 Team describe that general symptoms like fever, headache, general malaise and muscle ache were associated with a positive SARS-CoV-2 test. Respiratory symptoms however, were not predictive for SARS-CoV-2. Sudden loss of sense or smell was reported by almost 50% of test-positive healthcare workers, whereas this symptom was only reported by 4% of test negatives.

Early March, Radboudumc has set up testing facilities for healthcare workers rapidly upon the emergence of the COVID-19 outbreak in the Netherlands. Healthcare workers who were tested in March were invited to participate in this evaluation, by answering questions on their early symptoms anonymously. The testing policy in Radboudumc has been adapted upon the findings of this study at the end of March, when ‘general symptoms’ were added to the testing criteria for healthcare workers who are crucial to the healthcare process.

publication
Strong associations and moderate predictive value of early symptoms for SARS-CoV-2 test positivity among healthcare workers, the Netherlands, March 2020.
Tostmann A, Bradley J, Bousema T, Yiek WK, Holwerda M, Bleeker-Rovers C, Ten Oever J, Meijer C, Rahamat-Langendoen J, Hopman J, van der Geest-Blankert N, Wertheim H.
 

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