THURSDAY, June 11, 2020 (HealthDay News) — Appropriate personal protective equipment can protect frontline health care professionals who care for patients with severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) infection, according to a study published online June 10 in The BMJ.

Min Liu, from The First Affiliated Hospital of Sun Yat-sen University in Guangzhou, China, and colleagues conducted a cross-sectional study involving 420 health care professionals (116 doctors and 304 nurses) deployed to Wuhan from Jan. 24 to April 7, 2020. Participants were provided with appropriate personal protective equipment and delivered health care to patients admitted to the hospital with COVID-19. They were also involved in aerosol-generating procedures.

Participants worked four- to six-hour shifts for an average of 5.4 days per week and worked an average of 16.2 hours per week in the intensive care unit. All participants were in direct contact with patients with COVID-19 and performed one or more aerosol-generating procedures. The researchers found that none of the study participants reported symptoms related to COVID-19 during the deployment period in Wuhan. All participants tested negative for SARS-CoV-2-specific nucleic acids and immunoglobulin (Ig)M or IgG antibodies when they returned home.

“Health care systems must give priority to the procurement and distribution of personal protective equipment, and provide adequate training to health care professionals in its use,” the authors write.

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