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REVIEW PAPER
Health protection of employees against SARS-CoV-2 coronavirus infection causing the COVID-19 disease – the current state of knowledge and recommendations
 
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1
Instytut Medycyny Pracy im. prof. J. Nofera / Nofer Institute of Occupational Medicine, Łódź, Poland (Zakład Epidemiologii Środowiskowej / Department of Environmental Epidemiology)
2
Instytut Medycyny Pracy im. prof. J. Nofera / Nofer Institute of Occupational Medicine, Łódź, Poland
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Warszawski Uniwersytet Medyczny / Medical University of Warsaw, Warsaw, Poland (Zakład Zdrowia Publicznego / Department of Public Health)
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Narodowy Instytut Zdrowia Publicznego – Państwowy Zakład Higieny / National Institute of Public Health – National Institute of Hygiene, Warsaw, Poland
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Instytut Medycyny Pracy im. prof. J. Nofera / Nofer Institute of Occupational Medicine, Łódź, Poland (Klinika Chorób Zawodowych i Zdrowia Środowiskowego / Clinic of Occupational Diseases and Environmental Health)
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Uniwersytet Medyczny w Łodzi / Medical University of Lodz, Łódź, Poland (Klinika Geriatrii / Department of Geriatrics)
CORRESPONDING AUTHOR
Beata Świątkowska   

Instytut Medycyny Pracy im. prof. J. Nofera, Zakład Epidemiologii Środowiskowej, ul. św. Teresy 8, 91-348 Łódź
Online publication date: 2020-12-02
 
Med Pr 2021;72(1):69–87
 
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ABSTRACT
The COVID-19 pandemic, despite the restrictions and preventive measures applied, has rapidly spread and reached Poland. The adaptation to the dynamically changing epidemiological situation requires a prompt implementation of effective preventive measures. The aim of the publication is to provide current knowledge to all persons involved in the preventive care system, i.e., employees, employers and professionals of occupational medicine, about the epidemiological situation related to SARS‑CoV- 2, as well as recommendations and possible solutions. In order to analyze these issues, a review of literature was conducted based on medical research databases: PubMed, SCOPUS, and the Web of Science Core Collection. The literature was supplemented with studies found on websites of the Ministry of Health and the World Health Organization. Data on the cases of and deaths due to COVID-19 come from reports provided by the Ministry of Health, data published on the websites of the European Center for Disease Prevention and Control, and ourworldindata.org. By the time of submitting the publication, 34 154 cases and 1444 deaths due to coronavirus had been recorded in Poland. Data from published studies suggest that the virus is mainly transmitted via droplets or through contact with contaminated objects and surfaces. Therefore, in the absence of an effective vaccine, preventive actions are based mainly on strategies that minimize the risk of pathogen transmission. In addition to discussing the current epidemiological situation, diagnostic procedures, risk groups and COVID-19 characteristics, the paper presents recommendations and proposed solutions for employers and employees regarding the prevention of SARS‑CoV- 2, along with currently applicable laws and recommendations on employee prophylactic examinations during the pandemic. Subsequently, COVID-19 was discussed in the aspect of an occupational disease and other health threats related to the pandemics. The epidemiological situation regarding coronavirus indicates the need to take immediate and effective actions to minimize infection transmission among employees, and to develop procedures for a quick and effective ability to locate the COVID-19 outbreaks in workplaces. Med Pr. 2021;72(1):69–87
eISSN:2353-1339
ISSN:0465-5893