IJERPH, Vol. 18, Pages 10128: Occupational Infections among Dental Health Workers in Germany—14-Year Time Trends
International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health doi: 10.3390/ijerph181910128
Dental health workers (DHW) are at increased risk of acquiring occupational infections. Due to various protective measures, it can be assumed that infections have decreased over the past 14 years. Secondary data from a German accident insurance company was analyzed in terms of reported and confirmed occupational diseases (OD) in DHW from 2006 to 2019. A total of 271 claims were reported, of which 112 were confirmed as OD, representing an average of eight per year. However, the number of claims and confirmed ODs has decreased by 65.6% and 85.7%, respectively. The decrease was most evident for hepatitis B (HBV) and C (HCV) infections, while tuberculosis (TB) infections were stable. A total of 44 HCV, 33 HBV, 6 TB and 24 latent TB infections were confirmed as ODs. For DHW, 0.05, and for hospital workers, 0.48 claims per 1000 full-time equivalents (FTE) were registered in 2019. In a separate documentation system, between March 2020 and February 2021, 155 COVID-19 claims were registered, and 47 cases were confirmed as ODs. For DHW, 0.7, and for hospital workers, 47.3 COVID-19 claims per 1000 FTE were registered since 2020. Occupational infectious diseases rarely occur among DHW. Nevertheless, new infectious diseases such as COVID-19 pose a major challenge for DHW. Continued attention should be paid to infectious disease prevention.
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