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Hydroxychloroquine as prophylaxis for covid-19 among healthcare workers in a tertiary care hospital

Author: 
Dr. Asima Banu, Dr. Balaji Pai S., Varnitha Mohan, Sachina B.T., Shahid S. and Chidambaram V.N.
Subject Area: 
Health Sciences
Abstract: 

Background- With the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, scientific research on chemoprophylaxis for the virus is still lacking. Hence, we investigated the efficacy of Hydroxychloroquine as a potential prophylactic in healthcare workers. Objective- The purpose of this study was to assess the use of Hydroxychloroquine as a prophylactic for COVID-19, among healthcare workers in a tertiary healthcare centre in Bangalore, India. Method- This is a retrospective cohort study of 230 healthcare personnel, who worked at the Trauma and Emergency care centre attached to Bangalore Medical College and Research Institute in Bangalore, India. It included staff who dealt with COVID patients, who were on Hydroxychloroquine prophylaxis. In this study we assessed the number of healthcare workers who contracted the virus after stopping the prophylaxis. Result- It was seen that none out of the 230 healthcare workers contracted the virus while they were taking the HCQ prophylaxis. Out of the 226 members who ended the prophylaxis in May 2020, 25.6% (N=58) were infected with SARS-CoV-2 between the months of June 2020 - January 2021. In addition to this it was seen that 3 out of 4 members (75%) who ended the HCQ prophylaxis in August 2020 also tested positive for the virus between the months of September 2020 - January 2021. Conclusion- From this retrospective cohort study involving healthcare workers in a tertiary healthcare centre of Bangalore, India, it is seen that Hydroxychloroquine when used as a pre-exposure prophylaxis significantly reduced the risk of infection with SARS-CoV-2 in our hospital.

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