COVID-19 Continues to Dominate Industrial Diseases

According to a report by Kristýna Šopfová, COVID-19 remains the most frequent occupational disease even two years after the end of the pandemic. In the previous year, authorities recognized COVID-19 as an occupational disease in 6265 people, primarily healthcare and social service workers.

Nearly half of the COVID-19 infections reported as occupational diseases in 2023 had already occurred in 2022. Roughly a quarter of the cases came from each of the years 2021 and 2020. In the last year, 7001 occupational diseases were recognized, of which 6156 were consequences of having had COVID-19. These cases affected women more frequently than men. About 650 workers reported having had the disease twice between 2020 and 2023, and thirty people even three times.

The disease most commonly affected nurses, who made up nearly 44 per cent of cases. Paramedics and carers followed them; about a tenth were doctors and social service workers, and five per cent were rescuers. The most cases were reported from the Olomouc and Plzeň regions.

There was no significant change compared to the previous year, with about four hundred more cases recognized then. Since 2021, COVID-19 has remained the most frequent occupational disease. Doctors increasingly discuss problems associated with so-called long COVID, such as persistent fatigue or shortness of breath.

Interestingly, healthcare and social workers also had to deal with scabies, which became widespread in the Czech Republic last year. By the end of the year, 9167 cases of scabies had been reported; typically, there are between three and five thousand cases a year. Infection with this infectious disease was recognized in 92 people as an occupational disease, about a third of whom were workers in homes for the elderly and social service homes.