Do you work the night shifts? If you do, you'd better take extra precautions as a recent study has shown that those working after dark are almost twice likely to contract COVID-19 than their counterparts who work during the day.

The shocking findings, by a team of researchers from Australia, the UK, and Denmark, was published in the Journal of Sleep Research recently.

According to lead researcher Dr Yaqoot Fatima from James Cook University in the Australian state of Queensland, the explanation lies in a person's natural circadian rhythm being disrupted by working at night.

"Other researchers have put forward the theory that disruption of circadian rhythms resulting from night shift working could predispose someone to be more at risk of infection with COVID-19.

"This could be a function of reduced melatonin levels, and poor immune response," she was quoted telling Brisbane Times.

Fatima said that average risk extended to all night shift workers, beyond the healthcare sector.

The study concluded that the chance of a night shift worker contracting COVID-19 was 1.85 times more than that of their counterparts who work morning, and even when healthcare workers were taken out of the equation, the ratio still stood at 1.81 times.

The medical data of 500,000 participants of the UK's biobank program were used for the study, which was then cross-matched with the National Health Service COVID-19 test results to get information about those who had contracted COVID-19.

Given the findings, Fatima hoped that more would be done to ensure that night shift workers in all fields are considered a vulnerable group, and sufficient moves are made to protect them.

Source: Brisbane Times
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