Infected at work: Is Corona recognized as an occupational disease?

48-year-old Evelin K. is a nurse in a Chemnitz hospital. She works in the surgical area of ​​urology. We have changed her name because she wishes to remain anonymous. The fear of reprisals from their employer is too great. Evelin K. has been vaccinated three times against Corona, got infected anyway and has been suffering from Long Covid for nine months.

What she described in an interview with MDR AKTUELL can be summarized as follows: “I’ve been on sick leave since September, had heart attack symptoms, a pericardial effusion, the hepatic vena cava is dilated. I suffer from extreme weakness and fatigue, and I also have cognitive disorders. The Doctor has confirmed Long Covid. I reported that to the trade association.”

We’ve been applauded during the pandemic, but now I feel utterly let down.

Nurse with Long Covid

Becomes Long Covid recognized as an occupational disease, those affected receive 80 percent continued payment of wages instead of 70 percent in the event of illness. In addition, therapies and necessary medication are paid for in full. Anyone who can no longer work at all is entitled to a pension. However, getting there is complicated, says Evelin K.: “I have to provide BGW with written proof of when I had contact with which patient. That means it has to be proven which patient I got infected with. That’s absolutely not the case because I have come into contact with a lot of infected people. We have been applauded during the pandemic, but now I feel completely abandoned.”

Legal gray area: accident at work or occupational disease?

We ask the BGW, the trade association for health services and welfare. This obligation to provide evidence only comes into question if it is not an occupational disease but an accident at work, says BGW administration manager Christian Frosch: “Then we actually need so-called index people or it affects the area of ​​companies that are not assigned to welfare work. Or if it would be in the hospital, but it is the one who drives the food around, for example supplies clinics and drives from clinic A to B. Therefore, everyone who works in health care and has one-to-one contact with people is insured and then as a rule would not have to prove which patient it was.”

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