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SYDNEY, April 20 -- An Australian-led research found that night-shift workers were far more likely to catch COVID-19 than day workers, reported Xinhua news agency.
An international research team, led by Yaqoot Fatima from James Cook University in the Australian state of Queensland, believes that night-shift workers have almost double the risk of catching the coronavirus.
Their findings, published in the Journal of Sleep Research, were based on medical data of 500,000 participants of Britain's biobank program, which collected medical and genetic data from volunteers.
Fatima, speaking to the Brisbane Times, said it was well known that working night shift could disturb people's natural circadian rhythms, potentially opening them up to infection.
"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," she said.
"This could be a function of reduced melatonin levels, and poor immune response."
Fatima also told Xinhua that there were other similar studies now being done in other countries, including the United States.
"We are hoping, and expecting, they will have similar findings," she said. "When their findings are made clear we hope it can influence guidelines on issues such as priorities regarding the rollout of vaccines."