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'We are collapsing' Virus pummels medics in Spain and Italy

Widespread infections among health workers reflect the universal difficulty of stemming the spread of the pandemic.
Credit: AP
FILE, In this Monday, March 23, 2020 file photo, health workers gather outside the Hospital Clinic joining applause by police officers and residents in support of the medical staff that are working on the COVID-19 virus outbreak in Barcelona, Spain. The coronavirus is winning a war of attrition waged against health care workers throughout the world but more so in Spain, where necessary equipment to shield them from contagion and enough testing kits for the new virus have been lacking for weeks. The new coronavirus causes mild or moderate symptoms for most people, but for some, especially older adults and people with existing health problems, it can cause more severe illness or death. (AP Photo/Felipe Dana, File)

MADRID, Spain — The coronavirus is waging a war of attrition against health care workers around the world. 

In Spain, doctors and nurses complain of shortages of the equipment necessary to shield them from contagion and tests for the new virus. 

There and in Italy, many medical professionals are falling ill. 

Widespread infections among health workers reflect the universal difficulty of stemming the spread of the pandemic. 

But sick health workers do double damage: They add to the toll while also hampering the ability to respond to the crisis. 

On top of that, they raise the specter of hospitals becoming breeding grounds of infection.

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