Epidemiological and clinical characteristics of fifty-six cases of COVID-19 in Liaoning Province, China.World J Clin Cases. 2020 Nov 06; 8(21):5188-5202.WJ
Pneumonia of uncertain cause has been reported in Wuhan, China since the beginning of early December 2019. In early January 2020, a novel strain of β-coronavirus was identified by the Chinese Center for Disease Control and Prevention from the pharyngeal swab specimens of patients, which was recently named severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2). There is evidence of human-to-human transmission and familial cluster outbreak of SARS-CoV-2 infection. The World Health Organization(WHO) recently declared the SARS-CoV-2 epidemic a global health emergency. As of February 17, 2020, 71329 laboratory-confirmed cases (in 25 countries, including the United States and Germany) have been reported globally. Other than its rapid transmission, the epidemiological and clinical characteristics of coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) remain unclear. In December 2019, coronavirus disease (named COVID-19 by the WHO) associated with the SARS-CoV-2 emerged in Wuhan, China and spread quickly across the country.
To analyze the epidemiological and clinical characteristics of confirmed cases of this disease in Liaoning province, a Chinese region about 1800 km north of Wuhan.
The clinical data of 56 laboratory-confirmed COVID-19 cases due to 2019-nCoV infection were analyzed. The cases originated from eight cities in Liaoning province.
The median age of the patients was 45 years, and 57.1% of them were male. No patient had been in direct contact with wild animals. Among them, 23 patients (41.1%) had resided in or traveled to Wuhan, 27 cases (48.2%) had been in contact with confirmed COVID-19 patients, 5 cases (8.9%) had been in contact with confirmed patients with a contact history to COVID-19 patients, and 1 case (1.8%) had no apparent history of exposure. Fever (75.0%) and cough (60.7%) were the most common symptoms. The typical manifestations in lung computed tomography (CT) included ground-glass opacity and patchy shadows, with 67.8% of them being bilateral. Among the patients in the cohort, 78.6% showed reduction in their lymphocyte counts, 57.1% showed increases in their C-reactive protein levels, and 50.0% showed decreases in their blood albumin levels. Eleven patients (19.6%) were admitted to intensive care unit, 2 patients (3.5%) progressed to acute respiratory distress syndrome, 4 patients (7.1%) were equipped with non-invasive mechanical ventilation, and 1 patient (1.8) received extracorporeal membrane oxygenation support. There were 5 mild cases (5/56, 8.9%), 40 moderate cases (40/56, 71.4%), 10 severe cases (10/56, 17.9%), and 1 critical case (1/56, 1.8%). No deaths were reported.
SARS-CoV-2 can be transmitted among humans. Most COVID-19 patients show symptoms of fever, cough, lymphocyte reduction, and typical lung CT manifestations. Most are moderate cases. The seriousness of the disease (as indicated by blood oxygen saturation, respiratory rate, oxygenation index, blood lymphocyte count, and lesions shown in lung CT) is related to history of living in or traveling to Wuhan, underlying diseases, admittance to intensive care unit, and mechanical ventilation.