A Comparative Study on the Clinical Features of Coronavirus 2019 (COVID-19) Pneumonia With Other Pneumonias

Clin Infect Dis. 2020 Jul 28;71(15):756-761. doi: 10.1093/cid/ciaa247.


Background: A novel coronavirus (COVID-19) has raised world concern since it emerged in Wuhan, China in December 2019. The infection may result in severe pneumonia with clusters of illness onsets. Its impacts on public health make it paramount to clarify the clinical features with other pneumonias.

Methods: Nineteen COVID-19 and 15 other patients with pneumonia (non-COVID-19) in areas outside of Hubei were involved in this study. Both COVID-19 and non-COVID-19 patients were confirmed to be infected using throat swabs and/or sputa with/without COVID-2019 by real-time RT-PCR. We analyzed the demographic, epidemiological, clinical, and radiological features from those patients, and compared the differences between COVID-19 and non-COVID-19.

Results: All patients had a history of exposure to confirmed cases of COVID-19 or travel to Hubei before illness. The median (IQR) duration was 8 (6-11) and 5 (4-11) days from exposure to onset in COVID-19 and non-COVID-19 cases, respectively. The clinical symptoms were similar between COVID-19 and non-COVID-19. The most common symptoms were fever and cough. Fifteen (78.95%) COVID-19 but 4 (26.67%) non-COVID-19 patients had bilateral involvement while 17 COVID-19 patients (89.47%) but 1 non-COVID-19 patient (6.67%) had multiple mottling and ground-glass opacity on chest CT images. Compared with non-COVID-19, COVID-19 presents remarkably more abnormal laboratory tests, including AST, ALT, γ-GT, LDH, and α-HBDH.

Conclusions: The COVID-19 infection has onsets similar to other pneumonias. CT scan may be a reliable test for screening COVID-19 cases. Liver function damage is more frequent in COVID-19 than non-COVID-19 patients. LDH and α-HBDH may be considerable markers for evaluation of COVID-19.

Keywords: clinical features; infectious diseases; novel coronavirus pneumonia; respiratory infection.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Betacoronavirus / pathogenicity
  • COVID-19
  • China / epidemiology
  • Coronavirus Infections / epidemiology*
  • Coronavirus Infections / virology*
  • Cough / epidemiology
  • Cough / virology
  • Female
  • Fever / epidemiology
  • Fever / virology
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Pandemics
  • Pneumonia / epidemiology*
  • Pneumonia / virology*
  • Pneumonia, Viral / epidemiology*
  • Pneumonia, Viral / virology*
  • SARS-CoV-2
  • Tomography, X-Ray Computed / methods
  • Travel