Influenza-associated pneumonia as reference to assess seriousness of coronavirus disease (COVID-19)

Euro Surveill. 2020 Mar;25(11):2000258. doi: 10.2807/1560-7917.ES.2020.25.11.2000258. Epub 2020 Mar 16.


Information on severity of coronavirus disease (COVID-19) (transmissibility, disease seriousness, impact) is crucial for preparation of healthcare sectors. We present a simple approach to assess disease seriousness, creating a reference cohort of pneumonia patients from sentinel hospitals. First comparisons exposed a higher rate of COVID-19 patients requiring ventilation. There were more case fatalities among COVID-19 patients without comorbidities than in the reference cohort. Hospitals should prepare for high utilisation of ventilation and intensive care resources.

Keywords: COVID-19; SARS-CoV-2; hospital; pneumonia; seriousness of disease.

MeSH terms

  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Betacoronavirus
  • COVID-19
  • Coronavirus / isolation & purification*
  • Coronavirus Infections / diagnosis*
  • Coronavirus Infections / epidemiology
  • Coronavirus Infections / virology
  • Disease Outbreaks
  • Female
  • Hospitalization
  • Humans
  • Influenza, Human / diagnosis*
  • Influenza, Human / epidemiology
  • Male
  • Pandemics
  • Pneumonia, Viral / diagnosis*
  • Pneumonia, Viral / epidemiology
  • Pneumonia, Viral / virology
  • SARS-CoV-2
  • Sentinel Surveillance
  • Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome / virology
  • Severity of Illness Index