Background: Rapid virological diagnosis is needed to limit the length of isolation for suspected COVID-19 cases.
Method: We managed the first 280 patients suspected to have COVID-19 through a rapid care circuit and virological diagnosis in our infectious disease reference hospital in Marseille, France. Rapid viral detection was performed on sputum and nasopharyngeal samples.
Results: Over our study period, no SARS-CoV-2 was detected. Results were obtained within approximately 3 h of the arrival of patient samples at the laboratory. Other viral infections were identified in 49% of the patients, with most common pathogens being influenza A and B viruses, rhinovirus, metapneumovirus and common coronaviruses, notably HKU1 and NL63.
Conclusion: Early recognition of COVID-19 is critical to isolate confirmed cases and prevent further transmission. Early rule-out of COVID-19 allows public health containment measures to be adjusted by reducing the time spent in isolation.
Keywords: COVID-19; Coronaviruses; Epidemic; Influenza; SARS-CoV-2; Travel.
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