Clinical Characteristics of Non-Critically Ill Patients With Novel Coronavirus Infection (COVID-19) in a Fangcang Hospital

Clin Microbiol Infect. 2020 Apr 3;S1198-743X(20)30177-4. doi: 10.1016/j.cmi.2020.03.032. Online ahead of print.


Objectives: To describe the clinical characteristics of patients in a Fangcang Hospital.

Methods: Non-critically ill individuals with positive SARS-CoV-2 RT-PCR tests admitted between 7 February and 12 February 2020 to Dongxihu Fangcang Hospital, which was promptly constructed because of the rapid, exponential increase in COVID-19 patients in Wuhan, China, were included; clinical course through to 22 February was recorded.

Results: A total of 1012 non-critically ill individuals with positive SARS-CoV-2 RT-PCR tests were included in the study. Thirty (of 1012, 3.0%) individuals were asymptomatic on admission. During hospitalization, 16 of 30 (53.3%) asymptomatic individuals developed different symptoms. Fourteen of 1012 patients (1.4%) remained asymptomatic from exposure to the end of follow up, with a median duration of 24 days (interquartile range 22-27). Fever (761 of 1012, 75.2%) and cough (531 of 1012, 52.4%) were the most common symptoms. Small patchy opacities (355 of 917, 38.7%) and ground-glass opacities (508 of 917, 55.4%) were common imaging manifestations in chest CT scans. One hundred patients (9.9%) were transferred to designated hospitals due to aggravation of illness. Diarrhoea emerged in 152 of 1012 patients (15.0%). Male, older age, diabetes, cardiovascular diseases, chills, dyspnoea, So2 value of ≤93%, white blood cell counts of >10 × 109/L and large consolidated opacities on CT images were all risk factors for aggravation of illness.

Conclusions: Non-critically ill individuals had different clinical characteristics from critically ill individuals. Asymptomatic infections only accounted for a small proportion of COVID-19. Although with a low incidence, diarrhoea was observed in patients with COVID-19, indicating the possibility of faecal-oral transmission.

Keywords: COVID-19; Clinical characteristics; Fangcang Hospital; Non-critically ill patients; Wuhan.