Clinical, epidemiological, and laboratory characteristics of mild-to-moderate COVID-19 patients in Saudi Arabia: an observational cohort study

Eur J Med Res. 2020 Nov 25;25(1):61. doi: 10.1186/s40001-020-00462-x.


Background: Severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) emerged from China in December 2019 and has presented as a substantial and serious threat to global health. We aimed to describe the clinical, epidemiological, and laboratory findings of patients in Saudi Arabia infected with SARS-CoV-2 to direct us in helping prevent and treat coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) across Saudi Arabia and around the world.

Materials and methods: Clinical, epidemiological, laboratory, and radiological characteristics, treatment, and outcomes of pediatric and adult patients in five hospitals in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, were surveyed in this study.

Results: 401 patients (mean age 38.16 ± 13.43 years) were identified to be SARS-CoV-2 positive and 80% of cases were male. 160 patients had moderate severity and 241 were mild in severity. The most common signs and symptoms at presentation were cough, fever, fatigue, and shortness of breath. Neutrophil and lymphocyte counts, aspartate aminotransferase, C-reactive protein, and ferritin were higher in the COVID-19 moderate severity patient group. Mild severity patients spent a shorter duration hospitalized and had slightly higher percentages of abnormal CT scans and X-ray imaging.

Conclusions: This study provides an understanding of the features of non-ICU COVID-19 patients in Saudi Arabia. Further national collaborative studies are needed to streamline screening and treatment procedures for COVID-19.

Keywords: COVID-19; Comorbidities; Epidemiology; SARS-CoV-2; Saudi Arabia; Symptoms.

Publication types

  • Observational Study

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Biomarkers / analysis*
  • COVID-19 / diagnostic imaging
  • COVID-19 / epidemiology*
  • COVID-19 / pathology
  • COVID-19 / virology
  • Child
  • Child, Preschool
  • Female
  • Follow-Up Studies
  • Humans
  • Infant
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Prognosis
  • Retrospective Studies
  • Risk Factors
  • SARS-CoV-2 / isolation & purification*
  • Saudi Arabia / epidemiology
  • Tomography, X-Ray Computed / methods*
  • Young Adult


  • Biomarkers