THE TAKE AWAY: Clinical Characteristics of Coronavirus Disease 2019 in China

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  • In early December 2019, the first pneumonia cases of unknown origin were identified in Wuhan, the capital city of Hubei province.
  • The pathogen has been identified as a novel enveloped RNA betacoronavirus2 that has currently been named severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2), which has a phylogenetic similarity to SARS-CoV.
  • A confirmed case of Covid-19 was defined as a positive result on high-throughput sequencing or real-time reverse-transcriptase–polymerase-chain-reaction (RT-PCR) assay of nasal and pharyngeal swab specimens.

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  • During the initial phase of the Covid-19 outbreak, the diagnosis of the disease was complicated by the diversity in symptoms and imaging findings and in the severity of disease at the time of presentation.
  • Despite the number of deaths associated with Covid-19, SARS-CoV-2 appears to have a lower case fatality rate than either SARS-CoV or Middle East respiratory syndrome–related coronavirus (MERS-CoV).
  • Our study cannot preclude the presence of patients who have been termed “super-spreaders.”
  • Conventional routes of transmission of SARS-CoV, MERS-CoV, and highly pathogenic influenza consist of respiratory droplets and direct contact,18-20 mechanisms that probably occur with SARS-CoV-2 as well.
  • Despite the phylogenetic homogeneity between SARS-CoV-2 and SARS-CoV, there are some clinical characteristics that differentiate Covid-19 from SARS-CoV, MERS-CoV, and seasonal influenza infections.
  • Some patients with Covid-19 do not have fever or radiologic abnormalities on initial presentation, which has complicated the diagnosis.

 

 

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