THE TAKE AWAY: The Chinese CDC’s report on the coronavirus

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This is only a bullet point summary of a longer and more in-depth paper in JAMA, “Characteristics of and Important Lessons From the Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) Outbreak in China”. We suggest reading the paper in full on the publisher’s website for a better understanding of the points made here.

  • The Chinese Center for Disease Control and Prevention recently published the largest case series to date of coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) in mainland China (72 314 cases, updated through February 11, 2020).
  • Most case patients were 30 to 79 years of age (87%), 1% were aged 9 years or younger, 1% were aged 10 to 19 years, and 3% were age 80 years or older.
  • 14% were severe (ie, dyspnea, respiratory frequency ≥30/min, blood oxygen saturation ≤93%, partial pressure of arterial oxygen to fraction of inspired oxygen ratio <300, and/or lung infiltrates >50% within 24 to 48 hours), and 5% were critical (ie, respiratory failure, septic shock, and/or multiple organ dysfunction or failure).
  • The overall case-fatality rate (CFR) was 2.3% (1023 deaths among 44 672 confirmed cases).
  • The sheer speed of both the geographical expansion and the sudden increase in numbers of cases surprised and quickly overwhelmed health and public health services in China, particularly in Wuhan City and Hubei Province.
  • Knowing that specific treatment and prevention options, such as targeted antiviral drugs and vaccines, were not yet available for COVID-19, China focused on traditional public health outbreak response tactics—isolation, quarantine, social distancing, and community containment.
  • It is not only individual rights that must be considered. The rights of those who are not infected, but at risk of infection, must be considered as well.

Read the full report here.

IMAGE SOURCE: Creative Commons

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