Since the outbreak of 2019 novel coronavirus (SARS-CoV-2) pneumonia, thousands of patients with fever or cough were flocked into fever clinic of designated hospitals in Wuhan, China. To date, no data have ever been reported to reflect the prevalence of Corona Virus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) among these outpatients. Moreover, it is almost unknown to discriminate COVID-19 and nucleic acid negative patients based on clinical features in the fever clinics.
The infectious status of SARS-CoV-2 was estimated among the outpatients. The epidemiological and clinical characteristics were compared between COVID-19 and nucleic acid negative patients.
The nucleic acid positive rate for SARS-CoV-2 in the outpatients from our fever clinic was 67·1%, while the majority of COVID-19 patients were mild cases. The predominant initial symptom in those COVID-19 patients was fever (78.2%), followed by cough (15.6%). Very significantly lower number of eosinophils was characterized in COVID-19 patients as compared to that of nucleic acid negative patients. More importantly, the proportion of subjects with eosinophil counts lower than normal levels in COVID-19 patients was much higher than that of nucleic acid negative patients. Fever combined with bilateral ground-glass opacities in CT imaging and eosinophil count below the normal level are probably a valuable indicator of COVID-19 infection in those outpatients.
Those findings may provide critical information for the regions such as Europe and United States that are facing the same situation as Wuhan experienced, and could be valuable to prevent those nucleic acid negative patients from misdiagnosis before antibody testing. This article is protected by copyright. All rights reserved.
This article is protected by copyright. All rights reserved.