Clinical features insufficient for early diagnosis of suspected patients with COVID-19
Relying on the clinical features of confirmed patients with the novel coronavirus disease (COVID-19) is not enough to diagnose the disease early, suggests a recent study, noting that epidemiologic history is essential in the early detection of COVID-19.
The researchers analysed the clinical and epidemiologic characteristics of 106 patients with COVID-19 (median age, 36 years; 60 males) to better differentiate the suspected patients in Beijing, China. This retrospective, single-centre study collected clinical and epidemiological data from suspected patients with COVID-19 admitted to Beijing Ditan Hospital from 29 January to 21 February 2020.
Of the patients, 36 were laboratory confirmed to be positive of COVID-19, while 53 were excluded from the diagnosis. The remaining 17 patients were highly suspected, but their nucleic acid tests repeatedly turned out to be negative.
There was a significantly higher proportion of epidemiologic history among confirmed and highly suspected patients than those who were excluded (p<0.001). No significant differences were seen in clinical symptoms or the underlying diseases among the three groups.
Moreover, the frequency of lymphopaenia and eosinopaenia was higher in confirmed patients than in highly suspected and excluded patients. In addition, confirmed patients were more likely to show ground-glass opacity and bilateral lung involvement in chest computed tomography scans.
“More sensitive diagnostic methods are needed to aid the differential diagnosis of suspected patients with COVID-19,” the researchers said.
COVID-19 occurred initially in Wuhan, Hubei Province, China, and swept across the globe leading to a pandemic due to alleged cover-ups and delayed lockdown policies by the government.