Authors: Guan W, Ni Z, Hu Y, Liang W, Ou C, He J

PMCID: PMC7266766 doi: 10.1016/j.jemermed.2020.04.004


The novel coronavirus (SARS-CoV-2, causing COVID-19) was originally isolated in Wuhan, China. This virus spread quickly throughout many countries in Asia and now Europe, Australia, North America, leading the World Health Organization to declare COVID-19 a pandemic. Given the rapid spread of cases, the authors sought to provide analysis of patients with COVID-19, their clinical characteristics, and severity of disease.

This was a retrospective review of Chinese medical records for laboratory-confirmed COVID-19 reported to the National Health Commission between December 11, 2019 to January 29, 2020. Electronic medical records were used to record various clinical data including exposure risk, signs and symptoms, laboratory findings, and radiologic findings. Several researchers performed chart abstraction and disagreements were made by a third reviewer. If radiologic findings were included, these were reviewed by respiratory medicine attending physicians who interpreted the findings. Incubation periods of less than 1 day were excluded. Fever was defined as an axillary temperature of 37.5 degrees Celsius or higher. Patients were categorized into severe or nonsevere based on the American Thoracic Society guidelines for community acquired pneumonia. The primary composite endpoint was admission to the intensive care unit (ICU), use of mechanical ventilation, or death. Secondary outcomes included death rates from symptom onset until each component of the composite end-point.

Keywords: COVID-19, SARS-CoV-2

More on: MATH+

More on: COVID-19 | SARS-CoV-2