Writer’s note: This blog has been updated on February 24th to show the cases data increase since the original publishing date, February 16th, 2020.
The Coronavirus–recently renamed COVID-19–epidemic maintains its grip on China. Based on the latest data released by the World Health Organization, the numbers continue to be alarming. However, Chinese officials changed the reporting criteria of Coronavirus cases this past week .
Therefore, patients who exhibit the symptoms such as fever, cough, and shortness, but have not been tested or tested negative, are now included under the new category “clinical cases”.
Let’s take a look at these reports from WHO. To read the daily report click here.
|Situation Report 26 – Feb. 15||Situation Report 35 – Feb. 24|
|Cases Globally||Cases Globally|
|50,580 confirmed||79 331 (28,751 new)|
|Cases China||Cases China|
|50,054 confirmed||77,262 (27,208 new)|
|1,524 deaths||2,595 deaths (1,071 new)|
|Cases Outside of China||Cases Outside of China|
|526||2,069 (1,533 new)|
|25 countries||29 countries (4 new)|
|2 deaths||23 deaths (21 new)|
For the last couple of weeks, I have wondered, what is the profile of the Coronavirus patient? Well, the Journal of the American Medical Association published the largest study made at the core of the epidemic providing valuable insight. (Read full article.)
The study, authored by Zhiyong Peng, MD, of the Department of Critical Care Medicine of the Zhongnan Hospital of Wuhan University, included 138 hospitalized patients with confirmed Novel Coronavirus Infected Pneumonia from January 1st to January 28th, 2020.
According to the results, the median age was 56 years with 54% being men. Thirty-six of the cases (26.1%) were transferred to the Intensive Care Unit due to the development of organ dysfunction. Forty-six.six percent (64 patients) had one or more co-existing medical conditions: hypertension, cardiovascular disease, diabetes, and malignancy. They were also significantly older, (66 years median age.)
The most common symptoms were fever, fatigue, dry cough, myalgia (muscle pain), and dyspnea (labored breathing.) Less common symptoms were headache, dizziness, abdominal pain, diarrhea, nausea, and vomiting.
As of February 3, 2020, the study reported six deaths (4.3%), 85 patients (61.%) remain hospitalized, and 47 patients (34%) were discharged from the hospital after ten days of admission.
Nonetheless, there was one variable in the study that raises a red flag: the rapid person-to-person transmission rate of the COVID-19. Its basic reproductive number is estimated at 2.2, meaning that each infected person has already infected more than two people during the onset of the disease.
This explains the 41% of the 138 patients of the study who were infected inside the Zhongnan Hospital of Wuhan University, including people who were patients and employees.
Based on the latest information from the CDC, the United States has 15 confirmed cases of COVID-19. Of those, 13 had travel history to China, and 2 are possible confirmed transmission outside of China.
Like I said before, it is important to remain vigilant and up-to-date with the information from the leading world and national health agencies. Don’t let your guard down. Exercise common sense and follow the recommendations of my last blog. Click here to read it.
Thank you for reading and sharing,
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