The outbreak of COVID-19 has resulted in serious concerns in China and abroad. To investigate clinical features of confirmed and suspected patients with COVID-19 in west China, and to examine differences between severe versus non-severe patients.
Patients admitted for COVID-19 between January 21 and February 11 from fifteen hospitals in Sichuan Province, China were included. Experienced clinicians trained with methods abstracted data from medical records using pre-defined, pilot-tested forms. Clinical characteristics between severe and non-severe patients were compared.
Of the 169 patients included, 147 were laboratory-confirmed, 22 were suspected. For confirmed cases, the most common symptoms from onset to admission were cough (70·7%), fever (70·5%) and sputum (33·3%), and the most common chest CT patterns were patchy or stripes shadowing (78·0%); throughout the course of disease, 19·0% had no fever, and 12·4% had no radiologic abnormality; twelve (8·2%) received mechanical ventilation, four (2·7%) were transferred to ICU, and no death occurred. Compared to non-severe cases, severe ones were more likely to have underlying comorbidities (62·5% vs 26·2%, P = 0·001), to present with cough (92·0% vs 66·4%, P = 0·02), sputum (60·0% vs 27·9%, P = 0·004) and shortness of breath (40·0% vs 8·2%, P < 0·0001), and to have more frequent lymphopenia (79·2% vs 43·7%, P = 0·003) and eosinopenia (84·2% vs 57·0%, P = 0·046).
The symptoms of patients in west China were relatively mild, and an appreciable proportion of infected cases had no fever, warranting special attention.