Background: The newly identified virus, Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome Corona Virus-two (SARS-CoV-2) has claimed more than a million lives worldwide since it was first recognized in Wuhan, China in December 2019. Understanding the clinical features of COVID-19 and duration for resolution of symptoms is crucial for isolation of patients and tailoring public health messaging, interventions, and policy. Therefore, this study aims to assess the median duration of COVID-19 signs and symptoms resolution and explore it’s predictors among symptomatic COVID-19 patients in Ethiopia
Methods: A hospital-based prospective cohort study involving 60 COVID-19 cases was conducted at Eka Kotebe General Hospital, COVID-19 Isolation and Treatment Center. The study participants were all symptomatic COVID-19 adult patients admitted to the hospital from March 18 to June 27, 2020. Physicians at the center recorded the data using a log sheet. Cox proportional-hazards regression model was conducted. Statistical significance was defined at P<0.05. All analyses were done using STATA version 16.1 software.
Results: A total of 60 symptomatic COVID-19 patients with a mean age of 34.8 years (+1.8) were involved in the study. The median duration of symptom resolution of COVID-19 was seven days with a minimum of two and a maximum of 68 days. Sex and Body Mass Index (BMI) were statistically significant predictors of the symptom resolution. The hazard of having delayed sign or symptom resolution in males was 55% higher than in females (P=0.039, CI: 0.22 to 0.96) and the hazard of the delayed sign or symptom in those with BMI ≥25 was 48% higher than in those with BMI <25 (P=0.051; CI: 0.272 to 1.003). In this study, age and comorbidity had no association with the duration of sign or symptom resolution in COVID-19 patients.
Conclusions: The median duration of COVID-19 symptom resolution was seven days. Being male or having a BMI ≥ 25 were predictors for having a delayed sign or symptom resolution time. Therefore, understanding the duration of COVID-19 sign or symptom resolution helps to guide the patient isolation period and prioritize COVID-19 patients to be shielded.