Background: In December 2019, an outbreak of a novel coronavirus disease (COVID-19; previously known as 2019-nCoV) was reported in Wuhan, Hubei province, China, which has subsequently affected more than 200 countries worldwide including Europe, North America, Oceania, Africa and other places. The number of infected people is rapidly increasing, while the diagnostic method of COVID-19 is only by nucleic acid testing.
Objective: To explain the epidemiological characteristics, clinical features, imaging manifestations and to judge diagnostic value of COVID-19 by analyzing the clinical data of COVID-19 suspected and confirmed patients in a non-outbreak, Shanghai, China. To clarify the early epidemiology and clinical characteristics about COVID-19.
Methods: Cross-sectional, single-center case reports of the 86 patients screened at Zhoupu Hospital in Pudong New District, Shanghai, China, from January 23 to February 16, 2020. Epidemiology, demography, clinical, laboratory and chest CTs were collected and analyzed. The screened patients were divided into COVID-19 and non-COVID-19 based on nucleic acid test results.
Results: Of the 86 screened patients, 11 were confirmed (12.8%) by nucleic acid testing (mean age 40.73 ± 11.32, 5 males). No significant differences were found in clinical symptoms including fever, cough, dyspnea, sore throat, and fatigue (P > 0.05). No statistical difference was observed in plasma C-reactive protein (CRP) between the two groups (COVID-19 and non-COVID-19 ) of patients (P = 0.402), while the white blood cell count and lymphocyte count of the confirmed patients were slightly lower than those of the suspected patients (P < 0.05). Some non-COVID-19 chest CTs also showed subpleural lesions, such as ground-glass opacities (GGO) combined with bronchiectasis; or halo nodules distributed under the pleura with focal GGO; consolidation of subpleural distribution or combined with air bronchi sign and vascular bundle sign, etc.
Conclusion: The early clinical manifestations and imaging findings of COVID-19 are not characteristic in non-outbreak areas. Etiological testing should be performed as early as possible for clinically suspected patients.