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      Positive rate of RT-PCR detection of SARS-CoV-2 infection in 4880 cases from one hospital in Wuhan, China, from Jan to Feb 2020

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          • The SARS-CoV-2 NAT positive rate was about 38% for the total 4880 specimens. Male and older population had a significant higher positive rates.

          • 57% was positive among the specimens from the Fever Clinics. Age, not gender, was the risk factor for SARS-CoV-2 infection in fever clinics.

          • Viral NAT played an important role in identifying SARS-CoV-2 infection.



          There’s an outbreak of a novel coronavirus (SARS-CoV-2) infection since December 2019, first in China, and currently with more than 80 thousand confirmed infection globally in 29 countries till March 2, 2020. Identification, isolation and caring for patients early are essential to limit human-to-human transmission including reducing secondary infections among close contacts and health care workers, preventing transmission amplification events. The RT-PCR detection of viral nucleic acid test (NAT) was one of the most quickly established laboratory diagnosis method in a novel viral pandemic, just as in this COVID-19 outbreak.


          4880 cases that had respiratory infection symptoms or close contact with COVID-19 patients in hospital in Wuhan, China, were tested for SARS-CoV-2 infection by use of quantitative RT-PCR (qRT-PCR) on samples from the respiratory tract. Positive rates were calculated in groups divided by genders or ages.


          The positive rate was about 38% for the total 4880 specimens. Male and older population had a significant higher positive rates. However, 57% was positive among the specimens from the Fever Clinics. Binary logistic regression analysis showed that age, not gender, was the risk factor for SARS-CoV-2 infection in fever clinics.


          Therefore, we concluded that viral NAT played an important role in identifying SARS-CoV-2 infection.

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          Clinical features of patients infected with 2019 novel coronavirus in Wuhan, China

          Summary Background A recent cluster of pneumonia cases in Wuhan, China, was caused by a novel betacoronavirus, the 2019 novel coronavirus (2019-nCoV). We report the epidemiological, clinical, laboratory, and radiological characteristics and treatment and clinical outcomes of these patients. Methods All patients with suspected 2019-nCoV were admitted to a designated hospital in Wuhan. We prospectively collected and analysed data on patients with laboratory-confirmed 2019-nCoV infection by real-time RT-PCR and next-generation sequencing. Data were obtained with standardised data collection forms shared by WHO and the International Severe Acute Respiratory and Emerging Infection Consortium from electronic medical records. Researchers also directly communicated with patients or their families to ascertain epidemiological and symptom data. Outcomes were also compared between patients who had been admitted to the intensive care unit (ICU) and those who had not. Findings By Jan 2, 2020, 41 admitted hospital patients had been identified as having laboratory-confirmed 2019-nCoV infection. Most of the infected patients were men (30 [73%] of 41); less than half had underlying diseases (13 [32%]), including diabetes (eight [20%]), hypertension (six [15%]), and cardiovascular disease (six [15%]). Median age was 49·0 years (IQR 41·0–58·0). 27 (66%) of 41 patients had been exposed to Huanan seafood market. One family cluster was found. Common symptoms at onset of illness were fever (40 [98%] of 41 patients), cough (31 [76%]), and myalgia or fatigue (18 [44%]); less common symptoms were sputum production (11 [28%] of 39), headache (three [8%] of 38), haemoptysis (two [5%] of 39), and diarrhoea (one [3%] of 38). Dyspnoea developed in 22 (55%) of 40 patients (median time from illness onset to dyspnoea 8·0 days [IQR 5·0–13·0]). 26 (63%) of 41 patients had lymphopenia. All 41 patients had pneumonia with abnormal findings on chest CT. Complications included acute respiratory distress syndrome (12 [29%]), RNAaemia (six [15%]), acute cardiac injury (five [12%]) and secondary infection (four [10%]). 13 (32%) patients were admitted to an ICU and six (15%) died. Compared with non-ICU patients, ICU patients had higher plasma levels of IL2, IL7, IL10, GSCF, IP10, MCP1, MIP1A, and TNFα. Interpretation The 2019-nCoV infection caused clusters of severe respiratory illness similar to severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus and was associated with ICU admission and high mortality. Major gaps in our knowledge of the origin, epidemiology, duration of human transmission, and clinical spectrum of disease need fulfilment by future studies. Funding Ministry of Science and Technology, Chinese Academy of Medical Sciences, National Natural Science Foundation of China, and Beijing Municipal Science and Technology Commission.

            Author and article information

            Clin Chim Acta
            Clin. Chim. Acta
            Clinica Chimica Acta; International Journal of Clinical Chemistry
            7 March 2020
            7 March 2020
            [a ]Dept. of Clinical Laboratory, Renmin Hospital of Wuhan University, Wuhan 430060, Hubei, China
            [b ]Dept.State Key Laboratory of Virology (Wuhan University), College of Life Sciences of Wuhan University, Wuhan 430072, Hubei, China
            [c ]Dept.Wuhan Institute of Biotechnology, Wuhan 430075, Hubei, China
            [d ]School of Basic Medical Sciences, Wuhan University, Wuhan 430071, Hubei, China
            Author notes

            These authors contribute equally to this study.

            © 2020 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

            Since January 2020 Elsevier has created a COVID-19 resource centre with free information in English and Mandarin on the novel coronavirus COVID-19. The COVID-19 resource centre is hosted on Elsevier Connect, the company's public news and information website. Elsevier hereby grants permission to make all its COVID-19-related research that is available on the COVID-19 resource centre - including this research content - immediately available in PubMed Central and other publicly funded repositories, such as the WHO COVID database with rights for unrestricted research re-use and analyses in any form or by any means with acknowledgement of the original source. These permissions are granted for free by Elsevier for as long as the COVID-19 resource centre remains active.


            Clinical chemistry


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