Triaging patients in the outbreak of the 2019 novel coronavirus
Posted 16 Mar 2020
medRxiv DOI: 10.1101/2020.03.13.20035212
Posted 16 Mar 2020
In the end of 2019, the epidemic of a new coronavirus (SARS-CoV-2) occurred in Wuhan and spread rapidly. Changsha, a city located south to the epicenter, was soon impacted. To control the transmission of the coronavirus and avoid nosocomial infection, triage procedures based on epidemiology were implemented in a local hospital of the city. This retrospective study analyzed the data collected during the triage period and found that COVID-19 patients were enriched seven folds into the Section A designated for rapid detection and quarantine. On the other side, roughly triple amounts of visits were received at the Section B for patients without obvious epidemiological history. Eight COVID-19 cases were spotted out of 247 suspected patients. More than 50% of the suspected patients were submitted to multiple rounds of nucleic acid analysis for SARS-CoV-2 infection. Of the 239 patients who were diagnosed as negative of the virus infection,188 were successfully revisited and none was reported as a COVID-19 case. Of the eight COVID-19 patients, three were confirmed only after multiple rounds of nucleic acid analysis. Besides comorbidities, delayed sharing of epidemiological history added another layer of complexity to the diagnosis in practice. While SARS-CoV-2 epidemic is being alerted in many countries, our report will be helpful to other colleagues in rapid identification of COVID-19 cases and controlling the transmission of the disease.
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