Dynamics of the Latest 2019 Novel Coronavirus Disease Epidemic in China: A Descriptive Study
25 Pages Posted: 20 Feb 2020More...
Background: In December 2019, cases of novel coronavirus (COVID-19) occurred in Hubei, China. The outbreak of COVID-19 has spread rapidly but details on epidemiologic features are rarely evaluated. We reported the dynamics of COVID-19 epidemic in China.
Methods: We retrospectively analysed COVID-19 case reports shared by National Health Commission of the People’s Republic of China and World Health Organization. We described the epidemiologic distributions and dynamic features of COVID-19 between Hubei and regions outside the epidemic zone.
Findings: By February 14, 2020, worldwide COVID-19 confirmed cases reached 66997, including 66492 spreading 31 provinces/municipalities in mainland China, Hong Kong, Macau and Taiwan and 505 worldwide in four continents, with a fatality of 2·28%. The majority of confirmed cases (82·10%), suspected (61·70%), severe (91·84%) and death (95·67%) was concentrated in Hubei. The fatality was 2·28% throughout China, with 2·67% in Hubei and 0.55% in the rest regions. Percentage of severe cases in and outside Hubei was 18·60% vs 6·73% and cure rate was 8·77% vs 27·49%. Cases of daily confirmed outside Hubei declined from 4 Feb and daily cured exceeded newly confirmed from 12 Feb onwards.
Interpretations: The outbreak of COVID-19 is predominant in Hubei. The fatality is lower outside Hubei, a reflection of effective quarantine measures and medical care. The underestimated cases due to false-negative nucleic acid tests implies an actual lower fatality than the current estimation. The implication of broadened clinical diagnosis criteria in Hubei results in a sharp upswing in COVID-19 cases yet this could essentially counteract the underestimation of diagnosis and ensure prompt medical intervention to highly suspected cases. The interim gap in the knowledge of the actual dynamics of COVID-19 and heterogeneity of geographic differences need fulfilment by investigation on demographic characteristics and risk factors among population in various regions.
Funding Statement: The study benefited from European Union's Horizon 2020 research and innovation Program under the Marie Skłodowska-Curie grant agreement No 722609.
Declaration of Interests: The authors declare no competing interests.
Keywords: Epidemic, COVID-19, descriptive
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