The Virological and Epidemiological Features of COVID-19 in Anhui, China
21 Pages Posted: 30 Mar 2020More...
Background: SARS-CoV-2 has caused a huge outbreak in China and multiple countries since it emerged in Wuhan, China in December, 2019. The virus caused diseases (COVID-19) has raised world concern because of rapid transmissibility, high mobility and mortality.
Methods: Field investigations were conducted for 914 confirmed patients with COVID-19 in Anhui province, China. Patients were confirmed to be infected with SARS-CoV-2 by real-time RT-PCR (rRT-PCR). Information on demographic characteristics, and exposure history was obtained from patients with confirmed cases. We conducted virological and epidemiological analysis on these patients.
Findings: The rRT-PCR Ct values were remarkably lower in sputum samples than throat swab samples. The virus was detected with a low Ct value at early or late stage of illness, even at the day of illness onset or day 20 after illness onset in individual patients. Ct values didn’t show a significant association with incidence of severity at early stage of illness or grouped ages. Male, older patients and delayed diagnosis showed positive association with enhancing severity of COVID-19 but increased generation of infection was negative association with the enhancing severity.
Interpretation: Viral load was not related to the severity of COVID-19 in early stage of COVID-19. Male and delayed diagnosis increased a risk of enhancing COVID-19 severity while decreased the risk with increasing generation of infection. SARS-CoV-2 may increase human-to-human transmissibility through long term replication within individual human host.
Funding Statement: This work was supported by the National Mega-projects for Infectious Diseases (grant numbers 2017ZX10304402-001-019) and National Natural Scientific Foundation of China (grant numbers 81971946). Emergency research project of novel coronavirus infection of Anhui province (grant numbers 202004a07020002; 202004a07020004).
Declaration of Interests: None.
Ethics Approval Statement: Data collection and analysis of cases and close contacts were determined by the National Health Commission of the People’s Republic of China to be part of a continuing public health outbreak investigation and were thus considered exempt from institutional review board approval.
Keywords: COVID-19; SARS-CoV-19; Viral load; Transmission
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