Epidemiology and Clinical Characteristics of 50 Death Cases with COVID-2019 in the Philippines: A Retrospective Review
18 Pages Posted: 10 Apr 2020
Date Written: April 3, 2020
In an attempt to provide extensive information pertaining to the epidemiological and clinical characteristics of death cases with COVID-2019 in the Philippines, this retrospective study was conducted using data of 50 death cases from January 30 to April 3, 2020. The patients’ information including demographic profile (age, sex, nationality, residence), date of confirmation for positive COVID-2019 case, date of death, travel/exposure history, cause of death, and comorbidities were taken from open-access COVID-2019 databases of the Department of Health and University of the Philippines. Results revealed that the mean age of death cases was 68.48 ± 10.40 years, males outnumbered females in terms of mortality, most of the death cases were observed in the age group 70 – 79, and almost all of the cases were Filipino residing in Quezon City and Manila. Patients with no travel history or no exposure to a known COVID-2019 case are susceptible to death. Majority of the cases died because of underlying diseases, the most common of which was hypertension, followed by diabetes mellitus, chronic kidney disease, acute kidney injury, asthma, and kidney disease. Mean number of comorbidities among the death cases was 2.12 ± 1.04. All patients died because of respiratory failure. Most of the death cases died before the release of COVID-2019 positive test result. A proportion of cases died on the same day the COVID-2019 positive test result was released. The elderly individuals are more susceptible to mortality. The underlying diseases (e.g., hypertension, diabetes mellitus, chronic kidney disease) exacerbated the risks of death among the sampled cases. Patients with no travel history or no exposure to a known COVID-2019 case are vulnerable to death suggesting a sustained community transmission of infection in the Philippines. The findings of the study provide important implications to the government health officials and local government units of the Philippines. The provision and capacitation of laboratory testing to the local government units may be undertaken to increase testing of suspected individuals, which may ultimately reduce cases of mortality. Mean time difference (difference between time of death and time positive test result was released) was – 0.68 indicating that an average patient in the sample died before positive test result was released. This is quite saddening as most of the death cases were not informed of the positive test result ahead of time before dying. More testing facilities, including kits, should be provided to mitigate this problem.
Note: Funding: None. No funding to declare.
Declaration of Interest: The author declares no conflict of interest.
Keywords: Coronavirus, COVID-2019, Clinical Characteristics, Epidemiology, Infectious Disease, Philippines, Public Health
JEL Classification: I1, I12, I18, I28
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation