Clinical Characteristics of Patients with Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) in a Teaching Hospital in Malaysia
Introduction: Information on the clinical characteristics of local patients with confirmed COVID-19 is limited. This study aims to report the clinical characteristics of 147 patients admitted and receiving treatment at a teaching hospital.
Methodology: Patients’ socio-demographic and epidemiological data, clinical features, laboratory findings and clinical outcomes were extracted using a data sheet.
Results: The median patient age was 25 [interquartile range (IQR)] 20–44) years, and most of patients were male (68.7%) and of Malaysian nationality (88.4%). Almost half of the patients were from a case cluster related to a religious event (48.3%) and 12.9% had a history of overseas travel. A total of 33.3% of patients were not related to any case cluster, i.e. sporadic cases. Radiological investigation showed that 13.6% of the patients had chest X-ray changes and all laboratory parameters were within the normal ranges. Sixty-six patients (44.9%) experienced symptoms. The most common symptoms were rhinitis (66.7%), followed by fever (19.7%) and cough (15.2%). Age, gender, case cluster, comorbidity status, haemoglobin, albumin, total protein, bilirubin total and alkaline phosphatase level were associated with symptomatic status.
Conclusions: In this single-centre study, COVID-19 infection led not only to case clusters, but also to sporadic infections, with patients being either symptomatic or asymptomatic. These sporadic cases and asymptomatic patients may hamper effective contact tracing, leading to rapid human-to-human transmission in our population. Future studies on the prevalence and clinical significance of asymptomatic and presymptomatic COVID-19 patients would pre-emptively address issues on further containment of the pandemic.
Copyright (c) 2021 Norfazilah Ahmad, Norzehan Fatimah Mohd Ali, Azmawati Mohammed Nawi, Mohd Rohaizat Hassan, Azimatun Noor Aizuddin, Rozita Hod, Faiz Daud, Sharifah Azura Salleh, Petrick Periyasamy, Abdul Halim Abdul Gafor, Najma Kori
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