Clinical features and viral RNA shedding of imported and local cases with COVID-19 in Wenzhou, China

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Wenzhou had the highest number of confirmed novel coronavirus 2019 (COVID-19) cases outside the Hubei province. The aim of this study was to identify the difference in clinical features and viral RNA shedding between the imported and local COVID-19 cases in Wenzhou. All patients with confirmed COVID-19 admitted to Wenzhou Sixth People's Hospital, Wenzhou Central Hospital Medical Group, from January 17 to February 11, 2020, were enrolled in this study. Data was analyzed and compared for the imported and local cases with regard to epidemiological, demographic, clinical, radiological features, and laboratory findings. Outcomes for the enrolled participants were followed up until May 7, 2020. Of the 136 cases, 50 were imported from Wuhan. The median age was 45 years and 73 (53.7%) were men. The most common symptoms at onset were fever (104 [76.5%]) and cough (85[62.5%]). Pleural effusion was more common among imported cases compared to local cases. The white blood cell count, neutrophil count, lymphocyte count and platelet count of the imported cases were significantly lower than those of the local cases, while the prothrombin time was significantly longer than that of the local cases. Severe and critically ill patients accounted for 15.4% and 2.9%, respectively. The median duration of SARS-CoV-2 RNA shedding from symptom onset was 26 days (IQR 17–32.3 days) and there were no significant differences in duration of viral RNA shedding between the two groups. The study findings suggest that imported cases from Wuhan were more likely to be severe compared to the local cases in Wenzhou. However, there was no difference between imported and local cases on the viral shedding among the COVID patients.


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