An unidentified pneumonia outbreak was first observed in Wuhan, the capital of Hubei Province, China, in December 2019. WHO officially named the disease, Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19), and declared it as pandemic on Mar 11, 2020. Globally, there are more than 3 million confirmed cases with nearly 200,000 deaths. Hence, we aimed to perform a systematic review and pooled analysis of the current published literature on COVID-19 to provide an insight on the epidemiological and clinical characteristics of COVID-19 patients.
A systematic search of published peer-reviewed articles that reported cases with demographical and clinical features of real-time reverse transcriptase polymerase chain reaction (rRT-PCR)–confirmed SARS-CoV-2 infection using MOOSE guidelines was conducted from December 1, 2019, to April 27, 2020, and 50 eligible articles were included for the final analysis. Review articles, opinion articles, and letters not presenting original data as well as studies with incomplete information were excluded.
We included a total of 6635 patients from 50 articles, with 54.5 % being male. The predominant symptoms were fever (80.3%), cough (64.2%), and fatigue/myalgia (36.5%) and other symptoms including dyspnea, chest pain, and sore throat. We also found patients with GI symptoms like diarrhea (9.2%) and nausea/vomiting (5.2%). Comorbidities were found in 3,435 (51.7%) patients with the most common being hypertension (22.67%) followed by diabetes mellitus (12.78%).
COVID-19 pandemic is not only leading a huge burden on health care facilities but significant disruption in the world society. Patients with coexisting comorbidities are at higher risk and need more utilization of health care resources. As this virus is spreading globally, all countries have to join hands and prepare at all levels of human resources, infrastructure, and facilities to combat the COVID-19 disease.