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Intern Med J ; 51(1): 42-51, 2021 01.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-944728


BACKGROUND: On 31 December 2019, the World Health Organization recognised clusters of pneumonia-like cases due to a novel coronavirus disease (COVID-19). COVID-19 became a pandemic 71 days later. AIM: To report the clinical and epidemiological features, laboratory data and outcomes of the first group of 11 returned travellers with COVID-19 in Australia. METHODS: This is a retrospective, multi-centre case series. All patients with confirmed COVID-19 infection were admitted to tertiary referral hospitals in New South Wales, Queensland, Victoria and South Australia. RESULTS: The median age of the patient cohort was 42 years (interquartile range (IQR), 24-53 years) with six men and five women. Eight (72.7%) patients had returned from Wuhan, one from Shenzhen, one from Japan and one from Europe. Possible human-to-human transmission from close family contacts in gatherings overseas occurred in two cases. Symptoms on admission were fever, cough and sore throat (n = 9, 81.8%). Co-morbidities included hypertension (n = 3, 27.3%) and hypercholesterolaemia (n = 2, 18.2%). No patients developed severe acute respiratory distress nor required intensive care unit admission or mechanical ventilation. After a median hospital stay of 14.5 days (IQR, 6.75-21), all patients were discharged. CONCLUSIONS: This is a historical record of the first COVID-19 cases in Australia during the early biocontainment phase of the national response. These findings were invaluable for establishing early inpatient and outpatient COVID-19 models of care and informing the management of COVID-19 over time as the outbreak evolved. Future research should extend this Australian case series to examine global epidemiological variation of this novel infection.

COVID-19/epidemiology , Adult , Australia/epidemiology , COVID-19/therapy , Female , Humans , Male , Middle Aged , Patient Discharge , Retrospective Studies , Tertiary Care Centers , Young Adult
Am J Infect Control ; 48(12): 1445-1450, 2020 12.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-739727


BACKGROUND: Isolation and quarantine are key measures in outbreak management and disease control. They are, however, associated with negative patient experiences and outcomes, including an adverse impact on mental health and lower quality of care due to limited interaction with healthcare workers. In this study, we explore the lived experience and perceptions of patients in isolation with COVID-19 in an Australian healthcare setting. METHODS: Using a phenomenological approach from a Heideggerian hermeneutical perspective, we conducted individual semistructured interviews with the first 11 COVID-19 patients admitted to a designated COVID-19 facility in Australia. Interviews were audiorecorded, transcribed verbatim, and imported into NVivo 12 for coding and analysis. RESULTS: Participants' lived experience and perceptions of COVID-19 were represented by 5 themes: "Knowing about COVID-19," "Planning for, and responding to, COVID-19," "Being infected," "Life in isolation and the room," and "Post-discharge life." Within these, participants conveyed both positive and negative lived experiences of infection, isolation, and illness. The contextual aspects of their social and physical environment together with their individual resources contributed to the framing of their planning for, and response to, the outbreak, and were important mediators in their experience. CONCLUSIONS: Findings from this study provide a valuable insight into the lived experiences of patients with COVID-19, which reflect those of patients with other infectious diseases who require isolation.

COVID-19/psychology , Patient Acceptance of Health Care/psychology , Patient Isolation/psychology , SARS-CoV-2 , Adult , Aged , Australia , Female , Humans , Male , Middle Aged , Perception , Qualitative Research