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Pan African Medical Journal ; 37(Supplement 1) (no pagination), 2020.
Article in English | EMBASE | ID: covidwho-2230788


The outbreak of coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) in December 2019 has rapidly spread globally with significant negative impact on health. There is an urgent need for a drug or vaccine certified for treating and preventing COVID-19 respectively. Tocilizumab, an interleukin-6 monoclonal receptor antibody, has been used in some centers for mitigating the severe inflammatory response seen in patients with severe COVID-19 with encouraging results. To the best of our knowledge, reports detailing the outcomes of patients with severe COVID-19 undergoing treatment with tocilizumab are sparse in sub-Saharan Africa. We describe the clinical and laboratory profile, chest Computed Tomography (CT) scan findings and clinical outcome in a Ghanaian patient with severe COVID-19 pneumonia treated with tocilizumab. A 54-year old hypertensive male presented with fever, productive cough, pleuritic chest pain and breathlessness. He tested positive for severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) by polymerase chain reaction analysis done on a nasopharyngeal swab sample. His respiratory symptoms worsened while on admission despite receiving standard of care. His C-reactive protein (CRP) was elevated to 80.59mg/L and chest CT scan findings were indicative of severe COVID-19 pneumonia. He was treated with a single 400mg dose of intravenous tocilizumab with a positive clinical outcome, rapid decline in CRP and improvement in chest CT findings. Our experience shows that tocilizumab shows great promise as drug therapy for COVID-19 pneumonia. Copyright © 2020, African Field Epidemiology Network. All rights reserved.