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

ABSTRACT

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.


Subject(s)
COVID-19/epidemiology , Adult , Australia/epidemiology , COVID-19/therapy , Female , Humans , Male , Middle Aged , Patient Discharge , Retrospective Studies , Tertiary Care Centers , Young Adult
2.
Int J Rheum Dis ; 23(8): 1030-1039, 2020 Aug.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-721094

ABSTRACT

AIM: To describe the first Australian cases of severe acute respiratory syndrome-coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV2) disease (COVID-19) pneumonia treated with the interleukin-6 receptor antagonist tocilizumab. METHODS: Retrospective, open-label, real-world, uncontrolled, single-arm case series conducted in 2 tertiary hospitals in NSW, Australia and 1 tertiary hospital in Victoria, Australia. Five adult male patients aged between 46 and 74 years with type 1 respiratory failure due to COVID-19 pneumonia requiring intensive care unit (ICU) admission and biochemical evidence of systemic hyperinflammation (C-reactive protein greater than 100 mg/L; ferritin greater than 700 µg/L) were administered variable-dose tocilizumab. RESULTS: At between 13 and 26 days follow-up, all patients are alive and have been discharged from ICU. Two patients have been discharged home. Two patients avoided endotracheal intubation. Oxygen therapy has been ceased in three patients. Four adverse events potentially associated with tocilizumab therapy occurred in three patients: ventilator-associated pneumonia, bacteremia associated with central venous catheterization, myositis and hepatitis. All patients received broad-spectrum antibiotics, 4 received corticosteroids and 2 received both lopinavir/ritonavir and hydroxychloroquine. The time from first tocilizumab administration to improvement in ventilation, defined as a 25% reduction in fraction of inspired oxygen required to maintain peripheral oxygen saturation greater than 92%, ranged from 7 hours to 4.6 days. CONCLUSIONS: Tocilizumab use was associated with favorable clinical outcome in our patients. We recommend tocilizumab be included in randomized controlled trials of treatment for patients with severe COVID-19 pneumonia, and be considered for compassionate use in such patients pending the results of these trials.


Subject(s)
Anti-Inflammatory Agents/therapeutic use , Antibodies, Monoclonal, Humanized/therapeutic use , Betacoronavirus/drug effects , Coronavirus Infections/drug therapy , Pneumonia, Viral/drug therapy , Aged , Anti-Inflammatory Agents/adverse effects , Antibodies, Monoclonal, Humanized/adverse effects , Betacoronavirus/pathogenicity , COVID-19 , Coronavirus Infections/diagnosis , Coronavirus Infections/virology , Host Microbial Interactions , Humans , Male , Middle Aged , New South Wales , Pandemics , Pneumonia, Viral/diagnosis , Pneumonia, Viral/virology , Retrospective Studies , SARS-CoV-2 , Severity of Illness Index , Time Factors , Treatment Outcome , Victoria
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