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1.
Cureus ; 14(1): e21724, 2022 Jan.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1732447

ABSTRACT

Background Clinically most apparent symptoms of COVID-19 include fever and cough, which in some patients show a worsening trend but are completely non-apparent in patients who present with an asymptomatic course of the disease. The aim of this study was to identify clinical and biochemical differences among polymerase chain reaction (PCR) positive patients who are either febrile or afebrile. Methods This study was conducted in Rawalpindi Medical University and Allied Hospitals between September and December 2020. All patients who tested positive for reverse transcription polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR) COVID-19 were included in the study. After evaluation of 146 patients, 100 were selected, and with a response rate of 97%, a total of 97 patients were included in the final analysis. Depending on the presence of fever, the participants were divided into two groups. Both groups were then compared for baselines vitals and laboratory investigations. Data was entered and analyzed in SPSS v23.0 (IBM Inc., Armonk, New York). Results Among the 97 patients, 66 (68%) of the participants were male, and 31 (32%) were females. The mean age of the study participants was 45.23±18.08 years. Fever was present in 39 (40.2%) of the participants. When compared with patients with no fever, the patients with fever had greater severity of disease (p<0.001), higher heart rate (p<0.001), decreased oxygen saturation (p<0.001). Among the laboratory investigations, the fever group had a greater tendency of having deranged alanine aminotransferase (ALT) (70.82±29.23 vs. 32.83±16.22, p=0.010), Lymphocytes (1.56±0.54 vs. 2.12±0.94, p=0.003) and serum total bilirubin (1.06±0.36 vs. 0.55±0.21, p=0.009). Based on multiple regression analysis, the presence of fever is a predictor of derangement in ALT (OR=1.034, CI=1.001-1.068 p=0.025) and total bilirubin (OR=4.38, CI=2.14-6.78, p=0.021). Conclusion Fever may not be present among all patients presenting with COVID-19 infection, but those who have a fever have a greater risk of having deranged liver function tests. Hence, it is important to monitor liver function tests (LFTs) in COVID-19 patients presenting with fever.

2.
JMIR Public Health Surveill ; 7(12): e32203, 2021 12 14.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1572241

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: COVID-19 became a pandemic rapidly after its emergence in December 2019. It belongs to the coronavirus family of viruses, which have struck a few times before in history. Data based on previous research regarding etiology and epidemiology of other viruses from this family helped played a vital role in formulating prevention and precaution strategies during the initial stages of this pandemic. Data related to COVID-19 in Pakistan were not initially documented on a large scale. In addition, due to a weak health care system and low economic conditions, Pakistan's population, in general, already suffers from many comorbidities, which can severely affect the outcome of patients infected with COVID-19. OBJECTIVE: COVID-19 infections are coupled with a manifestation of various notable outcomes that can be documented and characterized clinically. The aim of this study was to examine these clinical manifestations, which can serve as indicators for early detection as well as severity prognosis for COVID-19 infections, especially in high-risk groups. METHODS: A retrospective observational study involving abstraction of demographic features, presenting symptoms, and adverse clinical outcomes for 1812 patients with COVID-19 was conducted. Patients were admitted to the four major hospitals in the Rawalpindi-Islamabad region of Pakistan, and the study was conducted from February to August 2020. Multivariate regression analysis was carried out to identify significant indicators of COVID-19 severity, intensive care unit (ICU) admission, ventilator aid, and mortality. The study not only relates COVID-19 infection with comorbidities, but also examines other related factors, such as age and gender. RESULTS: This study identified fever (1592/1812, 87.9%), cough (1433/1812, 79.1%), and shortness of breath (998/1812, 55.1%) at the time of hospital admission as the most prevalent symptoms for patients with COVID-19. These symptoms were common but not conclusive of the outcome of infection. Out of 1812 patients, 24.4% (n=443) required ICU admission and 21.5% (n=390) required ventilator aid at some point of disease progression during their stay at the hospital; 25.9% (n=469) of the patients died. Further analysis revealed the relationship of the presented symptoms and comorbidities with the progression of disease severity in these patients. Older adult patients with comorbidities, such as hypertension, diabetes, chronic kidney disease, and asthma, were significantly affected in higher proportions, resulting in requirement of ICU admission and ventilator aid in some cases and, in many cases, even mortality. CONCLUSIONS: Older adult patients with comorbidities, such as hypertension, diabetes, asthma, chronic obstructive pulmonary disorder, and chronic kidney disease, are at increased risk of developing severe COVID-19 infections, with an increased likelihood of adverse clinical outcomes.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Aged , Humans , Pakistan/epidemiology , SARS-CoV-2
3.
J Community Hosp Intern Med Perspect ; 11(6): 740-746, 2021.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1517742

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: COVID-19 was detected in China in December 2019. The rapid dissemination and novelty of the disease resulted in an epidemic. This study aimed to identify biochemical parameters at admission that can be used to categorize severity and outcome of COVID -19 infection. MATERIALS AND METHODS: This cross-sectional study was conducted at Allied Hospitals of RMU from April 2020 to July 2020. It included 128 randomly selected confirmed COVID-19 patients. At admission, biochemical profile (total bilirubin, alanine aminotransferases {ALT}, aspartate aminotransferases {AST}, urea, creatinine, uric acid, sodium, potassium, and chloride were correlated with severity and outcome of COVID-19 by employing t-tests and ANOVA where required. Cut-off values to predict disease severity and outcome were calculated using ROC curve. RESULTS: The study comprised 46.1% non-severe, 29.7% severe, and 24.2% critical COVID-19 patients. 84.4% patients improved and 15.6% expired. Urea was increased in critical disease patients (p < 0.000). Higher ALT (p 0.030) and AST (p 0.004) levels were noted in severe and critical disease. Sodium (p 0.001) and chloride (p 0.026) were decreased in critical disease. Patients who expired had increased urea (p 0.000), ALT (p 0.040) and AST (p 0.002). At admission, urea >42.7 mg (sensitivity of 64.7%, specificity of 87.5%), AST >43.5 IU/L (64% sensitivity, 60% specificity), and sodium <136.9 mmol/L (sensitivity of 70.6%, specificity of 71.2%) predicted critical COVID-19 infection. CONCLUSION: At admission, increased urea, AST, and ALT along with decreased sodium can help in identifying COVID-19 patients with severe illness and poor outcome.

4.
Earth Syst Environ ; 5(3): 785-798, 2021.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1491529

ABSTRACT

The current study identifies the spatial distribution of COVID-19 cases and its association with meteorological and social variables in Punjab (densely populated province of Pakistan). To identify the COVID-19 propagation, the weekly growth, recovery, and deaths rate have also been calculated. The geographic information system (GIS) has used to determine COVID-19 impacts on gender (male/female), age groups, and causalities over an affected population (km-2) for the period of 11th March to 12th August, 2020 in each district of province. Our results show that 43 peak days (where daily positive cases were above 900) have been observed in Punjab during 27th May to 8th July, 2020. The high population density districts, i.e., Lahore and Islamabad, have been affected (five persons per square kilometers) due to COVID-19, whereas the maximum death tolls (> 50 persons per millions) have also been observed in these urban districts. The meteorological variables (temperature, humidity, heat index, and ultraviolet index) show negative significant relationship to basic reproduction number (R0), whereas daily COVID-19 cases are positively correlated to aerosols concentration at 95% confidence level. The government intervention (stringency index) shows a positive impact to reduce the COVID-19 cases over the province. Keeping in view the COVID-19 behavior and climatology of the region, it has been identified that the COVID-19 cases may likely to increase during the dry period (high concentration of aerosols) i.e., October-December, 2020 and post-spring season (April to June), 2021 in urban areas of Pakistan. This study provides an overview on districts vulnerability that would help the policy makers, health agencies to plan their activities to reduce the COVID-19 impacts.

5.
J Public Health (Oxf) ; 43(Suppl 3): iii43-iii48, 2021 12 08.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1440643

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: Inadvertent delays in access to appropriate therapeutic interventions in high-risk group coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) patients contribute to mortality in patients with severe/critical disease presentation. OBJECTIVES: The aim of this study was to determine the effect of timely admission to the hospital on mortality of patients with severe/critical COVID-19. Another secondary aspect of this study was to observe the efficacy of time-dependent use of corticosteroids on mortality of critical/severe COVID-19 patients. METHODS: Clinical data of 659 patients with severe/critical COVID-19, admitted to four major tertiary care hospitals from the Islamabad-Rawalpindi region of Pakistan was retrospectively collected from a period February-August 2020. Multivariate logistic regression analysis was carried out to determine the predictors of mortality in severe/critical COVID-19 patients. RESULTS: Out of a total of 659 patients, 469 (71.2%) patients died. Age > 60 years, presence of hypertension, heart disease and kidney disease along with late admission (>5 days) were significant predictors of mortality in patients with severe/critical COVID-19. CONCLUSIONS: The study highlights the importance of well-timed provision of appropriate medical interventions control COVID-19-associated mortality.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Hospitalization , Humans , Middle Aged , Retrospective Studies , SARS-CoV-2 , Steroids
6.
JMIR Public Health Surveill ; 7(5): e28594, 2021 05 27.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1261327

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: Since the first reports of COVID-19 infection, the foremost requirement has been to identify a treatment regimen that not only fights the causative agent but also controls the associated complications of the infection. Due to the time-consuming process of drug discovery, physicians have used readily available drugs and therapies for treatment of infections to minimize the death toll. OBJECTIVE: The aim of this study is to provide a snapshot analysis of the major drugs used in a cohort of 1562 Pakistani patients during the period from May to July 2020, when the first wave of COVID-19 peaked in Pakistan. METHODS: A retrospective observational study was performed to provide an overview of the major drugs used in a cohort of 1562 patients with COVID-19 admitted to the four major tertiary-care hospitals in the Rawalpindi-Islamabad region of Pakistan during the peak of the first wave of COVID-19 in the country (May-July 2020). RESULTS: Antibiotics were the most common choice out of all the therapies employed, and they were used as first line of treatment for COVID-19. Azithromycin was the most prescribed drug for treatment. No monthly trend was observed in the choice of antibiotics, and these drugs appeared to be a random but favored choice throughout the months of the study. It was also noted that even antibiotics used for multidrug resistant infections were prescribed irrespective of the severity or progression of the infection. The results of the analysis are alarming, as this approach may lead to antibiotic resistance and complications in immunocompromised patients with COVID-19. A total of 1562 patients (1064 male, 68.1%, and 498 female, 31.9%) with a mean age of 47.35 years (SD 17.03) were included in the study. The highest frequency of patient hospitalizations occurred in June (846/1562, 54.2%). CONCLUSIONS: Guidelines for a targeted treatment regime are needed to control related complications and to limit the misuse of antibiotics in the management of COVID-19.


Subject(s)
COVID-19/drug therapy , Adult , Anti-Bacterial Agents/therapeutic use , COVID-19/epidemiology , Female , Humans , Male , Middle Aged , Pakistan/epidemiology , Retrospective Studies , Tertiary Care Centers
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