Eur J Clin Invest. 2020 Jul 29:e13364. doi: 10.1111/eci.13364. Online ahead of print.
BACKGROUND: COVID-19 is currently the most urgent threat to public health in the world. The aim of this study is to provide an overview of the first cases of COVID-19 to make further improvements in health policies and prevention measurements in response to the outbreak of COVID-19.
METHODS: We performed a search in PubMed, the CNKI (China National Knowledge Infrastructure), Web of Science, and the WHO database of publications on COVID-19 for peer-reviewed papers from December 1, 2019 to July 9, 2020. We analyzed the demographics, epidemiological characteristics, clinical features, signs, and symptoms of the disease at the onset.
RESULTS: We identified the first cases of COVID-19 in 16 different countries/regions from Asia, Europe, North America, and South America. Of these 16 cases, 8 (50.0%) were male, with a mean of age 43.38±15.19 years. All the cases had a history of travel or exposure. 12 cases (75.0%) occurred in January, eight patients were Chinese, two patients were international students in Wuhan, one patient had a history of traveling in Wuhan, and one patient was in contact with Chinese patient. The longest hospital stay was 24 days (1 patient), and the shortest was 5 days (1 patient). The usual hospital stay was 9 days (4 patients).
CONCLUSION: Understanding the epidemiological characteristics, clinical characteristics, and diagnosis and treatment of the first patients in various countries are of great significance for the identification, prevention, and control of COVID-19.