Eur J Clin Microbiol Infect Dis. 2021 Jan 15:1-8. doi: 10.1007/s10096-020-04151-9. Online ahead of print.
At present, it has been noticed that some patients recovered from COVID-19 present a recurrent positive RNA test of SARS-CoV-2 (severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2) after being discharged from hospitals. The purpose of the current study was to characterize the clinical features of re-hospitalized patients with recurrent SARS-CoV-2 positive results. From January 12 to April 1 of 2020, our retrospective study was conducted in China. The exposure history, baseline data, laboratory findings, therapeutic schedule, and clinical endpoints of the patients were collected. All the patients were followed until April 10, 2020. Among all COVID-19 patients included in the current study, there were 14 re-hospitalized patients due to recurrent positive tests of SARS-CoV-2 RNA. Fever (11 [78.6%]), cough (10 [71.4%]), and fatigue (7 [50.0%]) were the most common symptoms on the patient's first admission, and less symptoms were found on their second admission. The average duration from the onset of symptoms to admission to hospital was found to be 8.4 days for the first admission and 2.6 days for the second admission (P = 0.002). The average time from the detection of RNA (+) to hospitalization was 1.9 days for the first admission and 2.6 days for the second admission (P = 0.479), and the average time from RNA (+) to RNA (-) was 11.1 days for the first admission and 6.3 days for the second admission (P = 0.030). Moreover, the total time in hospital was 18.6 days for the first admission and 8.0 days for the second admission (P = 0.000). It may be necessary to increase the isolation observation time and RT-PCR tests should be timely performed on multiple samples as soon as possible.