Characteristics of COVID-19 Recurrence: A Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis

Link to article at PubMed

Ann Glob Health. 2021 Mar 24;87(1):28. doi: 10.5334/aogh.3163.


BACKGROUND: Previous studies reported the recurrence of coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) among discharge patients. This study aimed to examine the characteristic of COVID-19 recurrence cases by performing a systematic review and meta-analysis.

METHODS: A systematic search was performed in PubMed and Embase and gray literature up to September 19, 2020. A random-effects model was applied to obtain the pooled prevalence of disease recurrence among recovered patients and the prevalence of subjects underlying comorbidity among recurrence cases. The other characteristics were calculated based on the summary data of individual studies.

RESULTS: A total of 41 studies were included in the final analysis, we have described the epidemiological characteristics of COVID-19 recurrence cases. Of 3,644 patients recovering from COVID-19 and being discharged, an estimate of 15% (95% CI, 12% to 19%) patients was re-positive with SARS-CoV-2 during the follow-up. This proportion was 14% (95% CI, 11% to 17%) for China and 31% (95% CI, 26% to 37%) for Korea. Among recurrence cases, it was estimated 39% (95% CI, 31% to 48%) subjects underlying at least one comorbidity. The estimates for times from disease onset to admission, from admission to discharge, and from discharge to RNA positive conversion were 4.8, 16.4, and 10.4 days, respectively.

CONCLUSION: This study summarized up-to-date evidence from case reports, case series, and observational studies for the characteristic of COVID-19 recurrence cases after discharge. It is recommended to pay attention to follow-up patients after discharge, even if they have been in discharge quarantine.

PMID:33816133 | PMC:PMC7996451 | DOI:10.5334/aogh.3163

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