The authors report on the epidemiological, clinical, laboratory and radiological characteristics, treatment and clinical outcomes of a cluster of patients with pneumonia in Wuhan, China, caused by the 2019 novel coronavirus (2019-nCoV). By start of January 2020, 41 admitted hospital patients had been diagnosed with laboratory-confirmed 2019-nCoV infection. 73% of the infected patients were men and 32% had underlying diseases, including diabetes (20%), hypertension (15%) and cardiovascular disease (15%). Median age was 49·0 years. 66% of the patients had been exposed to Huanan seafood market. One family cluster was identified. Common symptoms at the onset of illness were fever (98%), cough (76%), and myalgia or fatigue (44%). Less common symptoms were: sputum production (28%), headache (8%), haemoptysis (5%) and diarrhoea (3%). Dyspnoea developed in 55% of patients (median time from illness onset to dyspnoea 8·0 days). 63% of the patients had lymphopenia. All 41 patients had pneumonia with abnormal findings on chest CT. Complications included: acute respiratory distress syndrome (29%), RNAaemia (15%), acute cardiac injury (12%) and secondary infection (10%). 32% of patients were admitted to an intensive care unit (ICU) and 15% of patients died. Compared with the non-ICU patients, ICU patients had higher plasma levels of IL2, IL7, IL10, GCSF, IP10, MCP1, MIP1A and TNFα. Therefore the 2019-nCoV infection can cause clusters of severe respiratory illness similar to severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus and is associated with ICU admission and high mortality.
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