Clinical course of 18 patients infected with SARS-CoV-2 in Singapore.

The clinical course of 18 patients infected with SARS-CoV-2 in Singapore. Heneghan C.

Published on July 30, 2020

Reference Young BE, Ong SWX, Kalimuddin S et al; Epidemiologic features and clinical course of patients infected with SARS-CoV-2 in Singapore. JAMA. 2020;323(15):1488-1494. doi:10.1001/jama.2020.3204 
Study type
Country Singapore
Setting Hospital
Funding Details Singapore National Medical Research Council. The polymerase chain reaction work on nonrespiratory clinical samples was partially supported by grant (Combating the Next SARS-or MERS-Like Emerging Infectious Disease Outbreak by Improving Active Surveillance).
Transmission mode Orofecal

Bottom Line

SARS-CoV-2 Virus was detectable in the stool of 4 of 8 hospitalized patients.

Evidence Summary

In 18 hospitalized patients viral shedding from the nasopharynx was prolonged for 7 days or longer among in 15 (83%). Virus was detectable in the stool of 4 of 8 patients  (50%) and blood in one of 12 (8%).

What did they do?

Descriptive case series of the first 18 patients diagnosed with polymerase chain reaction (PCR)–confirmed SARS-CoV-2 infection at 4 hospitals in Singapore from January 23rd to February 3rd, 2020; final follow-up date was February 25th 2020.

Study reliability

A small case series of 18 patients. Sample collection in the early phase of the illness was limited;  not all patients consented to sample collection, and baseline laboratory data were also not available for all patients. Cycle threshold values are a quantitative measure of viral load, but correlation with clinical progress and transmissibility is not yet known.

Clearly defined setting Demographic characteristics described Follow-up length was sufficient Transmission outcomes assessed Main biases are taken into consideration
Partly Partly Yes Yes No

What else should I consider?

About the authors

Carl Heneghan

Carl is Professor of EBM & Director of CEBM at the University of Oxford. He is also a GP and tweets @carlheneghan. He has an active interest in discovering the truth behind health research findings