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COVID-19 Pandemic

Agosti et al. reported a case of COVID-19 patient with acute monophasic Guillain-Barré syndrome (GBS), and a literature review on the SARS-CoV-2 and GBS etiological correlation.

Case description: A 68 years-old man presented to the emergency department with symptoms of acute progressive symmetric ascending flaccid tetraparesis. Oropharyngeal swab for SARS-CoV-2 tested positive. Neurological examination showed bifacial nerve palsy and distal muscular weakness of lower limbs. The cerebrospinal fluid assessment showed an albuminocytologic dissociation. Electrophysiological studies showed delayed distal latencies and absent F waves in early course. A diagnosis of Acute Inflammatory Demyelinating Polyradiculoneuropathy (AIDP) subtype of GBS was then made.

Neurological manifestations of COVID-19 are still under study. The case we described of GBS in COVID-19 patient adds to those already reported in the literature, in support of SARS-CoV-2 triggers GBS. COVID-19 associated neurological clinic should probably be seen not as a corollary of classic respiratory and gastrointestinal symptoms, but as SARS-CoV-2-related standalone clinical entities. To date, it is essential for all Specialists, clinicians, and surgeons, to direct attention towards the study of this virus, to better clarify the spectrum of its neurological manifestations 1).

On 30 December 2019, a report of a cluster of pneumonia of unknown etiology was published on ProMED-mail, possibly related to contact with a seafood market in Wuhan, China 2).

Hospitals in the region held an emergency symposium, and support from federal agencies is reportedly helping to determine the source of infection and causative organism. The seafood market has since been closed, but purportedly sold a variety of live animal species. On 5 January 2019, the World Health Organization (WHO) published a document outlining their request for more information from Chinese public health authorities and detailed 44 patients had ‘pneumonia of unknown etiology’, with 121 close contacts under surveillance ( The WHO reported that 11 patients were severely ill, and many affected individuals had contact with the Huanan Seafood market. Some patients were reported to have fever, dyspnea and pulmonary infiltrates on chest radiography 3).

It was declared a public health emergency of international concern on Jan 30, 2020, by WHO 4).

By early January, terms like “the new coronavirus” and “Wuhan coronavirus” were in common use. On February 11, 2020, a taxonomic designation “severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2” (SARS-CoV-2) became the official means to refer to the virus strain, that was previously termed as 2019-nCoV and Wuhan coronavirus. Within a few hours on the same day, the WHO officially renamed the disease as COVID-19.

The infection spread quickly and was declared a pandemic by the World Health Organization (WHO) on March 11, 2019 5).

By March 30, more than 782 365 confirmed cases were reported and a third of the world population were living in confinement to try to contain the virus 6).

COVID-19 Epidemiology

COVID-19 has high homology to other pathogenic coronaviruses, such as those originating from bat-related zoonosis (SARS-CoV), which caused approximately 646 deaths in China at the start of the decade.

The COVID-19 generally had a high reproductive number, a long incubation period, a short serial interval and a low case fatality rate (much higher in patients with comorbidities) than SARS and MERS. Clinical presentation and pathology of COVID-19 greatly resembled SARS and MERS, with less upper respiratory and gastrointestinal symptoms, and more exudative lesions in post-mortems. Potential treatments included remdesivir, chloroquine, tocilizumab, convalescent plasma and vaccine immunization (when possible) 7).

COVID-19 Transmission.

The complete genome of SARS-CoV-2 from Wuhan, China was submitted on January 17, 2020 in the National Center for Biotechnology 8) (NCBI) database, with ID NC_045512. The genome of SARS-CoV-2 is a 29,903 bp single-stranded RNA (ss-RNA) coronavirus. It has now been shown that the virus causing COVID-19 is a SARS-like coronavirus that had previously been reported in bats in China.

COVID-19 and central nervous system.

Essential care of critical illness must not be forgotten in the COVID-19 pandemic 9).

COVID-19 for Neuroanesthesiologists.

COVID-19 for Neurologists.

see COVID-19 for neurosurgeons.

Effects of the COVID-19 Pandemic on the Management of Spinal Disorders.

see COVID-19 for Vascular surgeons.

COVID-19 for Dermatologists.

COVID-19 for Gastroenterologists

COVID-19 for Pediatricians

COVID-19 for Psychiatrists.

COVID-19 for Oncologists.

COVID-19 for Otolaryngologists.

COVID-19 for Cardiologists.

COVID-19 for Gynecologists.

COVID-19 Diagnosis.

COVID-19 Treatment.

COVID-19 Palliative Care.

COVID-19 Prevention.

see Operating room preparation for COVID-19.

see Telemedicine in the COVID-19 era.

COVID-19 Outcome.

In a single-center, retrospective study, Li et al. enrolled 113 critical patients with COVID-19 from Renmin Hospital of Wuhan University between February 1, 2020 and March 15, 2020. Patients who survived or died were compared.

A total of 113 critical patients with COVID-19 were recruited; 50 (44.3%) died, and 63 (55.7%) recovered. The proportion of patients with ventricular arrhythmia was higher in the death group than in the recovery group (P = .021) and was higher among patients with myocardial damage than patients without myocardial damage (P = .013). Multivariate analysis confirmed independent predictors of mortality from COVID-19: age > 70 years (HR 1.84, 95% CI 1.03-3.28), initial neutrophil count over 6.5 × 109 /L (HR 3.43, 95% CI 1.84-6.40), C-reactive protein greater than 100 mg/L (HR 1.93, 95% CI 1.04-3.59), and lactate dehydrogenase over 300 U/L (HR 2.90, 95% CI 1.26-6.67). Immunoglobulin treatment (HR 0.39, 95% CI 0.21-0.73) can reduce the risk of death. Sinus tachycardia (HR 2.94, 95% CI 1.16-7.46) and ventricular arrhythmia (HR 2.79, 95% CI 1.11-7.04) were independent ECG risk factors for mortality from COVID-19.

Old age (>70 years), neutrophilia, C-reactive protein greater than 100 mg/L and lactate dehydrogenase over 300 U/L are high-risk factors for mortality in critical patients with COVID-19. Sinus tachycardia and ventricular arrhythmia are independent ECG risk factors for mortality from COVID-19 10).

2019 novel coronavirus infection in a three-month-old baby 11).

3 cases of SARS-CoV-2 infected children diagnosed from February 3 to February 17, 2020 in Tianjin, China. All of these three cases experienced mild illness and recovered soon after treatment, with the nucleic acid of throat swab turning negative within 14, 11, 7 days after diagnosis respectively. However, after been discharged, all the three cases were tested SARS-CoV-2 positive in the stool samples within 10 days, in spite of their remained negative nucleic acid in throat swab specimens. Therefore, it is necessary to be aware of the possibility of fecal-oral transmission of SARS-CoV-2 infection, especially for children cases 12).

Lv et al. reported the dynamic change process of target genes by RT-PCR testing of SARS-Cov-2 during the course of a COVID-19 patient: from successive negative results to successive single positive nucleocapsid gene, to two positive target genes (orf1ab and nucleocapsid) by RT-PCR testing of SARS-Cov-2, and describe the diagnosis, clinical course, and management of the case. In this case, negative results of RT-PCR testing was not excluded to diagnose a suspected COVID-19 patient, clinical signs and symptoms, other laboratory findings, and chest CT images should be taken into account for the absence of enough positive evidence. This case highlights the importance of successive sampling and testing SARS-Cov-2 by RT-PCR as well as the increased value of single positive target gene from pending to positive in two specimens to diagnose laboratory-confirmed COVID-19 13).

see COVID-19 Literature

Agosti E, Giorgianni A, D'Amore F, Vinacci G, Balbi S, Locatelli D. Is Guillain-Barrè syndrome triggered by SARS-CoV-2? Case report and literature review [published online ahead of print, 2020 Jul 9]. Neurol Sci. 2020;10.1007/s10072-020-04553-9. doi:10.1007/s10072-020-04553-9
Zhu N, Zhang D, Wang W, et al. A novel coronavirus from patients with pneumonia in China, 2019. N Engl J Med. 2020;382(8):727-733.
Bogoch II, Watts A, Thomas-Bachli A, Huber C, Kraemer MUG, Khan K. Pneumonia of unknown aetiology in Wuhan, China: potential for international spread via commercial air travel. J Travel Med. 2020 Mar 13;27(2). pii: taaa008. doi: 10.1093/jtm/taaa008. PubMed PMID: 31943059; PubMed Central PMCID: PMC7107534.
WHO. Statement on the second meeting of the International Health Regulations (2005) Emergency Committee regarding the outbreak of novel coronavirus (2019-nCoV). Jan 30, 2020. (2019-ncov) (accessed Feb 1, 2020).
World Health Organization. WHO Director-General’s Opening Remarks at the Media Briefing on COVID-19—11 March 2020. World Health Organization. on-covid-19–11-march-2020. Accessed March 30, 2020
Center for Systems Science and Engineering, Johns Hopkins Coronavirus Resource Center. COVID-19 Dashboard by the Center for Systems Science and Engineering (CSSE) at Johns Hopkins University, March 2020. Accessed March 30, 2020
Xie M, Chen Q. Insight into 2019 novel coronavirus - an updated intrim review and lessons from SARS-CoV and MERS-CoV. Int J Infect Dis. 2020 Apr 1. pii: S1201-9712(20)30204-6. doi: 10.1016/j.ijid.2020.03.071. [Epub ahead of print] Review. PubMed PMID: 32247050.
Wuhan seafood market pneumonia virus isolate Wuhan-Hu-1, complete genome. Nucleotide, National Center for Biotechnology Information (NCBI), National Library of Medicine (US), National Center for Biotechnology Information, Bethesda, MD, https://www. (accessed on 2020-02-28).
Baker T, Schell CO, Petersen DB, Sawe H, Khalid K, Mndolo S, Rylance J, McAuley DF, Roy N, Marshall J, Wallis L, Molyneux E. Essential care of critical illness must not be forgotten in the COVID-19 pandemic. Lancet. 2020 Apr 1. pii: S0140-6736(20)30793-5. doi: 10.1016/S0140-6736(20)30793-5. [Epub ahead of print] PubMed PMID: 32246914.
Li L, Zhang S, He B, Chen X, Wang S, Zhao Q. Risk factors and electrocardiogram characteristics for mortality in critical inpatients with COVID-19. Clin Cardiol. 2020 Oct 22. doi: 10.1002/clc.23492. Epub ahead of print. PMID: 33094522.
Zhang YH, Lin DJ, Xiao MF, Wang JC, Wei Y, Lei ZX, Zeng ZQ, Li L, Li HA, Xiang W. [2019 novel coronavirus infection in a three-month-old baby]. Zhonghua Er Ke Za Zhi. 2020 Mar 2;58(3):182-184. doi: 10.3760/cma.j.issn.0578-1310.2020.03.004. Chinese. PubMed PMID: 32135587.
Zhang T, Cui X, Zhao X, Wang J, Zheng J, Zheng G, Guo W, Cai C, He S, Xu Y. Detectable SARS-CoV-2 Viral RNA in Feces of Three Children during Recovery Period of COVID-19 Pneumonia. J Med Virol. 2020 Mar 29. doi: 10.1002/jmv.25795. [Epub ahead of print] PubMed PMID: 32222992.
Lv DF, Ying QM, Weng YS, Shen CB, Chu JG, Kong JP, Sun DH, Gao X, Weng XB, Chen XQ. Dynamic change process of target genes by RT-PCR testing of SARS-Cov-2 during the course of a Coronavirus Disease 2019 patient. Clin Chim Acta. 2020 Mar 27. pii: S0009-8981(20)30134-0. doi: 10.1016/j.cca.2020.03.032. [Epub ahead of print] PubMed PMID: 32229107.
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