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Title: COVID-19 in Australia: Our national response to the first cases of SARS-CoV-2 infection during the early biocontainment phase
Authors: Robertson, Mark ;Shaban, R.Z.;Li, C.;O'Sullivan, M.V.N.;Gerrard, J.;Stuart, R.;Teh, J.;Gilroy, N.;Sorrell, T.C.;White, E.;Bag, S.;Hackett, K.;Chen, S.C.A.;Kok, J.;Dwyer, D.E.;Iredell, J.R.;Maddocks, S.;Ferguson, P.;Varshney, K.;Carter, I.;Barratt, R.;Baskar, S.R.;Friend, C.;Robosa, R.S.;Sotomayor-Castillo, C.;Nahidi, S.;Macbeth, D.A.;Alcorn, K.A.D.;Wattiaux, A.;Moore, F.;McMahon, J.;Naughton, W.;Korman, T.;Catton, M.;Kanapathipillai, R.;Romanes, F.;Rowe, E.;Catford, J.;Kennedy, B.;Qiao, M.;Shaw, D.
Affliation: Central Coast Local Health District
Gosford Hospital
Issue Date: Nov-2020
Source: 51(1):42-51
Journal title: Internal Medicine Journal
Department: Microbiology & Infectious Diseases
Abstract: BACKGROUND: On 31 December 2019, the World Health Organization recognised clusters of pneumonia-like cases due to a novel coronavirus disease (COVID-19). COVID-19 became a pandemic 71 days later. AIM: To report the clinical and epidemiological features, laboratory data and outcomes of the first group of 11 returned travellers with COVID-19 in Australia. METHODS: This is a retrospective, multi-centre case series. All patients with confirmed COVID-19 infection were admitted to tertiary referral hospitals in New South Wales, Queensland, Victoria and South Australia. RESULTS: The median age of our patient cohort was 42 years (IQR, 24-53 years) with six men and five women. Eight patients (72.7%) had returned from Wuhan, one from Shenzhen, one from Japan, and one from Europe. Possible human-to-human transmission from close family contacts in gatherings overseas occurred in two cases. Symptoms on admission were fever, cough and sore throat (n = 9, 81.8%). Co-morbidities included hypertension (n = 3, 27.3%) and hypercholesterolaemia (n = 2, 18.2%). No patients developed severe acute respiratory distress nor required intensive care unit admission or mechanical ventilation. After a median hospital stay of 14.5 days (IQR, 6.75-21), all patients were discharged. CONCLUSIONS: This is a historical record of the first COVID-19 cases in Australia during the early biocontainment phase of the national response. These findings were invaluable for establishing early inpatient and outpatient COVID-19 models of care and informing the management of COVID-19 overtime as the outbreak evolved. Future research should extend this Australian case series to examine global epidemiological variation of this novel infection. This article is protected by copyright. All rights reserved.
DOI: 10.1111/imj.15105
ISSN: 1444-0903
Publicaton type: Journal Article
Keywords: Public Health
Study or Trial: Multicentre Studies
Appears in Collections:Public Health / Health Promotion

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