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Coronavirus-positive nasopharyngeal aspirate as predictor for severe acute respiratory syndrome mortality



Coronavirus-positive nasopharyngeal aspirate as predictor for severe acute respiratory syndrome mortality



Emerging Infectious Diseases 9(11): 1381-1387



Severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS) has caused a major epidemic worldwide. A novel coronavirus is deemed to be the causative agent. Early diagnosis can be made with reverse transcriptase-polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR) of nasopharyngeal aspirate samples. We compared symptoms of 156 SARS-positive and 62 SARS-negative patients in Hong Kong; SARS was confirmed by RT-PCR. The RT-PCR-positive patients had significantly more shortness of breath, a lower lymphocyte count, and a lower lactate dehydrogenase level; they were also more likely to have bilateral and multifocal chest radiograph involvement, to be admitted to intensive care, to need mechanical ventilation, and to have higher mortality rates. By multivariate analysis, positive RT-PCR on nasopharyngeal aspirate samples was an independent predictor of death within 30 days.

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Accession: 048667179

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PMID: 14718079


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