Clinical Characteristics of COVID‑19 in a Tertiary Health Facility in Northeast Nigeria
Aim: The coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID‑19), caused by a newly identified β‑coronavirus (severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus‑2), has a varied clinical manifestation. We evaluated the clinical features of COVID‑19 in symptomatic patients that presented for care at a Federal Medical Centre Nguru, Northeast Nigeria.
Methodology: In this retrospective cohort study, we reviewed and analyzed relevant information abstracted from the medical records of symptomatic COVID‑19 patients that were managed from March 14 to October 14, 2020, in the facility.
Results: Clinical records of 55 symptomatic COVID‑19 patients were evaluated in this study. Their mean age was 49.1 ± 16.3 (females 51.4 ± 15.6, males 48.5 ± 17.2, P = 0.601) with females constituting 47.2% of the studied patients. Fever (87.3%), cough (67.3%), sore throat (49.1%) and rhinorrhea (41.8%) were the most common clinical feature. Other features included difficulty in breathing (25.5%) and ageusia (14.6%). Gastrointestinal symptoms such as diarrhea, vomiting and abdominal pain were seen in 10.9%, 18.2%, and 9.1%, respectively. Twenty‑one (38.2%) patients had a preexisting health condition. Chronic kidney disease was the most common; it was seen in 34% of patients, other common conditions included hypertensive heart disease (24%), and diabetes mellitus (16%).
Conclusion: Respiratory symptoms are the most common presentation of COVID‑19 in our setting. However, some patients also presented with additional extrapulmonary symptoms. A significant proportion, 38.2% of symptomatic COVID‑19 patients, had preexisting health conditions.
Keywords: Clinical characteristics, coronavirus disease 2019, Northeast Nigeria