Study population and setting
The study compared differences among COVID-19 patients seen at Institut Méditerranée Infection, a university hospital dedicated to research in infectious and tropical diseases, during the first wave (March – April 2020) and second wave (June – August 2020) of the pandemic in Marseille, France. From early March, the hospital tested everyone presenting at its facility without regard to symptoms. COVID-19 treatment at both time periods included use of hydroxychloroquine and/or azithromycin.
Summary of Main Findings
From March 3 to April 27, 3737 COVID-19 cases were identified, while 768 cases were identified from June 15 to August 15. Cases identified from March 3 to April 27 were more likely to be older (45.3 years vs. 39.2 years), hospitalized (18% vs. 10.7%), and transferred to the ICU (1.8% vs. 0.9%). They were also less likely to be male (45.6% vs. 52.6%). There was no significant difference in prevalence of loss of taste or loss of smell between patients identified from March 3 to April 27, and those identified from June 15 to August 15. However, patients in the first wave had higher lymphocyte and platelet counts, fibrinogen and D-dimer levels than those in the second wave. Viral load was higher among patients in the second wave. The overall mortality rate was 1.1% for cases identified from March 3 to April 27. Overall mortality was 0.1% from June 15 to August 15. Additional data was collected up to September 30 for 3557 patients (of whom 33 died), raising the total mortality from June 15 to September 30 to 0.8%. However, demographic characteristics were not described for these additional patients.
Individuals presenting to the facility underwent SARS-CoV-2 PCR testing regardless of symptomatology.
While data analyzed included the peak of the first wave (early April 2020) of COVID-19 in the country, data analyzed on demographic and clinical factors for the second wave only captured the first part of the second wave (June – August), but did not include its peak (which occurred after August). No indication that analyses were adjusted for confounding.
Highlights key differences in demographic and clinical characteristics of COVID-19 patients at Institut Méditerranée Infection in Marseille, France, during the first wave and first part of the second wave of the COVID-19 pandemic in the country.
This review was posted on: 22 March 2021