The study, published last Thursday at the Journal of Medical Internet Research, found a statistically significant increase in clinic and hospital visits by patients who reported respiratory illness as early as the week of December 22. ..
Researchers noticed this trend by examining approximately 10 million medical records from the UCLA healthcare system, which includes three hospitals and 180 clinics.
Elmore and her colleagues noticed a surge in respiratory cases by searching a field of medical records listing why someone came to the clinic and searched for the symptom “cough.” They examined the records from December 2019 to February 2020 and compared the results with the records for the last five years.
“In the outpatient department, the proportion of patients who complain of cough has increased by 50%. More than 1,000 more patients have been added than the normal average,” Elmore said.
Between December 2019 and February 2020, the number of patients who visited the ER for respiratory complaints and the number of people hospitalized for acute respiratory failure compared to records over the last five years. It showed a similar increase. Increasing cases began in the last week of December.
“Some of these cases may be due to the flu and some may be for other reasons, but it’s worth noting that even outpatient settings see higher numbers of these types. Deserves, “Elmore said.
Scientists may never know for sure whether these excess patients were early Covid-19 cases, but Elmore doesn’t think it’s out of the question.
“Our world is interrelated. With about 500 flights a month from China to LAX, one or two cases from that trip are easy and could enter the community.” Said Elmore.
Elmore said that real-time data collected about these diseases could help public health professionals identify and track new outbreaks faster and delay or stop the spread of the disease. I hope this study shows
“Based on what we know about some other studies, and this one, I definitely think this might be something,” Hohen said. “That certainly needs to be considered.”
More important to her from this study, Hoyen said, such data could enhance some of the disease monitoring that the CDC already has for diseases such as the flu. Said.
“Is there a faster way to understand the illness because other ways of mining the data can lead to other symptoms?” Hohen asked. “Then, as with many patients who complain of loss of taste or smell, if they analyzed the data earlier than a month, they might have found that kind of symptom earlier. . ”
“Since we know from the SARS-CoV-2 genetic data that the pandemic began in late November / early December in China, it is highly unlikely that the virus would spread in December 2019. The same genetic data We know that the virus is widespread. It didn’t start until around February 2020 in the United States. “
“The paper is picking up fake signals, and hospitalization is likely due to the flu and other respiratory illnesses,” Andersen wrote. “Again, genomic data clearly show that there was no widespread infection with SARS-CoV-2 in the United States last December-there may have been some sporadic cases, but that alone. Yes, and certainly not. Seen in “over-hospitalization.” “
“I think it would be very interesting to have more accurate genetic lineage data on the spread of the virus, but without it, we would do a lot of work by inferring existing patterns from these types of analysis. You can, “said Marazzo, head of the infectious disease department at the University of Alabama at Birmingham. “Such primary care data is useful and we really need to pay attention to it.”
“Comparing these numbers to the previous year, I have no good explanation in my mind why I see all the records suddenly increase dramatically, except for Covid,” says Marrazzo. I did. “Including outpatients, just by the strength of the number of information, it shows a pattern.”
Neither the CDC nor the WHO responded to CNN’s research and outlook requests for the official pandemic timeline.
According to Marazzo, she and her colleagues across the country are discussing how often patients with what is now called Covid-19 symptoms are seen before the official timeline. Due to the strict restrictions imposed by the CDC on testing early in the pandemic, it was difficult to determine if the respiratory cases they were seeing were caused by the coronavirus.
“I’m pretty sure everyone missed the case in the early stages of the pandemic,” Marazzo said. “This study provides a very interesting window to what might have actually happened.”
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