2021-11-12Berichte und sonstige Texte
Disease severity of the first COVID-19 wave in Germany using reporting data from the national notification system
RKI COVID-19 Study Group
As of December 31, 2019, initial reports circulated internationally of an unusual cluster of pneumonia of unknown cause in China. By the end of January 2020, the virus affected Germany with the first case confirmed on January 27, 2020. Intensive contact tracing and infection control measures contained the first two clusters in the country. However, the dynamic of the first wave gained momentum as of March, and by mid-June 2020 over 190,000 laboratory-confirmed cases had been reported to the Robert Koch Institute. This article examines these cases as part of a retrospective descriptive analysis focused on disease severity. Most cases (80%) were mild and two thirds of the cases were younger than 60 years (median age: 50 years). Severe cases were primarily reported among men aged 60 or over who had at least one risk factor (particularly cardiovascular disease, diabetes, neurological disorders and/or lung diseases). Cases between the ages of 40 and 59 years had the longest interval between symptom onset and hospitalisation (median: six days) and – if admitted to an intensive care unit (ICU) – also the longest ICU stay (median: eleven days). This analysis provides valuable information about disease severity of COVID-19 and particularly affected groups.
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