Early antiviral treatment contributes to alleviate the severity and improve the prognosis of patients with novel coronavirus disease (COVID‐19)
Wu, J. et al.
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Background: At present, the severity of patients infected with severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS‐CoV‐2) has been a focal point. Methods: To assess the factors associated with severity and prognosis of patients infected with SARS‐CoV‐2, we retrospectively investigated the clinical, imaging and laboratory characteristics of confirmed 280 cases of novel coronavirus disease (COVID‐19) from 20 January to 20 February 2020. Results: The median age of patients in the mild group was 37.55 years, whilst that in the severe group was 63.04 years. The proportion of patients aged over 65 years in the severe group was significantly higher than that of the mild group (59.04% vs. 10.15%, P < 0.05). 85.54% of severe patients had diabetes or cardiovascular diseases, which was significantly higher than that of the mild group (51.81% vs. 7.11%, P = 0.025; 33.73% vs. 3.05%, P = 0.042). Patients in the mild group experienced earlier initiation of antiviral treatment (1.19 ± 0.45 vs. 2.65 ± 1.06 days in the severe group, P < 0.001). Our study showed that comorbidity, time from illness onset to antiviral treatment and age >=65 were three major risk factors for COVID‐19 progression, whilst comorbidity and time from illness onset to antiviral treatment were two major risk factors for COVID‐19 recovery. Conclusions: The elderly and patients with underlying diseases are more likely to experience a severe progression of COVID‐19. It is recommended that timely antiviral treatment should be initiated to slow the disease progression and improve the prognosis.