oa Wits Journal of Clinical Medicine - Clinical characteristics of the first 100 COVID-19 patients admitted to a tertiary hospital in Johannesburg, South Africa - research article

Volume 2 Number 2
  • ISSN : 2618-0189
  • E-ISSN: 2618-0197



Background: Severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) and the disease it causes, coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19), has spread rapidly across the globe resulting in more than 7,000,000 cases and 400,000 deaths worldwide, of which 52,991 cases and 1162 deaths have occurred in South Africa.

To describe the clinical characteristics of the first 100 patients with COVID-19 admitted to a tertiary hospital in Johannesburg, South Africa.

Methods: We conducted a single-centre retrospective review of the first 100 patients with reverse transcriptase polymerase chain reaction-confirmed COVID-19 infection admitted to a tertiary academic hospital in Johannesburg, South Africa.

Results: The 100 patients were predominantly male (53%), of black ethnicity (79%) and had a median age of 42 years. The most common comorbidities were hypertension (31%), diabetes mellitus (18%) and 47% of the patients had an endomorphic phenotype. Eleven per cent (11%) of our patients were HIV positive. During hospitalisation, 14 patients (14%) required admission to the intensive care unit (ICU). For those patients with an outcome available, the overall mortality rate was 10% (n = 6), and 57% (n = 4/7) for those admitted to the ICU. Mean length of stay for those who had died or had been discharged was 6.8 days.

This case series describes clinical characteristics in the first 100 patients with confirmed COVID-19 admitted to a large centre in Johannesburg, South Africa. Our findings are concordant with universally reported data; however, more data is needed on COVID-19 in the South African setting, specifically related to tuberculosis and HIV.

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