Daily Archives: February 9, 2020

Clinical characteristics of people infected by the 2019 novel coronavirus, Wuhan, China

Dawei Wang, MD; Bo Hu, MD; Chang Hu, MD; et al. Clinical Characteristics of 138 Hospitalized Patients With 2019 Novel Coronavirus–Infected Pneumonia in Wuhan, China. JAMA. Published online February 7, 2020. doi:10.1001/jama.2020.1585

Key Points

Question  What are the clinical characteristics of hospitalized patients with 2019 novel coronavirus (2019-nCoV)–infected pneumonia (NCIP) in Wuhan, China?

Findings  In this single-center case series involving 138 patients with NCIP, 26% of patients required admission to the intensive care unit and 4.3% died. Presumed human-to-human hospital-associated transmission of 2019-nCoV was suspected in 41% of patients.

Meaning  In this case series in Wuhan, China, NCIP was frequently associated with presumed hospital-related transmission, 26% of patients required intensive care unit treatment, and mortality was 4.3%.

Abstract

Importance  In December 2019, novel coronavirus (2019-nCoV)–infected pneumonia (NCIP) occurred in Wuhan, China. The number of cases has increased rapidly but information on the clinical characteristics of affected patients is limited.

Objective  To describe the epidemiological and clinical characteristics of NCIP.

Design, Setting, and Participants  Retrospective, single-center case series of the 138 consecutive hospitalized patients with confirmed NCIP at Zhongnan Hospital of Wuhan University in Wuhan, China, from January 1 to January 28, 2020; final date of follow-up was February 3, 2020.

Exposures  Documented NCIP.

Main Outcomes and Measures  Epidemiological, demographic, clinical, laboratory, radiological, and treatment data were collected and analyzed. Outcomes of critically ill patients and noncritically ill patients were compared. Presumed hospital-related transmission was suspected if a cluster of health professionals or hospitalized patients in the same wards became infected and a possible source of infection could be tracked.

Results  Of 138 hospitalized patients with NCIP, the median age was 56 years (interquartile range, 42-68; range, 22-92 years) and 75 (54.3%) were men. Hospital-associated transmission was suspected as the presumed mechanism of infection for affected health professionals (40 [29%]) and hospitalized patients (17 [12.3%]). Common symptoms included fever (136 [98.6%]), fatigue (96 [69.6%]), and dry cough (82 [59.4%]). Lymphopenia (lymphocyte count, 0.8 × 109/L [interquartile range {IQR}, 0.6-1.1]) occurred in 97 patients (70.3%), prolonged prothrombin time (13.0 seconds [IQR, 12.3-13.7]) in 80 patients (58%), and elevated lactate dehydrogenase (261 U/L [IQR, 182-403]) in 55 patients (39.9%). Chest computed tomographic scans showed bilateral patchy shadows or ground glass opacity in the lungs of all patients. Most patients received antiviral therapy (oseltamivir, 124 [89.9%]), and many received antibacterial therapy (moxifloxacin, 89 [64.4%]; ceftriaxone, 34 [24.6%]; azithromycin, 25 [18.1%]) and glucocorticoid therapy (62 [44.9%]). Thirty-six patients (26.1%) were transferred to the intensive care unit (ICU) because of complications, including acute respiratory distress syndrome (22 [61.1%]), arrhythmia (16 [44.4%]), and shock (11 [30.6%]). The median time from first symptom to dyspnea was 5.0 days, to hospital admission was 7.0 days, and to ARDS was 8.0 days. Patients treated in the ICU (n = 36), compared with patients not treated in the ICU (n = 102), were older (median age, 66 years vs 51 years), were more likely to have underlying comorbidities (26 [72.2%] vs 38 [37.3%]), and were more likely to have dyspnea (23 [63.9%] vs 20 [19.6%]), and anorexia (24 [66.7%] vs 31 [30.4%]). Of the 36 cases in the ICU, 4 (11.1%) received high-flow oxygen therapy, 15 (41.7%) received noninvasive ventilation, and 17 (47.2%) received invasive ventilation (4 were switched to extracorporeal membrane oxygenation). As of February 3, 47 patients (34.1%) were discharged and 6 died (overall mortality, 4.3%), but the remaining patients are still hospitalized. Among those discharged alive (n = 47), the median hospital stay was 10 days (IQR, 7.0-14.0).

Conclusions and Relevance  In this single-center case series of 138 hospitalized patients with confirmed NCIP in Wuhan, China, presumed hospital-related transmission of 2019-nCoV was suspected in 41% of patients, 26% of patients received ICU care, and mortality was 4.3%.

Increases in agricultural productivity lower the social cost of carbon

Kevin D. Dayaratna, Ross McKitrick, Patrick J. Michaels Climate sensitivity, agricultural productivity and the social cost of carbon in FUND. Environmental Economics and Policy Studies. 2020

We explore the implications of recent empirical findings about CO2 fertilization and climate sensitivity on the social cost of carbon (SCC) in the FUND model. New compilations of satellite and experimental evidence suggest larger agricultural productivity gains due to CO2 growth are being experienced than are reflected in FUND parameterization. We also discuss recent studies applying empirical constraints to the probability distribution of equilibrium climate sensitivity and we argue that previous Monte Carlo analyses in IAMs have not adequately reflected the findings of this literature. Updating the distributions of these parameters under varying discount rates is influential on SCC estimates. The lower bound of the social cost of carbon is likely negative and the upper bound is much lower than previously claimed, at least through the mid-twenty-first century. Also the choice of discount rate becomes much less important under the updated parameter distributions.