What are the symptoms, medical findings, and health outcomes of patients with COVID-19?

Coronavirus, Medical, Medicine, Icons, Quarantine

Bottom Line:

A study of 1099 patients diagnosed with COVID-19 in China found that the patients commonly experienced cough and fever, had abnormal medical imaging results, and developed pneumonia.


Guan, W. et al. Clinical Characteristics of Coronavirus Disease 2019 in China. New England Journal of Medicine (2020). https://doi.org/10.1056/nejmoa2002032

Date Published:

30 April 2020


This study examined 1099 patients across China who had been diagnosed with COVID-19 in order to understand the symptoms, medical test results, and health outcomes of the infected patients. They found that the typical patient profile was mostly male (~60%), around 47 years old and had coughing and fever as the most common symptoms. With respect to medical imaging, the most common finding was a hazy appearance of the lungs – which is also a common finding in pneumonia (a lung condition that most of the patients suffered from). With respect to health outcomes, the researchers found that ~6% of patients had cases severe enough where they were either admitted to the intensive care unit, required mechanical ventilation or died from the disease. As a whole, this study probably captures the more severe cases of COVID-19 because those with milder cases of the disease either did not seek medical attention or recovered on their own. Ultimately, studies like these which help characterize the common findings of COVID-19 in patients can further assist healthcare workers in better identifying, examining, and caring for their patients.

Summary by: Jacob Ferguson