Synopsis of Key Articles – Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19)

PHO is actively monitoring, reviewing and assessing relevant research related to COVID-19. This web page briefly describes and summarizes key points from new articles which are of importance to public health. This page will be updated regularly as the situation evolves and more research becomes available.

Date Posted Reference Brief Description Synopsis
New
Tay J, Lim PL, Marimuthu K, Sadarangani SP, Ling LM, Ang BSP, et al. De-isolating COVID-19 suspect cases: a continuing challenge. Clin Infect Dis. 2020 Feb 26 [Epub ahead of print].
Available from: https://academic.oup.com/cid/advance-article/doi/10.1093/cid/ciaa179/5758073
This research letter describes the challenges of de-isolating a suspect case of COVID-19 and offers an algorithm for decision making. Review of “De-isolating COVID-19 suspect cases: a continuing challenge”
New
Ji Y, Ma Z, Peppelenbosch MP, Pan Q. Potential association between COVID-19 mortality and health-care resource availability. Lancet Global Health. 2020 Feb 25 [Epub ahead of print].
Available from: https://www.thelancet.com/journals/langlo/article/PIIS2214-109X(20)30068-1/fulltext
A study describing a potential association between COVID-19 mortality and health care resource availability demonstrating a correlation between COVID-19 cases and mortality in provinces in China. Review of “Potential association between COVID-19 mortality and health-care resource availability”
Pan Y, Zhang D, Yang P, Poon LLM, Wang Q. Viral load of SARS-CoV-2 in clinical samples. Lancet Inf Dis. 2020 Feb 24 [Epub ahead of print].
Available from: https://www.thelancet.com/journals/laninf/article/PIIS1473-3099(20)30113-4/fulltext 
A study reporting on COVID-19 viral loads from various specimen types collected from 82 patients. Review of “Viral load of SARS-CoV-2 in clinical samples”
Tong Z-D, Tang A, Li K-F, Li P, Wang H-L, Yi J-P, et al. Potential presymptomatic transmission of SARS-CoV-2, Zhejiang Province, China, 2020. Emerg Infect Dis. 2020 Feb 24 [Epub ahead of print].
Available from: https://wwwnc.cdc.gov/eid/article/26/5/20-0198_article
A report on a cluster of cases with possible presymptomatic transmission. Review of “Potential presymptomatic transmission of SARS-CoV-2, Zhejiang Province, China, 2020”
Bai Y, Yao L, Wei T, Tian F, Jin D, Chen L, et al. Presumed asymptomatic carrier transmission of COVID-19. JAMA. 2020 Feb 21 [Epub ahead of print].
Available from: https://jamanetwork.com/journals/jama/fullarticle/2762028
A report of a familial cluster with possible asymptomatic transmission. Review of “Presumed asymptomatic carrier transmission of COVID-19”
Zou L, Ruan F, Huang M, Liang L, Huang H, Hong Z, et al. SARS-CoV-2 viral load in upper respiratory specimens of infected patients. N Engl J Med. 2020 Feb 19 [Epub ahead of print].
Available from: https://www.nejm.org/doi/pdf/10.1056/NEJMc2001737
Description of viral loads and clinical course of 18 COVID-19 patients. Review of “SARS-CoV-2 viral load in upper respiratory specimens of infected patients”
 Yang X, Yu Y, Xu J, Shu H, Xia J, Liu H, et al. Clinical course and outcomes of critically ill patients with SARS-CoV-2 pneumonia in Wuhan, China: a single-centered, retrospective, observational study. Lancet Respir Med. 2020 Feb 21 [Epub ahead of print]. Available from: https://www.thelancet.com/lancet/article/S2213-2600(20)30079-5 A study describing the clinical outcomes of 52 patients critically ill with COVID-19. Review of “Clinical course and outcomes of critically ill patients with SARS-CoV-2 pneumonia in Wuhan, China: a single-centered, retrospective, observational study”
Pan X, Chen D, Xia Y, Wu X, Li T, Ou X, et al. Asymptomatic cases in a family cluster with SARS-CoV-2 infection. Lancet. 2020 Feb 19 [Epub ahead of print].
Available from: https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S1473309920301146
Description of a family cluster of COVID-19, in which two patients were asymptomatic. Review of “Asymptomatic cases in a family cluster with SARS-CoV-2 infection”
Hoehl S, Berger A, Kortenbusch M, Cinatl J, Bojkova D, Rabenau H, et al. Evidence of SARS-CoV-2 infection in returning travelers from Wuhan, China. N Engl J Med. 2020 Feb 18 [Epub ahead of print].
Available from: https://www.nejm.org/doi/full/10.1056/NEJMc2001899 
A report of two patients diagnosed with COVID-19 who were afebrile and asymptomatic.  Review of “Evidence of SARS-CoV-2 infection in returning travelers from Wuhan, China”
Novel Coronavirus Pneumonia Emergency Response Epidemiology Team. The epidemiological characteristics of an outbreak of 2019 novel coronavirus diseases (COVID-19) – China, 2020. CCDC Weekly. 2020;2(x):1-10.
Available from: https://github.com/cmrivers/ncov/raw/master/COVID-19.pdf 
Descriptive analysis of 72,314 cases of COVID-19 in China.  Review of “The epidemiological characteristics of an outbreak of 2019 novel coronavirus diseases (COVID-19) – China, 2020”
Yu P, Zhu J, Zhang Z, Han Y, Huang L. A familial cluster of infection associated with the 2019 novel coronavirus indicating potential person-to-person transmission during the incubation period. J Infect Dis. 2020 Feb 18 [Epub ahead of print].
Available from: https://academic.oup.com/jid/advance-article/doi/10.1093/infdis/jiaa077/5739751 
A report of a familial cluster of infection with potential asymptomatic transmission during the COVID-19 incubation period.  Review of “A familial cluster of infection associated with the 2019 novel coronavirus indicating potential person-to-person transmission during the incubation period”
Wei M, Yuan J, Liu Y, Fu T, Yu X, Zhang Z. Novel coronavirus infection in hospitalized infants under 1 year of age in China. JAMA. 2020 Feb 14 [Epub ahead of print].
Available from: https://jamanetwork.com/journals/jama/fullarticle/2761659 
Report on hospitalized infants diagnosed with COVID-19.   Review of “Novel coronavirus infection in hospitalized infants under 1 year of age in China”
Silverstein WK, Stroud L, Cleghorn GE, Leis JA. First imported case of 2019 novel coronavirus in Canada, presenting as mild pneumonia. The Lancet. 2020 Feb 13 [Epub ahead of print].
Available from: https://www.thelancet.com/journals/lancet/article/PIIS0140-6736(20)30370-6/fulltext
Case report of first imported case of COVID-19 in Canada. Review of “First imported case of 2019 novel coronavirus in Canada, presenting as mild pneumonia”
Du Z, Wang L, Chauchemez S, Xu X, Wang X, Cowling BJ, et al. Risk for transportation of 2019 novel coronavirus disease from Wuhan to other cities in China. Emerg Infect Dis. 2020 Feb 13 [Epub ahead of print].
Available from: https://wwwnc.cdc.gov/eid/article/26/5/20-0146_article
Estimation of the probability of COVID-19 exportation from Wuhan prior to quarantine. Review of “Risk for transportation of 2019 novel coronavirus disease from Wuhan to other cities in China” 
Nishiura H, Linton NM, Akhmetzhanov AR. Serial interval of novel coronavirus (2019-nCoV) infections. medRxiv. 2020 Feb 17 [Epub ahead of print].
Available from: https://www.medrxiv.org/content/10.1101/2020.02.03.20019497v1
Estimation of the serial interval of COVID-19. Review of “Serial interval of novel coronavirus (2019-nCoV) infections” 
Chen H, Guo J, Wang C, Luo F, Yu X, Zhang W, et al. Clinical characteristics and intrauterine vertical transmission potential of COVID-19 infection in nine pregnant women: a retrospective review of medical records. Lancet. 2020 Feb 12 [Epub ahead of print].
Available from: https://www.thelancet.com/journals/lancet/article/PIIS0140-6736(20)30360-3/fulltext
Retrospective examination of nine pregnant women infected with COVID-19 to evaluate the clinical characteristics of mothers and infants, as well as transmission potential. Review of “Clinical characteristics and intrauterine vertical transmission potential of COVID-19 infection in nine pregnant women: a retrospective review of medical records
Guan W, Ni Z, Hu Y, Liang W, Ou C, He J, et al. Clinical characteristics of 2019 novel coronavirus infection in China. medRxiv. 2020 Feb 09 [Epub ahead of print].
Available from: https://www.medrxiv.org/content/10.1101/2020.02.06.20020974v1
Clinical characteristics of 1,099 cases of 2019-nCoV infection in China. Review of “Clinical characteristics of 2019 novel coronavirus infection in China”
Ceraolo C, Giorgi FM. Genomic variance of the 2019-nCoV coronavirus. J Med Virol. 2020 Feb 6 [Epub ahead of print].
Available from: https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/abs/10.1002/jmv.25700
Genomic and proteomic comparison of 56 2019-nCoV genomes to other coronaviruses. Review of “Genomic variance of the 2019-nCoV coronavirus”
Chang D, Lin M, Wei L, Xie L, Zhu G, Dela Cruz CS, et al. Epidemiologic and clinical characteristics of novel coronavirus infections involving 13 patients outside Wuhan, China. JAMA. 2020 Feb 07 [Epub ahead of print].
Available from: https://jamanetwork.com/journals/jama/fullarticle/2761043
Description of epidemiological and early clinical characteristics of 13 patients hospitalized in Beijing, China with confirmed 2019-nCoV. Review of “Epidemiologic and clinical characteristics of novel coronavirus infections involving 13 patients outside Wuhan, China”
Wang D, Hu B, Hu C, Zhu F, Liu X, Zhang J, et al. Clinical characteristics of 138 hospitalized patients with 2019 novel coronavirus–infected pneumonia in Wuhan, China. JAMA. 2020 Feb 07 [Epub ahead of print].
Available from: https://jamanetwork.com/journals/jama/fullarticle/2761044
This study provides a clinical and epidemiological description of the characteristics of 138 patients hospitalized in Wuhan with 2019-nCoV pneumonia. Review of “Clinical characteristics of 138 hospitalized patients with 2019 novel coronavirus–infected pneumonia in Wuhan, China”
Quilty BJ, Clifford S, CMMID nCoV working group, Flasche S, Eggo RM. Effectiveness of airport screening at detecting travellers infected with novel coronavirus (2019-nCoV). Eurosurveillance. 2020;25(5):2000080. 
Available from: https://www.eurosurveillance.org/content/10.2807/1560-7917.ES.2020.25.5.2000080
This study estimates the effectiveness of airport entry and exit screening for 2019-nCoV. Review of “Effectiveness of airport screening at detecting travellers infected with novel coronavirus (2019-nCoV)”
De Salazar PM, Niehus R, Taylor A, Buckee CO, Lipsitch M. Using predicted imports of 2019-nCoV cases to determine locations that may not be identifying all imported cases. medRxiv. 2020 Feb 05 [Epub ahead of print].
Available from: https://www.medrxiv.org/content/10.1101/2020.02.04.20020495v1
This study utilizes air travel volume data from Wuhan to international destinations to predict the expected case counts outside China. Review of “Using predicted imports of 2019-nCoV cases to determine locations that may not be identifying all imported cases”
Kucharski AJ, Russell TW, Diamond C, Funk S, Eggo RM. Early dynamics of transmission and control of 2019-nCoV: a mathematical modelling study. medRxiv. 2020 Feb 02 [Epub ahead of print].
Available from: https://www.medrxiv.org/content/10.1101/2020.01.31.20019901v1
This study utilized a mathematical transmission model to estimate the number of cases in Wuhan and the daily reproduction number. Review of “Early dynamics of transmission and control of 2019-nCoV: a mathematical modelling study”
Tuite AR, Fisman DN. Reporting, epidemic growth, and reproduction numbers for the 2019 novel coronavirus (2019-nCoV) epidemic. Ann Intern Med. 2020 Feb 5 [Epub ahead of print].
Available from: https://annals.org/aim/fullarticle/2760912/reporting-epidemic-growth-reproduction-numbers-2019-novel-coronavirus-2019-ncov
This study utilizes existing data to investigate the changing nature of case ascertainment, reporting lags, and effective reproductive numbers. Review of “Reporting, epidemic growth, and reproduction numbers for the 2019 novel coronavirus (2019-nCoV) epidemic”
Zhou P, Yang X, Wang X, Hu B, Zhang L, Zhang W, et al. A pneumonia outbreak associated with a new coronavirus of probable bat origin. Nature. 2020 Feb 03 [Epub ahead of print].
Available from: https://doi.org/10.1038/s41586-020-2012-7
Laboratory test results on oral swab, anal swab, blood PCR and serology from five patients 18-29 days post onset. Genomic sequencing results also presented. Review of “A pneumonia outbreak associated with a new coronavirus of probable bat origin”
Hoffmann M, Kleine-Weber H, Krueger N, Mueller MA, Drosten C, Poehlmann S. The novel coronavirus 2019 (2019-nCoV) uses the SARS-coronavirus receptor ACE2 and the cellular protease TMPRSS2 for entry into target cells. bioRxiv. 2020 Jan 31 [Epub ahead of print].
Available from: https://www.biorxiv.org/content/10.1101/2020.01.31.929042v1
Examines the mechanism by which the 2019-nCoV may enter cells by binding to the angiotensin-converting enzyme 2 (ACE2) receptor. Review of “The novel coronavirus 2019 (2019-nCoV) uses the SARS-coronavirus receptor ACE2 and the cellular protease TMPRSS2 for entry into target cells”
Holshue ML, DeBolt C, Lindquist S, Lofy KH, Wiesman J, Bruce H, et al. First case of 2019 novel coronavirus in the United States. N Engl J Med. 2020 Jan 31 [Epub ahead of print].
Available from: https://www.nejm.org/doi/full/10.1056/NEJMoa2001191
Detailed report of first case reported in the United States. RNA was detected in a fecal sample. Review of “First case of 2019 novel coronavirus in the United States”
Chen N, Zhou M, Dong X, Qu J, Gong F, Han Y, et al. Epidemiological and clinical characteristics of 99 cases of 2019 novel coronavirus pneumonia in Wuhan, China: a descriptive study. Lancet. 2020 Jan 29 [Epub ahead of print].
Available from: https://www.thelancet.com/pb-assets/Lancet/pdfs/S0140673620302117.pdf
Case series of 99 patients hospitalized with the 2019 novel coronavirus in one hospital in Wuhan, China from January 1-20, 2020. Review of "Epidemiological and clinical characteristics of 99 cases of 2019 novel coronavirus pneumonia in Wuhan, China: a descriptive study"
Wu JT, Leung K, Leung GM. Nowcasting and forecasting the potential domestic and international spread of the 2019-nCoV outbreak originating in Wuhan, China: a modelling study. Lancet. 2020 Jan 31 [Epub ahead of print].
Available from: https://www.thelancet.com/lancet/article/nowcasting-and-forecasting
Modeling study that uses the number of exported cases and travel patterns to estimate the impact of the outbreak in Wuhan and other major cities in China, as well as estimating the impact of control measures. Review of "Nowcasting and forecasting the potential domestic and international spread of the 2019-nCoV outbreak originating in Wuhan, China: a modelling study"
Phan LT, Nguyen TV, Luong QC, Nguyen TV, Nguyen HT, Le HQ, et al. Importation and human-to-human transmission of a novel coronavirus in Vietnam. N Engl J Med. 2020 Jan 28 [Epub ahead of print].
Available from: https://www.nejm.org/doi/10.1056/NEJMc2001272
Report of transmission from a father from Wuhan who visits his son in Vietnam and transmits novel coronavirus to his son within three days of the father’s arrival in Vietnam. Review of "Importation and human-to-human transmission of a novel coronavirus in Vietnam"
Wang W, Tang J, Wei F. Updated understanding of the outbreak of 2019 novel coronavirus (2019-nCoV) in Wuhan, China. J Med Virol. 2020 Jan 29 [Epub ahead of print].
Available from: https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/abs/10.1002/jmv.25689
Website searches revealed 1,975 cases and 56 deaths for a case fatality rate of 2.84%. Information on the 17 fatal cases is provided in this article. Review of "Updated understanding of the outbreak of 2019 novel coronavirus (2019-nCoV) in Wuhan, China"
Zhu N, Zhang D, Wang W, Li X, Yang B, Song J, et al. A novel coronavirus from patients with pneumonia in China, 2019. N Engl J Med. 2020 Jan 24 [Epub ahead of print].
Available from: https://www.nejm.org/doi/full/10.1056/NEJMoa2001017
Whole genome sequencing and phylogenetic analysis of samples from three patients identified with 2019-nCoV. The virus was distinct from SARS-CoV and MERS-CoV, but similar to a bat SARS-like CoV. Review of "A novel coronavirus from patients with pneumonia in China, 2019"
Corman VM, Landt O, Kaiser M, Molenkamp R, Meijer A, Chu DKW, et al. Detection of 2019 novel coronavirus (2019-nCoV) by real-time RT-PCR. Eurosurveillance. 2020 Jan 23;25:2000045.
Available from: https://www.eurosurveillance.org/content/10.2807/1560-7917.ES.2020.25.3.2000045
Evaluation of a RT-PCR assay for the detection of 2019-nCoV. Review of "Detection of 2019 novel coronavirus (2019-nCoV) by real-time RT-PCR."
Updated
Rothe C, Schunk M, Sothmann P, Bretzel G, Froeschl G, Wallrauch C, et al. Transmission of 2019-nCoV infection from an asymptomatic contact in Germany. N Engl J Med. 2020 Jan 30 [Epub ahead of print].
Available from: https://www.nejm.org/doi/10.1056/NEJMc2001468
Correspondence regarding possible transmission during the incubation period in Germany; subsequent information to suggest the index case was symptomatic and not in the incubation period and details of symptom development in the index case now available.   Review of "Transmission of 2019-nCoV infection from an asymptomatic contact in Germany"
Lu R, Zhao X, Li J, Niu P, Yang B, Wu H, et al. Genomic characterisation and epidemiology of 2019 novel coronavirus: implications for virus origins and receptor binding. Lancet. 2020 Jan 29 [Epub ahead of print].
Available from: https://www.thelancet.com/pb-assets/Lancet/pdfs/S0140673620302518.pdf
Genomic analysis of ten 2019-nCoV sequences from nine patient (eight with Huanan Seafood market exposure), and comparison to SARS-CoV, bat SARS-like CoVs and MERS-CoV. Genome sequencing suggest a common source for the cases. The virus was most closely related to a bat SARS-like CoV. Review of "Genomic characterisation and epidemiology of 2019 novel coronavirus: implications for virus origins and receptor binding"
Li Q, Guan X, Wu P, Wang X, Zhou L, Tong Y, et al. Early transmission dynamics in Wuhan, China, of novel coronavirus-infected pneumonia. N Engl J Med. 2020 Jan 29 [Epub ahead of print].
Available from: https://www.nejm.org/doi/10.1056/NEJMoa2001316
Case series of 425 cases of 2019-nCoV in the early phase of the outbreak in Wuhan, China. Time course divided into three periods. No children younger than 15 years of age identified. Review of "Early transmission dynamics in Wuhan, China, of novel coronavirus-infected pneumonia"
Updated
Backer JA, Klinkenberg D, Wallinga J. Incubation period of 2019 novel coronavirus (2019-nCoV) infections among travellers from Wuhan, China, 20–28 January 2020. Eurosurveillance. 2020;25(5):2000062.
Available from: https://www.eurosurveillance.org/content/10.2807/1560-7917.ES.2020.25.5.2000062
Study to determine the incubation period based on 88 cases who had been in Wuhan during the outbreak but were diagnosed in other parts of China. Best fit mean incubation period estimated at 6.4 days and range 2.1-11.1 days (2.5th-97.5th percentile).
Review of "Incubation period of 2019 novel coronavirus (2019-nCoV) infections among travellers from Wuhan, China, 20–28 January 2020"
Read JM, Bridgen JRE, Cummings DAT, Ho A, Jewell CP. Novel coronavirus 2019-nCoV: early estimation of epidemiological parameters and epidemic predictions. medRxiv. 2020 Jan 28 [Epub ahead of print].
Available from: https://www.medrxiv.org/content/10.1101/2020.01.23.20018549v2
Model to estimate epidemiologic parameters including the basic reproductive number (estimated at 3.1). Review of "Novel coronavirus 2019-nCoV: early estimation of epidemiological parameters and epidemic predictions"
Huang C, Wang Y, Li X, Ren L, Zhao J, Hu Y, et al. Clinical features of patients infected with 2019 novel coronavirus in Wuhan, China. Lancet. 2020 Jan 24 [Epub ahead of print].
Available from: https://www.thelancet.com/journals/lancet/article/PIIS0140-6736(20)30183-5/fulltext
Case series of 41 patients hospitalized with laboratory confirmed illness in Wuhan. Review of "Clinical features of patients infected with 2019 novel coronavirus in Wuhan, China"
Chan JF, Yuan S, Kok KH, To KK, Chu H, Yang J, et al. A familial cluster of pneumonia associated with the 2019 novel coronavirus indicating person-to-person transmission: a study of a family cluster. Lancet. 2020 Jan 24 [Epub ahead of print].
Available from: https://www.thelancet.com/journals/lancet/article/PIIS0140-6736(20)30154-9/fulltext
Case series of six family members who visited Wuhan; five infected, one asymptomatically; transmitted to another family member on returning home. Review of "A familial cluster of pneumonia associated with the 2019 novel coronavirus indicating person-to-person transmission: a study of a family cluster"
Updated 27 Feb 2020