Rapid viral diagnosis and ambulatory management of suspected COVID-19 cases presenting at the infectious diseases referral hospital in Marseille, France, - January 31st to March 1st, 2020: A respiratory virus snapshot

Sophie Amrane, Hervé Tissot-Dupont, Barbara Doudier, Carole Eldin, Marie Hocquart, Morgane Mailhe, Pierre Dudouet, Etienne Ormières, Lucie Ailhaud, Philippe Parola, Jean-Christophe Lagier, Philippe Brouqui, Christine Zandotti, Laetitia Ninove, Léa Luciani, Céline Boschi, Bernard La Scola, Didier Raoult, Matthieu Million, Philippe Colson, Philippe Gautret
Travel Medicine and Infectious Disease 2020 March 20, : 101632

BACKGROUND: Rapid virological diagnosis is needed to limit the length of isolation for suspected COVID-19 cases.

METHOD: We managed the first 280 patients suspected to have COVID-19 through a rapid care circuit and virological diagnosis in our infectious disease reference hospital in Marseille, France. Rapid viral detection was performed on sputum and nasopharyngeal samples.

RESULTS: Over our study period, no SARS-CoV-2 was detected. Results were obtained within approximately three hours of the arrival of patient samples at the laboratory. Other viral infections were identified in 49% of the patients, with most common pathogens being influenza A and B viruses, rhinovirus, metapneumovirus and common coronaviruses, notably HKU1 and NL63.

CONCLUSION: Early recognition of COVID-19 is critical to isolate confirmed cases and prevent further transmission. Early rule-out of COVID-19 allows public health containment measures to be adjusted by reducing the time spent in isolation.

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