Surveillance Case Definitions for Human Infection with Novel Coronavirus (Covid-19)

Reported symptoms have included fever in 90% of cases, fatigue and a dry cough in 80%, and shortness of breath in 20%, with respiratory distress in 15%. Chest x-rays have revealed signs in both lungs. Vital signs were generally stable at the time of admission of those hospitalised. Blood tests have commonly shown low white blood cell counts (leucopenia and lymphopenia).

Case definitions for surveillance

Suspect case

A suspected case is:
A. a patient with acute respiratory illness (that is, fever and at least one sign or symptom of respiratory disease, for example, cough or shortness of breath) AND with no other etiology that fully explains the clinical presentation AND a history of travel to or residence in a country, area or territory that has reported local transmission of Covid-19 disease during the 14 days prior to symptom onset.
OR
B. a patient with any acute respiratory illness AND who has been a contact of a confirmed or probable case of Covid-19 disease during the 14 days prior to the onset of symptoms (see the definition of contact below);
OR
C. a patient with severe acute respiratory infection (that is, fever and at least one sign or symptom of respiratory disease, for example, cough or shortness breath) AND who requires hospitalization AND who has no other etiology that fully explains the clinical presentation.

Probable case
Probable case: A suspect case for whom testing for Covid-19 is inconclusive or for whom testing was positive on a pan-coronavirus assay.

Confirmed case
A person with laboratory confirmation of Covid-19 infection, irrespective of clinical signs and symptoms.

 

References:

  1. Surveillance case definitions for human infection with novel coronavirus (nCoV) (WHO)
  2. Hui DS, I Azhar E, Madani TA, et al. The continuing 2019-nCoV epidemic threat of novel coronaviruses to global health – The latest 2019 novel coronavirus outbreak in Wuhan, China. Int J Infect Dis. 2020;91:264–266. [Medline]
  3. Chen Y, Liu Q, Guo D. Coronaviruses: genome structure, replication, and pathogenesis. J Med Virol. 2020;10.1002/jmv.25681. [Medline]
  4. Li Q, Guan X, Wu P, et al. Early Transmission Dynamics in Wuhan, China, of Novel Coronavirus-Infected Pneumonia. N Engl J Med. 2020;10.1056/NEJMoa2001316. [Medline]

Created Jan 24, 2020.
Actualized Mar 16, 2020