Clinical Characteristics of the First 100 Patients of COVID-19 in Tobruk, Libya: A Brief Report From Low-Resource Settings



Ismail F, Farag A, Haq S, Kamal MA.


Disaster Med Public Health Prep. 2021 Apr 19:1-4. doi: 10.1017/dmp.2021.123. Online ahead of print.


OBJECTIVE: This study aims to report the clinical features of a cohort of patients with suspected coronavirus disease (COVID-19) from Tobruk, Libya, and reflect upon the diagnosis challenge in low-resource settings. METHODS: A descriptive report of the first 100 patients with suspected COVID-19 who have visited the severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) and COVID-19 screening clinic at the National Centre for Disease Control in Tobruk, Libya. RESULTS: The most common presenting symptoms were fever (90%), cough (89%), dyspnea (85%), sore throat (79%), fatigue (78%), headache (64%), loss of smell (52%), loss of taste (53%), loss of appetite (43%), nausea and vomiting (26%), diarrhea (22%), and rhinorrhea (16%); 51% of the patients had lymphocytopenia, whereas 13% had thrombocytopenia. Bilateral infiltrates were the most common radiologic finding on chest X-ray (76%), and COVID-19 IgM and/or IgG antibodies were detected in 80% of the patients, whereas only 37% of the patients were tested positive by the reverse transcriptase polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR). CONCLUSIONS: The disease continued its spread across the region. Fever, cough, and dyspnea were the main symptoms; 21% of the patients did not have any chest X-ray abnormalities. Initial negative results for either antibody testing or RT-PCR-testing for COVID-19 do not rule out the infection.

Keywords: .

Link/DOI: 10.1017/dmp.2021.123