Epidemiological and clinical presentations of hospitalized COVID-19 patients in Libya: An initial report from Africa



Elhadi M, Momen AA, Alsoufi A, Msherghi A, Zaid A, Ali Senussi Abdulhadi OM, Elhadi A, Omar Elfandi HB, Salam Alshammam AM, Hadreiez AK, Abdulsalam Elbulati MT, Almahdi El Bibas MA, Mohamed Benaser AA, Rajab Zendah MM, Mohammed Makhlouf AA, Abdulhamed MA, BenSuleiman MM, Amer AO, Shaban MAA, Faraj HA.


Travel Med Infect Dis. 2021 Jul-Aug;42:102064. doi: 10.1016/j.tmaid.2021.102064. Epub 2021 Apr 18.


BACKGROUND: The first case of the novel coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) in Libya was diagnosed in March 2020. We aimed to determine the epidemiological, clinical, and laboratory characteristics of COVID-19 in Libya. METHOD: In this retrospective descriptive study, we analyzed the demographics, initial clinical presentation, history, comorbidities, laboratory findings, complications, and outcomes of hospitalized patients with COVID-19 at several centers in the Western part of Libya between March 24, 2020, and December 3, 2020. RESULTS: The study included 811 (67.2%) men and 396 (32.8%) women. The median (interquartile range [IQR]) age was 56 (40-64). A total of 173 (14.3%) patients developed respiratory distress syndrome, while 70 (5.8%) developed circulatory shock and hypotension; 190 (15.7%) were admitted to the intensive care unit. Acute cardiac injury occurred in 27 (2.2%) patients, and 45 (3.7%) developed arrhythmia. Acute kidney injury occurred in 44 (3.6%) patients. Of the patients admitted during the study period, 149 (12.3%) died. The predominant comorbidities ordered in a descending manner were as follows; diabetes mellitus, presented 490 (40.6%), hypertension in 414 (34.3%), chronic kidney disease in 114 (9.4%), and lung diseases in 103 (8.5%). The total white blood cell, neutrophil; monocyte; D-dimer; creatinine kinase; creatine kinase-MB; creatinine; total bilirubin; alanine and aspartate aminotransferase; and hypersensitive troponin were increased among non-survivors, whereas lymphocyte and platelet counts were decreased among non-survivors. CONCLUSION: This is the first report of the clinical presentations and laboratory findings in patients hospitalized with COVID-19 in Libya. Libyan authorities must implement several restrictions to control the pandemic. However, incoming international travelers pose a challenge to the local authorities, especially with the recent discovery of new variants. CI – Copyright © 2021 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

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Link/DOI: 10.1016/j.tmaid.2021.102064