Almost all Covid-19 patients under 50 years of age recovered without supplemental oxygen, while the fatality rate increased with age among patients aged over 50, a Korean medical report said.
The research team, led by Professor Oh Myoung-don of the Department of Internal Medicine at Seoul National University Hospital, published “The clinical outcomes of 3,060 patients with Covid-19 in the Journal of Korean Medical Science,” on Thursday. Out of the 3,060 patients, 1,042 were from Daegu and North Gyeongsang Province, the region hit hardest by the virus in Korea.
The median age of the patients was 43, and the median time from the onset of the illness to hospitalization was five days. The most common symptoms on admission were cough, sputum, and sore throat. Diarrhea was uncommon, the research team said.
Ninety-one percent of the patients showed mild symptoms on admission. Almost all of them recovered in 14 days on average without supplementary oxygen.
In contrast, 24.5 percent of the patients who needed mechanical ventilation died.
About half, or 1,471 patients (48.1 percent), received antiviral agents. Of them, 1,108 (36.2 percent) were treated with HIV drug Kaletra (lopinavir/ritonavir), 652 (21.3 percent) with antimalarial drug hydroxychloroquine.
Around 80 percent of the 3,060 patients were discharged before the end of data collection on June 1, and 32 died. The median time from illness onset to death was five days, and all of them were aged over 50.
Among the 1,324 patients aged 50 or less, no death occurred. In contrast, among patients aged 80 or more, the fatality rate stood at 13.4 percent.
The research team concluded that Korean patients with Covid-19 who were aged under 50 recovered without supplemental oxygen. At the same time, the fatality rate increased with age among patients aged 50 or more.
“Our results may help better prepare health system and clinical management for the next waves of the Covid-19 pandemic,” the research team said.