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Papers of the Week

2023 Jan 12

Trop Med Infect Dis



Distinguishing SARS-CoV-2 Infection and Non-SARS-CoV-2 Viral Infections in Adult Patients through Clinical Score Tools.


Sirijatuphat R, Sirianan K, Horthongkham N, Komoltri C, Angkasekwinai N
Trop Med Infect Dis. 2023 Jan 12; 8(1).
PMID: 36668968.


This study aimed to determine distinguishing predictors and develop a clinical score to differentiate COVID-19 and common viral infections (influenza, respiratory syncytial virus (RSV), dengue, chikungunya (CKV), and zika (ZKV)). This retrospective study enrolled 549 adults (100 COVID-19, 100 dengue, 100 influenza, 100 RSV, 100 CKV, and 49 ZKV) during the period 2017-2020. CKV and ZKV infections had specific clinical features (i.e., arthralgia and rash); therefore, these diseases were excluded. Multiple binary logistic regression models were fitted to identify significant predictors, and two scores were developed differentiating influenza/RSV from COVID-19 (Flu-RSV/COVID) and dengue from COVID-19 (Dengue/COVID). The five independent predictors of influenza/RSV were age > 50 years, the presence of underlying disease, rhinorrhea, productive sputum, and lymphocyte count < 1000 cell/mm. Likewise, the five independent predictors of dengue were headache, myalgia, no cough, platelet count < 150,000/mm, and lymphocyte count < 1000 cell/mm. The Flu-RSV/COVID score (cut-off value of 4) demonstrated 88% sensitivity and specificity for predicting influenza/RSV (AUROC = 0.94). The Dengue/COVID score (cut-off value of 4) achieved 91% sensitivity and 94% specificity for differentiating dengue and COVID-19 (AUROC = 0.98). The Flu-RSV/COVID and Dengue/COVID scores had a high discriminative ability for differentiating influenza/RSV or dengue infection and COVID-19. The further validation of these scores is needed to ensure their utility in clinical practice.