OBJECTIVE: Compared to COVID-19 cases with established epidemiological trace, little is known about the patients without one. This study reports an association between time of symptom onset (TOS) and length of hospital stay (LOS) in COVID-19 infection without epidemiological link.
METHODS: Generalized linear regression models were used to examine the association between symptom onset and primary outcome LOS. A group of patients with established epidemiological link in same medical facility during that period of time were used as controls.
RESULTS: A total of 38 COVID-19 patients were admitted, 26 of which were found without travel history to infected area or direct contact with a case-patient. TOS was negatively associated with LOS in patients without epidemiological trace (IRR = 0.980; 95% CI = 0.967 to 0.993; P = 0.003).
CONCLUSIONS: In COVID-19 cases without typical epidemiological links, patients with later symptom onset had relatively shorter LOS.
Keywords: COVID-19 Computed tomography Epidemiology Infection Novel coronavirus