Systematically comparing COVID-19 with the 2009 influenza pandemic for hospitalized patients

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Objectives: This study aimed to comprehensively compare the clinical features of hospitalized COVID-19 patients with hospitalized 2009 influenza pandemic patients. Methods: Medline, Embase, Web of Science, Cochrane CENTRAL, and Google scholar were systematically searched to identify studies related to COVID-19 and the 2009 influenza pandemic. The pooled incidence rates of clinical features were estimated using the DerSimonian-Laird random-effects model with the Freeman-Tukey double arcsine transformation method. Results: The incidence rates of fever, cough, shortness of breath, sore throat, rhinorrhea, myalgia/muscle pain, or vomiting were found to be significantly higher in influenza patients when compared with COVID-19 patients. The incidence rates of comorbidities, including cardiovascular disease/hypertension and diabetes, were significantly higher in COVID-19 compared with influenza patients. In contrast, comorbidities such as asthma, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, and immunocompromised conditions were significantly more common in influenza compared with COVID-19 patients. Unexpectedly, the estimated rates of intensive care unit admission, treatment with extracorporeal membrane oxygenation, treatment with antibiotics, and fatality were comparable between hospitalized COVID-19 and 2009 influenza pandemic patients. Conclusions: This study comprehensively estimated the differences and similarities of the clinical features and burdens of hospitalized COVID-19 and 2009 influenza pandemic patients. This information will be important to better understand the current COVID-19 pandemic.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)375-380
Number of pages6
JournalInternational Journal of Infectious Diseases
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2021

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
This research was supported by the Major National Special Funds for Science and Technology ( 2015ZX09102016 ) and the Changjiang Scholars and Innovative Research Team in University grant (No. IRT_17R88 ) from the Ministry of Education of the People's Republic of China to Z. Ma, and a VIDI grant ( No. 91719300) from the Netherlands Organisation for Scientific Research (NWO) to Q. Pan,

Publisher Copyright:
© 2020 The Author(s)

Research programs

  • EMC OR-01


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