South Korean doctors discover risk factors for serious COVID-19 cases

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SEOUL – South Korean doctors have discovered some underlying conditions that could make some COVID-19 patients more severely affected by the disease, said a professor at Yeungnam University Medical Center on Wednesday.The findings could help doctors identify and prioritize high-risk patients at an early stage of respiratory disease caused by the new coronavirus, Ahn June-hong, professor of internal medicine, told Reuters.

Medical experts and epidemiologists are studying the risk factors for patients who develop severe cases of the disease, which has killed more than 400,000 people worldwide since its onset at the end of last year in China.

In an article published by the Journal of Korean Medical Science on June 2, Ahn and other South Korean doctors wrote that diabetes, high body temperature, low oxygen saturation, and pre-existing heart damage were the prognostic factors for COVID-19 severe.

The medical team observed 110 patients with coronavirus in a hospital in Daegu, the epicenter of the South Korea epidemic, from February 19 to April 15.

Of the 110 patients at the Yeungnam University Medical Center, 23 developed a severe case of COVID-19.

Because these patients were significantly older than the others, they were more likely to have diabetes and reduce peripheral oxygen saturation, according to the document.

Coronavirus patients with at least three of the four prognostic factors have developed severe conditions, said Professor Ahn.

“I believe that the use of prognostic factors in patients with severe COVID-19 will provide physicians with an opportunity to provide these high-risk patients with the best medical care from the onset of the disease,” he said. .

South Korea reported 45 new cases at midnight on Wednesday, bringing the country’s total to 11,947, with 276 deaths.

(Reporting by Sangmi Cha; Editing by Stephen Coates)

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