COVID-19 mainly presents as a respiratory disease with flu-like symptoms, however, recent findings suggest that non-respiratory symptoms can occur early in the infection and cluster together in different groups in different regions. We collected surveillance data among COVID-19 suspected cases tested in mainland Portugal during the first wave of the pandemic, March-April 2020. A multivariable logistic-regression analysis was performed to ascertain the effects of age, sex, prior medical condition and symptoms on the likelihood of testing positive and hospitalisation. Of 25,926 COVID-19 suspected cases included in this study, 5,298 (20%) tested positive. Symptoms were grouped into ten clusters, of which two main ones: one with cough and fever and another with the remainder. There was a higher odds of a positive test with increasing age, myalgia and headache. The odds of being hospitalised increased with age, presence of fever, dyspnoea, or having a prior medical condition although these results varied by region. Presence of cough and other respiratory symptoms did not predict COVID-19 compared to non-COVID respiratory disease patients in any region. Dyspnoea was a strong determinant of hospitalisation, as well as fever and the presence of a prior medical condition, whereas these results varied by region.
Bibliographical noteFunding Information: The author(s) received no specific funding for this work.
Open Access: This is an open access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited.
Publisher Copyright: © 2021 Perez Duque et al.
Citation: Perez Duque M, Saad NJ, Lucaccioni H, Costa C, McMahon G, Machado F, et al. (2021). Clinical and hospitalisation predictors of COVID-19 in the first month of the pandemic, Portugal. PLoS ONE 16(11): e0260249.