Geo-temporal distribution of 1,688 Chinese healthcare workers infected with COVID-19 in severe conditions—A secondary data analysis

Wayne Gao, Mattia Sanna, Min Kuang Tsai, Chi Pang Wen

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

19 Citations (Scopus)


Introduction The COVID-19 outbreak is posing an unprecedented challenge to healthcare workers. This study analyzes the geo-temporal effects on disease severity for the 1,688 Chinese healthcare workers infected with COVID-19. Methods Using the descriptive results recently reported by the Chinese CDC, we compare the percentage of infected healthcare workers in severe conditions over time and across three areas in China, and the fatality rate of infected healthcare workers with all the infected individuals in China aged 22–59 years. Results Among the infected Chinese healthcare workers whose symptoms onset appeared during the same ten-day period, the percentage of those in severe conditions decreased significantly from 19.7% (Jan 11–20) to 14.4% (Jan 21–31) to 8.7% (Feb 1–11). Across the country, there was also a significant difference in the disease severity, with Wuhan being the most severe (17.3%), followed by Hubei Province (10.2%), and the rest of China (6.6%). The case fatality rate for the 1,688 infected Chinese healthcare workers was significantly lower than that for the 29,798 infected patients aged 20–59 years—0.3% (5/1,688) vs. 0.65% (193/29,798), respectively. Conclusion The disease severity among infected healthcare workers improved considerably over a short period of time in China. The more severe conditions in Wuhan compared to the rest of the country may be attributable to the draconian lockdown. The clinical outcomes of infected Chinese healthcare workers may represent a more accurate estimation of the severity of COVID-19 for those who have access to quality healthcare.

Original languageEnglish
Article numbere0233255
Pages (from-to)e0233255
JournalPLoS ONE
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - May 2020

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Biochemistry,Genetics and Molecular Biology
  • General Agricultural and Biological Sciences
  • General


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