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Title: Demographic shift in COVID-19 patients in Singapore from an aged, at-risk population to young migrant workers with reduced risk of severe disease
Authors: Ngiam, Jinghao Nicholas
Chew, Nicholas
Tham, Sai Meng
Beh, Darius Lian-Lian
Lim, Zhen Yu
Li, Tony Y. W.
Cen, Shuyun
Tambyah, Paul Anantharajah 
Santosa, Amelia
Sia, Ching-Hui 
Cross, Gail Brenda 
Keywords: COVID-19
Issue Date: 1-Feb-2021
Publisher: Elsevier B.V.
Citation: Ngiam, Jinghao Nicholas, Chew, Nicholas, Tham, Sai Meng, Beh, Darius Lian-Lian, Lim, Zhen Yu, Li, Tony Y. W., Cen, Shuyun, Tambyah, Paul Anantharajah, Santosa, Amelia, Sia, Ching-Hui, Cross, Gail Brenda (2021-02-01). Demographic shift in COVID-19 patients in Singapore from an aged, at-risk population to young migrant workers with reduced risk of severe disease. International Journal of Infectious Diseases 103 : 329-335. ScholarBank@NUS Repository.
Rights: Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International
Abstract: Objectives: The vast majority of COVID-19 cases in Singapore have occurred amongst migrant workers. This paper examined trends in the hospitalised cases and tested the assumption that the low severity of disease was related to the relatively young affected population. Methods: All patients with PCR-positive SARS-CoV-2 admitted from February to April 2020 were divided into: (i) imported cases, (ii) locally-transmitted cases outside migrant worker dormitories and (iii) migrant worker dormitory cases. They were examined for underlying comorbidities, clinical progress and outcomes. Results: Imported cases (n = 29) peaked in mid-March 2020, followed by local cases (n = 100) in mid-April 2020; migrant worker cases (n = 425) continued to increase in late April 2020. Migrant worker cases were younger, had few medical comorbidities and less severe disease. As the migrant worker cases increased, the proportion of patients with pneumonia decreased, whilst patients presenting earlier in their illness and asymptomatic disease became more common. Conclusion: Singapore experienced a substantial shift in the population at risk of severe COVID-19. Successful control in the community protected an aging population. Large migrant worker dormitory outbreaks occurred, but the disease incurred was less severe, resulting in Singapore having one of the lowest case fatality rates in the world. © 2020 The Author(s)
Source Title: International Journal of Infectious Diseases
ISSN: 1201-9712
DOI: 10.1016/j.ijid.2020.11.157
Rights: Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International
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