Hong Kong Med J 2012;18(Suppl 2):S22-4
Epidemiology of coronavirus- associated respiratory tract infections and the role of rapid diagnostic tests: a prospective study
PCY Woo, KY Yuen, SKP Lau
Department of Microbiology, The University of Hong Kong, Hong Kong
1. Coronaviruses accounted for 1.6% (98/6272) of respiratory tract infections based on nasopharyngeal aspirate samples.
2. HCoV-OC43 was the most common coronavirus detected, followed by HCoV-NL63, CoV-HKU1, and HCoV-229E.
3. Although CoV-HKU1 infections were most often associated with the upper respiratory tract, more severe illness (pneumonia, acute bronchiolitis, and asthmatic exacerbation) may occur, especially in those with underlying disease. In young children, CoV-HKU1 infection is associated with a high rate of febrile seizures (50%).
4. CoV-HKU1 and HCoV-OC43 infections peaked in winter, in contrast to HCoV-NL63, which mainly occurred in early summer and autumn, but was absent in winter.
5. Reverse transcriptase polymerase chain reaction is useful for the rapid diagnosis of coronavirus infections.