Disease Spectrum in COVID-19 Cohort with Travel History from Iran


  • Ayesha Iftikhar Fellow Infectious Diseases, SKMCH & RC
  • Aeman Naseer Medical Student, Aga Khan University, Karachi
  • Ayesha Sharif Medical Student, Aga Khan University, Karachi
  • Yasir Riaz Gillani Research Officer, Punjab Emergency Services Rescue 1122
  • Romena Qazi Consultant Molecular Pathology, SKMCH & RC
  • Rizwan Naseer Director General, Punjab Emergency Services Rescue 1122
  • Faisal Sultan Consultant Infectious Diseases, SKMCH & RC




COVID-19, Travelers, epidemiological trends


Background: Coronavirus disease 2019 (Covid-19), declared as a pandemic in March 2020, is an acute respiratory tract illness caused by coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV2) with clinical manifestations ranging from mild upper respiratory tract symptoms to severe pneumonia.

Objectives: To determine the disease spectrum of Covid-19 in a cohort with a travel history from Iran.

Materials & Methods: This cross-sectional study with a retrospective collection of data was conducted at Agha Khan University, Karachi from 15th March to 19th April 2020. One hundred and fifty-five laboratory-confirmed cases of Covid-19 were recruited from a government quarantine facility. Data were obtained from the Punjab Emergency Services (Rescue 1122) database where a record of SARS-CoV-2 positive cases and quarantined persons is maintained. Study subjects with a travel history to Iran were contacted by telephone to obtain information about demographics, symptoms, and co-morbid conditions.  SPSS version 24 was used to analyze the data. Frequencies and percentages were calculated.

Results: Among the returning travelers, 213 had laboratory-confirmed Covid-19, out of which 155 were included in this study. 56.1% were males with a mean age of 40 years. Among the study participants, 91.6% remained asymptomatic throughout the stay, while 8.4 % became symptomatic. 77.5% of the participants had received BCG vaccination in childhood. Among symptomatic cases 15.4% had asthma and 7.7% had hypertension. The most common clinical manifestation was cough which was present in 38.5% of the study participants. None died among the study participants.

Conclusion: A mild presentation of COVID-19 was seen in our study participants with 91.6% among them being asymptomatic, while 8.4% were symptomatic. There was a high positivity rate in males as compared to females.







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