Coronavirus infections reported by ProMED, February 2000–January 2020

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Introduction: Sources describing the global burden of emerging diseases accurately are still limited. We reviewed coronavirus infections reported by ProMED and assessed the reliability of the data retrieved compared to published reports. We evaluated the effectiveness of ProMED as a source of epidemiological data on coronavirus. Methods: Using the keyword “coronavirus” in the ProMED search engine, we reviewed all the information from the reports and collected data using a structured form, including year, country, gender, occupation, the number of infected individuals, and the number of fatal cases. Results: We identified 109 entries reported between February 29, 2000 and January 22, 2020. A total of 966 cases were reported, with death reported in 188 cases, suggesting an overall case fatality rate (CFR) of 19.5%. Of 70 cases for which the gender was reported, 47 (67.1%) were male. Most of the cases were reported from China, the United Arab Emirates, and Saudi Arabia, with reports from other countries, including imported cases in Europe and North America. Conclusions: Internet-based reporting systems such as ProMED are useful to gather information and synthesize knowledge on emerging infections. Although certain areas need to be improved, ProMED provided useful information about coronaviruses especially during outbreaks.




Bonilla-Aldana, D. K., Holguin-Rivera, Y., Cortes-Bonilla, I., Cardona-Trujillo, M. C., García-Barco, A., Bedoya-Arias, H. A., … Rodriguez-Morales, A. J. (2020). Coronavirus infections reported by ProMED, February 2000–January 2020. Travel Medicine and Infectious Disease.

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