Clinical Manifestations of COVID-19 Infection in Persons with Disabilities (PWDs) at Inpatient Rehabilitation Center –A Hospital-Based Study
Keywords:Amputations, COVID-19, Pakistan, Persons with disability, Spinal cord injury
Objective: To describe clinical manifestations of COVID-19 infection in Persons with disability (PWD) in Pakistan.
Study Design: Cross-sectional study.
Place and Duration of Study: Inpatient Rehabilitation Facility (IRF) of Armed Forces Institute of Rehabilitation Medicine (AFIRM), Rawalpindi, from Feb to Oct 2021
Methodology: All PWDs admitted in IRF of AFIRM who tested positive for COVID-19 infection were included by convenience sampling. Patients who tested negative for COVID-19 by PCR were excluded. Data of patients and laboratory and radiological investigations, were recorded. Follow-up after one month was done via phone call.
Results: Twenty patients tested positive for COVID-19, of which 20(95%) were males. The mean age of patients was 38.6 ± 2.5 years. Most patients had Spinal Cord Injuries followed by amputations, and five had co-existing disorders. 11(52.4%) of patients were asymptomatic. Fever, myalgias and cough were common among symptomatic patients. Those who were symptomatic had only one symptom at the time of presentation. All patients had mild disease and recovered gradually without complications at one month of follow-up.
Conclusion: A high index of suspicion of SARs CoV-2 infection should be kept when PWDs present with myalgias or fever inthe current scenario and post-COVID-19 era since PWDs have fewer symptoms of COVID-19 as compared to their peers.
Keyswords: Amputations, COVID-19, Pakistan, Persons with disability, Spinal cord injury.