Skip to main navigation menu Skip to main content Skip to site footer

Original article

Vol. 150 No. 2930 (2020)

Characteristics, comorbidities, 30-day outcome and in-hospital mortality of patients hospitalised with COVID-19 in a Swiss area – a retrospective cohort study

Cite this as:
Swiss Med Wkly. 2020;150:w20314



Since its first description in December 2019, coronavirus disease 19 (COVID-19) has spread worldwide. There is limited information about presenting characteristics and outcomes of Swiss patients requiring hospitalisation. Furthermore, outcomes 30 days after onset of symptoms and after hospital discharge have not been described.


To describe the clinical characteristics, outcomes 30 days after onset of symptoms and in-hospital mortality of a cohort of patients hospitalised for COVID-19 in a Swiss area.


In this retrospective cohort study, we included all inpatients hospitalised with microbiologically confirmed COVID-19 between 1 March and 12 April 2020 in the public hospital network of a Swiss area (Fribourg). Demographic data, comorbidities and outcomes were recorded. Rate of potential hospital-acquired infection, outcomes 30 days after onset of symptoms and in-hospital mortality are reported.


One hundred ninety-six patients were included in the study. In our population, 119 (61%) were male and the median age was 70 years. Forty-nine patients (25%) were admitted to the intensive care unit (ICU). The rate of potential hospital-acquired infection was 7%. Overall, 30 days after onset of symptoms 117 patients (60%) had returned home, 23 patients (12%) were in a rehabilitation facility, 18 patients (9%) in a medical ward, 6 patients (3%) in ICU and 32 (16%) patients had died. Among patients who returned home within 30 days, 73 patients (63%) reported persistent symptoms. The overall in-hospital mortality was 17%.


We report the first cohort of Swiss patients hospitalised with COVID-19. Thirty days after onset of the symptoms, 60% had returned home. Among them, 63% still presented symptoms. Studies with longer follow-up are needed to document long-term outcomes in patients hospitalised with COVID-19.


  1. Zhu N, Zhang D, Wang W, Li X, Yang B, Song J, et al.; China Novel Coronavirus Investigating and Research Team. A novel Coronavirus from patients with pneumonia in China, 2019. N Engl J Med. 2020;382(8):727–33. doi:.
  2. Maladie à coronavirus 2019 (COVID-19) Rapport sur la situation épidémiologique en Suisse et dans la Principauté de Liechtenstein, OFSP. Accessed April 30, 2020.
  3. Zhou F, Yu T, Du R, Fan G, Liu Y, Liu Z, et al. Clinical course and risk factors for mortality of adult inpatients with COVID-19 in Wuhan, China: a retrospective cohort study. Lancet. 2020;395(10229):1054–62. doi:.
  4. Richardson S, Hirsch JS, Narasimhan M, Crawford JM, McGinn T, Davidson KW, et al.; and the Northwell COVID-19 Research Consortium. Presenting characteristics comorbidities and outcomes among 5700 patients hospitalized with COVID-19 in the New York City Area. JAMA. 2020;323(20):2052. doi:.
  5. Doherty AB, Harisson EM, Green CA, Hardwick H, Pius R, Norman L, et al. Features of 16,749 hospitalised UK patients with COVID-19 using the ISARIC WHO Clinical Characterisation Protocol.
  6. Myers LC, Parodi SM, Escobar GJ, Liu VX. Characteristics of Hospitalized Adults With COVID-19 in an Integrated Health Care System in California. JAMA. 2020;323(21):2195. doi:.
  7. World Health Organization. Clinical management of severe acute respiratory infection when novel coronavirus (2019-nCoV) infection is suspected: interim guidance. March 13, 2020. Available at:
  8. Lauer SA, Grantz KH, Bi Q, Jones FK, Zheng Q, Meredith HR, et al. The Incubation Period of Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) From Publicly Reported Confirmed Cases: Estimation and Application. Ann Intern Med. 2020;172(9):577–82. doi:.
  9. Observatoire Suisse de la santé (éd.). La santé en Suisse-Le point sur les maladies chroniques. Rapport national sur la santé 2015. Berne: Hogrefe Verlag; 2015.
  10. Zhou Q, Gao Y, Wang X, Liu R, Du P, Wang X, et al.; COVID-19 Evidence and Recommendations Working Group. Nosocomial infections among patients with COVID-19, SARS and MERS: a rapid review and meta-analysis. Ann Transl Med. 2020;8(10):629. doi:.
  11. Wang D, Hu B, Hu C, Zhu F, Liu X, Zhang J, et al. Clinical characteristics of 138 patients hospitalized patients with 2019 Novel Coronavirus-Infected Pneumonia in Wuhan, China. JAMA. 2020;323(11):1061–9. doi:.
  12. Mehra MR, Desai SS, Kuy S, Henry TD, Patel AN. Cardiovascular Disease, Drug Therapy, and Mortality in Covid-19. N Engl J Med. 2020;382(25):e102. doi:.. Retraction in: N Engl J Med. 2020 Jun 4.
  13. Lighter J, Phillips M, Hochman S, Sterling S, Johnson D, Francois F, et al. Obesity in patients younger than 60 years is a risk factor for Covid-19 hospital admission. Clin Infect Dis. 2020:ciaa415. doi:.
  14. Zhang L, Zhu F, Xie L, Wang C, Wang J, Chen R, et al. Clinical characteristics of COVID-19-infected cancer patients: a retrospective case study in three hospitals within Wuhan, China. Ann Oncol. 2020;31(7):894–901. doi:.
  15. Mehta V, Goel S, Kabarriti R, Cole D, Goldfinger M, Acuna-Villaorduna A, et al. Case Fatality Rate of Cancer Patients with COVID-19 in a New York Hospital System. Cancer Discov. 2020;10(7):935–41. doi:.
  16. Onder G, Rezza G, Brusaferro S. Case-Fatality Rate and Characteristics of Patients Dying in Relation to COVID-19 in Italy. JAMA. 2020;323(18):1775–6 doi:.
  17. Battegay M, Kuehl R, Tschudin-Sutter S, Hirsch HH, Widmer AF, Neher RA. 2019-novel Coronavirus (2019-nCoV): estimating the case fatality rate - a word of caution. Swiss Med Wkly. 2020;150:w20203. doi:.
  18. Grandmaison G, Andrey A, Périard D, Engelberger RP, Carrel G, Doll S, et al. Systematic screening for venous thromboembolic events in COVID-19 pneumonia. TH Open. 2020;4(2):e113–5. doi:.
  19. Sanders JM, Monogue ML, Jodlowski TZ, Cutrell JB. Pharmacologic Treatments for Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19): A Review. JAMA. 2020;323(18):1824–36 doi:.
  20. Ksouri H, Doll S, Carrel G, Hergafi L, Sridharan G. Intensive Care in the Coronavirus Era: Keep in Mind Your Collective Intelligence. ICU Management & Practice. 2020;20(1):78–9.

Most read articles by the same author(s)

1 2 > >>