Uneventful course in patients with inflammatory bowel disease during the severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 outbreak in Northern Italy
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Since December 2019, the severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) responsible for coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) has caused a pandemic, with more than 350,000 cases and more than 15,000 fatalities reported worldwide so far (https://www. healthmap.org/covid-19/). The first case series from the Wuhan population, describing the clinical characteristics of the SARS-CoV-2 infection in China, were recently published.1 However, further evidence is required to predict who is at higher risk of developing clinical symptoms. After the outbreak in China, the Lombardy region in Italy has become one of the areas with the highest incidence of new cases, and the outbreak is estimated to have begun on February 18, 2020. In particular, the province of Bergamo has reported, to date, 6471 positive results on nasopharyngeal swab for SARS-CoV-2 in a population of 1,114,590 inhabitants and is, therefore, the province with the highest rate of infection per 100,000 inhabitants worldwide2 (http:// www.salute.gov.it/portale/nuovocoronavirus/). A recent publication by the IBD Elite Union, which incorporates the 7 largest inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) referral centers in China, with more than 20,000 patients with IBD, reported no cases of COVID-19. This report included the 3 largest tertiary IBD centers in Wuhan (Tongji Hospital, Union Hospital, and Zhongnan Hospital) and was dated March 8.3 However, there is still uncertainty as to whether patients with IBD are more susceptible to COVID-19. To date, several strategies have been introduced in China to better manage patients with IBD during the Chinese outbreak of SARS-CoV2 (https://ecco-ibd.eu/images/6_Publication/6_8_Surveys/ 2nd_Interview_COVID-19_ECCO_Taskforce_published.pdf). The aim of this communication is to report the experience of our IBD center during the epidemic of SARS-CoV-2 in an area of high prevalence of the infection in Italy.
Link to resourcehttps://doi.org/10.1053/j.gastro.2020.03.062
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