Rapid communication Open Access
Like 0


Healthcare workers (n = 803) with mild symptoms were tested for severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) (n = 90 positive) and asked to complete a symptom questionnaire. Anosmia, muscle ache, ocular pain, general malaise, headache, extreme tiredness and fever were associated with positivity. A predictive model based on these symptoms showed moderate discriminative value (sensitivity: 91.2%; specificity: 55.6%). While our models would not justify presumptive SARS-CoV-2 diagnosis without molecular confirmation, it can contribute to targeted screening strategies.


Article metrics loading...

Loading full text...

Full text loading...



  1. World Health Organization (WHO). Coronavirus disease (COVID-19) situation report 74. Geneva WHO; 3 Apr 2020. Available from: https://www.who.int/docs/default-source/coronaviruse/situation-reports/20200403-sitrep-74-covid-19-mp.pdf?sfvrsn=4e043d03_14
  2. European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control (ECDC). Rapid risk assessment: Coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic: increased transmission in the EU/EEA and the UK – seventh update. Stockholm: ECDC; 25 Mar 2020. Available from: https://www.ecdc.europa.eu/en/publications-data/rapid-risk-assessment-coronavirus-disease-2019-covid-19-pandemic
  3. National Institute for Public Health and the Environment (RIVM). Current information about the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) Bilthoven: RIVM. [Accessed: 4 Apr 2020]. Available from: https://www.rivm.nl/en/current-information-about-novel-coronavirus-covid-19
  4. European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control (ECDC). Infection prevention and control for COVID-19 in healthcare settings – second update, 31 March 2020. Stockholm: ECDC; 2020. Available from: https://www.ecdc.europa.eu/sites/default/files/documents/Infection-prevention-control-for-the-care-of-patients-with-2019-nCoV-healthcare-settings_update-31-March-2020.pdf
  5. Tibshirani R. Regression shrinkage and selection via the lasso. J R Stat Soc B. 1996;58(1):267-88.  https://doi.org/10.1111/j.2517-6161.1996.tb02080.x 
  6. Wei WE, Li Z, Chiew CJ, Yong SE, Toh MP, Lee VJ. Presymptomatic Transmission of SARS-CoV-2 - Singapore, January 23-March 16, 2020. MMWR Morb Mortal Wkly Rep. 2020;69(14):411-5.  https://doi.org/10.15585/mmwr.mm6914e1  PMID: 32271722 
  7. Hu Z, Song C, Xu C, Jin G, Chen Y, Xu X, et al. Clinical characteristics of 24 asymptomatic infections with COVID-19 screened among close contacts in Nanjing, China. Sci China Life Sci. 2020. [Epub ahead of print].  https://doi.org/10.1007/s11427-020-1661-4  PMID: 32146694 
  8. Kluytmans M, Buiting A, Pas S, Bentvelsen R, van den Bijllaardt W, van Oudheusden A, et al. SARS-CoV-2 infection in 86 healthcare workers in two Dutch hospitals in March 2020. medRxiv. 2020:2020.03.23.20041913.
  9. Leung GM, Hedley AJ, Kong J, Lam TH, Lau FL, Rainer T, et al. A clinical prediction rule for diagnosing severe acute respiratory syndrome in the emergency department. Hong Kong Med J. 2008;14(5) Suppl;8-10. PMID: 18941266 

Data & Media loading...

Submit comment
Comment moderation successfully completed
This is a required field
Please enter a valid email address
Approval was a Success
Invalid data
An Error Occurred
Approval was partially successful, following selected items could not be processed due to error