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Descriptive study, coronavirus disease, epidemiology, Kurdistan Region, Iraq
On March 1, 2020, the first case of severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 infection (SARS-CoV-2) infection was diagnosed in the Kurdistan Region of Northern Iraq. The highest number of infections was recorded in Erbil city (233 cases) and Sulaymaniyah (178 cases). Among diagnosed patients, 20% had symptoms. The most common symptoms were fever (9.5%), dry cough (12%), and shortness of breath (6.5%). There was a sharp marked increase in the number of cases after relaxing of the control measures on May 1. The case fatality rate was 1.1% (5/452). Case fatality was significantly associated with advanced age (p=0.001) but not sex (p=0.68). Overall, 385/452 patients (85.2%) recovered without complications. Most patients were asymptomatic. The case fatality rate was low but increased with age. Further research is needed to determine the high recovery and low case fatality rates relative to those reported in other countries.
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