Ethiopian journal of health sciences;
Background: Severe respiratory tract infection caused by family of Corona viruses has become world pandemic. The purpose of this study was to describe the first few COVID 19 cases in Ethiopia. Method: Descriptive study was conducted on the first 33 consecutive RT-PCR confirmed COVID 19 cases diagnosed and managed at Ekka-Kotebe COVID Treatment Center in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia. Result: The median age of the cases was 36 years. Cough, headache and fever were the most frequent symptoms. Diarrhea, sore throats, loss of taste and/or smell sensation were among the rare symptoms. Most (84.8%) had mild to moderate disease, and 15.2%(n=5) were critical at the time of admission. Among the five ICU admissions, four patients required invasive mechanical ventilation. Thirty cases were discharged after two pairs of nasopharyngeal and oropharyngeal samples turned negative for SARS CoV2. Three cases from the ICU died while on mechanical ventilator. The age of the two deaths was 65 years, and one was 60 years. With the exception of three, all cases were either imported from abroad or had contact with confirmed cases. Conclusion: Most of our patients were in the younger age group with male predominance and few with comorbidities. Cough was the commonest symptom followed by headache and fever. As it was in the early stage of the pandemic, observation of more cases in the future will reveal further clinical and demographic profiles of COVID-19 cases in Ethiopia.