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Clinical Management of Adults Summary

Last Updated: April 20, 2023

Two main processes are thought to drive the pathogenesis of COVID-19. Early in the clinical course, the disease is primarily driven by the replication of SARS-CoV-2. Later in the clinical course, the disease appears to be driven by a dysregulated immune/inflammatory response to SARS-CoV-2 that leads to tissue damage. Based on this understanding, therapies that directly target SARS-CoV-2 are anticipated to have the greatest effect early in the course of the disease, while immunosuppressive/anti-inflammatory therapies are likely to be more beneficial in the later stages of COVID-19.

The clinical spectrum of SARS-CoV-2 infection includes asymptomatic or presymptomatic infection and mild, moderate, severe, and critical illness. Table 2a provides guidance for clinicians on the therapeutic management of nonhospitalized adult patients. This includes patients who do not require hospitalization or supplemental oxygen and those who have been discharged from an emergency department or a hospital. Table 2b provides guidance on the therapeutic management of hospitalized adult patients according to their disease severity and oxygen requirements.

Table 2a. Therapeutic Management of Nonhospitalized Adults With COVID-19

Table 2b. Therapeutic Management of Adults Hospitalized for COVID-19 Based on Disease Severity