Clinical Management Summary
Last Updated: October 19, 2021
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, it is anticipated that therapies that directly target SARS-CoV-2 would 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. Figure 1 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. Figure 2 provides guidance on the therapeutic management of hospitalized adult patients according to their disease severity and oxygen requirements.