Natural progression of the disease

Generally, COVID-19 is thought to have two main phases:

  1. A virally mediated phase where the virus is replicating rapidly, and patients typically with fever, cough and other flu-like symptoms.
  2. An immune mediated phase, typically 7 – 10 days after symptom onset, and patients can become more critically unwell with oxygenation failure and bilateral pneumonia.

Patients presenting to hospital during the early virally-mediated phase are often sent home as they don’t need to remain in hospital, but it’s important to give ‘safety net’ advice that if they do become short of breath or more unwell to re-present to hospital.

Patients who are diagnosed in hospital early in the course of their illness and those that present early during the virally-mediated phase and are admitted, should be monitored closely to assess the trajectory of their disease.

Mark as Understood

© Institute of Clinical Science and Technology (ICST) 2020