Every Picture Tells a Story: The Disease Course of COVID-19

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COVID-19 cases continue to increase. Public health officials continue to try and manipulate social behavior to reduce the rate of infections. So it's worthwhile to review our understanding of the disease that physicians currently confront.

"After the initial exposure, patients typically develop symptoms within 5-6 days (incubation period). SARS-CoV-2 generates a diverse range of clinical manifestations, ranging from mild infection to severe disease accompanied by high mortality. In patients with mild infection, initial host immune response is capable of controlling the infection. In severe disease, excessive immune response leads to organ damage, intensive care admission, or death. The viral load peaks in the first week of infection, declines thereafter gradually, while the antibody response gradually increases and is often detectable by day 14 (figure adapted with permission from DOI:10.1016/j.cell.2020.04.013; DOI:10.1016/S2213-2600(20)30230-7)"


From Virology, transmission, and pathogenesis of SARS-CoV-2 British Medical Journal DOI: 10.1136/bmj.m3862