BACKGROUND: The COVID-19 pandemic caused by SARS-CoV-2 remains a significant issue for global health, economics and society. A wealth of data has been generated since its emergence in December 2019 and it is vital for clinicians to keep up with this data from across the world at a time of uncertainty and constantly evolving guidelines and clinical practice. OBJECTIVES: Here we provide an update for clinicians on the recent developments about virology, diagnostics, clinical presentation, viral shedding, and treatment options for COVID-19 based on current literature. SOURCES: We considered published peer-reviewed papers and non-peer-reviewed pre-print manuscripts on COVID19 and related aspects with an emphasis on clinical management aspects. CONTENT: We describe the virological characteristics of SARS-CoV-2 and clinical course of COVID-19 with an emphasis on diagnostic challenges, duration of viral shedding, severity markers and current treatment options. IMPLICATIONS: The key challenge in managing COVID-19 remains the patient density. However, accurate diagnoses as well as early identification and management of high-risk severe cases are important for many clinicians. For improved management of cases, there is a need to understand test probability of serology, qRT-PCR and radiological testing, and the efficacy of available treatment options that could be used in severe cases with a high risk of mortality.


Copyright © 2020 European Society of Clinical Microbiology and Infectious Diseases. Published by Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved. This work has been made available online in accordance with publisher policies or with permission. Permission for further reuse of this content should be sought from the publisher or the rights holder. This is the author created accepted manuscript following peer review and may differ slightly from the final published version. The final published version of this work is available at https://doi.org/10.1016/j.cmi.2020.04.023

Cite as

Cevik, M., Bamford, C. & Ho, A. 2020, 'COVID-19 pandemic - A focused review for clinicians', Clinical Microbiology and Infection, 26(7), pp. 842-847. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.cmi.2020.04.023

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Last updated: 29 September 2023
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