COVID-19, the illness caused by SARS-CoV-2, became a worldwide pandemic in 2020. Initial clinical manifestations range from asymptomatic infection to mild upper respiratory illness but may progress to pulmonary involvement with hypoxemia and, in some cases, multiorgan involvement, shock, and death. Older adults, pregnant women, persons with common comorbidities, and immunosuppressed persons are at greatest risk for progression. Vaccination is effective in preventing symptomatic infection and reducing risk for severe disease, hospitalization, and death. Antiviral treatment and immunomodulators have been shown to benefit certain patients. This article summarizes current recommendations on prevention, diagnosis, management, and treatment of COVID-19.

Use this article to:

  • Review the presentation of COVID-19.
  • Review the correct use of rapid antigen tests and PCR tests in diagnosing acute COVID-19.
  • What are the risk factors for severe COVID-19 requiring hospitalization?
  • Review the indications for antiviral therapy and read these recommendations from the American College of Physicians.
  • What is the correct prescription of antiviral agents for COVID-19? Consult this helpful resource for identifying drug interactions with nirmatrelvir–ritonavir.
  • If able, role-play how you would use these recommendations to counsel a patient with acute COVID-19 who requests ivermectin.
  • Test your knowledge by completing the quiz that accompanies the article and then reviewing the correct answers.

In the Clinic is a feature of Annals of Internal Medicine which includes practical reviews about the management of common clinical conditions.

Back to the December 2023 issue of ACP IMpact