Clinical Care Quick Reference for COVID-19
This quick reference highlights key COVID-19 Clinical Care information for healthcare professionals and provides selected links to full guidance and research for easier CDC web navigation.
Caring for Patients
- Signs and symptoms of COVID-19 can include fever, chills, cough, shortness of breath, fatigue, muscle aches, headache, loss of taste or smell, sore throat, nasal congestion or rhinorrhea, vomiting or diarrhea, and skin rashes.
- Some patients with COVID-19 may progress to dyspnea and severe disease about one week after symptom onset.
- Clinicians who wish to consider the use of therapeutics, or other available investigational therapies, should review the COVID-19 National Institutes of Health (NIH) Treatment Guidelines.
- For some patients who are at higher risker for severe illness from COVID-19, treatment may be available. Treatment must be started within the first few days to be effective.
- For people with a current laboratory-confirmed SARS-CoV-2 infection and mild symptoms who are not moderately or severely immunocompromised:
- Isolation can be discontinued at least 5 days after symptom onset (day 1 through day 5 after symptom onset, with day 0 being the first day of symptoms) and after resolution of fever for at least 24 hours (without the use of fever-reducing medications) and with improvement of other symptoms.
- These people should continue to properly wear a well-fitting mask around others at home and in public for 5 additional days (day 6 through day 10 after symptom onset) after the 5-day isolation period.
CDC also provides recommendations for
- People who test positive for COVID-19, never develop symptoms, and are not moderately or severely immunocompromised.
- People who have moderate COVID-19 illness and who are not moderately or severely immunocompromised.
- People who are severely ill and who are not moderately or severely immunocompromised.
- People who are moderately or severely immunocompromised with COVID-19.
People at Increased Risk for Severe Illness
- Older adults are at highest risk for severe illness from COVID-19.
- People with any of the underlying medical conditions on CDC’s evidence-based list can be more likely to get severely ill from COVID-19.
- The risk of severe COVID-19 increases as the number of underlying medical conditions increases in a person.
- Long-standing systemic health and social inequities have put various groups of people at increased risk of getting very sick and dying from COVID-19.
Multisystem Inflammatory Syndrome (MIS)
- Multisystem inflammatory syndrome is a rare but serious complication associated with COVID-19 in which multiple organ systems become inflamed.
- MIS can affect children and adolescents (MIS-C) and adults (MIS-A).
- The MIS-C healthcare provider page provides information on clinical presentation, case definition of MIS-C, case report form (CRF), and more resources about MIS-C.
- CDC has developed a MIS-A case definition for healthcare providers.
- Post-COVID conditions describe a range of new, returning, or ongoing health issues that persist four or more weeks after a person is first infected with the virus that causes COVID-19, sometimes after initial symptom recovery.
- New or ongoing symptoms can occur in people who had varying degrees of illness during acute infection, including patients who had mild or asymptomatic infections.
- Medical and research communities are still learning about post-acute symptoms and clinical findings.
Get more details: Evaluating and Caring for Patients with Post-COVID Conditions
Caring for Special Populations
- Pregnant and recently pregnant people are at an increased risk for severe illness from COVID-19 and might be at increased risk for some adverse pregnancy outcomes, such as preterm birth. CDC provides considerations for healthcare facilities providing obstetric care for pregnant patients with suspected or confirmed COVID-19.
- CDC provides information for breastfeeding people and their infants on isolation and quarantine practices, as well as considerations for well-child visits and lactation services.
- Current evidence suggests that the chance of a newborn getting COVID-19 from their birth parent is low, especially when the parent takes steps (such as wearing a mask and washing hands) to prevent spread before and during care of the newborn.
- For healthcare providers caring for children, CDC provides information about caring for children with suspected or confirmed COVID-19 during the pandemic.
- Reinfection with the virus that causes COVID-19 means a person was infected, recovered, and then later became infected again.
- Most people will have some protection from reinfection, but the emergence of variants (new strains of the virus) can increase the risk of reinfection.
Get more details: Reinfections and COVID-19