SARS-CoV-2 viral load peaks in the early stages of disease
Less symptomatic patients have a higher viral load when diagnosed and may carry a higher virus shedding risk potential, possibly representing an important overlooked population for infection containment, report scientists in The American Journal of Pathology.
In a retrospective study, investigators from New York University Langone Health found that the quantity of SARS-CoV-2 (viral load) collected from patients in the emergency department is significantly higher in patients with fewer or milder symptoms who did not require hospitalization—the opposite of what might be expected. Reporting in The American Journal of Pathology, published by Elsevier, they also found that a patient’s history of cancer and cardiovascular disease is associated with higher viral loads even after adjusting for age.
The study was designed to determine possible associations between the viral load measured in patients positive for SARS-CoV-2 and their clinical parameters including severity of symptoms, hospital admission vs direct discharge, length of hospitalization, admission to the intensive care unit, length of need for oxygen support, and overall survival.
Release date: 14 July 2020