Clinical presentation and management of COVID-19

Cate Swannell
Med J Aust
Published online: 8 April 2020

THE Medical Journal of Australia has today published a new COVID-19 article for immediate release.

Written by clinicians from the Victorian Infectious Diseases Service, the Royal Melbourne Hospital, the Doherty Institute and the University of Melbourne, the article, entitled Clinical presentation and management of COVID-19, provides a step-by-step guide to the diagnosis, assessment and management of COVID-19 patients.


  • The rapid spread severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) has led to the declaration of a global pandemic barely three months after emerging.
  • A majority of patients presenting with coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) will experience a mild illness that can largely be managed in the community. Patients with moderate illness or with risk factors for progressive disease require careful monitoring and early referral to hospital for any signs of clinical deterioration.
  • Increasing age and the presence of co-morbidities are associated with more severe disease and poor outcomes
  • Treatment for COVID-19 is currently supportive, with appropriate management of respiratory dysfunction the cornerstone of care.
  • No good clinical evidence for any specific therapies (including antiviral and immune modulating agents) currently exists. Investigational therapies for COVID-19 should be used only in approved, randomized, controlled trials
  • Australian clinicians will need to be able to recognise, diagnose, manage, and appropriately refer patients affected by COVID-19, with many thousands of cases likely to present over the coming year.

This article is online now, and is open access (no log-in or subscription required). You can find it at


  • Cate Swannell

  • Medical Journal of Australia



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