SN Compr Clin Med. 2021 Jan 14:1-8. doi: 10.1007/s42399-021-00746-1. Online ahead of print.
Because most cases of coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) are not severe, understanding the epidemiology of mild cases has important clinical implications. We aimed to describe the symptom profile and associated outcomes in a virtual outpatient COVID-19 clinic. We conducted a prospective cohort study from March through June 2020. We included 106 patients with positive results for SARS-CoV-2, followed up until they had 2 sequential negative tests. Exploratory regression analyses identified potential prognostic symptoms or risk factors associated with outcomes, including emergency department (ED) visits, hospitalizations, and time to resolution of viral shedding. The mean (range) patient age was 51 (18-86) years, 50% were men, and 36.5% had at least 1 risk factor, most commonly asthma (16%) and diabetes (10%). Most patients (98.1%) had symptoms-cough (80.4%), fatigue (67.6%), fever (66.0%), headache (49.0%), and ageusia (46.9%). Nine (8.5%) patients were admitted to the ED, 5 (4.7%) were hospitalized, and none died. Asthma (RR = 7.13, P = .001) and being immunocompromised (RR = 3.44, P = .03) were associated with higher risks of adverse outcomes. Asthma (HR = 0.56, P = .04) and early symptoms of ageusia (HR= 0.50, P = .01) or myalgia (HR = 0.63, P = .04) were associated with significantly longer duration of viral shedding. In contrast to reports about severe cases of COVID-19, we found a higher incidence of sinus symptoms, gastrointestinal symptoms, and myalgia and a lower incidence of fever, anosmia, and ageusia among our mild/moderate cases. Asthma and immunocompromised status were associated with adverse outcomes, and asthma and early symptoms of ageusia or myalgia with significantly longer duration of viral shedding.