Intended for healthcare professionals

  1. Alicia L Rauh, assistant professor of medicine1,
  2. Jeffrey A Linder, professor of medicine2
  1. 1Division of Hospital Medicine, Department of Medicine, Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine, Chicago, IL, USA
  2. 2Division of General Internal Medicine and Geriatrics, Department of Medicine, Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine, 750 North Lake Shore Drive, 10th Floor, Chicago, IL 60611, USA
  1. jlinder{at} (or @jeffreylinder on Twitter)

It’s time to shift the research focus to studies on living with this disease

By the third week of May 2020, severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2), the virus that causes coronavirus disease 2019 (covid-19), had infected about 4.7 million people worldwide and over 300 000 had died.1 Without a vaccine or disappearance of the virus, we could be living with SARS-CoV-2 and covid-19 for the foreseeable future, possibly years.

In the initial phase of the pandemic, descriptive studies of patients in hospital have been invaluable in understanding the epidemiology, populations at risk, and outcomes for patients with severe covid-19. Peer reviewed studies and preprints have described patients admitted to hospital in China, the United States, and Korea, ranging in size from 69 to 5700 patients.2345 Other studies, notably several from Italy, describe those in intensive care.67

In a linked study, Docherty and colleagues (doi:10.1136/bmj.m1985) describe what appears to be the largest cohort of patients in hospital so far.8 Using a standardized data collection protocol, the investigators collected …

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