COVID-19 in clinical practice: A narrative synthesis

Med Mal Infect. 2020 Nov;50(8):639-647. doi: 10.1016/j.medmal.2020.09.012. Epub 2020 Sep 29.


The coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) was first reported in the city of Wuhan, China. The disease rapidly spread to the rest of China, to Southern-East Asia, then to Europe, America, and on to the rest of the world. COVID-19 is associated with a betacoronavirus named SARS-CoV-2. The virus penetrates the organism through the respiratory tract, conveyed by contaminated droplets. The main cell receptor targeted is the surface-bound ACE-2. As of the 26th July 2020, 15,200,000 COVID-19 cases and 650,000 deaths were reported worldwide. The mortality rate is estimated between 1.3 and 18.3%. The reproductive rate without any public health intervention is estimated around 4-5.1 in France. Most hospitalized patients for COVID-19 present respiratory symptoms, which in some cases is associated with fever. Up to 86% of admissions to ICU are related to acute respiratory failure. To date, no anti-viral therapy has proven its efficacy considering randomized trials. Only immunomodulatory treatments such as corticosteroids have shown to cause significant improvement in patient outcome.

Keywords: COVID-19.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Antiviral Agents / classification
  • Antiviral Agents / therapeutic use
  • Betacoronavirus / physiology
  • COVID-19
  • China / epidemiology
  • Coronavirus Infections / drug therapy
  • Coronavirus Infections / epidemiology*
  • Coronavirus Infections / therapy*
  • Coronavirus Infections / virology
  • Europe / epidemiology
  • France / epidemiology
  • Humans
  • Mortality
  • Pandemics*
  • Pneumonia, Viral / epidemiology*
  • Pneumonia, Viral / therapy*
  • Pneumonia, Viral / virology
  • Practice Patterns, Physicians'* / statistics & numerical data
  • Randomized Controlled Trials as Topic / standards
  • Randomized Controlled Trials as Topic / statistics & numerical data
  • SARS-CoV-2


  • Antiviral Agents

Supplementary concepts

  • COVID-19 drug treatment