Duration of SARS-CoV-2 viremia and its correlation to mortality and inflammatory parameters in patients hospitalized for COVID-19: a cohort study

Diagn Microbiol Infect Dis. 2022 Mar;102(3):115595. doi: 10.1016/j.diagmicrobio.2021.115595. Epub 2021 Nov 17.


SARS-CoV-2 viremia at admission is associated with high risk for mortality. However, longitudinal data on viremia duration are limited. Viremic patients hospitalized for COVID-19 were included in a cohort. Time to serum viral clearance and the effect of viremia duration on the odds of mortality were calculated. One hundred and twenty-one viremic patients were included. Median age was 62 (IQR 52-71) years and 68% were males. The total in-hospital mortality of the cohort was 33%. Median time from admission to serum viral clearance was 7 (95% CI 6-8) days. Duration of viremia showed a relative risk ratio of 1.40 (95% CI 1.02-1.92) for the odds of mortality in an adjusted multinomial logistic regression. Serum viral clearance coincided with defervescence and decreasing C-reactive protein. Median time to serum viral clearance was 7 days after admission. The odds of mortality increased with 40% for each additional day of viremia.

Keywords: COVID-19; RNAemia; SARS-CoV-2; mortality; viremia.

MeSH terms

  • COVID-19*
  • Cohort Studies
  • Hospitalization
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • SARS-CoV-2*
  • Viremia