COVID-19 Patients Often Infected With Other Respiratory Viruses

An evaluation by two Stanford Drugs researchers challenges the belief that individuals are unlikely to have COVID-19 if they’ve one other sort of viral respiratory illness.

A preliminary evaluation from the Stanford Faculty of Drugs finds that folks contaminated with the virus that causes COVID-19 are sometimes co-infected with different respiratory viruses.

About 1 in 5 individuals with COVID-19 are additionally contaminated with different respiratory viruses, based on a preliminary evaluation led by Ian Brown, MD, a medical affiliate professor of emergency medication on the Stanford Faculty of Drugs.

As well as, the evaluation discovered that about 1 in 10 individuals who exhibit signs of respiratory sickness at an emergency division, and who’re subsequently recognized with a typical respiratory virus, are co-infected with the COVID-19 virus.

The findings problem the belief that individuals are unlikely to have COVID-19 if they’ve one other sort of viral respiratory illness.

“Presently, if a affected person assessments optimistic for a special respiratory virus, we consider that they don’t have COVID-19,” mentioned Nigam Shah, MBBS, PhD, affiliate professor of drugs and of biomedical knowledge science on the medical college. “Nonetheless, given the co-infection charges we’ve noticed on this pattern, that’s an incorrect assumption.”

Correct and speedy testing for SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes COVID-19, is important to determine those that are contaminated and gradual the unfold of the illness. Understanding the chance of co-infection is a crucial step on this course of. 

“Hospitals don’t have limitless entry to COVID testing,” Brown mentioned. “In some circumstances, a affected person with respiratory signs might first be examined for a non-COVID virus. If there’s a analysis of influenza or rhinovirus, or different respiratory virus, a hospital might discharge the affected person with out COVID testing, concluding that the choice analysis is the explanation for the signs.”

Brown and his colleagues analyzed 562 individuals just lately examined for COVID-19 at Stanford Well being Care’s Marc and Laura Andreessen Emergency Division. Forty-nine of these individuals examined optimistic for an infection with SARS-CoV-2.

Of the 562 individuals, 517 had been additionally examined for the presence of different frequent respiratory viruses, akin to influenza A and B, respiratory syncytial virus, rhinovirus, adenovirus and a number of other sorts of pneumonia. 100 and twenty-seven acquired a optimistic outcome for one in all these different respiratory viruses. 

Of the individuals examined for each SARS-CoV-2 and different respiratory viruses, eleven individuals — or about 22% of the 49 confirmed COVID-19 circumstances and eight.7% of the 127 individuals with different respiratory viruses — had been discovered to be co-infected with each sorts of viruses.

The researchers shared their findings March 18, 2020, on, a web-based publishing platform, on the request of the California Division of Public Well being. 

As of April 12, there have been 525,704 confirmed or presumptive circumstances of COVID-19 in america, and 20,486 deaths ensuing from the sickness, based on the CDC. Greater than 100,000 people worldwide have died from the disease, which causes gentle to extreme respiratory sickness. The illness is especially harmful for aged individuals and people with pre-existing well being circumstances, together with coronary heart illness, diabetes, and lung illness.

Back to top button