Hong Kong Med J 2009;15(Suppl 9):S20-2
Viral loads in clinical specimens and SARS manifestations
IFN Hung, SKP Lau, PCY Woo, KY Yuen
Department of Microbiology, The University of Hong Kong, Queen Mary Hospital Compound, Pokfulam Road, Hong Kong
1. A high viral load in nasopharyngeal aspirate (with or without a high viral load in serum) is a useful prognostic indicator of respiratory failure or mortality. The presence of viral RNA in multiple body sites is also indicative of poor prognosis.
2. Early treatment with an effective antiviral agent before day 10 may decrease the peak viral load, and thus ameliorate the clinical symptoms and mortality, and reduce viral shedding and the risk of transmission.