Otolaryngology Providers Must Be Alert for Patients with Mild and Asymptomatic COVID-19

Xiaoting Cheng, Jialin Liu, Ning Li, Eric Nisenbaum, Qing Sun, Bing Chen, Roy Casiano, Donald Weed, Fred Telischi, James C. Denneny, Xuezhong Liu, Yilai Shu

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

33 Scopus citations


More than half of COVID-19 patients are afebrile early in the disease course, yet mildly ill or asymptomatic patients can still spread SARS-CoV-2 with high efficiency. Atypically presenting patients may be seen in noninfectious disease settings such as otolaryngology, which is a specialty prone to occupational exposure. Otolaryngologists have been infected with COVID-19 at higher rates than other specialties in China and other countries. Otolaryngology providers should maintain high clinical suspicion for mild and asymptomatic COVID-19 patients. Protective strategies should be implemented including preappointment screening, triaging, restriction of nonurgent visits and surgeries, telemedicine, and appropriate personal protective equipment use.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)809-810
Number of pages2
JournalOtolaryngology - Head and Neck Surgery (United States)
Issue number6
StatePublished - Jun 1 2020


  • 2019-nCoV
  • COVID-19
  • SARS-CoV-2
  • coronavirus
  • health care worker protection

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Surgery
  • Otorhinolaryngology


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