Clinical characteristics and outcomes of SARS-Cov-2 B.1.1.529 infections in hospitalized patients and multi-surge comparison in Louisiana

Document Type


Publication Date



BACKGROUND: Peer reviewed data describing SARS-CoV-2 Omicron variant symptoms and clinical outcomes as compared to prior surges in the United States is thus far limited. We sought to determine disease severity, presenting features, and epidemiologic factors of the SARS-CoV-2 Omicron variant compared to prior surges. METHODS: Retrospective cohort analysis was performed on patients admitted during five surges in Louisiana between March 2020 and January 2022. Patient data was pulled from the medical record and a subset of patients during Surge 5 were manually abstracted. Patients who were admitted to one of six Louisiana hospitals with a positive SARS-CoV-2 test during the 5 defined surge periods were included. Surges were compared using chi-squared tests and one way ANOVA for age, sex, vaccination status, length of stay, ICU status, ventilation requirement, and disposition at discharge. The records of patients admitted during the omicron surge were analyzed for presenting symptoms and incidental SARS-CoV-2 diagnosis. RESULTS: With each subsequent surge, a smaller proportion of patients presenting to the emergency department were admitted. Patients admitted during surge 5 had shorter lengths of stay and fewer comorbidities than prior surges. Fewer patients in surge 5 presented with a respiratory condition and fewer required ICU admission. In surges 4 and 5, fewer vaccinated patients were admitted compared to their unvaccinated counterparts. Overall mortality was lower in surge 5 (9%) than in surge 4 (15%) p < .0005. Of the SARS-Cov-2 admissions in surge 5, 22.3% were felt to be incidental diagnoses. CONCLUSIONS: As the COVID-19 pandemic progressed, a younger and less vaccinated population was associated with higher risk for severe disease, fewer patients required ICU admission and overall mortality decreased. Vaccinations seemed to be protective for overall risk of hospitalization but once admitted did not seem to confer additional protection against severe illness during the omicron surge. Age also contributed to patient outcomes.

Publication Source (Journal or Book title)

PloS one

First Page


This document is currently not available here.