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Fever of 101o F, fatigue and lethargy, stiff neck and jaw, chills and sweating with fever, muscle aches and pains with fever. “I feel like I have the flu. I’m worried I might have Covid-19.”
History of Present Illness
Lakeith awoke on Saturday morning feeling exhausted. As the morning progressed, he began to have aches and pains. He took an oral temperature that was 101o F. His first thought was that he had contracted Covid-19. He is a home health physical therapist who specializes in geriatric physical therapy. He sees four to five patients each day. Several of his patients have tested positive for Covid-19. When working with any of his patients, Lakeith wears an N-95 mask and gloves and practices strict hand hygiene.
Before calling his primary care provider, Lakeith went online and took the Mayo Clinic Covid-19 Self-Assessment Tool to see if his symptoms fit with those for Covid-19.
Here are the questions with his response
Have you been within 6 feet of a person with a lab-confirmed case of COVID-19 for at least 5 minutes, or had direct contact with their mucus or saliva, in the past 14 days? YES
Does the person with COVID-19 live with you? NO
In the last 48 hours, have you had any of the following NEW symptoms? Check all that apply.
Fever of 100 F (37.8 C) or above
Fever symptoms like alternating chills and sweating
Trouble breathing, shortness of breath or severe wheezing
Chills or repeated shaking with chills
Loss of smell or taste, or a change in taste
Nausea, vomiting or diarrhea
None of the above
Do you have any of the following possible emergency symptoms? Check all that apply.
Struggling to breathe or fighting for breath even while inactive or when resting
Feeling about to collapse every time you stand or sit up (floppiness or a lack of response in a child under age 2)
None of the above
Is the person with a fever younger than 3 months old? NO
Have you traveled in the past 14 days to regions affected by COVID-19? NO
Do you live in a care facility? NO
Do you work in healthcare? YES
After taking the test, he called his primary care office and the triage nurse directed him to come in for a Covid-19 test.
The patient arrived at clinic for a Covid-19 test wearing a mask, shoulders drooping, eyes heavy-lidded. Speech is slow and measured. While the nurse prepped for the test, she noticed the patient repeatedly attempting to scratch his back.
Past Medical History
Uncomplicated appendicitis at age 12
Father, age 56, and mother, age 52 both have HTN and hypercholesterolemia. Thirty-three-year-old sister with obesity and type 2 diabetes.
Occasional marijuana use, drinks alcohol 1-2 times weekly. Non-smoker. Lives alone. Patient has a girlfriend of three years. He has been socially isolating since March 15th due to his high-risk job.
Takes Tylenol or ibuprofen for aches and pains. Daily Allegra for seasonal allergies.
This case study is different from others in that I am letting you know from the start that Lakeith has Lyme disease, Covid-19 or both.
What information do you need to determine his diagnosis? He’s had a nasal swab for Covid-19, but the results won’t be available for another three days.
What else would you check before he leaves the primary care clinic?
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