The Coronavirus Cough

Author: Fiona Mendes / Editors: Martin Dore, Yasmin Sultan / Reviewer: Fiona Mendes / Codes: A2, CC4, O3, R2 / Published: 07/05/2020 / Reviewed: 27/03/2024

A 58-year-old primary school teacher with type 2 diabetes mellitus presents to your emergency department (ED) with shortness of breath. His breathlessness has increased overnight and is exacerbated on minimal exertion.

Over the past two days he has complained of a fever, sore throat, persistent cough and generalised muscle aches. His symptoms are worsening despite regular paracetamol and he is worried he has coronavirus (COVID-19).

There were reports of his students self-isolating before his school officially closed last week due the coronavirus outbreak.In resus, he is titrated on supplementary oxygen to maintain his oxygen saturations >92%. His portable chest x-ray shows features of acute respiratory distress syndrome (ARDS).

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