Skill Checkup: An 18-Year-Old Woman With Fever, Headache, Malaise, Muscle Pain and Shortness of Breath

Enrico Brunetti, MD


May 11, 2023

Shortness of breath suggests that this patient may have moderate COVID-19 illness. Fever, muscle pain, headache and malaise, which this patient reports, are among the symptoms associated with mild COVID-19 illness, but shortness of breath could mean more severe disease. Patients with moderate illness are defined as 'individuals who have clinical symptoms or radiologic evidence of lower respiratory tract disease and who have oxygen saturation (SpO2) ≥94% on room air'.

Because this patient does not have shortness of breath while resting, the physician tells the patient that she doesn't believe that going to the emergency department is necessary at this time, but she would like to consider treatment.


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