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

Enrico Brunetti, MD


May 11, 2023

Antiviral treatment is most effective in the early phase of the clinical course of COVID-19. Because this patient's symptoms started just a day ago, antiviral medication should help address the greater level of viral replication that happens during this phase.

In the later phase of the clinical course of COVID-19, the disease is driven by a hyperinflammatory state, which is when anti-inflammatory agents like corticosteroids, immunomodulating therapies or combination of the two are likely to be most effective.

Supplemental oxygen via high-flow nasal cannula is generally reserved for patients with COVID-19-associated acute hypoxemic respiratory failure with the goal of preventing escalation to mechanical ventilation.


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