Some symptoms of COVID-19 overlap with the common cold, flu, and other respiratory diseases. See if you can differentiate between them in these 5 patient scenarios.
Some symptoms of the novel coronavirus disease (COVID-2019) overlap with other respiratory diseases including the common cold and influenza, which may make it difficult for patients to differentiate between them. Physicians can help by educating patients on what symptoms may or may not be a sign of COVID-19. Find out how much you know about the different symptoms and respiratory diseases with the 5 patient scenarios below.
1. A patient presents complaining of teary eyes and excessive itching, common symptoms seen in which of the above respiratory disorders?
Answer: E. Allergic rhinitis. Tearing eyes, runny nose, sneezing, and itching anywhere on the body are common symptoms in patients with allergic rhinitis. Clogged ears, nasal congestion, cough, sore throat, headache, and fatigue may present in some patients.
2. A patient presents with a cough, shortness of breath, fever, and diarrhea. These symptoms are most likely caused by which of the above respiratory disorders?
Answer: C. COVID-19. Although cough, shortness of breath, and fever are symptoms often seen in patients with influenza, they are recognized as presenting symptoms in patients with COVID-19. Gastrointestinal symptoms (ie, diarrhea) were not originally thought to be associated with COVID-19, but it has been noted as a presenting symptom in some patients.
3. A patient presents complaining of a sudden runny nose, sneezing, coughing, sore throat, vomiting, and body aches. These symptoms are commonly seen in which respiratory disorder?
Answer: B. Influenza. Sudden symptom onset, runny nose, sneezing, coughing, sore throat, vomiting, and body aches are all common in patients with influenza. Other symptoms include headache, fever, fatigue, chills, and shortness of breath.
4. A patient presents with a sore throat, fever, and headache. After examination, you also notice swollen lymph nodes in the neck. These symptoms are most likely caused by which of the above?
Answer: D. Pharyngitis. Sore throat is a common symptom of pharyngitis, however, swollen lymph nodes in the neck, headache, body ache, and fever are present in some patients.
5. A patient presents with nasal congestion, sneezing, and postnasal drip. These symptoms are most likely caused by which of the above respiratory disorders?