Case study ( 4511 views as of December 10, 2023 )
Kiril is a 51-year-old millwright, who was off work for two days last week with a bad cold. He almost never misses work, so to be off for two days it was more than a "sniffle". He had one night with fever, sweats and a body ache, followed by runny nose, sore throat, and a dry, non-productive cough. He felt better after two days off work, but the cough has persisted and he feels a bit short of breath when he goes up stairs, and he endurance for his regular work tasks is still down. He feels exhausted at the end of the day.
Kiril's story is consistent with a respiratory infection that has not completely resolved. Kiril should see his primary care provider and may visit an emergency department to rule out pneumonia or other more serious cause of shortness of breath and cough. However, persistent cough, shortness of breath and wheeze following a viral respiratory infection is not uncommon. He may be referred to a respiratory disease specialist for further work-up and risk stratification.
Some patients benefit from inhalers and even oral steroids for a period of time to settle down the inflammation in their lungs. Kiril may need to modify his work duties until his health improves over the next days or weeks.Author: Dr. Adam Lund