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Cogent Medicine ; 8, 2021.
Article in English | EMBASE | ID: covidwho-1617062


Background: COVID-19 has changed the perspective through which medical staff look at dyspnea and hypoxemia cases. Epidemiological links are frequently missing, and clinical and imagological findings are often unspecific, overlapping substantially with other respiratory infections. Case summary: We report the case of an 11-year-old girl with a known history of asthma who had recently moved from Guinea-Bissau with her mother. Although the mother reported being Ag HBs positive, no serologic studies had ever been performed on the child. The patient was admitted to the Emergency Room after 4 days of cough and the feeling of thoracic oppression, without fever. No contact with suspected or confirmed individuals infected with SARS-CoV-2 or other respiratory viruses was reported. She presented with peripheral oxygen saturation of 90%, costal retractions and a prolonged expiratory phase. After an unsuccessful course of bronchodilators and prednisolone, she was admitted to the Pediatric Intermediate Care Unit because of a sustained need for oxygen therapy. Polymerase chain reaction analysis for SARS CoV-2 came back negative. A chest radiograph displayed a bilateral reticular infiltrate, and therapy with azithromycin was started. Due to a deterioration of the dyspnea, a chest tomography was eventually performed, revealing an exuberant and bilateral ground glass-like densification suggestive of alveolar injury. Echocardiogram and e electrocardiogram were both normal. After a positive serologic result for HIV, the patient was transferred to a Level III hospital, and Pneumocystis jirovecii was identified in bronchoalveolar lavage. T cell count was 12/mm3. Highly active antiretroviral therapy and cotrimoxazole were started, prompting clinical and analytical recovery. Discussion: Pneumocystis jirovecii can cause fatal pneumonia in immunocompromised children. Even though an asthma exacerbation and atypical bacterial or viral infections, namely COVID-19, present as more usual causes of dyspnea, a low suspicion index is warranted in children coming from HIV-endemic countries, particularly those who are unresponsive to conventional bronchodilator and antibiotic therapy.