Differential diagnosis
The differential diagnosis of suspected cases includes influenza (remembering the seasonality in patients from the northern hemisphere differs from those of the southern hemisphere), both conventional and atypical bacterial pneumonias, and in patients with HIV and a CD4 count <200 cells/mm3 (or equivalent immunosuppression), Pneumocystis jirovecii pneumonia. Depending on the patient, appropriate samples may include: 

  • Full blood count + differential count

  • Blood culture

  • Nasopharyngeal swabs or aspirates and oropharyngeal swabs for detection of viral and atypical pathogens

  • Chest radiography

  • Sputum for MCS and Mycobacterium tuberculosis detection (GeneXpert MTB/RIF Ultra).

  • Urine for lipoarabinomannan (LAM) test if HIV positive

Empiric treatment of other pathogens
Where the patient fits the appropriate clinical syndrome, consider treatment of other pathogens such as: 

Answers extracted from: Clinical management of suspected or confirmed COVID-19 disease (Version 3, 27th March 2020)

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