A previously healthy 37-year-old man presented with fevers and myalgias for a week with a minimal dry cough. Initial SARS-CoV-2 nasopharyngeal testing was negative, but in light of high community prevalence, he was diagnosed with COVID-19, treated with supportive care and self-quarantined at home. Three days after resolution of all symptoms, he developed sudden onset chest pain. Chest imaging revealed a large right-sided pneumothorax and patchy subpleural ground glass opacities. IgM and IgG antibodies for SARS-CoV-2 were positive. His pneumothorax resolved after placement of a small-bore chest tube, which was removed after 2 days.This case demonstrates that patients with COVID-19 can develop a significant pulmonary complication, a large pneumothorax, despite only minimal lower respiratory tract symptoms and after resolution of the original illness. Medical professionals should consider development of a pneumothorax in patients who have recovered from COVID-19 and present with new respiratory symptoms.
Keywords: adult intensive care; pneumonia (infectious disease); pneumonia (respiratory medicine); pneumothorax.
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