A teenager with fever, chest pain, and respiratory distress during the coronavirus disease 2019 pandemic: a lesson on anchoring bias.

Symptoms of coronavirus disease 2019 overlap with other important illnesses affecting young adults. We report a case of a 17-year old male presenting to the emergency department in the midst of a pandemic with symptoms of coronavirus disease 2019. He had fever, dyspnea, chest pain, and myalgias, with bilateral infiltrates on chest radiograph, and developed septic shock secondary to infectious thromboembolic events. However, his blood cultures grew group G streptococcus secondary to his oropharyngeal infection, and he experienced an infectious thrombus in the internal jugular vein, consistent with the rare but well-described Lemierre's syndrome. This case report calls attention to the importance of maintaining differential diagnoses and thereby minimizing the biases and assumptions that come with clinical care during a pandemic.

as reported in: Karn MN, Johnson NP, Yaeger SK, Fugok KL. J Am Coll Emerg Physicians Open. 2020 Sep doi: 10.1002/emp2.12261.