Case report: The first case of COVID-19 in Bhutan

LeVine S.,
Dhakal G.P.,
Penjor T.,
Chuki P.,
Namgyal K.,
Watts M.
Document Type
Source Title
American Journal of Tropical Medicine and Hygiene
American Society of Tropical Medicine and Hygiene


The initial cases of novel coronavirus disease-19 (COVID-19) in a country are of utmost importance given their impact on healthcare providers, the country’s preparedness response, and the initial molding of the public perception toward this pandemic. In Bhutan, the index case was a 76-year-old immunocompromised man who had traveled from the United States and entered Bhutan as a tourist. He presented initially with vague gastrointerestinal symptoms and later a cough. His atypical presentation led to a delay in diagnosis, but ultimately he was isolated and tested. On confirming the diagnosis of COVID-19, the patient was isolated in a separate hospital with a dedicated medical care team. All contacts were traced and quarantined. The patient’s respiratory status deteriorated despite broad-spectrum antivirals, antibiotics, and intensive supportive care. He required intubation and was given a trial of intravenous immunoglobulin to modulate his likely aberrant immune response. Subsequently, the patient’s clinical status improved, and after 8 days of hospitalization, he was transferred out of the country, where he recovered. This was a learning experience for the treating medical staff, the government, and the people of Bhutan. Copyright © 2020 by The American Society of Tropical Medicine and Hygiene

Migration angle
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Index Keywords

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