COVID-19 represents an unprecedented health, social and economic challenge in Australia and around the world. Support Burnet’s COVID-19 emergency response today.
We report a case of a 51-year-old Han Chinese recently returned traveler, who was admitted with a generalized maculopapular rash, fevers, shock, and multi-organ failure. Extensive investigations failed to reveal an infective cause. Skin biopsy findings together with the recent commencement of allopurinol raised a diagnosis of drug reaction with eosinophilia and systemic symptom syndrome. High-dose prednisolone was commenced and the patient made a rapid recovery. This case highlights that not all sepsis-like presentations in returned travelers are due to infective causes and that severe drug reactions need to be considered in the differential diagnosis.