Does anyone even remember what we were talking about before the prevention steps and coronavirus symptoms? Coronavirus is everywhere, and it has certainly left its mark on all of us. The virus that emerged in China in December 2019 reached other parts of the world in the first months of 2020, and now we are all waiting for the peak. It is hard to believe that a virus managed to put our lives on pause and kill thousands of people, and yet we still do not know a lot about it. That is the biggest problem; COVID-19 is a new virus, we do not know how to treat it, and we are still learning about its symptoms, so let’s take a closer look at them.
COVID-19 Symptoms, What We Know So Far
Symptoms can appear anytime from 2 up to 14 days after someone has exposed to the virus. However, not everyone gets the same symptoms or intensity. It is still unclear how and why some younger people can have the virus without developing any symptoms, while older adults experience more severe symptoms by default. It mainly has to do a lot with our immune system and our current health condition – whether or not we already have some disease. Since the virus is so new, there are a lot of ongoing studies that will hopefully soon give us more precise answers to questions that keep popping up.
You might think that you already know everything about these symptoms because they are frequently mentioned these days, but it is always good to point them out. They are very similar to the symptoms of flu, and many people tend to neglect them.
It is one of the most common and probably the key symptom when it comes to this virus. There is not an exact number since patients reported anything from low to high fever, but keep in mind that everything below 100℉ (37.7℃) is not considered a fever. Our body temperature goes up and down throughout the day, but if you want to check it and get the real picture, the best time to do it is during the evening hours.
Another common symptom is a dry cough, the one that you can feel coming from your chest. It is not like when something is irritating your throat; there is nothing to cough up, it is more annoying, and much more dangerous than it might seem.
Shortness of Breath
Breathing difficulties are also reported by many patients, which is not a surprise considering that this virus attacks our respiratory system. This symptom is usually the one that should alert you, and it does not have to be followed by a cough. So if you feel like you cannot breathe deeply, you should call your doctor or a local emergency center immediately.
The symptoms of COVID-19 are mainly compared to the flu ones because they are very similar. Besides the above mentioned main three signs of disease, other symptoms that resemble flu and have been reported by COVID-19 patients are:
- Body aches
- Runny nose
So how can you know which one you caught? The flu or COVID-19? You do not know unless you get tested, but any indications that if you have these symptoms for a week and they keep getting worse, it is probably not the flu.
Some Unexpected Symptoms
Like we mentioned, this virus is still new. Every day there are thousands of new people who are positive to COVID-19, which is why we still do not have a clear picture of the signs of infection. The majority of patients do not experience these symptoms, but there have been some cases. Also, in the following weeks and months, we can expect that the list of these symptoms gets extended.
- Lack of sense of smell or taste has noticed among patients who have not reported any of the typical COVID-19 symptoms.
- Conjunctivitis has been present in 1% to 3% of patients in China who have the virus.
- Gastrointestinal problems were also present among some patients in China, but we are still waiting for a study to confirm that.
What to Do If You Notice Any of These Symptoms
The best you can do is to call your doctor or the nearest ambulance and explain to them how you are feeling. Do not rush to go to the hospital and get tested because you are risking spreading the virus to people who are there for other health concerns. Right now, COVID-19 testing usually done in separate departments, so you have to make a call first and arrange to do a test if the doctors think your profile matches. You cannot get tested just to check how you are because at this point tests cannot be wasted like that. Please try to stay at home and practice social distancing.