A relatively common virus, the Covid-19 causes an infection in the mouth, throat or nose, and was discovered in late 2019 after an outbreak in China. Despite having been in circulation for around a year, and having caused major disruptions to the global public health system, the coronavirus causes a variety of different symptoms in its victims. Today we will have a look at the coronavirus symptoms associated with the virus, with a view to you being able to keep yourself safe and get early treatment.
Covid-19 causes a respiratory tract infection and is caused by the SARS-CoV-2. They are actually caused by the same family of viruses that cause the common cold, and which most people, under other circumstances, usually recover from. Transmission of the virus takes place through person-to-person contact, and the nature of the infection ranges from milder infections to lethal infections.
Anyone who experiences the below symptoms may want to be tested for the virus, in order to get early treatment and to prevent themselves from spreading it to other people:
- Shortness of breath
- Difficulty breathing
- Chills (with or without shaking)
- Loss of taste and smell
- Fatigue and tiredness
- Body aches\chills
One of the biggest risks of the virus seems to be the inflammatory medical conditions that it causes, including the cytokine storm or cytokine release storm. This is an immune response whereby your body releases these inflammatory cytokines.
Medical conditions and complications that Covid-19 can cause include heart failure, septic shock and ultimately death. Certainly, some patients who contract the virus may only experience mild infections and be able to recover to good health.
However, if you do experience any of the following symptoms, you are urged to seek medical treatment:
- Persistent pain or pressure in your chest
- Shortness of breath and problems breathing
- An inability to wake up properly or fully
- A blue/purple colour in the face or lips
Despite there being so many symptoms, not everyone experiences all of them and there is quite a variance in the degree to which patients reported symptoms.
Researchers in China have found that fever was a common symptom, with 99% of surveyed patients experiencing it. This was followed by 70% of surveyed patients having fatigue and 55% experiencing a dry cough. 35% of patients reported body aches. 31% reported shortness of breath and 17% presented with excess mucus and phlegm.
Other dangerous medical conditions that have been associated with Covid-19 include the development of blood clots in their arteries, legs and arms.
Managing Covid-19 And Protecting Public Health
Taking the necessary social precautions can help to lessen the strain on the public health system where you live. This means:
Staying home if you aren’t well or present with any of the major symptoms above perhaps one of the lessons that covid-19 has taught us is greater consideration to others, and staying at home to get better, rather than taking the risk of spreading the disease to other people.
Contacting your doctor or medical practitioner if you experience shortness of breath or any of the more serious medical conditions listed above.
Differentiating Between Covid-19, The Flu And The Common Cold
Certainly many of the coronavirus symptoms listed above could easily be confused with other medical conditions such as the common cold and influenza. Because it is a novel virus the majority of people in the global public health system do not have the antibodies required to stave it off.
Complications And Comorbidities For Public Health
In younger and generally more healthy people, the coronavirus isn’t that serious. However, if you experience any of the following underlying medical conditions you should practice extra caution and make sure you stay in close contact with your medical team.
- COPD (Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease)
- Chronic kidney disease
- Type 2 Diabetes
- Heart conditions like coronary artery disease
- A compromised immune system
Furthermore, if you experience any of the following medical conditions and develop covid-19 symptoms, you do run the risk of a more serious illness and should take even greater precautions:
- Cystic fibrosis
- High blood pressure
- Being a smoker
- Type 1 diabetes
If you have knowingly been exposed to the virus and experience a fever, difficulty breathing or a cough it is important that you seek medical treatment immediately. Depending on where you live, the public health test for the virus differs slightly.
Some places offer a swab test, which detects the presence of covid-19 in the upper respiratory tract. The swab is taken from the back of the throat and nose. Sometimes an instant result can be given but in other cases, the sample may need to be sent away to a laboratory for testing and you will have to wait for your result.
While a swab test can denote an active infection or active presence of covid-19, an antibody test can reveal if you have ever been infected in the past.
Staying Safe And Protecting Public Health
Following the necessary precautions can help to slow the spread of the virus to enable the health system to manage the infection rate.
Good Hygiene Practices
Remember to keep your hands clean, by washing them often with soap and water and using a hand sanitizer.
Remember Social Distancing
Maintaining a sensible social distance can help to slow down the spread of the virus.
Cover Your Nose And Mouth
Covering your nose and mouth by wearing a face mask when you are out in public is important. So is covering your hands and mouth when you cough and sneeze, as this can stop the transmission of water droplets that spread the virus.