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Symptoms of COVID 19

3 min read

By Dr. Chetan Ginigiri,MBBS(JIPMER), MD (PGIMER) Fellowship PICU (Kings College London), Head of Dept – Paediatric & Neonatal services, Aster CMI Hospital

COVID-19 outbreak is now a global concern. As we all know, it started from a seafood and meat market in Wuhan, China, in December. Even though China quarantined Wuhan and other affected cities, COVID spread to more than 70 locations all over the world, taking the life of 145,521 people so far. COVID 19 is a new strain of Coronavirus not previously seen in humans. Therefore, the way of attacking novel Coronavirus is found to vary from person to person. While many COVID patients exhibit mild to severe symptoms, many are found to develop severe symptoms.  Some patients are not developing any symptoms at all, making it more dangerous.

COVID

What Are The Symptoms Of COVID 19?

Once one gets exposed to the virus, it will take 2-14 days for the symptoms to develop. These symptoms, usually, will be mild and tends to intensify in due course.

The most common symptoms of COVID-19 are:

  • High fever  and chills
  • Cough (usually dry). coughing a lot for more than an hour, or having three or more coughing episodes in 24 hours should not be neglected
  • Shortness of breath or difficulty breathing
  • Tiredness (from time to time)
  • Aches and pains (at times)
  • Headaches (occasionally)
  • Sore throat (at times)
  • Some patients also found to develop aches and pains, sore throat, or diarrhoea.
  • About one out of 6 people who contract COVID-19 is reported to be dangerously ill and develops difficulty breathing.
  • Those with weakened immune systems more often found to develop pneumonia or bronchitis
  • Aged people or any age group having an underlying medical issue like compromised immunity, high blood pressure, heart problems, or diabetes, are more at risk to contract novel coronavirus.

Therefore, if one develops fever, cough, and difficulty breathing, it is very important to seek immediate medical attention. It is reported that around 83% to 98% of COVID patients develop a fever, 76% to 82% develop a dry cough.  The good news is that in spite of the alarming death rate, about 80% of infected people recover from the disease without needing special treatment.

How To Differentiate A Cold, The Flu, Seasonal Allergies, And Coronavirus?

COVID, cold, flu, and seasonal allergies have many symptoms in common. Fortunately, there are several key symptoms that help to differentiate between this illness and Coronavirus. The following information will help you to evaluate the symptoms better.

How Do I Know If I Have a cold or Coronavirus?

Some common colds are actually a type of Coronavirus. In fact, the majority of people will get infected with one or more of these viruses at some point in their lives. That is why COVID-19 and the common cold share many of the same respiratory symptoms. The novel Coronavirus, however, has mutated in some way and turned more deadly. Here is how you can differentiate a common cold from COVID 19:

  • Colds generally will not bring about shortness of breath
  • Runny and stuffy nose is rarely found with COVID but is very common with a cold.
  • Cough that accompanies cold will be mild whereas in COVID case it will be very intense,
  • Sneezing is common with cold but not in the case of COVID

How Do I Know If I Have Flu or Coronavirus?

Both COVID-19 and the flu are contagious respiratory illnesses that share similar symptoms to some extent. However, you can differentiate flu from corona as follows:

  • Flu is characterised by the rapid onset of symptoms like high fever and prominent headache and extreme exhaustion, severe muscle, or body aches. On the other hand,  in COVID-19, the onset of illness will be slower with mild headache and body ache and mild fever that eventually develops to high fever.

How Do I Know If I Have Spring Allergies or Coronavirus?

  • People having spring allergies will not have a fever or body aches. Fever, sore throat, or achiness will not accompany allergy. On the other hand, these are key symptoms of COVID.
  • Itchiness (itchy eyes, itchy ears, itchy nose, itchy throat) is a typical sign of an allergy. On the other hand, Coronavirus infection has not reported symptoms of itchiness so far.

Therefore, if you are sneezing but not contracted fever, achiness, or sore throat, it is more likely that you are experiencing allergy symptoms.

However, people with spring allergies, cold, or flu are not immune to Coronavirus. Therefore, it’s important to stay vigilant about what your body is telling you. Watch your signs closely and find out if you feel different than it usually does or for any unusual difference from the previous attack. Do you have a fever, aches, or a sore throat? Does your cough or sneeze? Are your symptoms of cold is not subsiding? Have you noticed that your allergy medicines are not helping reduce or relieve your symptoms? Never hesitate for medical attention.

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Dr. Chetan Ginigiri,MBBS(JIPMER), MD (PGIMER) Fellowship PICU (Kings College London), Head of Dept – Paediatric & Neonatal services, Aster CMI Hospital

Dr Chetan Ginigeri is an experienced Pediatric Intensivist with national and international training. With 15 years of experience, he is one among very few Intensivists in India trained to take care of children who need/had organ transplants. He has been responsible for coordinating the Pediatric Organ Transplant program.Read more.

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