Coronavirus symptoms: 10 key indicators and what to do

VERIFY: You can still get COVID-19 if you have the flu. Everyone needs to take the same precautions.

(CNN)Scientists are learning more each day about the mysterious novel coronavirus and the symptoms of Covid-19, the disease it causes. Fever, cough and shortness of breath are found in the vast majority of all Covid-19 cases. But there are additional signals of the virus, some that are very much like cold or flu, and some that are more unusual. Any or all symptoms can appear anywhere from two to 14 days after exposure to the virus, according to the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Here are 10 signs that you or a loved one may have Covid-19 — and what to do to protect yourself and your family. What is coronavirus and Covid-19? An explainer Shortness of breath is not usually an early symptom of Covid-19, but it is the most serious. It can occur on its own, without a cough. If your chest becomes tight or you begin to feel as if you cannot breathe deeply enough to fill your lungs with air, that’s a sign to act quickly , experts say. “If there’s any shortness of breath immediately call your health care provider, a local urgent care or the emergency department,” said American Medical Association president Dr. Patrice Harris. The CDC lists other emergency warning signs for Covid-19 as a “persistent pain or pressure in the chest,” and “bluish lips or face,” which can indicate a lack of oxygen. Fever is a key sign of Covid-19. Because some people can have a core body temperature lower or higher than the typical 98.6 degrees Fahrenheit (37 degrees Celsius), experts say not to fixate on a number. CNN anchor Chris Cuomo, who is battling the virus from his home in New York, is one of those people. Grocery rules for your coronavirus lockdown: Buy beans, freeze milk, don’t hoard, and more Most children and adults, however, will not be considered feverish until their temperature reaches 100 degrees Fahrenheit (37.7 degrees Celsius). “There are many misconceptions about fever,” said Dr. John Williams, chief of the division of pediatric infectious diseases at the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center Children’s Hospital of Pittsburgh. “We all actually go up and down quite a bit during the day as much as half of a degree or a degree,” Williams said, adding that for most people “99.0 degrees or 99.5 degrees Fahrenheit is not a fever.” Don’t rely on a temperature taken in the morning, said infectious disease expert Dr. William Schaffner, a professor of preventative medicine and infectious disease at Vanderbilt University School of Medicine in Nashville. Instead, take your temperature in the late afternoon and early evening. “One of the most common presentations of fever is that your temperature goes up in the late afternoon and early evening. It’s a common way that viruses produce fever.” “It’s not a tickle in your throat. You’re not just clearing your throat. It’s not just irritated,” Schaffner explained. How ‘regular school’ parents can homeschool their kids “It’s coming from your breastbone or sternum, and you can tell that your bronchial tubes are inflamed or irritated,” Schaffner added. A report put out by the World Health Organization in February found over 33% of 55,924 people with laboratory confirmed cases of Covid-19 had coughed up sputum, a thick mucus sometimes called phlegm, from their lungs. “The beast comes out at night,” said Cuomo, referencing the chills, body aches and high fever that visited him on April 1. ‘It was like somebody was beating me like a pinata. And I was shivering so much that … I chipped my tooth. They call them the rigors,” he said from his basement, where he is quarantined from the rest of his family. “I was hallucinating. My dad was talking to me. I was seeing people from college, people I haven’t seen in forever, it was freaky,” Cuomo said. Why soap, sanitizer and warm water work against Covid-19 and other viruses Not everyone will have such a severe reaction, experts say. Some may have no chills or body aches at all. Others may experience milder flu-like chills, fatigue and achy joints and muscles, which can make it difficult to know if it’s flu or coronavirus that’s to blame. One possible sign that you might have Covid-19 is if your symptoms don’t improve after a week or so but actually worsen. Speaking of worsening signs, the CDC says a sudden confusion or an inability to wake up and be alert may be a serious sign that emergency care may be needed. If you or a loved one has those symptoms, especially with other critical signs like bluish lips, trouble breathing or chest pain, the CDC says to seek help immediately. At first science didn’t think diarrhea or other typical gastric issues that often come with the flu applied to the noval coronavirus, also known as SARS-CoV-2. As more research on survivors becomes available, that opinion has changed. “In a study out of China where they looked at some of the earliest patients, some 200 patients, they found that digestive or stomach GI (gastrointestinal) symptoms were actually there in about half the patients,” Gupta said on CNN’s New Day news program. Overall, “I think we’re getting a little bit more insight into the types of symptoms that patients might have,” Gupta said. The study described a unique subset of milder cases in which the initial symptoms were digestive issues such as diarrhea, often without fever. Those patients experienced delays in testing and diagnosis than patients with respiratory issues, and they took longer to clear the virus from their systems. Research from China, South Korea and other parts of the world indicate that about 1% to 3% of people with Covid-19 also had conjunctivitis, commonly known as pink eye. Do you wear contact lenses? You should switch to glasses to stop spreading the virus Conjunctivitis, a highly contagious condition when caused by a virus, is an inflammation of the thin, transparent layer of tissue, called conjunctiva, that covers the white part of the […]

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