WHAT are the telling signs that you may have the novel coronavirus which causes Covid-19? The main list of acute symptoms at this time is actually quite short and can appear anywhere from two to 14 days after exposure to the virus, according to the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Being able to identify those symptoms and act upon them when necessary is critical. Here’s what you need to know. FEVER: Fever is a key symptom, experts say. Don’t fixate on a number, but know it’s really not a fever until your temperature reaches at least 100 degrees Fahrenheit (37.7 degrees Celsius) for children and adults. “There are many misconceptions about fever. Average daily temperature is 98.6 degrees Fahrenheit (37 degrees Celsius), but we all actually go up and down quite a bit during the day as much as half of a degree or a degree,” said Dr. John Williams, chief of the division of pediatric infectious diseases at the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center Children’s Hospital of Pittsburgh. “So 99.0 degrees or 99.5 degrees Fahrenheit is not a fever,” he stressed. When you check for fever, don’t rely on a temperature taken in the morning. Instead take your temp in the late afternoon and early evening. DIFFICULTY BREATHING: Shortness of breath can be a third — and very serious — manifestation of Covid19, and 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 get a good breath, that’s a sign to act, experts say. In addition to difficulty breathing or shortness of breath, the CDC lists emergency warning signs for Covid-19 as a “persistent pain or pressure in the chest,” “bluish lips or face” — which indicates a lack of oxygen — and any sudden mental confusion or lethargy and inability to rouse. Get medical attention immediately, the CDC says. FLU AND COLD SYMPTOMS: This trifecta of symptoms — fever, cough and shortness of breath — are not the only signs of sickness that have been seen in cases of Covid-19. Many other symptoms can resemble the flu, including headaches, digestive issues, body aches and fatigue, which can be severe. Still other symptoms can resemble a cold or allergies, such as a runny nose, sore throat and sneezing. UNUSUAL SYMPTOMS: An odd symptom that might flag a Covid-19 infection in its early stages was recently identified by the American Academy of Otolaryngology-Head and Neck Surgery


IN this article, we ask some of Medi cal News Today’s experts what they want the public to know about the COVID-19 pandemic. The answers are insightful and direct. What do medical professionals want us to know about COVID-19? It stands, almost 420,000 people around the world have contracted SARS-CoV-2, and there have been more than 17,000 deaths. The volume of publicly available information about SARS-CoV2 is staggering. However, not all of this information is trustworthy, and it is during challenging times, such as these that we need expert guidance. The importance of social distancing Many of our experts fear that people are not implementing social distancing. For instance, Dr. Matt Coward, a Fellow of the American College of Surgeons, explains. “I wish that patients knew that they can be asymptomatic and can still have it and spread it. I wish they knew that social distancing was more about slowing the spread in the community than it is about getting exposed and contracting it yourself.” We do not know precisely how many people who have the virus do not display symptoms. However, research suggests that only 1–3% of people with the infection will have no symptoms. Additionally, 80% might have what experts class as a mild case of COVID-19. Although to be clear, a mild case will still involve a cough and fever. It is not just ‘bad flu’ Some of our experts are concerned that some people might not be taking COVID-19 seriously enough. Dr. Alana Biggers, an expert in internal medicine for adults and older adults at the University of Illinois Hospital, told MNT, “I wish my patients knew that coronavirus is not just a “bad flu.” It is a major respiratory infection that can cause detrimental health effects on people of all ages.” Older adults are indeed more likely to die as a result of COVID-19, but anyone of any age can become infected. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recently published an analysis using case records from the United States; they provided the fatality rates broken down by age group: Over 85 years: 10%–27% 65–84 years: 3%–11% 55–64 years: 1%–3% 20–54 years: less than 1% If a younger person does contract COVID-19, they are less likely to die, but if they do not follow guidelines about social distancing, they are more likely to pass the virus on to more vulnerable people.