These Are The Most Common Symptoms Of COVID-19 Right Now
If there is a constant truth about the corona virus, the information about it is constantly evolving at the moment. This includes the symptoms that can occur with an infection.
People noticed this week that the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention added three more COVID-19 symptoms to their official list: nausea, diarrhea, and runny nose. The topics are included in an ongoing catalog of other signs of the disease, including loss of taste or smell, fever, sore throat, body ache, and shortness of breath.
The newly added complications are not exactly "new" - many have called them symptoms since the pandemic began. But everyone experiences the virus a little differently. And since the corona virus is so new in the medical world, experts keep learning how the virus behaves and what it does to a person's body. Part of this involves discovering and reviewing symptoms, some of which may not have been considered a major part of the disease at the start of the pandemic.
From that moment on, what can you expect when you get sick? Here's a quick rundown of some of the most commonly discussed symptoms - usually occurring two to 14 days after exposure to the virus - and how common they can be.
(Note: you don't have to have all of these symptoms to get COVID-19. Think of this as a menu of options, not a guarantee of everything.)
Fever, usually at or above 100 degrees.
Most cases of coronavirus - regardless of whether they are classified as "mild" and monitorable at home or lead to hospitalization - are associated with fever. The temperature can be around 100.5 degrees or higher, and fever on the higher side can be a sign of a serious case that requires immediate medical attention. Different fevers can occur during the recovery process.
Nausea, diarrhea, and runny nose are the newest symptoms that have been included in the official Center for Disease Control and Prevention Guide to Symptoms of Coronavirus. (Photo: Petri Oeschger via Getty Images)
Body pain, fatigue, chills.
Muscle pain and discomfort were reported as indicators of COVID-19 at the beginning of the pandemic and have continued to be the main side effect to this day. Johns Hopkins Medicine lists the problem as one of the most common symptoms of the virus.
Cough and shortness of breath.
COVID-19 is a respiratory disease that often targets the lungs, which means that you may have a cough and shortness of breath. These two symptoms were also some of the first problems that experts reported at the start of the pandemic. People with COVID-19 may find it difficult to walk short or long distances without getting out of breath. In severe cases, breathing difficulties and severe chest pain may occur, which require immediate medical attention.
Diarrhea, nausea or other digestive problems.
These possible symptoms existed long before the CDC silently added them to their official list. Health experts described stomach problems as an occasional complication at the onset of the pandemic, but the problems were less discussed than other symptoms. Research published in the American Journal of Gastroenterology in March showed that patients with COVID-19 experienced digestive problems such as loss of appetite, diarrhea, vomiting and / or abdominal pain.
What is special about this symptom may be that it occurs after a coronavirus infection. "Doctors have to consider that digestive symptoms such as diarrhea can be a presenting feature of COVID-19 and that in these cases the suspicion index may need to be raised earlier instead of waiting for respiratory problems to occur," researchers wrote in their study.
Loss of taste or smell.
COVID-19 is perhaps the strangest of all symptoms and can lead to a change in smell or taste. Doctors in the UK raised the issue in March and it has attracted more attention over time as more public figures have shared the experience of the symptom. The CDC included the problem in its official COVID-19 symptom list in May.
Constipation or runny nose.
Many people might mistake this symptom for a cold or flu, and it's also one of the newer ones on the CDC list. Because the coronavirus spreads primarily through breath droplets, it is important to cover the nose when sneezing (and the mouth when coughing) and to properly discard any facial tissue or anything that touches these areas.
Coronavirus symptoms typically appear two to 14 days after exposure. (Photo: PeopleImages via Getty Images)
Headache or other neurological problems.
A small preliminary study from China, released in April, found that some people with COVID-19 had problems affecting their central nervous system. The main problem was a headache, which the CDC also included in its official list of symptoms in May. Research showed that some people also had dizziness and nerve pain.
Some reports suggest that COVID-19 has caused other problematic brain problems in some patients, such as psychosis and a dementia-like syndrome. Like other symptoms, this still needs to be examined in detail and so far appears to be far less common.
A number of skin problems.
Some people with COVID-19 have also reported skin problems such as hives or rashes. Skin problems can occur even in children with this disease, often as rashes that mimic Kawasaki disease, an inflammatory disease. These are not currently on the official list of symptoms of CDC, but experts have noticed for a few months that they occur in COVID-positive patients.
"Skin conditions in COVID-19 patients can vary greatly," Harold Lancer, a board-certified dermatologist, told HuffPost earlier. “Beehive-like rashes, whether itchy or not, are the most common. Spotty, red, migratory spots and areas that look like inflamed eczema, seborrheic dermatitis, or perioral dermatitis have also been identified. "
Blood clots, pneumonia or other serious complications.
Doctors have also found that COVID-19 has caused blood clots in severe cases - even in young people who may not otherwise be at high risk of the medical problem. This can lead to swollen toes (known as "COVID toes"), strokes and more serious problems. One study found that up to a third of people in the intensive care unit experienced coagulation due to COVID-19. The virus is also known to cause pneumonia and lung damage that can lead to hospitalization.
Nothing at all.
That's right: Sometimes the biggest and most common symptom is not a symptom at all (at least as far as you are physically aware). Many people can suffer from asymptomatic COVID-19 and do not even know that they are sick. This is probably one of the more insidious forms of the disease because people could accidentally spread it without knowing it.
It is not known exactly how many cases are asymptomatic. Some estimates assume that up to 80% of cases can be mild or asymptomatic. Other models show that around 41% of cases are due to asymptomatic people.
And being asymptomatic doesn't mean that you are clear: there is research that some people who had no symptoms at first seem to develop signs of mild pneumonia, similar to walking pneumonia. You just can't see it unless you have other physical symptoms.
Here, too, we are constantly learning new information about the corona virus. Until there is solid treatment and / or a vaccine, we must all take reasonable precautions whether we show any of these symptoms or not. Wear your mask, wash your hands, and keep your distance.
Experts are still learning about the corona virus. The information in this story is known or available at the time of printing, but the possible guidance on COVID-19 could change as scientists learn more about the virus. For the most up-to-date recommendations, see the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
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This article originally appeared on HuffPost and has been updated.
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