This One "Wacky" Symptom Means You Have COVID, Not the Flu
With the coming winter, the fear of "twilight chemistry" is growing among doctors and researchers. Not only could the coronavirus and flu overwhelm hospitals or even infect some patients at the same time, but many people fear that if they get sick, they will not know the difference between the two diseases. And as the New York Times points out, this is a legitimate concern. "Most symptoms of the two diseases are so similar that without a test - or two or three tests - there can be no certainty that it is safe," wrote science and health reporter Donald G. McNeil Jr. in a recent publication Items . However, he did explain that there are some signs and symptoms that you might see that you have COVID and not the flu. Boss among them? Loss of smell. Read on to learn more and to learn where the virus is headed, how quickly COVID is spreading in your state.
You probably know the symptoms of the flu: fever, tiredness, sore throat, headache, body aches, runny nose, and sneezing. Most of the time, there is also a strong cough with the flu. In more severe cases, pneumonia may develop, which can add shortness of breath and rapid breathing to this list of symptoms. Unfortunately, much of it reflects the experience with COVID-19, which makes a clear diagnosis difficult.
For this reason, McNeil recommends looking for the "crazier" symptoms of COVID that could provide some insight into a person's condition. "The only sign that really differentiates the two infections is that many COVID-19 victims suddenly lose their sense of smell - not because they have a stuffy nose, but because they don't even register strong smells like onions or coffee," explains McNeil .
In a new study published October 1, a team from University College London examined 590 patients in the UK who reported suddenly losing either their sense of smell or taste. Patients then received coronavirus tests and 77.6 percent were overall positive for COVID. In particular, 80.4 percent of subjects who reported anosmia - AKA, loss of smell - and 77.7 percent of those who had lost their sense of taste tested positive. This is why anosmia is the strongest indicator of COVID before you even get tested.
In other words, if you haven't lost your sense of smell, don't assume you have the flu, and not COVID. However, if you have lost your sense of smell, you can be pretty sure you are dealing with coronavirus and should take all necessary precautions.
In the colder months we need to remember that this virus is still at large. Wearing masks, frequent hand washing, and social distancing are essential strategies for combating the novel coronavirus. But now it's time to add something to that arsenal: the flu shot. We may not be able to completely prevent the coronavirus or the flu, but we can reduce our risk significantly. Read on to learn more about the most common symptoms of COVID according to survivors, and to learn more about the most famous case: This is how likely Trump will get worse, doctors warn.
Young adult man suffering from a sore throat
A self-organized group of coronavirus patients who have been discussing their symptoms for months in the Body Politic COVID-19 support group conducted a survey about the various problems they were experiencing. The survey included 640 suspected positive or proven positive COVID cases (although some tested negative) to identify the most common coronavirus symptoms. These are the top 10.
Patients with a sore throat: 69.6 percent
Elevated temperature (between 98.8 and 100 degrees)
A blonde woman wearing a mask has a health worker take the temperature on her forehead.
Patients with elevated temperature: 72.4 percent
Man coughs in hand
Patients with dry cough: 72.7 percent
For more information on this symptom, see You Can Catch COVID-19 Even If Someone This Far From You Has A Cough.
Black woman with stomach ache
Patients with gastrointestinal problems: 74.6 percent
Chills or sweats
white woman sweats
Patients with chills or sweats: 76.2 percent
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young woman suffering from stomach cramps on couch at home
Patients with body pain: 83.5 percent
asian man wearing mask has a headache
Patients with headaches: 84.0 percent
For more information on this common illness, see This common pain may be the sign of a worsening COVID case, a study said.
shortness of breath
Woman alone in the house at night has hand on chest as she tries to breathe
Patients with shortness of breath: 85.3 percent
Man in surgical mask reaches for chest with difficulty breathing or asthma
Patients with chest tightness: 87.1 percent
Tired man resting on couch
Patients with fatigue: 98.4 percent
And for all of the signs to look out for, here are the 51 most common COVID symptoms you might have.
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