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The world as we know it may never be the same again. With the first emergence of COVID-19 spotted in Wuhan, China. The World Health Organization (WHO) declared a global emergency on December 31, 2019.

The rest is history.

The current world is an anti-social one. With a single sneeze triggering a wave of mass panic among places of mass gatherings. Lockdowns all over the world have created hysteria and fear among the general populace.

The big question is – How do you find out if you have coronavirus or not? 

The Early Signs of COVID-19

Imagine this scenario – You’re at your workplace following every safety protocol. 

Masks on. 

Gloves firmly strapped. 

Washing & sanitizing your hands every 4 hours. 

Followed every safety instruction in the COVID-19 safety book.

Yet after all this, horror strikes. An alert goes off in your office. A colleague just tested positive for the dreaded infection.

After the initial shock wears off. You backtrack and relive every scenario and interaction with the affected colleague. You are sure you maintained a 6-feet distance between each other. 

Yet, your mind plays tricks and you’re second-guessing yourself. 

It’s a difficult situation to be in. You can’t be too sure and this is when most people experience a panic attack.

Calm yourself. 

Remember, stress reduces your overall immunity. Instead, pay attention to the early symptoms that arise when you’re infected with COVID-19.

1. Fatigue 

The first obvious symptom that appears in 68.3% of coronavirus sufferers is fatigue or extreme tiredness. 

Now it’s quite common to feel lazy every once in a while, and lack the energy to do anything productive. However, if your fatigue state doesn’t resolve even after proper rest and adequate nutrition, it’s time to pay attention.

Give yourself a 24-hour recovery period before declaring a health condition. When you feel tired, the best option is to sleep it off. Take a day or two off and recover from your weak and sluggish self.

If your symptoms remain, it’s certainly a viral infection causing it. Head to the nearest hospital or healthcare facility that performs COVID-19 testing.

2. Smell & Taste Loss

The second common symptom that affects COVID-19 patients 64.4% of the time is the loss of smell and taste.

Has your food started to taste bland even with all the spices?

Has your nose suddenly lost the ability to detect strong odors?

Among coronavirus sufferers, 98% of them had lost some degree of smell and taste. To makes matters worse, many have reported losing their sense of smell and taste even after recovering from the infection. 

Pay attention to your sense of smell and taste. If either of these starts to diminish, a doctor’s visit should be your priority.

3. Dry Cough

The third symptom that is common is a dry cough without mucus and it appears 60.4% of the time in coronavirus sufferers.

Have you been coughing a lot for over an hour?

Did you cough for 3 or more sessions in a single day?

Coughs are the first real symptom that may help diagnose if you have COVID-19 or not. A new cough that arises from nowhere and doesn’t produce mucus is a sign of trouble.

A dry cough is said to occur in more than half the patients that tested positive for coronavirus. Since COVID-19 directly irritates the lung tissue, the dry cough persists for a long time and may trigger breathlessness, another major symptom of COVID-19.

When you detect a dry cough that lingers for long, it’s important to wear a mask and limit the spread of the virus to others. Next, schedule an appointment with your medical practitioner and get a COVID-19 test done.

Also note, a dry cough that becomes a wet one with mucus may also likely relate to COVID-19.

4. Fever

Fever occurs in 55.5% of COVID-19 patients. Any temperature above 100.4 Fahrenheit or above 38 Celsius is considered a fever. 

The normal body temperature is recorded at 98.6 F or 37 C.

A fever is always bad news. It means the body is fighting an infection. While all fevers don’t point towards COVID-19, a fever itself shouldn’t be ignored.

A fever occurs when the immunity of your body fails you and there’s an active threat to your body. While many fevers resolve themselves through rest and nutrition, it’s critical to pay attention to a high fever.

A high fever is recorded above 103 F and 39.4 C. If your temperature gets close to these numbers, call the local medical emergency number immediately. 

5. Muscle Pain

Muscle pain accounts for 44.6% of COVID-19 patients.

Now muscle injury after a gym or fitness workout is quite common and a way for the body to build healthy muscle fibers. However, if muscle pain arises out of nowhere with no physical exertion from your end, a viral infection may be responsible for causing internal muscle damage.

Virus infections, such as coronavirus, trigger the immune system to work excessively. This causes a tissue breakdown due to the inflammatory response.

One identifying factor of muscle pain from COVID-19 is the root of where the muscle pain radiates from. If you have isolated muscle pain, it’s probably a muscle tear or a stiff joint. However, if there’s a generalized pain that causes most of your muscles to feel tender to touch, it’s certainly a virus infection.

For temporary relief, over-the-counter painkillers such as ibuprofen offer relief. But it’s important to seek medical help when the pain becomes intense and other symptoms of COVID-19 arise.

6. Headache

About 42.6% of COVID-19 positive patients have reported migraines as their symptoms.

Yes, headaches are common. They are often accompanied by stress. And stress is a part and parcel when we face social isolation during a pandemic. 

However, headaches accompanied by dizziness and decreased concentration are uncommon. Since coronavirus affects the entire nervous system, headaches with neurological conditions are the first warning signals in most COVID-19 patients.

Any neurological effects are extremely dangerous. Report to the nearest medical center and take a COVID-19 test. Temporary relief through over-the-counter pain relievers can be administered for mild cases of migraine.

7. Breathing Difficulties

Since coronavirus affects the lungs, 41.1% of patients have reported shortness of breath or difficulty in breathing as a symptom.

The medical term for shortness of breath is called ‘Dyspnea’. This air hunger causes mild to serious complications in our regular breathing pattern. The feeling is similar to when you quickly sprint across the street and take in gasps of air due to overexertion. 

The only difference – you aren’t running or walking. 

Shortness of breath caused by COVID-19 happens when you’re asleep or eating food or even when you’re sitting. Breathing difficulties accompanied by shallow breathing, heart palpitations, wheezing, coughing, tightness in the chest region, or pain in the chest is always a cause of concern.

Whether the symptoms are mild or severe, breathing difficulties are always serious. Consult with a medical physician and perform a COVID-19 test to check for infections. 

Neglecting dyspnea can lead to pulmonary embolism, pneumonia, heart failure, blue lips, collapsed lungs, choking, asthma, and low blood pressure which are all fatal.

8. Sore Throat

A sore throat is reported by 31.2% of COVID-19 sufferers, while not as common as the other symptoms, it’s still a prime sign of COVID-19. 

Not all sore throats are serious. A sore throat is common for someone suffering from acidity or GERD. It becomes especially difficult for someone with acid reflux problems to determine between a viral infection and a reflux attack. 

Most sore throats are the first triggers for incoming flu or viral infections. Throat pain relief is usually achieved by gargling saltwater multiple times in a day.

Sometimes face masks can be allergic to the wearer and these can cause throat complications. Check to see if you suffer from an allergic reaction against a fabric. Also, ensure your face mask is regularly disposed of or sanitized before wearing them again. Wearing a face mask over 8 hours isn’t recommended as it contains specks of germs.

Sore throats are usually treated by sipping ginger teas and numbing sprays such as Tylenol. If other symptoms appear, it’s a good idea to visit the nearest medical specialist.

Uncommon Symptoms of COVID-19

If you thought the following 8 were the only symptoms of coronavirus, think again. With each passing day, new symptoms of the deadly infection make their way into the public eye.

Here are some of the uncommon symptoms of COVID-19.

Blocked Nose

A stuffy nose is quite common during winter and when your room is humid. Yet, a blocked nose may also mean contracting COVID-19. A blocked nose is much more common in children than adults. If your child or you seem to have a clogged nose for over a day, it’s a good idea to get tested.

Nausea

Vomiting is a common side effect of food poisoning or digestive problems. However, when you feel nausea throughout the day, it may signal a viral infection within your system. 

Chills

Do you get goosebumps even when it isn’t extremely cold?

Chills are usually a side effect of fever but if you feel chills without a fever, it may signal a critical health warning.

Diarrhoea

Runny stools usually relate to a bad stomach or an allergic reaction to a specific food. Although, many coronavirus sufferers have had loose stools as part of their diagnosis. It’s important to note whether you’ve had a single session of diarrhea or over a few days. If it’s the latter, a trip to the doctor is strictly advised.

Conclusion

It takes 2-14 days for a person to experience symptoms from the initial contact. The average time for incubation is set at 5 to 6 days. If you suffer from any of the above symptoms, it’s necessary to home-quarantine yourself to isolate others from getting afflicted. 

Once quarantined, call the nearest COVID-19 help desk in your city and speak to a healthcare expert. It’s important to stay calm and not panic when experiencing the symptoms. A majority of COVID-19 patients recover from the comfort of their homes with little to no medication. 

A whole lot of rest and nutrition is the ideal way to beat the sinister virus.

Before we sign out, remember to always wear a face mask to prevent yourself and others from spreading COVID-19. The best cure lies in the prevention of it.

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Rose Punja

About the Author

Loves coffee and animals. Is an extreme admirer of gardens and nature. When not bird watching, Rose prefers to blog and write about home improvements and wellness.

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