What Are The Symptoms Of Covid-19?

May 6, 2020

How do you know if you are infected with the new coronavirus that causes COVID-19 disease? Doctors have described some of the most common symptoms as well as some rare ones, such as loss of smell and rashes, which may signal that you should be tested.

In addition, the disease has now been linked to a rare inflammatory syndrome in otherwise healthy children.

According to Marc Lipsitch, an epidemiologist at the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health, the virus could eventually infect 40 to 70 percent of the world’s population within the next year.

Many of these cases will be mild, and some may have no symptoms at all. But the prospect of being infected by the new virus could be frightening. As of April 27, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) listed nine coronavirus symptoms, which tend to appear about two to 14 days after exposure, including: fever; cough; shortness of breath or difficulty breathing; chills; recurrent chills and shaking; muscle pain; headache; sore throat; and loss of new sense of taste or smell. The CDC says the following symptoms are emergency warning signs that you should seek immediate medical attention: difficulty breathing; persistent chest pain or pressure; new confusion or inability to wake up; blue lips or face; and other serious symptoms that you are concerned about.

According to Live Science, doctors have recently added the potential symptom of “loss of smell,” which can occur in isolation from any other symptoms. In addition, a variety of rashes have been linked to COVID-19.” The rash can take many forms – some appear as tiny red patches, while others appear as larger flat or raised lesions. Some have a honeycomb-like appearance, while others look like frostbitten toes,” Live Science reports. It’s unclear whether these rashes are caused by the novel coronavirus or are somehow linked to other factors, such as a charge in the immune system of those infected with the virus.

As many as 98 percent of COVID-19 hospitalized patients had a fever, 76 to 82 percent had a dry cough, and 11 to 44 percent reported fatigue and tiredness, according to the Journal of the American Medical Association.

The disease appears to get worse with age, with cases detected in Wuhan, where the outbreak began, predominantly in the 30-79 age group, according to a study in the Journal of the American Medical Association. Children appear to be at a lower risk of developing overt symptoms of the disease. However, a recent study of 2,000 children with confirmed or suspected COVID-19 infection found that 6 percent developed severe or critical illness. The study is detailed in the March 16 issue of the journal Pediatrics.

In more severe cases of COVID-19, patients develop pneumonia, which means their lungs begin to fill with pus or pockets of fluid. This leads to intense shortness of breath and a painful cough.

Currently, the criteria for testing for the virus that causes COVID-19 in the United States depends on your risk and where you live. While some places limit testing to only those with severe symptoms, in other areas, anyone who wants to be tested can get tested.

Ultimately, according to the CDC, decisions about who should be tested are left to the discretion of state and local health departments.” Clinicians should use their judgment to determine whether a patient has signs and symptoms consistent with COVID-19 and whether the patient should be tested,” the CDC said.

According to the COVID Tracking Program, more than 11.8 million COVID-19 diagnostic tests have been run in the U.S. as of May 19.

If you’re sick with these symptoms and think you’ve been exposed to the virus, the CDC recommends calling your doctor first, rather than heading to a clinic. Doctors work with state health departments and the CDC to determine who should be tested for the new virus. However, the CDC also recommends that people with COVID-19 or any respiratory illness carefully monitor their symptoms. Worsening shortness of breath is a reason to seek medical care, especially for the elderly or those with underlying health conditions. The CDC’s information page has more information on what to do if you are sick.

Multisystemic inflammatory syndrome in children
Multisystemic inflammatory syndrome in children (MIS-C) has also been linked to the novel coronavirus, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reported May 14. The syndrome, which occurs in individuals younger than 21 years of age, has its own set of symptoms that may or may not include the distinct respiratory symptoms of COVID-19, such as coughing or shortness of breath, the CDC said.

Doctors first noticed the then-unnamed syndrome April 26 in the United Kingdom, when they began noticing an increasing number of children coming in with a severe inflammatory syndrome that appeared to resemble Kawasaki disease, a rare childhood disorder that causes inflammation of blood vessels and can lead to heart damage. Some of the symptoms also overlap with those of toxic shock syndrome, a life-threatening condition caused by toxins released by certain bacteria.

Symptoms that doctors tell parents to watch out for include.

-Fever (lasting longer than a few days)
-:: Gastrointestinal symptoms (stomach pain, vomiting and/or diarrhoea).
-Rash (usually red in color).

Other symptoms that can also occur include

-Abnormally red or strawberry-shaped tongue.
-Swollen, red, swollen eyes.
-Swollen hands and feet.
-Lymph node enlargement
-Swollen lips.

The symptoms aren’t mild, so parents are likely to notice them, according to The New York Times. Abdominal pain, for example, is not just abdominal pain, but “severe enough to worry parents,” Dr. George O’Foley Amanfu, chief of pediatric critical care medicine at Mount Sinai’s Kravis Children’s Hospital in New York, told the Times. And the rash tends to be red, covering a large area, usually appearing on the hands, forearms and chest, and turning white when you press on them, according to the Times.

If your child has a persistent fever of more than 101 degrees Fahrenheit (38.3 degrees Celsius), call your pediatrician.

The syndrome is rare and most children are recovering, according to news reports. Treatment includes supportive care to reduce symptoms, including steroids to treat inflammation, fever reducers and other medications, according to the Times. Children may also be treated with intravenous immunoglobulin (IVIG), a cocktail of various antibodies that acts as an anti-inflammatory therapy, according to Live Science.

According to the CDC, at least 12 children in the U.K. have developed inflammatory syndrome, including at least one related death. At least 147 cases have been confirmed in New York City, and nearly half of U.S. states now have cases, including Connecticut, Massachusetts and New Jersey, according to NBC New York. According to news reports, three deaths in New York State have been linked to the inflammatory syndrome.

The syndrome has been linked to an invigorated immune response in children to the coronavirus, something that is causing inflammation of blood vessels and other effects, according to news reports.