What are the symptoms of Coronavirus (COVID-19)?
How to tell if you have Coronavirus (COVID-19)
Coronavirus, or COVID-19, is the disease caused by an infection from the severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2). It is a relatively new disease that has not yet been completely researched. Even now, after months of scientific tests, there is still a great deal of uncertainty when it comes to long-term effects and evolution of the disease.
It is not surprising that, especially in the first months of the global COVID-19 pandemic, information about symptoms was inconsistent and often confusing. After months of research, however, the World Health Organisation and other leading health and research bodies have pinned down the main symptoms of the disease.
Before we discuss the main symptoms and what our advice is when they occur, we want to point out that – since COVID-19 is a completely new disease – new findings may come up that change what we know about the disease now. We do our best to keep our information as up to date with the facts as possible.
What are the main symptoms of COVID-19?
Three main symptoms are typical for the Coronavirus disease:
- Fever and high temperature
- A new and continuous cough
- Loss or change in the sense of smell and taste
The symptoms may occur in milder or more severe form
If you are monitoring yourself or someone else for the symptoms of COVID-19, it is recommended to pay specific attention to the loss or change in the sense of smell and taste. This is particularly important as it is the one symptom that sets Coronavirus apart from the common flu. Whereby both diseases share symptoms such as high temperature and a cough, a loss in the sense of smell or taste is unlikely to be an indicator of the flu.
What are other symptoms of COVID-19?
Besides these main symptoms, several other, less frequently occurring symptoms have been identified by different studies. These range from a sore throat, headaches, and a runny nose to nausea, vomiting, and diarrhoea. Sufferers also complain about shortness of breath, extreme fatigue, and chills.
Usually, these symptoms occur in a milder form. However, it is important to observe the course of the disease and take the right precautions early to prevent the disease from spreading.
What should I do if I observe COVID-19 symptoms in myself or others?
If you suspect that you might be suffering from Coronavirus, it is imperative that you immediately self-isolate to prevent the spreading of the disease in your household, your workplace, and among your social circles. If you live in a household with other people, you should avoid all close contact and, ideally, the entire household should isolate until everyone has received a negative COVID-19 test.
How can I test quickly for COVID-19?
Rapid COVID-19 antibody testing-kits can give you a result with 98% accuracy within 10 minutes of taking the test. Because you can administer them at home, they are one of the safest ways to establish whether you have COVID-19 or not. Please note that MEDsan’s rapid COVID-19 antibody testing kits are only available to business customers to test their employees for the novel Coronavirus.
If you or someone in your close surroundings displays severe symptoms, you should seek immediate help from the medical services.
When should I seek medical attention?
As already mentioned, some of the symptoms may occur in a milder form. However, if you or someone you are with experiences trouble breathing, persisting pain in the chest area, new confusion, and is unable to stay awake, you should immediately seek medical care.
When do the symptoms usually occur?
It is difficult to pin down the exact incubation time of Coronavirus and specify how quickly symptoms occur because it is difficult to pin down the exact moment in which someone contracted the virus.
Furthermore, how people display symptoms can differ strongly: some people show no signs of any symptoms, others exhibit mild symptoms, and a small percentage of those infected suffer from severe symptoms like respiratory issues.
According to the WHO, symptoms may occur 2-14 days after exposure to the virus. One study has found that almost all of those infected (97.5 %) have developed symptoms within 11.5 days.
What are the early symptoms of Coronavirus (COVID-19)?
The initial signs of Coronavirus (COVID-19) can differ from person to person, but current research by the WHO suggests that fever is most likely to be the first symptom. According to the NHS, a fever is when a person’s body temperature exceeds 37.8C. A person with a fever might feel hot or cold, so take their temperature with a thermometer to help make a diagnosis. If you don’t have access to a thermometer, you can usually identify whether someone has a fever if the skin on their back is abnormally hot.
The second symptom that tends to occur is a new, continuous dry cough. The NHS defines this as a substantial amount of coughing for more than one hour or three or more coughing episodes in 24 hours.
If you are experiencing any of these symptoms, we strongly recommend taking an antibody test to ensure you are not carrying COVID-19 before going to work or socialising.
What does it mean if COVID-19 is asymptomatic?
If the course of the disease is asymptomatic, it is not possible to observe any of the typical symptoms in the infected person. Recent studies suggest that people with an asymptomatic course of the Coronavirus disease are less likely to transmit the disease than those who display severe or even mild symptoms. However, this statement may not yet be conclusive and require more extensive testing.
If you have been in close contact with someone who has been diagnosed with COVID-19 or if you think you might have contracted the disease but are not displaying any symptoms, it is recommended that you carry out a COVID-19 rapid antibody test.