15 Early Signs and Beginning Symptoms of COVID-19
Are you afraid you might catch COVID-19? While most people recover, if you are predisposed to certain pre-existing conditions, you need to be more careful and stay away from crowded places. This is where community transmission of the virus is most likely to happen. This is one of the best ways to minimize your chances of contracting the novel coronavirus.
However, if you suspect you’ve already been infected, certainty is elusive since COVID-19 symptoms mimic those of other types of flu. The only way to be sure is to get tested based on a series of COVID screening questions.
Before you go for testing, there are several beginning symptoms of COVID-19 you should be aware of. Here are 15 beginning symptoms of COVID:
Symptom #1: Fever
The normal human body temperature is 37 degrees centigrade. Any elevated body temperature of 100.4°F or higher is considered a fever. When a person is hot to the touch on either the back or chest, they most likely have a fever. However, this alone is not indicative of COVID-19. It has to be accompanied by other symptoms.
Symptom #2: Dry Cough
Not all coughs are COVID-19 related, but it is considered one of the most common beginning symptoms of COVID. However, if you experience persistent dry coughing episodes within an hour or more, at least three episodes in a day, you should get concerned. A dry cough is devoid of mucus.
Symptom #3: Fatigue
When you feel unnecessarily sluggish, drained and generally weak, you are most likely fatigued. The tiredness and overall lack of energy present themselves as a COVID-19 symptom that you should not ignore.
Symptom #4: Shortness of Breath
This is a subjective feeling. When you have shortness of breath, you feel like you are unable to catch your breath, a feeling akin to suffocation.
Symptom #5: Loss of Appetite
COVID-19 is accompanied by an unprecedented loss of appetite. This loss can be accompanied by nausea and heartburn.
Symptom #6: Vomiting and Diarrhea
COVID-19 is known to upset the gut, hence diarrhea and vomiting may occur in some cases.
Symptom #7: Loss of Smell
If you have a blocked nose and loss of smell at the same time, you could have contracted COVID-19. However, the only way to be sure is to take a COVID-19 test.
Symptom #8: Runny Nose or Congestion
This sudden or gradual congestion combined with sputum could be indicative of a novel coronavirus infection.
Symptom #9: Body Aches
A sudden unexplainable pain ripping through the body, especially in the joints, could be a symptom of COVID-19. Body aches, coupled with fever, dry cough, and fatigue are a sure COVID-19 red flag. Go get tested as soon as possible.
Symptom #10: Sore Throat
A persistent sore throat that doesn’t seem to go away without intervention is a potential symptom, especially when accompanied by other symptoms such as difficulty breathing, pressure or chest pain and bluish nails, lips, or face. Mental confusion, difficulty waking up or trouble staying awake may also accompany the sore throat. Get tested to ascertain your status.
Symptom #11: Headaches
In general, a headache is indicative of something amiss in the body. A persistent headache that doesn’t seem to respond to general medication accompanied by the other symptoms can be an indicator of COVID-19. The prevalence of headaches is 42.6% in reported COVID-19 cases. A COVID 19 induced headache differs from migraines, tension, or cluster headaches, especially because it’s accompanied by fever unlike migraines, which are sound- and light-sensitive.
Signs that your headache could be COVID-19 related include a bilateral headache with pulsing and varying intensity, mainly moderate to severe, which seems to worsen when you bend over.
Symptom #12: Chills
When experiencing chills, which are sometimes accompanied by shaking, it is prudent to have a COVID-19 test done to ascertain your status.
Symptom #13: Chest Pain
A persistent chest pain caused by pressure in the chest cavity is a potential symptom, especially if it leads to difficulty in breathing. Chest pain on its own is not indicative of infection. However, when it is accompanied by upper respiratory infection symptoms such as phlegm and cough, fever, difficulty in breathing, shortness of breath, chills and repeated shaking with chills and a sore throat, headache and a disrupted sense of smell and taste, you may be COVID-19 positive. To be sure, get tested.
Symptom #14: Conjunctivitis
Conjunctivitis happens when the virus infects the conjunctiva tissue that covers the insides of your eyelids or the white part of the eye. It’s prevalent in about 1-3% of infected persons. Its visible signs include swollen, red, itchy eyes. Combined with other symptoms such as fever, dry cough, and shortness of breath, it could be a sign you have COVID-19. However, to be sure, go get tested. Several over-the-counter medications get rid of different forms of conjunctivitis in 1-2 weeks.
Symptom #15: Skin Rash
A discolouration of toes or fingers, a skin rash, and a bluish face or lips are potential early signs of COVID-19. You may have an infection if you have a patchy skin rash with itchy bumps, chickenpox-like blisters, circular pinpoint skin spots, large patches with many small bumps, lace-like patterns forming on the skin, raised bumps and spots joining together, etc. Should the skin rash be accompanied with a fever, shortness of breath and dry cough, get tested.
The world is reeling under the weight of a pandemic that appears to be spreading like bushfire. While there have been other more fatal pandemics in the past, COVID-19 is spreading with such speed that it is threatening to overwhelm health facilities. Testing centres are also stretched as people suspecting they have the virus flock in to be tested.
Instead of rushing to be tested only to find that you don’t have the disease, it is important to first assess yourself. Understanding the initial symptoms of COVID-19 will not only calm your nerves, but it will also save you a potentially unnecessary trip to the testing centre.