Signs and Symptoms of Coronavirus (COVID-19)

Submitted by Medical Health Test Team on March 12, 2020
Coronaviruses are a diverse family of viruses that can infect both humans and animals. Several types of coronaviruses cause mild upper respiratory illness in humans. Others, such as SARS-CoV and MERS-CoV, can cause more severe respiratory illness.In late 2019, a novel coronavirus called SARS-CoV-2 emerged in China. This virus has since spread to many other countries throughout the world. An infection with SARS-CoV-2 causes a respiratory illness called COVID-19.COVID-19 can have potentially serious complications, such as trouble breathing and pneumonia. Because of this, its important to be able to recognize the signs and symptoms of COVID-19 and how they differ from other conditions.Continue reading to learn more about the symptoms of COVID-19, how they differ from other respiratory conditions, and what you should do if you think youve become ill.What are the symptoms of COVID-19?According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the average incubation period for SARS-CoV-2 is 4 days Trusted Source. However, it can range anywhere from 2 to 14 days.Not everyone with a SARS-CoV-2 infection will feel unwell. Its possible to have the virus and not develop symptoms. When symptoms are present, theyre typically mild and develop slowly. The most common symptoms are:fevercoughfatigueshortness of breathSome people with COVID-19 may sometimes experience additional symptoms, such as:runny or stuffy nosesore throatheadachebody aches and painsdiarrheaSome observations suggest that respiratory symptoms may worsen in the second week of illness. This appears to occur after 8 or 9 days Trusted Source.According to the World Health Organization (WHO), about 1 in 5 people Trusted Source with COVID-19 become seriously ill. These individuals can develop severe pneumonia or respiratory failure and may require oxygen or mechanical ventilation.How do COVID-19 symptoms differ from cold symptoms? Coronaviruses are actually one of the many types of viruses that can cause the common cold. In fact, its estimated that four types of human coronavirus account for 10 to 30 percent Trusted Source of upper respiratory infections in adults.Some symptoms of the common cold are:runny or stuffy nosesore throatcoughbody aches and painsheadacheHow can you tell if you have a cold or COVID-19? Consider your symptoms. A cold is typically preceded Trusted Source by a sore throat and runny nose, which are less common symptoms of COVID-19. Additionally, fever isnt as common in a cold.How do COVID-19 symptoms differ from flu symptoms?You may have heard COVID-19 being compared to the flu, a common seasonal respiratory illness. How can you tell the difference between the symptoms of these two infections?First off, the symptoms of the flu often come on suddenly Trusted Source while COVID-19 symptoms appear to develop more gradually. Common symptoms of the flu include: fever, chills, cough,fatiguerunny or stuffy nose, sore throat, headache, body aches and pains
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