April 6, 2020

Coronavirus symptoms: A list and when to seek help


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By Sandee LaMotte | CNN

What are the telling signs that you may have the novel coronavirus, also known as Covid-19?

The main list of acute symptoms at this time is actually quite short and can appear anywhere from two to 14 days after exposure to the virus, according to the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

“We’re emphasizing fever plus a notable lower respiratory tract symptom — cough or trouble breathing,” said infectious disease expert Dr. William Schaffner, a professor of preventative medicine and infectious disease at Vanderbilt University School of Medicine in Nashville.

Being able to identify those symptoms and act upon them when necessary is critical. Here’s what you need to know.

Fever

Fever is a key symptom, experts say. Don’t fixate on a number, but know it’s really not a fever until your temperature reaches at least 100 degrees Fahrenheit (37.7 degrees Celsius) for children and adults.

“There are many misconceptions about fever. Average daily temperature is 98.6 degrees Fahrenheit (37 degrees Celsius), but we all actually go up and down quite a bit during the day as much as half of a degree or a degree,” said Dr. John Williams, chief of the division of pediatric infectious diseases at the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center Children’s Hospital of Pittsburgh.

“So 99.0 degrees or 99.5 degrees Fahrenheit is not a fever,” he stressed.

When you check for fever, don’t rely on a temperature taken in the morning. Instead take your temp in the late afternoon and early evening.

“Our temperature is not the same during the day. If you take it at eight o’clock in the morning, it may be normal,” Schaffner explained.

“One of the most common presentations of fever is that your temperature goes up in the late afternoon and early evening — it’s a common way that viruses produce fever.”

Cough

Coughing is another key symptom, but it’s not just any cough, said Schaffner. It should be a dry cough that you feel in your chest.

“It’s not a tickle in your throat. You’re not just clearing your throat. It’s not just irritated. You’re not putting anything out, you’re not coughing anything up,” Schaffner said.

“The cough is bothersome, it’s coming from your breastbone or sternum. and you can tell that your bronchial tubes are inflamed or irritated,” he added.

Difficulty breathing

Shortness of breath can be a third — and very serious — manifestation of Covid-19, and it can occur on its own, without a cough. If your chest becomes tight or you begin to feel as if you cannot breathe deeply enough to get a good breath, that’s a sign to act, experts say.

“If there’s any shortness of breath immediately call your health care provider, a local urgent care or the emergency department,” said American Medical Association president Dr. Patrice Harris.

“If the shortness of breath is severe enough, you should call 911,” Harris added.

In addition to difficulty breathing or shortness of breath, the CDC lists emergency warning signs for Covid-19 as a “persistent pain or pressure in the chest,” …read more

Source:: The Mercury News – Health

      

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