COVID-19, the disease caused by the novel Coronavirus, has spread across the United States. It is particularly prevalent in large urban areas were people live close together. The spread has worsened because often, the disease is symptomless or the symptoms are mild, just like the common cold. People continue to associate with each other even though they might be contagious. For that reason, there are many cases of COVID-19 that have not been detected. But for those who suspect they might have contracted COVID-19, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has compiled a list of symptoms of the disease.
According to the CDC, these symptoms may range from mild to severe illness and even death if the patient in fact has COVID-19. Based upon the incubation period of a similar virus, the symptoms may appear from two to fourteen days after exposure. The known symptoms, and an emerging one, are:
Fever – According to MedlinePlus, a publication of the federal government’s National Institutes of Health, a human’s normal temperature is usually around 98.6°. But a fever higher than that is not a disease. Instead, it is a sign that the body is attempting to fight an illness or infection. Most bacteria and viruses find it harder to survive at higher temperatures. Thus, fever is one way for the body to kill off the COVID-19 infection.
Cough – A cough is the body’s attempt to keep the throat and airways clear. COVID-19 / Coronavirus causes congestion in the back of the nasal passages and the mucous membranes in the throat. Coughing is the body’s attempt to clear out the resulting discharge.
Shortness of Breath – Having difficulty breathing is a symptom of a viral infection like COVID-19 because the virus can travel from the throat down into the lungs. When the lungs become infected, their mucous membranes become inflamed. The inflammation can damage the tiny air sacs in the lungs, called alveoli, that exchange carbon dioxide for oxygen. When that happens, it is more difficult for the lungs to supply enough oxygen for the blood to circulate to the rest of the body.
Emerging COVID-19 Coronavirus Symptom: Loss of Senses of Smell and Taste
Doctors around the world have recently noticed two additional and peculiar symptoms associated with COVID-19. Some people have temporarily lost their senses of smell or taste. Although there have been no studies, some of the people who experienced these symptoms later tested positive for COVID-19.
More Serious Symptoms of COVID-19
If a person’s condition continues to deteriorate, the person may develop some more serious symptoms. The CDC considers these to be emergency warning signs that a person should get medical attention immediately. These more serious symptoms of COVID-19 include, but are not necessarily limited to, the following:
Shortness of breath can degrade into having trouble with breathing. That cause is the same as for shortness of breath: The COVID-19 coronavirus has infected a person’s lungs and interfered with their function to the point that it is not just a symptom but is dangerous.
Persistent Chest Pain or Pressure
We usually associated chest pain or pressure with a heart attack. But a viral infection such as COVID-19 can cause heart pain, too. What happens is that when a person has a viral infection, the body’s immune system produces special cells to fight the disease. If the infection has reached the heart, the special cells follow it there, but the chemicals that these cells make can damage the heart muscle. In turn, the patient can experience chest pain or pressure.
Confusion or Inability to Arouse
Some older people have dementia. But if there is unusual confusion, or an inability to arouse an individual, it is possible that the individual has COVID-19. New confusion or inability to arouse is a symptom of COVID-19 because it indicates an inadequate supply of oxygen to the brain. Oxygen reaches the brain through the blood, but inflammation of the lungs inhibits the absorption of oxygen into the blood stream.
Bluish Lips or Face
A bluish tint to the face or lips is called cyanosis. What it shows is that there is an insufficient level of oxygen in the blood. It normally accompanies an inability on the part of the lungs to function properly. Again, this sentence shows a worsening of COVID-19 because the lungs have been compromised.
Take COVID-19 Seriously
Although most people who come down with COVID-19 have either no symptoms of the disease, or mild symptoms, a few people need hospitalization to survive. Some of them die despite the best efforts of medical professions to save them. Anyone who experiences these symptoms should self-quarantine. It the symptoms worsen, a sick person should seek immediate medical attention. While natural contraction of Coronavirus is unfortunately typical in a pandemic situation, if you or a family member got COVID-19 due to negligent transmission, or mandatory employer work order you may be eligible for compensation through a lawsuit or settlement request.