Coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) is an infectious disease caused by a virus called coronavirus. Most people that get the COVID-19 virus will only experience a very mild illness and recover without any treatment.
However, older people and people who have some prior medical illness like cardiovascular disease, diabetes, chronic respiratory disease, and cancer are susceptible to a more serious illness if they get infected with the coronavirus.
The coronavirus spreads through saliva droplets or nasal discharge especially when someone who is infected coughs or sneezes.
People with COVID-19 may have a wide range of symptoms, from a mild cough to severe illness and shortness of breath.
Symptoms usually appear about 2-14 days after you have been exposed to someone with the virus. Some of the symptoms include:
- Fever or chills. You may feel like your temperature is rising, and begin to feel cold from within, making you shiver. This may sometimes be the only symptom of COVID-19.
- Cough. Cough may also sometimes be the only symptom of COVID-19. It may get severe over time.
- You may have shortness of breath or find it very difficult to breathe, making you very uncomfortable.
- You may also have feelings of tiredness and fatigue
- You may feel like your muscles are aching all over your body.
- You may begin to have incessant headaches
- You may notice that you have recently lost your sense of taste or smell
- You may also have a sore throat or feel pain or discomfort when swallowing.
- Congestion or runny nose is also one of the symptoms of COVID-19.
- You may have diarrhea and frequent toilet visits or watery stool.
Many of the symptoms of COVID-19 overlap with symptoms of other diseases but in order to be sure, it is better to get yourself tested.
When to seek emergency care
There are some warning signs for COVID-19 which may indicate an emergency. If someone has any of these symptoms, make sure to seek emergency care as soon as possible:
- Having difficulty with breathing
- Having persistent chest pain
- Getting confused
- Having difficulty staying awake
- Body turning pale
- Bluish discoloration of skin, lips, or nails.