Coronavirus disease (COVID-19) is a highly contagious respiratory illness caused by a novel strain of coronavirus called severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-C0V-2). COVID-19 affects different people in different ways. Some people may not experience any symptoms and remain asymptomatic, while some people develop mild to severe symptoms such as organ failure, difficulty in breathing. The odds of complications and series of illness is higher in older people and individual with certain underlying any serious medical conditions such as heart disease, chronic respiratory disease, cancer, or diabetes.
People with COVID-19 usually develop symptoms 2-15 days after exposure to the virus. This COVID-19 infection, especially in the first weeks of onset, may cause symptoms similar to common flu or influenza. Also, these symptoms differ from person to person, depending on their age, sex, health conditions, vaccination status, and immunity. The most prominent and visible COVID symptoms are breathing difficulty, fever, and other related respiratory problems. For most mild to moderate cases, the COVID infection may remain silent and do not show any signs and symptoms. These types of mild and moderate COVID infection often do not pose any major risks of health concerns. However, if the symptoms progress, it may cause serious health complications. Therefore it is advised to consult a physician immediately for an early diagnosis and treatment.
Herein, in this article, let’s discuss some common signs and symptoms of COVID infection. Identifying and treating these warning signs at an early stage can help reduce the risks and complications associated with them.
COVID infection may cause a wide range of symptoms.
Some hallmark symptoms of mild COVID-19 infection that mimic cold symptoms include:
- Low-grade fever (body temperature between 100.4 and 102.2 Fahrenheit)
- Sore throat
- Headache, body pain, and tiredness
- Gastrointestinal symptoms such as constipation, nausea, diarrhea, and vomiting
- Temporary loss of smell or taste
- Skin rashes
- Running nose
- Muscle ache
- Conjunctivitis or pink eye-Infection or inflammation of the eyeball
- Paling of skin, nail, and lips color
- Nasal congestion
- Loss of appetite
In general, all of these above-mentioned mild symptoms of covid infection resolves within a few days of onset without any need for special treatments and hospitalization. However, in some cases, people with mild or even no symptoms of COVID can still transmit the infection to others. Also, delaying the proper diagnosis and treatment of mild COVID symptoms can sometimes end up causing more serious complications that could result in hospitalization or emergency care. So it is always better not to neglect the above-mentioned mild covid symptoms and consult a doctor right away.
Unusual/rare symptoms of COVID-19 Infection include:
- Slient hypoxia: A less common condition in coronavirus infected patients, where the affected person has inadequate oxygen saturation in their blood. Which in turn may cause breathing difficulty that requires immediate medical assistance.
- Brain fog, hallucination, or confusion: In some cases, the body’s immune response against the coronavirus can affect the neurotransmitter that leads to the brain. This in turn may cause hallucination or increase the risk for anxiety and mood disorders. This type of symptom appears to be more common in older people with other comorbidities.
- Vocal cord neuropathy: A condition where the vocal box (larynx) is impaired. This can occur due to a combination of excess mucous secretion in the throat or alternated blood flow to the larynx.
- Hair loss: Overstimulation of hair follicles due to the coronavirus infection can cause or trigger hair loss. This type of loss of hair is temporary and usually returns to normal on its own.
Some critical COVID symptoms that require immediate medical attention include:
- Pneumonia: One of the serious health complications of coronavirus disease which causes fluid deposition and inflammation of the lungs makie it hard to breathe. In most severe cases, mechanical ventilation supports or oxygen therapy and immediate hospitalization are required.
- Covid induced Septic Shock symptoms; Unlike other mild coronavirus symptoms, sepsis or septic shock can lead to life-threatening complications if not treated quickly.
- Multiple organ failure: Infected patients having underlying health comorbidities pose an increased risk of developing multiple organ failure. These conditions may show signs such as seizure, chest pain, or gastrointestinal problems.
Most of the above-mentioned symptoms of severe Covid infection typically end up in the hospital-Intensive Care Unit (ICU) and pose an increased risk of life-threatening complications. However, with the right kind of medical intervention and treatment such as early vaccination and mechanical ventilation, it is possible to improve the outcome of coronavirus disease.
Potential risk factors of COVID-19 infection:
Some of the most common risk factors for coronavirus disease are listed below:
- Older age
- Taking certain medications
- Underlying any serious medical conditions such as lung disease, heart problems, kidney failure, liver diseases, or cancer
- People with weakened (immunocompromised) immune system
- Neurological problems such as down’s syndrome, Alzheimer’s disease, or developmental disorders