No doubt there is wide confusion about the symptoms of COVID-19. Many people are walking around with the virus but have no symptoms at all. Others have very mild vague symptoms or maybe a headache, nausea, a mild cough. People’s anxiety level has increased dramatically since COVID-19 was discovered and the isolation, self-distancing, wearing masks have all taken their toll on us. Now that states are lessening their restrictions its important to keep in mind what the symptoms are of COVID-19 and how to stay safe.
According to the CDC the symptoms include cough, shortness of breath, difficulty breathing, or at least two of the following symptoms: shaking chills, muscle pain, headache, sore throat, and loss of taste or smell. Symptoms can range from mild to severe and may appear up to two weeks after exposure to the virus.
The animation below represents just how quickly COVID-19 spread throughout China in just three months.
This list is not all possible symptoms. Other less common symptoms have been reported, including nausea, vomiting, or diarrhea.
When to Seek Emergency Medical Attention
Look for these Emergency Warning Signs for COVID-19. If someone is showing any of these signs, seek emergency medical care immediately
- Trouble breathing
- Persistent pain or pressure in the chest
- New confusion
- Inability to wake or stay awake
- Bluish lips or face
- This list is not all possible symptoms. Please call your medical provider for any other symptoms that are severe or concerning to you.
Call 911 or call ahead to your local emergency facility: Notify the operator that you are seeking care for someone who has or may have COVID-19.
Protect Yourself and Others
Older adults and people who have severe underlying medical conditions like heart or lung disease or diabetes seem to be at higher risk for developing serious complications from COVID-19 illness
Know how it spreads
- There is currently no vaccine to prevent coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19).
- The best way to prevent illness is to avoid being exposed to this virus.
- The virus is thought to spread mainly from person-to-person.
- Between people who are in close contact with one another (within about 6 feet).
- Through respiratory droplets produced when an infected person coughs, sneezes or talks.
- These droplets can land in the mouths or noses of people who are nearby or possibly be inhaled into the lungs.
- Some recent studies have suggested that COVID-19 may be spread by people who are not showing symptoms.
Wash your hands often
- Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds especially after you have been in a public place, or after blowing your nose, coughing, or sneezing.
- If soap and water are not readily available, use a hand sanitizer that contains at least 60% alcohol. Cover all surfaces of your hands and rub them together until they feel dry.
- Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth with unwashed hands
Avoid Close Contact
- Avoid close contact with people who are sick, even inside your home. If possible, maintain 6 feet between the person who is sick and other household members.
- Put distance between yourself and other people outside of your home.
- Remember that some people without symptoms may be able to spread virus.
- Stay at least 6 feet (about 2 arms’ length) from other people.
- Do not gather in groups.
- Stay out of crowded places and avoid mass gatherings.
- Keeping distance from others
Cover your mouth and nose with a cloth face cover when around others
- You could spread COVID-19 to others even if you do not feel sick.
- Everyone should wear a cloth face mask when they have to go out in public, for example to the grocery store or to pick up other necessities.
- Cloth face coverings should not be placed on young children under age 2, anyone who has trouble breathing, or is unconscious, incapacitated or otherwise unable to remove the mask without assistance.
- The cloth face cover is meant to protect other people in case you are infected.
- Do NOT use a facemask meant for a healthcare worker.