According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), there are currently over six million cases of COVID-19 in the U.S. Although case numbers overall are going down, there’s still a long way to go until anyone can celebrate. Letting our guard down for a moment can cause the numbers to rise quickly again.
Although half a year has passed, there is still much to learn about COVID-19. Unlike other diseases like measles and the flu, there hasn’t been much time to research the condition. COVID also presents symptoms that are very similar to the flu and the common cold, making diagnosing COVID through symptoms alone challenging to do. Tests are necessary to confirm infection.
COVID comes with a myriad of symptoms, from skin rashes to cough to a loss of smell. Though COVID is thought of as a disease of the respiratory system, it can impact the entire body. These symptoms can appear differently in each individual, making COVID-19 a challenge to spot. One person may suffer from a fever and a rash, while another may have shortness of breath and a cough. These symptoms can lead to a jumble of misdiagnoses if laboratory tests aren’t available.
The disease varies greatly in severity, leaving one person without symptoms and another person on a ventilator in the ICU. Depending on a person’s age or pre-existing conditions, the effects of COVID may leave someone bedridden and better within a day, while an older person might spend weeks in the hospital.
Fortunately, you don’t have to carry a list of coronavirus symptoms in your back pocket. These are the four COVID symptoms you should know by heart to help you spot the disease.
5. Dry Cough
One of the most common symptoms of COVID-19 is a cough, but not just any cough. If you want to be aware of the symptoms of COVID, look for a persistent, dry cough. Dry coughs can cause a barking or whooping sound as the air clears the throat without any fluid. The lack of fluid is what makes this COVID cough dangerous. A dry cough doesn’t clear out phlegm or fluid, allowing it to puddle up in the body. Especially at the start of the infection, dry coughs often spark the first flames and appear with a fever.
4. Feeling Excessively Tired/Fatigue
It’s not surprising that feeling tired is one of the most common COVID-19 symptoms. As your body fights the virus, your energy stores become depleted, and you feel tired. If you feel exhausted and unable to make it through your day like before, you may be experiencing a COVID infection. Chronic fatigue occurs in almost 70% of COVID as the body battles the infection.