With coronavirus cases reaching record levels every day, you might feel like every sniffle is a sign you have it. Chances are, you've gone online searching for your symptoms. Do I have coronavirus??? Although we here at Eat This, Not That! Health have answered that question, using the CDC's list as the basis, there is another web authority that often comes up first: WebMD. "Here's what to look for if you think you might have COVID-19," they say, using a China study as their foundation, and remember: "No one symptom is definitive for COVID-19. That's why only a COVID-19 test can say for certain if you're infected." Read on, and to ensure your health and the health of others, don't miss these Sure Signs You've Already Had Coronavirus.
You May Develop a Fever
A calling card of COVID, 88% of patients in the China study had a fever (although one is not required). "Normal body temperatures are different for everyone, but they lie within the range of 97 to 99," says WebMD. "A temperature of 100.4 or higher is considered a fever."
You May Have a Dry Cough
A dry cough is just one of the reasons why quarantining yourself is so important. Says WebMD: "Droplets from a cough may travel farther than 6 feet and could potentially carry enough COVID-19 virus to infect another person, according to a new study." 68% of those in the China study had a dry cough.
You May Experience Fatigue
38% of those studied in China reported fatigue—and for some people, it can last. "A little more than half of people who recover from COVID-19 report fatigue, even weeks after they get better, according to a new study published in the journal PLOS One," says WebMD. "Regardless of the severity of their infection, about 52% said they still felt extremely tired 10 weeks after contracting COVID-19."
You May Have Mucus or Phlegm
33% of those in the China study produced mucus of phlegm, and a runny nose and congestion are on the CDC's list of symptoms. "The new coronavirus that causes COVID-19 doesn't usually cause mucus in the chest," reports WebMD. "But complications from the virus can include pneumonia, which does involve chest congestion."
You May Have Shortness of Breath
"For most people, the symptoms end with a cough and a fever," says WebMD. "More than 8 in 10 cases are mild. But for some, the infection gets more severe. About 5 to 8 days after symptoms begin, they have shortness of breath (known as dyspnea)." That happened to 19% of those in the China study.
You May Suffer Body Aches, or Bone or Joint Pain
Body aches or myalgia is another symptom that may last for months, if not years, after contracting COVID. "A British study says many coronavirus patients suffer symptoms such as breathlessness, excessive fatigue, and muscle aches for months after being treated at a hospital," reports WebMD. "Three quarters of a group of patients who received care for coronavirus at Bristol's Southmead Hospital were still suffering ongoing symptoms three months later," according to a news release from the hospital. 35% of those in the China study had body aches.
You May Have a Sore Throat
"Sore throat can also be a symptom of COVID-19, but it is not as common as a fever or a cough," says WebMD. "If you are experiencing any symptoms of COVID-19 or have come in contact with someone confirmed to have COVID-19, you should get tested and self-quarantine until you get the results."
You May Have a Headache
"Headache certainly can be a symptom of COVID-19—but also approximately eleven-million other health conditions," says WebMD. "In fact, that's the problem with trying to diagnose the novel coronavirus based on symptoms alone: no one symptom is definitive for COVID-19. That's why only a COVID-19 test can say for certain if you're infected."
You May Have Chills
"Your body can turn on the chills in response to other infections," says WebMD. "This may help your immune system kick in faster and work better."
You May Have a Gastro Issue
"Though COVID-19 calls to mind common symptoms such as fever and cough, at least 16% of infected patients have only gastrointestinal symptoms, according to a large research review," according to HealthDay. "The researchers found that 18% presented with gastrointestinal symptoms, while 16% may only have those symptoms. Though COVID gastrointestinal symptoms vary widely, they can include loss of appetite, nausea, vomiting, diarrhea and generalized abdominal pain." In the China study, 5% had nausea or vomiting and 4% had diarrhea.
You Might Cough Up Blood
1% in the China study coughed up blood. "Hemoptysis is when you cough up blood from your lungs," says WebMD. "It can be a sign of a serious medical condition. Infections, cancer, and problems in blood vessels in your lungs can cause it. Unless you have bronchitis, you need to see a doctor if you're coughing up blood."
You May Get Swollen Eyes
A new study, published in BMJ Open Ophthalmology, found that sore eyes are the most common ocular ailment of coronavirus. Previous studies have established that COVID-19 can manifest itself in the eyes, including conjunctival discharge, eye rubbing, conjunctival congestion, and even pink eye. While other symptoms may be more important, researchers note that the "type, frequency, and ocular transmission of the virus must not be ignored, especially as the eye has been recognized as one of the organs through which the virus might enter the body." 1% in the China study has swollen eyes.
You May Lose Your Sense of Taste or Smell
"Since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic, it's become clear that many people with the infection lose their sense of smell and taste. And doctors are concerned that some will never get back to normal," reports Healthday, saying some doctors feel it's a "cardinal" symptom. "Cardinal symptoms are the key ones from which a diagnosis is made."
You May Experience These Severe Symptoms
"Call a doctor or hospital right away if you have one or more of these COVID-19 symptoms:
Constant pain or pressure in your chest
Bluish lips or face
You need medical care as soon as possible. Call your doctor's office or hospital before you go in. This will help them prepare to treat you and protect medical staff and other patients," says WebMD.
What to Do if You Have These Symptoms
"Some people are infected but don't notice any symptoms," says WebMD. "Most people will have mild symptoms and get better on their own. But about 1 in 6 will have severe problems, such as trouble breathing. The odds of more serious symptoms are higher if you're older or have another health condition like diabetes or heart disease." If you experience any of the symptoms mentioned here, contact a medical professional. And to protect your life and the lives of others, don't visit any of these 35 Places You're Most Likely to Catch COVID.