The United States is facing what one governor has called a "wildfire" of coronavirus: cases and hospitalizations are surging and deaths are rising, too. With the CDC and experts warning that the Thanksgiving holiday could lead to more spread—and to limit gatherings to those you are sheltering with—you may be wondering: Who's infectious and who's not? And can you spot someone who might be? Dr. Anthony Fauci, the nation's top infectious disease expert and director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, spoke with the Washington Post during a live event and addressed just this. 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 or May Not Have Fever
"Obviously the early symptoms of COVID-19 disease are very similar to a flu-like syndrome. You may or may not have fever. And I don't think you need to rely on fever—that if you don't have a fever, you're okay. Because plenty of people in the very early period of time don't have fever," Fauci says.
You May Have a Sore Throat
Dr. Fauci described a "kind of a scratchy feeling, maybe some fullness in your upper airway, but it's something like a sore throat."
You May Have Muscle Aches
Dr. Fauci mentioned "muscle aches" and has previously mentioned "myalgia," "which can involve ligaments, tendons and fascia, the soft tissues that connect muscles, bones and organs," according to Johns Hopkins.
You May Have a Feeling of Fatigue
Dr. Fauci said some patients feel "a feeling of fatigue"—and in fact, this feeling may never go away, as evidenced by "long haulers," people who have a syndrome that resembles Chronic Fatigue Syndrome.
You May Have a Loss of Smell or Taste
"Many people now have this curious loss of smell and taste," said Fauci. Anosmia (loss of smell) and dysgeusia (loss of taste) are often sure signs you have COVID because they are so unusual.
Remember: People With Zero Symptoms Can Have COVID-19 and Infect You
"What we're seeing, given the fact that people who are asymptomatic, namely without symptoms, who can come into" an indoor setting "and inadvertently and innocently infect people—because you're indoors, you're not wearing a mask. You don't have the kind of ventilation and moving of air that you have on the outside. And we are actually seeing in reality night, not hypothetically, but in reality, we're starting to see a considerable number of instances of cases where you have that same sort of innocent family and friends gathering indoors that are turning into places where the virus is spread. So to the extent possible as difficult it is from a social standpoint to avoid that, please try to avoid that and constrain the kinds of things you do to the immediate family and people that you assure that they're being careful."
What to Do if You Experience These Symptoms
"If any of those symptoms appear, people should be careful and either stay home, try to get tested if you possibly can to know whether or not you're infected. And if you are, obviously you should isolate yourself," says Dr. Fauci. "If you get into some difficulty, you should notify your physician. But the best thing to do is stay home. So if someone comes in and says, you know, I kind of feel bushed today. I'm tired. I got this little scratchy feeling in my throat. I feel a little achy. That's a telltale sign." So listen to the doctor, and to ensure your health and the health of others, don't miss these 35 Places You're Most Likely to Catch Coronavirus.