Coronavirus symptoms: Three less obvious signs that could mean you have COVID-19
COVID-19 has wrenched people from their daily lives and the cost of this turmoil has become apparent this weekend. The Spring sunshine may be testing people’s patience but the daily jump in death toll issues a dire warning to anyone looking to flout the social measures: the threat is real and is becoming more deadly. Some members of the public may feel the risk posed to them is low because no one in their vicinity is displaying the main warning signs.
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Growing evidence shows symptoms of COVID-19 extend beyond having a high temperature and a new, continuous cough.
There are a number of additional symptoms that have come to light as the virus spreads through communities.
This makes the case for being extra-vigilant and not succumbing to complacency just because the weather is improving – you or your loved ones could start to show these symptoms.
What are the lesser-known signs?
A study published in the Lancet highlighted headaches as a symptom.
The study found eight percent of COVID-19 patients in Wuhan, the origin of the outbreak, reported headaches.
Dizziness has also been reported in some cases — frequent dizzy spells or very severe or abrupt bouts of dizziness could indicate a more serious health risk, according to the Cleveland Clinic.
Another lesser-known warning sign is the loss of smell, according to the British Rhinological Society.
There is already good evidence from South Korea, China and Italy that significant numbers of patients with proven COVID-19 infection have developed a loss of smell, notes the health body.
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What’s more, in Germany it is reported more than two in three confirmed cases report a loss of smell, it adds.
In addition, malaise and confusion have been identified as potential signs.
In a recent case report on a Washington nursing home, nearly one-third of the residents tested positive for the coronavirus, but half had no symptoms, and a few patients had unusual symptoms like malaise, a general sense of discomfort, illness, or uneasiness.
The Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has identified confusion as an emergency warning sign of COVID-19.
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What do I do if I notice these symptoms?
According to the NHS, you must not leave your home if you have symptoms of coronavirus (COVID-19) or live with someone who does.
“To protect others, do not go to places like a GP surgery, pharmacy or hospital. Stay at home,” advises the NHS.
This social distancing measure is called self-isolation.
If you are self-isolating, you must:
- Not leave your home for any reason, other than to exercise once a day – but stay at least two metres (three steps) away from other people
- Not go out to buy food or collect medicine – order them by phone or online, or ask someone else to drop them off at your home
- Not have visitors, such as friends and family, in your home
“You can use your garden if you have one,” adds the NHS.
If you have symptoms of coronavirus, you’ll need to self-isolate for seven days, according to the UK government.
After seven days:
- If you do not have a high temperature, you do not need to self-isolate
- If you still have a high temperature, keep self-isolating until your temperature returns to normal
You do not need to self-isolate if you just have a cough after seven days, notes the NHS.
It adds: “A cough can last for several weeks after the infection has gone.”
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