COVID-19 Symptoms

COVID-19 can present with a wide variety of symptoms. With the number of cases rising, new symptoms apart from the fever, cough and breathlessness have also been observed eg: diarrhoea, nausea etc. However, it is important to note that in some instances, individuals with no symptoms have tested positive for COVID-19.Anyone can have mild to severe symptoms but, 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 more serious complications from COVID-19 illness.

People with COVID-19 have had a wide range of symptoms reported – ranging from mild symptoms to severe illness. It affects different people in different ways. Most infected people develop mild to moderate illness and recover without hospitalization however, a few could be severely infected leading to major complications and even death.

Symptoms may appear 2-14 days after exposure to the virus.

The following symptoms could be suggestive of COVID-19:

Most common symptoms:

  • Fever.
  • Dry cough.
  • Tiredness.

Less common symptoms:

  • Aches and pains.
  • Sore throat.
  • Diarrhoea.
  • Nausea
  • Conjunctivitis.
  • Headache.
  • Loss of taste or smell.
  • A rash on skin, or discolouration of fingers or toes.

Serious symptoms:

  • Difficulty breathing or shortness of breath.
  • Chest pain or pressure.
  • Loss of speech or movement.

Although symptoms can appear anywhere between 2 to 14 days after infection with the virus, the average seems to be about 5–6 days.

What should you do if you have any of the above?

  • People with mild symptoms who are otherwise healthy should manage themselves at home with strict home quarantine practices.
  • If you have serious symptoms, call your doctor and seek a medical advice urgently.

Following are the tests available for diagnosis and screening of COVID-19:

COVID-19 RT-PCR Test

COVID-19 Antibody Test

COVID-19 Antigen Test

Determines if there is a current infection.Determines if you had a past infection and if you have developed antibodies against the same.Determines if the person has a current infection.
Recommended for individuals who are symptomatic or who have been in contact with a positive case.Recommended for people who want to resume offices, healthcare workers, individuals living in red zones and immunocompromised individuals.Recommended for symptomatic individuals and high-risk asymptomatic individuals, preoperative patients, pregnant females planned for delivery.
Performed through a nasal and throat swab at exclusive COVID-19 collection centres.A simple blood test performed at all the centres.Performed through a nasal swab at exclusive COVID-19 collection centres.

*Home visit services can be availed for COVID-19 RT-PCR test and COVID-19 Antibody test.

References:

  1. Guidelines from Centers for disease control and prevention (CDC)
  2. Guidelines from World Health Organisation (WHO)
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