A list of known coronavirus symptoms you need to look out for

5 min read
A fever and cough aren

The more we learn about coronavirus, the more we’re beginning to understand it’s not, as initially thought, just a respiratory illness, and the damage it causes can be longterm. 

Since the first known case of the novel coronavirus in November 2019, there are still things we’re learning about this highly infectious disease, including how it can be treated (there currently is no cure) and what symptoms we should look out for (it’s a long, seemingly ever-growing list of them that can easily be confused for other ailments).

We’re experiencing heightened alertness to every sneeze, headache or cough, even the slightest tickle in your throat could make you think: is it Covid? It certainly doesn’t help Australia is also at the peak of flu season.

Here is a guide to the known symptoms currently, and remember, those who are asymptomatic (no symptoms) are the population with the highest infection rate. So even if you’re not sick, you could make someone else very sick.

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The big four

There are four main symptoms classified as very common in coronavirus patients, but unlike the flu for which symptoms can come on fast, Covid-19 symptoms can develop gradually, some 2-14 days after exposure. And they can last for months.

  • Fever, which is above 37°C and can include sweating and/or chills.
  • Loss of smell, in which one study affected 87 percent of patients.
  • Or taste, which affected 56 percent. If you think you’re losing your sense of smell, you can use common household items like vanilla essence, to test it. If you find coffee has no taste or chocolate tastes bitter, this could also be a sign you’re experiencing smell loss.
  • Persistent dry cough, i.e. no phlegm.

Common symptoms

Many patients report one or more of the below, ranging in mild to a feeling of constant, overall discomfort.

  • Painful headache.
  • Tightness in the chest or feeling out of breath.
  • Congestion or runny nose.
  • Nausea and vomiting.
  • Body aches.
  • Diarrhea and abdominal pain.

Less common to rare

The more we learn about coronavirus, the more we’re beginning to understand it’s not, as initially thought, just a respiratory illness. These are rare symptoms but could still be a sign of Covid.

  • Sore throat.
  • Chest pain or trouble breathing while resting.
  • Stroke (in very rare cases).
  • Blisters on toes and fingers.

If you are experiencing any of the above, you should self-isolate until you can get tested. While most cases of coronavirus recover on their own with bed rest, you should get immediate medical attention if you’re experiencing:

  • Trouble breathing.
  • Bluish lips or face.
  • Persistent pain or pressure in the chest.
  • New confusion.

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