You wake up, and you are coughing. You’ve had a horrible night of sleep. You sweat through the sheets, and you woke up no less than 7 times, barely able to get back to sleep each time.
OH, NO, you think. IS THIS THE CORONAVIRUS???
Of course, the ONLY way to really confirm you have contracted COVID-19 is to head on out to the doctor, and get one of those tests that feels like they are brushing your brain with a swab.
BUT, here are some of the first signs and symptoms that MIGHT suggest you have the coronavirus.
Some symptoms seem to happen in a particular order, and it is important to know what those are.
A Fever Greater Than 100.4 Degrees Fahrenheit
A persistent fever above 100.4 degrees, that just won’t go away is common in those with COVID-19. It’s often also the first sign that you may actually have the coronavirus.
You Have A Cough That Just Won’t Quit
We have all heard tales of this cough that feels like it is shaking your whole body, and takes away your breath. It is a dry cough, and it just keeps going and going.
The cough to look out for is a new, continuous cough — This means coughing a lot for more than an hour, or having three or more coughing episodes in 24 hours. If you usually have a cough, it may be worse than usual.BBC
Your Muscles Start Aching
In general, coronavirus, like other viruses, can cause inflammation of the muscle tissueAmir Barzin, DO, MS, incident commander for the Respiratory Diagnostic Center at UNC Medical Center in Chapel Hill
This muscle inflammation can cause that intense musle aching, that usually accompanies a cough and a fever.
You May Experience Nausea and Vomiting
Now, not everyone experiences nausea and vomiting. BUT, odds are, if you do, it is going to occur after the muscle aches.
The upper GI tract (i.e., nausea/vomiting) seems to be affected before the lower GI tract (i.e., diarrhea) in COVID-19, which is the opposite from MERS and SARS.Eat This, Not That!
And, Then Comes the Diarrhea
As the fifth symptom that usually occurs, diarrhea — even in its most mildest form — typically accompanies, and happens very soon after the nausea and vomiting.
Clinicians should recognize that digestive symptoms, such as diarrhea, are commonly among the presenting features of COVID-19, and that the index of suspicion may need to be raised earlier in at-risk patients presenting withdigestive symptoms.The American Journal of Gastroenterology
— Now, this next group of symptoms may happen in any order, but they usually accompany the other symptoms as one of the first signs you might have COVID-19. —
You Have a Loss of Smell and Taste
Many people who have had the coronavirus say that one of their first signs of the illness was a loss of senses. Their food tasted like cardboard, and they couldn’t smell a thing.
You Have a Headache that Won’t Easily Subside
Now, a headache can be cause by SO many different things, so don’t automatically panic if your head starts to ache.
BUT, if your headache involves other symptoms, you might want to go get yourself checked out and tested.
You Have Chills
Now, this makes sense, because a fever can often be accompanied by chills. Ugh, they are the worst, right?
You Have That Nasty Shortness of Breath
Extreme shortness of breath and respiratory issues are what is causing the increase in patients in the ICU.Dr. Geoffrey Mount Varner
This shortness of breath can cause your oxygen saturation to plummet, which means that your organs are not getting the oxygen they need. It is a dangerous situation, and if it gets bad enough, you need to head on out to your doctor or to the emergency room to get help.
If your oxygen saturation gets too low, you could develop blueish lips, which is a warning sign that you need immediate help.
You Have Some Pretty Intense Fatigue
I’m not talking about just being tired. I’m talking about body fatigue that won’t let you stay upright for more than a couple minutes at a time.
I have a friend who had the coronavirus, but still tried to work from home. She said she might get 3 minutes of work done, and then she would have to lay back down. It was absolutely no joke.
The Whites of Your Eyes May Look Pink
Pink eye (conjunctivitis) is a possible symptom of the coronavirus.
People should be cognizant of possible aerosol transmission with the conjunctiva and through ocular secretions, like tears.Dr. Kevin Lee
You Are More Confused Than Normal
Confusion is one of the neurological symptoms that seems to accompany COVID-19.
The CDC considers “new confusion or inability to arouse” as an emergency warning sign.Yahoo Life
Obviously, with any warning sign, you need to immediately seek help.