Coronavirus Symptoms: Frequently Asked Questions
Do you know the symptoms of COVID-19? Knowing the warning signs can help you take the right steps if you or loved ones become sick. Lisa Maragakis, M.D., M.P.H., senior director of infection prevention, provides an update on what to look out for and when to get help.
What Its Like To Have A Mild Case Of Covid
- COVID-19 symptoms can vary widely in different people, ranging from deadly pneumonia to a loss of smell, or even no symptoms.
- Many people report mild symptoms initially before more severe fever and coughing.
- While 80 percent of cases are estimated to be mild, they can still take a severe toll.
- Experts are also anxiously watching to see what happens with new coronavirus variants.
A majority of people with COVID-19 are expected to have relatively mild symptoms that resolve at home.
While the majority of COVID-19 cases are mild, even asymptomatic and mild infections can be a problem.
If you spread it to someone 65 or older, estimates suggest theres at least a 10 percent chance theyll die.
Eight out of 10 COVID-related deaths in the United States have been among people ages 65 and up.
Now with new coronavirus variants popping up in the United States, experts are worried about how seemingly mild COVID-19 cases may precede major surges.
Even for mild cases, COVID-19 can take a toll.
The CDC reports that normal symptoms include fever, chills, shortness of breath, nausea, headache, vomiting, and loss of taste or smell. And those are the symptoms that dont require immediate medical attention.
While a cold or flu will likely last a few weeks at most, some people who have mild COVID-19 end up having symptoms for months.
What Does The Cdc’s Definition Of Close Contacts Mean For Me
The CDC defines a close contact as someone who spends 15 minutes or more within six feet of a person with COVID-19 over a period of 24 hours.
Close contacts are at increased risk of infection. When a person tests positive for COVID-19, contact tracers may identify their close contacts and notify them that they have been exposed.
Many factors can affect the chances that infection will spread from one person to another. These factors include whether or one or both people are wearing masks, whether the infected person is coughing or showing other symptoms, and whether the encounter occurred indoors or outdoors.
Read Also: How Much For Covid Test At Cvs
What Do I Need To Know About The Ay42 Variant
As viruses replicate, they may mutate, or slightly alter their genetic sequence. If a mutation is advantageous making the virus more transmissible or able to sidestep immune protection its more likely to survive and thrive. Thats what happened with the Delta variant, which was many times more contagious than the original SARS-CoV-2 virus and quickly became the dominant variant around the globe. A new variant called AY.4.2 , a descendent of the Delta variant, is now gaining attention.
The AY.4.2 variant makes up about 11% of sequenced cases in the United Kingdom. It has also been identified in a handful of US states, but at present is responsible for less than 0.1% of COVID-19 cases in the US. The WHO has not classified AY.4.2 as a variant of concern or a variant of interest.
Preliminary evidence from the United Kingdom suggests that AY.4.2 is not more likely to lead to hospitalization or cause severe disease. And in a White House briefing, the CDC director said there is no evidence that this variant is less susceptible to current vaccines and treatments. It also does not appear more adept at evading immune protection.
How Long Do The Symptoms Last
COVID-19 affects people in different ways. Most people experience mild-to-moderate disease. People who fall into this category often recover without hospital treatment within 12 weeks.
However, people with more severe symptoms typically take longer to recover. Depending on how COVID-19 has affected them, they may take 6 weeks or longer to feel better.
Doctors may treat COVID-19 cases causing severe symptoms with antiviral or steroid drugs, ventilation to aid breathing, or monoclonal antibody therapy.
Some people who experience mild or severe COVID-19 go on to develop lingering symptoms. People may refer to this as long COVID, or post-COVID syndrome.
It is unclear how many people will develop lingering symptoms, but early data from the COVID Symptom Study suggest that around 1 in 20 people experience symptoms for 8 weeks, while 1 in 50 have symptoms for 12 weeks or longer.
Scientists and doctors are still investigating the best treatments for cases that cause long lasting symptoms.
Recommended Reading: Cost Of Rapid Test At Cvs
Body Temperature Can Vary From Person To Person & Can Change Throughout The Day
The Harvard Medical School also states that fever is when a bodys temperature reaches 100.4 °F or higher . They say that a persons average body temperature is 98.6 °F .
Normal body temperature can vary, however, depending on the person, the time of day, when theyve eaten last and exercised. In fact, they state that Body temperature is often higher in the afternoon than it is when you wake up in the morning.
As per Healthline, low-grade fever is during the period when an adults body temperature rises to 100.4 °F , or a bit lower. A high-grade fever is when the fever rises to 103 °F or higher.
How Long Can The Coronavirus Stay Airborne I Have Read Different Estimates
A study done by National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases’ Laboratory of Virology in the Division of Intramural Research in Hamilton, Montana helps to answer this question. The researchers used a nebulizer to blow coronaviruses into the air. They found that infectious viruses could remain in the air for up to three hours. The results of the study were published in the New England Journal of Medicine on March 17, 2020.
Recommended Reading: How Much Is A Rapid Test At Cvs
What Is The Difference Between Asymptomatic And Pre
Both terms refer to patients who have not developed any symptoms even after being infected with the virus.
- Asymptomatic: Asymptomatic refers to patients who are infected but never exhibit symptoms throughout the illness.
- Pre-symptomatic: Pre-symptomatic refers to patients who are infected, have not yet developed symptoms, but will eventually develop symptoms.
Can People Without Symptoms Spread The Virus To Others
“Without symptoms” can refer to two groups of people: those who eventually do have symptoms and those who never go on to have symptoms . During this pandemic, we have seen that people without symptoms can spread the coronavirus infection to others.
A person with COVID-19 may be contagious 48 hours before starting to experience symptoms. In fact, people without symptoms may be more likely to spread the illness, because they are unlikely to be isolating and may not adopt behaviors designed to prevent spread.
But what about people who never go on to develop symptoms? A study published in JAMA Network Open found that almost one out of every four infections may be transmitted by individuals with asymptomatic infections.
Getting vaccinated once you are eligible is important for protecting not just yourself but others as well early evidence suggests that you’re less likely to infect others, or may be contagious for a shorter period of time, once you’ve been vaccinated.
You May Like: Does Cvs Rapid Test Cost Money
What Are The Best Fever Medicines
There is no need to take medicines for fever unless you are experiencing discomfort.
If you are experiencing discomfort, consider:
Before taking any medicine, you should check that it’s safe to take them:
- with any medical conditions that you may have
- with any other medicines that you are taking
- if you are pregnant or breastfeeding
You can do this by reading the information leaflet inside the packet or asking a pharmacist.
If a child under 5 has a fever but isn’t showing any signs of distress, the best advice is not to give them any medicine. Talk to your doctor or visit the Choosing Wisely Australia website for more information.
Can Temperature Checks Help Prevent The Spread Of Covid
Temperature checks are often used to screen for COVID-19 in the community. Non-contact or no-touch forehead thermometers are quick and easy to use. However, they are not always accurate. Also, people can have the virus and spread COVID-19 without having a fever. Temperature screenings should always be part of other COVID-19 prevention steps including wearing face masks, physical distancing, and hand washing. If you think you might have a fever or have any other symptoms, stay home.
Don’t Miss: Cost Of Cvs Covid Test
Other Things To Know About Fever And Covid
Despite the lack of a specific temperature range, it is clear that fever can indicate serious illness. The majority of hospitalized COVID-19 patients have fever as a symptom. However, running a high fever does not mean you will have a serious outcome.
A study involving over 7,000 COVID-19 patients in the New York City area found that initial high fever upon hospital admission did not correlate significantly with death.
However, persistent high fevers throughout the course of illness were significantly correlated with death due to COVID-19. People whose fevers spiked to 104°F or higher had a mortality rate of 42 percent.
This same study found that abnormally low body temperatures were associated with the poorest outcomes. Those with a body temperature under 96.8°F had the highest death rates.
These findings may indicate that problems with body temperature regulation are a marker of serious COVID-19 cases.
COVID-19 may present with one or more of these symptoms:
- cough, this is the second most common symptom after fever
If You Have Mild / Moderate Symptoms Should You Get Tested For Covid
If symptoms worsen, alert your primary care provider as soon as possible to re-evaluate your illness. If your symptoms are more moderate, speak with your health care provider to see if COVID-19 testing is right for you.
If you don’t have a primary care provider, call Ohio State Telehealth Immediate Care at 614-293-3200.
Read Also: Hank Aaron Dies After Vaccine
Fever: What It Means And How To Treat
It can be concerning when a fever lasts for longer than expected or begins to spike without warning suddenly. In these instances, it is vital to seek proper treatment for the fever to ensure there are not any long-term complications that occur as a result of the fever, such as dehydration or the spreading of infection.
Additionally, it is crucial to seek urgent care in some instances of the fever, especially if a severe fever develops in a toddler or young child. A fever is most commonly caused by an infection and can be treated at home, there are numerous reasons why a high temperature might be present and sometimes receiving a professional diagnosis is necessary to ensure proper treatment is administered.
The best way to deal with a fever is to prevent it from occurring, which is possible to an extent. However, there are times when precautionary measures do not work, and a fever can form seemingly out of nowhere. In these instances, it is helpful to know what it can indicate and how to treat the high temperature.
If you or your child suffer from a fever that is concerning for any reason whatsoever, consider coming in for a visit to our urgent care facility to ensure effective and efficient treatment is administered.
Facts from The Summit Medical Group
Questions to Ask Your Urgent Care Provider
If I’m Exposed To The Coronavirus How Long Before I Develop Symptoms
Symptoms can begin between two and 14 days after you have been infected with the SARS-CoV-2 coronavirus. A study led by researchers at the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health shows that the median time for symptoms to show up is about five days. That is why the CDC uses the 14-day quarantine period for people following exposure to the coronavirus.
You May Like: Cvs Pcr Test Cost
Can You Have Coronavirus Without A Fever
Yes, you can be infected with the coronavirus and have a cough or other symptoms with no fever, or a very low-grade one, especially in the first few days. Keep in mind that it is also possible to have COVID-19 with minimal or even no symptoms at all. People infected with the coronavirus who have no symptoms can still spread COVID-19 to others.
How Can You Tell If Coronavirus Symptoms Are Mild Moderate Or Severe
Editors note: As what we know about COVID-19 evolves, so could the information contained in this story. Find our most recent COVID-19 blog posts here, and learn the latest in COVID-19 prevention at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Update: The CDC updated the list of COVID-19 symptoms on April 27 to include loss of taste or smell headache body ache chills and sore throat. COVID-19, caused by the coronavirussymptoms
Also Check: Cvs Rapid Testing Price
What Its Like To Have Mild Covid
Ive gone to work sicker than that. Im sure you have, too, said Cassie Garret, whose wife, Celeste Morrison, recovered from COVID-19 in 2020.
Her description of the virus is what makes it all the more deadly: Even before people develop serious symptoms, they can spread the disease during whats called the pre-symptomatic period.
In this phase, people can transmit the virus a couple days before any symptoms appear.
Even if people are feeling fairly well, theyre highly contagious, and thats the real danger, said Dr. Robert Murphy, a Northwestern University infectious disease specialist and global health expert.
Morrison, a 37-year-old web developer who lives 60 miles north of Seattle, started to feel run down in early March 2020.
First came the cough and extreme fatigue. Then her temperature rose to 99.7°F . Nothing too worrisome, so she decided to just work from home for a few days.
Garret recalls Morrison saying her lungs started to feel weird a few days later. I told her that, per literally everything I was reading, she should only go to the doctor if it was really serious, Garret told Healthline.
But later that week, Morrisons lips, fingers, and toes were tinged blue. They headed to the local emergency room.
Morrison tested negative for the flu, but her X-rays pointed to pneumonia. A nurse said theyd run a COVID-19 test, the results of which would be available in 24 to 48 hours.
In the days that followed, Morrisons fever bounced from 97.1°F to 102.8°F .
Differences Between Cedar Fever Covid
As cedar fever season begins for a lot of throughout Texas, there are nonetheless many different sicknesses you would possibly catch. Here is the way to inform the distinction between them.
TEXAS, USA Folks throughout the nation are sometimes occasions extra prone to get sick in the course of the winter months. Many Texans, particularly, should take care of what is named cedar fever.
So how will you inform the totally different having cedar fever, COVID-19, the flu or a typical chilly? Listed here are some suggestions to assist determine what you might need caught.
Recommended Reading: How Long Cvs Rapid Test
Throw Out Used Gloves And Masks
- take the gloves and mask off right after you provide care and throw them in a waste basket lined with a plastic bag
- take off the gloves first and clean your hands with soap and water before taking off your mask
How To Take Your Temperature
A thermometer is the only way to know that you have a fever. Touch tests and skin pinching arent reliable. Rectal thermometers, which go into your rear end, are the most accurate, but they can be uncomfortable. Armpit, ear, and forehead thermometers arent as accurate. Most doctors think an oral thermometer — which you hold under your tongue — is best. Dont use an old glass thermometer. These contain mercury, which is dangerous.
Before you use an oral thermometer, wash your hands with soap and warm water. Dont eat or drink anything for at least 5 minutes before you take your temperature. Put the tip of the thermometer under your tongue. Keep your mouth closed. After about 30 or 40 seconds, the thermometer will beep. That means the final reading is ready. Oral thermometer temperatures are about 1/2 to 1 degree cooler than rectal ones, so add that much to your reading. When youre done, rinse the thermometer in cold water, clean it with alcohol, and rinse again.
If you have a child younger than 3, a rectal thermometer may be easier and more accurate. Put a small amount of lubricant like petroleum jelly on its tip. Have your child lie on their belly, and insert the thermometer into their bottom until the tip is completely inside. Dont force it. When you hear the beep, after about 30 seconds, remove it. Check it and then clean it again.
Read Also: Covid Test Cost Cvs
Why Is Checking For Fever Important In Covid
Many people with COVID-19 have a fever at some point during their illness.
Common symptoms of COVID-19 include fever, cough, and problems breathing. Other possible symptoms include headache, body aches, chills, fatigue, and loss of the sense of smell or taste. Some people may also have runny nose, sore throat, nausea, or diarrhea.
The most common cause of fever is an infection caused by bacteria or viruses. Its a good idea to check your temperature any time you have symptoms of fever such as chills, body aches, and feeling warm or flushed. If you think you might be sick, use a thermometer to check your temperature. Write down your temperature so you can tell your doctor.
Some people might be asked to take their temperature even if they dont have symptoms of COVID-19. For example, your doctor may tell you to check your temperature each day if you have been exposed to someone with COVID-19. Other people may be asked to check their temperature when they go to school or work. Screening for fever can help stop the spread of COVID-19.