Coronavirus behaves in unpredictable ways so health advice has to constantly reflect its capriciousness. This holds particularly true in the area of symptoms, which are constantly evolving as patients share their experience with the pathogen. In fact, the breadth of symptoms being reported suggest it is high time the NHS updated their list of symptoms to reflect the variability.
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According to the NHS, the main warning signs to watch out for are a high temperature or a new, continuous cough.
These symptoms are in line with what is currently understood about the virus.
COVID-19 is a respiratory disease so it primarily affects your lungs and airways, causing flu-like symptoms.
However, as Harvard Health notes, people with COVID-19 are also experiencing neurological symptoms.
“These may occur with or without respiratory symptoms,” says the health body.
One neurological symptom being reported is tingling or numbness in the hands and feet.
This symptom has been confirmed in a number of patient reports, including one case involving a Washington state woman, who has since recovered.
Elizabeth Schneider, 37, reported “tingling in my extremities”, alongside the typical symptoms such as a raging temperature.
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Other neurological symptoms include:
- Loss of smell
- Inability to taste
- Muscle weakness,
“In addition, some people have gastrointestinal (GI) symptoms, such as loss of appetite, nausea, vomiting, diarrhoea, and abdominal pain or discomfort associated with COVID-19,” explains Harvard Health.
According to the health body, these symptoms might start before other symptoms such as fever, body ache, and cough.
It adds: “In some people, COVID-19 causes more severe symptoms like high fever, severe cough, and shortness of breath, which often indicates pneumonia.
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What should I do if I recognise symptoms?
According to the NHS, if you recognise mild symptoms, you must self-isolate for seven days.
As the health site explains, there are a number of emergency warning signs that require immediate medical attention, however.
You should call 999 if you experience the following:
- Signs of a heart attack – pain like a very tight band, heavy weight or squeezing in the centre of your chest
- Signs of a stroke – face drooping on one side, can’t hold both arms up, Difficulty speaking
- Severe difficulty breathing – gasping, not being able to get words out, choking or lips turning blue
- Heavy bleeding – that won’t stop
- Severe injuries – or deep cuts after a serious accident
- Seizure (fit) – someone is shaking or jerking because of a fit, or is unconscious (can’t be woken up)
- Sudden, rapid swelling – of the eyes, lips, mouth, throat or tongue
Use the NHS 111 online coronavirus service if you feel you cannot cope with your symptoms at home or your condition gets worse.
If I am self-isolating with mild symptoms, can I leave the house after seven days?
As the NHS explains, 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 health site.
As the health body explains, a cough can last for several weeks after the infection has gone.
It is important to note that you still need to stay at home when you finish self-isolating, but you can go out for essential trips such as buying food, it adds.
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