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The First Sign You Have a COVID Infection, Say Experts — Eat This Not That

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There have been almost 50 million instances of COVID-19 within the U.S. and greater than 800,000 Americans have died of the virus. New instances are popping up each day and consultants are bracing for a winter surge on prime flu season. Eat This, Not That! Health talked to medical consultants who clarify what the symptoms are of COVID and indicators you will have the an infection. Read on—and to make sure your health and the health of others, do not miss these Sure Signs You’ve Already Had COVID.

Doctor nurse in protective face mask listening to breath with a stethoscope suspecting Coronavirus (COVID-19).

According to LetsGetChecked’s Executive Director of Epidemiology, Dr. Gwen Murphy, Ph.D., MPH, “Symptoms and timelines vary from person to person with COVID, so it is not entirely predictable day-by-day. In general, the early days of symptoms usually include a bit of a cough, a fever or headache. Fatigue is common. Some people also experience GI symptoms like diarrhea. Some people have no fever, some lose their sense of taste and smell. Some people never develop more severe symptoms but others start to feel very uncomfortable after a few days of relatively mild symptoms. They may develop fever, chills, coughing, extreme fatigue, and breathlessness. If after a week your symptoms are not improving you should continue monitoring and speak to your doctor.” 

Sick woman with fever checking her temperature with a thermometer at home

“COVID-19 symptoms have seen some variation since the beginning of the pandemic. But, since the beginning five symptoms have remained very prominent- fever, cough, shortness of breath, fatigue, or body aches,” Dr. Jagdish Khubchandani, MBBS, Ph.D. Professor of Public Health New Mexico State University explains. “Interestingly, many of those signs are additionally among the commonest signs seen in survivors of an an infection (i.e. persistent symptoms- see this massive examine from AMA publications. Other frequent signs are sore throat, runny nostril, chest/nasal congestion, and typically nausea, vomiting and diarrhea.” 

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Young woman sitting alone on her sofa at home and coughing.

Dr. Khubchandani states, “The biggest challenge for the general public and population health comes in this season. With the cold weather, holiday cooking and travel, people need to know that COVID symptoms have a lot of similarity with flu, foodborne illness, and common cold due to other coronaviruses historically seen in the U.S. While flu and foodborne illness in the vast majority of the cases will resolve on their own, they can sometimes require hospitalization. Many may commit the mistake of waiting to get better or trying OTC or home remedies assuming they have seasonal flu or food-borne illness (especially, in case of fever and diarrhea). Before the pandemic, this was ok, but now, I strongly suggest getting a COVID test. It is nearly impossible to find from symptoms what a person could have.”

Dr. David Cutler, MD, household medication doctor at Providence Saint John’s Health Center in Santa Monica, CA provides, “When upper respiratory symptoms like cough, runny nose and fever hit, it is very difficult at first to know if you are dealing with a cold, the flu or COVID. There may be hints like loss of taste and smell suggesting covid, high fever and body aches suggesting flu, sore throat and runny nose without fever suggesting a simple cold, but these symptomatic clues are far from certain. And while rapid testing can be very helpful, we all know the limitations posed by false positive and false negative tests. Also, COVID carries the dangerous distinction of being highly transmissible while still asymptomatic, which brings us back to the benefits of social distancing and mask use.”

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Biotechnology scientist in ppe suit researching DNA in laboratory using microscope. team examining virus evolution using high tech for scientific research of vaccine development against covid19

Dr. Cutler says, “As new variants of COVID come up, just like the delta variant now dominant in India and turning into extra prevalent on this nation, there shall be considerations that our immunity as a result of vaccination or prior an infection might not be protecting. The replication of the COVID virus inside any contaminated person may give rise to such a variant. This reality offers an extra crucial for each eligible person to be vaccinated towards COVID. And whereas these new variants could differ considerably in transmissibility and severity, distinguishing them from older variants can solely be performed by detailed genetic evaluation. The signs could also be simply as variable and tough to tell apart as chilly and flu signs.”

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Woman with face mask getting vaccinated, coronavirus, covid-19 and vaccination concept.

According to Dr. Cutler, “Now that COVID instances are declining within the United States, particularly in states with excessive vaccination charges, our attention will flip to the upcoming chilly and flu season. One apparent lesson from the COVID pandemic was that measures to scale back COVID additionally markedly diminished different respiratory infections. So what would be the affect as social distancing and masks use drops off?

Well, the apparent prediction is that the incidence of those different infections will enhance. After a worldwide drop in influenza instances, and the bottom fee on document within the United States in the course of the pandemic, we must always all count on to see extra flu within the coming fall and winter. So will probably be essential for everybody to get their flu vaccines. And since there was so little flu final yr, we actually do not know the affect that COVID and influenza may need collectively. So it stays critically necessary that as many individuals as potential get immunized towards COVID as effectively.”

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Young caucasian woman wearing surgical gloves putting face mask on, protection from spread of Coronavirus

Dr. Cutler says, “So the clear message going forward is to recognize the risks that respiratory infections may carry. Masking and social distancing still carry significant benefits.  Washing hands helps too. If you haven’t been vaccinated against COVID and you are eligible, get a COVID vaccine as soon as possible. And when the flu vaccine comes out you should get that too. Remember the old wisdom, ‘an ounce of protection is worth a pound of cure.’ This is especially true when there is no cure for a cold, the flu or COVID.”

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Doctor holding syringe in hospital.

Follow the general public health fundamentals and assist finish this pandemic, regardless of the place you reside—get vaccinated ASAP; in the event you reside in an space with low vaccination charges, put on an N95 face mask, do not journey, social distance, keep away from giant crowds, do not go indoors with folks you are not sheltering with (particularly in bars), apply good hand hygiene, and to guard your life and the lives of others, do not go to any of those 35 Places You’re Most Likely to Catch COVID.

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