Symptoms of COVID-19
Symptoms of COVID-19 can vary: from person to person, in different age groups and depending on the COVID-19 variant.
- fever or chills
- cough (or worsening cough)
- shortness of breath or difficulty breathing
- muscle or body aches
- new loss of taste or smell
- sore throat
- congestion or runny nose
- nausea or vomiting
- feeling very unwell
COVID-19 vs. Flu: Symptom Differences
The main difference between COVID-19 and the flu is the different symptoms. 80% of COVID-19 cases are mild or asymptomatic. Simultaneously, the flu prevents you from getting out of bed in the first days after infection. The body temperature rises sharply to high values, literally the whole body aches. As a result, an individual loses the ability to work completely. With coronavirus, the body temperature often remains normal or slightly rises. The exception is severe cases when a complication develops in the form of pneumonia.
Flu can be distinguished from COVID-19 based on the following symptoms.
- COVID-19 is accompanied by a dry cough without discharge and a rise in body temperature to 98,6 F, if the course of the disease is mild.
- There is severe weakness, high fever, and pneumonia, in which it is very difficult, sometimes almost impossible to breathe during the transition to a severe form.
- Influenza is characterized by high fever, up to 100.4 F and above, pain in muscles and joints, severe headache, and a sharp decrease/lack of appetite.
There are a lot of COVID-19 variants. There were already about 40 varieties at the beginning of 2020, and each of them had its characteristics. Compared to COVID-19, the flu is much more well-understood. A lot of scientific papers have been published about it with a detailed description of the disease. Thus, at the beginning and end of the influenza season, the speed and area of the spread of the viral infection can be predicted. The insidiousness of Sars-CoV-2 is that humanity does not have immunity to it, since this is a new variant. It was the same with the previous Sars-CoV strain that caused the SARS outbreak in 2003.
These viruses infect everyone in a row and at high speed. In this regard, representatives of the WHO (World Health Organization) claim that as a result, COVID-19 infection will affect up to 80% of the entire population of the planet. Before the formation of herd immunity, an individual who has had a COVID-19 can catch it again. In this regard, the flu is not dangerous since most people develop lifelong immunity to it. Although only to a certain variant.
Causes of Shortness of Breath if Infected with COVID-19
An individual loses the ability to take a deep breath if infected with COVID-19. When the respiratory rate reaches 22 (or more) breaths per minute, this indicates the development of pneumonia. But if there is no cough, fever, and other symptoms, then shortness of breath is a purely psychological problem.
On What Day Does Shortness of Breath Occur?
Deterioration of breathing while being infected with COVID-19 can occur on the first day of clinical manifestations due to nasal congestion. But most often - by the end of the first week of the disease in case of pneumonia development. The coronavirus injures the alveoli of the lungs, disrupts gas exchange filling them with inflammatory lymph instead of air. Part of the lung ceases to participate in the absorption of oxygen, the removal of carbon dioxide.
Why Does COVID-19 Impair Hearing, Smell, and Taste?
The situation with COVID-19 is increasingly reminiscent of the Perfect Sense movie. After being infected with a mysterious virus, his characters gradually lost their sense of smell, then taste, then hearing… We have already got used to anosmia (impaired sense of smell) with COVID-19, and many have also complained about dysgeusia (impaired taste). And recently, it was officially proposed to add hearing impairment to the number of symptoms of COVID-19. This was stated by scientists at University College London and the Royal National Throat Nose and Ear Hospital.
How Exactly Does the COVID-19 Attack our Senses?
COVID-19 continues to pose a mystery for us. It turned out that SARS-CoV-2 affects the ear-nose-throat system differently than other respiratory viruses. It is known to penetrate cells by clinging to a specific receptor on their surface (the so-called angiotensin-converting receptor of type 2).
Such receptors are found in a wide variety of organs and tissues of our body, the mucous membrane of the nose and throat, lungs, heart, kidneys, etc. Moreover, the same receptors, as it turned out, are insensitive auditory cells. This is the name of the cells of the nervous tissue, which are responsible for the primary perception of smells and sound waves. When COVID-19 disrupts these cells, a person stops smelling or hearing sounds normally.
Why Does the Taste Disappear?
This is directly related to an impaired sense of smell. When an individual does not perceive smells, all food seems tasteless. There is a test that clearly confirms this. If you close your eyes and nose while eating, then you may not feel the difference in the dishes. Our taste is directly related to the sense of smell. And if the perception of smells is disturbed, then the taste also begins to suffer.