Sniff? Strep throat? Chills? Could it be Covid-19? "The reality is that with Covid any symptom seems possible at all," said Dr. Kathryn Boling, a family medicine specialist at Mercy Hospital in Baltimore, MD.
Dr. Boling had patients who believed they had allergies, colds, or sore throats – and who tested positive for Covid-19. "I tell my patients if you have something that you believe is your normal runny nose or allergies, sore throat that you think is a cold, you should act like it's Covid until proven otherwise "said Dr. Boling.
The World Health Organization has a list of the most common and less common symptoms of Covid-19, which has killed more than 1.5 million people worldwide. Chills, dizziness, nasal congestion, diarrhea, and a host of other symptoms are all indicators that the virus could be present.
Double the trouble
That body ache and sore throat could be a sore throat, a bacterial infection or Covid-19, a viral infection, or both. Dr. Boling stated that co-infections are quite possible.
Therefore, it is incredibly important that when people feel sick, act like it is Covid-19 until they get a test that proves otherwise.
How can you know
When so many symptoms can indicate Covid-19, how can people distinguish diseases? Dr. Boling said he should count back about five days and think about possible exposures. "If you have a cold, it means you've come into contact with a virus, even if it's just a cold," she explained. So if you have a disease like a urinary tract infection or infected cut that only affects a human host and some pesky bacteria, it is still a good idea to see a doctor. However, it is unlikely that Covid-19 is the culprit. But for people with a runny nose or worse, Dr. Boling: "If you get a cold or the flu or something like that, it means that you have been infected by someone, which means that it could be Covid."
For people concerned that their symptoms will put them on the Covid-19 hit list, here are two simple questions to ask yourself:
What did you do? Have you been out with other people? Has anyone been in your home and around other people? If the answers are yes, consider Covid-19 as a possibility.
Does this seem like a disease gotten from someone else? Covid-19 is a virus that spreads through respiratory droplets, just like the common cold and especially the flu. If your symptoms don't require transmission from another person, such as a migraine or a bacterial infection, Covid-19 is less likely.
Those who are concerned should call their doctor and take all precautions. Safer is better than sorry. "The problem with Covid is that you play Russian roulette," said Dr. Boling, "because I have patients in their nineties who got this and ran away." And then I have patients in their thirties who got this and who are so sick that I think they have to go to the hospital. “People who live with others and fear they have Covid-19 should warn the people they live with and take all appropriate precautions.
However, having symptoms doesn't mean someone has Covid-19. With so much overlap with the flu and other illnesses, and the possibility of co-infection, there are only two ways to tell if someone has Covid-19, test positive while they are sick, or antibodies after they feel better. To get a test, staff should check in advance whether to notify staff of symptoms and wear a mask.
Dr. Boling has seen symptoms as diverse as gum and skin pain that anything is possible with strange Covid-19 symptoms. Conclusion: If you have been exposed in particular, contact a doctor and have yourself tested for 10 days or quarantined. If you haven't already, you will be given a flu shot.