General Practice 2022

9 first symptoms of COVID-19 (with online test)

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9 first symptoms of COVID-19 (with online test)
9 first symptoms of COVID-19 (with online test)
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The new coronavirus, SARS-CoV-2, responsible for COVID-19, can cause several different symptoms that, depending on the person, can range from a simple flu to severe pneumonia.

Typically the first symptoms of COVID-19 include:

  1. Dry and persistent cough;
  2. Fever above 38º C;
  3. Excessive fatigue;
  4. Generalized muscle pain;
  5. Headache;
  6. Sore throat;
  7. Coryza or stuffy nose;
  8. Alterations in intestinal transit, mainly diarrhea;
  9. Loss of taste and smell.

These symptoms appear 2 to 14 days after exposure to the virus and are similar to those of a common flu, and can be confused. Understand how to differentiate the symptoms of COVID-19, flu or cold.

In some cases, it is also possible to notice changes in the fingers, popularly known as "covid fingers", which can be painless or cause intense pain, itching, swelling and the appearance of blisters, in addition to rough skin, with elevations and red or purple color, being the result of an immune system response to infection. In general, people with "covid fingers" do not show the classic symptoms of infection with the new coronavirus.

Online Symptom Test

If you think you may be infected, please answer the following questions to find out what your risk is and what to do:

  1. 1.Do you have a headache or general discomfort? Yes No
  2. 2.Do you feel generalized muscle pain? Yes No
  3. 3.Do you feel excessively tired? Yes No
  4. 4.Do you have nasal congestion or runny nose? Yes No
  5. 5.Have a severe cough, especially a dry one? Yes No
  6. 6.Do you feel intense pain or persistent pressure in your chest? Yes No
  7. 7.Do you have a fever above 38ºC? Yes No
  8. 8.Do you experience difficulty breathing or shortness of breath? Yes No
  9. 9.Are your lips or face slightly blue? Yes No
  10. 10.Have a sore throat? Yes No
  11. 11.Do you have loss of smell or taste? Yes No
  12. 12.Have you been to a place with a high number of COVID-19 cases in the last 14 days? Yes No
  13. 13.Do you think you have had contact with someone who may have COVID-19 in the last 14 days? Yes No

Result:

Make an appointment with a specialist

Severe symptoms of COVID-19

In more severe cases, the initial symptoms get worse in a short time, with difficulty breathing, chest pain and confusion, for example. In these cases, the infection is considered serious and should be treated in the hospital as soon as possible.

The most severe symptoms of COVID-19 seem to appear especially in people over the age of 60 or who have some type of weakened immune system, as can happen in cases of autoimmune disease, chronic illness or transplants.

Symptoms of COVID in vaccinated and unvaccinated people

According to a study published in the UK [1], whose data were obtained through an app in which UK people diagnosed with COVID-19 indicated the presented symptoms, as well as the fact of having been vaccinated with one or two doses of the vaccine, it was possible to identify small differences between the presented symptoms.

Through this study, it was possible to observe that the main symptoms reported in unvaccinated people were headache, sore throat, runny nose, fever and persistent cough, while people vaccinated with one dose of the vaccine said they had mainly headache, runny nose, sore throat, sneezing and persistent cough.In the case of people with complete vaccination, it was indicated that the main symptoms were headache, runny nose, sneezing, sore throat and loss of smell.

It is worth remembering that the results presented are based only on the United Kingdom, where the delta variant is predominant. Thus, the symptoms reported for this population do not necessarily reflect the reality of symptoms presented by people in other parts of the world, including Brazil.

What to do in case of suspicion

If you have symptoms of COVID-19, have a positive test or have been in contact with someone infected, please select your situation to find out what to do:

  • option=b, @block-A1"' > I tested positive for COVID-19.
  • option=c, @block-A1"' > I have symptoms suggestive of COVID-19.
  • option=d, @block-A1"' > I've been in contact with positive case.
  • option=f, @block-F1"' > I've had COVID-19, but I still have symptoms.
  • option=e, @block-A1"' > I want to know more information.
  • country=en, @block-B1"}, {"condition":"option=c", "action":">country=en, @block-C1"}, {"condition":"option=d", "action":">country=en, @block-D2"}, {"condition":"option=e", "action":">country=en, @block-E1"}]' > Portugal
  • country=br, @block-B1"}, {"condition":"option=c", "action":">country=br, @block-C1"}, {"condition":"option=d", "action":">country=br, @block-D1"}, {"condition":"option=e", "action":">country=br, @block-E1"}]' >
  • Self-test.
  • Rapid antigen test.
  • RT-PCR.
  • Restart

    • I have no symptoms.
    • I only have mild symptoms (fever, cough, tiredness, headache, sore throat, loss of taste…).
    • I have moderate symptoms (very intense cough, some shortness of breath, excessive tiredness…).
    • I'm really short of breath.
    • Restart

      Quarantine/isolation: how long it lasts and how to stay he althy

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    • RT-PCR for COVID-19: when to do it and results

    Restart

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    Restart

    • No.
    • I did a self-test
    • I did a rapid antigen test.
    • I did RT-PCR test.
    • Restart

      COVID-19 rapid test: how it is done, where to do it and results

    • RT-PCR for COVID-19: when to do it and results

    Restart

    • test=0"' > Negative
    • test=1"' > Positive
    • Restart

      It is possible that your symptoms are a sign of another infection, such as the flu or H3N2, for example. Still, we advise you to repeat the COVID-19 test within the next 3 days. Check out the differences between flu, COVID-19 and a cold.

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    Restart

    • risk=1, @block-D5"' > I live with the person who tested positive.
    • I have been in direct contact with the positive person (less than 2 meters) for more than 15 minutes and I am a he alth professional or work in an institution for the elderly.
    • risk=0"' > The person who tests positive does not live with me.
    • Restart

      • Yes.
      • No.

      Your contact is considered high risk. You do not need to isolate yourself, but you must maintain all personal protective measures for 14 days, be aware of the appearance of symptoms and perform a COVID test as soon as possible (rapid test or RT-PCR).If the result of the 1st test is negative, you must repeat the test between the 3rd and 5th day after contact with the positive person.

      COVID-19 rapid test: how it is done, where to do it and results

    • RT-PCR for COVID-19: when to do it and results

    Restart

    Your contact is considered low risk.For this reason, you don't need to do isolation, or perform COVID test. However, you must maintain all individual protection measures (such as wearing a mask and avoiding unnecessary travel) and be aware of the appearance of symptoms in the next 14 days.

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    How to confirm the diagnosis

    The diagnosis of COVID-19 is initiated by the physician by evaluating the person's symptoms and contact history. However, the diagnosis can only be confirmed after a COVID-19 test with respiratory secretions or a blood test to confirm that it really is an infection with the new coronavirus or not.Depending on the type of exam, results may take hours or days depending on the laboratory in which it is performed. Learn more about COVID-19 testing.

    How to catch COVID-19

    Coronavirus transmission occurs mainly through inhalation of droplets released into the air when coughing or sneezing. However, it is also possible to catch COVID-19 when you come into contact with an infected surface and then rub your face, especially the mucous membranes of your eyes, nose or mouth. Learn about the main ways of transmitting COVID-19.

    The risk of transmitting the disease appears to be highest in the 2 days prior to the onset of symptoms and 3 days after the onset of symptoms.

    Is it possible to get COVID-19 more than once?

    There are reported cases of people becoming infected with COVID-19 more than once, however, and according to the CDC[1], the risk of catching it again the virus after a previous infection is reduced, particularly in the first 90 days after infection, as the body develops natural immunity during this period.

    In any case, the ideal is to maintain all the necessary precautions to avoid a new infection, such as wearing a personal protective mask, washing your hands frequently and maintaining social distance.

    Variants of COVID-19

    Because it is an RNA virus, it is possible that SARS-CoV-2, which is the virus responsible for COVID-19, undergoes several mutations over time, giving rise to variants. The variant of COVID-19 considered to be of concern to the World Organization due to the greater ease of transmission is Ômicron and its subvariants.

    How the treatment is done

    There is no specific treatment for COVID-19, and supportive measures are recommended, such as hydration, rest and light and balanced diet. In addition, medicines for fever and painkillers, such as Paracetamol, and medicines that can help improve immunity and fight symptoms are also indicated, provided they are used under the supervision of a doctor, to facilitate recovery.

    Some studies are being carried out with the aim of testing the effectiveness of various antiviral drugs to eliminate the virus, and it has been verified that the antiviral Remdesivir is capable of inhibiting the replication of the virus's genetic material, which would be effective in fight against COVID-19 and, therefore, its use was authorized by ANVISA. However, this medication is only indicated for patients who have pneumonia and are not on mechanical ventilation, being administered by injection.

    In addition to Remdesivir, other drugs are being studied so that they can be released by Organs responsible bodies and included in new therapeutic protocols. See more about drugs being tested for COVID-19.

    In the most severe cases, the infected person can also develop viral pneumonia, with symptoms such as intense pressure in the chest, high fever and shortness of breath. In these cases, admission to the hospital is recommended, to receive oxygen and to be under continuous surveillance of vital signs.

    Who is most at risk for complications

    The risk of serious complications from COVID-19, such as pneumonia, appears to be greater in people over 60 years of age and all those with a weakened immune system. Thus, in addition to the elderly, they are also part of the risk group:

    • People with chronic illnesses such as cancer, diabetes, kidney failure or heart disease;
    • People with autoimmune diseases such as lupus or multiple sclerosis;
    • People with infections that affect the immune system, such as HIV;
    • People undergoing cancer treatment, especially chemotherapy;
    • People who have had recent surgery, especially transplants;
    • People who are being treated with immunosuppressants.

    In addition, people with obesity (BMI over 30) are also at greater risk of developing serious complications, because excess weight makes the lungs have to work harder for the body to be properly oxygenated, which which also influences the activity of the heart.It is also common that associated with obesity there are other chronic diseases, such as diabetes and hypertension, making the body susceptible to the development of complications.

    Online test: are you part of a risk group?

    To find out if you are part of a risk group for COVID-19, answer this quick test:

    Illustrative image of the questionnaire
    • Male
    • Female
    • No
    • Diabetes
    • Hypertension
    • Cancer
    • Heart disease
    • Other
    • No
    • Lupus
    • Multiple Sclerosis
    • Sickle Cell Anemia
    • HIV/AIDS
    • Other
    • Yes
    • No
    • Yes
    • No
    • Yes
    • No
    • No
    • Corticosteroids, such as Prednisolone
    • Immunosuppressants such as Cyclosporine
    • Other

    Being in the risk group does not mean that there is a greater chance of catching the disease, but that there is an increased risk of developing serious complications that can be life-threatening. Thus, during periods of epidemic or pandemic, these people should, whenever possible, self-isolate or social distance to decrease the chances of catching the disease.

    Coronavirus or COVID-19?

    "Coronavirus" is actually the name given to a group of viruses belonging to the same family, the Coronaviridae, which are responsible for respiratory infections that can be mild or quite severe depending on the coronavirus responsible for the infection.

    So far, 7 types of coronavirus that can affect humans are known:

    1. SARS-CoV-2 (COVID-19);
    2. 229E;
    3. NL63;
    4. OC43;
    5. HKU1;
    6. SARS-CoV;
    7. MERS-CoV.

    The new coronavirus is actually known in the scientific community as SARS-CoV-2 and the infection caused by the virus is COVID-19. Other known diseases caused by other types of coronavirus are, for example, SARS and MERS, responsible for Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome and Middle East Respiratory Syndrome, respectively.

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