What symptoms are associated with COVID-19?
We continue to get new information about symptoms and signs of COVID-19 infection. The most common symptoms are fever, cough, fatigue, body aches, sore throat, and congestion, but we are also seeing reports of diarrhea and loss of smell. Less than 10% of patients have more severe symptoms such as shortness of breath, chest pain, new confusion, or inability to arouse.
What do I do if I have symptoms or have been exposed?
If you think you have COVID-19, the best thing to do is stay home and isolate yourself. Always call your health care provider before going to the office. Avoid going to an emergency room unless you have any or all of these symptoms:
- Shortness of breath
- Persistent high fevers
- Worsening symptoms after you initially started to feel better
Your health care provider will determine if you need to be tested. Testing is most important if you have symptoms of a fever or respiratory infection and one of the following:
- Are sick enough to need to be in a hospital.
- Have risk factors for a more severe infection such as heart, lung, or kidney disease, diabetes or a compromised immune system.
- Work or live in a communal setting (e.g. a hospital, daycare, college dorm, or nursing home).
I have mild symptoms, what should I do?
Most people who have COVID-19 infection are mildly ill and improve with supportive care like resting and drinking plenty of fluids. Mild symptoms include low-grade fever, cough, and congestion similar to what you might have with the common cold.
We recommend that you continue to isolate yourself while you have symptoms. You should stay home and should not go to work, spend time in public areas, or take public transportation, use a ride-sharing service or take a taxi.
You should try to stay in a separate room and use a separate bathroom from anyone else in your house if that is possible. Continue to wash your hands frequently, and cover your cough or sneeze.
We recommend people stay isolated for at least a week after the onset of their symptoms or for three days after their fever is gone and symptoms have significantly improved whichever one of those is longer.
What should I do if my symptoms are getting worse?
If you do develop worsening symptoms such as difficulty breathing, you should call ahead to your doctor’s office. They can help direct you to either their office or an emergency department for further evaluation. If you need to go to the doctor or ER, you should wear a mask. If you do not have a mask at home, please request one when you arrive.
If you are experiencing difficulty breathing, call 911 or go to the closest emergency room. Be sure to let them know of your concern for COVID-19 (coronavirus).