These are some of the first symptoms associated with COVID-19, the disease caused by the new coronavirus.
But as more and more people test positive for the virus, medical experts have found that many patients also experience additional symptoms.
Dr. Sumon Chakrabarti, a Mississauga-based infectious and tropical disease specialist at Trillium Health Partners, said headaches, loss of smell and taste, and chest pain are among the new symptoms of COVID-19 .
READ MORE: This is what can happen to your lungs when you have a coronavirus
“Most of the cases that caught people’s attention at the outset were serious cases,” said Chakrabarti.
The story continues under advertising
“These are people with severe shortness of breath, fatigue, high fevers and a dry cough. However, as the picture opened, we started to see milder cases. “
COVID-19 patients – especially the elderly – also report gastrointestinal symptoms, such as nausea, vomiting and diarrhea, he said.
Chakrabarti added that there are typical symptoms that people can have, but that it is different for everyone and some symptoms are more common than others.
Coronavirus epidemic: Trudeau points out that masks do more to protect others than the wearer
How long do the symptoms last?
People who tested positive for the new coronavirus may experience symptoms for an average of six days, he said.
It is important to note, however, that you can be contagious for much longer.
Patients with severe cases can be contagious for up to two weeks after being exposed to COVID-19. Mild cases can be quite dangerous, as people may be less inclined to take it seriously, said Chakrabarti.
READ MORE: Do you think you have symptoms of coronavirus? Here’s who to call first
If you have a mild case, said Chakrabarti, you can be contagious for almost three days before you have symptoms and then for another eight days after you first have symptoms.
“It is not the symptoms they necessarily overlook, it is the fact that the symptoms they present are very mild,” said Chakrabarti.
[ Sign up for our Health IQ newsletter for the latest coronavirus updates ]
“People think, ‘If I have something really sweet, it’s not COVID-19’ because we think COVID-19 is severe in everyone. “
But that is not the case, he said.
For example, someone may have a sore throat and think it is allergies or dry air. They will then come into contact with a family member or friend who may have underlying health problems, potentially causing them to get the virus.
How to practice self-isolation well
Another challenge with the coronavirus is that some people can be contagious without showing symptoms, Dr Houston Lukasz Kwapisz, an internal medicine doctor, previously told Global News.
That’s why it’s important to take public health recommendations seriously by practicing physical distance and staying indoors.
“You really want to reduce the reservoir of the virus,” said Kwapisz, who is also an assistant professor at Baylor College of Medicine in Houston.
“In other words, for the virus to survive, it must continue to spread. It needs to be passed on to more people. “
READ MORE: My 14-day coronavirus self-isolation period is over. Now what?
What to do in case of symptoms
If you start to experience COVID-19 symptoms, you can use the COVID-19 Symptom Self-Assessment Tool. This can help you determine if you need to see a doctor.
Health Canada also explains on its website that if you have symptoms, you should isolate yourself from others as soon as possible.
The government agency then recommends that you call a health professional or the public health authority in the province or territory where you live and tell them about your symptoms and / or travel history. The health authority will then advise on what you should do.
If you are asked to isolate yourself, you must do so for at least 14 days.
” But if you have developed a significant fever and shortness of breath –– to the point where you feel very uncomfortable and especially if you have health problems like emphysema, asthma, heart problems – in these situations we recommend that you go to the emergency room, “said Chakrabarti.
Who to contact if you have COVID-19 symptoms
Public health authorities’ hotlines for calling by province or territory:
British Columbia: 811
New Brunswick: 811
New Scotland: 811
Prince Edward Island: 811
Newfoundland and Labrador: 811 or 1-888-709-2929
Northwest Territories: 811
– With files from Olivia Bowden
Questions about COVID-19? Here are some things you should know:
Health authorities warn against all international travel. Return travelers are legally required to self-isolate for 14 days, starting March 26, in case they develop symptoms and to prevent the spread of the virus to others. Some provinces and territories have also implemented additional recommendations or enforcement measures to provide self-isolation for people returning to the region.
Symptoms may include fever, cough, and difficulty breathing – very similar to a cold or the flu. Some people may develop a more serious illness. Those most at risk are the elderly and people with serious chronic conditions such as heart, lung or kidney disease. If you develop symptoms, contact public health authorities.
To prevent the virus from spreading, experts recommend washing your hands frequently and coughing up your sleeve. They also recommend minimizing contact with others, staying at home as much as possible, and keeping two meters away from others if you go out.
For full COVID-19 coverage by Global News, click here.
–– With Global News files »
See the link »
© 2020 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.