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Sure Signs You Have COVID Now, According to WHO

"COVID-19 affects different people in different ways," says the World Health Organization (WHO).

With coronavirus deaths in the United States now past 306,000 in under a year—and the worst of the pandemic predicted to come—you are right to be concerned that you may get infected. Knowing the signs you are is essential. "COVID-19 affects different people in different ways," says the World Health Organization (WHO), the United Nations agency responsible for international public health. "Most infected people will develop mild to moderate illness and recover without hospitalization." Others can get a potentially lifelong debilitating illness, dubbed Post-COVID Syndrome. Still others catch COVID—and never come back. Read on to see WHO's list of coronavirus symptoms, so you can protect yourself, and to ensure your health and the health of others, don't miss these Sure Signs You've Already Had Coronavirus.


You May Develop a Fever

Sick woman with cold and flu.

"Fevers may not be a big deal under ordinary circumstances," says Dr. Gan Eng Cern, a physician and an ear, nose & throat surgeon in Singapore, a country that is said to have "beaten" coronavirus using a contract tracing app among other measures. "But during these times, a body temperature of 100.4°F or higher can be your immune system's attempt at fighting off the viral infestation."


You May Have a Dry Cough

Woman coughing hardly at home

"Phlegm-free cough is the most common early sign of COVID-19," says Dr. Cern. "It will feel like the usual, ordinary dry cough but the duration of coughing (which can happen for up to an hour) as well as the frequency (3 or more episodes within a day), are the tell-tale signs that you're pandemic positive."


You May Feel an Unusually Strong Tiredness

tired woman

"Many people who get COVID-19 are experiencing this long term symptom," says Dr. Matt Ashley from the Centre for Neuro Skills, which has locations in California and Texas. "The intensity varies from person to person, but many are having difficulty performing even basic daily activities like getting around their living environment or doing their weekly shopping routines, let alone returning to work, parenting, exercise, etc."


You May Have Aches and Pains

Tired woman massaging rubbing stiff sore neck tensed muscles fatigued from computer work in incorrect posture

"Fatigue and muscle aches are nature's way of saying, take it easy and use all your energy to fight this thing and let the housekeeping go," says Sheldon Zablow, MD.

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You May Have a Sore Throat

Young woman has strong sore throat

"Both COVID-19 and the flu share the symptom of a sore throat, reports the CDC," says Dr. Zablow. "But if you experience a sore throat, especially if it's accompanied by the other symptoms on this list, assume you have COVID until you are tested, to be safe."


You May Have Diarrhea

Middle aged woman suffering from abdominal pain while sitting on bed at home

"Many people with COVID-19 experience gastrointestinal symptoms such as nausea, vomiting or diarrhea, sometimes prior to developing fever and lower respiratory tract signs and symptoms," says the CDC

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You May Get Pink Eye (Conjunctivitis)

Closeup of irritated red bloodshot eye

"Pink eye (conjunctivitis) is an inflammation or infection of the transparent membrane (conjunctiva) that lines your eyelid and covers the white part of your eyeball," says the Mayo Clinic. "When small blood vessels in the conjunctiva become inflamed, they're more visible. This is what causes the whites of your eyes to appear reddish or pink."


You May Get Brutal Headaches

man in white casual t-shirt, holding head with both hands, suffering from severe headache

"Some individuals are describing headaches that they never experienced prior to COVID or that are substantially worsened by their infection," says Dr. Ashley. "COVID victims have described theirs as a jackhammer," says Dr. Zablow.


You May Have a Sudden Loss of Taste or Smell

"Loss of taste and smell is one of the early signs of COVID-19 infection," says Dr. Ramin Ahmadi, the chief medical officer for Graduate Medical Education Global LLC, a Houston-based, international healthcare workforce and education solutions firm working to stop COVID. "It is by no means unique to COVID but it is highly suggestive of the diagnosis during this pandemic." "In fact, this study found that 45-77% of people with COVID lost their sense of smell," says Lisa Ravindra, MD, FACP


You May Get a Rash on Your Skin, or Discoloration of Fingers or Toes

Woman holding feet toes

"The redness of toes and fingers are strong indicators of COVID," says Dr. James Giordano, Professor in the Departments of Neurology and Biochemistry at Georgetown University Medical Center.


You May Have Difficulty Breathing or Shortness of Breath

Woman suffering respiration problems sitting on a couch in the living room at home

"As COVID progresses shortness of breath can occur as the antibody/viral complexes build up in the capillaries of the lung tissues that exchange oxygen," says Dr. Zablow. "If this stage is reached, call your physician or urgent care."


You May Have Chest Pain or Pressure

Man With Heart Attack

"If someone has trouble breathing, chest pain or pressure, or difficulty staying awake, get medical care immediately," says the CDC.

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You May Have a Loss of Speech or Movement

Woman sleeps in bed with a face mask on

"This is due to damage of the brain from interruption of its blood supply," says the Mayo Clinic. "This can also lead to a stroke or be a sign of one, so it's important to keep an eye out for this symptom."


How to Survive the Pandemic

Woman with medical mask to protect her from virus

"Seek immediate medical attention if you have serious symptoms. Always call before visiting your doctor or health facility," instructs WHO. "People with mild symptoms who are otherwise healthy should manage their symptoms at home. On average it takes 5–6 days from when someone is infected with the virus for symptoms to show, however it can take up to 14 days." And no matter who you are: wear a face-covering unless your doctor advises against it, only leave the home if it's essential, wash your hands frequently, practice social distancing, monitor your health and to get through this pandemic at your healthiest, don't miss these 35 Places You're Most Likely to Catch COVID.

Emilia Paluszek
Emilia specializes in human biology and psychology at the University at Albany. Read more about Emilia