7 Signs You've Caught COVID, Like Ellen DeGeneres
Earlier this month, Ellen DeGeneres announced she was the latest celebrity to test positive for COVID-19. And, she revealed how it's going. "Hi everybody, just saying thank you to all the well wishes out there. I appreciate it very much," DeGeneres said in an Instagram video posted yesterday. "I am feeling 100 percent. I feel really good….One thing they don't tell you is you get, somehow, excruciating back pain," she continued, adding that she "didn't know that was a symptom." "Who knew? How come?" DeGeneres wondered. "Back pain. Bad." Yes, muscle aches and back pain is a symptom. One important aspect of preventing the virus from spreading to others—and saving yourself—is identifying your own infection. Read on for 7 ways to tell if you have COVID, and to ensure your health and the health of others, don't miss these Sure Signs You've Already Had Coronavirus.
Fever or Chills
Similar to the flu, a fever is one of the most common initial symptoms of COVID-19. While some people with the virus experience a brief uptick in temperature two to 14 days after initial exposure if you experience a fever of 100.4º F or 38º C or higher, you should call your physician.
A persistent dry cough — usually paired with fever — is the most common sign of coronavirus. Unlike a wet cough, there will be little to-no-mucus involved. While other symptoms might be temporary, according to a July study by the CDC, 43% of people who had been diagnosed with COVID-19 reported their cough hadn't gone away by 14 to 21 days after their initial positive test.
Shortness of Breath or Difficulty Breathing
Shortness of breath is another defining symptom of COVID-19, as the virus attacks the respiratory system. While it is one of the first symptoms, it can linger for weeks to month depending on how inflammation and damage the lungs experience.
Another common symptom of COVID-19 is crushing fatigue that can impair your ability to concentrate. For some people, this symptom doesn't go away. "You can see people who've recovered who really do not get back to normal that they have things that are highly suggestive of myalgic encephalomyelitis and chronic fatigue syndrome: Brain fog, fatigue, and difficulty in concentrating," said Dr. Anthony Fauci, Director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases and member of the White House coronavirus task force last month. "This is something we really need to seriously look at, because it very well might be a post-viral syndrome associated with COVID-19."
Muscle or Body Aches—Even, Like Ellen, Back Pain
A common sign your body is battling COVID-19 is muscle or body aches, similar to those experienced when infected with influenza.
New Loss of Taste or Smell
Another defining initial symptom of COVID-19 is loss of sense of taste or smell. According to one study published in the Journal of the American Medical Association, 64% of people with COVID-19 reported a loss of smell or taste. While a July CDC survey found that the symptom lasted a median time of eight days, for others this symptom can linger for months.
You Test Positive
The only way to really know if you have been infected with COVID-19 is to get tested. If you think you have been exposed to the virus or are experiencing any symptoms, you should call your healthcare provider immediately or find a place to get tested. And, until your test results come back, you should plan on avoiding contact with others just in case you are infected. And to help end this surge, no matter where you live—wear a face mask, social distance, avoid large crowds, don't go indoors with people you're not sheltering with (especially in bars), practice good hand hygiene and to protect your life and the lives of others, and don't visit any of these 35 Places You're Most Likely to Catch COVID.