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If You Have These COVID Symptoms, Seek "Urgent" Care

These are the signs of a serious coronavirus infection.

It's been a year since the first cases of COVID-19 were identified in Wuhan, China. By now, nearly everyone is well aware of the most common symptoms of the virus — including shortness of breath, fever, dry cough, fatigue, new loss of taste or smell. Since healthcare resources are limited and many hospitals across the country are at capacity, it is better to recover from a milder case of coronavirus in the comfort of your own home. However, there is still some confusion as to when an infection warrants a trip to the emergency room or urgent care. 

While you should contact your healthcare provider if you experience any of the milder COVID-19 symptoms, the CDC urges you to seek emergency medical immediately if you experience the following. Read on, and to ensure your health and the health of others, don't miss these Sure Signs You've Already Had Coronavirus.


Trouble Breathing

Woman suffering an anxiety attack alone in the night

While shortness of breath is a common symptom of COVID-19, if the issue continues to worsen to the point where you are having trouble breathing, it is time to head to the hospital. Many individuals who suffer from severe COVID infections need to be hooked up to a ventilator to help them breathe, due to the virus' attack on their lungs. 

"If you are short of breath, extremely weak, have chest pain or pass out, you should seek urgent care. Patient tend to have worsening covid symptoms at day 6-10 of symptoms. Viral pneumonia and ARDS can develop causing life threatening hypoxia. Also, patients with covid are more likely to have pulmonary emboli. This can cause shortness of breath, chest pain and may result in syncope (passing out). Seek immediate Emergency Care with these types of symptoms," says Dr. Darren Mareiniss, MD, FACEP, Emergency Medicine Physician at Einstein Medical Center in Philadelphia.


Persistent Pain or Pressure in the Chest

Man With Heart Attack

There are a variety of reasons you might experience pain or pressure in the chest when infected with COVID-19 — and none of them are good. While it could be simply a result of incessant coughing fits, other more serious causes can include pneumonia, inflamed lungs, or worst case scenario, pulmonary embolism, which occurs when a blood clot breaks away and travels down into the lungs. 


New Confusion

Melancholy woman resting at the terrace

In serious cases of COVID-19, people can experience neurological symptoms, including confusion. If you experience any sort of new confusion, you should get yourself urgent medical care. 


Inability to Wake or Stay Awake

Fatigued woman lying at bedstead

If your fatigue gets to the point where you simply can't wake up or stay awake, it is a sign of a serious COVID-19 infection and you should get medical attention ASAP. 

RELATED: COVID Symptoms Usually Appear in This Order, Study Finds


Bluish Lips or Face

Dark purplish lips color in congenital cyanotic heart disease girl patient.

Any sort of discoloration of your lips or face can signal a lack of oxygen in the blood. If you notice a change in your coloring, you need to seek help immediately. So do so, and to get through this pandemic at your healthiest, don't miss these 35 Places You're Most Likely to Catch COVID.

Leah Groth
Leah Groth has decades of experience covering all things health, wellness and fitness related. Read more about Leah