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5 Signs Your Symptoms are COVID, Say Doctors

There are a few key signs your illness is coronavirus.
Groggy, young woman yawning in front of her bathroom mirror

During the winter months there are a number of illnesses circulating during any given year, most commonly the cold and flu. However, this year, with COVID-19 in the mix, it can be difficult to distinguish one from the other. Additionally, coronavirus infections range dramatically in severity.  "There is a wide spectrum of disease spanning from asymptotic individuals to hospitalized and critically ill,"  Darren Mareiniss, MD, Assistant Professor of Emergency Medicine at Sidney Kimmel Medical College – Thomas Jefferson University, tells Eat This, Not That! Health. This means that it is important to pay attention to any and all signs of illness you might be experiencing, and if they seem like they could possibly be COVID-19, you should consider isolating or taking a test. "During this surge, the following viral symptoms should be highly suspicious for COVID-19," Dr. Mareiniss says. Here are 5 signs your symptoms are COVID, and to ensure your health and the health of others, don't miss these Sure Signs You've Already Had Coronavirus



young woman sitting on a couch having a strong headache

A "persistent fever" is one of the main COVID symptoms to look out for, maintains Dr. Mareiniss. 



Young man suffering from cold at his home

While chills are not specific to COVID-19, they are one of the main symptoms Dr. Mareiniss' patient's experience. The episodes of shivering are usually a precursor of a fever or result of one. 

RELATED: 7 Tips You Must Follow to Avoid COVID, Say Doctors


Loss of Smell/Taste

Portrait of young woman smelling a fresh and sweet nectarine

One of the most unusual symptoms that many COVID-19 patients claim was one of their first is loss of their senses, namely smell and taste. 


Shortness of Breath

man wearing air filter mask having Dyspnea, breathing difficulty, respiratory distress in unhealthy, danger, polluted air environment

Due to the fact that COVID-19 attacks the respiratory system, many people have difficulty breathing as a result. Shortness of breath, also called dyspnea, is one of the viruses hallmark symptoms, says Dr. Mareiniss. 

RELATED: The New COVID Symptom Every Woman Needs to Know



Sick woman covered with a blanket lying in bed with high fever and a flu.

While feeling rundown is common when you are feeling sick, if you suddenly experience severe exhaustion that isn't associated with a lack of sleep or exerting a lot of energy, you should consider COVID. And, unfortunately, COVID related fatigue tends to linger. According to a pre-print study released in September, 52% of 128 COVID-positive patients reported "persistent fatigue" weeks after they were diagnosed.


What You Should Do if You Experience These Symptoms

Woman in isolation at home for virus outbreak.

If you are experiencing any or all of these symptoms, it doesn't necessarily mean you have COVID-19. However, due to the infectious nature of the virus and in light of the recent surge in cases, it's likely that you do— so you should either quarantine from others or get tested to rule it out, suggests Dr. Mareiniss. 

And, to protect yourself from getting infected in the first place—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, don't visit any of these 35 Places You're Most Likely to Catch COVID.