6 Quick Signs You Have COVID Now, According to the CDC
While COVID-19 positivity rates have been increasing across the country, one thing is clear: a lot of people who think they have the virus, don't. And a lot of people who think they don't have it, might. This is due to the fact that coronavirus symptoms can be strikingly similar to other illnesses, including the common cold and flu. So what are the key signs that you could have the virus? Here are six of the many possible symptoms, courtesy of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Read on to see if you have any—and to ensure your health and the health of others, don't miss these Sure Signs You've Already Had Coronavirus.
You Are Likely to Have a Fever or Chills
Temperature changes are a common symptom of COVID-19 per the CDC, especially a fever. Many people with the virus experience a brief uptick in temperature two to 14 days after initial exposure. However, others experience severe fevers over 100.4º F or 38º C or higher.
You Might Have a Cough
Many people infected with the virus also report a lingering cough, that is more dry than wet with little to no mucus. While many other symptoms might be temporary, the COVID cough tends to linger. 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.
You May Experience Shortness of Breath or Difficulty Breathing
COVID-19 attacks the respiratory system, leaving many with the scary symptom of shortness of breath. While it is one of the first symptoms, it can linger for weeks—with long haulers experiencing it for months on end. This is generally due to inflammation in the lungs.
You Might Feel Fatigue
Severe exhaustion and fatigue are also common symptoms of the virus, per the CDC. For some, this can continue long after the initial infection has passed. "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."
You May Experience a New Loss of Taste or Smell
One more specific symptom of COVID-19 is the loss of smell and taste. According to one study published in the Journal of the American Medical Association, 64% of people with COVID-19 reported losing these sensations after becoming infected with the virus. While a July CDC survey found that the symptom lasted a median time of eight days, for others this symptom can linger for months.
What to Do if You Experience These Symptoms
"If you have a fever, cough or other symptoms, you might have COVID-19," says the CDC. "Most people have mild illness and are able to recover at home. If you think you may have been exposed to COVID-19, contact your healthcare provider, and if you have an emergency warning sign (including trouble breathing), get emergency medical care immediately." For a complete list of all the COVID symptoms, don't miss these Sure Signs You Have COVID Now, According to the CDC.