The SARS-CoV-2 coronavirus is extremely contagious. It has now spread to 180 countries and claimed over 47,000 lives.
According to the World Health Organisation (WHO), the most common symptoms of coronavirus are a fever, cough, shortness of breath and breathing difficulties.
It is believed that the virus can spread through the body at different rates depending on the strength of a person’s immune system. This could explain why a wider variety of symptoms have been reported alongside the most common implications.
Coronavirus disease is considered most dangerous for older people, with those over the age of 80 identified as most vulnerable.
There remains many unknowns about this novel virus that causes the coronavirus disease (COVID-19).
Some reports suggest that a number of lesser known and milder symptoms may also accompany the WHO’s clearly identifiable and widely publicised signs of infection.
Symptoms such as physical and mental fatigue, lack of appetite or burning, itchy eyes could potentially present signs of coronavirus infection.
According to a study published in the American Journal of Gastroenterology, digestive problems such as nausea, vomiting or diarrhoea could also be an early onset sign of coronavirus. This research focused on patients in the Wuhan province of China, where the outbreak is understood to have started.
The study found that many coronavirus patients experienced “digestive symptoms as their chief complaint” and stated that those with these issues before respiratory problems have a higher risk of mortality compared to those without digestive symptoms.
The reality of the coronavirus pandemic is that experts do not have a clear and concrete understanding of why it affects patients in such varying levels of intensity.
So many uncertainties means that it is vital to follow all precautions and hygiene guidance as outlined by the WHO.
What should I do to prevent catching and spreading the virus?
- Wash your hands frequently with soap and water or with an alcohol based hand-sanitiser
- Cover your mouth and nose with a disposable tissue, sleeve or flexed elbow when coughing or sneezing.
- Throw away used tissues (then wash your hands).
- Avoid touching your eyes, nose and mouth with unwashed hands.
- Avoid close contact with people who are unwell.
- Stay home if you feel unwell. If you have a fever, cough and difficulty breathing, seek medical attention and call in advance. Follow the directions of your local health authority.