Coronavirus symptoms: know the signs of covid-19 from a flu, cold, or allergic rhinitis

The new coronavirus in Latin America has elevated doubts about the difference between the symptoms of covid-19 disease and signs of a common flu.

Coronavirus symptoms: know the signs of covid-19 from a flu, cold, or allergic rhinitis
Coronavirus symptoms: know the signs of covid-19 from a flu, cold, or allergic rhinitis
On Google, search terms like "snot" and "sneeze" have also increased relative to "coronavirus symptoms" in the past month, which may indicate that there is some confusion between the symptoms of the new coronavirus and other respiratory syndromes. mild as allergic rhinitis and cold.
"People must be aware that covid-19 is really a type of flu, so they have many symptoms in common," Paulo Ramos, an infectious disease specialist at Fiocruz Recife, a medical research institute, said.
"You have to be alert if you feel a shortness of breath. This indicates that the disease is complicating so it would be necessary to seek medical help," explains the specialist.
In case of doubt, consult and follow the action guide of your municipality, state or country.

Differences between coronavirus and common flu

The disease that causes the SARS-Cov-2 virus, called covid-19, is a respiratory infection that begins with symptoms like fever and dry cough and, after a week, can cause difficulty breathing.
Differences between coronavirus and common flu
The disease that causes the SARS-Cov-2 virus, called covid-19, is a respiratory infection that begins with symptoms like fever and dry cough and, after a week, can cause difficulty breathing.
According to an analysis by the World Health Organization based on a study with 56,000 patients, 80% of those infected develop mild symptoms (fever, cough and, in some cases, pneumonia), 14% severe symptoms (shortness of breath and difficulty breathing) and 6% serious illnesses (lung failure, septic shock, multi-organ failure and risk of death).
Among the symptoms presented by the patients, the most common were fever (approximately 88% of cases), dry cough (almost 68%) and tiredness (38%).
Difficulty breathing occurred in almost 19% of people, while symptoms such as a sore throat and headache appeared in 13% of cases.
4% of patients with the new coronavirus had diarrhea.
However, many other viruses can cause a cough, fever, sore throat and head, and a feeling of fatigue.
"There are probably over 200 viruses that cause the symptoms of the common cold, and these include the Influenza (flu) virus, which means that you can sometimes have the flu but experience symptoms so mild that you mistake them for a cold," said the virologist Jonathan Ball.
The experts consulted say that the symptoms should be monitored and if they remain mild, they can be treated at home.
It is necessary to have special attention in the case of the elderly and people with low immunity and to consult a medical professional in case of doubt.
"The flu is usually the only one that makes us feel muscle pain. And it usually lasts between three and five days. These could be indications that it is a common virus," Heloisa Ravagnani, president of the Society of Infectious Diseases of the Federal District, in Brazil.

What about the cold and allergies?

In the case of a cold, the symptoms tend to be even milder and, in general, only respiratory: snot, nasal congestion, cough and sore throat, but not always all at the same time.
"If the person coughs and has other mild symptoms, they should not forget to wear a mask when coming into contact with other people and clean the surfaces they have contact with. They may not have covid-19, but, at a time like this, all care is welcome, "says the infectologist.
Allergic respiratory syndromes such as seasonal allergic rhinitis, common in periods such as fall and spring, can cause runny nose and congestion, also common in colds, flu, and covid-19.
But generally, these syndromes are characterized by sneezing and are unlikely to cause a cough or fever, explains Paulo Sergio Ramos.
"The important thing is that people, even if they suffer from allergies, colds or the common flu, keep a distance of one meter from others when coughing or sneezing. It is also essential that they use their forearm or a handkerchief (which they should throw away) when they cough or they sneeze and after doing so always wash their hands to avoid the spread of other viruses, "he warns.
Following these rules is important because, according to the largest study to date on the new coronavirus, conducted by the Center for Disease Control and Prevention in China, 80% of patients will have mild symptoms.
However, there is scientific evidence that even a symptom-free person can transmit the virus.

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