Dry cough, fever and shortness of breath: what is known so far about the course of an infection – and what is not.
The typical symptoms of the coronavirus
Doctors and scientists are currently learning new things every day. What is still regarded as the irrefutable truth can no longer be valid in a few days. However, there are already a few findings on the course of an infection and subsequent illness with the Sars-CoV-2 virus – and the longer the corona pandemic continues, the more accurate the descriptions of the course of the disease and the symptoms observed will be.
When do symptoms appear?
On average it takes five to six days from the moment of infection until the first symptoms appear. The incubation period with the coronavirus can also be up to 14 days. Unfortunately, it is certain that many people are contagious and transmit the virus even if they do not yet feel any symptoms and feel very comfortable.
Because people usually only ask for a test when the first symptoms begin, which often only takes a day or two, a week has passed since the infection. The central recording of the reports takes an additional one to two days. Therefore, the official data on the number of infected people lag behind for about ten days – possibly even longer.
What are the typical symptoms of coronavirus infection?
Infection with Sars-CoV-2 cannot be determined or ruled out 100% based on the clinical symptoms. However, in various studies and reviews fever and dry cough mentioned as the most common complaints. The first studies reported that these two core symptoms occur in more than three quarters of the patients. The Robert Koch Institute recently reported that fever and cough would only occur in around 40 to 50 percent of those infected in Germany. The difference is that hardly any country tests as much as in Germany and therefore more infected persons with few or no symptoms are recorded here. The first studies, however, came mainly from Asia or were reports of particularly difficult clinical courses in which symptoms were naturally more frequently described.
Even unclear fever alone could indicate Covid-19. exhaustion and Body aches are also relatively common and have been observed in almost half of the patients. a headache and Sore throat are less common, but can also occur. The same applies sniff and a dripping nose, too diarrhea occurred in some patients. However, the latter symptoms alone make an infection unlikely, as fever and dry cough are almost always present.
shortness of breaththat are up to Shortness of breath increases, rather indicates a more severe course of the disease. It is shown by the fact that the respiratory rate at rest is no longer the usual 12 to 16 breaths per minute (it is higher in children), but increases to well over 20 breaths per minute. Another sign is to get out of breath with little effort without having previously been in similar situations. Anyone who is excited or anxious also has a higher breathing rate, so it should not be counted when the excitement is particularly high.
As already mentioned, an infection with the pathogen Sars-CoV-2 can also lead to a cold, even if this is significantly less common than dry cough. A runny nose is therefore not an exclusion criterion; So far, the frequency information has fluctuated between five and 30 percent.
What does the type of sputum say about the disease?
Dry cough is not only characterized by the barking, hoarse noise, but also by the fact that only relatively little sputum is produced. The opposite of this is “productive cough”. The rule of thumb is that green-yellow colored sputum rather indicates bacterial infections, clear-glassy however speaks for a virus infection.
Are the smell and taste affected by an infection?
It has recently been increasingly reported that patients no longer smell or taste anything during the illness. How often this happens is still unclear. Unfortunately, these symptoms are not exclusive to coronavirus infection. Depending on the pathogen, patients with complaints of flu or flu will complain that they do not smell or taste anything during the illness – and sometimes even weeks afterwards.
How long do the symptoms last?
Symptoms usually recede in people with mild symptoms ten to 14 days from. Those who are more severely affected and need treatment in the clinic can three to six weeks be ill for a long time and suffer from restrictions.
Who gets symptoms at all?
So far, it is certain that 80 to 85 percent of those infected notice no or only slight symptoms. 10 to 15 percent of those affected develop a more severe course of the disease, up to five percent need intensive medical care. If the assumption is confirmed that the number of infected people is 10 times higher than current figures suggest, the proportion of seriously ill people would accordingly be g
turn out less. Among the previously infected were more older people, more men and more patients with previous illnesses.
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