Signs and Symptoms of COVID-19

Time: 2020-03-28 11:08:11 This Article is Composed by

Q: What are the symptoms of COVID-19? (source: People's Daily)

A: For asymptomatic carriers, the coronavirus is only detected in the respiratory tract without attacking the carriers. Therefore, people who have come back from the epidemic areas are required to report to the community and quarantine themselves in their home.

The mild patients only have a fever, cough, chills and body discomfort.

For severe patients, the early symptoms, especially in the first three or five days, are fever, cough and increasing fatigue. And one week later, the patients’ conditions gradually worsens and evolves to pneumonia and even severe pneumonia. The severe patients could suffer the shortness of breath, breath failure, multiple organ damage, etc. If the conditions further worsens, ventilators or life supporting system could come in handy, and the death even could be to befall the patients. The typical COVID-19 cases suffer the increasingly worsening conditions, which are the severest in the following week.

Part 1. Is cough equal to COVID-19?
Part 2. Is fever equal to COVID-19?

Part 1. Is cough equal to COVID-19?

Cough did not mean covid-19 infected
Cough did not mean covid-19 infected

1.What is a cough?

The cough is a common respiratory symptom caused by the inflammation in the trachea, bronchial mucosa or pleura, and the physical or chemical stimulants or the foreign matter.

2. If keeping coughing, are you infected with COVID-19?

People cough in daily life  
People cough in daily life

Five cough-related issues during the epidemic prevention! (source: People's Daily)

a. All three transmission routes are linked to droplets produced by coughing.

The COVID-19 is mainly transmitted through respiratory droplets and contact, and the aerosol and other transmission routes remain to be determined. The three transmission routes, however, are all related to droplets produced by coughing and sneezing, with viruses or bacteria spreading with these droplets.

b. Dry cough is one of the main symptoms of COVID-19.

Fever, fatigue and dry cough are the main clinical pictures of COVID-19. If you recently have contact with a suspected source of infection, with such acute respiratory symptoms as a fever, cough, shortness of breath, you need to go to the hospital in a timely manner.

c. Children’s cough is related to many factors.

Children have a fever, fatigue and dry cough, are not necessarily infected with COVID-19. And especially children cough associated with such factors as the virus and bacterial infection, living environment, air pollution and second-hand smoking. That is why we cannot determine whether one is infected with the COVID-19 infection simply by the symptoms.

d. Pneumonia is only one cause of coughing.

The cough itself does not cause pneumonia, but rather the pneumonia causes a cough. The coughing is simply a symptom, which could be caused by various factors, including food choking, catching a cold or pneumothorax.

e. Watch out for the allergens in the spring

The spring often sees an increase in the allergens such as pollen and mould. If these allergens enter into the respiratory tract, such allergic symptoms could be caused as dry cough, sore throat, sneezing, and even heavy cough in serious conditions.

Translated by Li Sirui


Part 2. Is fever equal to COVID-19?

Have a fever 
Have a fever

The fever symptom is not necessarily associated with the novel coronavirus infection, but could also be from a common cold, flu, etc. In addition to the new coronavirus infection, other infection sources from bacteria, fungi, parasites, and other viruses can also cause a fever. The suspected people with coronavirus infection, must first have travel or residence recordings in the epidemic areas, or have contact with the confirmed cases.

1.What is a person’s temperature in normal conditions?

First of all, it depends on where you put your thermometer.
Usually it can be put under the armpit, in the mouth or into the anus. In normal conditions, the temperature in the three body parts has a little difference, and the rectal temperature is least affected by the environment and is considered as the most accurate. The following chart tells us the range of temperature in the three body parts in normal conditions.

Axillary Temperature 96.8-98.6°F (36.0-37.0°C)
Oral Temperature 97.3-98.9°F (36.3-37.2°C)
Rectal Temperature 97.7-99.8°F (36.5-37.7°C)

From the above chart, the range of temperature in normal conditions for adults: axillary temperature 36.0–37.0°C (96.8–98.6°F); oral temperature 36.3–37.2°C (97.3–98.9°F); rectal temperature 36.5–37.7°C (97.7–99.8°F).
Temperature range for a fever (take oral temperature as example):
Low-grade fever  37.5-37.9°C (99.5°F-100.2°F)
Medium-grade fever  38.0-38.9°C (100.4°F-102.0°F)
High-grade fever  39.0-40.9°C (102.2.6°F-105.8°F)
Hyperpyrexia  over 41.0°C (105.8°F)

2.What temperature is a fever?

Fever occurs when a person’s temperature goes above the normal range of 100.1°F (37.3°C) in calm states. Within 20-30 minutes before taking temperature, please avoid strong exercise, eating, drinking ice or hot water, and keep underarms dry. 

3.The relationship between COVID-19 and a fever

Fever is one of the symptoms of COVID-19.

Fever, fatigue and dry cough are the major symptoms of most COVID-19 patients. A few patients are also accompanied with such symptoms as stuffy or runny nose, sore throat and diarrheal.

COVID-19 is not the only cause of a fever.

  1. I. The most common cause of fever is from infectious disease, including what we know upper respiratory or unrinary tract infection, abdominal pain and diarrheal. In addition, the mycoplasma infection, as we know, also causes a fever. The fever caused by COVID-19 is called an infectious fever.
  2. A few non-infectious diseases also cause a fever, such as tumor, autoimmune diseases and heatstroke.
  3. In addition, some normal physiological states could also cause a temperature rise, such as strong exercise and eating.

4.What’s the difference between the fever caused by new coronavirus and other types of fever?

In fact, in terms of fever symptom alone, there is no obvious difference between the fever caused by novel coronavirus and other types of fever caused by influenza or bacteria, so fever cannot be simply used as a judgment of coronavirus infection.
For those confirmed patients, they should continue to be careful during late period of the disease. Do not think that patients with coronavirus infection who do not have a fever or low-grade fever, have a mild condition. In some cases, when they are in heavy conditions, their temperature will not rise but fall, even them with moderate- or low-grade fever or no fever, but with other worsening symptoms such as extreme fatigue, dizziness, obtusion, drowsiness or restlessness.


Proofreader: Wang Qianqian, Li Sirui
Translator: Chang Gengyuan, Ding Jiahua, Zhang Xiaomin, He Yipu, Li Sirui
Compiler of Chinese materials: Wu Chanyu, Lu Qianqian

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