There are 400,000 people living in my district, and there have been 18 COVID-19 confirmers. And 6 of them were confirmed by the tests I conducted. Based on my experience of conducting COVID-19 tests to hundreds of people, it is very difficult to predict whether a subject is infected with COVID-19 based on the initial symptoms. For example, some of those who were positive for COVID-19 had no clear symptoms, but rather, some of those who were negative for COVID-19 had respiratory symptoms.
As such, it is very difficult to predict COVID-19 infection based on initial symptoms, but the attempt is not pointless. This is because in the situation where COVID-19 has already become a global pandemic, there are limitations in determining through epidemiological relevance, and the importance of initial symptoms as a screening criterion will increase over time. As a doctor who has been participating in the treatment team since the early days of the COVID-19 epidemic, I have consistently summarized the initial symptoms of those who were tested to diagnose COVID-19 in anticipation of this situation.
Then I went through the process of checking the data published by the World Health Organization (WHO) and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). The main symptoms of COVID-19 presented by WHO are fever, fatigue, and dry cough.1 Other symptoms may include shortness of breath, pain, and sore throat. In rare cases, diarrhea, nausea, and runny nose may also appear. Meanwhile, the most typical symptoms of COVID-19 presented by CDC are fever, cough, and shortness of breath.2
With reference to previously known information and the symptoms of the COVID-19 confirmers I have identified, the symptoms of COVID-19, cold, flu3, and allergies4, which are often confused, are summarized in the table below. More + sign means that the symptoms are more pronounced. On the other hand, – sign means that there are almost no symptoms.
|Shortness of breath||+++||–||–||+++|
The above table is not perfect and there may be errors. And it cannot be used instead of a doctor’s diagnosis. Please use it only as a supplementary reference material.
In addition, I welcome your information sharing and pointing out errors. The rationale may be your own experience as well as academic literature. If you leave a comment below about what you know or want to know about COVID-19, it will help someone. I will also respond with sincerity.
I hope that this article may be of some help to the medical staff struggling against COVID-19 and everyone waiting to end this difficult situation as soon as possible.