How Do I Know If Someone Has Covid-19?
Case scenario: A middle aged man is rushed to the hospital after an episode of fever, fatigue and malaise. He is given a blood test and examined by a gastroenterologist, who finds out that he has coccionella. He passes all the tests and is released home. Later that evening the man is feeling unwell again and so is taken for another test, this time by an infective endocrinologist. He has low levels of glucose in his blood but still tests show that he has a potentially serious health problem.
The second test reveals that the virus has affected his pancreas and he has chronic hepatitis. His GP asks him to go for a clinical visit as there is a chance of further complications. The man is sent home and given a 7-day course of anti-nausea tablets. He does well for about a week but soon gets tired and weak. He complains of having repeated shaking of the head and neck. The following day, despite being unwell and not eating, he is seen again by the doctor and is diagnosed with COVID-19, or Coronavirus Type 19.
Symptoms of COVID-19
Symptoms of COVID-19 are much the same as with the common cold or flu: sneezing, sore throat and loss of appetite. He does have a fever but it is not high. There is no evidence, however, of any other respiratory infection.
- On looking at the tests done at the doctors’ surgery, he is diagnosed with coccionella and sent home to recover.
- He is told that a further test will be carried out by another infectious disease specialist and that if all is well he will be able to return home within the week.
- He has no further symptoms to report.
Two weeks later, in what seems like a complete coincidence, two new patients show up at the doctors’ surgery complaining of a wide range of respiratory illnesses including chronic cough, wheezing, sore throat and hoarseness. One of them also brings with him a previous case of covid-19, this time in his upper airway. It seems that in both patients, the initial respiratory illness was triggered by something eating away at the membrane at the back of the tongue. In the one who had a cold, this is known as “covid-cation”, while in the other it is known as” Covid-19″.
The doctors treat both cases with similar treatments and do not pick either one as being critical or potentially life threatening. They are sent home to recover.
- About a week after they come back, the patient who had the cold sends a short report to the consultant who deals with respiratory illnesses, stating that he feels unwell but feeling better on the weekends.
- He has a fever but feels fine on days when there isn’t a lot of sunshine.
- He is sent home to stay home rather than go for a walk in the local park.
The Other Case
The other case, which was mentioned earlier, is where the man in the previous case goes home to stay home. He complains of shortness of breath on the weekends and feels relatively better on the days when there is some sunshine. He doesn’t mention what exactly is triggering his symptoms or how long he has been experiencing them. His GP does not pick up any of these symptoms and diagnoses him as being at a higher risk of pneumonia.
So what should you do if someone you know is showing symptoms of Covid-19? Firstly, don’t panic. Don’t assume anything either. Go and see your GP who will run some tests on you. He may be able to identify the condition and therefore suggest a course of treatment. Your healthcare provider will also want to identify if the symptoms are due to the covid-19 virus by performing a throat culture.
Risk of Catching
If you are concerned that someone you know may have had the condition and is at a greater risk of catching it, then you can take some simple precautions. For instance, if you work in an office then you should wear a mask and gloves whenever you are around young people or infants. You can also make sure you clear up any receipts for drinks and snacks from your work area straight away. If you have close contact with the person who has the condition, then inform your close contacts. They can pass this information on to the NHS in conjunction with your healthcare provider.
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