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COVID-19 patients usually present with symptoms of an upper respiratory tract viral infection, including mild fever, cough (dry), sore throat, nasal congestion, malaise, headache, muscle pain, or malaise. Signs and symptoms of a more serious disease, such as dyspnea, are not present. Compared to previous HCoV infections, non-respiratory symptoms such as diarrhea are challenging to find.

This can progress to respiratory symptoms such as cough and shortness of breath (or tachypnea in children) are present without signs of severe pneumonia.

The disease can progress further with fever, associated with severe dyspnea (shortness of breath), respiratory distress, tachypnea (> 30 breaths/min), and hypoxia (SpO2 < 90% on room air) or air hunger. However, the fever symptom must be interpreted carefully as even in severe forms of the disease, it can be moderate or even absent. Cyanosis (bluish discoloration of lips, nail beds, skin) can occur in children. In the above descriptions, the diagnosis is clinical, and subsequently radiologic imaging is used for excluding complications.

Critical manifestations of COVID-19 include Acute Respiratory Distress Syndrome (ARDS). The diagnosis requires clinical and ventilatory criteria. This syndrome is suggestive of a serious new-onset respiratory failure or for worsening of an already identified respiratory picture. Different forms of ARDS are distinguished based on the degree of hypoxia or oxygen levels within tissues.

Ultimately, the disease can deteriorate with sepsis and septic shock. Sepsis represents a life-threatening organ dysfunction caused by a dysregulated host response to suspected or proven infection, with organ dysfunction. The clinical pictures of patients with COVID-19 and with sepsis are particularly serious, characterized by a wide range of signs and symptoms of multiorgan involvement. These signs and symptoms include respiratory manifestations such as severe dyspnea (shortness of breath) and hypoxemia (oxygen levels in blood), kidney impairment with reduced urine output, tachycardia (rapid heart rate), altered mental status, and organ dysfunction expressed as abnormal laboratory tests.

Literature from “UpToDate” revealed “a study describing 138 patients with COVID-19 pneumonia in Wuhan [China], the most common clinical features at the onset of illness were:

  • Fever in 99 percent
  • Fatigue in 70 percent
  • Dry cough in 59 percent
  • Anorexia in 40 percent
  • Myalgias in 35 percent
  • Dyspnea in 31 percent
  • Sputum production in 27 percent”

If you are experiencing such symptoms and want to be evaluated and tested for COVID-19 at home, then please give us a call at   or contact us here.