The cheerful mind perseveres and the strong mind hews its way through a thousand difficulties.
― Swami Vivekananda.


Updated symptoms of novel coronavirus infection

Updated symptoms of novel coronavirus infection and how to observe those

The symptoms of COVID-19 range from no symptoms at all to a combination of so severe health issues that the person may sink to it.

No proper treatment on right time may lead to a higher chance of death and those who survive may also take months to fully recover from the disease. And it's not just aged people, many youngsters are also dying or facing long term illness caused by novel coronavirus infection.

You have got cough or cold, and are sceptical about COVID-19 infection? What are the symptoms of coronavirus disease? How long does it take for symptoms of coronavirus disease to appear? What are the initial and severe symptoms of coronavirus disease? What should you do if you have symptoms of COVID-19 disease? We will answer all these doubts here.

symptoms of coronavirus infection
Symptoms of novel coronavirus infections

Initial symptoms of novel coronavirus infection

1. Reduced ability of smell or taste

This is one of the very first symptoms of COVID-19 and can start from the third day onwards. It's not like you will totally lose it, but there will likely be a gradual reduction. Your favourite dish or fragrance may not taste/smell as good as it used to be. Multiple studies have confirmed about half of the infected people show either one or mostly both of the symptoms. For many infected patients, this was the first symptom of coronavirus infection and some even observed on day one of infection.

This could also happen due to common cold, smoking, allergies, head injuries, any chemical exposure, hormonal changes or some other brain and nasal diseases but chances are relatively higher in COVID-19. Additionally, if you are losing the ability of taste and smell without cold or any known reason, it should be alert.


Smell and taste your favourite things daily. Not in excess. Say a tiny piece of chocolate or a flower. If you smell or eat high quantity, they may saturate your buds and you may not notice a difference. If you feel any difference, repeat it multiple times daily and monitor if you are getting other symptoms.

2. Dry Cough

This is the most common symptom of COVID-19 and can be observed in over 80% of the infected patients. NHS-UK explains this in the best way. They state "coughing a lot for more than an hour, or 3 or more coughing episodes in 24 hours (if you usually have a cough, it may be worse than usual)". Keep in mind, this will be mostly dry cough, without a mucous.

3. Little breathing difficulty

This is a telltale sign of COVID-19. Initially, the infected person may feel a little breathing problem. Keep an eye for this every day. If its COVID-19, the severity of this might increase day by day.

4. Unreasonable fatigue or body pain

You may feel tired without any reason. Same applies for muscle pain. You can get this also because of excessive physical work, improper sleep, or other health issues but it could well be an initial symptom of coronavirus infection.  

Apart from these symptoms, some  people may also get other symptoms initially such as::

    • Diarrahoes
    • Sore throat
    • Headache

Initial symptoms of coronavirus infection
Initial symptoms of novel coronavirus infection

Symptoms of COVID-19 observed in the intermediate and late phase

Most of the later symptoms of COVID-19 are more severe form of initial symptoms. These include:

1. Severe fever and chill

2. Breathlessness and shallow breathing:

This might also lead to wheezing in which your breathing is clearly audible like a whistle.

3. Excessive body pain

Apart from the more severe initial symptoms, there are some key symptoms of COVID-19 that usually appear late. These are

4. Reduced blood oxygen level

This is a very clear sign of COVID-10. This can be easily detected by a pulse oximeter. If you don't get it, many smartwatches some smartphones also have SpO2 measurement system which is reliable enough if not the best. If your SpO2 level reaches below 92%, its a very clear alarming sign. This can also be detected by the bluish colouration of lips, face or tongue.

5. New confusion

You may feel confused and forgetting things, a symptom which was not normal before. This is called delirium. In the more severe cases observed in some hospitalized patients, they feel someone or something is trying to kill them. This is a virus playing with their brain. Reports from the US suggest that about 2 out of every ICU patients get some form of confusion. If you get this kind of symptoms, keep in mind, this is just virus playing with your mind. Stay strong, everything will be good again very soon. 

6. Inability to wake or stay awake

The infected person may feel very sleepy.

 7. Chest pain and tightness in the chest

Every breath may feel pinching or painting in the chest.

8. Heart palpation

Your heart may beat too hard or fast.

Additionally, some minor late symptoms include

Severe symptoms of Coronavirus infection
Severe symptoms of infection of the novel coronavirus.

How long does it take for symptoms of coronavirus disease to appear?

Usually, a novel coronavirus infected symptomatic person shows a couple of these symptoms and rarely show a combination of all of these. Additionally, the symptoms start to appear anywhere between 3rd day to 14th day. Why so long-range for showing symptoms, it seems it depends on the number of viral particles that infect initially, and immunity of the infected person.

What should you do if you have symptoms of COVID-19 disease?

If you or someone you know is having such initial symptoms, keep the person in quarantine/self-isolation preferably at home. The person should take a good amount of rest and have plenty of liquid. Provide them with the material of their interest so that they don't get depression during alone time as stress severely reduce the immune system. The potentially infected person and everyone in the home should cover face even at home. Do check guidelines of your city or country authority for the same. Here are guidelines of CDC if you are infected or if someone in your home is infected.

Try to contact the healthcare facilities if you have severe symptoms of COVID-19 (marked as red) and try to get tested. As long as you don't get any treatment, take a good amount of rest, drink plenty of fluid. Some preliminary small scale studies indicate resting (awake) in the prone position (lying down with chest below) for 1 hour increases the blood oxygen level of people with low blood SpO2 and avoidance of ventilator requirement. According to some doctors, someone having low blood oxygen level may try this until they get proper treatment. Check the recommendation of Dr Seheult who is also treating COVID-19 patient for the same here.

Meanwhile, maintain physical distancing, cover your face properlydisinfect surfaces of your household stuff that came from outside, take good rest and take a sunbath daily for sometimes.

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Share the information with your loved ones.

Sources: CDC-USA, equivalent authorities of other countries, and regular publications on google scholar.

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