• Glenn Wilson

    What does the clinical course of COVID-19 look like for both those who survive and those who don’t?

    Dr. Greger: What does the clinical course of COVID-19 look like? It tends to start with fever and cough, but before then, the average incubation period—the time between the moment you get sufficiently exposed to the virus and the moment you start showing symptoms—seems to be about five days. So, almost a week goes by when you’re infected—and potentially infectious—before you even know it. About 98 percent of those who are going to start showing symptoms do so by day 12, which explains why people are typically asked to self-quarantine for two weeks after a potential exposure. After infection, apparent viral shedding may continue for more than a month (with an average of 20 days), though it’s not clear how contagious survivors are—if at all—during that extended time period.

    The most common symptoms are fever and cough, experienced by about 90 percent and 70 percent of patients, respectively, based on an analysis of more than fifty thousand COVID-19 patients. In terms of less common symptoms, only about four in ten experience fatigue; three in ten cough up phlegm; and two in ten experience muscle aches. Only about one in ten suffer from gastrointestinal symptoms, such as nausea, vomiting, or diarrhea, or common cold-type symptoms, like a runny or stuffy nose, headache, or a sore throat. This is consistent with the regional concentration of ACE2—the receptors the virus latches onto—in the lungs, rather than the nose or throat (though in pangolins, ACE2 is found on their flicking anteater tongues).

    Here’s a chart that can help you differentiate between COVID-19, the common cold, the flu, or seasonal allergies. The only COVID-19 symptom found predictive of a more severe course was difficulty breathing, which resulted in more than six times the odds of eventually having to be admitted into the ICU. That’s why that’s such an important symptom to catch early, and a red flag to immediately seek medical attention. If it’s going to strike, shortness of breath usually hits a week after symptoms begin.

    Continue at NutritionFacts: COVID-19 Symptoms vs. the Flu, a Cold, or Allergies.

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    NUTRITIONFACTS.ORG is a strictly non-commercial, science-based public service provided by Dr. Michael Greger, providing free updates on the latest in nutrition research via bite-sized videos. There are more than a thousand videos on nearly every aspect of healthy eating, with new videos and articles uploaded every day. NutritionFacts.org was launched with seed money and support by the Jesse & Julie Rasch Foundation. Incorporated as a 501c3 nonprofit charity, NutritionFacts.org now relies on individual donors to keep the site alive and thriving.NutritionFacts.org

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  • Patrice Wynne
    Very important video to watch and then...stay home and wear a mask if you go anywhere!
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