Is it a cold? Is it a flu? Or is it coronavirus? It's hard to tell in these testing times of pandemic that's plaguing the earth. It's been close to a month and a half since doctors around the world started fighting the deadly disease and there's now a much better idea on how to distinguish between a common cold, flu and coronavirus.
Excess mucus not typically seen in coronavirus patients
Hennepin Healthcare Emergency Director, Dr. John Hick, revealed that though common cold and coronavirus symptoms are interrelated, there's no need to panic, as the symptoms can be quite different from each other. Dr. Hick stressed that stuffy nose and excess mucus are not typically seen in coronavirus patients. A report released by the WHO shows only 33.4 per cent of Covid-19 infected patients reported thick mucus from coughs (sputum) and not excess mucus, which people usually suffer from when they catch a cold.
"If you do get a fever, dry cough, that can last for a day or two and then usually people just feel wiped out, just muscle aches, extreme fatigue. Nasal congestion is not a typical feature. Any stomach symptoms are not typical features at all either. So, if you have kind of bad cold symptoms, that would not be very suspicious for Coronavirus,'' Dr. John Hick told Kare 11.
Also, Megan Murray, a professor of epidemiology at the Harvard Medical School, said in a FAQ to the Abundance Foundation that dry cough is a major symptom of coronavirus and a runny nose is not. "Covid-19 disease usually begins with mild fever, dry cough, sore throat and malaise. Unlike the Coronavirus infections that cause the common cold, it is not usually associated with a runny nose."
The key takeaway is that common cold makes a person suffer from a runny nose for several days producing excess mucus which might thereby lead to fever. Coming to Covid-19 infected patients, 33.4 per cent reported thick mucus from coughs and not excess mucus, as compared to 88 per cent of coronavirus patients experiencing fever and 67.7 per cent suffering from a dry cough.
The British Rhinological Society also noted that Covid-19 patients experienced anosmia, which is a loss of sense of smell and taste, even in patients who showed no other symptoms. Maria Van Kerkhove, a Covid-19 technical head at the World Health Organization, stated that researchers have not found the answers to why people lose their sense of smell after contracting the virus, ''We don't have the answer to that yet, although there's quite a bit of interest in this online,'' she told the Washington Post.