Here's how to spot the symptoms of COVID-19 early on

Here's how to spot the symptoms of COVID-19 early on
The symptoms of COVID-19 infection range from fever and dry cough to breathing difficulties and musle pain.

The COVID-19 infection comes with a wide range of symptoms. Also, some reports suggest the novel coronavirus may present itself through some gastrointestinal issues too. Watch out for the tell-tale symptoms of COVID-19 to start treatment early on.

Written by Sanyukta Baijal |Updated : April 15, 2020 11:29 PM IST

The number of confirmed COVID-19 cases in India is close to 12,000 now with the death toll standing at 392, according to the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare. These numbers are alarming for sure. But what is more scary is the speed at which this infection is spreading. Globally, the number of affected people has crossed 19 lakhs while the death burden of the novel coronavirus is over a lakh. While the best protective measures include social distancing, handwashing and wearing masks, the cornerstone of successful treatment is early detection. Early detection is possible when you spot the symptoms on time. Here are the signs and symptoms of coronavirus that you should watch out for.

Initial symptoms

Symptoms of the novel coronavirus can show up between 2 to 14 days after exposure. In the initial stages, the manifestation is through common cold, fever, cough, shortness of breath or breathing difficulties.

Advanced symptoms

There are a range of infections which may go from mild to serious. In extreme cases, this disease can lead to pneumonia and acute respiratory syndrome (severe breathing difficulty), respiratory failure or even septic shock. The people who are mostly at risk of death are the elderly and the ones with a weakened immune system.

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Gastrointestinal (GI)Symptoms

Apart from the already-mentioned signs, there are other type of symptoms too which we often tend to ignore. These are the gastrointestinal symptoms which include vomiting, nausea, lose bowel movement and abdominal discomfort. However, these signs were not considered among the primary clinical features of the novel coronavirus until researchers observed about the same in US.

As per Michelle Holshue, Master of Public Health, of the Centers for Disease Control, Atlanta, and colleagues, coronavirus RNA was detected in a patient's stool sample on the 7th day after illness, and the patient's clinical symptoms included a 2-day history of nausea and vomiting prior to admission.

According to a brief report in the New England Journal of Medicine, the patient, who is 35 years of age, showed signs of gastrointestinal (GI) symptoms and dry cough, but there was no shortness of breath or chest pain detected. Later, the patient complained of loose bowel movement and reported abdominal discomfort.


If you are suffering from COVID-19 infection, you are likely to feel unusually tired. Chronic fatigue is one of the first symptoms of the infection caused by novel coronavirus.

Muscle pain

Aching muscles commonly tell you that you have a viral fever or infection. It also happens when you have COVID-19 infection.