It is encouraging to know that COVID infection can sometimes be mild. Of course, that doesn’t erase how devastating the virus has been, the fact that long-haul COVID can happen with even a mild case, and how much we have all lost and are still losing.
Mild cases have existed since the outset, and they’re definitely around now ― especially thanks to vaccines and boosters that help prevent severe illness. Unvaccinated people are nine times more likely to have severe COVID than fully vaccinated. according to current estimates.
Is a milder infection now more common than in earlier viruses? Wondering what symptoms you should be on the lookout for, even if you’re fully vaccinated? Here’s what you need to know now:
Chest symptoms such as fever, colds, cough, breathlessness, loss of taste or smell, and shortness of breathing are all common with COVID.
According to TheCDC, COVID symptoms may appear anywhere from two to 14 days following exposure. Centers for Disease Control and PreventionIt can take about. five or six days. Many of the mild symptoms you should be looking for within that window are those we’ve heard about all along: fever and/or chills, a cough and shortness of breath — though all of those can range in intensity.
Mild cases of loss of taste or smell are still very common. Some estimates suggestPeople with very mild cases of dementia experience a loss in their senses of smell, which is more than 50%.
Sniffles and sneezing are all common symptoms now.
COVID can be a serious respiratory illness, but many sufferers have mild symptoms that do not involve the tissues and organs that allow them to breathe. A CDC diagnosis includes symptoms such as congestion, headaches, nausea, vomiting and GI problems like diarrhea. its list of most common symptoms.
“We have seen an evolution in COVID symptoms themselves,” said Natasha Bhuyan, a family physician with One Medical in Arizona.
She’s personally treated patients who’ve come in with symptoms they thought couldn’t possibly be COVID — like, a runny nose they chalked up to seasonal allergies, or diarrhea they attributed to a stomach bug — who ultimately did test positive for the virus.
However, these symptoms can be very similar to those people experience with a cold or flu.
“There’s a range of symptoms” and “tremendous overlap,” Bhuyan said.
Experts believe that one symptom alone is sufficient for testing.
Because it’s pretty much impossible to distinguish between a cold and a breakthrough COVID infection based on symptoms alone, experts like Bhuyan said it is essential that people get tested.
“I’ve had patients with one symptom who think, ‘This can’t be COVID. I’m vaccinated.’ Then they’ll come in for testing,” Bhuyan said, and in some instances, they have, in fact, had a breakthrough COVID infection.
So Bhuyan recommended that you get a COVID test if you have any symptoms, particularly if you’re in an area of high transmission, even if you’ve just got the sniffles or a headache. A single symptom can be enough.
It’s not just individual doctors who urge that kind of caution; the CDC does, too. If you experience any of these symptoms, please consult your doctor immediately. get tested, the agency says. It is a good thing that there are growth of at-home testing optionsThis makes it logistically easier, but PCR tests are still the gold standard.
If it is COVID, it’s RecommendationYou can isolate your body for up to 10 days, or until you get negative results. Some people may not be able to tolerate the isolation for 10 days. believePeople with mild breakthrough infections are being forced to isolate. For 10 days it can be difficult to leave your family and work, especially if you have mild breakthroughs. Emerging evidence also suggests that those with mild breakouts will not contribute to an epidemic after a few days.
For now, however, it’s really important to err on the side of testing if you have any symptoms at all and — if you happen to test positive — isolate accordingly.
It’s unclear right now how omicron could change this.
Researchers are studying omicron. the new variant with 30-plus mutationsIn real-time. Early reports were encouraging and suggested that the symptoms of omicron might not be as severe as delta. However, health officials warn that the symptoms may be milder than delta. it is too soon to know. They’ve also warned that the variant could change the course of the pandemic.
This is why preventive strategies are so important. “I encourage people to get boosted,” said Bhuyan, adding that only about one in four American adults have been at this point. Just recently, 16-year-olds and 17 year-olds were eligible for Pfizer booster. Continue to wear a mask in indoor settings, and don’t ignore symptoms, she said.
“Our best weapon,” Bhuyan added, “has always been to take [this virus] seriously.”
COVID-19 is still being studied by experts. This story contains information that was available at the time of publication. However, guidance may change as more scientists learn about this virus. Please check the Centers for Disease Control and PreventionGet the latest recommendations.