Cough or Fever
How to Check for Fever
Your regular body temperature may be higher or lower than someone else’s. It also changes throughout the day. Doctors generally consider a fever in an adult to be anything over 100.4 F on an oral thermometer and over 100.8 F on a rectal thermometer.
If you think you’ve come into contact with the virus, or if you have symptoms, isolate yourself and check your temperature every morning and evening for at least 14 days. Keep track of the readings. A fever is the most common symptom of COVID-19, but it’s sometimes below 100 F. In a child, a fever is a temperature above 100 F on an oral thermometer or 100.4 F on a rectal one.
What Kind of Cough Is Common?
Early studies have found that at least 60% of people with COVID-19 have a dry cough. About a third have a cough with mucus, called a “wet” or “productive” cough.
What to Do If You Think You Have Mild Symptoms
If you have milder symptoms like a fever, shortness of breath, or coughing:
Stay home unless you need medical care. If you do need to go in, call your doctor or hospital first for guidance.
Tell your doctor about your illness. If you’re at high risk of complications because of your age or other health conditions, they might have more instructions.
Isolate yourself. This means staying away from other people as much as possible, even members of your family. Stay in a specific “sick room,” and use a separate bathroom if you can.
Wear a cloth face covering if you have to be around anyone else. This includes people you live with.
Rest up, and drink plenty of fluids. Over-the-counter medicines might help you feel better.
Keep track of your symptoms. If they get worse, get medical help right away.
What Does Shortness of Breath Feel Like?
Dyspnea is the word doctors use for shortness of breath. It can feel like you:
Have tightness in your chest
Can’t catch your breath
Can’t get enough air into your lungs
Can’t breathe deeply
Are smothering, drowning, or suffocating
Have to work harder than usual to breathe in or out
Need to breathe in before you’re done breathing out
Is It COVID-19, the Flu, a Cold, or Allergies?
Since they share so many symptoms, it can be hard to know which condition you have. But there are a few guidelines that can help.
You may have COVID-19 if you have a fever and trouble breathing, along with the symptoms listed above.
If you don’t have problems breathing, it might be the flu. You should still isolate yourself just in case.
It’s probably allergies if you don’t have a fever but your eyes are itchy, you’re sneezing, and you have a runny nose.
If you don’t have a fever and your eyes aren’t itchy, it’s probably a cold.
Call your doctor if you’re concerned about any symptoms. COVID-19 can range from mild to severe, so it may be hard to diagnose. Testing could be available in your area.