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Coronavirus: what are the symptoms?


Recognize coronavirus symptoms in good time: Sars-CoV-2 is also becoming more widespread in Franconia. It is all the more important to know the symptoms of a coronavirus infection and to know what can be done to protect yourself. Read here how you should behave if you experience corona symptoms.

Many people in this country are also unsettled and are wondering what signs can identify a corona infection and how you can protect yourself. A virologist, however, speaks of new symptoms that are related to the dangerous pathogen. Here we clarify all important questions and provide answers.

You can read current developments on the corona virus and the spread in a live map on inFranken.de in the ticker.

Detect coronavirus: what are the symptoms?

Common corona viruses mostly cause Similar symptoms to a simple coldexplains the “Robert Koch Institute (RKI)” – cough and fever. “It is a rumor that a Sars-CoV-2 infection definitely does not cause a cold,” says Martin Witzenrath from the Clinic for Infectious Diseases and Pneumology at Charit Berlin, where, according to his information, more than 20 patients are currently being treated with varying degrees of severity . However, certain corona viruses could also cause serious lower respiratory tract infections and pneumonia. But here, too, there is a risk of confusion with seasonal flu, the symptoms – fever, a strong feeling of illness, respiratory problems – are similar.

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According to the RKI, the new corona virus appears to be associated with a more severe course. Until now, deaths have mainly occurred in patients who have previously suffered from serious underlying diseases. “The most frequently described symptom was dry cough with 70 percent, before loss of taste and smell with 68 percent and fatigue with 68 percent,” says Bonn’s virologist Hendrik Streeck. Many sufferers also reported a “runny nose”, headache, muscle and sore throat and fever. “Some were really knocked out,” says the scientist. Diarrhea was also not uncommon, says Streeck. According to data from the World Health Organization (WHO), mild illnesses take an average of two weeks.

The incubation period of the new coronavirus behind the lung disease in China is usually around ten days. As the director of the National Health Commission, Ma Xiaowei, reported, the shortest registered period was only one day – the longest 14 days.

Mild or severe course of the disease?

Together with his colleagues, the virologist said he interviewed more than 100 infected people. The typical Covid 19 patient showed only mild symptoms. According to Streeck, a Chinese study from the metropolis of Shenzhen came to the same conclusion, and found that 91 percent of those infected show only mild to moderate symptoms.

These usually showed up in the form of dry, irritable cough, possibly in connection with fever. “We also had a loss of smell and taste. In 30 percent of cases, our infected people also had diarrhea, which is more common than previously thought,” says Streeck.

First of all, it is important to note that an infection with the coronavirus is not the same for everyone. For some it feels like a cold, for others it can be life-threatening or even fatal. General statements about the typical course of the disease are not possible, explains the Robert Koch Institute (RKI) in Berlin. RKI boss Lothar Wieler said recently that about half of the people who were infected would not even notice that: “We don’t see them at all.”

It is not yet known how many people in Germany are or were in hospital because of Covid-19. With just under 56,000 cases recorded in China, 14 percent were difficult. In six percent the course was critical to life-threatening, for example due to lung failure. According to the WHO, serious progress could take between three and six weeks on average.

Experience has shown that it takes four to eight days for patients with symptoms of the upper respiratory tract to decide whether the disease also affects the lower respiratory tract, says Witzenrath von der Charit. However, there are also patients who get pneumonia directly without first affecting the upper respiratory tract. Inflamed lung tissue means that oxygen intake no longer works as well.

The clinical picture in Covid-19 differs significantly from the previously known pneumonia, says Witzenrath. “The special thing about it is that some of the patients have a little shortness of breath, not dramatically, you get the impression that they are not particularly sick. Then you look at the lungs on the CT and it looks really bad. It’s something we haven’t seen before. ”For example, more than half the lungs could be damaged by the virus. The course could then deteriorate rapidly. The doctor calls alarm signals: “If you go up a flight of stairs that you would otherwise be able to manage easily and realize after half that you are clearly not getting any air, this should make you think. Especially if you are older and have previous illnesses. ”

Caution: You can be infected with the corona virus even without symptoms

If symptoms of coronavirus occur, it is important, according to the Robert Koch Institute, not to see the doctor personally in the practice, but to first make a telephone contact. In addition to the family doctor, the responsible health officers and number 116 117 are direct contacts if there is any suspicion that the infected are already contagious during this time, even if no symptoms can be identified. This distinguishes the new variant of the corona virus from the closely related SARS pathogen that triggered the 2002/2003 pandemic.

A study in the journal Lancet had previously shown that the virus can also be passed on by people who do not yet show any symptoms of cold. The researchers referred to a family in the Chinese city of Shenzhen. Two members were in contact with a sick relative in the hospital in Wuhan. In the end, six family members had the virus, including one that wasn’t even in Wuhan. An infected child showed no symptoms.

As the RKI emphasizes, many properties of the novel corona virus “SARS-CoV-2” are currently not exactly known, for example the period of the highest infectivity (infectivity), the exact length of time until symptoms are recognizable after infection in an infected person (incubation period ) how severe the disease is or how long the sick virus is excreted or still contagious.

Protection against the corona virus: everyone is responsible

To protect yourself against the corona virus, you should choose good ones Hand hygiene be respected. The frequent, thorough and thorough washing of hands, wrists, spaces between fingers and the nail bed are compulsory. In addition, a distance of one to two meters should be kept from the sick and the cough and sneeze labels observed. It is recommended to use disposable handkerchiefs and to sneeze in the crook of the arm and to turn away from others. In view of the seasonal flu epidemic, these recommendations are generally advisable everywhere and at any time, according to the “RKI”.

Coronavirus: are face and breathing masks useful?

So-called surgical face masks are actually not made to protect against infection, explains Salzberger. Rather, they should ensure that surgeons’ potentially infectious droplets do not enter the surgical area from the respiratory tract. It makes sense to wear a mask to protect other people, for example, as a flu patient. “But the protection against infection from outside is very, very bad with it,” said Salzberger. The effect is no better than with a scarf in front of the mouth and nose.

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