Are you getting headaches recently? How to tell if it’s a sign of coronavirus
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Coronavirus may be in retreat thanks to a new breakthrough vaccine developed by Pfizer and BioNTech. In fact, the vaccine, which appears to induce a 90 percent effectiveness, is one of a handful of promising candidates in the pipeline. There are still significant hurdles to mount before a mass rollout of any vaccine, however.
Short of a vaccine, symptom knowledge is one of the most effective tools against spreading and catching COVID-19.
It is important to stay alert to the warning signs and self-isolate if you spot them.
According to the NHS, the main symptoms are a high temperature, a new, continuous cough and a loss or change to your sense of smell or taste.
Research suggests the possible effects of COVID-19 extend far beyond these symptoms, however.
An article published in the journal Diabetes & Metabolic Syndrome: Clinical Research & Reviews, sought to map out some of the less publicised symptoms of COVID-19.
Sifting through recent literature, the researchers found headache to be the fifth most common COVID-19 symptom after fever, cough, myalgia, and dyspnea.
Headache in COVID-19 has been shown to be present in 6.5 percent to 53 percent of patients in recent studies, the researchers noted.
As they explained, there were a number of “striking features” that could help to identify a COVID-10-induced headache.
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According to the researchers, the headaches were characterised by a sudden to gradual onset and poor response to common analgesics (pain relievers), or high relapse rate, and were limited to the active phase of COVID-19.
“The prevalence of headaches in COVID-19 infection seems to be underestimated in terms of variety and clinical description because of the current focus has likely been directed toward severe respiratory patients,” they concluded.
The literature investigation also highlighted the prevalence of gastrointestinal symptoms, including diarrhoea.
The researchers reference a systematic review and meta-analysis of 6064 patients of COVID-19 reporting gastrointestinal symptoms, the pooled prevalence of digestive symptoms was 15 percent, the most common of which were nausea or vomiting, diarrhoea, and anorexia.
The authors report that around 10 percent of patients had no respiratory features but only presented with gastrointestinal symptoms when infected with SARS-CoV-2 (the coronavirus that causes COVID-19).
How should I respond to COVID-19 symptoms?
According to public health advice, if you have any of the main symptoms of coronavirus (COVID-19), get a test as soon as possible.
You and anyone you live with should stay at home and not have visitors until you get your test result – only leave your home to have a test.
Anyone in your support bubble should also stay at home if you have been in close contact with them since your symptoms started or during the 48 hours before they started.
A support bubble is where someone who lives alone (or just with their children) can meet people from one other household.
Can I aid my recovery?
There is currently no specific treatment for coronavirus (COVID-19), but you can often ease the symptoms at home until you recover.
According to the NHS, if you have a high temperature, it can help to:
- Get lots of rest
- Drink plenty of fluids (water is best) to avoid dehydration – drink enough so your pee is light yellow and clear
- Take paracetamol or ibuprofen if you feel uncomfortable.
“If you have a cough, it’s best to avoid lying on your back. Lie on your side or sit upright instead,” adds the health body.
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