Coronavirus symptoms: What are the signs? Expert warns many patients don’t show symptoms

Coronavirus has been confirmed in 127,769 people worldwide and has caused 4,716 deaths. Health officials have outlined advice to follow to prevent further spread of the virus, and as part of this, people are being urged to look out for symptoms. A cough, a high temperature and shortness of breath are the three main symptoms to look out for.


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But the Chinese government’s senior medical adviser, Zhong Nanshan, revealed this week a lot of imported cases into China are asymptomatic patients.

Havard Health Publishing, part of Harvard Medical School, also advises some people with the virus may have no obvious symptoms, and this may be problematic.

It says: “A person who is asymptomatic may be shedding the virus and could make others ill.

“How often asymptomatic transmission is occurring is unclear.”

A report of asymptomatic transmutation surfaced in January, involving a Chinese woman who visited Germany.

She infected several colleagues before she realised she was ill.

A follow-up report found the woman had “vague symptoms” but no symptoms that have been associated with he virus.

In February, Germany officials evacuated 126 people from Wuhan in China (where the virus originated), and two people who reported zero symptoms of the virus tested positive.

What scientists are beginning to determine is the incubation period for the coronavirus, named COVID-19.

Harvard Health Publishing explains: “An incubation period is the time between being exposed to a germ and having symptoms of the illness.

Current estimates suggest that symptoms of COVID-19 usually appear around five days on average, but the incubation period may be as short as two days to as long as 14 days.”

Other symptoms have been linked to this strain of coronavirus.


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The World Health Organisation (WHO) says aches and pains, nasal congestion, a runny nose, sore throat and diarrhoea are also symptoms of the virus.

Actor Tom Hanks was revealed this week to have tested positive for coronavirus, noting he suffered some of these symptoms.

Posting to Instagram, he said: “Hello, folks. Rita and I are down here in Australia. We felt a bit tired like we had colds, and some body aches. Rita had some chills that came and went. Slight fevers too.

“To play things right, as is needed in the world right now, we were tested for the Coronavirus, and were found to be positive.”

While experts are still working to fully understand the virus, understanding how it’s spread from person-to-person could help in recognising your risk of getting the virus and also prevention.

The NHS states: “Because it’s a new illness, we do not know exactly how coronavirus spreads from person to person.

“Similar viruses are spread in cough droplets.

“It’s very unlikely it can be spread through things like packages or food.”

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