COVID-19 has turned out to be a game changer in many ways. The pandemic spread across multiple countries in the world and caused changes of an unprecedented scale. Nearly one year after the first cases were identified in Wuhan, China, we are slowly but steadily inching towards learning more about the disease. Short for Coronavirus Disease 2019, COVID-19 causes a wide array of symptoms in the people it affects.
It is important to know the different coronavirus symptoms to look out for, so you and anyone you know can seek timely medical help.
How does COVID-19 spread? 
COVID-19 has been identified as a contagious respiratory and vascular disease. It mainly spreads through the air, being transmitted through small droplets or aerosols that are emitted when people cough, sneeze, talk or sing. Infected people can transmit the disease to other people with whom they are in close contact. This is why the disease spreads rapidly in crowded areas, where there are several people who are in close proximity with each other.
The coronavirus can also be transmitted from an infected person as early as two days before they start to display symptoms. In addition, the disease can be transmitted from asymptomatic individuals too. Currently, people are considered infectious for around 10 days in mild cases of the disease, and up to 14 days in severe cases.
It has not been established conclusively how or if the disease is transmitted via contaminated surfaces. Ongoing studies suggest that the virus appears to be active on some materials like plastic, paper, and glass for hours to days on end. Therefore, it is always a good idea to exercise caution and wash your hands with soap in case you are exposed to a potentially contaminated surface.
Common symptoms of COVID-19 
Coronavirus symptoms range from a simple cough to acute respiratory illness. The severity of the symptoms varies from one person to the other, and even in the same infected person, the symptoms can change across the period of infection.
Generally, the common symptoms of COVID-19 include –
• Dry cough
• Muscle pains
• Shortness of breath and trouble breathing
In some cases, patients have also experienced gastrointestinal symptoms like nausea and diarrhoea. Emergency symptoms include difficulty in breathing, continuous pain or pressure in the chest, sudden confusion, and difficulty in walking, in which case immediate medical attention is needed. As the disease progresses, it may lead to complications like pneumonia, acute respiratory distress syndrome, sepsis, septic shock, and organ failure, eventually causing death.
You should look out for these symptoms. In addition, do keep in mind that some cases of the disease are asymptomatic. Therefore, it is a good idea to follow the precautionary measures outlined by the WHO.