For a lot of us, the word COVID brings back terrible memories, stuff that we would like to permanently delete from our minds. The uncertainty, the fear, and the painful loss of loved ones, make us shudder at the very thought of having another COVID wave. And now when we are hearing about the daily increase in numbers, we can’t help but wonder if we are sitting at the helm of another COVID wave.

Why it’s important to note your COVID symptoms

While there is a certain level of paranoia right now, a lot of people are dismissing their symptoms and not getting tested. But is it ok to simply believe that your symptoms are flu symptoms and that even if it’s COVID, it’s no big deal since we are not hearing critical cases anyway?

Dr. Mukesh Mehra, Director – Internal Medicine, Max Super Speciality Hospital, Patparganj recommends getting tested if you have symptoms. “Mild cases often experience just a fever, which may be mild to moderate to cough, fatigue. Moderate cases may have some breathing difficulty or some radiological finding of pneumonia. Severe cases will have severe pneumonia and other organ failure and possibly criticality also. So anyone who experiences difficulty in breathing should seek immediate medical attention. Also, people above 60 years of age, pregnant women, and those with underlying medical problems like high blood pressure, heart and lung problems, diabetes, obesity, cancer, are all at high risk of developing severe illness.
However, anyone can get sick with COVID 19 and become sick or can have a very critical outcome also. So an asymptomatic person may not experience any symptoms and without knowing transmit the virus to others. So get vaccinated and keep all the protective measures to protect yourself, your family members and your community members also. And quarantine is the separation of contact from others after exposure to probable or the confirmed COVID 19 cases. So quarantine is important in helping to limit the spread of the COVID-19.”

Who should get tested for COVID?

The confusion between COVID and flu can be debilitating for some. Dr Vijay Kumar Gurjar, Senior Consultant and Head of the Department of Geriatric Medicine, Primus Super Speciality Hospital further adds, “And if you’re in a certain high risk setting, you may need to test as a part of a screening testing program and consider testing before contact with someone at high risk for severe COVID-19 especially if you are in an area with a medium or high COVID-19 community level.

Dr. Mukesh further adds, “When you talk about COVID testing, always make sure that you are tested at the right time and choose the right type of test for your circumstances. The key time to get tested if you have symptoms is to always test immediately. If you are exposed to COVID-19 and do not have symptoms, wait for at least five full days after your exposure before testing. Testing too early may be more likely to get a false result.

Symptoms can vary but dismissing it can be dangerous

If you have COVID-19 and are unaware of it, you can potentially spread the virus to others, including those who are at high risk for severe illness or death. This could lead to a rapid increase in infections, overwhelming healthcare systems, and potentially causing more severe and long-lasting health consequences for individuals and society as a whole. Additionally, delaying treatment or not receiving proper medical attention can increase the risk of severe complications, including hospitalization and death, warns Dr Vijay.

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