Rising coronavirus rates are making it more important than ever to be on the lookout for commonly associated signs and symptoms.
Although many symptoms do overlap with those consistent with the typical flu, other signs can be more subtle, according to Dr. Suraj Saggar, chief of the infectious disease department at Holy Name Medical Center in Teaneck.
"Typically, we see fever, cough and shortness of breath, but we can also see some gastrointestinal symptoms, meaning nausea, abdominal pain and even some vomiting or diarrhea," Saggar told Daily Voice.
"What makes it challenging is that there can be quite a bit of overlap."
Surprisingly, Saggar noted, some lower-level symptoms are often signs of other illnesses like the common cold or influenza.
"Believe it or not, a runny nose seems to be much less common, so that is more associated with other viruses."
Meanwhile, coughing and/or shortness of breath are underlying signs Saggar said have been noted in "almost all patients so far."
In the uphill battle to find factual and up-to-date information surrounding COVID-19, Saggar advises those in affected communities to vet their sources -- particularly in regards to social media.
"This is the first outbreak/epidemic/global pandemic in the social media era, so there’s a lot of misinformation out there," said Saggar.
"You don’t want to be paralyzed by fear, but at the same time, you don’t want to be too laissez-faire; you want to be informed."
The New Jersey Department of Health has set up a 24-hour hotline for residents who may have concerns or questions at (800) 222-1222.
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