Coronavirus symptoms: The exact kind of cough you need to look out for with COVID-19

Coronavirus first emerged in China in late 2019 and since its arrival it has caused mass destruction. The latest figures from public health authorities reveal there have been 29,474 confirmed cases and 2,352 deaths in the UK. The virus is known to cause pneumonia and those who have been struck by it have reported breathing difficulties, fever and a cough. Coughs can be caused by a variety of reasons, but knowing exactly what type of cough you need to look out for is vital.


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COVID-19 has the potential to cause serious complications including trouble breathing, pneumonia and sadly, death.

Not everyone with a COVID-19 infection will feel unwell. In fact, in recent news an US doctor declared having no symptoms as a symptom, which can be extremely confusing when trying to self-diagnose.

When symptoms are present, however, they are typically mild and will then develop overtime.

It’s therefore integral for one to be able to recognise the signs and symptoms and how they differ from other conditions.

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According to the World Health Organisation (WHO), about one in five people with COVID-19 become seriously ill.

These individuals may develop severe pneumonia or respiratory failure and may require oxygen or mechanical ventilation.

Some observation suggests the respiratory symptoms may worsen when a patient enters their second week of illness.

This appears to occur after eight or nine days.


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What type of cough is linked to coronavirus?

The cough that needs to be looked out for includes a dry cough.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) described the cough as: “A new and continuous cough.

“This means coughing a lot for more than an hour, or three or more coughing episodes in 24 hours.

“If you usually do cough, it’s worse than usual.”


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The difference in coughs one may experience if they have a cold, is that coughing is more common in those with flu or have the COVID-19 infection.

Whereas a cough is not as common when one has a cold and is described as being ‘mild’.

Coughing when one has an allergy is also not as common and described as ‘sometimes’, according to American College of Allergy, Asthma and Immunology.

The main symptoms of coronavirus is a fever and a cough and the government now advises that a person needs to self-isolate for seven days if they experience these symptoms.

Steps to take if you are worried about potential symptoms

Monitor your symptoms: Not everyone with COVID-19 requires hospitalisation. However, keeping track of your symptoms is important since they may worsen in the second week of illness.

Contact your doctor: Even if the symptoms are mild, it’s still a good idea to call your doctor to let them know about your symptoms and any potential exposure risks.

Get tested: Your doctor can work with local health authorities and the CDC to evaluate your symptoms and risk of exposure to determine if you need to be tested for COVID-19.

Stay isolated: Plan to isolate yourself at home until your infection has cleared up. Try to stay separated from other people in your home, using a separate bedroom and bathroom if possible.

Seek care: If your symptoms worsen, seek prompt medical care. Be sure to call ahead before you arrive at a clinic or hospital. Wear a face mask, if available. 

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