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Early Symptoms of and Fever Range Associated with the Novel Coronavirus Disease (COVID-19)

We Appreciate our Health Now More than Ever Before.

As a global community, we are living in unprecedented times. We are in the midst of the coronavirus pandemic, and perhaps never before in our lifetimes has health felt like such a luxury.

Here in the United States, the latest numbers indicate that over 33,800 Americans have confirmed COVID-19 diagnoses. As of 4:00 p.m. PDT on March 23, 2020, there are over 500 confirmed deaths of U.S. citizens due to the novel coronavirus, according to the United States Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). To stop the continued spread of the virus, and to attempt to “flatten the curve,” many Americans are making the effort to take the measures recommended by infectious disease experts and governmental authorities—we are washing our hands for 20 seconds, we are not touching our faces, we are staying home and self-isolating, we are socially distancing ourselves, we are working remotely, we are homeschooling our children. Restaurants and gathering places have closed, non-essential stores and businesses have closed, daycares, schools and colleges are shut down, and even public parks, beaches and trails are closed.

Covid 19 Fever Range

COVID-19 Fever Symptoms

Despite all of these efforts, public officials have estimated that a staggering number of U.S. citizens will be infected with COVID-19 at some point. For example, the governor of California, Gavin Newsom, has indicated that 56 percent of Californians may contract coronavirus within the next 8 weeks. This data indicates that every American needs to be prepared to deal with being diagnosed with coronavirus, and importantly, what early signs or symptoms of the disease to watch out for. An awareness of the early symptoms of and potential fever range associated with coronavirus (COVID-19) will guide Americans in determining the appropriate time to seek potentially life-saving medical treatment.

Early Symptoms of Coronavirus (COVID-19)—Know What to Watch Out For

What are the early symptoms or warning signs that you may have the novel coronavirus (COVID-19)? The ability to identify the symptoms of this disease, and take necessary action is critical.

Know the Most Common Early Symptoms of Coronavirus (COVID-19)

Based on what medical experts currently know about the incubation period of COVID-19, the tell-tale symptoms of coronavirus can appear anywhere from 2 to 14 days after exposure to a virus contagion, and according to the CDC most commonly include*:

  • Cough;
  • Fever;
  • Shortness of breath;
  • Fatigue

* This list is not all inclusive. Please consult your medical provider for any other symptoms that are severe or concerning.

Emergency Warning Signs of Coronavirus (COVID-19)

There are some symptoms of coronavirus (COVID-19) that are considered emergency warning signs, requiring immediate medical attention. These serious symptoms include*:

  • Difficulty breathing;
  • Persistent pressure/pain in the chest;
  • Confusion or inability to arouse (wake);
  • Bluish coloring to the lips or face

* This list is not all inclusive. Please consult your medical provider for any other symptoms that are severe or concerning.

Most Cases of Coronavirus (COVID-19) Involve Mild to Moderate Respiratory Illness

The coronavirus (COVID-19) affects people stricken with the virus differently. The virus itself is a respiratory disease and most afflicted will develop mild to moderate symptoms and recover without hospitalization or other special treatment. People with underlying medical conditions and those 60 years old and over have a higher risk of developing severe disease, resulting complications and death if infected with coronavirus (COVID-19).

While common symptoms of the virus include cough, fever, fatigue and shortness of breath, as listed above, other symptoms may include*:

  • Body aches and pains;
  • Sore throat;
  • Diarrhea;
  • Nausea;
  • Runny nose;
  • Unexplained loss of taste or smell;

* This list is not all inclusive. Please consult your medical provider for any other symptoms that are severe or concerning.

According to The World Health Organization (WHO), “people with mild symptoms who are otherwise healthy should self-isolate and contact their medical provider or a COVID-19 information line for advice on testing and referral. . . People with fever, cough or difficulty breathing should call their doctor and seek medical attention.”

The below chart illustrates what we know about the symptoms that are common, rare and uncommon to the novel coronavirus (COVID-19).

SYMPTOM COVID-19
Cough Common (Dry)
Fatigue Common
Fever Common
Shortness of Breath Common
Body Aches and Pains Some Cases
Diarrhea Some Cases
Sore Throat Some Cases
Stuffy or Runny Nose Some Cases
Headache Uncommon/None
Itchy or Watery Eyes Uncommon/None
Sneezing Uncommon/None
Stomach Pain Uncommon/None
Vomiting Uncommon/None

Source: WHO, National Institute of Health (NIH), CDC

Most Common Early Symptoms: A Closer Look

“Dry Cough”

By now, most Americans are familiar with the common early symptoms of coronavirus (COVID-19): cough, fever, shortness of breath and fatigue. One of those symptoms—a cough—is a symptom many of us deal with when we experience the common cold or flu. However, the cough associated with the coronavirus (COVID-19) is described as a “dry cough.” Here is an explanation of how this dry cough may be distinguishable from other coughs you’ve had.

A dry cough is not a “productive” cough, meaning that no mucus or phlegm is produced with the cough. Alternatively, a wet cough is one that produces mucus or phlegm, and the person coughing can sometimes actually feel the movement of mucus in their lungs or throat. Additionally, a dry cough may have a different sound than that of a wet cough. The dry cough will sound consistent, with a barking or hoarse sound. It is worth noting, however, that a dry cough is a very common symptom associated with a variety of other illnesses—not just coronavirus (COVID-19)—including the common cold, allergies, asthma, or bronchitis.

Fever Range: How to Know If You Have a Fever

Fever is another chief symptom of coronavirus (COVID-19). Research indicates that the fever associated with coronavirus (COVID-19) is usually the first of the early symptoms to arrive.

A person’s body temperature is considered a fever at 100.4°F/38°C or higher. The average normal healthy body temperature is considered to be around 98.6°F/37°C, though recent data seems to indicate that the average is growing lower—closer to 97.6°F. Coronavirus is just one of many illnesses that may cause a rise in the body’s temperature—an indicator or early symptom that the body is fighting off infection. Identifying whether you have a fever is a key component in identifying tell-tale symptoms of coronavirus COVID-19.

To measure body temperature, oral thermometers are recommended for adults and children, while rectal thermometers are best for infants. It is important to note that normal body temperatures vary from person to person, and very often fluctuate throughout the day depending on a person’s activity. Typically, a person’s body temperature peaks around 6 p.m. and reaches its lowest point at about 3 a.m.

When a person’s body temperature rises to 100.4 degrees, you have a low-grade fever. A fever is considered severe when it reaches 103 degrees or higher. The signature fever most commonly associated with coronavirus typically begins as a low-grade fever, but gradually increases to higher temperatures. Business Insider reports that about 44 percent of coronavirus patients initially present with a fever, but 80 percent eventually develop one, according to data from a Chinese study.

How to Monitor for Fever

If you are concerned and want to monitor your temperature for fever as an early symptom of coronavirus, health authorities, including the CDC, have some recommendations in ensuring an accurate temperature reading:

Before you take your temperature:

  1. Wait 30 minutes after eating, drinking, or exercising.
  2. Wait at least 6 hours after taking medicines that can lower your temperature, like:
  • Acetaminophen, also called paracetamol or brand-name Tylenol;
  • Ibuprofen;
  • Aspirin

Take your temperature:

  • Hold an oral thermometer under your tongue until it beeps.
  • Do not bite the thermometer.
  • Clean your thermometer with soap and water and dry it well.

Monitor your temperature and other symptoms:

  • Two times a day (morning and night), take and make note of your temperature;
  • Make note of any other COVID-19 symptoms you may have: feeling feverish, coughing or difficulty breathing.

When to Seek Medical Help

Seek Medical Care, but Call First: Common or Worsening Symptoms

If you exhibit any of the common early symptoms or other symptoms of coronavirus (COVID-19), health authorities recommend that you seek medical care immediately, but call first. Before going to a doctor’s office, urgent care, or emergency room, call your medical provider or a COVID-19 healthcare line and tell them your symptoms. Medical professionals are trained in identifying the early symptoms of COVID-19 and will tell you what to do.

Before entering a building for medical treatment, wear a facemask if possible. If you can’t put on a facemask, or even if you can, health authorities recommend keeping a safe distance from other people (at least 6 feet) in order to protect other people in the office or waiting room.

Pay close attention to and follow any care instructions from your healthcare provider and local health department. Your treaters will advise you as to how you should continue to check your symptoms and report information as needed.

Get Medical Attention IMMEDIATELY for Emergency Warning Signs of COVID-19

If you exhibit any of the emergency warning signs of COVID-19, such as trouble breathing or shortness of breath, chest pain, new confusion or inability to arouse, and/or bluish lips or face, you should seek medical attention immediately.

If you have a medical emergency and need to call 911, notify the operator that you have been diagnosed with, or think you may have COVID-19. If possible, put on a facemask before medical care arrives.

Committed to Our Clients and Our Community

As a law firm, Gomez Trial Attorneys is committed to a set of established core values. Two of our core values come especially into play in light of the coronavirus pandemic: “we always do the right thing,” and “we improve our communities.” At Gomez Trial Attorneys we are doing everything we can to help stop the spread of coronavirus and ultimately, save lives. While we remain open for business and working hard for our clients, our attorneys and staff are working almost exclusively from home. We care especially for the elderly in our community, who are now under governmental advisement to self-isolate in their homes. In order to help our elderly community members weather this storm, we have partnered with “Meals on Wheels” of San Diego County to raise funds and volunteers as permitted.

At Gomez Trial Attorneys we strive to be thought leaders in our community and encourage all of our potential clients, clients, friends, and family to #STAYHOME to stop the spread of coronavirus COVID-19. Know your symptoms, and seek medical treatment if necessary.


Gomez Trial Attorneys
655 West Broadway, Suite 1700
San Diego, CA 92101
Phone: (619)-237-3490

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