The coronavirus SARS-CoV-2 can cause an illness known as COVID-19. The symptoms include fever and dry cough.
Unlike a common cold, people with COVID-19 generally do not have a runny nose or a sore throat. Remember that although the virus can seriously impact all ages, older people are at higher risk of developing severe illness.
According to a large study in China, the vast majority of those infected with the novel coronavirus:
- 81 per cent of patients have mild symptoms
- 14 per cent of patients had severe symptoms, including trouble breathing
- Just under 5 per cent of patients suffered critical illness, meaning they needed to be on a respirator
The overall fatality rate in China is 2.3 per cent.
However, it is not yet clear how deadly COVID-19 is because many mild cases have likely gone undetected. Remember, you are far more likely to have a cold or even the flu than COVID-19. In all cases, the treatment is the same – you treat the symptoms with fever-reducing medication such as acetaminophen (Tylenol) or ibuprofen (Advil, Motrin) and bed rest. You should not treat fever with ASA-based painkillers such as Aspirin, especially in children. Antibiotics do not help; they only work for bacterial illnesses.
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