Coronavirus testing will remain available over Christmas weekend throughout Michigan, and it’s important for people to avail themselves of that service if they think they have coronavirus, state health officials say.
“We definitely did see a decline in testing around Thanksgiving,” Sarah Lyon-Callo, director of the Bureau of Epidemiology and Population Health at the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services, said during a press briefing Wednesday.
But, she added, “ I think it is very important that if people are feeling ill or had an exposure, and it’s been five or seven days after that exposure, that they do go ahead and get a test,” so they know whether they need to isolate or continue to quarantine.
The Michigan Department of Health and Human Services website has a page that specifically helps residents find test sites nearby, she noted.
“The website still has the test locator up and available, and we’d like people to make use of that during the holiday season,” she said.
People who have been exposed to coronavirus should quarantine for at least 10 days after the exposure to see if they come down with the virus.
Coronavirus symptoms can appear two to 14 days after exposure, and the average incubation period is about four to five days.
And recognize, coronavirus patients are most contagious 72 to 48 hours before they experience symptoms. That means you could easily be exposed to the virus even if you weren’t near someone while they were sick, and you can expose others before you’re symptomatic.
Below are the symptoms to watch for.
- Fever. Fever is a common symptom of coronavirus, and often one of the first indicators of infection. But it’s possible to have coronavirus with no fever, or a very low-grade one, especially in the first few days. About 55% of coronavirus patients with symptoms have a fever, according to Medical News Today.
- Dry cough. Coughs caused by coronavirus are typically dry and persistent, and can leave you short of breath. About 60% of patients with symptoms have a cough.
- Fatigue. Fatigue appears to be the most common early symptom of coronavirus, with about 68% of patients reporting that symptom. It also may be one of the longest-lasting symptoms. More than half of people who recover from COVID-19 still report fatigue 10 weeks later, regardless of the seriousness of their initial infection, according to a study published Nov. 9.
- Shortness of breath or difficulty breathing. About 40% of coronavirus patients with symptoms develop shortness of breath or breathing issues, and this is a symptom to monitor carefully since can be a sign that the patient has developed pneumonia. According to clinical studies, breathlessness develops on average between day 5 and day 8 of symptoms. Life-threatening breathlessness can happen at any point during the course of COVID-19 and requires immediate medical attention.
- Loss of smell and taste. One of the telltale signs of coronavirus is loss of smell and taste, experienced by about two-thirds of coronavirus patients. Like fatigue, it can be one of the first signs of the virus and one of the longest lasting. About one of five coronavirus patients with symptoms still had altered smell when surveyed two and a half to six months after their initial illness, according to a University of Michigan study.
- Muscle aches. Almost half of coronavirus patients experience muscle pain, which are likely the result of immune cells releasing infection-fighting proteins called interleukins. Some patients report severe joint and body pain, particularly in large muscles.
- Headache. Headache can be one of the first signs of coronavirus, and the headaches can be severe. In some people, the headaches last a few days, while in others, it can last up to months.
- Sore throat and/or runny nose. Around a third of coronavirus patients have a sore throat, which may be accompanied by a runny nose and/or congestion.
- Diarrhea and/or nausea. Among the symptoms of coronavirus are gastrointestinal issues, such as vomiting, diarrhea, or abdominal pain during the early phases of the disease. One study indicated about one in five coronavirus patients have gastrointestinal symptoms.
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