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Covid-19: from 19% to 35% of cases have difficulty breathing

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Covid-19: from 19% to 35% of cases have difficulty breathing

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Coronavirus (Photo: Fernando Frazão / Agência Brasil)

One of the recurrent symptoms of the new coronavirus is shortness of breath. According to the World Health Organization (WHO), difficulty in breathing is related to 19% to 35% of confirmed cases of the disease, usually associated with fever (83% -98%) and cough (68%).

According to Thiago Fuscaldi, pulmonologist and intensivist at Hospital Sírio Libanês, dyspnea, a medical term that describes shortness of breath, may be associated with other clinical conditions such as asthma, heart problems or anxiety and lead to doubts at a time with excessive information about the pandemic.

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“The symptom of anxiety will manifest itself, many times, unrelated to the effort. In such cases, the person is seated and has a feeling of shortness of breath, but when walking or doing other activities, he or she does not have so many symptoms. Now, the patient with dyspnea due to infection, may even have shortness of breath when he is at rest, but when he goes to do an activity he will feel much more shortness of breath. This, due to anxiety, is not so related ”, explains the doctor.

According to Fuscaldi, very persistent feelings of shortness of breath, associated with fever, body pain, need medical attention.

“So, if this shortness of breath is persistent, a sensation that bothers you in your daily activities, you have to seek medical attention. Generally, if it is a condition that will persist for more than 24 hours, or if it is a point where the person has a very bad breath and is unable to do their normal activities, it is already an indication to seek medical attention ”, adds .

Symptoms of covid-19
According to WHO, the most common symptoms of the new coronavirus are fever, tiredness and dry cough. Some patients may experience body pain, congestion or runny nose, sore throat or gastrointestinal problems, such as diarrhea.

Symptoms are usually mild and begin gradually. Some people are infected, but have no symptoms and do not feel bad.

According to the organization, the majority of people infected with covid-19 (about 80%) recover from the disease without needing special treatment. On the other hand, one in six affected people becomes seriously ill and has difficulty breathing.

WHO studies show that the covid-19 virus is transmitted mainly through contact with respiratory droplets – not through air. The incubation period is the time between being infected by the virus and the onset of symptoms of the disease. The organization's estimates are that the incubation period varies from one to 14 days, most often around five days.

Currently, 81% of registered cases appear to have mild or moderate disease, 14% progress to the worsening of the disease and 5% reach critical condition. Elderly people with pre-existing health problems (such as high blood pressure, heart disease, lung disease, cancer or diabetes.

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