• While most COVID-19 symptoms are mild, there are a few emergency symptoms that warrant immediate medical attention.
  • Some of these warning signs, according to the CDC, include trouble breathing, confusion, and an inability to stay awake.
  • To date, the U.S. has seen more than 24.5 million coronavirus cases and upwards of 408,000 associated deaths.

With the U.S. still seeing close to 200,000 new coronavirus infections per day, it’s as important as ever for people to remain cognizant of common COVID-19 symptoms. And because COVID symptoms tend to mirror symptoms typically seen with the flu, it’s equally as crucial for people to get tested for the virus if they’ve been exposed to someone who may have it or if they start noticing symptoms.

While many of the more common COVID symptoms are likely familiar to most everyone by now (i.e. fever, chills, cough, body aches, the sudden loss of taste and smell, fatigue) there are a few emergency COVID warnings signs that warrant immediate medical attention.

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Per the CDC, there are five coronavirus symptoms that should prompt someone to either call 911 or immediately head to a nearby emergency room. That list includes:

  • Trouble breathing
  • Persistent pain or pressure in the chest
  • New confusion
  • Inability to wake or stay awake
  • Bluish lips or face

The CDC adds that if any of the symptoms above manifest, you should indicate to the 911 operator or your doctor that you may have COVID.

“This list is not all possible symptoms,” the CDC says. “Please call your medical provider for any other symptoms that are severe or concerning to you.”

While many people who encounter COVID are asymptomatic or show mild symptoms, a severe case of the coronavirus is particularly nasty and can wreak havoc across the entirety of a patient’s body. Aside from lung and heart damage, many COVID patients have indicated that they often experience lingering symptoms for weeks and even months after the initial diagnosis. This phenomenon has been categorized as Long COVID and, aside from physical symptoms, has also been shown to have a detrimental cognitive impact.

One study conducted late last year found that the cognitive decline in some Long COVID patients who initially required hospitalization is equivalent to the brain aging 10 years. Some specific cognitive symptoms include memory issues, trouble concentrating on specific tasks, confusion, and even slight personality changes.

Suffice it to say, the coronavirus at its worst is an exceptionally nasty and dangerous virus and people should be aware of when seeking medical attention is paramount.

As it stands now, January is shaping up to be the worst month of the entire pandemic, a dynamic that many health experts predicted on account of Christmas and New Year’s Eve. Despite the CDC urging everyone to stay home, millions of Americans threw caution to the wind and traveled home in December. Consequently, it’s no surprise that the U.S. started to see a massive spike in the infection rate from late December through early January.

With February around the corner, the good news is that the infection rate is finally starting to go down. While the total number of new cases is still in the 180,000 to 200,000 range, the infection rate has gone down by nearly 17% over the last two weeks. This, coupled with what we can only hope will be an accelerated vaccination program, will ideally help the U.S. achieve herd immunity sometime this summer.

A life long Mac user and Apple enthusiast, Yoni Heisler has been writing about Apple and the tech industry at large for over 6 years. His writing has appeared in Edible Apple, Network World, MacLife, Macworld UK, and most recently, TUAW. When not writing about and analyzing the latest happenings with Apple, Yoni enjoys catching Improv shows in Chicago, playing soccer, and cultivating new TV show addictions, the most recent examples being The Walking Dead and Broad City.