The year 2019-2020 has taught a common man more medical terms than he had probably learned in his previous years of life. It is just fascinating seeing people casually talking to each other using thick medical terminology. Words like ‘Pandemic’, ‘Asymptomatic’, ‘Quarantine’ are now part of our daily conversations.
But does having tons of information on our fingertips and fancy vocabulary on our tongues mean we can go around, diagnosing people with Corona, merely at the first sight of a cough or a sneeze?
Well, the answer is clearly ‘No’, as there are so many other reasons for respiratory symptoms and it is important to know that not every cough or sneeze is CoronaVirus. If we talk about our country, there are lots of reasons for coughing, shortness of breath, and other symptoms involving lungs.
So, scroll down for some more information about the various different diseases prevailing in our country, that mimic CoronaVirus. Chances are, you might benefit from this information yourself, or might end up impressing your friends with these enlightening details!
According to a study in Pakistan, the most common respiratory diseases, in the order of prevalence are: Tuberculosis, Asthma, COPD, and Pneumonia.1
In order to understand better, let us look at the signs and symptoms of each one closely :
|Disease||Some quick facts||What you may feel2|
|Tuberculosis||Caused by bacteria, can be transmitted from one person to another through the air.|
-Treatment is Antibiotic therapy
|-Prolonged wet cough|
|Asthma||– The onset of symptoms usually is at childhood|
-There is a family history of Asthma in most cases
-Can be managed with puffers and medications
|– Highly variable symptoms usually starting from childhood|
-Shortness of breath, especially while physical activity
-Usually no fever
|COPD||–Condition that takes long time to develop|
-Patients with COPD feel they are ‘running out of air’
-Can be managed at home, but often condition can get serious and require hospital admissions
|– A chronic condition that takes a long time to develop|
-Shortness of breath
-Quality of life affected
|Pneumonia||-Basically an infection of lung tissue|
-Need antibiotic therapy for the treatment-Usually does not lead to serious consequences in young, otherwise healthy patients.
-Shortness of breath
-Fever with shaking chills
-Nausea, vomiting or diarrhea
-Confusion in elderly
|–Highly contagious disease|
– Require self-isolation of the patients
-No specific treatment has been discovered other than supportive care
|–Wide range of symptoms|
-Loss of taste or smell
-Chest pain or pressure -Loss of speech & movement
- Epidemiological estimates of Respiratory diseases in … – SciELO.” 17 Aug. 2017, .
- World Health Organization.”
If you notice yourself or any other person experiencing the above mentioned symptoms, it is a good idea to monitor yourself closely and make notes of the time of onset of a particular symptom, it’s the duration, and whether it is getting better or worse. If you have sputum (phlegm) with the cough, Make sure you note the amount, color, consistency of it and if there is any smell associated with it. This will help your doctor reach the diagnosis and start the treatment. Most importantly, since the COVID is still prevailing, it will be wise enough to practice self-isolation while you wait to see your doctor.
Most importantly, take good care of your lungs, breathe in the clean fresh air, stay away from pollutants like cigarette smoke, and try to lead a physically active life. Keep your lungs healthy and safe so they can work the best for you!