5 Common Respiratory Problems Other Than Corona

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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
TuberculosisCaused by bacteria, can be transmitted from one person to another through the air.
-Treatment is Antibiotic therapy
-Prolonged wet cough
-Chest pain
-Weight loss
-Night sweats
AsthmaThe 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
COPDCondition 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
-Chest pain
-Nausea, vomiting or diarrhea
-Confusion in elderly
CoronaVirus Disease


Highly contagious disease​
– Require self-isolation of the patients
-No specific treatment has been discovered other than supportive care
Wide range of symptoms​
-Dry cough
-Loss of taste or smell
-Chest pain or pressure -Loss of speech & movement

 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!

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Rabbiah Fatima

Rabbiah Fatima is an aspiring physician, enthusiastic about learning and writing. Strong believer of the saying, ‘' Nature, time and patience are the best doctors’’. Loves trees ,wet earth, water and sunshine ~ When not writing, she will be found strolling around in woods ,inhaling nature, clicking photographs

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