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COVID-19 is an infectious respiratory illness that can range from being asymptomatic to causing severe, and even fatal, complications.
Despite this, many of the first signs of infection could easily be mistaken for some other kind of illness – such as a cold or the flu.
If you are experiencing a mild bout of Covid, for example, you might not realise you are infected without getting tested.
According to one health expert, a fever is “one of the most common signs of Covid”.
However, like some of the other symptoms of coronavirus, it could easily be dismissed as a sign of something else.
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This is because a fever is used as a way for your body to fight off any unwanted bacteria or infection.
GP and expert for Olbas, Doctor Roger Henderson spoke with Express.co.uk to explain more.
He said it is “hard” to distinguish a fever caused by Covid and other types of fever.
“It is always hard to distinguish different fevers that come with different illnesses,” he said.
“Fevers are when you are hot to touch, so by placing a hand on your back, chest, or forehead should give you a good indication.
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“It is one of the most common symptoms of Covid, although some people may develop chills.”
Measuring your temperature with a thermometer can help you gauge whether you have a fever.
He explained: “Your normal body temperature should be 37C, a fever is when your body temperature is 37.8C, so if you think you have a fever you can always use a thermometer to get an accurate measurement.
“Other signs that you can expect to develop are sweating, chills/shivering, headaches, muscle aches, loss of appetite, and irritability.”
If you are suffering from a fever there are some treatments you can try at home.
Dr Henderson said: “Fevers can cause discomfort, but there are ways to cope with the symptoms.
“Take paracetamol and/or ibuprofen, drink plenty of water, or have a bath with tepid water.
“To help cope with muscle aches, you could use products that contain natural oils, such as Olbas bath, that help relieve aching muscles.”
There are times when you should speak to your GP if you have a fever.
“If your fever won’t go away or you are finding it hard to control your temperature you should contact your GP,” he said.
“It would also be advised to seek medical advice if: you are peeing less and have severe thirst, passing urine that is darker than usual, you are light-headed or weak, you have new and severe muscle cramps, or your symptoms have worsened.
“Fevers are rarely a sign of something more serious than your body fighting bacteria or virus, but it is always best to get something checked out if it is causing you concern.”
According to the NHS, other symptoms of Covid include:
- A new, continuous cough
- A loss or change to your sense of smell or taste
- Shortness of breath
- Feeling tired or exhausted
- An aching body
- A headache
- A sore throat
- A blocked or runny nose
- Loss of appetite
- Feeling sick or being sick.
If you experience Covid symptoms and/or test positive the NHS advice is to stay home and avoid contact with others for five days if you can.
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