Here is What The Doctors Have To Say About Sore Throat and COVID-19
It’s apparent that we all have experienced pain or discomfort of the throat, like dryness, swollen or scratchy sensation that became worse when we try to swallow things or even talk at one point in time. But it is usually seen and treated as a typical symptom of frequent throat infection or allergy that means no cause for alarm till the arrival of Covid-19 in December 2019 in Wuhan, China.
This Covid-19 is a virus that everyone seems not to say enough about. It’s getting more and more complex every day with different symptoms and different cases discovered each day. Dr. Inna Husain, M.D, an assistant professor in otolaryngology at Rush University Medical Center in Chicago, says, “There is still so much we don’t know about Covid-19 and what we do know has been evolving over time”.
There is still much that is yet discover about Covid-19. What has been seen so far in the European Archives of Oto-Rhino-Laryngology April review stated that “At this point in time, all upper respiratory illnesses or symptoms that are related to ear, nose, and throat may precede the development of Covid-19 until it is proven otherwise”.
Does That Mean if We Have a Sore Throat in This Pandemic Period, We Have Contacted COVID-19?
Capital NO. Not all sore throat is caused by a coronavirus. A sore throat can be caused by allergies, dryness, irritant, muscle strain, or any viral infection and bacterial such as cold or the flu, which usually resolve on its own or by treating with antibiotics.
We cannot neglect the fact that there is a possibility of sore throat been a symptom of COVID-19.
Here are Some Facts
As reported by the Nigerian Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (NCDC), the signs that are seen with Covid-19 can vary from one person to another. This fact has made them to recently add new signs to their official list of Covid-19 symptoms.
According to them (CDC), the most common symptoms of Covid-19 are dry cough, tiredness, and fever. Now, they recently stated that some patients may have aches and pains, nasal congestion, runny nose, or sore throat. This makes sore throat a potential symptom of Covid-19.
With the fact that there is no well-documented proof of sore throat been a Covid-19 symptom at this very moment. The World Health Organization(WHO) February report, as a matter of fact, analyzed that 13.9% of COVID-19 patients have sore throat out 55924 confirmed cases in China.
“The medical report of some of the COVID-19 patients show redness in their throat without bacterial infection that feels like a super dry throat that indicates a symptom of a sore throat” points out by Dr. Leo Nissola, M.D, a scientist and investigator at Covid-19 National Convalescence Plasma Project. This proves that sore throat can be a symptom of the Coronavirus.
How Do You Recognize a Sore Throat Brought on By COVID-19?
Dr. Michael Lerner, M.D, a Yale Medicine Laryngologist and assistant professor of otolaryngology at Yale School of Medicine, said, “There is nothing is significantly different between a sore throat brought on by any other respiratory infections and one brought on by Covid-19”. That means it can be challenging to determine whether a sore throat is brought on by COVID-19 solely on the symptom alone without a proper test.
However, Dr. Leo Nissola contributed that “it is more likely to be a sore throat brought on by Covid-19 if there are more symptoms such as fever and malaise”. Therefore, “if your sore throat is accompanied by dry cough or fever, you should be suspicious because it may be a sore throat brought on by Covid-19, but if it’s a sore throat accompanied by nasal congestion or runny nose, that may be a sore throat brought by an allergy or other viral infection” added by Dr. Husain.
Overall, to reduce the spread of Covid-19 and keep the virus at is bay, it’s advisable to follow all the prevention guidelines and get tested if you experienced any unfamiliar feeling or effect in your body. Only that can make you know the cause and type of infection or virus you are dealing with and make you take proper precautions.
How Do You Handle a Sore Throat Either by COVID-19 or Viral Infection and Bacterial?
The appropriate treatment for sore throat in general varies depends on the cause. You can’t be sure of the remedy unless you know the root.
As mentioned above, a viral infection that causes the common cold, and the flu can also create a sore throat. This type of sore throat usually lasts five to seven days and doesn’t require much medical treatment. In this case, you can deal with it by using some home-base remedies like:
- Resting and staying calm: physical resting of your body and voice can be a great help in dealing with your sore throat.
- Drinking liquids, whether cold or hot (water or Tea): fluids help to clear the throat and keep things flowing freely, and it is warm, it can reduce cough.
- Gargling with warm saltwater: Put a little salt in warm water and gargle with it without swallowing. This can reduce swelling and irritation in the throat.
- Using throat lozenges: this can encourage saliva production, which helps keep the throat moist. You can use one with a cooling ingredient for extra relief.
- Enlisting humidifiers: what makes throat sore mostly is dryness of the air. You can get a humidifier to help you breathe.
- Taking Over-the-counter pain relief medicine to ease the pain: medicine like ibuprofen, naproxen, and so on, can help in reducing the pain attached.
Another thing that can cause sore throat is bacterial infections. If your sore throat is caused by a bacterial, you can deal with it by getting a prescription antibiotic from your doctor. And if your sore throat is due to allergies, taking an allergy pill can be helpful.
On the other hand, if you find out that your sore throat might be as a result of contacting COVID-19, the best way to deal with it is to self-isolate yourself, observe the symptoms and seek medical attention by contacting your state Medical Helpline for further guideline.
How Can You Prevent All These Viral Infections and Viruses, Including Sore Throat?
The most recommended way to prevent them is to avoid the germs that can cause them and practice good hygiene.
- Wash your hands: the most essential way to reduce the spread of infections is by regularly washing your hands. Wash your hands always with soap and water or sanitizers whenever you use the toilet, touch a surface, cough, or sneeze.
- Maintain social distance: Try to avoid being around or maintaining close contact with people, especially those who are sick. Remember to stay more than six feet away from people.
- Keep your food Healthy: cook your food thoroughly before eating, rinse all meat, poultry, fish, fruits, and vegetables under running water before cooking.
- Do not share food, dishes, drinking glass, and utensils with people.
- Get vaccinated: immunization can drastically reduce your chance of getting infected.
- Cover your cough or sneeze with handkerchief or tissue and dispose of it immediately. In cases where there is no tissue or handkerchief, cough or sneeze into your elbow.
- Do not touch your eyes, nose, or mouth with unwashed hands. Viruses can easily be transferred from your hand into the body.
- Wear a nose mask when you are in public space or social gathering.
- Clean and disinfect surfaces more often, such as door handles, stair railings, bars, desk, phones, kitchen, tables, and more.
- Wash and bandage all wound or cut in your body.
- Avoid direct contact with handkerchiefs or tissues used by others.
- And Reduce smoking
In a nutshell, sore throat is a potential symptom of COVID-19. Though research says a sore throat isn’t very common like other symptoms such as fever, dry cough, and tiredness, to be brought on by COVID-19 but you can never be sure unless you are tested and proven otherwise. The only test can rule out the real cause of your symptoms. So, the first thing to do when you are having any discomfort or unfavorable symptoms is to test yourself to be sure of what is going on. As we all know that health is the most considerable wealth. Take care of your health, and you will surely enjoy wealth.