When to Seek Medical Care for Your COVID-19 Symptoms

Feb 08, 2023
COVID-19 can cause severe infections with life-threatening complications. Even if symptoms are initially mild, the infection can rapidly worsen. Here’s how to tell when you should seek care for your COVID-19 symptoms.

Although the height of the COVID-19 pandemic may be behind us, the virus is still causing thousands of infections every day, along with thousands of hospitalizations and deaths on a weekly basis. 

Vaccination plays a key role in preventing infections, but even if you’re fully immunized, there’s a chance you can contract the virus or spread it to others.

Learn to recognize the signs of a COVID-19 infection so you get the right medical treatment as quickly as possible, reducing your risk of serious complications and keeping the infection from spreading. 

With locations in Alexandria and Lansdowne, Virginia, CN Internal Medicine offers comprehensive, patient-centered treatment for people infected with the COVID-19 virus. In this post, our team reviews common COVID-19 symptoms so you know when it’s time to call the office.

COVID-19 symptoms

COVID-19 can cause a variety of symptoms that can vary widely in their severity. While some people experience very mild symptoms, other people can develop serious symptoms that can cause life-threatening heart or lung problems.

Even mild symptoms can quickly evolve into severe health problems, which is why it’s always important to have your symptoms evaluated as soon as possible. Some of the common symptoms to look for include:

  • Problems breathing
  • Sore throat
  • Cough
  • Fever
  • Muscle aches
  • Significant fatigue
  • Vomiting or diarrhea
  • Loss of taste or smell
  • Headache
  • Pink eye

These symptoms can occur with other diseases and infections, as well. Speaking with a member of our team is the best way to understand why the symptoms are occurring so you can get appropriate care.

When to seek medical care

We advise seeking medical treatment if you develop any of the symptoms listed above. In most instances, we’ll recommend COVID-19 testing to determine if you have a COVID-19 infection or if another issue, like a cold or flu, could be to blame.

At CN Internal Medicine, we offer both rapid-testing and PCR antigen testing. Our team recommends the right test for your needs. While at-home test kits may be helpful, they can also return false negatives, especially if you don’t administer the test accurately. That’s why we always recommend testing in our office.

Another bonus: Because COVID-19 can rapidly spread from one person to another, we offer telehealth services (virtual visits) so you can receive care from the comfort of your home. During your telehealth visit, we evaluate your symptoms and may recommend COVID-19 testing or other options.

Risk factors

There are risk factors that can increase your chances of developing a severe infection. If you have any of these risk factors and you develop COVID-19 symptoms, prompt medical care can help prevent serious complications:

  • Excess weight
  • Respiratory conditions, like COPD or asthma
  • Heart disease
  • High blood pressure
  • Diabetes
  • Kidney disease or liver disease
  • Compromised immune system

You should also seek medical care right away if you’re 65 or older or you’re pregnant.

Don’t ignore your symptoms

COVID-19 infection can lead to serious, life-threatening complications when not treated appropriately. If you have any symptoms of infection, get tested and evaluated as early as possible.

If you have severe symptoms, like problems breathing or chest pain, call 911 right away. To learn more about COVID-19 prevention, testing, and treatment, request an appointment online or over the phone with our team at CN Internal Medicine today.