Section 1, Lesson 1
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Recognizing Respiratory Virus Symptoms Copy

Your understanding of COVID-19 symptoms will help you differentiate between allergies, seasonal flu, and other respiratory illnesses. 

How do respiratory viruses work? 

Viruses work by hijacking cells in the body. They enter host cells and reproduce, and can then spread to new cells around the body. Usually, the immune system will identify and respond to coronavirus early by creating antibodies to fight the infection. The immune response to infection has side effects for the body, including fever. 

Other symptoms of SARS-COV-2 include coughing or shortness of breath, and most recently, the CDC added the lack of ability to taste and smell as an additional symptom. 

In this lesson, you will get a quick overview of the coronavirus and a detailed list of symptoms. With this knowledge, you can better recognize signs and create a plan to mitigate your risk for an outbreak in your workplace.

Watch the video:

Key takeaways:

  • Coronaviruses mostly affect the respiratory system. Respiratory illnesses affect different parts of the respiratory system, such as the lungs. A coronavirus typically infects the lining of the throat, airways, and lungs. 
  • During an infection, white blood cells release pyrogens, a substance that causes fever. A temperature of greater than 100.0°F from an oral or infrared thermometer indicates a fever. 
  • Other influenza symptoms include a runny nose, head and body aches, sore throat, difficulty sleeping, sweats, chills, and lack of taste and smell. 
  • These symptoms will usually last until the body fights off the coronavirus. Signs of low-risk symptoms might not show up right away. For example, people with COVID-19 might not show symptoms until 214 days after infection. 


List of COVID-19 symptoms: As this is a new virus, it is essential to stay uptodate with the CDC.

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