Dr. Rachel answers coronavirus questions: Are symptoms fast or gradual?

Coronavirus
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NEW ORLEANS — WGNO’s medical correspondent Dr. Rachel, the Teaching Doctor, is answering your coronavirus questions. Here are her responses to some of your recent questions.

If you have a question for Dr. Rachel, send her an email at DrRachel@wgno.com.

Question: Do the symptoms of coronavirus come on fast or are they gradual?

Dr. Rachel: Every single person is presenting in a different way.

Some people are presenting: I was fine yesterday. I woke up with this bad fever, cough, feel miserable.

Some people, it’s more gradual. Some people are saying: I kind of felt tired for about a week. Then I kind of got more fatigued. Then I got a fever. Then I got a cough.

We are seeing some nasal congestion and loss of taste and smell in some people. Another kind of new symptom we are seeing is the diarrhea–of G.I. stomach upset. So, very different in every single person.

Question: Once you get on a ventilator, I heard you always die. Is that true?

Dr. Rachel: This question really breaks my heart because people are coming off the ventilator.

Look at that 95-year-old woman in Italy. She is living proof.

Most people come off the ventilator. The reason why you go on the ventilator is because your lungs are so attacked by the virus, they are not able to work. But once the virus is getting out of your system, your lungs are going to work again. You are going to be weened from the ventilator. And, you are going to be able to go home.

Question: What happens if I test positive for the virus?

Dr. Rachel: If you test positive for the virus, you need to call your doctor right away.

With these drive through testing sites that we have, you are getting the results and your doctor may not have the results . So, you need to call your doctor right away.

We need to know what is going on with our patients. And we can give you the best guidance in how to manage the virus.

So, call your doctor right away if you have a positive test, please.

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