Coronavirus symptoms: An alarming sign of COVID-19 to watch out for according to report

Coronavirus by its very nature is contagious. With more than 66 million Brits in the UK – a fraction of whom have been infected – there’s a strong likelihood that others will become contaminated. One report warns of an alarming sign.

A World Health Organisation (WHO) report analysed 56,000 confirmed cases of COVID-19.

One alarming sign of a person infected with COVID-19, according to the WHO report, was noted as coughing up blood (haemoptysis).

However, this was extremely rare, only showing up in one percent of the 56,000 people whose data was looked at.

Why would somebody cough up blood? According to the NHS, the blood tends to be from the lungs as a result of prolonged coughing or a chest infection.


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The blood may be bright red in appearance, or come out as frothy blood-streaked phlegm.

The alarming sign is a cause for concern in older people, especially those who smoke.

For those who have coughed up blood – even just a few specks – it’s enough to alert your GP.

From there, your GP will check if you have a serious medical condition that needs to be investigated and treated.

Common reasons for coughing up blood include a prolonged, severe cough, a chest infection or bronchiectasis.

The NHS attested that a severe nosebleed, or bleeding from the mouth, can cause blood to come out in your saliva when you cough.

Less common reasons for coughing up blood include pulmonary embolism (a blood clot in the lungs), pulmonary oedema (fluid in the lungs) and lung cancer.

Moreover, it may be due to tuberculosis, cancer of the throat, or from taking anticoagulants – medication that prevents blood clots, such as warfarin, rivaroxaban, or dabigatran.

If the blood is dark, and contains bits of food that looks like coffee grains, this is a serious problem and hospital admission is required.

Coughing up blood is mostly a signal of something else, aside from coronavirus.

And, when it is the case that someone is coughing up blood from coronavirus, other underlying health conditions are likely.

From the same data collected by the WHO, 88 percent of people suffered from a fever, and 68 percent had a dry cough.


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A dry cough means that no mucus, or phlegm, is expelled when you cough. And the NHS reported only a new, continuous cough is evident of coronavirus.

The health body explained that a new, continuous cough “means coughing a lot for more than an hour, or three or more coughing episodes in 24 hours”.

Many things – from allergies, such as hay fever, to acid reflux – can cause the reflexive action of a cough.

Other causes of a cough include asthma, postnasal drip and whooping cough (also known as pertussis).

Whooping cough

Whooping cough is a contagious condition that causes a severe dry cough, followed by the characteristic of a “whoop” sound when you breathe in.

This type of cough causes uncontrollable coughing fits, but differs from a coronavirus cough as whooping cough makes the “whoop” sound.

Dry coughs can be tricky to treat, but there are things you can do to help soothe an irritated throat due to all the coughing.

One such thing is to add honey to a hot drink, enjoy peppermint tea, and gargle salt and water.

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