With every passing day, we hear something new about the ongoing viral outbreak, COVID-19. May it be its new symptoms like loss of taste and smell or an assumption that it will stay on as an endemic, every day, scientists around the world are pushing further to decode new facts about this mystifying virus.
With so much that is yet to be known about this, people are increasingly getting anxious and misinterpreting other diseases or symptoms for COVID-19.
For example, most of the COVID-19’s symptoms like fever, chills, and shortness of breath are similar to that of the flu. This is adding up to people’s confusion in this already chaotic situation. Therefore, as coronavirus primarily attacks the pulmonary organs like lungs and nose, let us explore the 5 pulmonary diseases that have symptoms similar to COVID-19 but are not.
Let’s begin with the basic cough. It is the most common and prevalent symptom of COVID-19. However, coughing alone does not mean that you are infected with it. Other symptoms like high temperature, shortness of breath, and body pains usually follow.
It is normal to cough, especially when we are affected by the flu or allergy. It is our body’s way of eliminating unwanted stuff that is stuck in the airway of our lungs. While coughing occasionally is normal, you need to check with a doctor if you have been coughing for a while now, say at least 4 weeks.
It might be a sign of other underlying issues like the cough-variant of asthma or infection of lungs like acute bronchitis.
These days, the viral infection caused by COVID-19 is causing Pneumonia as the condition of a few patients is deteriorating. While this is the case now, Pneumonia can be caused without contracting the dreaded virus.
Pneumonia is an infection of one or both the lungs caused by a virus, bacteria, or fungi. It causes the inflammation of the air sacs in your lungs and fills it with fluid or pus, eventually making it difficult to breathe.
Other than coughing, some of its symptoms are fever, chills, nausea, headaches, and fatigue. These symptoms can range from mild to life-threatening.
Treatment for Pneumonia depends on the severity of your condition, with few requiring medications and home care and a few others requiring hospitalization.
3. Cystic Fibrosis
Cystic Fibrosis is a serious genetic disorder. It causes severe damage to the respiratory and digestive systems.
It generally builds up sticky mucus to organs like the lungs, pancreas, intestines, and liver. Its symptoms differ from person to person and on many factors like age and severity of the condition.
The common symptoms associated with Cystic Fibrosis are wheezing, stuffy noses, consistent cough, shortness of breath, loss of appetite, nausea, and constipation among others. While there is no cure for Cystic Fibrosis, there is a range of treatments that are aimed at reducing the symptoms and its complications.
COPD or Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease is a group of lung diseases like the Chronic Bronchitis and Emphysema. Most people who are affected with COPD suffer from both conditions.
While Emphysema slowly destroys the air sacs in the lungs, chronic bronchitis inflames the bronchial tubes and fills it with mucus. Smoking tobacco is the most common reason to be affected with this.
Its common symptoms are shortness of breath, cough, and the constant need to clear the throat. While there is no cure for it, refraining from smoking and getting treatment can ease the symptoms and quality of life.
5. Lung Cancer
As the name suggests, Lung Cancer is cancer that forms in the lungs. Its early symptoms include worsening cough, coughing phlegm or blood, shortness of breath, chest pains, weakness, and loss of appetite.
You may also have recurring respiratory infections like Pneumonia and Bronchitis. As cancer spreads, tumors may form on other organs like the lymph nodes, bones, brain, or liver.
Anyone can get Lung Cancer, however, the most common reason for it is smoking tobacco. Its treatment depends on the severity of the stage of cancer.
Stage 1 and 2 would involve surgery to remove the tumors, while stage 3 may require both surgery and chemotherapy. Stage 4, however, is particularly hard to cure and involves surgery, chemotherapy, radiation, and immunotherapy.
All the above diseases show some sign or symptom that is similar to COVID-19, however, that does not mean that you are infected with COVID-19.
That being said, The whole point of this article is to educate you about the different pulmonary diseases that have similar symptoms to that of COVID-19. Do not base this article to take action.
As the times we live in are getting weirder by the day, we cannot afford to leave anything to chance. So, whatever might be the symptom, it is best to Consult with a Professional.
If you have been facing the above-mentioned symptoms for a while now, we suggest you contact us on +91 88-00-644-744 to Consult with an Expert Pulmonologist near you. You may also contact us if have reason to believe that you may be infected with COVID-19 and would like to Check with a Doctor.