This is part 10 of our coronavirus FAQ. Click here to read the other installments: #Coronavirus the facts. Find the latest information and answers from experts on everything COVID-19.
Emergency symptom checklist
As a number of coronavirus cases reported in Japan, people have died in their homes after their symptoms deteriorated rapidly.
Japan's health ministry has issued a checklist of 13 coronavirus symptoms which indicate that a person should consult a medical expert immediately. The list is designed for patients with mild symptoms who are recuperating at designated accommodation facilities or at home.
- Looking pale
- Lips turning purple
- Different than usual
- Fast breathing
- Suddenly breathing hard
- Difficulty breathing, even during everyday activities
- Chest pain
- Inability to lie down, or being able to breathe only while sitting
- Shoulders heaving while breathing
- Sudden (within 2 hours of initial symptoms) gasping for breath
- Absence of awareness (Weak response)
- Feeling groggy (No response)
- Irregular pulse
The health ministry says patients and their families should go through the checklist twice a day. It says that if any of the symptoms apply, people recuperating at home should immediately contact municipal authorities, while those at hotels should call the nurses stationed there.
Asymptomatic patients/mild symptoms
Sakamoto Fumie of St. Luke’s International Hospital in Tokyo says that some patients can recover on their own without showing any symptoms. A research team in China reported that half of surveyed patients developed either no symptoms or only very mild symptoms.
However, Sakamoto says, we have to observe all patients for about a week as some of them can gradually deteriorate and become severely ill.