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Checkout These Anxiety Symptoms That Can Be Mistaken For COVID-19


As the novel coronavirus continue to spread across the world, fear and anxiety about the virus can be overwhelming and cause strong emotions.

Doctors now warn that anxiety symptoms can often be very similar to that of  Coronavirus.

According to Dr. Sarah Jarvis, clinical director of “Patient Access”: “Some of the symptoms of anxiety and panic attacks – feeling short of breath, palpitations, dizziness, etc – are sometimes also seen in coronavirus.”

Here are five symptoms and how to differentiate.

Shortness of Breath

One of the symptoms that can be mistaken for coronavirus is shortness of breath.

According to Dr. Jarvis, people take a few minutes to check in with themselves and try to steady their breathing.

“The symptoms of panic attacks tend to settle if you concentrate on your breathing and take very slow breaths,” she added.

If you were able to calm yourself down and find a steady breathing pattern within those few minutes, you may not be dealing with coronavirus.

However, the World Health Organisation (WHO) says if you have coronavirus your chest may begin to feel tight or you begin to feel as though you cannot breathe deeply enough to get a good breath.

Shortness of breath associated with the Covid-19 infection is progressive in nature and can become life-threatening over a period of hours to days without medical care.


Doctors confirm stomach pains, constipation, and diarrhea are signs of anxiety.

This is largely because the communication system between your brain and the enteric nervous system, which governs your digestion, is affected by stress.

However, Mirror reports researchers recently studied data from 204 patients with Covid-19 in China’s Hubei province and discovered that 48.5 per cent of these patients arrived at the hospital with digestive symptoms such as diarrhoea, vomiting or abdominal pain.

These symptoms, though, were usually accompanied by more typical signs such as a dry cough and high temperature; therefore, if you are only experiencing digestive issues it is unlikely to be coronavirus.

Increased heart rate

An increased heart rate is a classic sign of anxiety, according to the National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH).

Adrenal glands churn out hormones when you are faced when something stressful. So, receptors in your heart react by speeding up your heartbeat as a result which in turn lets you pump more blood to your big muscles so you could either flee or combat a threat.

However, a racing heart rate can also signal coronavirus, doctors suggest.

Dr. Asif Munaf, an NHS consultant, said an elevated heart and breathing rates could indicate “you’ve potentially got signs of an infection, which in this climate could be Covid-19”.

If it’s an anxiety attack, your heart rate should settle if you concentrate on your breathing and take very slow breaths. However, if it’s coronavirus your heart rate is likely to remain fast – especially during any form of exercise or movement

Muscle pain

If you are suffering from anxiety, your muscles tense up as part of your stress response.

Many people with anxiety report feeling tight in their neck, back, or shoulders. But, likewise, some coronavirus patients report muscle soreness across their bodies. According to W.H.O, about 15 percent of all Covid-19 patients experienced body aches or joint pain.

These aches are triggered by chemicals called cytokines – which the body releases while responding to the infection. However, muscle pains in coronavirus patients are usually accompanied by other more well-known symptoms.

 Hot flashes

Adrenaline is released through the body and increases blood flow when the body experiences stress or anxiety. This causes a rise in body temperature.

But this could be confused with coronavirus because having a high temperature is one of the key signs of the virus.

Doctors suggest finding a cool place and trying relaxation techniques, like meditation or deep breathing to help manage your stress, and therefore relieve the hot flash.

If relaxation techniques fail, try taking your temperature and if it reaches at least 100F or 37.7C, it could indeed be a sign of coronavirus.

The NHS says you can also tell if you have a fever when you feel hot to touch on your chest or back.

"Panic attacks don’t come with fever and virtually never with a persistent cough – these are the classic symptoms of coronavirus," Dr Jarvis said

This information does not create any patient-physician relationship and should not be used as a substitute for professional diagnosis and treatment.

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