Nasal congestion and runny nose are symptoms experienced by Covid-19 patients. But that’s not always a marker of the disease, which is now a pandemic, said doctor Neha Vyas of the Cleveland Clinic, as reported by Health.
The World Health Organization (WHO), referring to a case report in China in February, found that only 4.8 percent of patients (out of 55,924 cases) showed nasal congestion as a sign or symptom of Covid-19 infection.
This figure is significantly lower than the percentage of patients reporting more common symptoms, such as fever (87.9 percent), dry cough (67.7 percent), and fatigue (38.1 percent). But on the other hand, according to Vyas, nasal congestion and colds can also be associated with a number of diseases such as influenza, allergies and flu.
To be sure, you need to undergo an examination. If you have been suffering from nasal congestion during the last few days, try to consult a doctor through a telemedicine service.
However, if you experience more severe symptoms such as difficulty breathing, you should seek treatment at an emergency care clinic immediately.
Vyas said that if a patient comes and complains of nasal congestion, the first thing doctors need to do is try to understand a patient’s Covid-19 risk, plus their general health.
“If someone tells me that their nose is blocked and nothing else, I will know their risk (for Covid-19), but do not immediately conclude it is Covid-19,” he said as quoted by Antara from Health.
The doctor can also ask about your allergies and lifestyle history. If you have ignored social distancing guidelines, walked out without a mask, and failed to wash your hands consistently, for example, a Covid-19 test could be the next step.
However, if you have implemented health protocols, namely wearing a mask every time you leave the house, maintaining a distance of two meters from other people when in public and diligently washing your hands, then your doctor may not immediately recommend a Covid-19 test.
Then, how to treat nasal congestion? As long as you don’t experience severe symptoms such as shortness of breath or chest pain, inhaling vapors from a humidifier, applying nasal sprays, or a small amount of decongestants (although they should be used sparingly and on a doctor’s recommendation) can be done.