Coronavirus cases in the UK “could be moving in the right direction” the government’s chief scientific adviser Sir Patrick Vallance has said. The latest news in terms of cases in the UK sits at 55,242 people being tested positive for COVID-19 with an increase of 3,634. The number of deaths in the UK rose to 6,159. This comes as news as Prime Minister Boris Johnson has been reported to be in “good spirits” and “stable”.
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Sir Patrick Vallance said at a press conference last night: “It is possible that we’re beginning to see change in terms of the curve flattening a little bit.”
With this slight glimmer of hope, symptom spotting should still be of great importance.
According to World Health Organisation (WHO) sputum production is a major symptom and spotting this colour in the sputum is a warning of a possible COVID-19 infection.
What colour should I look out for?
WHO’s report on coronavirus said: “Symptoms of COVID-19 are non-specific, and the disease presentation can range from no symptoms (asymptomatic) to severe pneumonia and death.
“As of 20 February 2020 and based on 55924 laboratory confirmed cases, typical signs and symptoms include: fever (87.9 percent), dry cough (67.7 percent), fatigue (38.1 percent), shortness of breath (18.6 percent), sore throat (13.9 percent), headache (13.6 percent), myalgia or arthralgia (14.8 percent), chills (11.4 percent), nausea or vomiting (5.0 percent), nasal congestion (4.8 percent), diarrhoea (3.7 percent), and haemoptysis (0.9 percent), and conjunctival congestion (0.8 percent).”
There is another symptom discovered in 33.4 percent of cases and is a production of sputum.
What is that?
What is sputum production?
Sputum is produced when a person’s lungs are diseased or damaged. Sputum is not saliva but the thick mucus, sometimes known as phlegm which is coughed up from the lungs.
The body produces mucus to help keep the thin, delicate tissues of the respiratory tract moist so that small particles of foreign matter that may pose a threat can be trapped and forced out.
Sputum production therefore often occurs when there is an infection of the lungs and an excess of mucus is produced.
This is the body’s attempt to get rid of this substance by coughing up what is known as sputum.
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“People with COVID-19 generally develop signs and symptoms, including mild respiratory symptoms and fever, on an average of five to six days after infection.
“Most people infected with COVID-19 virus have mild disease and recover.
“Approximately 80 percent of laboratory confirmed patients have had mild to moderate disease, which includes non-pneumonia and pneumonia cases, 13.8 percent have severe disease and 6.1 percent are critical (respiratory failure, septic shock, and/or multiple organ dysfunction/failure).
“Asymptomatic infection has been reported, but the majority of the relatively rare cases who are asymptomatic on the date of identification/report went on to develop disease.
“The proportion of truly asymptomatic infections is unclear but appears to be relatively rare and does not appear to be a major driver of transmission,” added WHO
There are other reasons as to why sputum and mucus production may be high in individuals. Factors including being a smoker, having asthma and those with cystic fibrosis.
Sputum that is a different colour form the normal colour of your saliva is a major sign of a respiratory tract infection.
With bacterial respiratory tract infections, sputum may also have a thick consistency and an unpleasant odour.
A general rule of infection warning and sputum production is that the colour will go from dark green in the early stages of an infection and will gradually lighten as the infection improves.
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