It’s no secret that COVID-19 cases continue to decline across the country. But there are still an average of 59,000 cases reported per day, according to Axios, signaling that thousands of Americans are still becoming infected.

What’s happening: COVID-19 symptoms continue to pop up for those 59,000. And one of them, according to experts, remains among the most alarming out there.

Details: Sean Marchese, a registered nurse at The Mesothelioma Center, told Eat This, Not That! that shortness of breath remains one of the most alarming symptoms out there.

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What he said: “Shortness of breath when impacting daily activities or at rest, should be alarming. This symptom is often a sign that your body isn’t receiving enough oxygen. Low oxygen levels can impact the brain, heart and other sensitive organs in the body,” he said.

  • “This virus is insidious for lowering someone’s oxygen saturation levels and, after enough time, making it extremely difficult to fully recover.”

What to do: Marchese told Eat This, Not That! that there is a simple way to recognize the symptom.

  • “If you’re noticing that it’s harder to breathe during regular activities or while at rest, seek medical attention immediately. If doctors can manage your oxygen levels early, you have a significantly better chance of a less severe COVID-19 infection.” 

Why it matters: Shortness of breath has become one of the major symptoms leading to hospitalization with the omicron variant, according to the World Health Organization.

  • “Depending on the age of the person in your care, their symptoms may look different,” the WHO said. “Adults may look dehydrated, have shortness of breath or chest pains. They may also complain of light-headedness. Children may suddenly appear confused or refuse to eat. Their face or lips may turn blue. Babies may be unable to breastfeed. These symptoms are warning signs that urgent care is needed.”