The television anchor told his CNN colleagues Anderson Cooper and Dr. Sanjay Gupta on Thursday night that he has dropped significant weight in a short amount of time since revealing on Tuesday that he has the illness.
"It's not about life or death, I don't it mean it that way, or else I wouldn't be doing the show,'' he said. "I'm not looking to scare people, I'm trying to do the opposite.
"I've lost 13 pounds in three days. I'm eating and drinking constantly, I'm just sweating it out, and it's the sickness ... the idea that it's easy so you can be nonchalant, that is so misleading. That I know for a fact."
Cuomo, 49, said that his symptoms usually worsen as the day goes along.
"The beast comes at night,'' he said.
He said he's suffered from a high fever, headache pain, sleeplessness, profuse sweating and even blurry vision in his left eye at night.
The anchor, who has remained upbeat enough to trade barbs at a briefing with his older brother, New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo, also said on an earlier show Wednesday that he chipped a tooth because he was shivering so hard from coronavirus symptoms.
He even had a hallucination of his late father, former New York Gov. Mario Cuomo, who died five years ago. The vision also included his brother, whom he said was dressed in "a very interesting ballet outfit" and waving a wand saying he wished he could make this go away.
"You have these wicked phantasmagorical experiences that are not dreams," he said Thursday night.
Cuomo also described the extreme fatigue as he remains isolated in the basement of his family's home.
"In between the (television) hits and in between when I'm doing the show, I am a waste,'' he said. "I sleep probably 10 hours a day if I can."
Cuomo has no idea how he contracted the virus other than that he was around people while reporting for CNN.
"I thought I would get it, but I was not going out of my way to be a fool,'' he said.
He wants the 80 percent of people who contract the virus but aren't sick enough to go to the hospital to know that it still an arduous experience.
"You suffer when you have this at home unless you're ridiculously lucky statistically and maybe karmically,'' he said.