CDC expands COVID symptom list to 9

Published 6:15 pm Tuesday, April 28, 2020

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The Centers of Disease Control and Prevention has expanded the list of possible COVID-19 symptoms to watch out for.

Previously, the list of primary symptoms of COVID-19 were cough, shortness of breath or difficulty breathing and fever. However, according to the CDC website, people with the following symptoms or combination of symptoms may have the virus:

  • cough
  • shortness of breath or difficulty breathing
  • Or at least two of these symptoms: fever, chills, repeated shaking with chills, muscle pain, headache, sore throat, new loss of taste or smell

“People with COVID-19 have had a wide range of symptoms reported — ranging from mild symptoms to severe illness,” reads the Monday update from the Beaufort County Health Department and Beaufort County Emergency Services.

The symptoms may appear two to 14 days after exposure to the virus.

According to Beaufort County Health Department Director Jim Madson, new data has broadened the understanding of possible COVID-19 symptoms, such as the CDC study released April 14, which studied more than 9,000 health care personnel who have contracted the virus.

“Among HCP patients with data available on a core set of signs and symptoms, a total of 4,336 (92%) reported having at least one of fever, cough, shortness of breath. Two thirds (3,122, 66%) reported muscle aches, and 3,048 (65%) reported headache. Loss of smell or taste was written in for 750 (16%) HCP patients as an ‘other’ symptom,” the report reads.

The new CDC symptom list is not considered all-inclusive — other symptoms have been reported. According to a study by Stanford Medicine, of 116 Stanford Health Care patients who tested positive for COVID-19 from March 4 to March 24, approximately 32% of those patients reported gastrointestinal symptoms: loss of appetite (22%); nausea and vomiting (22%); and diarrhea (12%).

Health officials advise those with the following symptoms to seek medical attention immediately:

  • trouble breathing;
  • persistent pain or pressure in the chest;
  • onset of confusion or inability to arouse;
  • bluish lips or face.