New COVID-19 Symptoms Emerge

The novel coronavirus and COVID-19 pandemic that is gripping the planet is ever-evolving. As scientists and researchers learn more about the disease, they try to keep the public updated. As of April 26, 2020, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) in the United States has refreshed the list of COVID-19 symptoms.

Until April 26, the CDC’s list of COVID-19 symptoms consisted of just cough, shortness of breath, and fever. Six new recurring symptoms have been added. While the severity of symptoms ranges from person to person, the CDC now advises that the following symptoms may indicate a COVID-19 infection:

  • cough
  • shortness of breath or difficulty breathing

OR at least two of the following symptoms:

  • fever
  • chills
  • repeated shaking with chills
  • muscle pain
  • headache
  • sore throat
  • new loss of taste or smell

What symptoms should prompt immediate medical attention? According to the CDC, you should get medical attention immediately if you have any of the following emergency warning signs:

  • trouble breathing
  • persistent pain or pressure in chest
  • new confusion or inability to arouse
  • bluish lips or face

While those four symptoms warrant getting urgent medical attention — including calling 911 — the CDC recommends that people with the less urgent set of symptoms manage them at home while maintaining social distancing. If you or a family member are experiencing those lesser symptoms at home, here are four recommendations:

  • let sick household members use a separate room and bathroom if possible
  • wash your hands or use alcohol-based hand sanitizer (at least 60% alcohol) frequently
  • sick household members should use clean disposable face masks
  • avoid sharing personal items — things like utensils, food, and drinks — with an ill family member

The CDC has consistently advised that symptoms may arise as little as two — and as many as 14 — days after exposure to the novel coronavirus. Symptoms in children are similar to those experienced in adults. Older adults and anyone with serious underlying medical conditions (things like heart disease, lung disease, and diabetes) are at risk of more serious complications.

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