When the coronavirus outbreak began, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention listed cough, shortness of breath and fever as possible symptoms for the newly-discovered virus. Now, the organization is adding six new possible symptoms to its list, including headache, chills and loss of taste or smell.
These possible symptoms, added Sunday, are:
- Repeated shaking with chills
- Muscle pain
- Sore throat
- New loss of taste or smell
The CDC continues to warn that these symptoms can appear any time between two to 14 days after exposure to the virus.
With millions of people now infected worldwide, researchers have started to observe that COVID-19 has the potential to attack the entire body, not just the respiratory system. ABC News chief medical correspondent Dr. Jennifer Ashton said it’s unclear why the CDC added these symptoms now.
“Literally head to toe. Brain, heart, lungs, kidneys, intestinal tract, skin, we are seeing head to toe manifestations, and so far, this virus really looking like a bad actor,” she said on “Good Morning America” Thursday.
One study even suggests that fever, previously thought of as a tell-tale sign of infection, may not be as prevalent in COVID-19 positive patients as previously thought.
The study, published in the Journal of the American Medical Association, was the first large analysis in the United States, involving researchers looking at the records of 5,700 hospitalized COVID-19 patients in New York between March 1 and April 4.
Among its findings were that two-thirds of seriously ill patients did not have a fever and that the virus tends to target those with other common conditions, like high blood pressure, obesity and diabetes.
Health officials are continuing to learn more and more about the virus with time. Some medical professionals are anecdotally reporting troublesome neurological symptoms, like blood clots in younger patients, and dermatologic symptoms, like discoloration in the toes, a.k.a. “COVID toes.”
The CDC has not updated its list of emergency symptoms, which are:
- Trouble breathing
- Persistent pain or pressure in the chest
- New confusion or inability to arouse
- Bluish lips or face
People who exhibit emergency warning signs for COVID-19 should get medical attention immediately. This list is not all-inclusive, so anyone with other symptoms that are severe or concerning should consult their medical provider or call 911.