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Chills, headache, loss of taste among symptoms added to CDC’s list for COVID-19

Previously, the CDC had cited fever, cough and shortness of breath as possible signs of the illness. The updated list includes six additional symptoms.

COVID-19 symptoms range from mild to severe, and any of them may appear from two to 14 days after exposure to the virus.
COVID-19 symptoms range from mild to severe, and any of them may appear from two to 14 days after exposure to the virus.
REUTERS/Lucy Nicholson

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has expanded the number of symptoms on its official list for COVID-19.

Previously, the CDC had cited fever, cough and shortness of breath as possible signs of the illness. The updated list, which appeared Sunday on the agency’s website, includes these six additional symptoms:

  • Chills
  • Repeated shaking with chills
  • Muscle pain
  • Headache
  • Sore throat
  • New loss of taste or smell

In addition, “shortness of breath” is now listed as “shortness of breath or difficulty breathing.”

The World Health Organization (WHO) has a similar symptom list. Their list also includes a runny nose, nausea and diarrhea, although WHO officials indicate that those symptoms are less common.

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Many people who test positive for COVID-19 display no symptoms, however.

Anecdotal confirmation

As the CDC website points out, COVID-19 symptoms range from mild to severe, and any of them may appear from two to 14 days after exposure to the virus.

Several celebrities who have contracted COVID-19 have described one or more of the symptoms newly added to the CDC list.

For example, Chris Cuomo, anchor of CNN’s “Prime Time,” reported shivering so much during his illness that he chipped a tooth. Actor Tom Hanks said he experienced “some very bad body aches” and that his wife, actor Rita Wilson, “lost her sense of taste and sense of smell.” Actor Debi Mazar (“Younger” TV series) listed headaches and a sore throat among her symptoms.

When to get emergency care

The CDC continues to recommend that people seek medical attention immediately when they have any of the following symptoms:

  • Trouble breathing
  • Persistent pain or pressure in the chest
  • New confusion or inability to arouse
  • Bluish lips or face

That list is not all-inclusive, however. “Please consult your medical provider for any other symptoms that are severe or concerning to you,” the CDC advises.

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“Call 911 if you have a medical emergency: Notify the operator that you have, or think you might have, COVID-19. If possible, put on a cloth face covering before medical help arrives,” the agency adds.

FMI: You can find the CDC’s revised symptom list on its website, along with an online Coronavirus Self-Checker to help you determine whether you should contact your doctor. Do not use the self-checker as a substitute for a diagnosis, however. For that you’ll need to get tested.