The top medical watchdog in the US has added new symptoms of the highly infectious novel coronavirus to a list of known ones. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention or CDC, which tracks diseases globally and whose officials are directly involved in advanced laboratory work, has added the new symptoms of COVID-19 on its website.
“People with COVID-19 have had a wide range of symptoms reported – ranging from mild symptoms to severe illness. These symptoms may appear 2-14 days after exposure to the virus,” CDC says on its website.
The new symptoms include chills, repeated shaking with chills, muscle pain, headache and new loss of taste or smell. These symptoms are not among the ones listed on the World Health Organization’s FAQ webpage.
On the WHO webpage, the symptoms of COVID-19 are mentioned as fever, dry cough, tiredness, aches and pains, nasal congestion, sore throat and diarrhoea.
The symptoms that were already mentioned on both the CDC and WHO websites were fever, cough, shortness of breath and difficulty in breathing.
The CDC says its list of symptoms is not all inclusive and people must consult doctors for any other symptoms that are severe or concerning to them.
The novel coronavirus that was first detected in China’s Wuhan in December last year, which eventually sparked a pandemic, is still being studied by scientists to find out its characteristics. A novel virus is one that has never been identified in humans before, so scientists have to tread carefully while studying the virus.
The WHO says some people become infected but only have very mild symptoms. “Most people (about 80 per cent) recover from the disease without needing hospital treatment. Around 1 out of every five people who gets COVID-19 becomes seriously ill and develops difficulty breathing,” the WHO says.
Older people, and those with underlying medical problems like high blood pressure, heart and lung problems, diabetes or cancer are at higher risk of developing serious illness, the WHO says.