CDC Adds New Covid-19 Symptoms
As the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) continues to spread across the country, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has added new symptoms to its growing list for the potentially deadly illness.
In many instances, people infected with the coronavirus display common symptoms that indicate they have the disease. However, the CDC and medical professionals are identifying new COVID-19 symptoms as they learn more about the disease as more coronavirus cases are reported.
The new symptoms added to the CDC list includes:
- Runny nose
Coronavirus disease symptoms may appear two to 14 days after exposure to the virus. Since COVID-19 is thought to spread mainly between people in close contact with each other, the CDC recommends keeping a physical distance of 6 feet away from other people.
The federal health agency also encourages people to wear a cloth face covering when in public to protect against respiratory droplets from a person infected with COVID-19. These droplets can land in the mouths or noses of people nearby, and the droplets can possibly be inhaled in the lungs.
The CDC recommends people who have been in close contact with someone with COVID-19 should quarantine, which means separating themselves from others by staying home.
While in quarantine, people should watch for common COVID-19 symptoms the CDC has on its list, that include:
- Fever or chills
- Muscle or body aches
- New loss of taste or smell
- Shortness of breath or difficulty breathing
- Sore throat
People infected with COVID-19 may be contagious 48 to 72 hours before they begin to feel symptoms. According to Harvard medical professionals, emerging research suggests that individuals infected with COVID-19 may be spreading the virus to others 48 hours before they start to experience symptoms.
The CDC advises people who have COVID-19 symptoms and live with others to stay in a separate bedroom away from others, particularly older adults. Seniors and people with underlying health conditions, such as heart disease, lung disease, or diabetes, are at a higher risk for developing more serious complications from the coronavirus.
Besides common symptoms, there are emergency warning signs that signal a COVID-19 infection, such as:
- Trouble breathing
- Persistent pain or pressure in the chest
- New confusion
- Inability to wake or stay awake
- Bluish lips or face
These are not all of the warning signs, according to the CDC. But people who show any of these signs should seek emergency medical care.
Uncommon COVID-19 Symptoms Detected
In recent months, doctors have been seeing patients with skin rashes on different parts of their body, and red, blue, or purple patches or lesions on their feet and toes, dubbed “COVID toes.”
Dr. Humberto K. Choi, a pulmonologist at Cleveland Clinic, said rashes and COVID toes show how the coronavirus affects people in different ways. It also shows how the body responds when battling an infection, especially a viral respiratory infection.
Doctors have discovered that people with severe coronavirus infections, have eye problems, such as enlarged, red blood vessels, swollen eyelids, irritation, and excessive watering and increased discharge.
Alzheimer’s Patients Show Different Symptoms
Seniors with Alzheimer’s disease and other types of dementia who develop COVID-19 may not initially show common symptoms, such as a cough or a headache. They may, instead, show changes in their behavior, such as increased agitation, confusion, anxiety, and sudden sadness, according to the CDC.
In-home caregivers play an important role in helping people in the advanced stages of dementia who become infected with COVID-19. If the person is hospitalized to treat the coronavirus, caregivers can offer their assistance to hospital staff in the event that the senior may not cooperate with hospital requirements, such as wearing a mask or practicing social distancing.
Protecting Yourself Against COVID-19
Although clinical trials are underway to develop safe and effective COVID-19 vaccines, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration has not approved any vaccines that can prevent the coronavirus.
In the meantime, the CDC encourages the public to continue following its guidelines to avoid exposure to the virus:
- Wash your hands and often with soap and water for at least 20 second, especially after you have been in a public place, or after blowing your nose, coughing, or sneezing.
- If soap and water are not readily available, use a hand sanitizer that contains at least 60 percent alcohol. Cover all surfaces of your hands and rub them together until they feel dry.
- Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth with unwashed hands.
- Avoid close contact with people who are sick inside your home.
- Avoid close contact with people outside your home. Put 6 feet of distance between yourself and others.
- Cover your mouth and nose with a mask when around others. The mask is meant to protect other people in case you are infected.
- Cover coughs and sneezes. Always cover your mouth and nose with a tissue when you cough or sneeze or use the inside of your elbow and do not spit.
- Clean and disinfect frequently touched surfaces daily.
The CDC advises everyone to monitor their health daily, and watch for fever, cough, shortness of breath, and other COVID-19 symptoms.