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The CDC Announces Six New COVID-19 Symptoms

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Laura Zabriskie

May 6, 2020
*This is a rapidly changing situation. This article was written on May 6, 2020. For the most up-to-date information, visit the CDC website at*

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has identified and added six new symptoms related to the coronavirus (COVID-19). Researchers across the country continue to study the virus and can now positively attribute these symptoms to COVID-19. These additional symptoms will help identify who should be tested and provide medical professionals with a better understanding of how the virus spreads.

The newly identified symptoms are:
  • Chills
  • Repeated shaking with chills
  • Muscle pain
  • Headache
  • Sore throat
  • New loss of taste or smell
Prior to these additions, the only official symptoms for COVID-19 were fever, cough, and shortness of breath which are very similar in nature to respiratory illnesses such as the common flu (influenza) and pneumonia. Unfortunately, the commonality of these symptoms made it difficult to rule out other conditions when testing for COVID-19. Doctors were forced to rely on additional screenings related to travel and proximity or exposure to people with confirmed cases.

This challenge, in addition to the national shortage of available tests, creates a high likelihood that people who should have been tested were not. The new symptoms also confirm anecdotal reports that have been in the media for weeks. The virus has a diverse set of symptoms that vary widely from person to person. According to the CDC, this list is not all inclusive and patients do not need to show all of the symptoms to qualify for testing.

Anyone who experiences trouble with breathing, persistent pain or pressure in the chest, bluish lips or face, and confusion or an inability to arouse should seek emergency treatment immediately. If you are not experiencing an emergency and believe that you may have COVID-19, call your primary care provider or the Maryland Coronavirus Hotline at 211. Medical professionals will speak with you and help decide whether you need to seek additional treatment.

*Click here for more information and articles about the coronavirus (COVID-19)*
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