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Six new symptoms have been added to the CDC's COVID-19 list, including muscle pain, chills and headaches

Last updated: 05-01-2020

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Six new symptoms have been added to the CDC's COVID-19 list, including muscle pain, chills and headaches

The CDC has added six new symptoms to its list of what to watch out for in COVID-19 patients. Chills, repeated shaking with chills, muscle pain, headaches, sore throat, and loss of smell and taste are all newly listed on the CDC's coronavirus website. 

That brings the total of common symptoms up to nine, triple the number previously listed on the CDC website. Prior to the update, just fever, coughing, and shortness of breath were recognized as common indications of the virus on the website. 

The addition of symptoms like headache, sore throat, and aches to the CDC list reflects how the official understanding the disease has changed — previously, those ailments were considered to be only "sometimes" indicative of COVID-19 and more common to mundane disease like cold and flu. 

Chills were also previously considered to be a less common symptom as well, although they've since been reported from high-profile patients with COVID-19 such as CNN anchor Chris Cuomo, who chipped a tooth from intense shaking due to chills. 

And the theory that the virus causes loss of smell or taste was previously supported by mainly anecdotal evidence. A recent case study found coronavirus was linked to sudden, complete loss of smell in a woman with few other symptoms, suggesting it could be indicative of mild cases of COVID-19.

Symptoms of the virus tend to appear between 2 to 14 days after exposure to the virus, according to the CDC. Severe symptoms may develop between 5 to 10 days after the initial symptoms appear, research suggests.

And that's if a severe case develops at all — growing evidence suggests that coronavirus symptoms can vary widely, with cases ranging from mild to critically ill. And a large percentage of contagious patients may have no symptoms at all.

Identifying less severe symptoms could help slow the spread of the disease since patients with mild symptoms may be unaware of their infection and spread the virus to others.

"These patients may be some of the hitherto hidden carriers that have facilitated the rapid spread of COVID-19," according to a statement from ear, nose, and throat experts with The British Association of Otorhinolaryngology.

As many as 80% of cases of COVID-19 may be mild (though still unpleasant), Business Insider previously reported. 

Other symptoms potentially linked to coronavirus, though not yet added to the CDC list, include digestive issues like nausea, vomiting, and diarrhea. 

The CDC advice for severe symptoms hasn't changed, however — if you experience trouble breathing, persistent pain or pressure in your chest, unexpected confusion, inability to wake up, or bluish lips/face, contact a medical professional immediately.

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