When the coronavirus first appeared earlier this year, experts identified fever, cough, and shortness of breath as the primary symptoms of COVID-19, the disease caused by the virus. But as they learn more about the disease, especially in milder cases that don’t require hospitalization, experts are now reporting more tell-tale symptoms.
While some of these symptoms, such as loss of smell or taste, are fairly unique to COVID-19, others, like headaches, chills, or sore throat, are common to lots of illnesses. So how do you know when to seek medical advice or testing?
Doctors and public health officials offer these guidelines for symptoms of COVID-19:
Fever. Any fever that cannot be attributed to something else is a strong indicator of infection and should be evaluated. Fever is reported in 82 to 87 percent of all confirmed COVID-19 cases.
Dry Cough or Shortness of Breath. A dry cough is another common symptom, reported in almost two-thirds of all COVID-19 patients. A recently developed dry cough or shortness of breath should be tested.
Newly Identified Symptoms
If you experience any of these six newly-identified symptoms, definitely consult your health professional: chills, muscle pain, headache, sore throat, loss of taste, or loss of smell. If you experience any of these symptoms, particularly in combination with other red flags, experts advise you should consider self-quarantine and contact your health care professional. Be aware that they could be symptoms of COVID-19.
Resource: National Public Radio, From Loss Of Smell To ‘COVID Toes’: What Experts Are Learning About Symptoms, May 6, 2020.