One of the difficulties in controlling the SARS-CoV-2 coronavirus outbreak has been the vague and varying symptoms exhibited by those infected. With an average incubation period of around five days, infected individuals are able to pass on the disease long before they realize they are infected and exhibit symptoms. Once the illness does take hold, Covid-19 can range from severe disease and pneumonia to seemingly no symptoms at all, making it very difficult to properly identify and quarantine infected people without adequate testing facilities.
The first most significant symptoms of the disease are fever, a dry and persistent cough, and shortness of breath. As the pandemic has continued to unfold, new symptoms have emerged and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has now added six new symptoms for Covid-19 to their website.
The new symptoms for the disease from the CDC include:
- Muscle pain
- Sore throat
- New loss of smell or taste
These symptoms are listed as significant indicators of Covid-19 alongside the previously published list from the CDC, which already included fever, cough, and shortness of breath as symptoms of the coronavirus.
Other symptoms that have been associated with the disease include diarrhea, a rash on the skin and fatigue, as well as symptoms commonly experienced during hay fever season such as a runny nose and red eyes, making it difficult to differentiate between the two. Some people infected with the disease will remain asymptomatic though they will still be able to pass the disease on to others.
The wide-ranging symptoms demonstrate why social distancing measures are so important during the pandemic, as carriers of the disease who have mild or no symptoms can remain unaware of their illness while passing it on to others. While many will recover from Covid-19, as the grim statistics show, it’s a deadly illness that can trigger severe disease even in the seemingly young and healthy, so it’s vitally important to flatten the curve by staying at home during the peak of the outbreak across much of the globe.