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The CDC recently expanded its list of symptoms associated with COVID-19. Here’s what they are and what you need to know.

As the coronavirus pandemic continues, health professionals are learning more about the new virus and how it’s affecting people. 

When the new coronavirus, which causes the illness COVID-19, was first identified in China, the prominent symptoms noted in those who were affected included:

  • Cough
  • Shortness of breath or difficulty breathing
  • Fever

And until recently, these were reported by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) as the primary symptoms of COVID-19. But as the virus spreads, and more people become infected, we’re seeing a wider range of symptoms.

Expanded symptoms of coronavirus (COVID-19)

Symptoms range from mild to severe and can appear as early as two days and as late as 14 days after exposure. The expanded list of symptoms now includes:

  • Cough
  • Shortness of breath or difficulty breathing

Or at least two of the following:

  • Fever
  • Chills
  • Repeated shaking with chills
  • New loss of taste of smell
  • Headache
  • Sore throat
  • Muscle pain

It’s important to note that this isn’t a complete list, but rather a set of symptoms most commonly associated with the illness. These symptoms can also be linked to other illnesses, so if you’re experiencing them, it doesn’t necessarily mean you have COVID-19.

However, if you have any symptoms that concern you, the best thing to do is call your primary care provider for medical advice.

What to do if you think you have COVID-19

If you’re sick, self-quarantine by staying at home for 14 days and monitor your symptoms. Focus on getting rest, drinking lots of fluids and practicing good hand hygiene to keep yourself and others safe. 

Most people who have COVID-19 will experience mild symptoms, which can be managed at home. Learn more about recovering from COVID-19 at home.

Call your primary care doctor or our 24/7 COVID-19 hotline at 570-284-3657 if:

  • You’re experiencing cough, shortness of breath or your symptoms are severe or worsening. 
  • You think you may have been exposed to COVID-19 and are experiencing any combination of the symptoms listed above.

They can give you guidance on whether you should be tested and what to do next. It may also be a good idea to call your primary care doctor to let them know you’re sick, even if you don’t think it’s COVID-19.

The CDC also outlines what to do if you have possible or confirmed COVID-19.

When to seek medical care immediately

If you’re experiencing any emergency warning signs of COVID-19, seek medical care immediately. These include:

  • Trouble breathing
  • Persistent pain or pressure in the chest
  • New confusion or inability to get up
  • Bluish lips or face

When possible, call your nearest emergency room and let them know that you’re on your way and that you might have COVID-19. If you’re alone or in distress, call 911.

Next steps:

For the latest updates, visit our Coronavirus Resource Center
Read our COVID-19 FAQs
Suspect (or know) you have COVID-19? Staying home is critical

 

Woman with coronavirus symptoms researching virus

Geisinger COVID-19 hotline

570-284-3657

Call our 24/7 hotline for answers about care recommendations and more.

Visit Geisinger’s Coronavirus Resource Center for the latest information and helpful resources.

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