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The Centers for Disease Control has tripled the number of symptoms that could be indicators of coronavirus, including muscle pain, headache and new loss of taste or smell.
WGME reported Thursday that the CDC previously listed three key symptoms as shortness of breath, fever and a cough.
The expanded list comes as researchers from around the world work to learn more about the deadly pandemic that has infected at least 2.7 million people worldwide and killed nearly 200,000.
The CDC still warns that older adults and those with underlying medical conditions continue to be at higher risk for serious complications from the virus. Its website says fever, cough, shortness of breath, chills, repeated shaking, muscle pain, headache, sore throat and new loss of taste or smell could all be symptoms that appear between two and 14 days after exposure.
Doctors are studying other symptoms that patients have complained about, including what are known as “COVID toes.”
One of the most vexing elements about the virus is how it can be deadly in some patients and asymptomatic in others, who can still spread the disease.
President Trump has expressed the determination to reopen the county, but much of that success will hinge on identifying cases and keeping them out of the public until cleared of the virus.
The WGME report pointed out that more than a quarter of 619 coronavirus patients surveyed by the American Academy of Otolaryngology noticed the loss of taste or smell as their first symptoms.
“If you have a sudden change in taste or smell, it is shown through this study and several others that this may be the initial marker, so you would not want to be spreading it,” one of the researchers told the website.