The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) and Prevention in the United States have added six more symptoms to the SARS-Cov-2 coronavirus list.
One of the difficulties that professionals have encountered in controlling the coronavirus outbreak has been the vague and varied symptoms presented by those infected. With an average incubation period of about five days, people infected with the coronavirus can transmit the disease well before they realize they are infected and exhibit symptoms. Once the disease takes hold in the body, it can range from severe illness and pneumonia to apparently no symptoms (asymptomatic patients), which makes it very difficult to identify and quarantine infected persons without adequate testing facilities. In fact, researchers estimate the number of asymptomatic to be between 25 and 50%, which probably accounts for much of the rapid global spread of the disease.
The first significant symptoms of the disease and those that we have been giving good account for months are: fever, dry and persistent cough and shortness of breath. As the pandemic has continued to develop, new symptoms have emerged and, at this time, the CDC have concluded by adding six new symptoms for COVID-19 on their official website.
What are the new symptoms?
- Tremors or chills
- Having a cold
- Muscle pain
- Sore throat
- Loss of taste or smell
According to the CDC, these symptoms "may appear two to 14 days after exposure to the virus". One of the most prominent symptoms of these new additions to the list is precisely the loss of taste or smell, something that health experts suspected was an early symptom for some weeks.
The CDC has also noted that medical attention should only be sought if "emergency warning signs for COVID-19" are experienced, including shortness of breath, persistent chest pain or pressure, confusion, inability to wake up, or bluish lips and/or face. Other symptoms that have been associated with the disease include diarrhoea, skin rash, and fatigue.
Far-reaching symptoms demonstrate why social distancing measures are so important during this pandemic, as carriers of the disease who have mild symptoms or no symptoms may not be aware of passing the disease on to others. While many will recover from COVID-19, as grim statistics show, it is a deadly disease that can trigger a serious pathology even in seemingly healthy young people, so it’s vitally important to flatten the curve by staying at home during the peak.
It is important to remember that coronaviruses are a broad family of viruses that normally affect only animals, but some of them have the ability to transmit to humans as well. COVID-19 is the infectious disease caused by the coronavirus and both the new virus and the disease were unknown before the outbreak broke out in Wuhan, China, in December 2019.
Deciphering the genome of COVID-19
Using machine learning, a team of Western computer scientists and biologists has identified an underlying genomic signature for 29 different COVID-19 DNA sequences. This new tool will allow researchers to quickly and easily classify a deadly virus as COVID-19 in minutes, a process and pace of great importance for strategic planning and mobilization of medical needs during a pandemic. The study also supports the scientific hypothesis that COVID-19 (SARS-Cov-2) originates from bats such as Sarbecovirus, a subgroup of Betacoronavirus.