MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) —  There are so many unknowns about COVID-19. But, one thing has been clear – the virus can present itself differently in different people.

So, what should people be on the lookout for when it comes to symptoms? Good Question.

“We see a wide variety of things but the two things that really stand out are cough and fever,” said Dr. Kate Hust, an internal medicine physician at Hennepin Healthcare.

This week, the CDC added six more signs to its official list of COVID-19 symptoms. Previously, it just had fever, cough and shortness of breath.

Now it includes chills, shaking with chills, muscle pain, headache, sore throat and new loss of taste or smell.

Dr. Hust screens patients for COVID-19. She says they’ve come in with a wide array of symptoms, including gastrointestinal symptoms like diarrhea or upset stomach, loss of smell and taste, fatigue and body aches.

“When we started, it seemed pretty narrow,” she said. “We’re learning more every day.”

With time and testing, experts now know more about the wider variety of symptoms that come with this virus. Some people have no difficulty breathing while others can’t finish a sentence. Some have a low-grade fever, while others peak at 103.

“We’ve definitely seen patients that come in with the less common symptoms and not had any fever or cough,” Dr. Hust said. “It’s not a slam dunk, if you meet box A, B and C you definitely have it. There is a bigger picture to it like everything we see.”

She understands the anxiety and confusion over the list of symptoms, especially given some people are asymptomatic or have a less severe illness. Her advice for anyone who has a fever, sore throat or shortness of breath is that they get a test. For a headache, she recommends calling a healthcare provider. On Friday, Hennepin Healthcare began testing all people who came in with possible symptoms of COVID-19.

It’s important to call first, but if someone has trouble breathing, confusion, chest pains or a bluish face or lips, get help right away.

Heather Brown

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