FRIDAY, July 17, 2020 (HealthDay News) — Nearly all symptomatic COVID-19 patients experience fever, cough, or shortness of breath, and a wide variety of other symptoms are reported, according to research published July 17 in the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report.

Rachel M. Burke, Ph.D., from the CDC COVID-19 Response Team, and colleagues used an optional questionnaire to collect detailed information on a convenience sample of COVID-19 patients to better understand symptom profiles. Data were included from 164 symptomatic patients with known onset during January 14 to April 4, 2020.

The researchers found that 96 percent of the patients reported fever, cough, or shortness of breath. Overall, 68 percent of 57 hospitalized adult patients and 31 percent of the 81 nonhospitalized adult patients reported all three of these symptoms. Especially after expansion of testing guidelines on March 8, 2020, gastrointestinal symptoms and other symptoms (such as chills, myalgia, headache, and fatigue) were also commonly reported.

“Clinicians and public health professionals should be aware that COVID-19 can manifest a range of symptoms,” the authors write. “Representative symptom data from U.S. patients across the spectrum of COVID-19 illness severity, including data on the timing of symptom development, are needed to inform clinical case definitions and guidance for symptom screening or testing criteria.”

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