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CDC Says Most COVID-19 Patients Suffer These 3 Symptoms

If you experience any of these, contact a medical professional.

By now, most of us are aware of the many symptoms of COVID-19, ranging from shortness of breath to bizarre toe rashes. And while the United States Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has an extensive list of the most common symptoms on their website, there is still some confusion as to which are the most prevalent. Now a new report from the CDC identifies three of the most common symptoms experienced by those who have suffered from the incredibly infectious and sometimes deadly virus. According to their findings, 96 percent of patients experience at least one of them, and nearly half (45%) suffer from all three. Read on, and to get through this pandemic at your healthiest, don't miss these 37 Places You're Most Likely to Catch Coronavirus.



man face closeup with a sore throat, sick due to a virus, tired and overwhelmed

According to the CDC's survey, the most common symptom reported by those suffering from coronavirus was a cough. An overwhelming majority—84% of surveyed patients—reported a cough. Most experts describe the coronavirus cough as a dry, continuous cough absent of any phlegm or mucus.



woman lying on sofa having fever

The second most common symptom was a fever, with 80% of patients reporting some kind of temperature spike. Earlier on in the pandemic, the World Health Organization maintained that a fever was the most common symptom, with 87.9% of patients reporting it.


Shortness of Breath

Curly woman feeling bad and suffering from strong cough while having flu

The third most common symptom—also one of the most deadly—was shortness of breath. According to the CDC, this dangerous respiratory signal of the virus was more commonly associated with people who were hospitalized. Most coronavirus patients explain that shortness of breath makes it difficult to breathe and can leave them gasping for air — which is why so many of them end up in the hospital and some even hooked up to a ventilator to help them breathe.


Other Symptoms

Asian woman worker suffering from eye strain taking off her eyeglasses tired from working on computer screen

Other symptoms reported on the survey included muscle pain, chills, fatigue and headache. Also, at least half of patients reported a minimum of one stomach issue—the most common being diarrhea—but also GI symptoms such as abdominal pain, nausea, and vomiting. Loss of sense of smell or taste was also common amongst people infected with the virus who did not have to go to the hospital. (Note the fine print: The CDC compiled their information via a survey of 164 people with confirmed cases of COVID-19 between January 14 and April 4.)


How to Not Catch Coronavirus

woman wearing face mask in clinic ward recovering from coronavirus disease.

Wear your face mask, wash your hands frequently, avoid crowds, practice social distancing, monitor your health, and to get through this pandemic at your healthiest, don't miss this special report: I'm a Doctor and Here's How to Never Catch COVID-19 Outside.

Leah Groth
Leah Groth has decades of experience covering all things health, wellness and fitness related. Read more about Leah
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