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Be on the lookout for these additional Coronavirus early warning signs

on the lookoutSince the Coronavirus pandemic has been with us for months now, most people already know its basic warning signs: Coughing, fever, trouble breathing or shortness of breath, inability to wake up fully, and new confusion.

But now, partly on the basis of anecdotal evidence, the CDC has added six more that can show up two to 14 days after exposure to the virus.

These are:

  • Chills
  • Repeated shaking with chills
  • Muscle aches and pains
  • Headache
  • Sore throat
  • New loss of taste or smell

Even though some of these symptoms can be severe, some can also be mild. But either way, the CDC says, they’re enough to trigger a need for testing. If you see any of these emergency warning signs, they advise, you should call 911, tell the operator that you think you have, or someone your caring for has, COVID-19. Before medical help arrives, the person with the symptom(s) should put on a cloth face covering.

The Work Health Organization also lists diarrhea as a warning sign.

And doctors in England and Italy report that they’re seeing two more. Coincident with the onset of COVID-19 (though no cause-and-effect relationship has been established yet), doctors in England’s National Health System and clinics in Italy are seeing what the Daily Mail calls “a growing number of reports of infected patients who have developed [skin] rashes.”

“I have seen quite a few patients who don’t normally suffer from eczema or allergies who have a sudden, odd rash,” reports NHS consultant dermatologist Dr. Veronique Bataille. “Then, maybe two or three days later, they have developed typical COVID-19 symptoms.”

In Italy, a study of 88 infected patients at the Lecco Hospital in Lombardy found 20% underwent changes to their skin; almost half of the 18 patients who did (eight) noticed the changes when their symptoms started. Doctors have also reported Corona virus patients with chilblains – red patches on toes and fingers usually caused by cold weather. The American Academy of Dermatology is starting to gather and analyze data from doctors worldwide.

I’m writing about all this not to raise additional fears, but to encourage added vigilance. Since people over 65 years old are especially vulnerable to COVID-19, and have the highest death rates, there’s no such thing as elders and their caregivers being too careful.

If you have any questions about coping with the Coronavirus outbreak, or your retirement years in general, please feel free to call or email us. Just as we always have, we’ll be happy to give you honest, objective answers.