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CDC adds runny nose, nausea to the growing list of COVID-19 symptoms


Wyatte Grantham-Philips   | USA TODAY
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Congestion, runny nose, nausea and diarrhea are the four most recent COVID-19 symptoms that the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention added to its growing list of potential signs of the novel coronavirus.

The CDC previously said symptoms include chills, fever, muscle pain, headache, sore throat and a new loss of taste or smell. The agency now lists 11 symptoms on its website.

The additions come as health experts continue to learn more about the disease, and care for very ill COVID-19 patients is improving. Even so, the CDC states the current list doesn't include all possible symptoms for the virus.

Doctors have also identified a symptom informally dubbed "COVID toes" – the presence of purple or blue lesions on a patient’s feet and toes. 

More: How does the coronavirus cause COVID toes or loss of smell? Here's how the immune system reacts.

The federal health agency warns that symptoms could appear 2-14 days after exposure, most commonly around 4-5 days. People who have contracted COVID-19 report a diverse, wide range of symptoms. For some patients, symptoms last months

Individuals with COVID-19 may be most contagious one or two days before symptoms appear, one study found.

Study: COVID-19 patients may be most contagious one to two days before symptoms appear

Not just two weeks: When he tested positive for coronavirus, he prepared for 2 weeks of misery. Months later, he was still sick.

The CDC has maintained that older adults and those who have severe underlying medical conditions, such as heart or lung disease and diabetes, appear to be at higher risk for "developing more serious complications from COVID-19 illness."

At the end of June, the CDC updated and expanded its list of who is at increased risk for getting severely ill from COVID-19. The agency broke from earlier guidance, saying that pregnant women may be at increased risk for severe illness from COVID-19 compared with non-pregnant women.

Currently, 150 treatments and more than 50 antivirals are being tested in people.

Even after a vaccine is developed, an effective treatment could be crucial — as vaccines may not work for everyone. Some doctors believe a treatment that prevents people from falling seriously ill or needing hospitalization could allow people to resume their "pre-COVID-19" lives.

"Once somebody develops a treatment for the virus, everything will go away," Daniel Batlle, a kidney expert from Northwestern Medicine and professor of medicine at Northwestern University in Chicago, told USA TODAY.

More: Medical care for very ill COVID-19 patients is getting better

Contributing: Karen Weintraub, USA TODAY.

Follow Wyatte Grantham-Phillips on Twitter at @wyatte_gp.