After CDC names new COVID-19 symptoms, local expert offers advice for when to get tested

KANSAS CITY, Mo. — Original Post

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention added new symptoms to look for if you believe you have the coronavirus.

And a local infectious disease doctor has advice for how to know if you’re sick and when to get tested.

RELATED: CDC reveals six more symptoms to look for if you suspect you have COVID-19

Wendy McDermott is just happy to be alive. The Raytown woman came down with COVID-19 on April 1. She said the symptoms were no joke.

“I had a fever that we contained under 100 with Tylenol,” McDermott said. “I had shaking and chills and fever. I had a ridiculous amount of fatigue. Like I was sleeping like 18 hours a day.”

Previously, cough, fever and shortness of breath were what they looked for.

Now, chills, shaking with chills, muscle pain, headache, sore throat, and new loss of smell are included on the CDC’s list of symptoms. 

“There’s a constellation of symptoms, and not one of them itself is diagnostic, but we need to take in the whole constellation of symptoms and how the person is doing to really understand and then evaluate if we need to test for COVID-19,” said Dr. Dana Hawkinson with the University of Kansas Health System.

Hawkinson said a headache alone probably doesn’t mean you have COVID-19. However, if you have more than a few on the list, it’s something to look at.

“I think overall this disease process has showed us that we have really moved in terms of light years as far as identifying an illness, and then identifying, testing, and hopefully possible therapeutics and vaccination. But it still is going to take some time,” Hawkinson said.

He said making more testing available and antibody testing will help understand the virus more over time.

McDermott is just glad for her the virus is over.

“I did not expect that I would be one to get it,” McDermott said. “I really didn’t. I felt like I was doing the right things, but I did. But I’m on the other side, and I feel great now.”

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