The Top 7 COVID-19 Symptoms, Ranked by Prevalence

COVID-19 Test
Print icon

Initial COVID-19 symptoms vary, but the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention says most people with a coronavirus infection will experience:

  • Fever (83-99 percent).
  • Cough (59-82 percent).
  • Fatigue (44-70 percent).
  • Anorexia: loss of appetite (40-84 percent).
  • Shortness of breath (31-40 percent).
  • Sputum production (28-33 percent).
  • Muscle aches (11-35 percent).

The CDC says in a study of 1,099 hospitalized patients, only 44 percent had a fever when admitted to the hospital. While hospitalized, however, 89 percent later developed a fever. There’s also no predictable progression of symptoms: Older adults and people with preexisting medical conditions, for example, might develop fever and respiratory symptoms later than others.

Less common symptoms:

  • Headache.
  • Confusion.
  • Runny nose.
  • Sore throat.
  • Hemoptysis (coughing up blood).

The CDC last month also added these possible COVID-19 symptoms:

  • Chills that cause prolonged shaking.
  • Loss of taste or smell.

And, in a more recent update (reported in late June), the CDC added:

  • Congestion.
  • Nausea.
  • Diarrhea.

Children usually experience milder symptoms than adults. But children are showing resilience to COVID-19. A National Institutes of Health study announced this week will help determine the percentage of children infected with COVID-19 who develop symptoms.

The study, Human Epidemiology and Response to SARS-CoV-2 (HEROS), will recruit 6,000 people from 2,000 families in 11 United States cities. Researchers will track the children and their families for six months, with twice-monthly nasal swabs samples from the child study participant and other family members. The study will also examine the infection rate of children who have asthma or allergic conditions.

More immediately, public officials must determine if children pose a risk to adults. Gov. Ned Lamont has already closed Connecticut schools for the rest of the academic year. Available research would seem to support the move: In a study of two China cities published last week in the journal Science, children were found about one-third as susceptible to COVID-19 as adults were but were essentially equally likely as adults to get the disease at school, where they had about three times as many contacts with adults.

New York City health officials are also investigating more than a dozen cases of an unusual inflammatory syndrome, possibly linked to COVID-19, in patients ages 2 to 15 years old.

This story was updated June 26.

Need to see your doctor? New Patient? For more information about Hartford HealthCare virtual health visits, click here.

Click here to schedule a virtual visit with a Hartford HealthCare-GoHealth Urgent care doctor.

Stay with Hartford HealthCare for everything you need to know about the coronavirus threat. Click here for information updated daily.

Questions? Call our 24-hour hotline (860.972.8100 or, toll-free, 833.621.0600). 

Get text alerts by texting 31996 with COVID19 in the message field.

 

 

 


What's New

Parkinson's Research

Research: Inhibiting Gene in Test Mice Can Quiet Parkinson’s Tremors

When University of California-San Diego (UCSD) scientists transformed brain cells into functioning neurons that restored dopamine, eliminating Parkinson’s disease motor symptoms in test mice, humans watched with anticipation. The research, “Reversing a model of Parkinson’s disease with in situ converted nigral neurons,” was published this summer in the journal Nature....

COVID Panic

How to Make it Through The Toughest Days of COVID-19

By Amanda Brill Licensed Clinical Social Worker Hartford HealthCare Chase Family Movement Disorders Center It’s entirely reasonable during a pandemic to feel more stressed, anxious, lonely and depressed than usual. Yet, despite the circumstances, some people seemed to be doing OK. Researchers wanted to know what they were or were...