Coronavirus has spread at an alarming rate since it first broke out in the city of Wuhan, Hubei Province, China in December. According to the latest figures released by Johns Hopkins University, there are more than three million confirmed cases in 185 countries. The rapid rate of transmission has provided health authorities with an avalanche of insights.
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One area that is constantly being updated is the list of potential symptoms linked to COVID-19.
The CDC recently added six new symptoms to its list.
One newly added symptom may be more common than a sore throat, which is readily associated with viral infections.
The symptom in question is muscle pain.
The CDC doesn’t provide any further information on the symptom’s prevalence, but research suggests it’s more common than you may expect.
A report from the World Health Organization (WHO) that was published in February analysed nearly 56,000 cases of COVID-19 in China, and found that almost 15 percent of patients experienced muscle aches and pains.
This proved more common than a sore throat, which was reported in 13.9 percent of cases.
What does muscle pain entail?
Patient reports shed some light on this newly added symptom.
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One COVID-19 patient, who did not want to be named, recounted his ten day ordeal with COVID-19.
The 46-year-old Brit described his muscle pain in vivid detail: “Woke up with really painful, aching muscles and a very sore throat.
“The muscle pain spreading up round my neck and shoulders and really bad on chest.”
He continued to reveal how the “severe muscle pain” hindered his attempts to sleep.
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According to Richard Watkins, M.D., infectious disease physician and professor of internal medicine at the Northeast Ohio Medical University, viral infections cause muscle pain as a byproduct of activating the immune response.
It is “a result of cells of the immune system releasing interleukins, which are proteins that help in the fight against invading pathogens,” he said.
What should I do if I recognise muscle pain or other COVID-19-related symptoms?
The NHS says to self-isolate for seven days if you experience mild symptoms.
You must begin the self-isolation process from the moment symptoms appear.
“If you live with someone who has symptoms, self-isolate for 14 days from the day their symptoms started,” explains the NHS.
As the health site points out, this is because it can take 14 days for symptoms to appear.
“If more than one person at home has symptoms, self-isolate for 14 days from the day the first person started having symptoms,” it adds.
Can I do anything to reduce my risk of catching or spreading COVID-19?
Health bodies say to wash your hands with soap and water often, for at least 20 seconds to reduce the risk.
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