‘A bit of a challenge’: Local medical expert weighs in on new coronavirus symptom list from CDC

‘A bit of a challenge’: Local medical expert weighs in on new coronavirus symptom list from CDC

MURRELLS INLET, S.C. (WMBF) - The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has added three new symptoms of COVID-19: runny nose, nausea and diarrhea.

Since the start of the pandemic, the primary symptom has been fever, but now health experts say many people testing positive don’t even have a fever.

On top of that, health professionals said a lot of those testing positive are in their teens, 20s and 30s.

Tidelands Health’s most recent data states of the people they tested, the age group with the highest percentage of positive tests was the 16-25 age group.

Dr. Gerald Harmon, the vice president of Medical Affairs at Tidelands Health, said the way healthcare professionals treat the situation has had to change due to the ever-changing knowledge of the virus.

“Now we have to consider that almost any patient with or without symptoms can have COVID. And that’s a bit of a challenge for us,” Harmon said.

Harmon added that ever since the pandemic started, it’s been a rapidly changing situation because health officials continue to learn more about the novel coronavirus over time.

“It’s a fluid situation,” Harmon said. “I started using that months ago in March when we talked about it. This was a fluid situation then. It’s a fluid situation now.”

Harmon also said there are likely reasons for why young people are testing positive at such a high rate.

“Younger people are less likely to be wearing a mask,” he said. “They’re much more mobile. They’re part of the work force. They’re in a summer-time environment, a hospitality industry. They’re enjoying themselves. It’s human nature to be outside, to be in gatherings, even though we try to do our best to make them aware of it. So they’re going to be higher transmitters of the disease.”

While the pandemic may seem somewhat never-ending, Harmon is optimistic for the future. He said the key to moving past all this is getting a vaccine in the next six to 12 months.

“Once we have that vaccine, we’re going to have our arms around this virus, this pandemic, and it’ll be part of our history as opposed to our daily reality,” he said.

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