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2020 Jul 17

MMWR Morb Mortal Wkly Rep



Symptom Profiles of a Convenience Sample of Patients with COVID-19 – United States, January-April 2020.


Burke RM, Killerby ME, Newton S, Ashworth CE, Berns AL, Brennan S, Bressler JM, Bye E, Crawford R, Harduar Morano L, Lewis NM, Markus TM, Read JS, Rissman T, Taylor J, Tate JE, Midgley CM
MMWR Morb Mortal Wkly Rep. 2020 Jul 17; 69(28):904-908.
PMID: 32673296.


Coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) was first detected in the United States in January 2020 (1), and by mid-July, approximately 3.4 million cases had been reported in the United States (2). Information about symptoms among U.S. COVID-19 patients is limited, especially among nonhospitalized patients. To better understand symptom profiles of patients with laboratory-confirmed COVID-19 in the United States, CDC used an optional questionnaire to collect detailed information on a convenience sample of COVID-19 patients from participating states. Symptom data were analyzed by age group, sex, hospitalization status, and symptom onset date relative to expansion of testing guidelines on March 8, 2020 (3). Among 164 symptomatic patients with known onset during January 14-April 4, 2020, a total of 158 (96%) reported fever, cough, or shortness of breath. Among 57 hospitalized adult patients (aged ≥18 years), 39 (68%) reported all three of these symptoms, compared with 25 (31%) of the 81 nonhospitalized adult patients. Gastrointestinal (GI) symptoms and other symptoms, such as chills, myalgia, headache, and fatigue, also were commonly reported, especially after expansion of testing guidelines. To aid prompt recognition of COVID-19, clinicians and public health professionals should be aware that COVID-19 can cause a wide variety of symptoms.