Science Alert: Which are the Atypical COVID-19 Symptoms?
There's still a lot we don't know about the coronavirus that has caused a pandemic of a new disease called COVID-19. That includes what the symptoms are and how varied they might be.
The most common distinctive symptoms of COVID-19 are a dry cough, fever, and difficulty breathing.
Though many people have no symptoms at all – despite being highly contagious – studies suggest a significant proportion of people show other symptoms first, such as diarrhoea or loss of smell and taste. Here are some of the less common symptoms of COVID-19 described by Science Alert published by BGNES.
1. Digestive problems such as diarrhea and nausea
Digestive issues like diarrhoea and nausea may be a more common symptom than previously thought
Digestive problems have been increasingly linked to coronavirus infections, but research is mixed on how common a symptom it is. About one in 10 coronavirus patients experience some sort of gastrointestinal symptoms, including diarrhoea and nausea, Business Insider previously reported.
A study in The Lancet reported that only 3 percent of Chinese patients experienced diarrhoea. About 5 percent of people experience nausea, according to a report from the World Health Organisation.
New research suggests that number may be higher than previously thought, and up to half of patients may have digestive issues along with respiratory symptoms.
Usually, those patients also soon develop more common symptoms like difficulty breathing, fever, or cough – only about 3 percent of cases studied had digestive symptoms alone, the researchers said, the researchers said.
2. Malaise and confusion are atypical symptoms
In a recent case report on a Washington nursing home, nearly one-third of the residents tested positive for the coronavirus, but half had no symptoms, and a few patients had unusual symptoms like malaise, a general sense of discomfort, illness, or uneasiness.
In some cases, COVID-19 may present as malaise, disorientation, or exhaustion.
In some cases COVID-19 may present as exhaustion. This is among the most commonly reported atypical symptoms, often along with other more commonly reported signs of coughing or fever. Fatigue, which often accompanies other symptoms, is rarely reported in the absence of more common symptoms. Pandemics, quarantines and social distancing can also cause additional stress and anxiety. These and other psychological factors can lead to similar symptoms, says psychotherapist psychotherapist Ilene Cohen wrote for Psychology Today, so it's important not to panic if you feel tired or uneasy.
4. Chills or muscle aches
Aches and chills can be symptoms of many illnesses, including the flu, but coronavirus patients have reported them. It's not clear how prevalent these symptoms are, but about 11 percent of people studied reported chills, and 14 percent reported muscle aches, according to the WHO report.
These could be early signs of more severe symptoms or the only indication of a mild infection. If you experience these, take additional precautions to self-isolate from other people, get plenty of rest and fluids, and contact a doctor.
5. Headache and dizziness
According to the study in The Lancet, about 8 percent of COVID-19 patients reported headaches.
Dizziness has also been reported in some cases – frequent dizzy spells or very severe or abrupt bouts of dizziness could indicate a more serious health risk, according to the Cleveland Clinic.
6. Runny nose
The runny nose is rarely a sign of coronavirus - it is more indicative of allergies or colds. Few patients with COVID-19 have nasal congestion or a runny nose - less than 5% of people experience these symptoms, according to the WHO report. And sneezing is not at all related to the coronavirus. If you have any of these problems, you are much more likely to have another illness, such as allergies or a cold.
7. Sore throat
It also occasionally accompanies coronavirus infection, but again - this is more often a sign of common flu or cold.
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