Fever, loss of smell, and shortness of breath have been the three most talked about COVID-19 symptoms during the pandemic. But understanding a few of the lesser-known COVID symptoms can be an important step in screening for the virus and educating your team about what to look out for. Understanding these symptoms better, such as coronavirus vertigo and GI symptoms, can help everyone stay safer.
What are the Common COVID-19 Symptoms?
These common symptoms of COVID-19 are vital indicators that someone should be tested. They include:
- Body aches
- Dry cough
- Fatigue, typically severe
- Loss of smell
- Shortness of breath
What are Less Common COVID-19 Symptoms?
Employers and employees can also use lesser-known symptoms to evaluate whether a trip to the doctor or COVID testing site is worthwhile.
Feeling dizzy or unsteady may not be a reason by itself to head to the testing center, but vertigo (a kind of dizziness) has been linked to COVID-19, and you may experience vertigo alongside other symptoms. If the symptom is brief, it could be dehydration or the result of standing up too quickly. If it lasts longer, it could be an ear infection or something more serious, like anemia. However, persistent dizziness may be a sign of COVID-19. A literature review of several studies has shown that dizziness, while often overlooked, is indeed linked to the virus. It’s best to get persistent vertigo checked out and worth testing for coronavirus, if only to rule it out.
A recent review in Clinical Gastroenterology and Hepatology reported that 53 percent of hospitalized patients with coronavirus had at least one gastrointestinal (GI) symptom. A patient might experience one or more of the following: nausea and vomiting, diarrhea, constipation, indigestion and abdominal pain or cramping.
While severity varied, these symptoms often appeared before the fever presented. Given that GI symptoms were an early sign of infection in about half of all people hospitalized with COVID, it’s worth noting this lesser-known symptom as a potential marker and a reason to get tested for COVID quickly. You don’t necessarily need to wait for a fever to present itself.
Conjunctivitis, also known as pink eye, is a common and highly contagious bacterial infection. It can affect one eye or both. And the American Academy of Ophthalmology has reported that pink eye occurs in 21 percent of children diagnosed with COVID and 1 to 3 percent of adults. If someone is experiencing other well-known COVID symptoms alongside a pink-eye infection, such as a fever or shortness of breath, it’s best to get tested as soon as possible.
COVID toes and hands
COVID toes involves a purple rash that develops on hands and feet. However, the rashes can occur anywhere on the body and is a lesser-known symptom of COVID. The rash itself is not particularly alarming, although it can last 10-14 days or several months. A little hydrocortisone cream can help alleviate itching or pain. COVID toes are a later stage symptom, meaning most people have been diagnosed with COVID or are already exhibiting other symptoms that are more common by the time the rash develops. The rash itself is not contagious.
Anecdotal evidence from healthcare workers globally indicates an increase in the frequency of abnormal blood clots and extreme clotting among hospitalized COVID patients. Of ventilated patients, 33 percent experienced deep vein thrombosis or a pulmonary embolism. The cause is unclear, but blood clots can lead to severe health problems.
Should someone experience a heart infection, stroke or skin irritation, it could be a blood clot. If someone is taken to the hospital for a blood clot-related problem, such as a stroke, it’s recommended they be tested for COVID to get in front of any contributing factors.
One of the reasons coronavirus has been different from any other outbreak or pandemic is because of just how mysterious the virus remains to scientists. This virus has such a vast variety of seemingly unrelated symptoms. By educating ourselves on some of the lesser-known, but still prevalent symptoms, we are all better equipped to make smart decisions about our health, when to get tested and how to stay safe and healthy.
If you or your employees experience any of these less common symptoms connected to coronavirus, Brio’s easy-to-use, end-to-end diagnostic testing solution can help you rule out an infection to help ensure your team is as protected as possible. We can provide fast results so you can make the necessary decisions that keep your organization healthy.
Ear, Nose and Throat Journal - “Dizziness and COVID-19”
Clinical Gastroenterology and Hepatology - “Digestive Manifestations in Patients Hospitalized with Coronavirus Disease 2019”
American Academy of Ophthalmology - Pink Eye May Be A Symptom of COVID-19 in Children, Study Suggests
News Medical Life Sciences - What are COVID Toes?
American Academy of Dermatology Association - COVID toes, rashes: How the coronavirus can affect your skin
Weill Cornell Medicine - What is Known About COVID-19 and Abnormal Blood Clotting
Harvard Medicine - Clotting Factor Levels and COVID-19