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7 surprising symptoms that might suggest you have COVID-19

Published Oct 10th, 2020 9:01AM EDT
Coronavirus symptoms
Image: Mauro Rodrigues/Adobe

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  • The list of official coronavirus symptoms has continued to grow since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic, encompassing many by now well-known symptoms like fevers and dry coughs.
  • A survey of long-term survivors of COVID-19, though, also points to surprising additional symptoms like herpes, cracked lips, and random smells.
  • It’s also important to remember that someone can be infected with the coronavirus without displaying any symptoms at all.

In her new single Show Them The Way that she debuted on Friday, rock icon Stevie Nicks sings: “Please, God, show them the way / Please, God, on this day …” It’s a song about a dream she had, about headlining a benefit attended by leading political figures, and in a new interview with The Associated Press, Nicks goes on to lament how she feels like the coronavirus pandemic is taking away what little time she has left. “This pandemic is more than just a pandemic for me,” Nicks says. “This is stealing what I consider to be my last youthful years. I don’t have just 10 years to hang around and wait for this thing to go away … With every day that goes by, it’s like taking this time away from me.”

Most people probably feel that way, to one degree or another. It’s the pivot around which our daily lives now turn, and when we’re not proactively trying to avoid the virus by things like social distancing and wearing face masks we also have to be keeping a watch out for other things related to COVID-19. Like coronavirus symptoms which suggest the presence of the virus, including such symptoms as fevers, dry coughs, shortness of breath, and a loss of smell.

Of course, that leads to one of the most truly frustrating things about this pandemic — the fact that not only is there a long list of symptoms to watch out for, some of which aren’t intuitive at all and are in fact quite strange, but some people can actually be completely asymptomatic and yet be infected with the virus anyway.

In terms of actual symptoms that are noticeable and which you can be on the lookout for, though, it’s helpful to consult research like this survey that was conducted by Dr. Natalie Lambert of Indiana University School of Medicine and Survivor Corps. It took a look at the experiences of almost 1,600 COVID-19 survivors over the long-term, and it identified dozens of coronavirus symptoms these survivors have experienced.

“Many members of Survivor Corps report suffering from long-term symptoms of COVID-19 and have taken to calling themselves ‘Long Haulers,'” a portion of the report reads. “The forum founder, Diana Berrent, posted a survey on the Survivor Corps Facebook page asking members who identified as Long Haulers to respond by selecting all of the COVID-19-related symptoms they have experienced.”

According to the COVID-19 “Long Hauler” Symptoms Survey Report, seven of the most unexpected symptoms include the following:

  1. Herpes
  2. Cracked/dry lips
  3. Tinnitus
  4. Mouth sores/tongue pain
  5. Random smells that aren’t actually there
  6. Specks floating in your field of vision
  7. Syncope

The latter is characterized by a person temporarily losing consciousness because of a decrease in blood flow to the brain. Thirty-one people surveyed as part of the report said they experienced this symptom.

Andy Meek Trending News Editor

Andy Meek is a reporter based in Memphis who has covered media, entertainment, and culture for over 20 years. His work has appeared in outlets including The Guardian, Forbes, and The Financial Times, and he’s written for BGR since 2015. Andy's coverage includes technology and entertainment, and he has a particular interest in all things streaming.

Over the years, he’s interviewed legendary figures in entertainment and tech that range from Stan Lee to John McAfee, Peter Thiel, and Reed Hastings.

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