When the pandemic first hit, most people memorized the symptoms of COVID-19[feminine]. But the virus transformed over time and with that the symptoms also changed.
Current COVID symptoms are actually more similar to what you’d expect with the common cold, according to a new report. The report is courtesy of ZOE Health Study, which is a research project led by scientists from Massachusetts General Hospital, Harvard TH Chan School of Public Health, King’s College London, Stanford University School of Medicine, and health app ZOE. The health study published a updated list of the main symptoms of COVID reported by study participants last week, and that’s a bit surprising.
So what are the symptoms of COVID 2022 to have on your radar? Here’s the deal.
What are the current symptoms of COVID?
ZOE’s latest report is a review of data collected for 30 days through December 5. Here are the most common COVID symptoms researchers have found, in order of how often people with the virus experience them:
- Sore throat
- Runny nose
- Stuffy nose
- To sneeze
- A cough without phlegm (or dry cough)
- A cough with phlegm (i.e. a wet cough)
- Muscle aches and pains
- Alteration of smell
What is the official list of COVID symptoms?
The Centers for Disaster Control and Prevention (CDC) has an official list of COVID symptoms, but it hasn’t been updated since October. It also does not list the most common symptoms of the group. According to the CDC, here are the most common symptoms of COVID:
- Fever or chills
- Shortness of breath or difficulty breathing
- Muscle or body pain
- New loss of taste or smell
- Sore throat
- Congestion or runny nose
- Nausea or vomiting
What do the doctors think?
Thomas Russo, MD, professor and chief of infectious diseases at the University at Buffalo in New York, says he is “a bit surprised” by the findings of the latest ZOE report. “Fatigue didn’t even make the top 10 – what is it?” he says. “Almost everyone I’ve spoken to who has had COVID has had COVID fatigue.”
But experts say the rest is similar to what they’ve seen in patients. Impairment of taste and smell “is much less common with Omicron,” says Dr. Russo. “It was much more common with the Alpha and Delta variants,” he says.
Infectious disease expert Amesh A. Adalja, MD, principal investigator at the Johns Hopkins Center for Health Security, says he’s also seen these symptoms reported by patients. “Anecdotally, it’s become more common for people to report upper respiratory symptoms and sore throat is very common,” he says. This, he says, may simply be due to how the Omicron variant affects the upper respiratory tract, as well as thinking about how immunity evolves in people who receive the COVID-19 vaccine or who are already infected with the virus.
What to do if you develop symptoms of COVID
It’s hard to tell for sure if you have COVID if you develop symptoms. “Trying to tell a cold, the flu, and RSV from a COVID is difficult — definitely,” says William Schaffner, MD, an infectious disease specialist and professor at Vanderbilt University School of Medicine. “You really can’t tell them apart.”
If you develop symptoms of COVID, Dr. Schaffner recommends getting a home COVID test and using it. “If you’re at high risk for complications from COVID-19 or caring for someone in a high-risk group, you should have a low threshold for testing,” he says. Dr. Adalja agrees. “As sore throat and runny nose are common symptoms that can be caused by a number of different pathogens, it’s important to test for COVID first,” he says. (With so many illnesses swirling around, it’s also easier to test for COVID at home before taking the next steps that involve a trip to the doctor, Dr. Schaffner points out.)
If your COVID test is negative and you feel unwell, Dr. Russo suggests contacting your doctor to get tested for the flu. The reason: If you have the flu, you can take an antiviral drug like Tamiflu to minimize your symptoms and reduce your risk of complications, but you’ll need to start taking it within 48 hours of the onset of your symptoms to get the better chances. of it works.
In general, Dr. Schaffner says, late symptoms of COVID-19 simply “reflect” the Omicron variant. “Omicron generally causes milder infections,” he says.
Korin Miller is a freelance writer specializing in general wellness, health and sex, and lifestyle trends, with work appearing in Men’s Health, Women’s Health, Self, Glamour, and more. She has a master’s degree from American University, lives near the beach, and hopes to one day own a teacup pig and a taco truck.