Dr Tendai Zuze
Covid-19 has developed a reputation as a respiratory illness and the commonly described symptoms are fever, cough, breathing difficulties and other respiratory symptoms.
There are, however, lesser known non-respiratory symptoms which may show up when you are infected with the virus.
Some people with the virus have no symptoms at all, but others develop uncommon symptoms like the ones below.
Loss of taste or smell
When scientists at the University of California studied responses from 59 people with Covid-19, they found out that more than two-thirds of them reported loss of taste or smell. Your sense of taste or smell may also be disrupted by other conditions, such as flu or seasonal allergies. But in some cases, such sensory changes may be a warning sign of Covid-19.
Nausea, vomiting, or diarrhoea
Early research suggests gastrointestinal distress is relatively common in people with Covid-19. Recently, the authors of a new study reviewed the medical records of 116 people who had tested positive for Covid-19.They found that nearly one-third had digestive symptoms, including loss of appetite, nausea, vomiting, or diarrhoea.
Rash, hives, or chickenpox-like lesions
When dermatologists in Italy assessed 88 people who had tested positive for Covid-19, they found roughly one fifth had skin symptoms. Those skin symptoms consisted of a red rash, widespread hives, or chickenpox-like lesions. Many of these rashes may represent superficial clotting or even bleeding in the skin or extremities.
Delirium, dizziness, or muscle weakness
Confusion, delirium, and other neurological symptoms have also been observed in some people with Covid-19. Milder neurological symptoms, such as loss of taste or smell, headache, dizziness, or muscle weakness, may appear early in the illness.
More severe neurological symptoms may develop later on. Some patients have developed brain inflammation requiring admission for close neurologic monitoring.
Covid-19 may raise the risk of abnormal blood clotting, early reports suggest. When clots form in small blood vessels in the feet or other extremities, it can cause minor skin symptoms. When clots occur in the lungs, heart, or brain, it can cause more serious complications, such as pulmonary embolism, heart attack, or stroke. Clotting in general seems to be a significant issue in Covid-19 and patients have presented to casualty with stroke and heart attack symptoms and ended up testing Covid-19 positive.
If the virus enters cells in the heart, it can also cause a heart infection known as myocarditis. This infection may cause chest pain, abnormal heart rhythms, and even heart failure.
Some people who have been treated for Covid-19 have presented with a strange phenomenon that clinicians have dubbed “happy hypoxia.”
Those people have had dangerously low levels of oxygen in their blood, which typically cause reduced consciousness. However, they have been unusually alert and comfortable. There is a mismatch between what the monitors show and how the patient presents. Some scientists have speculated that this phenomenon might be caused by blood clotting in small vessels in the lungs, but more research is needed to test that hypothesis.
So remember, any strange symptoms could easily be from Covid-19.
If you need reliable and up-to-date information about Covid-19, please call the national toll free hotline 2023.