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Seven signs that you may have already had coronavirus

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Here’s how to know if you’ve already been sick and recovered from the novel coronavirus.

 

Almost everyone you know has recently had coronavirus or had it some time ago, yet you’re as healthy as a bull. Here are seven signs that you may have had the virus but didn’t know.

If you look around it seems that everyone has been infected with COVID-19 in the past or now with the Omicron variant. If you haven’t yet been diagnosed or sick, you may feel like you’re one of the few lucky ones. Or maybe, just maybe, you were sick but didn’t realize it because your symptoms were so mild.

 

While the Delta variant and those that preceded Omicron were characterized by unique symptoms such as persistent cough, fever, and loss of taste and smell, Omicron appears to be more difficult to diagnose thanks to fairly generic symptoms that can easily look like the flu, a cold or a sore throat. If you’ve felt tired and wanted to tune out the world (and between us, who hasn’t felt this way?) in the last few months but didn’t really know why, here are seven quiet signs that you may have been infected without knowing:

1. You were sick but weren’t tested

Unlike previous versions, Omicron symptoms are mild in fully vaccinated people. Although the first cases of Omicron were observed in late 2021, the variant might have been around for several months. Some people didn’t have  noticeable symptoms. If you didn’t feel sick enough to get tested, you may have had coronavirus and recovered without knowing it.

2. You thought you had the flu, but it was flurona

You had a fever for days, a cough and were exhausted, but the doctor didn’t diagnose the flu. It might have been Omricon, because the flu season and the pandemic overlapped. This year, doctors are seeing cases of Flurona –  simultaneous infection with the flu and coronavirus. Dr. Nadav Davidovich, director of the Ben-Gurion University School of Public Health and a member of the epidemiology team advising the Health Ministry on the virus, told CNN that Israel is currently seeing a high incidence of influenza in parallel with an increase in morbidity in coronavirus so there’s a high chance of cases of combined infection.

Both the flu and coronavirus are viruses that damage the respiratory system and cause symptoms that overlap: cough, runny nose, sore throat, fever, headache and fatigue. Both also spread and are similarly contagious through droplet fragments emitted into the air and diffused when a sick person speaks, breathes or coughs.

3. Your hair falls out in large quantities

If you notice unusual hair loss, it could be because you had the virus. A study published in The Lancet about a year ago found that 22% of patients suffer from hair loss in the six months after infection, with women at higher risk.

The researchers, who examined a variety of  the virus’s long-term symptoms, found that 359 out of 1,655 patients in Wuhan suffered from hair loss. According to their findings, hair loss is a primary symptom of long-term COVID-19, along with fatigue, shortness of breath, dizziness and joint pain.

4. Your family was sick

If everyone in your family was sick except you, you may have been infected and didn’t know it. Many infected people have mild symptoms or no symptoms at all, and Omicron reportedly produces even milder symptoms than other variants, especially in vaccinated people.

5. You had stomach problems

Coronavirus is a respiratory disease, but not everyone coughs or has shortness of breath. For some, diarrhea may be the first and only sign of infection. The US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) addressed this symptom and added it to the list of a wide range of symptoms.

According to a report on NBC Chicago, people with a weakened immune system or immunosuppression are more likely to experience diarrhea or other gastrointestinal-related symptoms following Omricon infection. They added that diarrhea appears near the time of infection. Johns Hopkins Hospital experts also noted that about 20% may have diarrhea shortly after infection.

6. You had an eye infection

Ocular inflammation, or conjunctivitis, may be a virus symptom, but it’s very rare, according to the American Academy of Ophthalmology. Reports of red eyes as a sign of coronavirus began in late March, when Chelsea Ernest, a nurse working in sheltered housing where 50 of the 180 residents contracted the virus, and 37 died, said all virus patients had red eyes. She told CNN that “this is something I witnessed in everyone.Their eyes looked like they were suffering from allergies.” She added that in patients, “the white part of the eye isn’t red. It’s more like they have red shadows on the outside. We had patients whose red eyes were the only symptom we saw, and they went to the hospital and died there.”

7. You suffered from a strange rash or infection in toes

A small Spanish study has found five types of rashes on the skin, including what they call COVID toe, which were seen in patients in different hospitals. According to the findings, the rash appears mainly in young patients and tends to stay for several days. Although a rash is a well-known symptom of some viruses, the researchers said they were surprised to see a large number and variety of rash types in coronavirus patients. There have been many reports of “coronavirus toes” – a rash that appears on patients’ feet even in the absence of other symptoms – but the study’s lead researcher, Dr. Ignacio Garcia-Doble, said the most common form is a maculopapular rash i.e. small dots, flat red bumps that tended to appear on the upper body.

About Charles Igbinidu

Charles Igbinidu is a Public Relations practitioner in Lagos, Nigeria

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