Signs That You May Have Had COVID-19: What Research Says

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According to the World Health Organization (WHO), more than 190 million people have contracted COVID-19 since late 2019. Other people may have had the disease, but they did not receive a confirmed test.

It’s possible that you have COVID-19 and didn’t know it. However, it is impossible to determine for certain unless you go through an antibody test. Even a positive antibody test may have small effects. chance that it will be false positive.

The most likely way to know that you had COVID-19 is if you had typical COVID-19 symptoms and received a positive diagnostic COVID-19 test when you were sick. But evenStandard” PCR tests have a possibility of a false positive result. This means that you may have COVID-19 but your test results show otherwise.

It’s difficult to determine if you have the disease if you don’t have a positive COVID-19 result.

There are no clear signs that you have COVID-19.However, there are some common symptoms that you might have experienced.

  • Pink eye
  • Loss of taste or smell
  • Fatigue

Continue reading to learn more about these signs.

Signs That You May Have Had COVID-19

COVID-19 may affect different parts of the body, and can cause symptoms that could have many causes. COVID-19 can cause symptoms that are not present in some people.

Without a positive COVID-19, it is impossible to tell if you have an infection. Here are some signs.

You have developed COVID-19 symptoms

COVID-19 symptoms are different for everyone. They can also mimic other respiratory infections. It could be an indication that you have COVID-19 if you experience any of the symptoms listed above, particularly if you were in close contact with someone who has it.

According to the Centers For Disease Control and  Prevention (CDC) Trusted Source, the following are the most reported symptoms:

  • body aches
  • runny nose or stuffy nose
  • cough
  • diarrhea
  • fatigue
  • chills or fever
  • headaches
  • nauseas of taste or smell
  • shortness of breath or trouble breathing
  • sore throat
  • vomiting

COVID-19, the common cold, and flu can be difficult to tell apart. Sneezing, while not a sign of COVID-19, may be a sign that you have allergies or a cold. Although it is not a common symptom of flu, shortness of breath can be a sign of COVID-19.

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You may have had pink eye, or other symptoms.

COVID-19 may enter your cells via receptors for an enzyme called angiotensin converting protein 2 (ACE2). These receptors are tricked by the virus to fool your body into believing it is the ACE2 enzyme.

ACE2 receptors are found in various parts of your eyes, such as your retina and the epithelial cells that line your eye white and eyelid.

COVID-19 can cause eye symptoms such as:

  • dry eyes
  • pink eyes
  • Swelling
  • Excessive tearing
  • Increased eye secretions

The most common symptoms of COVID-19 are eye symptoms. However, they can also be present in certain people.

Temporarily, your sense of smell or taste has been temporarily lost

Loss of taste or smell is commonly reported in people with COVID-19. A review of Trusted Source Studies found that loss of taste or smell was reported in 47 percent of people and was most common in people with mild to moderate disease.

COVID-19 can also cause a distortion of the senses in some people. The symptoms of impaired taste and smell often manifest before any other symptoms.

An August 2020 Trusted Source study found that in a group of 11,054 people with COVID-19, symptoms affecting smell and taste appeared before general symptoms in 64.5 and 54 percent of cases, respectively.

First, you developed fever

COVID-19 symptoms often show up in a particular order. In a 2020 study published by the University of Southern California, researchers analyzed the development of symptoms in 55,000 people with COVID-19 and compared them to the symptoms of 2,000 people with influenza.

The most common symptom of influenza was a cough. However, the first symptom of COVID-19 is most likely to be a fever.

Scientific literature has reported a wide variety of COVID-19 symptoms as initial signs. It doesn’t mean that you don’t have COVID-19 if you don’t get a fever.

You’re experiencing long-haul symptoms

COVID-19 can cause symptoms that last for several weeks or even months. These symptoms have been referred to as long haul symptoms.

Long-term symptoms can occur in children and young adults as well as people with mild diseases. Although it is not known why certain people experience long-term symptoms, long-term tissue damage or inflammation could be a factor. Some of the most reported symptoms Trusted Source include:

  • chronic fatigue
  • trouble breathing
  • brain fog or cognitive impairment
  • Chest or joint pain
  • lingering headaches
  • A persistent cough
  • heart palpations
  • muscle pain
  • Symptoms of smell and taste problems
  • Gastrointestinal issues
  • Other heart problems

Can you tell if your COVID-19 was a variant?

There are four Trusted Sources notable COVID-19 variants in the United States named after the first four letters of the Greek alphabet:

  • Alpha
  • Beta
  • Gamma
  • Delta
  • Lambda
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Although these variants are more common than COVID-19, they seem to have similar symptoms. For example, a May 2021 Study Trusted Source found that the Alpha variant wasn’t linked to a change in self-reported symptoms among people in the United Kingdom.

Certain variants might cause more symptoms than others. Early research published by the University of Edinburgh has found that the Delta variation is associated with an increased risk of hospitalization.

According to the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) Trusted Source, the presence of COVID-19 variants in a testing sample may potentially impair the results of some COVID-19 tests. While most tests are still accurate, the FDA monitors any potential problems.

COVID-19 tests are currently only able to tell you if you have it. They do not tell you if your variant is present. To identify variants in a COVID-19 sample, health professionals must use genomic sequencing.

Are the COVID-19 antigen tests accurate?

Rapid antigen COVID-19 testing can give results within minutes. They can also lead to inaccurate results.

In a review of studies published in Cochrane, researchers analyzed the results of 64 studies and 24,087 nose or throat samples. Researchers found that commercially available antigen tests were able to identify confirmed COVID-19 infections in 58 percent of patients with symptoms and 72 percent of those without.

The first week after infection was diagnosed, the tests were most accurate.

The tests were able to identify a negative result in 99.5 per cent of those without COVID-19.

Takeaways

Because most symptoms are also signs of other infections, it is difficult to determine if you have COVID-19.

If you have COVID-19 symptoms, and you had a positive diagnostic test when you were sick, the best way to determine if you have it is if you have had COVID-19 symptoms. You may also have COVID-19 if you test positive for antibodies.

There is no COVID-19 test that can be 100% accurate. There is a slight chance of getting a false positive for COVID-19 even if you have had a test or diagnostic done.

COVID-19 symptoms shows up in certain order

  • The University of Southern California found that COVID-19 symptoms often begin in a specific order.
  • The study found that while flu usually starts with a cold, COVID-19’s first sign is usually a fever.
  • Physicians who treat patients with COVID-19 say that the symptoms aren’t always predictable.

COVID-19 symptoms, which include fever and coughing, are very similar to symptoms that can be seen in many other common diseases such as the seasonal flu.

How can you tell if your fever is COVID-19 or flu-like symptoms? A new study has shed light on how COVID-19 symptoms present, which may help people trying to figure out if their cough is just a cough or something worse.

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Research from the University of Southern California (USC), revealed that COVID-19 symptoms often begin in a specific order.

This could help COVID-19 patients self-isolate faster and receive treatment sooner.

“This order is especially important to know when we have overlapping cycles of illnesses like the flu that coincide with infections of COVID-19,” said Peter Kuhn, PhD, one of the study authors and professor of medicine, biomedical engineering, and aerospace and mechanical engineering at USC. “Doctors can help patients decide what to do, and may even prevent their condition from getting worse.”

COVID-19 symptoms timeline

This is the order in which COVID-19 patients can experience symptoms, according to the study.

  • Fever
  • Muscle pain and cough
  • nausea or vomiting
  • diarrhea

Dr. Robert Glatter is an emergency physician at Lenox Hill Hospital, New York. This may not be possible because the flu can often start abruptly with a trio of symptoms such as back pain, chills and a dry cough.

Glatter stated that these findings could be useful when evaluating multiple patients in busy clinical settings.

The study found that while flu usually starts with a cold, COVID-19’s first sign is fever.

The study authors stated that their results supported the idea that fever should be used as a screening tool to allow entry to facilities once regions reopen following the outbreak of Spring 2020.

Broad range of symptoms

Glatter shared his experiences treating COVID-19 patients in New York City.

He said that fever is the most common initial sign of COVID-19 infection. However, reality is often more varied.

Glatter stated that some patients may only experience a loss of taste or smell, but otherwise feel well. “I’ve also seen patients with ‘COVID’ toes or chilblains. This is a skin reaction that occurs in response acute inflammation. It’s not accompanied by fever, cough, or any other respiratory symptoms.

Glatter stated that patients also experienced malaise, headaches, and dizziness, which in some ways resemble symptoms of stroke but without fever, cough or evidence of upper respiratory symptoms.

He said that he had also seen patients with only chest pain and no respiratory symptoms. “A person could also have COVID-19 if they experience nausea, vomiting, or diarrhea following the onset of respiratory symptoms like fever and cough.

Glatter says that the bottom line is that healthcare professionals must be alert and open-minded when evaluating patients with symptoms related to the disease. He said that patients don’t always appear ‘accordingly to the book’ and that it is important to be open-minded when assessing who might have COVID-19.

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