By now, we know the familiar warning signs of COVID-19: Fever, cough, shortness of breath. But we also know that the virus causes literally dozens of symptoms. Some are simply strange; some are strange but common enough that you’d think they’d be on the CDC’s official list of symptoms but they’re not. “This list does not include all possible symptoms,” says the agency. Here are five COVID symptoms you may not have heard about but should definitely be on the lookout for. Read on, and to ensure your health and the health of others, don’t miss these Sure Signs You’ve Already Had Coronavirus.
A sizable number of COVID-19 patients have been dismayed to discover thinning hair in the days or weeks since their initial diagnosis. (Actress Alyssa Milano notably shared her coronavirus-related hair loss on social media.) A new study of nearly 48,000 COVID-19 patients found that 25% of them experienced hair loss. Experts say this is called telogen effluvium, a temporary all-over-the-head shedding that’s caused by a “shock to the system,” such as fever or illness.
Also not on the CDC’s list of COVID symptoms but very common: Skin issues. About 20% of people with COVID-19 report skin changes, including rashes or hives. This is where we’re obliged to mention the recently much-publicized “COVID toes,” rashes or painful patches on the toes which can last for months in some people.
A new study published in BMJ Open Ophthalmology found that nearly a third of COVID-19 patients reported eye symptoms. (And that number may be even higher, since people tend to underreport symptoms they don’t consider severe). These issues can include conjunctivitis (pinkeye), sore eyes, itchy eyes, or photophobia (sensitivity to light). Researchers say COVID may cause eye problems because the virus might enter the body that way.
Coronavirus can attack the inner ear, causing dizziness, vertigo, fainting, tinnitus (or “ringing in the ears”) and even hearing loss. Studies have found that one in ten COVID patients report tinnitus or reduced hearing, often as a late-onset symptom.
According to a study published in The American Journal of Emergency Medicine, reported that a 37-year-old man in San Antonio, Texas, developed testicular pain and swelling three days after being diagnosed with coronavirus. The researchers wrote that “several genitourinary complications have been reported” with COVID-19, including blood clotting issues that can cause priapism (a prolonged, painful erection).
As for yourself, do everything you can to prevent getting—and spreading—COVID-19 in the first place: Wear a face mask, get tested if you think you have coronavirus, avoid crowds (and bars, and house parties), practice social distancing, only run essential errands, wash your hands regularly, disinfect frequently touched surfaces, and to get through this pandemic at your healthiest, don’t miss these 35 Places You’re Most Likely to Catch COVID.