This Is the COVID-19 Symptom You're Most Likely to Miss, Doctor Says

The coronavirus can look like allergies or even a hangover, which is why this symptom is hard to detect.

With coronavirus spiking in many parts of the country, it's pivotal to listen to what your body may be trying to tell you, especially those small signs that you might have COVID-19. "There's been such a huge spectrum of severity of disease," notes Thomas Russo, MD, chief of the division of infectious disease at the University at Buffalo. "At one extreme is the asymptomatic [group] and at the other extreme is those people who end up in the hospital in critical care units." Of course, many people fall somewhere in the middle, experiencing subtle symptoms that you don't necessarily associate with the coronavirus. So, what's the hidden COVID symptom you're most likely to miss? Unfortunately, it's one we all have every now and then: fatigue.

"Say you woke up one day, had a little bit of a headache, a little bit of a scratchy throat. You were a little tired, you didn't think much of it," Russo says. "You thought maybe it was allergies. Or maybe you were out partying the night before and thought maybe you're just a little hungover."

But, if your throat and headache improved over the next few days, you might have ultimately assumed it was nothing, even if that feeling of fatigue persists. In truth, however, you could have indeed been infected with COVID-19.

Woman experiencing fatigue in bed

"Nonspecific symptoms, allergies, or maybe recreational activities such as alcohol or something else, could mask whether it was truly COVID or not," Russo says. "A little fatigue could be mistaken for something else and you didn't think a whole lot of it."

In a new July study from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), researchers found that a whopping 69 percent of COVID-19 patients experience fatigue, making it one of the most common coronavirus symptoms.

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That's why Russo says now more than even it's important to take stock of your energy levels. Even subtle symptoms like tiredness could mean you have the potential to infect others with the coronavirus. And to find out your chances of contracting COVID-19 by 2021, check out This Is How Likely You Are to Get Coronavirus This Year, Doctor Says.

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Alesandra Dubin
Alesandra Dubin is a lifestyle editor and writer based in Los Angeles. Read more
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