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COVID Now Causing These Unusual Symptoms, New Data Shows

You might not associate these with your typical coronavirus infection.

We're always hearing about new COVID variants, with JN.1 being the latest to make the rounds. In a Dec. 22 update, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) stated that they have been tracking JN.1, which "continues to cause an increasing share of infections," also claiming the top spot as the most widely circulating variant in the U.S.

According to the CDC, the "continued growth" means JN.1 is either more transmissible or just better at evading immune systems, but it's too soon to know how much this variant could increase infections or hospitalizations.

Regardless, the CDC continues to urge people to get vaccinated for protection against JN.1, especially with the uptick in other respiratory illnesses such as influenza. And while experts say COVID symptoms have remained fairly consistent—ranging in severity depending on the person's immunity and health rather than the variant itself—it appears that the virus is now causing some unusual symptoms. Read on to find out what to look out for.

RELATED: 2 COVID Symptoms Now Tied for Most Common Virus Signs, Doctors Say.

Trouble sleeping

Menopausal Mature Woman Suffering With Insomnia In Bed At Home

Rates of COVID and influenza are rising in the U.K., and new data from U.K.'s health authorities also noted some of the more common symptoms patients are experiencing this winter.

According to new information, one of the more unusual symptoms connected to the latest infections was trouble sleeping. Data shows that approximately 10.8 percent of surveyed residents reported struggling to sleep.

Worry or anxiety

Anxious girl sitting on couch

While we often associate physical symptoms when we're sick, sometimes our mental health is affected as well—even though it feels a bit surprising. According to data from the U.K., 10.5 percent of survey respondents cited worry or anxiety as a COVID symptom.

RELATED: Doctor Reveals COVID Symptoms in Patients Who Haven't Gotten a Booster.

Sore throat

Close-up Of A Man's Hand Touching His Sore Throat

Moving into less unusual symptoms, roughly 13.2 percent of respondents reported a sore throat, per data from the U.K. In recent months, doctors in the U.S. have also cited sore throat as one of the first symptoms to appear with a COVID infection.

Muscle aches

Man suffering from muscle aches and a headache.

Like other viruses, COVID also causes muscle aches for many patients. Per data from the U.K., 15.8 percent of patients experienced muscle aches with the virus this winter.

Weakness or tiredness

Sick young woman lying on the couch and holding her head with hand. Ill woman lying on the sofa with high temperature.

COVID also causes fatigue, specifically weakness or tiredness, with 19.6 percent of respondents saying they endured this while sick with the virus.

RELATED: Why the New COVID Variant Could Make You Sick Longer, Doctor Says.


Man Holding His Head Due to Pain
Estrada Anton/Shutterstock

Headache is still being reported as a sign of this illness, with 20.1 percent of respondents citing this as a problem.


Shot of a man coughing while recovering from an illness on the sofa at home

Cough, perhaps one of the most well-known COVID signs, was the second most common symptom, with 22.9 percent of respondents in the U.K. reporting some sort of cough.

In conversation with Parade earlier this month, William Schaffner, MD, a professor of infectious diseases at Vanderbilt University Medical Center, said that a "dry hacking cough" has been connected to COVID infections, and takes longer to clear up than other symptoms—lasting for one to two weeks, or beyond that in some cases.

RELATED: 15-Year-Old Girl Suffers First-Ever Vocal Paralysis From COVID in Teens.

Runny nose

Congested woman with runny nose

A runny nose was the most commonly reported symptom, with 31.1 percent of respondents experiencing some sniffles. As Schaffner told Parade, a runny nose usually shows up after you've had a sore throat.

Those who were sick faced other complications beyond physical symptoms.

woman sick at home with covid
ShotPrime Studio / Shutterstock

The data also outlined some other health outcomes related to respiratory illness or "any personal health reason," with people citing inability to do usual or daily activities, having to be absent from work or education, taking a long-term leave of absence, or going to the hospital or urgent care, among others.

As CBS News reported, U.K. Health Security Agency's Jonathon Mellor said additional symptom analyses will be provided as the study progresses and the sample size increases.

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Best Life offers the most up-to-date information from top experts, new research, and health agencies, but our content is not meant to be a substitute for professional guidance. When it comes to the medication you're taking or any other health questions you have, always consult your healthcare provider directly.

Abby Reinhard
Abby Reinhard is a Senior Editor at Best Life, covering daily news and keeping readers up to date on the latest style advice, travel destinations, and Hollywood happenings. Read more
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