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.
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
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.
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.
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
COVID also causes fatigue, specifically weakness or tiredness, with 19.6 percent of respondents saying they endured this while sick with the virus.
Headache is still being reported as a sign of this illness, with 20.1 percent of respondents citing this as a problem.
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.
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.
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.
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