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COVID Symptoms Doctors Can't Explain

The mysteries of COVID-19 continue to confound doctors and worry patients.
FACT CHECKED BY Emilia Paluszek

With coronavirus in America for more than a year now, you'd think doctors would know exactly why the virus does what it does to the human body, but no: questions remain. There are some coronavirus symptoms doctors cannot explain. "Of all the viruses I have dealt with, I am impressed by the extraordinarily wide spectrum of disease, ranging from asymptomatic to mild, more severe, to hospitalization and intensive care, need for ventilation, and death," Dr. Anthony Fauci, the chief medical advisor to the President and the director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, has said. Read on to discover which symptoms doctors are still learning about—and to ensure your health and the health of others, don't miss these Sure Signs You've Already Had Coronavirus


Doctors are Still Mystified by Long COVID, aka Post-Acute Sequelae SARS-CoV-2 Infection (PASC)

Woman sleeping on the couch in the living room.

Dr. Fauci has been warning that up to 30% of those who had COVID—often with mild symptoms to start—develop long-term complications like fatigue, brain fog, headaches and myalgia that have left doctors investigating…and confused.  "Data are emerging to suggest that infection with SARS-CoV-2 may lead to prolonged and persistent symptoms," says a study that came out this week. "These long-term consequences of becoming a long-hauler are unclear, and further research is urgently needed to corroborate our findings." Fauci said $1.15 billion has been devoted to finding remedies.


Doctors are Still Studying Sleep Disruptions

hispanic woman at home bedroom lying in bed late at night trying to sleep suffering insomnia sleeping disorder or scared on nightmares looking sad worried and stressed


"Many people's sleep continues to be disrupted by predictable pandemic anxieties," says the Atlantic. "But more perplexing symptoms have been arising specifically among people who have recovered from COVID-19." "We're seeing referrals from doctors because the disease itself affects the nervous system," Rachel Salas tells the magazine, which notes symptoms can include "changes in attention, debilitating headaches, brain fog, muscular weakness, and, perhaps most commonly, insomnia."


Doctors are Seeing More and More Neurological Problems

Young sad woman in kitchen

"At this point, it seems like a third of patients will have some type of neurological illness associated with COVID-19," says Henry Ford Hospital. "But this includes a spectrum of issues: memory issues, brain fog, seizures, strokes, and neuropathy (or numbness in the extremities, usually hands and feet). We don't have solid evidence yet that this is the exact percentage of COVID-19 patients who will experience brain fog. Most of the information we have now deals with patients who have been to the doctor. We don't have a lot of information about people who experience COVID-19 brain fog who haven't seen a doctor. And to understand this better, all types of cases have to be studied—we still have to do large-scale, community-based studies."


Doctors Are Seeing New, Odd Symptoms Pop Up Every Month

Young woman with opened mouth checking teeth in mirror in home bath room.

COVID tongue is the most recent "new" COVID symptom to be reported. "Seeing increasing numbers of Covid tongues and strange mouth ulcers. If you have a strange symptom or even just headache and fatigue stay at home!" tweeted Tim Spector, a professor of genetic epidemiology at King's College London. "My mail is full of tongues each morning from people who had tongue problems that coincided with Covid symptoms like fever and fatigue – but baffled doctors. Happy to share so we all become experts …" he tweeted.

RELATED: Dr. Fauci Just Said When We'd Get Back to Normal


What to Do If You Have COVID Symptoms

Doctor and senior woman wearing facemasks

If you experience any of these symptoms—or any of the CDC's COVID symptoms—contact a medical professional. Although they may not understand the illness, they can treat the symptoms. And follow Fauci's fundamentals and help end this pandemic, no matter where you live—wear a face mask that fits snugly and is double layered, don't travel, social distance, avoid large crowds, don't go indoors with people you're not sheltering with (especially in bars), practice good hand hygiene, get vaccinated when it becomes available to you, and to protect your life and the lives of others, don't visit any of these 35 Places You're Most Likely to Catch COVID.

Alek Korab
Alek Korab is a Co-Founder and Managing Editor of the ETNT Health channel on Eat This, Not That! Read more about Alek