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COVID Symptoms No One Talks About But Should

Three COVID symptoms people should talk about more, according to experts.
FACT CHECKED BY Emilia Paluszek

It's been two years since the World Health Organization declared COVID-19 a global pandemic and researchers are still learning new things about the virus, including how it affects people. While many experience common symptoms like fever, chills, sore throat and cough among others, there's other signs of COVID, not talked about often. Eat This, Not That! Health spoke with experts who reveal symptoms not mentioned as much and what the surge overseas means for the U.S. Read on—and to ensure your health and the health of others, don't miss these Sure Signs You've Already Had COVID.


What the Surge in Europe and Asia Means for the U.S.

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Dr. Ramzi Asfour, MD with California Center for Functional Medicine shares, "To answer simply, it's coming back. There will be more 'waves of infections' and I predict that, eventually, there will be some predictability in terms of a pattern. It is encouraging that the original Omicron variant and now the BA.2 variant, which is rapidly becoming the dominant strain, are milder illnesses, especially for those who are vaccinated. The only people we are seeing in the hospital in the US currently are unvaccinated people as has been the case since vaccines have become widely available. Different variants will likely continue to exact a toll in terms of those without immunity for some time to come." 


When People Should Still Wear Masks

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Dr. Asfour says, "Mask mandates have been removed in most places in the US and about 60% of Americans are not up to date with their vaccinations, making the new wave of BA.2 variant a threat to those who are unvaccinated, elderly or medically vulnerable. This means now more than ever, we need to increase our efforts to get our populations vaccinated and boosted. People should wear N95 masks around those who are elderly and immunocompromised." 



Portrait of a worried mature woman having problems with her finances

Dr. Sunjya Schweig, MD, Founder and President of the California Center for Functional Medicine and Megan Anderson, APN with California Center for Functional Medicine share, "Severe confusion, disorientation and delirium is, at times, the only symptom of COVID-19. This is particularly so in elderly people. This needs to be talked about more so that people can get the right treatment and care and reduce spread. This symptom is linked with high risk and poor health outcomes: patients dealing with this symptom are three times more likely to develop severe COVID." 

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Eye Issues

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According to Dr. Schweig and Anderson, "Conjunctivitis (pink eye) can be a COVID-19 symptom along with light sensitivity and sore or itchy eyes. In fact, this has been reported for 1 in 10 people who are infected with COVID-19. This happens when the COVID virus infects the outer layer of the eye."

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Thoughtful girl sitting on sill embracing knees looking at window, sad depressed teenager spending time alone at home, young upset pensive woman feeling lonely or frustrated thinking about problems

Dr. Schweig and Anderson explain, "Experts have found that COVID infections can affect the mental health of a patient. In one study, over half of people who were infected with COVID-19 reported having symptoms of depression. Inflammation and the body's immune response to the virus itself are potential reasons this may manifest, in addition to the stress of having had COVID-19. When the body is infected, the immune system produces cytokines, chemokines and other inflammation promoters. These cytokines are largely responsible for the 'sickness behavior' that we can see with infections in general, and  it can drive psychiatric disorders like depression." 

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How to Stay Safe Out There


Follow the public health fundamentals and help end this pandemic, no matter where you live—get vaccinated or boosted ASAP; if you live in an area with low vaccination rates, wear an N95 face mask, 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, 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.

Heather Newgen
Heather Newgen has two decades of experience reporting and writing about health, fitness, entertainment and travel. Heather currently freelances for several publications. Read more about Heather