Five lesser-known Covid-19 symptoms to look out for

25 August 2020 - 13:11 By Sanet Oberholzer
Gastrointestinal problems are one of the lesser-known symptoms of Covid-19.
Gastrointestinal problems are one of the lesser-known symptoms of Covid-19.
Image: 123RF/Siam Pukkato

Coughing in public is enough to make you an instant pariah — even if it’s just the result of an innocent scratch in your throat. That’s because having a dry cough, fever or difficulty breathing are the most highly publicised — and common symptoms — of the coronavirus.

We were made hyper aware of Covid-19 symptoms early on in the pandemic, but as researchers and doctors have learnt more about the virus, a list of rather unusual symptoms has started emerging including 'Covid toes', which became an interesting topic of discussion.

Here are a few other less common symptoms to look out for:

1. TUMMY TROUBLES

Covid-19 may cause mild stomach problems, including diarrhoea, nausea, vomiting and a loss of appetite. Luckily these symptoms don’t last very long (usually for one day) and they usually appear before the infected person develops more common symptoms like a fever and cough.

2. PINK EYE

Conjunctivitis, or pink eye, has been listed as another unusual symptom of Covid-19. It seems that, in severe cases, people might suffer from red eyes, swollen eyelids, watering or discharge from the eyes, sensitivity or irritation.

3. HEARING LOSS

Apart from infecting the respiratory system, recent studies have indicated that the virus may also affect the ear and mastoid bone which is located just behind the ear. In some cases, it was found that Covid-19 can cause otitis media, a type of ear infection, and some patients even suffer a loss of hearing.

4. LOSS OF SMELL OR TASTE

An increasing number of Covid-19 patients have reported a loss of taste or smell. While these symptoms usually present without nasal congestion (as is the case with colds and flu), it can last up to two weeks.  

5. CONFUSION OR DIFFICULTY CONCENTRATING

 In severe cases, especially among older people, Covid-19 may make it difficult to concentrate or lead to some confusion. People may also experience headaches, decreased alertness or dizziness. These symptoms usually present before a patient develops a fever or respiratory problems.