COVID symptoms

What are the most common COVID symptoms?

Thanks to the hundreds of participants who continue to record their symptoms in the ZOE Health Study app, ZOE is still keeping tabs on COVID-19 in the UK.

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The most common symptoms of COVID-19

ZOE has been reporting on the most prevalent symptoms of COVID and how they have evolved from the beginning of the epidemic.

Due to factors such as vaccine development and the advent of new strains, these symptoms have evolved throughout time.

The COVID-19 coronavirus, which is caused by the SARS-CoV-2 coronavirus, is continually adapting, much like every other virus.

Latest data from the ZOE Health Study (30 days prior to December 5th, 2022) shows that the most common symptoms reported by participants with positive COVID tests are:

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  1. A sore throat
  2. A runny nose
  3. A blocked nose
  4. Sneezing
  5. A cough without phlegm
  6. A headache
  7. A cough with phlegm
  8. A hoarse voice
  9. Muscle aches and pains
  10. An altered sense of smell

The most common five symptoms used to be reported. However, experience has shown us that this is subject to regular modification. The top 10 symptoms have been rather constant, therefore we are now publishing them.

What’s the official list of COVID symptoms?

There is an official list of COVID symptoms maintained by the CDC, but it hasn’t been updated since last October. However, the most prevalent symptoms are not specified. These are the most typical signs of COVID, as reported by the CDC:

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  • Fever or chills
  • Cough
  • Shortness of breath or difficulty breathing
  • Fatigue
  • Muscle or body aches
  • Headache
  • New loss of taste or smell
  • Sore throat
  • Congestion or runny nose
  • Nausea or vomiting
  • Diarrhea

Why Have the Top COVID-19 Symptoms Changed?

Dean Winslow, MD, an infectious-disease specialist and professor of medicine at Stanford University, says, “It is not entirely clear why this shift in symptoms is occurring, but the Zoe data are consistent with what many of us clinicians are seeing in our patients with COVID-19 infection over the past few months.”

Dr. Winslow says the capacity of the virus to adapt to enhance transmission, as well as increasing levels of immunity in the population owing to vaccination and earlier infection, are probably to blame for the shifts in symptoms.

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What should I do if I have any symptoms?

Resting at home and being tested is the recommended course of action if you have a sore throat, increased sneezing, or any of the other newly appearing symptoms associated with COVID-19.

This is especially critical if you share your space with high-risk individuals.

One of the most common ways that germs spread is via a person’s sneezes. Cover your mouth and nose with a tissue or your elbow to prevent the transmission of germs when you cough or sneeze. And until you’ve cleansed your hands, stay away from your face.

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