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    Common COVID symptoms changed since pandemic started

    Julia Marnin

    THE STAR / DPA – The most commonly reported COVID-19 symptoms in recent weeks have changed since the SARS-CoV-2 virus started to spread across the globe, a study has found.

    The top symptoms were mostly similar regardless of vaccination status, according to the Zoe Health Study, a long-running research project based in the United Kingdom that tracks the virus through its COVID Symptoms Tracker app.

    Through the app, participants self-report their COVID-19 experience.

    The study’s latest list published on October 20 (2022) highlights how “symptoms as recorded previously are changing with the evolving variants of the virus”, according to the report.

    Four out of five top COVID-19 symptoms were the same for participants who received two vaccine doses, one vaccine dose and none, according to the research.

    These symptoms were headache, persistent cough, sore throat and a runny nose.

    However, the top symptoms differed in how they ranked for each vaccination status group, the study found.

    Additionally, each group reported one different COVID-19 symptom that made the top five.

    For example, those who received two COVID-19 vaccinations reported a stuffy nose among their five most common symptoms, while it was absent from the other groups’ top five.

    Here is how the top five symptoms ranked for the group, according to the study: sore throat, runny nose, stuffy nose, persistent cough and headache.

    Previously, loss of smell, shortness of breath and a fever were considered more common COVID-19 symptoms for those vaccinated with two doses, according to the research.

    Meanwhile, for participants who got one vaccine dose, sneezing was included in the group’s top five symptoms, but not in the other two groups.

    Here is how the study found this group’s top five ranked: headache, runny nose, sore throat, sneezing and persistent cough.

    For those unvaccinated, participants reported having a fever more often than the other groups, according to the research.

    As a result, fever made the top five most common symptoms for people who haven’t gotten a COVID-19 shot.

    Here’s the top five most common symptoms for those unvaccinated, according to the research: headache, sore throat, runny nose, fever and persistent cough.

    The study was based on daily self-reports and did not factor in COVID-19 viral variants or the participants’ demographics, according to Zoe Health.

    Ultimately, there are many COVID-19 symptoms, according to the United States (US) Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

    Others include fatigue, nausea, body aches and more.

    Several people who were infected with COVID-19 may be dealing with long COVID, when viral symptoms last longer than the initial infection, McClatchy News reported.

    US CDC research published in May (2022) found that about one in five adults may develop at least one long COVID symptom following an infection.

    The Zoe Health Study’s latest top symptoms list comes as the Omicron viral variant – and several of its subvariants – dominated COVID-19 cases for the week ending Oct 22 (2022), according to CDC data estimates.

    The subvariants could cause a fall and winter surge in COVID-19 cases, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill infectious disease epidemiologist Dr Justin Lessler told Nature.

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