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Explained: Common symptoms of COVID-19 for both vaccinated and unvaccinated

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The newer COVID-19 symptoms are similar to those of flu or other viral fevers, leading to plenty of confusion and some adjustments. Sneezing seems to be the most prevalent symptom.

Explained: Common symptoms of COVID-19 for both vaccinated and unvaccinated
As the SARS CoV-2 virus mutates and evolves, so do the symptoms experienced by the patients of COVID-19. A new study has shown that the most common symptoms of COVID-19 have changed from when the disease first emerged, especially in vaccinated individuals.
As the SARS CoV-2 virus mutates and evolves, so do the symptoms experienced by the patients of COVID-19. A new study has shown that the most common symptoms of COVID-19 have changed from when the disease first emerged, especially in vaccinated individuals.
Here is an update on the symptoms of the morphing virus.
Five Most Common Symptoms
According to the data collected by the ZOE COVID Study, the most common symptoms of COVID-19 are headache, runny nose, sneezing, sore throat and loss of smell in patients who have caught the virus after receiving both doses of a COVID-19 vaccine.
For individuals with only one dose of a COVID-19 vaccine, headache, runny nose, sore throat, sneezing, and a persistent cough are the five most common symptoms.
The most common five symptoms in patients who have not been vaccinated are headache, sore throat, runny nose, fever, and persistent cough.
What Does this Mean?
The study shows that the common symptoms of COVID-19 have changed over the course of the last 18 months since the disease emerged. Multiple mutations have emerged, including the extremely contagious Delta variant.
While many believe that COVID-19’s most common symptom is loss of smell, known as anosmia, shortness of breath, and fever, the study shows that for partially and fully vaccinated individuals that may no longer be the case. While loss of smell is still a symptom it is way down the list, unlike earlier.
The common symptoms for partially and fully vaccinated individuals are similar to those of viral diseases like the common flu. This results in individuals not realising that they are infected with COVID-19, which in turn accelerates the spread of the disease.
Even for unvaccinated individuals, the symptoms appear to be similar to that of common flu or other viral fevers, muddling matters further.
This means that individuals can no longer rely on symptoms traditionally associated COVID-19, which would have otherwise guided them to behave appropriately or seek relevant treatment.
What Should People Do?
As coronavirus symptoms begin to appear more benign, individuals should get tested for COVID-19 when they show any of these symptoms. This is especially true if they have come in contact with others who have been infected or visited crowded spaces.
As sneezing has become a more prevalent symptom, individuals should practise good personal hygiene and attempt to prevent the spread of viral particles when sneezing.
"Sneezing is a key way that viruses spread. Try to cover all coughs and sneezes with tissue or the inside of your elbow to minimise the spread of droplets. Avoid touching your eyes, nose and mouth until you wash your hands," the ZOE Study added on its blog on the study.
"Sneezing a lot could be a potential sign that someone vaccinated has COVID-19 and, however mild, should take a test and self-isolate to protect their friends, family and colleagues," the study added.