Four cases of highly infectious Omicron subvariant BF.7 – the strain that has led to unprecedented surge in Covid cases in China – have been detected in India so far. While health authorities and experts say there is no need to panic as yet, they have also emphasised the need of following social distancing measures, getting tested, getting booster vaccinations wherever needed to contain the spread of the virus. (Also read: Omicron BF.7: Cases of highly infectious strain rise in India; experts on symptoms, precautions and fresh wave)
While India has its Covid cases in control, people are to a large extent vaccinated and there is some amount of immunity from previous infections, there is a need to stay aware of the common and unusual Covid symptoms or presentations that people may develop after getting infected. The classic symptoms of Covid have been fever, chills, cough, fatigue, body ache, loss of taste and smell, sore throat etc, but the deadly virus can at times show gastrointestinal symptoms, skin issues or even central nervous system problems. Uncontrolled diabetes, kidney disease and extreme weakness are also some of the unusual symptoms of Covid.
Dr Rajeev Gupta, Department of Internal Medicine, CK Birla Hospital (R), Delhi in a telephonic conversation with HT Digital talks about the common and unusual symptoms of Covid everyone should be aware of:
Common Covid-19 symptoms
“Covid usually presents with fever, can be high grade, low grade with cough, sore throat, chest pain, shortness of breath, weakness, headache, periorbital pain, loss of smell, loss of taste. Some patients may have nausea or diarrhoea,” says Dr Gupta.
Unusual Covid-19 symptoms
Vomiting and diarrhoea as predominant symptoms
While Covid is usually associated with sore throat, cold and cough, body pain, some patients may exhibit no such symptoms. In such cases, a Covid patient may have just vomiting, nausea and loose motions as predominant symptoms.
“Some patients may have unusual symptoms. They are predominant vomiting and diarrhoea with abdominal pain this can be mistaken for gastroenteritis or typhoid fever,” says Dr Gupta.
Rashes or blistering
Dr Gupta says patients may also present with symptoms like rashes which can be vesicular rashes or tiny fluid-filled blisters in any part of the skin can also be mistaken for some other disease initially.
Covid patients may also have predominant CNS (central nervous system) symptoms which can be in the form of confusion, fogginess, delirium or hallucinations. Acute myocardial infarction, pulmonary embolism, acute stroke are also some disorders that can be precipitated by Covid, says the expert.
Covid can also play a havoc with your diabetic control. Diabetes may become difficult to control in some people in case of Covid infection.
Then there are presentations related to various organs like kidney failure. The patient who has CKD (chronic kidney disease) and is on dialysis, if they develop covid, they may have aggravation of kidney disease. Similarly, patients of variety of chronic illness or on immunosuppressants may have atypical presentation of Covid. Typical symptoms may not develop. That can be an issue where we can mistake covid for other diseases.
“We do see extreme weakness as a symptom and this may continue post covid also for a long time. Excessive fatigue, effort intolerance these can be also symptoms mistaken for some other disease,” says Dr Gupta.