Even if you do not feel ill, it is important that you recognise some of the weirder symptoms that COVID-19 is throwing up so that you are able to isolate yourself and avoid infecting anyone else. However, it remains very confusing as many of these symptoms, although they could be related to COVID-19 could also be symptoms of some other unrelated condition. Until tests become widely available a good deal of unnecessary isolation may occur – but better that than a further spread of the virus.
Anosmia or loss of the sense of smell
Having your sense of smell impaired, or losing it altogether, as a result a heavy cold is not unusual so it not surprising that COVID-19 could cause it. However, it appears that anosmia could be the only symptom that you suffer, especially if you are in a younger age group. This would mean that, unless you were aware, there is no reason why you would self isolate. It could also accompany very mild symptoms so once again, you might not be aware that you had the virus. See this brief paper from ENT-UK.
I had actually read about this a few days ago. However when Cressida, who has been suffering from a heavy cold and sore throat for a week – but no cough and no temperature – told me yesterday that, very weirdly, she seemed to have completely lost her sense of smell, I was immediately suspicious. However, if this does indicate that she had had the virus, the anosmia has happened at the end rather than the beginning, as she is starting to feel better. But, of course, it could also just be as a result of a heavy cold…
We all understood that COVID-19 was purely a respiratory disease – nothing to do with the digestion. So why was there all that panic buying of loo rolls? However, they may not have been that far off the mark. My good friend Sarah Stacey (she of the Dorset magnolias and the lovely horses) writes:
On the evening of March 2nd, Monday, my tummy felt uncomfortable. On March 3 I woke in small hours with acute almost continuous abdominal pains, right across my abdomen, which continued for 48 hours. I lost my appetite completely. I was intensely fatigued. I was a bit nauseous. If I tried to stand up, I had to almost immediately lie down on the floor.
This state lasted for about 48 hours during which I stayed in bed. So Tues March 3, Wednesday March 4, by Thursday 5th I was feeling slightly better. On Friday 6th evening, I could eat a small amount. I had only managed ginger tea with honey and the odd oatcake from Day 3, Thursday.
I am fine now and didn’t realise that I had probably suffered from Covid-19 until I read a Medical News report on digestive symptoms, which came out very recently. I thought I probably had some weird type of food poisoning. But I didn’t really have any diarrhoea or vomiting.
More usual symptoms
A friend of Sally’s (our commissioning editor for Curlew Books) has had a more familiar set of symptoms But she has recorded the course of her infection to give anyone else with those symptoms some inkling of how the condition might progress. At this point she was on day 6/7.
Headache on and off for two days – then a temp in the evening then the next day mild difficulty breathing and pressure on my chest.
Then day 3/4 feel much better, almost euphoric – have energy – I’m self isolating but clean my mum’s bathroom etc – then day after feel terrible again – very tired , worse the next day, worse in the evenings, mild tickle cough in the evenings .
Today still exhausted and alternating chills and temp still. It’s interesting as I’ve never really developed a significant cough, I think a lot of people might not – and therefore might go out on the day they feel euphoric! The virus’s way of spreading itself?
On Day 8 she reported that she just felt totally wiped out and slept all day.
If you would like to get a notification of each new post, please ‘subscribe’ in the box on the right. It is very easy to ‘unsubscribe’ you if you get bored!