The coronavirus has shaken our world up since news of the first case broke. Life as we knew it forever changed. We could no longer walk care free through the grocery store to pick up our needs. Medical grade masks and gloves plagued our daily chores. Aerosol germicides and hand sanitizer became our weapon of choice.
Due to its similarity in symptoms to the common cold or the flu, many times COVID-19 is misdiagnosed until further testing concludes that it is in fact Covid-19. We are constantly fed the symptoms we should look out for: fatigue or exhaustion, fever, diarrhea or loose stool, difficulty breathing, loss of appetite, body aches, loss of taste or smell, nausea and/or vomiting.
Because we are aware of those symptoms, we look out for them. However, COVID-19 presents other symptoms that are often overlooked or not recognized. There are several symptoms that manifest in patients or individuals with COVID-19.
Xerostomia (Dry Mouth)
Fathi, Hoseini, Atoof et al published research in April of 2021 that directly linked dry mouth to COVID-19. “Dry mouth is a disorder that occurs due to insufficient saliva secretion or absolute salivary gland dysfunction. However, in many cases, this disorder is due to alterations in the quality of saliva, while the quantity of saliva does not vary much.” The study went on to show that 60% of patients that tested positive for Covid-19 showed symptoms of Xerostomia. It was concluded that this symptom appears prior to the common symptoms and should be used for early detection and quarantining.
Mild to severe rashes may become present on the skin of an individual with COVID-19.
Acute Genital Ulcers
Falkenhain‐López, M. Agud‐Dios, and Sánchez‐Velázquez released a study that linked acute genital ulcers to the virus. Individuals with no recent sexually risky behavior may have ulcerations to their genitalia. In women it is usually in or around the labia. There are lines of demarcation with severe pain. Several tests are usually completed, including an ulcer exudate bacterial culture and herpes simplex virus PCR. Blood tests are negative of any abnormalities in blood cell count, coagulation and biochemical parameters.
Serologic testing for HIV, Epstein–Barr virus, cytomegalovirus and syphilis testing has to be negative as well. The ANA and complement C3 and C4 level testing has to show as normal also. Additionally, HLA‐B51 will render a negative result prior to diagnosis. The patient will test positive for COVID-19 in order for the genital ulcer to be linked.
Pink eye, itchy eye and/or light sensitivity appear.
Pulmonary specialist and critical care physician, Joseph Khabbaza, MD, indicated that he noticed many mild patients experiencing brain fog. “Brain fog is kind of a big one. It’s a kind of mental cloudiness — like you’re in a daze. You hear a lot about it with mild outpatients, but we also see it more severely in the ICU. Hallucinations and confusion are commonly experienced during all sorts of severe illnesses. When you have a stressor like COVID-19 in the body, you’re more likely to be confused, especially if you are elderly. This symptom is very common with older people as the body is trying to fight off an infection.”
Nebraska Medicine published an article that cited COVID-19 as a cause for issues within the throat. “Hoarseness, speaking problems or swallowing issues can occur when the nerves of the vocal cords are irritated.”
Having these symptoms do not mean that you have COVID-19. Having COVID-19 doesn’t mean you will develop these symptoms. However, if you develop these symptoms it is a possibility that you may test positive for the virus.