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Rhinorrhea was thought to be ‘unrelated’ to Covid – now a ‘top’ symptom among vaccinated

Covid brings with it a wide range of symptoms. Some, like a cough and loss of smell, were widely reported at the start of the pandemic meaning many people will still refer back to them when wondering if they have been infected. However, as the virus has mutated, there are some different signs to look for.

The ZOE Health Study, which records Covid patients’ symptoms, has been able to list the top five side effects now seen in people, depending on how many vaccines they have had.

In patients with either one or two vaccines rhinorrhea is among the top five symptoms.

Rhinorrhea is the medical term for a runny nose.

A runny nose was “previously thought to be unrelated” to Covid, the study says.

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Top symptoms among double vaccinated

If you have had at two Covid jabs, the top five symptoms you are likely to experience are:

  • Sore throat
  • Runny nose
  • Blocked nose
  • Persistent cough
  • Headache.

The study says: “The previous ‘traditional’ symptoms as still outlined on the government website, such as anosmia (loss of smell), shortness of breath and fever rank way down the list, at six, 29 and eight respectively.

“A persistent cough now ranks at number five if you’ve had two vaccine doses, so is no longer the top indicator of having Covid.

“Curiously, we noticed that people who had been vaccinated and then tested positive for COVID-19 were more likely to report sneezing as a symptom compared with those without a jab.”

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Top symptoms among single vaccinated

In comparison, if you’ve had one jab you’re likely to experience:

  • Headache
  • Runny nose
  • Sore throat
  • Sneezing
  • Persistent cough.

“As we can see, after the protection from only once vaccine, one of the original indicators of a persistent cough has made the top five symptoms, but still comes below sneezing and a runny nose in rankings, which were previously thought to be unrelated to infection,” the study says.

Top symptoms among the unvaccinated

Whereas people who have not been vaccinated are most likely to experience:

  • Headache
  • Sore throat
  • Runny nose
  • Fever
  • Persistent cough.

The study adds: “Loss of smell comes in at number nine and shortness of breath comes far down the list at number 30, indicating the symptoms as recorded previously are changing with the evolving variants of the virus.”

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What do I do if I experience Covid symptoms?

If you think you could have Covid it is still important to prevent the spread to others.

The ZOE Study advises: “If you’ve been vaccinated and start sneezing a lot without an explanation, you should stay home and get a Covid test, especially if you’re living or working around people who are at greater risk from the disease.

“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.

“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.

“Whether you’ve had your Covid jabs or not, we all still need to be careful to protect your own health as well as those around you in your family, workplace and community.”

Covid symptoms recognised by the NHS include:

  • A high temperature or shivering (chills)
  • A new, continuous cough
  • A loss or change to your sense of smell or taste
  • Shortness of breath
  • Feeling tired or exhausted
  • An aching body
  • A headache
  • A sore throat
  • A blocked or runny nose
  • Loss of appetite
  • Diarrhoea
  • Feeling sick or being sick.

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