COVID now comes with new symptoms; dry mouth, hearing loss are some

Maharashtra’s COVID taskforce urges doctors to keep an eye out for symptoms not associated with the viral infection earlier

During the second wave of the pandemic, most patients presented only gastrointestinal symptoms.

About 18 months after the onset of the pandemic, it’s now common knowledge that sore throat, high fever and loss of smell could be COVID symptoms. However, medical professionals are now spotting newer symptoms, such as reduced hearing, dry mouth, severe headache and conjunctivitis.

The Maharashtra COVID taskforce has asked medical professionals to look for the viral disease even in patients not showing the typical symptoms of sore throat, cough and shortness of breath, said a Times of India report.

It quoted Rahul Pandit, a taskforce member, as saying that “difficulty in hearing, conjunctivitis, extreme weakness, dry mouth and reduced saliva secretion, long lasting headache and skin rashes could be signs of COVID, too”.

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“Although the disease has been around for 17 months, newer symptoms are still evolving and we need to watch them,” he reportedly said at an online meeting that was chaired by Maharashtra Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray on Sunday.

Nerve inflammation

Further, quoting Samir Bhargava, head of ENT at RN Cooper Hospital, the report said that globally, there are a few documented cases of hearing loss associated with the viral infection. An inflammation of the auditory nerve, or even a clot triggered by a SARS-CoV-2 infection, may impact hearing similar to how it does the olfactory nerves, he reportedly said. Such patients need treatment with steroids, he added.

Also read: Nipah could be back; here’s what you need to watch out for

The ToI report further quoted Sanjay Oak, chairman of the taskforce, as saying that during the second wave of the pandemic, most patients presented only gastrointestinal symptoms, such as diarrhoea, nausea and vomiting. Fever can also be present in varying forms, he reportedly said.

“Some do not get any fever, some get it in sudden bursts, some in intervals of two-three days, while in many it completely subsides only to return with severity,” said the report.

According to the World Health Organisation (WHO), the most common symptoms of COVID are “fever, dry cough, and tiredness”. “Other symptoms that are less common and may affect some patients include loss of taste or smell, aches and pains, headache, sore throat, nasal congestion, red eyes, diarrhoea, or a skin rash,” it adds.

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