Nothing to sneeze at: Covid symptoms have changed, according to new study, pointing to evolving virus


Since the arrival of the Covid-19 virus in the United States in early 2020, common symptoms have shifted. Sneezing is now a very common symptom of Covid, and is being reported more and more by those who have been vaccinated. It’s just one of the many symptom changes shown by the health tracking application developed by ZOE, a British health company that has over 4 million participants in its Covid science project.

Sneezing as a reaction to Covid is associated with the Omicron variant, which is causing more upper-respiratory symptoms than earlier variants, which were more likely to cause pneumonia or other lower-respiratory tract infections.

Some of the newer symptoms of Covid resemble those of a common cold or seasonal influenza.

Things like “loss of smell” are much lower down the list, as is shortness of breath and even having a persistent cough.

“As with all viruses, the SARS-CoV-2 coronavirus which causes COVID-19 is rapidly evolving both its ability to spread and infect people, as well as the symptoms it causes,” the authors of the ZOE App wrote in the ZOE report.

The ZOE Covid study app allows users to log in and report their symptoms, and other circumstances, such as when they were last vaccinated and how many doses of vaccine they have received. The ZOE team “managed to identify the current symptoms that have emerged in recent weeks, and they differ depending on if you’ve been vaccinated, and how many doses you’ve had.”

The symptoms rankings below are based on user reports in the app alone and do not take into account which variant caused the virus or demographic information.

“Generally, we saw similar symptoms of COVID-19 being reported overall in the app by people who had and hadn’t been vaccinated. However, fewer symptoms were reported over a shorter period of time by those who had already had a jab, suggesting that they were falling less seriously ill and getting better more quickly,” the researchers wrote.

Here is the current ranking of COVID symptoms after two vaccinations:

  1. Sore throat
  2. Runny nose 
  3. Blocked nose
  4. Persistent cough
  5. Headache

“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. If you’ve been vaccinated and start sneezing a lot without an explanation, you should get a COVID test, especially if you are living or working around people who are at greater risk from the disease,” the researchers wrote.

For those who have not gotten the vaccine doses, there is a slightly different ranking of symptoms, but there have still been changes since the beginning of the pandemic:

  1. Headache
  2. Sore Throat
  3. Runny Nose
  4. Fever
  5. Persistent cough

“Loss of smell comes in at number 9 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,” the researchers wrote about those symptoms appearing among unvaccinated control group.

More details can be found at the ZOE website at this link.


  1. Oh my! Sneezing, coughing, chest congestion, runny nose…better shut down the country as we’ve never seen symptoms like this before. I thought Biden said the pandemic was over.

  2. Total BS. Nothing more than propaganda. They just keep changing the goal posts, don’t they? How many more lies, and fabrications will it take to wear you down just to shut them up……….oh yeah, once you succumb to their agenda. See why we are all screwed no matter what we stand against?

  3. Wonder if unvaccinated covid recipients are contracting the covid vaccinated sick recipients sickness, and if stomach flu is a symptom (diarrhea and nausea). See why the covid shot recipients shouldn’t be such a worry wart? Look what their worrying inflicted upon themselves? And possibly up on the rest of of us all.

  4. So now all I have to do is decide whether I want to risk my cardiovascular system in order to *maybe* make my next cold be slightly less severe.

    • Yeah, Biden said so, and in a legible sentence (I have it on my ring tone), therefore we can take it to the bank. ?

  5. A British health company? Why have we needed to get our information from places like Ireland and Israel? With thousands of employees and a budget in the billions you would think the CDC would be doing some research that could offer guidance to the public, I’m beginning to think they are as worthless as the Department of Education.

  6. NOT sneezing is also a symptom of Covid! In fact, I believe that the CDC has claimed that if you are not dead, that may be a symptom of Covid.
    Boy, this science stuff is fun!

  7. The problem is–if something truly deadly comes down the pike–many will ignore it now. Which is maybe the plan………..

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