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:
“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:
“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.