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Ellen DeGeneres Warns of This "Really Bad" COVID Symptom

It isn’t one of the usuals—“I woke up with back spasms.”
FACT CHECKED BY Checkmark Alek Korab
Ellen DeGeneres

Shortness of breath, fever, dry cough, loss of sense of smell and taste. Those are the symptoms most commonly associated with COVID-19. However, they aren't the only symptoms and some people who are infected with the potentially deadly virus don't experience any of them. During her return to television after recovering from the virus, Ellen DeGeneres revealed the only symptom she experienced during her bout with the illness—and it wasn't any of the above. Read on—and to ensure your health and the health of others, don't miss these Sure Signs You've Already Had Coronavirus

Ellen Said it Felt Like Her Ribs Cracked

During the show, Ellen detailed her experience with the virus, starting from when she was informed she tested positive. "I went home obviously I had to quarantine. Portia made me sleep in a different room on a different bed," she explained. "The first three days I slept for 16 hours a day."

However, on day four she woke up with a curious symptom, which she first believed to be unrelated to COVID. "On the fourth day I woke up with back spasms and I thought I had pulled a muscle or slept weird cause I was in a different bed, but it just persisted," she explained. "So the doctor put me on pain pills and muscle relaxers."

However, the painkillers didn't help. "My back got worse. It felt like I cracked a rib. You know how I make you laugh so hard that your ribs hurt? That's what it was like for me," she joked. "Now I know how you feel when I make you laugh."

"The doctors finally put me on a steroid pack because the other stuff was not working," she continued. Luckily that worked. "But here's the thing about steroids. They make you really speedy and really edgy. So the best thing to do was I decided was to stay on the muscle relaxers and pain pills with the steroid pack to balance it out. I don't know if that's the best way. I'm not a doctor, but that's what I did. I'm still on them."

After discussing it with other people, she discovered that back pain wasn't such a rare symptom of COVID after all. "Now apparently back pain is a symptom of COVID, which I did not know," she said. "I'm not saying if you have back pain, you have COVID, but it is a symptom. That's the only symptom I had. I didn't have a headache. I didn't have a fever. I didn't lose my sense of taste."

Now she is feeling better. "The weird thing is, I don't know where I got it. I still don't know where I got it. I wear a mask. I washed my hands."

RELATED: If You Feel This, You May Have Already Had COVID, Says Dr. Fauci

How to Survive This Pandemic

Call a medical professional if you suspect you have COVID, and even if they didn't fully protect Ellen, follow the public health fundamentals and help end this surge, no matter where you live—wear a face mask, social distance, avoid large crowds, don't go indoors with people you're not sheltering with (especially in bars), practice good hand hygiene, get vaccinated when it becomes available to you, and to protect your life and the lives of others, don't visit any of these 35 Places You're Most Likely to Catch COVID.