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Rare Symptoms of COVID You Might Miss

These lesser-known physical signs can be red flags for coronavirus.
FACT CHECKED BY Alek Korab
Suffering From Abdominal Pain Touching Aching Stomach Lying On Couch At Home

We know to be alert for the most common COVID-19 symptoms: Cough, fever, trouble breathing. But the coronavirus has been found to affect nearly every part of the body, and the first sign of your infection can be a pretty obscure one (or you could have no coronavirus symptoms at all). In fact, one recent study found a number of issues might even last long after the virus has left you, including irregular menstruation, bad moods, temperature fluctuations and other problems you might not associate with COVID-19 but should. Read on to discover five rare symptoms of COVID you might miss—and to ensure your health and the health of others, don't miss these Sure Signs You've Already Had Coronavirus.

1

You Might Have Skin Problems

rash
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You might remember the recent splash of headlines about "COVID toes," one of the most unusual symptoms of coronavirus. About 20% of people with COVID-19 report skin changes, such as a red, bumpy rash; hives; or breakouts resembling chickenpox. Some people—generally young and previously healthy—have reported rashes on their toes, which can last up to five months.

2

You Might Have Eye Problems

A woman's pink eye with infection.
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In some people, coronavirus is accompanied by eye issues, including dry, red, or itchy eyes, conjunctivitis (pinkeye), enlarged blood vessels, swollen eyelids, excessive watering and increased discharge. A study in JAMA Ophthalmology found that nearly one-third of hospitalized COVID-19 patients reported eye problems.

3

You Might Develop Tinnitus (Ringing in the Ears)

Woman with an ear ache
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Coronavirus can attack the inner ear, causing dizziness, vertigo, fainting, ringing in the ears—even hearing problems. "Researchers are looking into a possible connection between COVID-19 and hearing loss," AARP reported. "Often these issues persist even after other symptoms of the illness subside."

RELATED: COVID Symptoms Usually Appear in This Order, Study Finds

4

You Might Have Testicular Swelling

man using smart phone and holding his head in pain at home
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A study in The American Journal of Emergency Medicine reported that a 37-year-old man in San Antonio, Texas, developed testicular pain and swelling three days after being diagnosed with coronavirus. The researchers wrote that "several genitourinary complications have been reported" with COVID-19, including blood clotting issues that can cause a prolonged, painful erection.

5

You Might Have Sun Sensitivity

Woman feeling headache and touching her head.
iStock

Texas epidemiologist Dr. Margot Gage spoke with NPR about her own six-month battle with COVID-19, which has involved several uncommon symptoms. One of them is sun sensitivity. "Going out into the sun for me is really debilitating," she said. "It's like I'm allergic to the sun, almost."

6

How to Survive This Pandemic

Woman with face protective mask

If you experience any of the symptoms mentioned here, contact a medical professional. And do everything you can to prevent getting—and spreading—COVID-19 in the first place: Wear a face mask, get tested if you think you have coronavirus, avoid crowds (and bars, and house parties), practice social distancing, only run essential errands, wash your hands regularly, disinfect frequently touched surfaces, and to get through this pandemic at your healthiest, don't miss these 35 Places You're Most Likely to Catch COVID.