Runny nose, headache, sneezing, sore throat and persistent cough. These are the five most common symptoms among people who have had Covid after taking two or more doses of the vaccine.
In individuals who were not immunized, the most frequent discomforts of the disease are, in descending order, headache, sore throat, runny nose, fever and persistent cough.
These findings come from a follow-up done over two years ago in the UK using an app created by technology company Zoe.
The data are analyzed in partnership with researchers from King’s College, a university located in London, with support from the NHS, the country’s public health system.
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The more than 4.7 million users registered on the online platform only need to report the symptoms they feel when they test positive for Covid.
From there, experts analyze all this information and assemble a sort of ranking of the most common symptoms, which have changed considerably over the weeks and months of the pandemic.
The work, which until March 2022 received funding from the UK government, was instrumental in quickly identifying some of the less-expected annoyances of Covid, such as loss of smell and taste.
See below the most frequent symptoms of the disease according to the number of doses of vaccine applied.
Slight but relevant change
Among people who have had at least two doses of the vaccine, the most common symptoms of Covid are:
- Running nose
- Sore throat
- persistent cough
Among those who did not take any dose, the top 5 undergoes some changes:
- Sore throat
- Running nose
- persistent cough
The main difference is the presence of fever among those who were not vaccinated, which indicates a more serious condition. They also report more headache and sore throat compared to those who took two or more doses of the immunizer.
“There are some reasons to explain this change, such as the fact that vaccinated individuals have less severe symptoms”, analyze those responsible for the experiment, in a publication made on the official website of the Zoe app on April 25.
“We also need to consider that a greater volume of cases is reported in younger individuals, who have different and less severe symptoms”, they add.
The authors consider that symptom ranking is based only on information shared within the app. This, therefore, does not take into account the circulation of specific variants of the coronavirus.
And it’s also worth remembering that the symptoms of Covid can vary a lot. The full list of typical manifestations of the disease, according to the UK Public Health Service, includes:
- persistent cough
- Loss or change of smell
- Loss or change in taste
- difficulty breathing
- tiredness or exhaustion
- Body ache
- Sore throat
- Stuffy or runny nose
- loss of appetite
- Feeling sick, nauseous and nauseous
What should I do if I have symptoms of Covid?
According to national and international authorities, if you show one or more of the typical signs of coronavirus infection, the first step is to stay at home and restrict interaction with others.
This is even more important if you have contact with individuals who are vulnerable to Covid complications, such as the elderly or patients with compromised immune systems.
In this context, another important step is to take a test to confirm or rule out the disease.
In addition to RT-PCR, which is considered the main and most reliable diagnostic method, it is possible to find rapid antigen tests in pharmacies and laboratories throughout the country.
If the result is really positive, it is important to remain in isolation for five to seven days.
If the discomfort improves after this time, it is possible to resume the routine. Now, if they get worse (or other more serious ones appear, such as shortness of breath), it is important to seek an emergency room.
This information is particularly relevant now, at a time when Brazil has a new rise in Covid cases: according to the National Council of Health Secretaries (Conass), the daily moving average of new infections is 39,800. A month ago, on May 20, this rate was at 13,700.
Paying attention to symptoms — and how they can vary according to the amount of vaccines applied — is also important in the Brazilian context. So far, 78% of the country’s population has taken the two doses of the initial regimen and 48% received the booster.
Why do vaccinated people get Covid?
The vaccines against Covid currently available were developed with one main purpose: to reduce the risk of developing the most serious complications of the disease, related to hospitalization, intubation and death.
Regardless of the type of technology used, vaccines have one main goal: to get our immune system safely exposed to a virus or bacteria (or specific bits of it).
From this first contact, which will not harm health, our defense cells generate a response, capable of leaving the body prepared in case the real infectious agent decides to appear.
It turns out that this immune process is extremely complicated and involves a huge battalion of cells and antibodies. The immune response, therefore, can vary considerably depending on the type of virus, the capacity for mutations it has, the way in which the vaccine is developed, the person’s health conditions…
In the midst of all these processes, therefore, it is very difficult to develop an immunizer that is capable of preventing the infection itself, that is, blocking the entry of the cause of the disease into our cells.
But here comes a very important point: even in cases where the vaccine cannot prevent infection, often the immune response created from there can make the symptoms less severe in people who were immunized, thus preventing more severe diseases and deaths.
This occurs, for example, with vaccines against rotavirus and flu: whoever takes them can even become infected, but the risk of developing more serious forms of these diseases is considerably reduced.
And it is exactly this same phenomenon that we are seeing now with Covid-19: even though the available immunizations are not able to stop new waves of cases, they are working very well to prevent the worsening of most infections.
Proof of this are the most recent waves that occurred between the end of 2021 and the beginning of 2022, related to the spread of the omicron variant: although many countries have broken absolute records of cases, the rate of hospitalizations and deaths in these places was significantly lower in compared to previous moments of the pandemic.
A US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) study published in March calculated the size of this protection. The data reveal that adults who have had three doses of Covid vaccine have a 94% lower risk of needing hospitalization, mechanical ventilation or dyingwhen compared to those who were not immunized.
A third piece of evidence for this protective effect comes from Zoe’s and King’s College’s own follow-up, mentioned at the beginning of this article.
Severe symptoms of Covid, such as difficulty breathing and high fever, were much more frequent at the beginning of the pandemic, when vaccines were not yet available.
With the waves of cases and, mainly, the application of doses in a large part of the population, these manifestations plummeted in the ranking, and were gradually replaced at the top of the reports by relatively milder annoyances, such as a runny nose, headache and sneezing.
From a practical point of view, in individuals vaccinated with two or more doses, the coronavirus can even invade the cells of the mouth, nose and throat, where it will cause those typical symptoms of a cold.
Fortunately, in most of these cases, the immune system is soon activated and stops the pathogen from progressing to the lungs and the rest of the body, where it would cause shortness of breath, fever, inflammation, and other more serious consequences.
Currently, the Ministry of Health recommends a fourth dose of the Covid vaccine for those over 40 or for those with an immune problem.
For individuals aged 13 to 49 years, three doses are recommended. For children aged 5 to 11 years, the initial two-dose regimen continues to be indicated.
‘This text was originally published in https://www.bbc.com/portuguese/geral-61783065′