Signs You May Have Already Had Covid Without Knowing

Emily Brown

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Signs You May Have Already Had Covid Without Knowing

Featured Image Credit: Alamy

We're all familiar by now with the most common symptoms of coronavirus, but there are a few signs that may indicate you previously contracted the virus without knowing it.

By April 2020 pretty much everyone was on the lookout for high temperatures, newly developed coughs and a change or loss of taste and smell, but it wasn't until we were in the midst of the pandemic that tests became more readily available and allowed us to confirm or allay our fears more easily.

Many of us are now used to sticking swabs up our nose on a pretty regular basis and praying for just one line to appear on our test, but with testing not always having been available it's hard to say for certain whether you might have tested positive at an earlier date.

Covid tests (Alamy)
Covid tests (Alamy)

Epidemiologist Tony Blakely from the Melbourne School of Population and Global Health told ABC News he typically operates on the assumption that for every person who tests positive for COVID-19, there are an estimated other four infections that aren't included in the statistics.

One instance in which positive cases might have been missed is prior to the news of the global outbreak, in late 2019 and early 2020. As it's not uncommon to get a cold in the winter many people at the time might have passed symptoms off as such, while unknowingly actually dealing with coronavirus. So, if you recall having a bad or long-lasting cold during that time, it's possible your test would have come up with the dreaded double lines.

Having suffered with a shortness of breath or a persistent cough could also be indicators of the virus, with WebMD noting that a lack of breath may have felt to some like anxiety or a panic attack, but longer lasting.

The coronavirus pandemic is not yet over (Alamy)
The coronavirus pandemic is not yet over (Alamy)

Conjunctivitis, watering eyes or blurred vision may also have been a result of the virus, according to the site, as could a tightness in your chest or a feeling of your heart beating fast, fluttering or pounding. Effects on the heart can continue even after the virus clears the body, and may be noticeable for up to two weeks in mild cases.

Another symptom you may have experienced if you unknowingly had COVID-19 is fatigue – though if you just had a heavy night the evening before, you're probably fine.

Antibody tests can be done to determine whether a patient had coronavirus in the last few months, though Lawrie Bott, president of the Royal College of Pathologists of Australasia, told ABC 'previous infection cannot be confirmed or refuted conclusively'.

If you’ve been affected by coronavirus and want up to date advice, visit the help page here. If you need medical help call NHS 111 or visit online

Topics: News, Coronavirus, Health, Life

Emily Brown
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