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Editor’s note: This story has been updated to correct the study’s conclusions about COVID symptoms. We regret the error.


KSNF/KODE — According to ZOE Health Study (a health science company staking claim to running the “world’s largest COVID science project with over four million participants”), their latest data finds that the top symptoms reported by contributors with positive COVID tests are:

  • A sore throat
  • A runny nose
  • A blocked nose
  • Sneezing
  • A cough without phlegm

ZOE Health Study reportedly listed only the top five symptoms. But over time, the health science company said their COVID research showed these symptoms change frequently. Some reasons include the introduction of vaccines and the emergence of new variants.

Now, ZOE Health Study decided to report the top ten symptoms, which they claim remain more stable. Those symptoms include:

  • A headache
  • A cough with phlegm
  • A hoarse voice
  • Muscle aches and pains
  • An altered sense of smell

A publication in the National Journal of Medicine reports that muscle aches and pains (also known as myalgia) can be the onset symptom of 36% of patients with COVID-19.

Loss of smell and taste, high fever and breathlessness were regarded as the ‘classic’ symptoms when COVID was first discovered. But with Omicron emerging and vaccination coverage increasing, the symptoms related to the infection changed. The symptoms that were widely reported include sore throat, runny nose, headache and fatigue. 

Now, it seems, COVID-related symptoms and becoming more numerous, with more than 1/4 of patients reporting their onset symptoms as sharp pain in shoulders and legs, widely known as myalgia. 

Myalgia is essentially a condition in which your body’s muscles start to ache. You experience pain in your muscles, especially joints. This pain could be excruciating or mild depending on how well your body’s immunity can fight the infection. People often experience myalgia in their shoulders and legs.

This is also known as ‘COVID-related muscle pain’ and it simply attacks your movement and provides discomfort. Myalgia could come with both long-term and short-term soreness. You may not necessarily experience this pain only upon movement of your body. It could also occur while you are resting. If you are experiencing any of the symptoms listed above, it’s always best to consult your doctor for proper diagnosis and treatment.