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First, it was fever and cough, then the loss of taste and smell, could headaches be added to that list?
The symptoms of COVID-19 seems to vary from person to person, with many displaying no symptoms at all and no real explanation as to why it’s so varied. According to the World Health Organization (WHO), the main symptoms of the virus are fever, dry cough, and tiredness. With many people also reporting a loss of taste and smell.
According to the World Health Organization, about 14% of people have reported headaches as a symptom of the disease, and more people are taking to social media to make similar claims.
So why are only some people experiencing a headache along with other symptoms of the disease? Dr. William Li, MD, has suggested that it’s difficult to know why this is the case, as headaches are a non-specific symptom. He goes on to suggest that they may be caused by other underlying conditions the person has. He also offered insight into why a respiratory disease can cause headaches in some people, “Many viruses, from those that cause the common cold to the flu to COVID-19, cause the body to respond in ways that try to destroy the infection,” and, “one response is that immune cells release proteins called cytokines that cause inflammation, fever, and fatigue. Along with these reactions can come a headache.”
If you’ve ever had the flu, a persistent cough, or a blocked nose, you may have also developed a headache. This kind of constant strain on the area can also cause the symptom, as well as anxiety, dehydration, lack of sleep and poor diet, according to Dr. Li. Many of these factors are controllable, by exercising, eating, and drinking well you can help reduce anxiety, improve sleep, and reduce headaches.
If you have a headache, however, should you be worried and should you continue to take pain relief medication, like Ibuprofen? Early in the pandemic, there were reports that non-steroidal and anti-inflammatory medications were not recommended for use. However, according to a paper published in the journal of, ecancermedicalscience which analyzed over 85 studies performed on other coronavirus strains as well as COVID-19, found no evidence that ibuprofen should not be used to relieve headaches.
If you suspect your headache is a symptom of the disease, take a test as soon as you can and consult your doctor if you have concerns about taking pain relief medications. Also, continue to eat plenty of healthier foods and maintain fluid intake.