There’s still a lot unknown about the novel coronavirus but most symptoms are considered to be more or less universal at this point. However, how reliable can sore throat be as a symptom to indicate the presence of a possible COVID-19 infection?
Even more than six months after being declared as a pandemic by the World Health Organisation, the virus seems to be growing exponentially each day. As with the virus, misinformation and myth are also growing larger in number each day. Given the intensity of the virus spread, it’s important to separate facts from fiction when it comes to information about the disease, its spread, and the dangers.
Here’s one most commonly associated symptom with COVID-19 – a sore throat. But how definitive is it as a symptom?
An earlier study in China had reported that less than 14% of the 55,000 patients observed (confirmed cases of COVID-19) had a sore throat. According to the Centres for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) in the USA, the developments of symptoms can vary largely from person to person. No one knows for sure why, but everyone’s body seems to react slightly (or very) differently to the virus. So, it is possible to have a sore throat, but it’s also likely that you may have a combination of other symptoms as well, minus the throat itch.
Another issue with a symptom like sore throat is its ubiquitous presence with a number of other diseases. Maybe you have a common cold, maybe a tonsillitis infection, or some other respiratory infection?
There are many meme-like images on social media platforms that speak with authority, differentiating between a cough for COVID-19 and a cough for common flu. But it is ideal to not trust those sources. The only way to confirm whether a sore throat or cough is caused by a virus or infection other than coronavirus is to look at the larger collection of symptoms and get tested.
The most observed symptoms in COVID-19 patients are cough, fever, and fatigue (barring asymptomatic cases where a person may have no physical signs of infection). If your sore throat presents with a combination of other symptoms, isolate first. If you have a regular physician, call them to discuss the symptoms and follow the instructions.