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Here's When a Sore Throat Might Be a Symptom of the Coronavirus

Date:2021-01-20 click:0
Since COVID-19 erupted all over the globe, we've learned more and more about the symptoms associated with it. And we've also confirmed that they're not the same for everyone.
May of the symptoms seem run of the mill. Take a sore throat—you might be tempted to shrug off this symptom, it may still indicate infection. The most prevalent symptoms are fever, dry cough, tiredness, and shortness of breath. One report suggests that the most common order of symptoms is a fever, followed by a cough, then aches and pains in the throat, muscles, and head.
Still, for you, a sore throat may come first (or not at all). “Some patients that have experienced sore throat during COVID-19 have reported that it feels like a super dry throat,” says Leo Nissola, M.D., a scientist and investigator at the COVID-19 National Convalescence Plasma Project as well as advisor at COVIDActNow. “And the medical reports show redness in the throat, without bacterial infection, like strep, for example.”
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Is a Sore Throat a Symptom of COVID-19?
That’s a tricky question. It can be, but it's not necessarily a defining factor.
There are numerous causes for inflammation of the inner lining of the throat, including allergies, upper respiratory infections (both viral and bacterial), acid reflux, and even throat cancer.
“At this time, all upper respiratory illnesses are COVID-19 until proven otherwise,” says Inna Husain, M.D., an assistant professor in otolaryngology at Rush University Medical Center in Chicago.What's more, an April review in the European Archives of Oto-Rhino-Laryngology revealed that ear, nose, and throat symptoms may precede the development of severe cases of COVID-19.
That said, “there is nothing intrinsically different between a sore throat brought on by COVID-19 and one brought on by any other upper respiratory infections,” says Michael Lerner, M.D., a Yale Medicine laryngologist and assistant professor of otolaryngology at Yale School of Medicine.
What, Exactly, Does a "Sore Throat" Mean?
On a basic level, you will experience some sort of discomfort in your throat. More specifically, you'll feel pain when swallowing that can be achy, sharp, or even create a burning sensation.
A sore throat may also be accompanied by a runny nose, nasal congestion, cough, or fever. Other symptoms, according to Alexandra Kreps, M.D., an internist at Tru Whole Care, include “changes in your voice, swollen lymph nodes in your neck or jaw area, and when looking at your tonsils in a mirror they may be red and irritated or could have white patches or pus if severely infected.”
However, Dr. Nissola, says “it is more likely to be a COVID-related sore throat if there are more symptoms, such as fever and malaise.”
A good rule of thumb: “If your sore throat is also accompanied with fever or cough, be suspicious. If your sore throat comes after an episode of heartburn likely its related to reflux. If it is accompanied by sino-nasal congestion, runny nose, and sneezing, it may be allergies,” says Dr. Husain.